The Indiana primaries are only two weeks away, and one of the most important races in the state is between incumbent U.S. Senator, Richard Lugar and conservative tea party favorite, Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock. While Lugar carried a double digit lead for some time, the gap has now closed and the two candidates are in a virtual dead heat, with some polls even reporting a 5% lead for Mourdock.
Why is this race so important? For starters, Richard Lugar, at age 80, has been a senator for 36 years. He’s a career politician, who is completely disconnected from the people he represents. In fact, Senator Lugar does not even reside in the state of Indiana, and has not lived in the state since 1977. How can he effectively represent the needs of a state that he has not lived in for 35 years?
One would think this would be enough to disqualify Lugar from running for re-election. Given the fact that he was still registered at an address he sold in 1977, the whole situation reeks of fraud to me. However, there is a loophole in the Indiana law that allows him to register, using the address of another property that the family owns and manages.
Lugar is a very moderate Republican, considered a centrist by some, a RINO by others. I prefer the latter. Despite his claim to support the Second Amendment, he has continued to vote against the rights of gun owners, and currently holds an “F” rating with the NRA, as well as Gun Owners of America, (both groups are endorsing Richard Mourdock) . In 2006, Lugar was endorsed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a national gun ban group. Lugar refused to stand with his colleagues in opposing any United Nations Arms Trade Treaty that would restrict civilian firearms ownership. Lugar supported Obama’s appointment of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who are both anti-gun, to the Supreme Court. (Read more on Lugar’s anti-gun voting record.)
In addition to his abysmal record on gun rights, Lugar has also shown his lack of fiscal conservatism, by voting for bailouts of Fannie & Freddie, TARP, the auto industry, and for the 2008 stimulus bill.
Throughout his political career, he has proven himself to be a “big government” supporter as well, voting to create the Department of Energy, and to expand the power of the Food and Drug Administration, as well as support legislation to ban the incandescent light bulb, impose massive new regulations on the energy sector, expand mandates on cars, and increase taxpayer subsidies on inefficient technologies. (See more of Lugar’s key votes, via Freedomworks.)
Lugar’s record speaks for itself. Not only has the senator been dubbed “Obama’s favorite Republican”, Lugar actually appeared in a campaign ad for Obama in 2008. He’s weak on illegal immigration, supporting amnesty and Obama’s DREAM Act, and has opposed various efforts to secure the border. Lugar also opposed legislation that would prohibit government funding to organizations that provide abortions. The list goes on.
Senator Lugar does not represent the interests of most Hoosiers, or any conservatives. It’s time for him to go.