Dan Coats: Pro-Life Lobbyist

"Search" For Jesus!

Please help the Portiuncula (Little Portion) Hermitage and Retreat Center by Downloading this GoodSearch Toolbar. The Hermitage receives a penny every time you Click on their Search!
GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dan Coats Leads Primary, General Election Rivals in Bid to Return to Senate

Bruce Drake

Contributing Editor

Former GOP Sen. Dan Coats, who represented Indiana from 1989 to 1999, holds double-digit leads over rivals both in the race for the Republican senatorial nomination and the general election contest, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted April 22-26 for the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics.

As Tuesday's primary nears, Coats had support of 36 percent of likely voters, followed by former Rep. John Hostettler at 24 percent and state Sen. Marlin Stutzman at 18 percent, with two other candidates in single digits and 13 percent undecided. The margin of error is 5 points.

Stutzman has been endorsed by the Senate Conservatives Fund which, like the Tea Party movement, has backed anti-establishment conservatives. Still, Coats outpolls Stutzman 34 percent to 20 percent among those with a favorable view of the Tea Party movement, and by 30 percent to 23 percent among those who say they identify with the movement.
Get the new
PD toolbar!

For the general election, Coats leads Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth 47 percent to 31 percent with 22 percent undecided. Hostettler also leads Ellsworth 45 percent to 32 percent with 23 percent undecided, as does Stutzman, by 41 percent to 35 percent with 25 percent undecided.

The race is for the seat now held by Democrat Evan Bayh, who chose not to seek re-election.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fred Thompson Endorses Dan Coats

Fred Thompson Endorses Dan Coats

Calls Coats ‘Solid, Principled Conservative’

INDIANAPOLIS (April 27, 2010) – Adding to the growing list of conservative leaders endorsing Dan Coats including Congressman Mike Pence and Dr. James Dobson, former Senator Fred Thompson released the following statement in support of Dan Coats for United States Senate:

“I’ve known and worked with Dan Coats for a number of years. He’s a solid, principled conservative, and a leader of our Republican Party. I’ve seen him represent the people of Indiana honorably. When we were together in the Senate, I witnessed moments where Dan had to make tough votes that some in our party might not have agreed with, but he did it because he knew it was the right thing to do. Making those kinds of decisions aren’t easy; Dan never took them lightly, and I know his experience and leadership are greatly needed in Washington right now.

“That’s why I endorse and support Dan Coats for a return to the United States Senate, and I hope conservatives and Republicans in Indiana do the same,” Thompson said.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Former Coats and Hostettler Staffer Makes Choice: Dan Coats!

Curt Smith
Executive Director
Indiana Family Institute
(Focus on the Family of Indiana)

By Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS — When it comes to the Republican U.S. Senate race, Curt Smith has had vivid relationships with four of the five candidates. He helped launch Richard Behney's campaign and he's worked with State Sen. Marlin Stutzman on marriage legislation with the Indiana Family Institute. He's been Dan Coats' Senate state director and congressman John Hostettler's chief of staff.

When it comes to the Senate primary, Smith is making it clear whom he supports: Dan Coats.

"When Dan called me and said he was getting back in the race, I was very excited because I know a little bit about the Senate having worked there for six years," Smith said. "I know how senators interact with one another. I am thoroughly convinced that Dan Coats would be the best possible senator from Indiana. That's not to take anything away from John Hostettler. John is a smart guy. But the House of Representatives is wholesale where groups and blocks come together to advance legislation. The Senate is retail. You've got to have ‘Triple A’ people skills on legislation to get votes on your issues. I just don't think John Hostettler is as well suited for the Senate as Dan Coats."

The Senate primary is a presumed race between the two former Members of Congress, though Stutzman has won the endorsement of the American Conservative Union and U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint. A fifth candidate, Don Bates Jr., has asserted that unlike Coats, Hostettler and Stutzman, he has no government experience and, thus, has not been “part of the problem.”

With Hostettler, whom he met at a 1994 Promise Keepers convention, Smith explained, "John's used to putting coal in there and getting electricity out of here and that's not always how the legislative process works." Hostettler graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute and was an engineer at Vectren before he ran for Congress. "A lot of times you need to bring the people skills in. You have to advance the conversation."

"It's not only because Dan's been there before and served years in the Senate; it's his people skills, his ability to reach out to folks. He can do something with someone who was as far to the left as Ted Kennedy and not compromise his principles and not give the store away," Smith explained. “He has the skills to negotiate with people who think differently; to blur the ideological lines and look for consensus. Dan Coats will make the logical argument and establish the principles, but he knows that the art of persuasion includes a human dimension. Dan is going to connect with people.”

