Wednesday, April 21, 2010

so, why did IRTL endorse Sodrel (only)?

IRTL continues to rationalize its endorsement of Sodrel (only) in the 9th District.

As I posted previously, Indiana Right to Life made the odd and indefensible choice of endorsing ONLY Mike Sodrel in the 9th District race while endorsing ALL GOP candidates in the 8th District and in the Senate primary.

Now the following post, based on email correspondence between supporters of Sodrel, supporters of Hankins, concerned GOP primary voters, and Mike Fichter at IRTL...

Fichter's interest in Planned Parenthood funding is inconsistent. Votes for PP funding in the budget have never been included in IRTL's scoring/rating system. To my knowledge, none of the three Mikes (Pence, Sodrel, or Fichter) had any interest or concern about this issue until after I brought it up in the 2006 campaign. If Fichter had knowledge of the PP funding, its inclusion in their rating system would have brought an unwelcome imperfection to the perceived record of many GOP candidates. At the end of the day, it was left out from ignorance or a political agenda to elevate GOP candidates at the expense of bringing light to a ridiculous public policy.

Fichter offers up a straw man: There is NO significant debate about why IRTL endorsed Sodrel. What's NOT clear is why they ONLY endorsed Sodrel-- when they endorsed ALL six GOP'ers in the 8th and ALL five in the Senate race. In fact, it's incoherent.

Fichter opens with a reasonable claim-- that Sodrel "supports the removal of all taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood". But this claim is not supported by Sodrel's voting record. (If anything, his record provides evidence against that claim.) One angle for endorsing Sodrel (coherently) is to rely on his voting record-- or more broadly, to value the voting record of candidates above the mere campaign promises of other candidates. But one can't do that with Sodrel's votes for Planned Parenthood funding. You can only rely on
his campaign promises in this context-- while overlooking his voting record in 2005 and 2006.

I understand pragmatism (although I don't value it as highly as many other politicos). As such, I can imagine IRTL endorsing those with favorable voting records-- incumbents and former incumbents. More cynically, one might even endorse incumbents with decent voting records to enhance the organization's access and power. (For example, for whichever reason, the NRA endorsed Baron Hill in the last election.) But again, if this were one of IRTL's guidelines, they would not have endorsed every candidate in the other two races.

So, why did IRTL endorse Sodrel (only)?


At April 21, 2010 at 7:47 PM , Blogger Darrell said...

Eric, I may have mentioned this before, but in 2000 I was volunteering in the Buchanan campaign. The IRTL voter's guide did not even mention the positions of either Buchanan or Ralph Nader. When I called to ask why, Fichter hung up on me.

That same year, Mike Bailey was running for the GOP seat in the 9th district against Kevin Kellems, who worked for Dick Lugar and later on for Dick Cheney. Kellems was a moderate at best, but in a PRIMARY he got the endorsement over Bailey, who is a rock-ribbed a pro-lifer as can be found.

Bailey won the primary that year. Let us hope Mr. Hankins can pull the same sort of surprise this year.

At April 21, 2010 at 7:47 PM , Blogger Darrell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At April 21, 2010 at 9:05 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Wow...that's a brutal anecdote. He has even less credibility than I thought-- with the episodes I knew about.


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