Monday, October 15, 2007

thoughts on Sodrel's announcement

A hat tip to HoosierPundit for putting Mike Sodrel's announcement on his blog.

It was interesting to watch/hear it-- both for what Sodrel said and what he did not say.

In his opening, he criticized both major political parties at length, by putting himself in the shoes of voters: we're not happy with Congress now (or two years ago); we're not happy with either D or R; we're tired of empty campaign promises; and so on. Of course, he's correct-- and sounds just like me in that regard!

It was interesting to hear a former Congressman try to make the "outsider" argument. In one sense, it is accurate; he's not a professional politician and contrasts starkly with Baron Hill in that regard. But whatever claim he had on the outsider label, he largely forfeited when he voted so often like an "insider" as our elected representative-- most notably on federal spending, the War in Iraq, and illegal immigration.

Then, Sodrel turned to libertarian rhetoric on the desirability of limited government-- that strong governments result in weak people, etc. He pointed out the absurdity of a "bidding war" by each party to spend our money-- and through debt, the money of our children.

In this context, he said all of the right things-- at least from my perspective. The problem is that his voting record simply doesn't square with his spoken vision. (If it had, I wouldn't have run in 2006 and wouldn't run in 2008. I'd be quite happy doing other things!) Going forward, I suppose he could apologize for his record, but such regrets are politically difficult to execute.

From there, Sodrel picked out two issues to emphasize: the Fair Tax (in the midst of giving the IRS a general beating) and border security. On the latter, he apparently continues to oppose significant enforcement against businesses which hire illegals (the "Sullivan Amendment" in the 2005-06 Congress). In contrast, a serious approach would require diligence in both external and internal enforcement.

Beyond that, I don't think he said anything on the War or on social issues. On the former, it'll be interesting to see what he says about the War going forward and how much he emphasizes it. And in omitting the latter, perhaps this is a sign of less emphasis on social issues-- or hopefully, a more civil tone to his campaign against Hill.

Sodrel finished by ably explaining his humble beginnings and his hard work-- trying to preemptively challenge Baron Hill's absurd and appalling critique of Mike as a millionaire. As good as the explanation was, it will probably not be enough to deflect Hill's name-calling if he decides to get nasty again in his campaign against Sodrel.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Press Release: Schansberg welcomes Sodrel back to the race

On Tuesday, Dr. Eric Schansberg welcomed former Representative Mike Sodrel to the 2008 race for Indiana’s 9th District U.S. House seat. Sodrel joins Schansberg and Repesentative Hill for a second campaign together—after a close race in 2006. (Hill received 50.0% of the vote; Sodrel received 45.5%; and Schansberg received 4.5%.) Sodrel and Hill also battled in 2002 and 2004.

Schansberg said, “I’ll continue to raise important public policy issues and promote a useful discussion of those issues. As in the last campaign, I will run educational and entertaining ads. I hope Hill and Sodrel will do these things too.”

On the differences between himself and Sodrel, Schansberg said, “Although there’s still only one fiscal conservative in the race, Sodrel will compete with me for pro-life voters. Voters will now have two pro-life choices: a candidate who voted twice to take money from taxpayers to give to Planned Parenthood—and a candidate who would never do that.”

Contrasting himself with Hill, Schansberg said, “I look forward to engaging Hill as well. I hope that he’ll get much more aggressive in pushing to get our troops out of Iraq. And I hope that he’ll join me in addressing some issues of vital significance to the working poor and middle class—payroll taxes, Social Security reform, and significant education reform.”

For more information, contact Eric Schansberg at (812) 218-0443, Melanie Hughes at (502) 432-1930, or send an email to


Saturday, October 06, 2007

comments on Hill's recent fund-raising letter

Comments on a fund-raising letter from Baron Hill, anticipating the entry of Mike Sodrel into the 2008 Congressional race (hat tip: Hoosier Pundit)...

It is looking more and more like they intend on running Mike Sodrel again.

An interesting choice to use the passive voice. Would he write this about himself: "It is looking more and more like they intend on running Baron Hill again."?

It's been reported that Mike will to make up his mind and make an announcement in early October. In addition, he was in Washington, DC last week, making the rounds with his old special interest buddies who financed his negative campaign the last time.

Special interests? Negative campaigns? Pot, have you met the kettle? Then again, Hill is probably still mad that Sodrel called him a Washington lobbyist the last time.

One thing is for sure, whoever they select will be well-funded, and they'll do what they always do - attack me relentlessly and unfairly.

Relentless? Yep. Unfairly? Quite a bit. What will Hill do to Sodrel? The same thing.

I need your generous support today to send them a message that we're ready, we'll fight back, and we'll continue to represent a progressive agenda in Congress.

Progressive? How so? Avid support followed by tepid opposition to the War in Iraq? Little helpful said or done about the primary issues that affect the working poor and middle class-- payroll taxes, Social Security and education? Support for various subsidies to corporations and the wealthy?

Hoosiers need a strong voice in Congress who will fight for their interests, not the special interests of Mike Sodrel and his Washington friends.

It sounds like Baron will be voting for me in the next election!

In Congress, I'm fighting for the issues you care about most: protecting Social Security, improving our schools, creating new jobs and ending our reliance on foreign oil.

-Protecting the 12.4% tax which results in an average 1% rate-of-return that is the primary or exclusive nest egg of the working poor.
-How are federal efforts going to improve local schools?
-How is Baron going to create new jobs?
-Baron's plans here result in subsidies to corporations and the wealthy-- and trust the government more than the market to find the newest, greatest innovations in the energy field.