Posts Tagged ‘2008 Election’

Puckett’s campaign manager resigns

September 4, 2008

from WSBT:

The Donnelly campaign declined to comment on Bailey’s resignation.

Bailey said he resigned because of concerns about his health and the amount of time he is focusing on his family.

“I went to the doctor last week, and after hearing a description of my lifestyle, the hours, the eating habits, and the stress of it all, the doctor told me that I was working my way right up the political ladder to an early grave,” Bailey wrote in an e-mail to The Tribune.

But the main reason had to do with family, he said. Bailey’s sister is a volleyball player at Lynn University in Florida, and she called him Saturday after playing in her first collegiate game, which the team won.

“This was one of the biggest days of her entire life, I forgot about it, she called to tell me about it, and I wasn’t able to take her call because I was on a conference call,” he wrote in his e-mail. “I felt less than an inch tall, it and it hit me like a ton of bricks. After I listened to her message, I knew I was going to resign.”

Bailey’s resignation makes him the second Puckett campaign staff member to step down suddenly. Treasurer Art Willis resigned Aug. 18 after errors in bookkeeping resulted in multiple overdraft charges to the campaign from Lake City Bank.

Bailey left of his own will and on great terms, Puckett said.

“I feel like I’m losing my right arm right now and losing my brother that I traveled all over the district with,” Puckett said. “This is a tough one.”

Until further notice, campaign Chairman Juan Manigault will also step into the manager’s role, Puckett said.


We can’t drill our way out of problem

July 31, 2008

The following is a letter to the editor published July 30 in the South Bend Tribune)

We can’t drill our way out of problem

Responding to consumer outrage at the high cost of gasoline, the president and Congress (including Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Granger) are rushing to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and our coastal plains. Please listen, everyone: We cannot drill our way out of high prices and gas shortages. The oil derived from such drilling would be a decade away and a pittance of what we need — if it weren’t sold to China first.

Far more sensible solutions are to use what we have more wisely (energy efficiency) and to develop alternatives to the old, outmoded methods of digging and drilling. High gas prices and threats of global warming are spurring a race to solve the energy crisis technologically. Not only are strides being made in the familiar alternatives of wind and solar, but other innovations appear almost daily, such as transforming the energy of social dancers into electricity that powers the hall they’re dancing in!

The possibilities seem endless.

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Let’s rescind the tax breaks we’ve given the major oil companies, who have amassed almost $600 billion in profits since 2001, and devote the revenue instead to developing sensible and sustainable ways of meeting our energy needs.

Laura Fuderer
South Bend

Politico: Puckett owes nearly $2K in back taxes

July 25, 2008

from Politico:

• Indiana Republican Luke Puckett, who is running to unseat freshman Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, still owes $1,919.84 in 2006 property taxes, according to documents filed with the Elkhart County, Ind., treasurer. His campaign failed to respond to multiple requests for comment. Donnelly himself took a hit in 2006, during his own first race for the House. According to local tax records and newspaper accounts, Republicans unearthed a collection of tax records that showed he had paid a combined $2,349.50 in late-payment penalties on two properties he owns in Indiana’s LaPorte and St. Joseph counties. As of January 2006, Donnelly owed LaPorte County $9,068.86 in late property taxes and an additional $906.88 in penalties, according to documents there. Those revelations were not enough to keep him from beating the incumbent, Republican Chris Chocola.

RealClearPolitics on Indiana’s 2nd District race

July 23, 2008

from RealClearPolitics:

Indiana 02: Freshman Joe Donnelly has one of the more conservative voting records in the Democratic caucus, and his chances of keeping this northern Indiana district are mounting. Donnelly raised $248,000 in the Second Quarter and had $993,000 on hand, while his Republican challenger, businessman Luke Puckett, has yet to even file his report (A pre-primary report for Puckett showed he’d raised just $33,000 and given himself $150,000). Puckett is one of the GOP challengers headed to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and if he can make oil exploration an issue, he may stay competitive.

WSJ: Donnelly, Puckett, and ANWR

July 8, 2008

from the Wall-Stree Journal’s Political Diary:

[bold text emphasis by DW]

Political Diary
July 3, 2008

Republicans Discover Oil
Here’s a piece of intelligence from the field that the McCain campaign should take careful note of: Republicans in difficult House races are spending scarce campaign dollars to travel to Alaska to dramatize their stance on the drilling issue.