"It's tough seeing John Hostettler having those kind of people skills," Smith continued. "I think John has this notion that the Senate is where you go and reflect. Because you have a six-year term it's the longest horizon in government, it's not a deliberative and reflective body as the Jimmy Stewart movies would suggest. The reality is the United States Senate is as reactive as the House, it just reacts differently."

Asked for examples, Smith pointed to Coats' work to revamp the U.S. tax code in 1986 and his pioneer efforts on what he called the Project for American Renewal that eventually formed the structure for President George W. Bush's faith-based initiatives.

On the tax code, Smith explained, "Dan secured a promise from President Reagan in a meeting with House Republicans. Dan almost single handedly was responsible for doubling the dependency exemption."

As for Hostettler, Smith explained, "I just see John as a guy who makes the case and then he says, 'You decide.' Sometimes you've got to do more than that. You have to stay with it, be passionate and make the message. It was hard to get him to return media calls. He did not want to do fundraising. He did not want to meet with some of the constituent groups."

There's another element to Smith's perception that Coats would be the better Republican nominee over Hostettler and that has to do with the 2006 election that Hostettler lost to U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth — the presumed Democratric Senate nominee — by 22 percent.

Howey Politics Indiana reported in October 2006 that Hostettler essentially gave up on that race, citing several high-level Evansville Republicans. Smith recalls, "I sent you an e-mail saying you were crazy." But in retrospect, Smith explained, "I don't really know what happened in 2006. I did not see him as giving up. I saw him as being fatalistic.”

That 2006 loss — the biggest by an incumbent that year — is in Smith's mind Hostettler's greatest liability. "The really tough question for John Hostettler to answer in his Senate campaign is why should he be the one to carry the Republican Party's banner when he lost to Brad Ellsworth by 22 points?" Smith said. "That's the question and I don't think John has a good answer."

The columnist publishes at www.howeypolitics.com

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dan Coats Endorsed By Congressman Mike Pence Is "Old" New News

IN Senate Race: What’s old is “news”

April 21, 2010 - 3:20 PM | by: Steve Brown

What's your definition of news?

Is it information that's 2 1/2 months old?

It was for Dan Coats last night.

In a five-candidate race, Coats is considered a slight favorite in the May 4th Indiana Republican primary for the US Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Evan Bayh. After Tuesday night's televised GOP Senate debate, Coats told reporters he had an announcement to make, before taking questions.

Coats said, "Lemme just pass on some news that I'd like to give you here. I'm really pleased to announce tonight that uh...in fact I just got off the phone with Mike Pence. He's given me his unqualified endorsement and support for this race which I'm thrilled to have. He said some very good things about me when I indicated my intention to run. He's been supportive but uh...to say he's given me now his unqualified support is...is...is very important to me and I'm very appreciative." (You can watch Coats says this for yourself on the video linked to this story.)

The endorsement announcement was bigger than anything that happened in the debate. Congressman Mike Pence is very influential among Indiana Republicans. In the minds of many Hooiser GOP'ers only Governor Mitch Daniels endorsement would be bigger. (And Daniels in not endorsing. He says he'll back the primary winner.)

Wednesday morning, on Coats' campaign FaceBook page, the status trumpeted the Pence endorsement:

Dan Coats for Indiana Big News! Congressman Mike Pence has given Dan his unqualified endorsement for the U.S. Senate!

The thing is...Pence's backing was old news. That's how Pence's chief of staff Bill Smith described it when contacted by Fox News.

In early February, a statement of support for Coats candidacy was issued. This was shortly after Coats' announcement that he intended to join the race. The Pence statement was picked up by some DC media outlets.

Roll Call on February 3rd ran the following quote attributed to Pence:

“I am very excited about the possibility that former Senator Dan Coats may run for the United States Senate in 2010 and I sincerely hope he does it,” Pence said in a statement. “His integrity and conservative record would make him the ideal candidate for Hoosiers. If he runs, I will support him.”

Fifteen days later, Coats filed to run in the Indiana Senate election.

Smith says since that February statement, "The Congressman has not been hesitant" to tell reporters who asked that he was a Coats-backer. Smith made it clear in a telephone interview that while the February statement did not contain the word 'endorsement', it was certainly considered one by Pence.

Still, there was at least some confusion about Pence's backing of Coats. Some supporters had contacted Pence's offices asking who the Representative liked in the primary. Smith says all who inquired were told the same thing, "Coats".

But it shouldn't have been confusing for people who visit Coats campaign website. On a page titled "What They're Saying" a Pence quote sits atop the list:

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

So, did Coats just plain get it the timing wrong with his post-debate "news" announcement?


