It really has been a bad month for Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN). He’s been caught up in a residency controversy and his primary challenger, Richard Mourdock, has been gaining on him in the polls. But now Lugar has another headache to deal with thanks to an endorsement from former Sen. Arlen Specter.
While appearing on C-SPAN yesterday, Specter took a call from Indiana and, with being asked his opinion in the race, said, “Vote for Dick Lugar”:
Ordinarily, endorsements are something to brag about through press releases and while on the stump. But Specter hasn’t been very friendly to Republicans in the last two years. While still a Republican, he voted for the stimulus bill. After it was obvious that he would lose a primary challenge to now-Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), he bolted from the GOP. Specter would eventually go on to back ObamaCare, which was just another mark on his record of growing government and harming taxpayers.
So yeah, this isn’t the kind of endorsement you want when you’re an already vulnerable incumbent locked in a tough primary match at a time when conservatives are wary and suspicious of you.
It’s been a really bad month for Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN). He was ruled to be ineligble to vote last week in Indiana, and now new polling, though from a Democratic firm, shows that he is not just vulnerable in the Republican primary; but also the general election:
Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) is barely leading his primary opponent, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, less than two months before the primary, according to a Democratic poll released today.
The numbers showed the six-term Senator in rough shape but still ahead of Mourdock, 45 percent to 39 percent.
Lugar faces the toughest re-election campaign of his career in the May 8 primary. Since the start of this cycle, Republicans viewed him as vulnerable in a primary, but polling of his race has been scarce in part because Indiana law restricts automated calls, including polling.
Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) will run against the winner of the GOP primary, and Democrats view Lugar as a more competitive candidate in the general election. Donnelly’s campaign released the GOP primary poll numbers in a memo from his pollster, Global Strategy Group.
The pollster also noted that Lugar’s lead has been cut in half from a similar poll in October, which showed Lugar leading Mourdock by 12 points, 48 percent to 36 percent.
Lugar isn’t going well right now. The residency issues aren’t the only thing that have voters skeptical of him. He’s record in the Senate is terrible. He’s been almost assured to do the wrong thing, including backing TARP, Medicare Part D, and expanding other big government programs.
If you’ve been following Senate races this year, then you know that Orrin Hatch isn’t the only Republican facing a tough primary challenge. Dick Lugar, who has been in Washington since 1977, also has a competitive opponent in Richard Mourdock.
Many of the same groups that are targeting Orrin Hatch, including FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth, are going after Lugar. But unlike Hatch’s race, where the groups haven’t endorsed, Mourdock has received endorsements and help through ad campaigns.
Lugar has his own self-induced problems to worry about. Part of the argument against him is that he has become addicted to Washington culture and no longer represents the interests of Indiana. It was recently alleged by the Indiana Democratic Party, that Lugar doesn’t maintain a residence in the state, rather lives in Virginia and rents a hotel room when visiting constituents.
Of course, Lugar’s campaign dismissed the accusation, claiming that the “entire state is his home.” That’s all well and good, but the residency issue just got a lot worse for Lugar. Yesterday, the Marion County Elections Board ruled that Lugar is ineligible to vote:
The Election Board has voted 2-1 along party lines to find Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican, and his wife ineligible to vote in their former home precinct. The two Democrats found that the Lugars abandoned that residence, according to Indiana law, and no longer reside there.
Lugar’s camp says it will appeal the decision because it disagrees with the board’s “political” action based on what it contends was a faulty analysis of the law.
As you know, Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) is facing a tough primary from Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who has received support from the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, and other grassroots organizations. Now the Second Amendment has become a campaign issue as the National Rifle Association (NRA) has endorsed Mourdock over Lugar:
The National Rifle Association officially endorsed Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) over Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) Wednesday morning, blasting Lugar for his “seeming contempt for gun owners in Indiana.”
The endorsement, first reported by The Hill, is a body blow to the longtime senator’s hopes of surviving a tough primary against Mourdock, who has Tea Party support.
“We haven’t engaged in many primary elections but I have to tell you, this decision was easy,” NRA political victory fund chief Chris Cox said on a conference call. “Richard Mourdock is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and Richard Lugar is not. The choice could not be more clear.”
Cox said Lugar had a lifetime “F” rating from the NRA, which Cox said he got “the old fashioned way: he earned it.”
Looking for another shake-up of the Republican establishment in the United States Senate, the Club for Growth has endorsed Richard Mourdock in his bid to unseat Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN). The Club released this statement on Tuesday:
The Club for Growth PAC today announced that it is endorsing Richard Mourdock for United States Senate in Indiana. The seat is currently held by incumbent Republican Senator Richard Lugar.
