With the announcement that Indiana senator Evan Bayh will not be running for re-election, Brad Ellsworth and Daniel Coats are the two major party candidates that will square off to represent Indiana in his seat this November. Since rhetoric tends to cloud the facts in a political campaign, these are the voting records and clear positions of both candidates.
Issue #1: Abortion
Both candidates consider themselves to be pro-life on the issue of abortion. If you are a pro-choice supporter, you may need to look to a 3rd party candidate.
Issue #2: Military Involvement Overseas
Although it wasn’t discussed in their most recent debate, most experts believe that Dan Coats is supportive of the military involvement overseas. In recent requests, Brad Ellsworth has avoided the issue of overseas military involvement, but his party seems to be in favor of quickly reducing or removing troops from the region when possible.
Issue #3: The Economy
Both candidates agree that the government needs to control its spending. However, their approaches are different. Ellsworth is proposing a “balanced budget” amendment to the constitution. This would force the USA to spend within its means. Coats would accomplish the same thing by reducing the salaries of federal workers. Dan Coats would also be open to increasing the age of social security.
Issue #4: Healthcare
Daniel Coats and Brad Ellsworth seem to be aligning with their parties for healthcare. Ellsworth supports Obama’s healthcare reform, having voted for it in house. Coats has attacked Ellsworth for his support of the health care bill.
Issue #5 Immigration
Dan Coats has voted in favor of immigrants multiple times in his career. He voted yes to allow more foreign workers into the USA for Farm work. He also voted yes to allow more visas for foreign skilled workers. Brad Ellsworth is taking a tougher stance. He believes that we need to tighten our borders and create tougher penalties for corporations who hire illegal immigrants.
Issue #6 Taxes
Although Ellsworth isn’t necessarily pro-tax, he has voted to close tax loopholes for corporations. He has also voted to extend alternative minimum tax extentions so they would not hit the middle class. Coats has voted to repeal the entire tax system for a simpler system; one that would use a single rate. He has also voted to repeal the increases in capital gains and death taxes that are set to begin in 2011.
Coats is accusing Ellsworth of following in the shadow of Obama, and Ellsworth is bashing Coats for being a former lobbyist.
This Indiana senate race has Coates in the lead, but polls can never tell the true story. Hopefully these candidates’ past histories can be an indicator of their future actions in office. More information on their voting records and stances in the Indiana senate race can be found at www.voteeasy.org and www.ontheissues.org.