Kevin Kellems of the Coats campaign sent an e-mail this morning which reads in part:

"Cong. Pence called Dan after the debate. I don't speak for him, but I believe the reason the Congressman reached out to Dan was to make it clear that his statement of support that came very early on was indeed an endorsement."

So, Coats did have Pence's endorsement all along...even before Coats was officially in the race. And certainly a lot of people missed it (including this reporter). But was Coats post-debate announcement last night "news" as he said?

As we says around here at Fox, "You decide."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dr. James Dobson Endorses Dan Coats

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson is wading into the Indiana Senate race in a radio ad endorsing Republican Dan Coats, a former senator.

“Dan has been a consistent leader of pro-family causes and a stalwart defender of unborn children. If my wife Shirley and I were Hoosiers, we would definitely vote for Dan Coats in the May 4th primary,” Dobson states in a radio spot that will begin airing statewide Tuesday through early May. “I am excited about the prospect of having him in the Senate again.”

The Colorado-based Focus on the Family is one of the nation’s most prominent evangelical Christian groups. Dobson is no longer its head, and he stressed that his endorsement was personal and not on behalf of any organization.

Coats is a leading contender for his party’s nomination for the open Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, who is retiring.


Dan Coats Widens Lead In Rasmussen Poll

Rasmussen Election 2010

Indiana Senate:

Coats 54%, Ellsworth 33%

Following his vote for the national health care plan, Democratic Congressman Brad Ellsworth's support remains stuck in the low 30s, while two of his Republican opponents now earn 50% or more of the vote in Indiana’s U.S. Senate race.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Indiana finds that 65% favor repeal of the recently passed health care law. Just 29% in the state oppose repeal. Those findings include 56% who strongly favor repeal versus 21% who strongly oppose it.

Support for repeal is even stronger in Indiana than the national average.

As for the candidates, the latest poll finds former Senator Dan Coats with 54% support, up five points from last month. In that match-up, 33% of voters prefer Ellsworth. Five percent (5%) like another candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.

If Hostettler, a former congressman, is the Republican candidate, he picks up 50% of voters. Against Hostettler, Ellsworth earns 33% of the vote. Five percent (5%) prefer someone else in the race, and 12% are undecided.

The third GOP hopeful, State Senator Marlin Stutzman, gets 41% support again this month, and Ellsworth earns 36% of the vote. Seven percent (7%) favor another candidate. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided.

This is the first time that Coats has outperformed Hostettler. Coats previously represented Indiana in the U.S. Senate before retiring from office. His return was initially with skepticism by some Hoosiers. Indiana Republicans will pick their nominee in a May 4 primary.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

Coats earns 78% of the votes of those who strongly favor repeal, while Ellsworth gets 79% of the votes of those who are strongly opposed. The spread is similar if Hostettler is the Republican in the race. In a Stutzman/Ellsworth match-up, the Republican gets 62% of those who strongly favor repeal, while the Democrats’ support among those who are strongly opposed rises to 82%.

In three surveys to date, Ellsworth’s overall voter support has held to the range of 27% to 36%. Stutzman has earned roughly 40% support in those surveys, while Coats and Hostettler have both risen from 46% support in February.

Voters in the state not affiliated with either major party prefer Coats and Hostettler to Ellsworth, but the Democrat edges Stutzman among these voters.

Fourteen percent (14%) of all Indiana voters have a very favorable opinion of Ellsworth, while 16% view him very unfavorably.

Coats is viewed very favorably by 17% and very unfavorably by eight percent (8%).

For Hostettler, very favorables are 14% and very unfavorables nine percent (9%).

Stutzman has very favorables of six percent (6%) and very unfavorables of seven percent (7%).

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.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dan Coats Outraises Foes For GOP Senate Bid

Dan Coats and Chris Dickson
Sylvia A Smith
Washington editor

WASHINGTON – Dan Coats primed the pump with a $25,000 infusion from his personal bank account into his campaign for the Republican nomination for Senate and headed into the final weeks of the campaign with $331,057 on hand.

He is one of five Republicans jostling to be the GOP nominee for the seat being vacated by Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., who announced he is not running for re-election.

Don Bates reported $52,250 in the bank as of March 31 and said he has $45,300 in unpaid campaign bills.

He raised $86,865 from individual donors and none from political action committees.

The other candidates in the May 4 primary – Marlin Stutzman, Richard Behney and John Hostettler – did not respond to requests for copies of their reports, which were due by midnight Thursday.

Coats did not enter the campaign until early February and in less than two months had raised $292,049 from individuals and $62,250 from PACs.