“After thirty-six years in Washington, it’s time to send Richard Lugar home,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “Richard Lugar has served honorably, but he’s been part of the problem in Washington. He’s voted for bigger government, more spending, and he even recently voted against a permanent ban on congressional pork. Richard Mourdock will vote to limit government, repeal ObamaCare, and will help bring back the jobs lost to the Obama’s economic policies. The Club for Growth PAC proudly endorses Richard Mourdock for United States Senate.”
The Club was influential two years ago in primary races in Utah and Pennsylvania that led to incumbents being tossed out of office over more fiscally conservative challengers. Their rationale for getting involved in this race is that Lugar has aligned himself against taxpayers too many times:
Recently, Lugar was one of only thirteen Republicans to join Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid in voting against a permanent ban on earmarks.
That was the final straw for the Club for Growth PAC, which has now endorsed Lugar’s conservative challenger, Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock.
It’s no secret that national grassroots and Tea Party groups, including our friends at FreedomWorks, are gunning for Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN), who is one of the poster children (metaphorically speaking) of everything wrong with the Republican Party from a fiscal standpoint.
His primary opponent, Richard Mourdock, is seizing on that point, recently launching an ad hitting Lugar on wasteful earmarks, including supporting the now-infamous Bridge to Nowhere and a teapot museum:
Lugar’s absence from Indiana is also becoming a point for many conservatives and Democrats in the state. Apparently, Lugar lists a home he sold some 35 years ago as his primary residence. So when he visits his “constituents” in Indiana, he winds up staying in a hotel at taxpayer expense (emphasis mine):
The Indiana Democratic Party has combed through records going all the way back to Lugar’s first year in the Senate, 1977.
With last year’s fight over collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin and the National Labor Relations Board’s persecution of Boeing, conservatives and libertarians have, rightfully, targeted Big Labor’s stranglehold on workers. The latest battle in this fight being won yesterday in Indiana, as the state’s legislatue passed, and Gov. Mitch Daniels subsequently signed, “right-to-work” legislation into law:
After over 40 hours of testimony, debate, and discussion over the past year House Bill (HB) 1001, Employee’s Right to Work passed the Indiana House of Representatives last week and today passed the State Senate. The final step, which is expected to occur today, is having the Governor sign the bill into law. HB 1001 will now make Indiana the nation’s 23rd Right to Work state, and the first state in the industrial Midwest to become a Right to Work state.
Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) authored and House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) co-authored House Bill 1001, Employee’s Right to Work which states that an employee cannot be forced to join or financially support a union in order to get or keep a job.
On November 21, 2011 Speaker Bosma announced that his number one priority this session would focus on Right to Work and bringing more jobs to Indiana. “With the latest unemployment number stubbornly hovering at 9 percent, it is critical that we bring more employment opportunities to Indiana and give Hoosiers the freedom to choose how their hard earned money is spent.”
Taiwanda Moore was recently aquitted for doing something that most wouldn’t this is a particularly big deal. She recorded a conversation on her cell phone, potentially to be used as evidence later. Moore claimed she was the victim of sexual harassment, and felt that the person she was reporting it to wasn’t intending to investigate, so she recorded the conversation. The fact that it was a cop shouldn’t matter, but it does.
Moore claims that an officer responding to a domestic disturbance call at her boyfriend’s apartment grabbed her breast and slipped her the his phone number. She was upset, so she contact the police department to make a complaint.
Moore, of Hammond, Ind., was being interviewed at police headquarters about her complaint that a patrol officer had grabbed her breast and given her his phone number when he came to her boyfriend’s South Side apartment on a domestic disturbance call.
On the muffled recording, which was played for the jury Tuesday, Internal Affairs Officer Luis Alejo can be heard explaining to Moore that if she dropped the complaint, they could “almost guarantee” that the harassment would not happen again. He also suggested that going that route might save her the time and aggravation of a full investigation.
Again, this is something that a lot of us wouldn’t count as being a problem. However, in Illinois, it is.
Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN), a target of tea party and conservatives in 2012, is trailing Richard Mourdock, who currently serves as the state’s treasurer, in a poll commissioned by the Club for Growth, an organization that frequently targets statist Republicans in primary matchups:
The incumbent senator, who’s facing one of the toughest challenges of his career, is down by 2 points with one-third of GOP primary voters undecided.
Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock has the backing of 34 percent of Republican primary voters while Lugar gets 32 percent and 34 percent are undecided, the poll found.
The Club for Growth, which has made noises about backing Mourdock in the primary, did not release the full poll or give all the details for how it identified Republican primary voters, which casts some doubt on its results. The group has run ads attacking Lugar’s record and warning him against voting for an increase to the debt ceiling, and Lugar’s campaign questioned the poll’s methodology.
“The data released by the Club for Growth does not resemble anything we are seeing,” said Lugar Political Director David Willkie. “Before commenting on a purely publicity driven poll commissioned by an outside group that has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars against us, we need to know much more about the methodology.”