Wednesday, October 01, 2008

a really nice article by Dale Moss in the C-J

Excerpts from from Dale's article which came from his lengthy interview with me a few Fridays ago...

Schansberg is back on the ballot, as are his better-known, better-financed opponents -- both have run before in this race. Schansberg wages a fight that is both serious and symbolic. He runs commercials, offers a Web site, conducts forums, shakes hands at fairs and debates every opportunity he can.

Still, Schansberg cannot reasonably expect to win. But he does expect to appeal to more of the voters who say they are fed up with politics as usual. Forty percent of voters nationally call themselves independents. Schansberg takes them at their word.

"People know what they're getting," Schansberg said of his candidacy and those he is challenging. "Do they really want one of those two? Or do they want something different?"

Schansberg was born in Louisville and is 43 years old. He was raised primarily in Virginia near Washington, D.C., where he notes he got an up-close-and-personal introduction to politics. He now resides in Jeffersonville. A Ph.D., Schansberg is a full professor of economics at IU Southeast and has some administrative duties there.

He is the father of four children, two of whom he and his wife Tonia adopted. The couple home-schools the children in order to spend more time with them.

"You've got to respect a guy who walks and does the things he says are right," said John Harbeson, Schansberg's campaign treasurer.

Schansberg describes himself as an evangelical Christian. For his Southeast Christian Church, a Louisville-based mega-congregation, Schansberg co-wrote a 21-month discipleship curriculum now also used in about 20 other churches. "Aside from my family, this is the coolest thing I do -- even cooler than politics," he said.

Schansberg received 4.5 percent of the vote in the 2006 election, his first try for the 9th District seat. Using what he learned in that race and building on his base, he asked himself if he could reach double-digits. Is doing better good enough? How outrageous is the prospect of victory?...

To a teacher, a campaign at least provides an inviting platform. "He's trying to make some noise, see who will listen," said Melanie Hughes, who manages Schansberg's candidacy....

Schansberg planned this second race all along. He budgets about $30,000, a pittance compared to what his foes spend. Schansberg speaks out against American involvement in Iraq and for increased domestic oil drilling. He opposes the $700 billion plan to bail out the financial sector. He calls himself the only fiscal conservative in the race and the strongest defender of the poor and the middle class.

The race for Congress struggles to attract its fair share of attention, what with a president and a governor also to elect. Schansberg wishes his campaign would be followed more closely by the media. Yet, as with his reception at large, Schansberg forges ahead without discernible worry....