WBEZ | Richard Mourdock http://www.wbez.org/tags/richard-mourdock Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Durbin likes Donnelly’s chances in Indiana http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/durbin-likes-donnelly%E2%80%99s-chances-indiana-103584 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP120123114551.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin knows the chances of Barack Obama winning the Hoosier state in the presidential race aren&#39;t good.<br /><br />Republican Mitt Romney has a double-digit lead in the Republican-leaning state, even though Obama won the state four years ago.<br /><br />Despite the numbers, Durbin says that doesn&rsquo;t mean bad news for Joe Donnelly, a Democratic congressman from South Bend.<br /><br />Donnelly&rsquo;s in a tight Senate race against Republican Richard Mourdock for Dick Lugar&rsquo;s old seat.<br /><br />Durbin says he feels confident about Donnelly joining him in the Senate, especially after visiting the campaign in Indianapolis last week.<br /><br />&ldquo;There are a lot of ticket-splitters in Indiana, Republicans who said they can&rsquo;t vote for Mourdock because of some of things he&rsquo;s said,&rdquo; Durbin said. &ldquo;They find Joe Donnelly to be a good option, a good alternative. We feel good about his race. He still has a lot of work to do. We feel good about his winning in Indiana.<br /><br />Recent polls show the Donnelly-Mourdock race either tied or with Donnelly a few points ahead.<br /><br />In a debate last week, Mourdock, who also serves as Indiana&rsquo;s state treasurer, had to defend himself from criticism over controversial comments he made about rape, God and abortion.</p><p>Romney said he disagreed with Mourdock&rsquo;s stance that if a woman gets pregnant from rape, it&rsquo;s what God intended. But Romney supports Mourdock&rsquo;s bid for the Senate and even made a commercial for his campaign. The Romney campaign did not ask Mourdock to pull the ad after his comments on abortion.</p><p>For his part, Mourdock said the comments have not hurt him with Republican voters.<br /><br />The race is being closely watched because it could help tip the balance of power in Washington.</p></p> Thu, 01 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/durbin-likes-donnelly%E2%80%99s-chances-indiana-103584 Mourdock and the meaning of 'moderate' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/mourdock-and-meaning-moderate-103410 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6602_AP625487735492-scr.jpg" style="float: right; height: 450px; width: 300px; " title="Indiana GOP U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (AP)" /></div><p>The whole world now knows that Indiana GOP U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/decision2012/mourdock-rape-comment-adds-to-election-year-furor-over-social-issues/2012/10/24/efa6a530-1e05-11e2-b647-bb1668e64058_story.html?tid=pm_pop">he believes</a>&nbsp;&ldquo;that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.&rdquo;</p><p>In other words, God has a plan, and it involves that rapist fathering a kid. Don&rsquo;t doubt or question it because, damn it all to hell, it&rsquo;s God&rsquo;s plan.<br /><br />Mourdock opposes abortion with a single exception: cases where the life of the mother is at stake.<br /><br />The kicker? The Democratic candidate, Rep. Joe Donnelly, took a <a href="http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/politics/richard-mourdock-joe-donnelly-spend-day-dealing-with-rape-abortion-comment">more &ldquo;moderate&rdquo; stance</a>, saying that his position allows for abortion in the case of rape, incest or the life of the mother.<br /><br />That&rsquo;s a hell of a choice Hoosiers have.<br /><br />My question is: When did these three exceptions &mdash; the holy trinity, if you will &mdash; become a &ldquo;moderate&rdquo; stance on abortion rights? Exceptions for rape, incest and the woman&rsquo;s very life are not actually much of a choice.<br /><br />Back when I was a teenager and more readily in need of safe and legal abortion for myself and my friends than I am now, that position meant you were anti-abortion.<br /><br />I&rsquo;m not actually arguing against religious conviction. I&rsquo;m pro-choice but I totally follow the reasoning that if you believe life begins at conception and anything after that is murder, then the only logical conclusion is that exceptions can&rsquo;t be made.