When someone in the 3rd District tells me I am a Republican, I ask them, But are you a tea party Republican? The answer is usually No! I am dismayed that The Journal Gazette chose to endorse Rep. Marlin Stutzman because the district is so heavily Republican that Democrat Kevin Boyd doesnt have a chance, even though he has a strong grasp of the issues and solid plans to strengthen Medicare, Social Security and national defense.
Voters have the responsibility to send representatives to Congress with the ideas and values of the people they serve. We of the 3rd District should do our part to rid Congress of tea party obstructionists. How can we in good conscience elect Stutzman, contributing to a dysfunctional Congress? Even Michelle Bachman may not be re-elected.
Stutzman pledged to work with all members of Congress, but he has been part of the minority tea party refusing to compromise to govern. The one example cited in the endorsement was the effort to keep the National Guard base here. He was representing us that time. But even on the farm bill he did not support a House vote because he wanted less money for SNAP, food for the poor. Stutzman supports the Paul Ryan budget, wanting even less money for programs vital to keeping the America we have built over decades.
Stutzman supports eliminating Medicare as we know it. All seniors would pay more for prescriptions and check-ups. Soon a new enrollees financial status would set the amount for a Medicare voucher to help buy insurance. He wants less regulation, allowing pollution, industry near neighborhoods and accounting variations. He says no higher taxes on the wealthiest, who have increased their wealth 300 percent since 1979; less consumer protection regarding product safety, labeling, investments and credit; fewer worker protections, such as OSHA, minimum wage and family leave. He would give tax dollars for education to private and home schools while limiting college scholarships and student loans. And, ignoring our future, he would cut research and development funding that has brought America unmatched innovation.
Stutzman favors drilling in deep water and on public land, keeping oil subsidies but eliminating tax breaks for renewable energy. He supports the Keystone XL Pipeline even though its route is through the Ogalalla Aquifer, source of drinking water for eight states; the refined oil would be sold on the open market from refineries on the Gulf Coast where large tankers from other countries can get it, and eminent domain would force landowners to cooperate. The current Keystone Pipeline leaked 12 times last year.
Americans for Prosperity, started by the Koch Brothers and including secret millionaire donors, gave Stutzman a 100 percent approval rating for his legislative agenda.. The Koch Brothers will profit greatly from Keystone XL., especially if regulations are removed. They have helped finance the tea party from its beginning.
Boyd has workable plans for strengthening Medicare, Social Security and infrastructure improvements that are important to all in the 3rd District. He has been able to answer every question posed to him in recent town hall meetings in ways aligned with the majority of the 3rd District. He will be bipartisan in his approach to every issue.
We should not vote for the tea party and be ashamed of our choice. Boyd will represent us in ways we can be proud. Please vote for Kevin Boyd to be Indianas 3rd District representative.