Saturday, April 05, 2008

interview in the Republic

From my interview with Kirk Johannson in the (Columbus) Republic...

Hoosiers in Indiana’s 9th congressional District probably know U.S. Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind., and Republican challenger Mike Sodrel.

They’re gearing up for a fourth showdown for the seat on Nov. 4.

Libertarian Eric Schansberg hopes voters remember him after the 2006 election, and he can build on the support he gained.

Schansberg received 4.5 percent of the overall vote, trailing Hill and Sodrel, while spending just $20,000 on the campaign. He captured 7.4 percent of the vote in Jackson County, 7.2 in Brown and 6.5 percent in Bartholomew.

Schansberg, an economics professor at Indiana University-Southeast, said he is running for a second time because he’s unhappy with Hill or Sodrel as candidates.

And, Schansberg hopes people remember the negative advertisements that Hill and Sodrel directed at each other.

“I hope they remember whatever pain they were in last time,” Schansberg said.

He said Hill should have demanded more aggressively that U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq, Schansberg said. Also, by voting for a higher minimum wage and the stimulus package, Hill has contradicted his self-professed fiscal conservatism.

“The stimulus package is bad for a lot of reasons, but politically it’s very difficult for him to oppose that,” Schansberg said. “I understand why he bowed to that temptation.”

Schansberg described Sodrel as more fiscally moderate than conservative, which he found surprising for a Republican.

“That’s what gotten us in all this debt in the first place with Bush and the Republican Congresses,” Schansberg said. “And, he still hasn’t said anything about voting to give taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, which I find deeply offensive.”

Neither the war in Iraq nor any other one issue will dominate this election, Schansberg. However, the economy, the nation’s debt and illegal immigration will weigh heavily.

During debates and while meeting voters in the district, Schansberg intends to make his beliefs clear.

“We need to distinguish our position more strongly,” he said.

Schansberg plans to connect with more voters in the district by running cable TV ads, something he could not afford in 2006.

He also will seek donations from people likely to give to a third-party candidate, including people who donated to the presidential campaign of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.

Another try

WHO: Eric Schansberg

WHAT: Candidate for U.S. House 9th District seat; economics professor at Indiana University-Southeast

PARTY: Libertarian

PREVIOUSLY: Lost 2006 election to U.S. Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind., who regained the 9th District seat from Republican Mike Sodrel. Schansberg finished third.

NOW: Hill, Sodrel and Schansberg again are running for the seat. Hill and Sodrel have battled for it in the last three elections.