Dan Coats: Pro-Life Lobbyist

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Dan Coats can't avoid Wahington label

(And Why Should He?)

GOP candidates selling perceived strengths

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Five Republicans are running for the U.S. Senate in Indiana because they believe voters want a change.

Dan Coats and Marvin Stutsmann may be the leading candidates in the race for the GOP nomination. Stutsmann is selling a fresh approach. Coats is selling experience.

Coats, a former senator and former ambassador to Germany, campaigned with former White House drug czar Bill Bennett, who tried to dispel questions about Coats being a conservative.

"Dan was conservative before it was cool to be conservative," Bennett told reporters. "In fact, before some of the people asking those questions were born."

It's the sort of thing that causes state Senator Marvin Stutsmann to label Coats a Washington candidate.

"You know, we're not Washington DC, but we're not inexperienced either," said Stutsmann.

He says voters don't want someone who's been there before.

"I think they're looking forward," he said. "I think they're looking to the future and who can lead best and who has the fire in the belly and the willingness to go out and work hard every day."

And so Bennett and Coats play up the need to understand Washington in order to take on the Obama administration and policies they deem liberal.

"We need judgment and experience," says Bennett.

"Well, they can label me whatever they want," said Coats. "But I proudly served this country and this state as a Hoosier and this country as a Hoosier for a number of years and that job is in Washington and I lived in Washington."

It's an admission that there's no getting away from the Washington label. But being a Washington candidate has advantages, too. For Coats, it means better name ID and a fundraising advantage.

That's the main reason why Bill Bennett attended a Coats fundraiser in Carmel last night.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dan Coats, the anti-Obama

by Chris Cillizza

Washington Post

Former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats said he is running for Senate because of President Obama. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image

Ask Dan Coats why he decided to come out of political retirement to seek the Indiana Senate seat he vacated in 1998 and he offers just two words: "Barack Obama".

"What I saw him doing went against everything I have ever believed, everything I have ever stood for," Coats said in an interview with the Fix earlier this week. "I saw this country in a tailspin under this agenda."

That Coats, a Republican who held a seat in the Senate from 1989 to 1998, would so explicitly run against Obama speaks to the drastic shift in the political winds since the President carried the Hoosier State in 2008. (Obama was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Indiana since Lyndon B. Johnson.)

"He carried [the state] based on this hope and change promise," said Coats. "He carried [it] not on the basis of what he has done the past year."

Coats' surprise entrance in the race -- he decided to run in early February -- against Sen. Evan Bayh (D) was cast by national Republicans as evidence that the favorable national political environment was putting races in play that no one thought might be competitive.

Little did we know that Bayh would stun the political world by retiring less than two weeks after Coats entered the contest, drastically increasing Democrats' vulnerability in the race and raising at least the specter of a Republican Senate takeover.

Coats seemed to be sitting pretty after the Bayh retirement but was taken badly off course by a coordinated -- and devastatingly effective -- campaign by national Democrats to draw attention to his past as a lobbyist and some of his less-than-politic pronouncements, most notably a video that surfaced in which he told a group of North Carolinians that he planned to retire to the Tarheel State.

Coats acknowledged that he got off to a less-than-ideal start, largely due to the fact that he never thought he would be running again for public office. "I wouldn't have said that" if he had been planning a return bid, Coats said of his North Carolina comment. "But I did."

Coats insisted, however, that the charges of nefariousness in his lobbying work (and clients) was entirely off base and boomeranged against the Democrats who made them. "I don't apologize for that," Coats said of his lobbying work. "What they have thrown at me is factually wrong."

Assuming Coats is the Republican nominee -- and he faces a primary fight on May with, among others, former Rep. John Hostettler -- he will work to frame the general election between himself and Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D) in the national political context while Ellsworth will almost certainly try to make the race more local.

That push-pull is present in a number of contested Senate races -- including in places like Colorado, Arkansas and Nevada among others -- where Democratic incumbents are trying to run narrow-bore races focused on themselves and not the national party and their Republican opponents are hoping to turn the contests into a referendum on Democrats in Washington broadly.

"People are distraught over what has happened in Washington," said Coats of the mood in his home state -- adding that he never before seen close to the amount of "anger, fear and engagement" in the electorate at large. "People feel like they were sold a bill of goods," he said.