His campaign provided summary information of the January-through-March campaign report, which does not include the details of who gave money. However, some donors have filed their own reports. PACs controlled by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., each sent Coats $5,000. A PAC controlled by Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., donated $10,000.

Coats, a former senator and Washington lobbyist, was expected to easily tap into donors to power his campaign.

Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-8th, the likely Democratic nominee, reported he had $1 million in the bank as of March 31. He started the year with $519,643 and raised $621,819 in the first three months of the year.

He collected $314,676 from individuals and $301,892 from PACs.

Ellsworth received the maximum $10,000 from at least 15 PACs: American Association for Justice, American Crystal Sugar Co., American Federation of State County and Municipal Workers, National Association of Credit Unions, Home Depot, International Association of Bridge Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Midwest Region Laborers, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAIC Inc., United Food and Commercial Workers, and PACs operated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii; Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pro-Life Dan Coats Leads Indiana Senate Republican Primary

Exclusive: Leaked Senate Primary Poll

By Hoosier Advocate | April 10, 2010

Hoosier Advocate has obtained exclusive results of internal statewide polling conducted by one of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate in Indiana. The results suggest that three of the candidates stand decent chances of succeeding, with the race still wide open.

A telephone survey of likely voters across the state finds former Senator Dan Coats and former Congressman John Hostettler virtually tied at 29% and 26% respectively, within the margin of error. State Senator Marlin Stutzman also remains in striking distance with 18% of likely voters. The survey was taken last Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Nineteen percent (19%) remain undecided in that match-up. Here are the results of the head to head match-up:

Candidate April 6-7
Don Bates, Jr. 5%
Richard Beheny 3%
Dan Coats 29%
John Hostettler 26%
Marlin Stutzman 18%
Undecided 19%

Unless there is a major shift in the electorate, Don Bates, Jr. and Richard Beheny face little chance of winning the primary. Ironically these two anti-establishment candidates appear to be helping the establishment’s candidate, Dan Coats, the most. According to the poll, voters who plan to vote for Bates or Beheny (8% of primary voters) would otherwise vote for Hostettler and Stutzman.

Coats is viewed favorably by 30% and very unfavorably by 22% of likely Republican voters. Hostettler is viewed very favorably by 32% and very unfavorably by 5%. Stutzman is viewed favorably by 20%, while 3% regard him very unfavorably.

Dan Coats Add To Air Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, Dan Coats will be the first candidate for the U.S. Senate to hit the airwaves with a television advertisement to air across Indiana.

Monday, April 12, 2010

MSNBC: Coats hits 'socialistic' Obama, defends record

From NBC’s Domenico Montanaro

WASHINGTON -- Former Sen. Dan Coats, running for the open Indiana Senate seat that will be vacated by Evan Bayh (D), said he is running out of a “call of duty,” because he said he believes the current “radical” administration, is “moving this country rapidly toward a European Socialist style of government.”

“Wasn’t it Margaret Thatcher that said the whole thing wrong with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money?” Coats, 66, said in an interview here with First Read. Asked if he sees this administration as “moving toward socialism,” Coats said, “I do. I do. I think this is a socialistic agenda. It’s definitely moving this country rapidly toward a European socialist style of government.”

Coats, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, is facing a primary -- which takes place in 22 days -- from the right, notably from former congressman John Hostettler. Coats served in Washington for 28 years, beginning in 1980, first as a congressman then, in 1989 as a senator. Coats served as a district representative for Dan Quayle from 1976 to 1980 and was appointed to replace Quayle, when Quayle became vice president.

His ties to Washington have become an issue in this cycle of anti-Washington fervor. After leaving the Senate, Coats was an ambassador to Germany, registered as a lobbyist and lived in Virginia -- not Indiana, something that has become an issue as well.

But Coats said he is focused on retail campaigning and getting reacquainted with Indianans by participating in numerous forums sponsored by various Tea Party groups and county Republican parties. And today, in fact, his wife Marcia was baking apple pie at a pie auction in the Hoosier state. (What makes it great, he said, is the crust.)

With regard to the other Republican candidates, Coats said he is trying to stay positive. “Ideologically, we’re all singing off the same song sheet,” Coats said. That’s the message he reiterates to conservative primary voters, particularly those who identify with the Tea Party and are wary of an insider like Coats with more than three decades of Washington experience.

Coats, however, is trying to sell his experience as a positive. He tells them that his knowledge of how the Senate works can bring real change. “The nature of the issues before us, you know, experience helps.”

Plus, he said, “It’s been 12 years since I’ve served. And a lot has changed.” In particular, this administration. He explained that there is “downright anger toward the Obama administration for what they perceive as, which I agree with, a pretty radical leftward tilt. And a massive expansion of government resulting in massive debt and frightening deficit and long-term debt.”