<br /><br />But let&rsquo;s call that what it is: If there&rsquo;s no negotiating, if there&rsquo;s no middle ground, that&rsquo;s an extreme position.<br /><br />Have Republican and religious extremists convinced us that allowing a birthing mother to live if the choice is between her and her unborn child is actually an exception, a kindness?<br /><br />Have these words &mdash; rape and incest &mdash; lost their power? Did we forget what these words actually mean?<br /><br />This is what we&rsquo;re talking about when we talk about abortion without exceptions:<br /><br />If you&rsquo;re a woman and get pregnant because a man forced you to have sex, which is to say, if you get pregnant as a result of sex you did not consent to (and was traumatic), then <em>you have to give birth to your rapist&rsquo;s child, whether you want to or not</em>.<br /><br />If you&rsquo;re a woman and get pregnant because your father/brother/grandfather/uncle/cousin/stepfather/etc. raped you (see above), then <em>you have to give birth to your father&rsquo;s/brother&rsquo;s/grandfather&rsquo;s/uncle&rsquo;s/cousin&rsquo;s/stepfather&rsquo;s, etc., child, whether you want to or not.</em><br /><br />Mitt Romney&rsquo;s own position on abortion in this election cycle allows exceptions in the cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother. (Paul Ryan disagrees, in line with his faith and the GOP party platform: no abortions, no exceptions.)<br /><br />Support for these lousy exceptions has allowed Romney to step back from extreme GOP candidates like <a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/10/23/todd_akins_militia_ties_exposed/">Todd Akin</a>, who doesn&rsquo;t understand biology, and our own <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/19/tea-party-illinois-rep-joe-walsh-one-ups-akin-s-legitimate-rape.html">Joe Walsh</a>, who thinks pregnancy is risk-free.<br /><br />But, for some reason, Romney isn&rsquo;t stepping back from Mourdock. Of all of the GOP candidates running for election, Mourdock is the only one for whom Romney has taped <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/mitt-romney-supported-richard-mourdock-political-ad-17552447">a personal campaign ad</a>, which has already run in Indiana more than 100 times.<br /><br />The Romney campaign said Wednesday that he <a href="http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/10/richard-mourdock-john-mccain.php?ref=fpa">didn&rsquo;t agree with Mourdock&rsquo;s views </a>on abortion, but the television spot (which was taped long before Mourdock opened his mouth) is still running in Indiana.<br /><br />That&rsquo;s <em>moderate</em> Mitt.</p></p> Thu, 25 Oct 2012 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/mourdock-and-meaning-moderate-103410 Big test for Senate vet Lugar on Tuesday http://www.wbez.org/programs/eight-forty-eight/2012-05-07/big-test-senate-vet-lugar-tuesday-98840 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; "><em><span style="font-size:11px;">Monday morning on </span></em><span style="font-size:11px;">Eight Forty-Eight&nbsp;<em>Sam Hudzik joined WBEZ NW Indiana expert Mike Puente to talk about the primaries in Indiana:</em></span><div class="mediaelement-audio"><audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1336405418-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/120507%20seg%20a.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></div><hr></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; "><em><span style="font-size:11px;">&nbsp;</span></em></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP120411120039.jpg" title="Brent Gentry shows his support for Richard Mourdock before a U.S. Senate debate in April. Mourdock is running against Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind. (AP/Darron Cummings)"></div><p>Indiana voters head to the polls Tuesday for the state's primary election, and all eyes are on the Republican race for U.S. Senate.</p><p>Six-term incumbent Richard Lugar is trying to survive a strong test from the right. Lugar is 80 years old and has spent 35 of them in the Senate, a length of service that's been a liability this year.</p><p>"When Dick Lugar moved to Washington in 1977, disco topped the charts and leisure suits were in style," begins a TV ad from Lugar's opponent, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.</p><p>Mourdock's labeled Lugar out of touch with Hoosiers and too close to the president.</p><p>"No wonder they call him Obama's favorite Republican," a narrator says in another ad, using a common tagline of the Mourdock campaign.