The race to replace Richard Lugar in the U.S. Senate is one of the most important on Hoosiers ballots this fall, with possible nationwide implications and a host of issues worthy of consideration. But all you really need to know about the race can be found in these quotes:
To me the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else.
I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.
– Richard Mourdock
These are not gotcha statements taken out of context. Mourdock has repeatedly and infamously denounced bipartisanship, even saying that if he is elected but the Democrats continue to control the Senate, his only job will be to campaign to gain the majority.
Democrat Joe Donnelly, on the other hand, is not the hard-left liberal Mourdock supporters claim. Donnelly is pro-life and has a record as a true moderate, supporting, for example, a balanced-budget amendment.
More importantly, Donnelly understands that serving the public and accomplishing goals often requires compromise and bipartisan effort. Mourdock has repeatedly – and proudly – opposed working with the other political side.
Voters should also consider the single most visible and public act Mourdock committed as Indiana treasurer – suing to stop the Chrysler deal that rescued the automaker. Mourdock – now serving his second term as state treasurer – spent $2 million in taxpayer money on lawyers to file the doomed suit. Mourdock opposed the deal because three state pension funds would lose $6 million of their $42.5 million in Chrysler bonds – junk bonds of a then-failing company that was clearly a huge risk at the time Mourdock allowed the purchase.
Mourdock still contends that the federally backed deal was unconstitutional – although the conservative-controlled U.S. Supreme Court twice found no reason even to take the case, much less any hint of constitutional issues. Had Mourdock won the case, Indiana would have lost an estimated 124,000 automotive-related jobs.
Neither party is 100 percent right on all issues. Addressing the deficit will require both spending cuts and tax increases. Members of Congress must sometimes accept elements of a bill they dont support to accomplish a greater good also in a bill.
Donnelly understands this.
Libertarian Andrew Horning is also on the ballot.
Tuesday: Northwest Allen County schools