But Hostettler, for one, doesn’t see Coats’ experience as a good thing. In a Web video, he attacks Coats on abortion (for voting for Bill Clinton Supreme Court appointee Ruth Bader Ginsburg) and on gun rights (for voting for “the Clinton gun ban and the Brady Bill.”)

"When Dan Coats was elected to the Senate,” an announcer in the ad says, “he assured us that he was one of us, a Hoosier conservative. But something happened to Dan Coats while he was in Washington. … Now after a 12-year absence from Indiana, Dan Coats wants us to believe he will represent our values in Washington. ... We've had enough of compromise.”

The 1998 Almanac of American Politics, however, wrote: “Coats is strongly against abortion -- a leader on the fetal tissue research ban, an opponent of RU-486 and the Henry Foster for surgeon general nomination. He sponsored a law allowing parents to block dial-a-porn phone numbers and one banning ‘indecent or lewd’ material on the Internet. Most interestingly, he has proposed a series of laws designed to strengthen families and faith-based institutions.”

Home -- Indiana or Washington?
Coats has been criticized for living in Virginia since leaving Congress -- instead of Indiana -- and for taking a job as a lobbyist. Coats, who is originally from Fort Wayne, now maintains a residence in Indianapolis.

He said he stayed in Washington for family -- and money.

“Grandkids were here,” Coats said of the Washington area. “My kids were here. They’ve been raised here. … It was mainly a family matter and a financial matter. … There were good job opportunities here, better job opportunities here.”

“Better paying, in particular,” this reporter said.

“Better paying,” Coats affirmed, and then pivoted. “So, we’re back. I am a resident of Indiana now, living in Indiana now. I feel a very close connection to the people who welcomed me back.” He added that he chose Indianapolis, because it’s easier to campaign from there. “Right now, we’re living in Indianapolis,” he said, “because it’s the center of the state and campaigning and all statewide. Fort Wayne’s up in the corner.”

It’s a seven-hour drive from Ft. Wayne to Evansville, Brad Ellsworth’s hometown, Coats pointed out. From Indianapolis, it’s 2 ½ hours. Ellsworth, a former sheriff and current congressman from the eighth congressional district, a swing district in the southwestern corner of the state, is the likely Democratic nominee.

In 1996, when he announced he would not run for re-election, Coats explained his reasoning for stepping away this way, per the Almanac: “If politics is not your life, when do you leave? I want to leave when I am young enough to contribute somewhere else -- young enough to resume a career outside government. I want to leave when there is still a chance to follow God's leading to something new.”

Defending lobbying role
Coats also spoke at length about his lobbying, defending his role.

The Washington Post reported:

“The former senator has had scores of corporate lobbying clients over the years, including health-care firms (Amgen, United Health Group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America), bailout recipients (Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch) and communications companies (BellSouth, Sprint Nextel, Verizon). Another past client is Cerberus Capital Management, where Dan Quayle -- whose seat Coats took over in the Senate -- is a top executive. Lobbying disclosure records also show that Coats represented foreign firms or governments that could prove controversial, including the Indian government and Bombardier, a Canadian aerospace firm. Coats also represented a Texas oil-and-gas company that partnered with Venezuela's Hugo Ch├ívez, records show.”

Coats said that characterization of the work he did unfair. “What it turned out was that every allegation they put out there was factually wrong,” Coats said of Democratic operatives.

He went point by point. Coats, who said he was just a “part-time” lobbyist, said he never lobbied for any company while they were trying to secure bailout money.

“Our firm represented Bank of America on one issue and one issue only for about a three-month period that ended long before TARP was ever thought of.” He said it was a “very narrow patent issue” that “had nothing to do with outsourcing of jobs; it had nothing to do with TARP. End of story. We represented Bank of America for three months. We wish we represented them on a lot more things, but we don’t.” And he said he wasn’t involved “at all” in representing Bank of America.

On the Chavez oil company connection, Coats said, “The company we represented Harvest Natural Resources Company was a Houston oil company Chavez was trying to put out of business by annulling their contract, and extorting them and saying, ‘We’re going to nationalize you unless you pay us an exorbitant amount of money.”

Coats took it on because of his connection to the Indiana delegation. The head of that company wanted “to tell our story to Sen. Lugar” and Rep. Dan Burton. Lugar is the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Burton is a member of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee. He said he made two phone calls -- one to Lugar’s office and one to Burton’s office.