</p><p>For his part, Lugar's attacked those attacks.</p><p>"Richard Mourdock and his DC cronies offer nothing but the politics of personal destruction," states a Lugar television ad.</p><p>And Lugar's leaned on popular Gov. Mitch Daniels to talk up the senator's conservative creds.</p><p>"We're lucky to have Dick Lugar and we need to keep him," Daniels, dressed casually while strolling in the countryside, says to the camera.</p><p>Those ads were paid for by the campaigns themselves, but this race has also been a target of outside money. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the total tops $4 million in non-candidate spending, the most out of any race in 2012 besides the presidency.</p><p>The conservative group Club for Growth has gone on a Hoosier spending spree, attacking Lugar.</p><p>"What's happened to Dick Lugar? He was a respected national leader, a statesman," the ad says. "Then he became part of the problem."</p><p>Lugar's also been helped by outside money, including from a group that calls itself Hoosiers for Economic Growth and Jobs.</p><p>"Who put the for sale sign up on Indiana?" one man asks another in an ad from the group.</p><p>"Indiana's not for sale," laughs the other man.</p><p>"Richard Mourdock thinks so," the first man replies. "Some DC special interest group, Club for Growth, is trying to buy our Senate seat."</p><p>Another group supporting Lugar, called American Action Network, spent more than $600,000 in the race. But in a sign of Lugar's slip in the polls, the group recently halted its ads.</p><p>"We've decided we're going to let this race play out," said Dan Conston, a spokesperson for AAN.</p><p>The winner of the Republican Senate primary will face the only Democrat on the ballot, U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, in the fall.</p></p> Mon, 07 May 2012 07:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/eight-forty-eight/2012-05-07/big-test-senate-vet-lugar-tuesday-98840 Politicians begging for money - and fast! http://www.wbez.org/story/politicians-begging-money-and-fast-92573 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-28/shore.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Politicians are begging their supporters to donate campaign cash. That's because Friday is a key fundraising marker before the 2012 election.</p><p>Fundraising numbers can be a sign of a candidate's support, or lack of it, and many use the reporting deadlines to make urgent appeals.</p><p>Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, the state's treasurer, is trying to raise $50,000 this week - a Tea Party Money Bomb, he calls it in an email.</p><p>Raja Krishnamoorthi rails against "Tea Partiers" in his plea to supporters to "donate now" to his suburban Chicago congressional campaign.</p><p>Congressman Joe Walsh has a "private roundtable discussion" scheduled for Thursday night. A seat will cost you $100.</p><p>And in an email signed "Barack," President Obama's campaign promises he will personally call some donors.</p><p>Whatever cash the campaigns receive by midnight Friday must be publicly reported next month.</p></p> Wed, 28 Sep 2011 18:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/politicians-begging-money-and-fast-92573 Lugar says U.S. sugar policy anything but sweet http://www.wbez.org/story/lugar-says-us-sugar-policy-anything-sweet-91282 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-31/Richard Lugar 3.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Indiana voters might be accustomed to seeing their senior U.S. senator in a regular business suit and tie, but in Hobart, Indiana on Tuesday morning, Richard Lugar looked every bit the part of a candy maker complete with white lab coat, safety glasses and hair net. At the Albanese Candy Company, Lugar got a first-hand look as to how gummy bears are made, along with an assortment of chocolate goodies.</p><p>But Lugar was still on a political mission: to hear cries for help from small, family-owned confectioners like Albanese in their battle to lower the high price of American sugar.</p><p>“As I tell everybody if you had a spoon full of sugar this morning, you paid twice as much for it as you should. But we’re also talking about jobs,” Lugar told WBEZ. “A good number of companies who are in the confectionery business have not left the United States, but a lot of their new plants and their jobs have gone elsewhere because of the cost of sugar.”