Posts Tagged ‘Indiana 2nd Congressional district’

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


Today is deadline for primary candidate filing

February 22, 2008

Thus far, Joe Donnelly is unopposed in the Democratic primary. It remains to be seen whether he will face a competitive race in the general election. He most likely will face Republican Luke Puckett, but more intriguing for 2nd district progressives is the question of whether Donnelly could face an independent or 3rd party insurgency.


According to HoosierAccess, Puckett issued the following statement on the recent debate over the extension of the FISA law:

“Without the act in place, vital programs would be plunged into uncertainty and delay, and capabilities would continue to decline. Under the Protect America Act, we obtained valuable insight and understanding, leading to the disruption of planned terrorist attacks. Expiration would lead to the loss of important tools our workforce relies on to discover the locations, intentions and capabilities of terrorists and other foreign intelligence targets abroad.”

The conservative HoosierAccess blogger, Brian Sikma, had this analysis:

“Puckett’s opponent, Joe Donnelly (D), played an interesting role in last week’s events. On Wednesday morning Donnelly bucked party leadership and joined the Republicans on a roll call vote on the subject. In the afternoon, however, Donnelly changed his position and joined his party leadership in the afternoon vote on the bill.

Either Joe Donnelly doesn’t know what his position is or he’s just not interested in protecting the American people and providing our national intelligence agencies with the legal tools that they need.

This fall the choice for voters across America will be clear: The Republican candidates have pledged to do whatever it takes to win the defining conflict of our era, the Democratic candidates have continually failed to decisively act on key proposals that have real consequences for our security.”

[bold text by Donnelly Watch]

We can agree on our frustration over Donnelly’s (and, more generally, the Democrat-controlled Congress) lack of principled stands while disagreeing strongly with Sikma’s assertion that civil liberties ought be sacrificed at the alter of fear.

Donnelly’s apparent inability (as evidenced above with his FISA votes) to take a clear stand is, perhaps what is most frustrating. It’s discouraging to see that Donnelly and many of his fellow Democrats do not realize how weak and “indecisive” they seem because of their (in)action since the 2006 election.

Tony Zirkle, the creative candidate

February 9, 2008

From Progressives, South Bend

by Don Wheeler

I noted with some interest a “Brief” which appeared in the South Bend Tribune. As is often the case, I think they missed the point.

It’s short, so I’ll reprint it:

Zirkle to provide free consultation
— South Bend

Tony Zirkle, a Republican candidate for Indiana’s 2nd district Congress seat, will open his law office on Sunday to provide free 10-minute legal consultations for anyone seeking to a suspended Indiana driver’s license reinstated.

Zirkle’s law office is at 110 N. Main St. The offer is open to any resident of Indiana’s 2nd District. The office will be open from 8am to noon and from 1 to 5pm. To make an appointment call (574) 968-8557. If demand is great, Zirkle will extend the service on future Sundays.

“I’ll tell them what they need to do to get their license validated again, ” Zirkle said. Cases involving driver’s license issues make up 10 to 15 percent of Zirkle’s practice, but he said he isn’t offering the consultations to attract more clients. “I can refer them out. I’m not doing this to get business,” he said.


Notice who is eligible? Any resident of the 2nd Congressional District. What is the jurisdiction Mr. Zirkle seeks to represent? The 2nd Congressional District.

I don’t think the problem here is that Mr. Zirkle is trying to drum up business. Actually, this seems to be a quite legitimate way to try to drum up business.

No…buying votes is what comes to mind – or something like it.

Just me thinking out loud.

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Murtha links pullout to war funding bill

February 8, 2008

From the Associated Press/USA Today

Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said Thursday that he is preparing legislation that would give President Bush the war funding he wants this year, but on the condition that troops leave Iraq by the end of December.

Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, said he’ll ask for a March vote on a bill that also would require that troops be fully trained and equipped when deployed.

Similar bills won House approval last year only to fail in the Senate, where Democrats hold a narrower margin of control and 60 votes are needed to overcome procedural hurdles.

Murtha said he’s confident his bill will pass the House, but he’s not sure about the Senate. Bush has requested about $189 billion for operation/s in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress has approved $87 billion.


Is there any question as to how Congressman Donnelly is likely to vote on such a war funding bill?

How will citizens of the 2nd district respond to the prospects for (yet another) war funding bill coming before the House of Representatives?

The Question for progessives of the 2nd District: Has Donnelly earned our votes?

February 2, 2008

Thus far Rep. Joe Donnelly is unopposed in the upcoming Democratic primary. His Republican challengers, Luke Puckett and Tony Zirkle seem to pose little threat. (See discussion here or here. Even conservatives aren’t optimistic.)

To date Donnelly has amassed more than $700,000 in his bid for re-election, more than three times the amount he had on hand at a similar point in the 2006 election cycle.

Yet, while it’s obvious that progressives prefer Donnelly to the district’s previous Congressman, Chris Chocola, there are many progressives frustrated and disappointed in Donnelly’s actions during his first term. Donnelly’s celebration – he released a press release to call attention to his ranking the 5th most “independent” Democrat in Congress – of his “moderate” views rankle a lot of the citizens who worked to get him elected in 2006.

In 2006 Steve Francis stepped forward to challenge Donnelly and, despite an enormous financial disparity, collected 14% of the vote. Francis had to contend with Donnelly’s having been backed by the DNC and

It remains to be seen whether a progressive Democrat in the primary and/or a third party or independent candidate in the general election will offer progressives an alternative to our “independent” Congressman.

Remember, Joe, it was the voters of St. Joseph County which solidified your victory in 2006. St. Joseph County is a relative Democratic stronghold with a significant number of progressives who are increasingly frustrated with your lack of principled stands on a host of issues ranging from the war in Iraq to immigration.