On being a “foreign agent,” Coats said, “Yes, I was in one instance” with relation to India. “One attorney in our firm was representing India and that person had received a request from the Indian government that their prime minister when he came here speak to the joint session of Congress. ‘Could you help me with this? Could you call Sen. Lott, then Senate majority leader, and Congressman Haster, then speaker of the House and say that the request has come in from the state of India that the prime minister speak to a joint session. I made those two calls. I had to register. So I registered.”

He said he represented Cerberus to help with their German operation because of his Germany ties, but never on getting bailout money.

Coats vs. Ellsworth, all about health care
While Coats didn’t want to criticize his Republican primary opponents, he had no problem taking shots at Ellsworth. He said Ellsworth used to be a “conservative Democrat,” but no more.

Why? Health care. Coats said he was “shocked” that Ellsworth “ignored the governor’s plea and the voters’ plea and instead voted for health care. That’s going to be a primary issue.”

He added, “Brad ran as a conservative Democrat in his first two race, but his support for Pelosi and Obama, and particularly on this health care against the wishes of the governor and strong wishes of the pro-life community, have left him in a position where he’s no longer seen as a conservative Democrat. He’s seen as someone who goes to Washington and falls right in with the rest -- and that is whatever the president and his leader in the House tell him to do, he does.”

On health care, Coats said he is running on repeal, but with a caveat. “I run on repeal,” he said, “but I am also candid that there’s no guarantee that repeal can succeed as long as President Obama has the veto pen. The numbers that would need to be reached to overturn a veto on that -- a two-thirds majority -- are going to be very hard to get unless there is a dramatic shift in numbers, but that’s why the election’s important.”

He also advocates for the conservative attorneys general push to challenge the constitutionality of the bill, particularly the mandate.

Obama, more ‘radical’ than Clinton
Coats served in the Senate in the 1990s when Clinton was president. In comparison to Clinton, Coats said Obama is much more “radical.”

“This agenda,” Coats said, “This pushing through in spite of the will of the people is in direct contrast to Bill Clinton, who had an agenda, but realized that it needed support from the people in order to succeed. Bill Clinton’s very good at measuring the public and the public mood and the public’s support. Barack Obama could care less about what the public thinks. He’s got the numbers and he’s going to jam his proposals through.”

The reality, however, is that Democrats wound up killing Clinton’s health-care bill. Clinton, like Obama, had sweeping majorities. And like Obama, the health-care bill ran into stiff resistance from a GOP opposition. But Democrats didn’t rally around Clinton the way Democrats did for Obama this time around. One of the reasons, arguably, is that Congressional Democratic leaders had more buy-in, since they were allowed to write the bills. It wasn’t handed to them from the White House.

Still, Coats dismissed Obama, who became the first Democrat to win Indiana since 1964. Coats said Obama “won on charisma” and has now ignored the will of the people, that he acts like “he knows better” -- something, he said, “that’s insulting to a lot of people. “And there’s a lot of frustration and a lot of anger and a lot of frankly,” he added, “disillusioned Democrats and independents who voted for him."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Coats clearly favored for Senate

Coats clearly favored for Senate

Commentary By Sylvia A. Smith

WASHINGTON – The conventional wisdom is Hoosier Republicans will pick Dan Coats as their nominee for the Senate race.

Does conventional wisdom always hit the mark? Of course not. And you’re right to be suspicious when the subject is politics and the words are “conventional” and “wisdom.”

Nonetheless, unless something unexpected happens, the expected result will occur. That’s true in most endeavors, it’s true in politics generally, and it’s true in the Indiana GOP Senate primary.

When political handicappers look at any campaign, they ask a few basic questions: How well known is the candidate among voters? How much money does the campaign have? A subset of the money question includes questions about the competence of staff, the experience of an advertising team, the ability of the candidate to travel around the state. Does the candidate have voter appeal (a clear and memorable answer to “why should I vote for you?”)? What kind of baggage does the candidate have?

For most of those questions, Coats has the advantage over the four other candidates in the Republican primary.

He’s been a statewide officeholder, albeit more than a decade ago, and a lot of people may have a “Dan who?” reaction. But none of the other candidates has run or won a statewide race. They may be well known in pockets of Indiana – John Hostettler in the Evansville area he represented in Congress, Marlin Stutzman in the northern area he represents in the statehouse – but none has solid name recognition statewide.

So even if Coats’ recognition factor has dimmed in the years he’s been removed from Indiana, he has more of it than the others.

The other candidates could erase that advantage. But it takes money.

We won’t know until late this week how well the candidates have done in fundraising. But only three of them raised any money last year, and none of them had even $7,000 to start 2010 with. Seven grand would be nice in your bank account or mine, but it is diddlysquat in a statewide election.

Coats and Hostettler got into the race after Jan. 1, so they have not yet had to disclose how much money they have raised and from whom.

