Political Notebook

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Mourdock chides Democrats for speaker choice

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-described democratic socialist, and Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a favorite of the conservative tea party, could become colleagues. It's unlikely they would be fast friends.

Mourdock is the Republican candidate for a Senate seat from Indiana. Sanders seeks re-election this year as an independent.

Sanders will speak Friday at an Indiana AFL-CIO lunch being held in conjunction with the Democratic Party's state convention in Fort Wayne. Mourdock was asked his thoughts on Sanders' upcoming appearance during a Thursday news conference with Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, at the Allen County Republican Party Headquarters.

"If that isn't the perfect symbol for the Democrat spokesman at the Democrat state convention," Mourdock said. "If they think that would sell in southern Indiana, they're wrong. I suspect maybe that's why they moved (the convention) up here. To have Bernie Sanders on their program, that would not be playing well with southern Indiana Democrats."

Stutzman said: "I don't know a lot of northern Indiana Democrats that would identify with the liberal senator from Vermont. You know, Indiana is full of conservative Hoosiers."

Sanders on Thursday urged the Senate to pass his farm-bill amendment that would allow states to require labels on genetically engineered foods.

"This amendment gives people the right to know," he said in a floor speech while lamenting that no clinical trials have been conducted on the possible health risks of the products.

"If this is not a conservative amendment," he said, "I don't know what is."

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