Those making the trek include former Rep. Mike Sodrel, who lost his Southern Indiana seat in 2006 and is making a comeback bid; South Dakota businessman Chris Lien, who is running against Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin for the state’s lone House seat; Gulf War veteran Craig Williams, running for Congress in Pennsylvania; Indiana businessman Luke Puckett, running for a seat that borders Lake Michigan; and Paul Stark, who is running in Wisconsin. The five GOP candidates, traveling as a group, will stop off in Anchorage to meet with industry experts and local officials – Alaskans of both parties overwhelmingly favor drilling in ANWR – before making the final hour-and-a-half flight to the refuge.

Talk about seismic. In February, only 42% of voters supported drilling in a Pew poll while 50% were opposed. Those numbers are reversed in the latest poll and such surveys are evidently a lagging indicator if Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly knows his business. Mr. Donnelly, who’s fighting off the Puckett challenge in Indiana, voted last year to extend a moratorium on offshore drilling but changed his mind with the arrival of $4 gas. His spokesman even tells the South Bend Tribune: “It’s a bit odd that Luke Puckett would travel over 3,500 miles to Alaska to convince Joe Donnelly of something he already supports. Joe doesn’t need to go to ANWR to know that domestic exploration is an important part of a long-term strategy for energy independence.”

Donnelly (again) plays to the Right on ANWR

June 13, 2008

(The article was originally published in the South Bend Tribune)

Article published Jun 13, 2008
Candidate Puckett to visit ANWR
Republican wants U.S. to drill for oil in Alaskan refuge.

Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND — Republican congressional candidate Luke Puckett will travel to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska next month to advocate for oil exploration there.

Puckett, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Granger, will travel with four other congressional candidates, including former U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel, R-Ind., who is running for the 9th District seat in southern Indiana.

He also will be joined by candidates from Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The trip is scheduled for July 14-17.

Drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, has been the subject of debate for years, renewed recently by soaring gasoline prices that recently topped $4 per gallon.

Puckett and other proponents of drilling in the reserve, which is located in the northeastern-most corner of Alaska, say it would add more oil to the market and lower prices.Critics of drilling in ANWR, such as the Sierra Club and environmental groups, say it will disrupt the sensitive environment there, and that any benefits would take decades to realize.

The Republican candidates will visit Prudhoe Bay, where British Petroleum and other oil companies partner to operate the largest oil field in North America.

Then the delegation will travel, likely by helicopter, into ANWR for a look around, Puckett said.

“The whole goal of the trip is to simply go and fact-find,” he said. “Just how much is there? We’ve heard people say 16 billion barrels of oil are waiting for us there.”

Puckett has criticized Donnelly for votes he says have prevented exploration for oil in ANWR, including a vote in June 2007 to prohibit domestic oil and gas exploration.“Last year, Joe voted with a bipartisan majority to maintain the moratorium on drilling on the outer continental shelf, but with $4 a gallon gas, the situation is different,” said Andrew Lattanner, Donnelly’s campaign manager, in an interview June 5. “And the congressman recognizes that we need to look at all our options, and one of those options is looking at the outer continental shelf.”

Donnelly has said he would favor exploring ANWR if the drilling was done responsibly and in conjunction with other measures to help lower the price of fuel and increase energy efficiency, such as exploring biofuels or wind and solar power.

Puckett, meanwhile, said Donnelly’s change of mind on the vote was “political expediency.” He also reiterated an offer to take Donnelly on the trip to ANWR.

It’s an offer Donnelly’s not interested in, his campaign manager said.

ND College Republicans push Donnelly on oil drilling, Patriot Act; Donnelly reassures the Right he’s with them

June 7, 2008

(from the South Bend Tribune)

Article published Jun 6, 2008
Group to Donnelly: Back drilling
Representative’s campaign says he does — as part of a larger solution.

Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND — A group of college Republicans wants U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly to “change his stance” and support domestic oil exploration.

But Donnelly’s campaign manager says the first-term Democrat is all for responsible domestic exploration — as long as it’s one part of a larger approach to energy independence that has to include other, more sustainable measures, too.

The Notre Dame College Republicans, including two people dressed as a dolphin and a caribou, presented a petition to Donnelly’s district director, Hodge Patel, for Donnelly to consider signing.

The so-called “American Solutions” petition calls on Congress to authorize exploration of “proven energy reserves.”

Translation: It’s asking Congress to allow more off-shore drilling and oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, or ANWR. Proponents think doing so would help lower the nearly $4 per gallon price of gas.Edward Yap, president of the Notre Dame College Republicans, said the price of fuel is a big issue for college students.