From his past campaigns and from his years as a lobbyist, Coats has a list of past donors to tap and plenty of D.C. connections. A political action committee controlled by Sen. John Kyl, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, sent Coats $10,000, and Sen. John McCain’s PAC contributed $5,000.

The other candidates simply don’t have those inroads into the money set. Even if they have fervent and generous individual donors, it takes twice as many individual donors giving the legal maximum ($2,400) to come close to the maximum contribution from a PAC ($5,000). Note: If Coats loses, he will have to send back half of the $10,000 that Kyl contributed.

There’s another clue that the other four candidates are not setting records in fundraising. None of them has aired a commercial. One proven way for an unknown candidate to become known is through commercials, TV in particular.

Because they are not spending money in the one sure-fire way to generate name identification, it suggests they don’t have the cash. Coats may also not have the name recognition he once had, but unless the other candidates are making inroads, he doesn’t have to spend money on TV commercials to stay ahead in that category.

It’s a guess – but an educated one – that when the candidates report how much money they raised in the first three months of this year, Coats will be in a better position than the other candidates.

Any of the four other candidates could make this election rough on Coats. So far, however, they largely seem to have taken a pass.

Hostettler has been the most hard-hitting, criticizing votes Coats made in 1993 on gun restrictions, confirming Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg and on a foreign-affairs spending bill that Hostettler said allowed tax money to pay for overseas abortions.

Hostettler’s ad might have some resonance these days. In the mid-1990s, senators tended to vote on Supreme Court nominees on the basis of the nominee’s “character, experience, qualifications and intelligence – not politics,” as Coats said at the time. Politics and ideology take a front seat in judicial confirmations these days.

But potent though Hostettler’s 2-minute video is, it will have no power because it is seen only on his campaign Web site. If Hostettler had the money, he’d air that video on TV.

Conventional wisdom could be turned on its ear in Indiana this year. The electoral mood is sour, and tea party activists – voters who seem more engaged than other GOP constituencies – have not warmed up to Coats and his establishment connections.

But that’s not enough. None of the four non-Coats candidates is a runaway favorite among the tea partiers, and it’s not yet clear how sizable that group is, anyway.

Hostettler has demonstrated he is willing to challenge Coats on his record. But until he has the money to be more visible in his attacks, and until the other candidates have the moxie – and the money – to go after Coats, conventional wisdom will prevail.

Sylvia A. Smith has worked at The Journal Gazette since 1973 and has covered Washington since 1989. She is the only Washington-based reporter who exclusively covers northeast Indiana. Her e-mail address is sylviasmith@jg.net. Her phone number is 202-879-6710.

Dan Coats for Indiana

The first time I saw U.S. Senator Connie Mack was several years ago at a Catholic Men's Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Connie witnessed to over 8,000 men how then Senator Dan Coats, a Presbyterian, was holding weekly Bible Studies in the basement of the Senate Building. It was at one of the Bible Studies that Dan Coats led Connie Mack into a “born again” experience and back to his Roman Catholic faith.

A couple years later, when Dan and Marsha Coats left Germany as our American Ambassador, I spoke to Connie on the phone. He told me he had invited Dan to join his law firm and the two of them were lobbying for Pro-Life organizations, saving the lives of America's Pre-Born babies. It came as no surprise to me, then, when Sam Alito hired Dan Coats to be his lobbyist when he made his bid to become a Supreme Court Justice. After all, Justice Alito is one of the most conservative Pro-Life voices on the United States Supreme Court.

You can imagine my dismay when some young Republican's began a smear campaign against Dan Coats by pretending it was somehow filthy to be a lobbyist. If they were my kids, I would wash their mouths out with soap! After all, these young kids today have no idea what it means to be principled men of honesty, integrity, and high moral character like Dan Coats. The way they are running their campaigns prove it. Maybe that's why Congressman Mike Pence, another man of high moral character, endorsed Dan Coats for U.S. Senate and not one of them.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Send Dan Coats To U.S. Senate

This morning, Justice John Paul Stevens announced
his plans to retire from the United States Supreme
Court in just a few months giving President Obama
another opportunity to place a liberal activist
judge atop our judiciary system. As Americans,
our personal freedoms are under assault. With an
extreme liberal Democrat President and large
Democrat majorities in the House and Senate, one
of our only lines of defense is the Supreme Court.
If Democrats get their way and elect Congressman
Brad Ellsworth in November, there will be fewer
and fewer justices in the mold of Hoosier John
Roberts and Samuel Alito, whom Dan shepherded
through the confirmation process. Instead, we
will get more liberal ideologues when we need
justices that adhere to the intentions of our
Founding Fathers and don't view the Constitution
as a 'living document' that can be altered to
push their radical agenda.

