Posts Tagged ‘Indiana politics’

Donnelly takes $5K from Wal-Mart

August 3, 2008

You may have heard or read about the accusations that Wal-Mart has been lobbying its employees to vote Republican, in part because of their opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would make it easier for workers to organize and is co-sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama.
the article here.

What you may not have heard is that our 2nd District Representative to Congress, Joe Donnelly, has taken $5K from Wal-Mart towards his re-election campaign. A column by Jack Colwell in today’s South Bend Tribune entitled “Donors put their bets on perceived winners” reports that Donnelly is ahead of his Republican opponent, Luke Puckett in total campaign receipts — $1,580,631 to $203,850 a gap of more than *7 times.* Colwell also reports that “Neither party at the national level is likely to regard the district as a battleground this fall.”
the article here.

Now, why does Donnelly feel the need to take money from Wal-Mart, a blatantly anti-union retailer that refuses to offer its employees decent health care, has had numerous charges of discrimination, and continues to act against the strengthening of labor laws and standards in other countries?

Donnelly doesn’t need this money. He should give it back and stand up for “working families” here and abroad.


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.

Gift CertificateCertificate is good for one Cardinal Fitness joining fee ($99 value). Twenty dollar processing fee still applies. …

Retail value: $99.00
Buy it now for $49.50
You save: $49.50 (50%)
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

Donnelly shares views

April 3, 2008

(The following comes from the Carroll County Comet)

Editor’s note: Recent fiscal events in Carroll County have not escaped notice of Congressman Joe Donnelly. He had comments about the announced closing of Peters Revington and the news that there would be no FEMA reimbursement for the county for costs associated with recent flood damage.

Re: Lack of FEMA funding

“We are looking at what options that might be available to help the county,” he told the Comet Tuesday afternoon. “We are casting our net as far as we can.”

Donnelly said his office would report to county leaders as information became available.

Re: P&R

“Clearly this is the result of our country’s trade policy being so wrong for so long,” Donnelly told the Comet Tuesday. “Our government has stood by as jobs have gone to Asia without providing a fair trade policy.”

Donnelly said he co-sponsored the China Currency Valuation Act that would require China to put a fair market value on their currency or the U.S. would impose a tariff on goods entering the country that would make the price fair. He said China’s currency is under-valued 25 to 40 percent which gives them an unfair trade advantage.

Letters to Donnelly Watch

February 29, 2008

(The following are two emails received by Donnelly Watch during this past week)


Dear Representative Donnelly:

I am a Democrat living in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, and I just want to
remind you that the Iraq War is still the main issue for many of us,
although the Administration and the Media would like to tell the
country the main issue is something else altogether.

We entered into this war through lies and deceit. Those the likes of
Paul Wolfowicz(spelling?), and Richard Perle, among other Neocons, had
George Bush’s ears; hence our involvement is involved in a war which
never should have been. The ultimate goal is to make the country
(Iraq) ours — to steal its oil, and to bring our brand of Capitalism
to that country. It is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

I believe that there is a Universal Law — What goes around comes
around; Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap, etc., etc.,
etc. We are sowing a whirlwind, and I am afraid we are going to reap
a whirlwind.

There is only one reason to stay in the war — to continue filling the
pockets of a few with a lot of money, while the rest of us and the
poor Iraqi victims of this war are going down the tubes.

Sarah Haefner
Rolling Prairie, Indiana


TO: Second District Watchdog group (Indiana progressives)
In reference to your website, you posted that Donnelly will not face a Primary opponent due to the fact that none are registered across the Federal district in your part of N. Indiana; there is more of a chance that he as a Democrat will be targeted by wealthy ultra-conservative media savvy groups like “Defense of Democracy” (an unaligned with candidate media group that swiftboats vulnerable incumbents). Please post on your website what you can find out about this PAC (political action group).
An interested media consumer who lives in SW Michigan,
Tee Jay

Protect America Act Ads running in northern Indiana

February 26, 2008

from the South Bend-based J to the Power 7 blog:

They’re Running the Protect America Act Ads in Heavy-rotation in Indiana 

How much you want to bet that the shadowy group running it to pressure Rep. Joe Donnelly to vote for the retroactive immunity version are being funded with Defense Department funds illegally? Being very wishy-washy, dumbo Joe might actually cave-in, hence the other reason they’re running it here.

GOP to use earmarks issue on foes

February 5, 2008

From the Washington Times: 

Republican strategists say freshmen House Democrats are vulnerable to charges they broke 2006 campaign promises to fight pork-barrel spending as a result of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to disregard Republican calls for more earmark reforms.

Democrats facing criticism include Rep. Nancy Boyda of Kansas, whose 2006 upset victory over incumbent Republican Jim Ryun was in part due to her pledge to end abuse of earmarks, the process by which members slip pet projects into spending bills.

“Voters simply cannot trust Boyda to keep her promise to reform the earmark process,” said Kyle Robertson, campaign manager for Mr. Ryun, who is seeking a rematch. “Boyda know she has to rely on Speaker Pelosi funneling money her way so Democrats can keep the seat.”

The criticism of Mrs. Boyda, who declined to respond, reflects a national Republican strategy to reclaim the party’s reputation for fiscal responsibility and turn the pork-spending issue against Democrats.

Democratic targets include freshman Reps. Bruce Braley of Iowa, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Nick Lampson of Texas, Tim Mahoney of Florida and Zack Space of Ohio, according to Republican Party officials.

All serve in Republican-leaning districts and campaigned strongly against wasteful pork spending in 2006.

The strategy took shape last week when Mrs. Pelosi, of California, ended the caucus’ annual retreat without addressing the earmark issue, snubbing House Republicans who proposed a bipartisan committee to write reform measures and a moratorium on earmarks.

“House Republicans will use every means available to force votes on this issue until the earmark process is brought to an immediate halt,” House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, of Ohio, said yesterday. “American families are fed up with seeing their hard-earned tax dollars squandered by Washington politicians, particularly at a time when the middle class is being squeezed by the rising cost of living.”

Mrs. Pelosi said she is open to ideas to improve the earmark system. But she stood by the reforms adopted last year by the Democrat-led Congress, requiring members to attach their names to their earmarks and reducing the amount of earmarks to $13 billion, half the amount in 2006 and the lowest level since 2000.

“The Republicans are the last people who should be lecturing on earmark reform,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Doug Thornell. “They have absolutely no credibility on this issue.”

He noted that under Republican rule, pork-spending jumped from $12 billion in 1999 to $29 billion in 2006.

But a national Republican official said the Democrats’ silence on earmark reform this year signaled a shift away from campaign promises that helped them win the majority.

“They talked a big game in 2006, but now Democrats have become quite adept at playing the Washington parlor game of backroom dealing,” the official said. “This will catch up with them on the campaign trail.”

More comments on Donnelly’s re-election

February 4, 2008

A couple of comments from a thread at

Anyways, Joe will win. Repubs will vote for him because he’s GOP light, Dems will vote for him because he’s not as bad as he could be. Unless someone unseats him in the primary, which is unlikely. I still wish Francis had won. He would have been an excellent congressman.

I agree that Donnelly will win in Nov. and has no credible challenger in either party. He disappoints me a bit in that he has done little, even for a freshman congresscritter, for the district when he is a swing vote for the Democrats. You would think he might have managed something for us beyond the almost assured continuation of HumVee production.

And some more comments on the prospects of Tony Zirkle from SBF, this time from a thread entitled “Please Tell Me The Local Republican Party Can Do Better.”

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.