Well, he called my bluff.
Yesterday in a blog post, I touched on the decision Pence had to make: court the conservatives for his Presidential run by signing the anti-LGBT bill that the Indiana legislature just passed, or stand on the side of anti-bigotry and protect the revenue that the state generates from conferences and companies.
He chose the former by signing the bill into law today.
And the CEO of Salesforce promptly indicated that Salesforce was cancelling all company events with Indiana.
No big deal, you say?
Actually, it is a big deal. Salesforce is a nearly $43 billion high-tech company. In 2013, Salesforce acquired an Indianapolis company, Exact Target. And Salesforce was in talks with Indianapolis about constructing a high-rise office building downtown. Salesforce was hiring and moving into Indiana. That was a very good thing.
As a good company from Silicon Valley/San Francisco, I suspect that Salesforce was upping the ante in Indiana and that other companies were feeling the heat (or would soon) in retaining talent from Salesforce with their potentially better wages, benefits, and compensation.
What do you think Salesforce will do now? Not expand into Indiana by canceling plans to build in Indianapolis? Pull Exact Target (and its jobs) out of Indiana? Anything is possible. And will they be back soon? I doubt it.
And this is just Salesforce. Other companies and organizations threatened to cancel events and conferences. In the future, will other tech companies consider Indiana as a place to expand their offices and operations? I doubt it.
Bye-bye, the hope of Indiana attracting tech companies and better paying jobs. Bye-bye, graduates from our stellar universities who will continue to go where tech jobs are (not in Indiana). Bye-bye, twenty-first century.
Hello, bigotry from past eons best left in the rear-view mirror. Sure, we can continue to survive as a manufacturing and warehousing powerhouse. That’s where the jobs and living wages are, right? I doubt it.
But Pence probably doesn’t care. He hopes to be on to bigger and better things soon. The condition he leaves Indiana in as he departs the governorship really is of no concern to him.
I weep for Indiana. I weep for LBGT folks in Indiana. I weep for myself, who moved back to Indiana a year and a half ago. I really didn’t believe that Indiana was as backwards and bigoted as its has shown itself to be.
Sigh. Once again I am embarrassed to be a Hoosier. Hopefully that feeling won’t last too long this time.