Help send Dan Coats to the United States Senate
to support nominees for the Supreme Court

Dan Coats Addresses the Ginsburg Vote

SCOTUS Sam Alito enters the Senate Hearings
accompanied by his Lobbyist, Dan Coats

"On the Ginsburg vote, Coats has said that 'elections
have consequences.' There was a centuries-old
tradition of respecting national electoral results
by granting the President latitude in selecting
nominees for the bench. Case in point: 42 of 44
Republicans voted for Ginsburg. Coats can also point
to his assistance in helping Justice Samuel Alito
through a successful confirmation process in 2005-06.
Alito has joined the conservative side of the
Supreme Court."

Howey: Time Running Out To Catch Dan Coats

In a post on Howey Politics Indiana, Brian Howey
said, "For a statewide candidate to drive up
name identification in order to credibly deliver
a message that could help win an election, even
a primary, the price tag is somewhere in the $1
million range to purchase 3,000 to 4,000 gross
rating points, sans the Chicago broadcast TV
market. "For that reason, with less than a month
to go before the Republican U.S. Senate primary,
the window is quickly closing on candidates not
named Dan Coats...
"There have been some interesting shifts among
Coats' four opponents. Hostettler and State
Sen. Marvin Stutzman are now talking about their
own experience as opposed to restating their
earlier anti-incumbency lines... "The Coats
campaign responded [to Hostetter's YouTube video]
by noting that Coats has a 90 percent American
Conservative Union mark, compared to 89.35 for

As for a vote cited by Hostettler as being a
pro-abortion vote, the campaign noted that Coats
supported a bill that prohibited the Peace Corps
from using development assistance funds for
abortions or involuntary sterilizations.
Thirty-six of the 44 Senate Republicans at the
time voted for the measure.

Dan Coats Hoosier Health Care Plan

This morning, Dan Coats released the

Dan Coats Hoosier Health Care Plan


Dan said, "Hoosiers have spoken: the goal should not
be expansion of government involvement in health
care, but instead a prescription for a healthier
system that lowers costs while preserving personal
freedoms.The elements of this plan are based
on the principle that individual consumer retain
control over their own decisions and calls for
policy changes only where there is broad public
support - without burying our children and
grandchildren in debt." You can read the full

Friday, April 2, 2010

Russ Pulliam Addresses Dan Coats Campaign

Look past Democrats' rhetoric


by Russ Pulliam

If Reggie Miller wanted to return to the Pacers in some capacity, would he be welcomed home? Of course.

So why haven't young conservatives welcomed Dan Coats' bid for his old Senate seat?Some conservatives have joined national Democrats in beating up Coats for the crime of lobbying. Or for being ambassador to Germany. Or for thinking about a retirement place in North Carolina.

It is a puzzle.

Coats, after all, was one of the most effective limited-government conservatives in the 1980s and 1990s. He started in the House of Representatives and then served in the Senate from 1989 to 1999. He also was ambassador to Germany.

Without bragging about it, Coats was an architect of what came to be called compassionate conservatism. He believed that conservatives could match big government social welfare initiatives with private sector alternatives. A key option was to let taxpayers send a portion of their tax bills, through credits, to charities that help those in need.

The theme of compassionate conservatism became a key to victory for George W. Bush. The concept was later tarnished when Republicans in Congress forgot to emphasize private-sector solutions instead of more government spending.

Yet Coats, Bush and former Indianapolis Mayor Steve Goldsmith made big strides just by increasing recognition, even on the liberal side, that community-based ministries and churches often are more effective in helping the needy than massive government programs.

Coats also has been a role model and mentor for other conservative leaders, including U.S. Rep. Mark Souder, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson and Sagamore Institute President Jay Hein.

Coats is a modest gentleman who doesn't brag about his accomplishments. Yet he has always worn well with Indiana voters, through five House campaigns and two U.S. Senate victories.

Clearly, he has scared the daylights out of the Democratic Party. Once he jumped into the race earlier this year, Democratic insiders came up with all sorts of charges against the former senator. He wanted to live in North Carolina. He allegedly lobbied for Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

The puzzle is why some younger conservatives can't see through the partisan Democratic rhetoric to appreciate the talent that Coats offers. Even Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh appears to understand Coats' strengths. He decided not to seek re-election shortly after Coats entered the race.

Are younger conservatives so jaded about all political figures? Did Coats pick up radioactive contamination by serving in the Bush administration?

Coats may not know how to tweet on Twitter or share his personal life on Facebook. But conservatives of all people should know better than to dismiss a senatorial candidate simply because he has a long, serious record of political service.