How much -- and how quickly has the political face of Indiana changed since 2008? Coats is placing a big bet that the change is drastic and that running explicitly against Obama will pay electoral dividends. Democrats have to hope he is wrong.

By Chris Cillizza | March 25, 2010; 1:03 PM ET

Dan Coats Interview With Cal Thomas

Dan Coats for Indiana


Ex-senator wants to reenter the ring


Given the toxic nature of Washington -- and especially after the crushing defeat of Republicans by the congressional Democrat majority -- why would anyone want to be part of this, especially one who has been there before?

It is the first question I put to Dan Coats, a Republican from Indiana, who is running for his old Senate seat. Coats served four terms in the House and almost two in the Senate (he took Dan Quayle's seat in 1989 when Quayle became vice president) before voluntarily retiring to a comfortable private life.

``I deliberately avoided stopping at a psychiatrist's office on the way to making this decision,'' he tells me over breakfast at an Arlington, Va., diner. Coats, who must first defeat four opponents in the Republican primary on May 4, says he is motivated to run after ``watching for a year with increasing frustration and anger what is happening to our country and saying, `Do I want to go quietly into the night and enjoy the fruits of my labors or do I want to throw myself back in and see if I can do something about it?' ''

Coats thinks America is ``sliding into mediocrity,'' and we are losing the values that inspired ``The Greatest Generation.'' He describes the familiar conservative litany: ``Limited government, lower taxes, a balanced budget, strong defense.''

I asked him if that were practical, and he answered No, though he thinks reasserting those principles is necessary if America is to survive as a free and strong nation.

What does he think recommends him to Indiana voters, and what would he do differently this time, if elected?

``I think the greatest thing going for me is age and experience, because at a certain point in life you stop thinking about your career and start thinking about what can you leave for the next generation and my country. It's not about positioning yourself with a vote. It's about going (to Washington) and doing what you know is the right thing to do.''

Didn't Coats and his fellow Republicans have the opportunity to do the right thing when they were in power in the recent past, but in the minds of many conservatives, blew it? He acknowledges as much and believes that conservative Republicans have learned their lesson.

What does that mean? Would he, for example, work to repeal the healthcare law?

``Absolutely. I would do everything I could to turn around this liberal-socialist agenda that Pelosi and Reid are imposing on the American people. If nominated and elected, I will have the backing of the people of Indiana to go to Washington and turn things around structurally and reform entitlement programs. The only way we're going to get at our deficit is to reform entitlement programs. They will all go bankrupt if we don't do something to put them on a better fiscal standing.''

Coats thinks the choices faced by the country are stark and menacing: ``We can either watch our country slide into mediocrity and a socialist European-style nation that cheers when they get 1 percent GDP growth, or we can put our country back to the principles that made us different from every other country in the world.''

Coats wants to counter the stories told by liberal Democrats of gloom and despair with uplifting stories of people who have overcome challenges that he thinks will inspire others. In an age when feeling good is preferred to thinking right, that's a tall order, but there's no reason not to take him at his word. Why else would someone who has been there and done that do it again, unless he's of unsound mind?

Maybe it's better to avoid that visit to the psychiatrist for now.

Dan Coats - Latest Rasmussen Poll

Dan Coats with Chris Dickson

Two of the three top Republican hopefuls for the U.S. Senate in Indiana continue to hold double-digit leads over Democratic Congressman Brad Ellsworth. Ellsworth supported President Obama’s health care plan in a state where opposition to the legislation is higher than it is nationally.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds former Congressman John Hostettler with a 50% to 32% lead over Ellsworth, a current House member who voted with most other Democrats on Sunday to pass the health care plan. The survey was taken last Wednesday and Thursday nights. Fifteen percent (15%) remain undecided in that match-up.

Ex-Senator Dan Coats now posts a 49% to 34% lead over Ellsworth, with 12% undecided.

Ellsworth runs best against the third GOP contender, freshman State Senator Marvin Stutsman. In that match-up, Stutsman leads by just seven points, 41% to 34%. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided.

Fifteen percent (15%) of Indiana voters have a very favorable opinion of Ellsworth, while 14% view him very unfavorably.

Hostettler is viewed very favorably by 13% and very unfavorably by 10%.

For Coats, who served as a senator from Indiana from 1989 to 1999, very favorables are 15% and very unfavorables 11%.

Six percent (6%) have a very favorable view of Stutzman, while eight percent (8%) regard him very unfavorably.

