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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Indiana's Scott Brown? Marlin Stutzman even better!

Marlin Stutzman and his wife, Christy (all photo credits Thomas Semesky) All pictures taken during a February Lake County, Indiana reception. Christy sang the national anthem while Marlin spent most of his time answering questions. Marlin is one of the nicest guys in the world, but he gets things done! Check out his record. Any guy who can convince Senators to forego pension money and agree to lobbying limitations needs to take that same mojo to Washington, DC.

This OP-ED piece from the Washington Examiner:

Ken Tomlinson: Can a Hoosier farmer produce another Massachusetts miracle for Republicans?

By: Kenneth Tomlinson
Examiner Contributor
February 20, 2010

A notable buzz surrounded youthful Indiana State Sen. Marlin Stutzman as he was escorted around this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) by activist Donna Weisner. “Back in Indiana, they say he’s our Scott Brown,” she said proudly.

Stutzman supporters elatedly boasted news of a Rasmussen poll that gives Stutzman a ten-point lead over the likely Democrat nominee for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Evan Bayh.

All this is a stunning development for the young farmer and businessman who only four years ago was the youngest member of the Indiana legislature. In Washington power circles former Sen. Dan Coats has been all but anointed the GOP nominee for the Bayh seat.

In Indiana there has been a real pushback to the Washington-blessed Coats candidacy, and as ten thousand conservatives gathered for CPAC they were greeted by a huge Stutzman endorsement by increasingly influential RedState blogger Erick Erickson.

Declared Erickson: “The GOP needs to change its public image that voters have. It should not be using retired senators who moved out of state and become a lobbyist to do that.

“We need younger faces and fresher voices. We need guys like Marco Rubio. We need guys like Marlin Stutzman.”

This reaction is not the only thing the veteran conservative favorite Coats has to worry about in the senate race. CNN reports Democrats have unearthed a news video showing Coats talking about moving to North Carolina because the Tar Heel state “might be a better place” to live than Indiana. Critics also are combing through records from Coats’s recent work as a lobbyist, searching for clients who might lead to political embarrassment.

As excited as Stutzman’s supporters are over the Rasmussen poll, he is by no means a household name in the Hoosier state. Coats still is viewed as a clear favorite by D.C. political handicappers—and in the same Rasmussen poll Coats holds a 14-point lead over 8th district Rep. Democrat Brad Ellsworth, who in recent days announced he is running for the Bayh seat. For that matter, former 8th district Rep. John Hostettler who was defeated by Ellsworth in 2006 holds a 19- point lead over the man he beat, according to the Rasmussen poll.

Hostettler has been hammering away at Coats, despite his lifetime 90 percent ACU rating, because he was one of only a handful of GOP senators to vote for the Brady gun control bill. Hostettler is better known in Indiana than Stutzman—but his notoriety isn’t always a political plus.

As aggressively as Hostettler hammers away at Coats’s Second Amendment record, when it comes to gun control Hostettler has a record of his own. In August of 2004, he pleaded guilty to carrying a loaded semiautomatic handgun into a security checkpoint in the Louisville airport. A judge sentenced him to 60-days in prison but suspended the sentence.

On foreign policy issues, Hostettler tends to reflect the views of libertarian Rep. Ron Paul, R-TX.

Hostettler was swept into office in the big Republican year of 1994, but he managed to win reelection five times in Indiana’s “Bloody-Eighth,” which in the 1970s had the distinction of sending four different congressmen to the House in four successive elections.

Hostettler established a reputation as a poor fund raiser—in fairness he refused to accept PAC money—and the Almanac of American Politics notes that he once won reelection despite being outspent 2 to 1 by his Democrat opponent. His fund-raising deficiencies caught up with him in 2006 when Ellsworth, a county sheriff, crushed Hostettler. Ellsworth outspent him 3 to 1.

Fund raising for Hostettler may prove to be a real barrier in the senate primary. Erickson was one of the conservative leaders who produced a huge influx in campaign contributions in NY-23, and if the CPAC reaction to Stutzman is any reaction, national conservative money should be headed his way.

Stuzman is a fourth-generation farmer who grew up near Howe. He and his father farm 4,000 acres and also run a trucking company. He is an active Baptist and has participated in numerous church mission ventures around the world. In the Indiana legislature, he has been known as a supporter of tax cuts—and reductions in state spending. Stutzman has the support of Indiana senate pro tempore Daniel Long.

Footnote: A host of Washington journalistic insiders reported that Bayh had a comfortable leader when he stunned observers with his announcement that he would not seek reelection this fall.

That was far from the case.

A month ago, another Rasmussen poll showed Bayh in deep trouble back home. That survey showed Bayh attracting less than 50 percent of the vote against likely GOP opponents and Rasmussen concluded Bayh would likely face “a tough reelection battle” in the fall. Bayh chose not to face such a battle.

Coats made a similar decision 12 years ago when he chose not to run for reelection against then-popular Gov. Evan Bayh. Hoosiers have not seen Coats’s name on a ballot in 18 years.

Ken Tomlinson is a former editor-in-chief of The Reader's Digest.

RedState's Erick Erickson has endorsed Marlin Stutzman among his endorsements for 2010:


Ken Buck (CO)

Chuck DeVore (CA)

Mike Lee (UT)

Marco Rubio (FL)

Marlin Stutzman (IN)

Danny Tarkanian (NV)

Todd Tiahrt (KS)

Pat Toomey (PA)

Michael Williams (TX)


Rick Barber (AL-2)

Tim Burns (PA-12)

Sean Duffy (WI-7)

Jeff Duncan (SC-3)

Steve Fincher (TN-8)

Andy Harris (MD-1)

Tim Huelskamp (KS-1)

Adam Kimzinger (IL-11)

Robin Smith (TN-3)

Brian Rooney (MI-7)

Dennis Ross (FL-12)


Nikki Haley (SC)

Karen Handel (GA)

Rick Perry (TX)

I’ll add more later. I hope you’ll look at them and consider supporting them, funding them, and praying for them.

1 comment:

radar said...

Sometimes nice guys finish first!