“We wanted to focus on ANWR and domestic drilling,” he said. “The last time I filled up my tank, it was $50.” Yap drives a 1998 Volvo sedan.

The College Republicans’ position echoes that of Donnelly’s fall opponent, Luke Puckett, who also has called on Donnelly to sign the petition.

Yap, the president of the college Republicans, is helping with the Puckett campaign. And Puckett’s campaign manager, Kyle Bailey, as well as Brian Sikma, the campaign’s deputy communications director, helped gather signatures for the petition Thursday in downtown South Bend.

And Donnelly’s position on domestic exploration for oil is clear, said Andrew Lattanner, his campaign manager.”In terms of drilling, with $4-per-gallon gas, Joe believes it’s absolutely necessary that we look at all our options, and one of those options is responsible exploration in the outer continental shelf, and in addition to that, he’s also in favor of increased oil production from shale on federal lands and he would support responsible exploration of oil reserves in ANWR,” Lattanner said.

But it’s important that the solution include many options, Lattanner said.

“We need a solution that involves all our options, whether that’s in additional exploration, biofuels, conservation, wind, solar — everything’s on the table,” Lattanner said. “There are good ideas on both sides of the aisle.”


The College Republicans also attacked Donnelly’s votes on extending the Protect America Act, which is part of the larger Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.Yap declined to answer further policy questions beyond what was on the group’s press release, which accuses Donnelly of a “flip-flop” on the issue (thus the person in the dolphin suit — it’s a “Flipper” joke).

But Donnelly actually supports the surveillance act.

He broke with House Democrats and voted to allow consideration of a 21-day extension of the act until a more lasting deal could be negotiated.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recessed the chamber before a vote could occur.

“I support updating and extending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” Donnelly told The Tribune in late February, when Puckett criticized his votes. “On January 13, two days before the latest iteration (version) of the FISA law lapsed, I voted for a 21-day extension of that same law. I stand ready to vote for another extension or a permanent new FISA law.”

(bold type by Donnelly Watch)

Manigualt to head Puckett’s campaign

May 31, 2008


Juan Manigault, who unsuccessfully tried to unseat South Bend Mayor Stephen Luecke in 2007, will step to the helm of Luke Puckett’s campaign for Congress.

Puckett, a Republican, is challenging first-term U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Granger.

Manigault will take a paid position with Puckett’s campaign as its chairman, serving in a mostly fund-raising capacity and as an adviser, he said Wednesday.

In 2007, Luecke defeated Manigault by a nearly two-to-one margin, picking up 62 percent of the vote.

Manigault said he has no regrets from that campaign and that its lessons will serve him well with Puckett, who’s running in a district Republicans consider very competitive.

“Let’s be real — it’s a tough year,” Manigault said. “But as we look at individual districts, this is a winnable district for Luke Puckett.”

Donnelly’s campaign declined to comment on Manigault’s new position.

But Owen “Butch” Morgan, chairman of the St. Joseph County Democratic Party, said Manigault wasn’t well received in South Bend during his mayoral campaign, and that Donnelly has a lot of momentum having traveled the 2nd District extensively since taking office in 2007.

“If he does as well as he did in the mayoral (campaign), I’m feeling good,” Morgan said. “Luke Puckett or anybody else is not going to outwork Joe Donnelly. It’s not going to happen.”

DW: Call for contributions

May 22, 2008

Donnelly Watch is seeking contributions from citizens of the 2nd District concerned with the actions of our representative, Joe Donnelly, and the upcoming 2008 election campaign.

If you’d like to submit something or have some suggestions for topics to be discussed or articles that should be posted, please contact us at:

donnellywatch [at] gmail [dot] com

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WNDU: Donnelly and Congress hope to lower gas prices

May 16, 2008


Gas prices may soon be dropping by as much as 25 cents a gallon within the month.

At least, that is the hope of Congressman Joe Donnelly after the house passed legislation he co-sponsored last night.

NewsCenter 16’s Maureen McFadden talked to Donnelly via satellite Wednesday afternoon.

He says he sent a letter to President Bush in April, asking him to suspend oil shipments to the strategic petroleum reserve.

The president did not, so Donnelly says a bipartisan Congress did.

“So in effect it will prevent the government from competing with families back home for that gallon of gas,” said Donnelly. “So this is a big win for the consumer.”

Donnelly says this is a first step and he would like the extra millions of gallons of gas put on the market to drive prices down and end speculation.

He also says there are enough votes to override a presidential veto.