At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Debate Commission Locks In Indiana Senate Contenders

The five Republican U.S. Senate candidates will go head-to-head on live TV in Indianapolis on April 20 in a debate sponsored by the Indiana Debate Commission.

The public is invited to submit, and potentially ask, questions of the candidates.

Indiana residents who would like to ask questions of the Republican U.S. Senate candidates in the April 20 debate may submit them online at www.indianadebatecommission.com by going to the form at the bottom of the page.

Questions also may be submitted in writing by sending them by mail to Indiana Debate Commission, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208.

A committee of the debate commission will screen all submitted questions and interview potential questioners.

The commission's 13 affiliate groups will be asked to send representatives to ask questions of candidates in a post-debate news conference.

Some area high schools also will be invited to participate in the news conference and watch the debate in a separate screening room at Indianapolis public television station WFYI.

The debate commission's announcement that all five candidates have agreed to participate was accompanied by the news that Indianapolis public television station WFYI will host the one-hour debate at 7 p.m. CDT.

WFYI will make the debate available to any broadcast outlet. An audio feed will be available to radio stations, and the Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System will webstream the debate.

Candidates in the GOP's May 4 Senate primary are former Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind., former Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., state Sen. Marlin Stutzman of Howe, Fishers businessman Richard Behney and Richmond financial adviser Don Bates Jr.

The Senate seat is being vacated by Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind. Democrats expect to nominate Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., for the seat.

A third opinion poll now shows Hostettler performing better against presumptive Democratic nominee Ellsworth than the other GOP Senate candidates.

A new telephone survey of 500 likely voters conducted by Rasmussen Reports on March 17 and 18 shows Hostettler defeating Ellsworth by a 50 percent to 32 percent margin, with the remainder of voters not sure or supporting other candidates.

Coats defeats Ellsworth by 49 percent to 34 percent, while Stutzman defeats him by 41 percent to 34 percent.

The survey was conducted with a 3.5 percent margin of error.

by Thomas B. Langhorne

A Research 2000 poll conducted late last month for the liberal blog DailyKos.com found Hostettler had the best chance of beating Ellsworth.

The poll, conducted with a 4 percent margin of error, showed Hostettler winning 40 percent of the vote to Ellsworth's 34 percent. Meanwhile, Coats was ahead by a 37 percent to 36 percent margin, a statistical dead heat.

A Rasmussen Reports poll in mid-February showed Hostettler defeating Ellsworth 46 percent to 27 percent , and Coats knocking off the Democrat, 46 percent to 32 percent.

The Indiana Debate Commission is a nonpartisan, statewide group of 13 affiliate organizations promoting debates at the state level.

In 2008, the commission sponsored televised gubernatorial debates at venues in Merrillville, Jasper and Bloomington. The commission reports more than 400 Indiana residents submitted questions to be considered by the candidates.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


by Daniel R. Coats

(Kuyper Lecture Series) (Paperback)

Scripture quotations are from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Dan Coats and Bill Bennett: "Project for American Renewal"

In 1995, Senator Dan Coats introduced a package of legislative proposals to help empower local, community-based institutions that were addressing social problems. Crafted with the help of Bill Bennett, a co-director of Empower America, the "Project for American Renewal," comprised 19 separate bills designed to use public policy - and public resources - to energize mainly private efforts to meet human needs. They included:

  • The Mentor Schools Act, to provide grants of $1 million to school districts to develop “same gender” schools.
  • The Role Model Academy Act, to establish an innovative residential academy for at-risk youth.
  • The Kinship Care Act, to create a $30 million demonstration program for states to use adult relatives as the preferred placement option for children separated from their parents.
  • The Restitution and Responsibility Act, to provide grants to states for programs to make restitution to victims of crime.
  • The Assets for Independence Act, to create a four-year, $100 million demonstration program to establish 50,000 Individual Development Accounts, to be used for the purchase of home, college education or small business.
  • The Community Partnership Act, to institute demonstration grants for programs to match communities of faith with welfare recipients and nonviolent criminal offenders.
This is certainly a far cry from the types of legislation being introduced in Washington, D.C. today by Pelosi, Reid and Obama! America needs Dan Coats!

Bill Bennett Fundraiser For Dan Coats

Dear Fellow Hoosier:

Like you, over the past year I have grown
increasingly frustrated and alarmed by the
dangerous path the Democrats are taking us
down.This national emergency is something
I've never seen before and never thought
would happen to America.