</p><p>As part of his support for the Free Sugar Act of 2011, Lugar proposes the elimination of the federally mandated program that controls the American sugar supply. Those controls lead to what Lugar calls artificially-inflated costs. Lugar cited figures that suggest domestic businesses pay about 60 cents per pound for sugar, compared to the 35 cents per pound that foreign candy makers pay on the world market.</p><p>Lugar, who grows corn and soybeans on his farm outside Indianapolis, said the federal government’s current policy protects Southern growers of sugar. He says that needs to end.</p><p>“It comes back to the protection of a very few growers who have had a hammerlock on, and they are not unique. I’m opposed to subsidies in general,” Lugar said.</p><p>Scott Albanese, founder and owner of Albanese Confectionary Group, Inc., started his company with 30 employees. It now employees more than 200 and is looking to double the size of its physical plant as well as its workforce. But his future as a candy maker in the U.S. could be in jeopardy if sugar prices remains constant or go higher.</p><p>“What they should do is let the market determine what the price is. Right now, they are not doing that. The government is almost, in essence, almost dictating the price of sugar,” Albanese said.</p><p>Albanese said the government’s policy is forcing larger manufactures of candy moving jobs out of the U.S. to Canada or Mexico.</p><p>“They can simply buy sugar at half the price. It’s a crime. I’m penalized as an American to buy my American sugar, but if I’m Mexican I can buy American sugar at half the price,” Albanese said. “There’s something innately stupid about that.”</p><p>Lugar’s office estimates about 112,000 U.S. jobs connected to the sugar industry have been lost since 1999.</p><p>But the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, one of the nation’s leading producers of sugar, said current U.S. sugar policy “ … ensures that foreign predatory trade practices — such as export subsidies, marketing monopolies and cartels, high internal supports, and high import barriers — do not drive efficient American sugar farmers out of business and threaten the reliability and stability of sugar supplies to American consumers.”</p><p>The cooperative, according to a statement on its website, said current U.S. policy ensures that jobs in rural America are not sent overseas, and that American consumers are “not held captive by unreliable foreign suppliers of subsidized sugar.”</p><p>Lugar’s trip to the candy factory comes during his reelection campaign, one that’s had him traveling around the state in recent weeks. Although Lugar’s respected both here and abroad for his foreign policy expertise, Tea Party Republicans are less than impressed with his bipartisan approach and his support of some of President Obama’s decisions. Fellow Republican Richard Mourdock, who now serves as Indiana’s state treasurer, is battling Lugar for the party nomination next May.</p><p>Some politicos around Indiana believe Mourdock is a longshot to win, but Lugar’s leaving nothing to chance, hence the trip to Democrat-friendly Lake County - the home of Albanese Candy. Lugar’s never taken the top place during Lake County’s general elections, but he still feels he needs to campaign there.</p><p>“Northwest Indiana is always very important. I try to be competitive in each of the elections and sometimes almost succeeded in winning Lake County,” Lugar said. “Obviously, I’m concerned about the Republican primary election. I started my campaign a year ago, which indicates quite a bit of concern. We have been fundraising and touring the state. My phone bank has been making 2,000 calls a night. That’s a pretty steady course eight months away from the primary.”</p><p>In wrapping up his visit, Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, expressed concerns over who will take over Libya now that Moammar Gadhafi is gone but has yet to be found.</p><p>“I think at some point the whereabouts of Moammar Gadhafi will be apparent, but I’m very troubled by the fact that there is not really unity within the so-called rebels. We are in a very difficult predicament there and Gadhafi coming or going will not make that much difference,” Lugar said.</p><p>He added that he opposed President Obama’s move to get the U.S. involved in the Libyan conflict in the first place, believing the country has its hands full in Iraq and Afghanistan.</p></p> Wed, 31 Aug 2011 05:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/lugar-says-us-sugar-policy-anything-sweet-91282