The candidates hoping to win Indiana’s open U.S. Senate seat appeared together once again for one of the last times before next week’s election. The event was a public affairs program on Indianapolis public radio station WFYI, and the candidates spent two hours talking about their positions on top issues, and taking questions from the public.
Unlike the forums from the Indiana Debate Commission that ended Monday, this was not a debate. Each of the candidates was given 35 minutes to talk in detail about their positions on issues important to voters. Republican Dan Coats answered questions from listeners about campaign financing, abortion, and same sex marriage. And he also talked about some of the first legislation he’d introduced if elected to the Senate.
“I’ve been a strong supporter of and actually passed the line item veto,” Coats says. “It was turned down by the Supreme Court earlier, but we have a different Supreme Court now and I’d like to give it another test. I want to eliminate earmarks. I want any spending to go through a process. I also would like to impose some reductions and cuts in spending on the Congress.”
The second candidate to speak was Democrat Brad Ellsworth, who a listener asked to talk about the federal stimulus bill he voted for in Congress.
“A third of that was tax cuts,” Ellsworth says, “a third of it went back to the states to prop up their obligations and their program and a third were the things you see that were then referred to as shovel ready projects. I do think there would have been some better ways to handle some of it. A metro area like Indianapolis, they probably have shovel ready projects sitting on the shelf. A Washington, Indiana doesn’t have the luxury of a project just sitting there.”
With speaking order decided alphabetically, Libertarian Rebecca Sink-Burris was the last to speak. She didn’t shy away from acknowledging that as a third party candidate, her likelihood of winning is slim, but she gave people a chance to know more about where she stands on some social issues.
“You know,” she says, “anytime two people want to join their lives together and share that experience and that journey, I would consider that a marriage. I consider myself pro life and I want abortion to remain legal. It didn’t solve the problem when it was illegal and it won’t solve the problem now.”