President Obama and his allies in Congress
have the wrong priorities and are forcing
an extreme left liberal agenda on the
country. I share your deep concern about
what's happening to our country and the
legacy we're going to leave for our children
and our grandchildren if we don't stand up
now and fight back hard. That's why I'm
running for the United States Senate.

But I cannot do it alone; I need your
support and am asking you to join me for
a fund raiser with special guest

Dr. Bill Bennett
Wednesday, March 24th
6:00 p.m.
Carmel, Indiana.

If you are unable to attend, but would
like to support my campaign and receive
updates, please visit my website at

Getting our country back on track and
getting Hoosiers back to work will take
more than just saying "NO!" to what the
Democrats are doing; although it is
never wrong to say no to a bad idea. We
also need to explain how we would fix
things when we earn that leadership role

This year, we will give voters a choice
between the new status quo of runaway
spending and skyrocketing debt on one
hand -- and someone committed to making
the difficult decisions necessary to stop
the bleeding and set a course for recovery
from this extreme liberalism.

I ask for your support. If we work
together, we prevail. Bill Bennett and I
look forward to seeing you on Wednesday,
March 24 in Carmel!

Thank you,

Dan Coats


Please visit my website at
to sign up for updates and to learn
more about my reception with special
guest Dr. Bill Bennett on March 24th.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dan Coats Interview By Steve Doocy Live On Fox and Friends

Coats Continues to Show Calm Command of Issues

Saturday morning, U.S. Senate candidate Dan Coats
joined four other Republicans vying for their
party's nomination at a forum in Warsaw, Indiana.
As Coats' opponents attacked each other throughout
the event, he remained calm and focused on issues
important to Hoosiers during this critical period
in our history.

Fox News' Steve Brown: "Through it all...Coats kept
his cool. He talked about his faith. He talked about
freedom. He talked about eliminating federal
'earmarks'. He talked about abolishing the US
Department of Education. All met with approval of
the Tea Partiers gathered." Brown added,
"Afterwards...Coats told Fox News he was ready to
talk to Hoosiers anywhere in the state...and that
includes Tea Party folks."
(Fox News, Facing the Tea Party, 3/6/10)

Journal Gazette's Angela Mapes Turner: "A calm
Coats...told the crowd he believes his time
serving in the Army, in Congress and as an
ambassador - all during times of war - sets him
apart. Most importantly, he said, the GOP needs
to be united in its efforts. 'It's never wrong
to say no to a bad idea,' he said. 'We have to come
forward with constructive solutions.'"
(Journal Gazette,
GOP Hopefuls Ramp Up Rhetoric in Debate, 3/7/10)

"A pattern has emerged in Dan's appearances before
voters - a clear command of the issues facing our
Nation today. On the economy, jobs, health care and
national security - Dan Coats is the one candidate
able to channel our frustrations into plans for
action and the ability to implement common-sense
Hoosier values to fix our Nation's problems from
Day One," said press secretary Pete Seat.

Key Indiana Conservatives On Dan Coats


(INDIANAPOLIS, March 8, 2010) - Recently, Conservative
Hoosier leaders have recognized Dan Coats is the best
candidate to utilize common sense Hoosier values to
tackle the irresponsible spending sprees, mounting debt
and security challenges brought about by our Nation's
current Democratic leadership.

Here's what they're saying:

Dan's Conservative Principles

Congressman Mike Pence: "His integrity and conservative
record would make him the ideal candidate for Hoosiers."
(Congressional Quarterly, 2/3/10)

Congressman Steve Buyer: "Dan Coats is a man of
(Boone County Lincoln Day Dinner, 3/4/10)

Dan's Record

Governor Mitch Daniels: "He's got a real following in
the state. He deserves to. He was a really, really good
(Howey Politics Indiana, 2/24/10)

Attorney General Greg Zoeller: "I think what Sen.
Coats brings to the race is just a different level
of experience. It's really a different level of
(Politico, 2/13/10)

Dan's Chances Against the Democrat

Congressman Mark Souder: "He's our best chance to
(Journal Gazette, 2/4/10)

Dan's Ability to Start on Day One

Former State Representative & former U.S. Senate
candidate Dan Dumezich:
"Dan Coats will be prepared
to answer the call of duty in this time of need. I'm
certain that he is the most qualified candidate to
save our great country."
(Release, 3/5/10)