Berry Street Beacon Breaks Down the 3rd District Race

One of the first rules I am told of blogging is to avoid simply sharing fellow bloggers’ commentary for all sorts of very good reasons.

But, what the heck, I am new to this and Fort Wayne native blogger Charlotte Weybright just put together a great piece today on Mark Souder’s self-serving approach to his re-election campaign and discusses Dr. Tom Hayhurst’s serious effort to run a thoughtful campaign that reaches out to those who may be tiring of Souder’s BS. So I thought I’d reprint it in its entirety here so the ALO audience can feel the wisdom.

Her blog is The Berry Street Beacon and this is what she wrote:

Mark Souder has decided the best way to deal with the issues of the Third District is, well, to just ignore them for what he mistakenly believes are better pickins.  Souder, with his little pea-pickin’ right-wing conservative heart, is dodging and weaving like a boxer trying to avoid punches and would rather attack President Obama than deal with the high unemployment rate in the Third District.

Indiana’s Third District is suffering – and suffering greatly.  The eight counties that comprise the district include most of Allen, most of Elkhart, and all of DeKalb, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, and Whitley.  The Third District is heavily over-represented in the infamous Top Ten of unemployment statistics in the September report prepared October 14, 2009.

The following unemployment statistics show a discouraging and disturbing picture – a picture that Souder seems content to ignore in favor of attacking President Obama:

IDWD Research and Analysis
Labor Area Unemployment Statistics

September 2009 Statistics

Top Ten Stressed Counties

Elkhart County          15.0
Noble County             14.5
Lagrange County      14.0

Adams County               13.4
Fayette County              13.4
Blackford County          13.3
Steuben County         12.9
Starke County                 12.6
DeKalb County            12.4

An astounding 50% of the Top Ten are in the Third District.  Add to that Whitley County – 11.6% – in the second tier of ten counties and Kosciusko County – 11.0% – in the third tier, and the only county in the Third District that has not broken the infamous 10.0% unemployment figure is Allen County, holding at 9.0%.

Tom Hayhurst has been out in the counties listening to the people and communicating with them.  Since he announced in August that he would again challenge Souder, Hayhurst has traveled from one end of the Third District to the other.  His main concern?  The people of the Third District.

Souder’s main concern?  Holding onto that congressional seat which he said in 1994 that he would vacate in 6 terms.  He has become adept at holding town hall meetings and call-ins slanted to his view point of the present government, thereby feeding his attacks on Obama.

Rather than take a cold, hard look at the high unemployment rate that exists in his own district which he is supposed to be representing, Souder focuses on attacking President Obama.  Souder would rather join a battle over gun rights in someone else’s state than address the needs of his own constituency.

Fine with me – Souder can sputter and fume about Obama, but Hayhurst is doing the work that needs to be done for our Third District – focusing on those who will be his constituency.

I grew up in Fort Wayne and know that this district has taken a decidedly conservative turn since its last Democratic representation under Jill Long Thompson. But it is a poster child for the great Bush economic meltdown and that should worry Souder. Traditional right-wing guns and tax rhetoric loses a bit of luster everyday you remain unemployed. But he’s a hack so he’ll probably stick with that dead horse.

Thanks Charlotte! We’ll keep checking in to Berry Street. Look for our interview with Dr. Tom this week.

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