By Mike Grant Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — Indiana Sen. Dan Coats called upon Republicans to get engaged in the upcoming elections. Coats made the comments in front of about 250 people at the annual Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner Tuesday. “There is a lot at stake and everyone needs to be engaged,” said Coats.
Coats says the country needs a change of direction and he believes it can start with the general elections this fall. “The American dream is eroding away and 2014 is an important election year,” he said. “There is an excellent chance that Republicans will take control of the Senate and that will set the stage for the presidential elections in 2016.”
Coats served two terms in the Senate and then stepped away from elected office and later became the U.S. Ambassador to Germany. He says the change of the climate in Washington led him back into election politics.
“In 2009-10 the Democrats rolled out a liberal agenda,” said Coats. “They made an America that I didn’t recognize. I’ve been on a mission to speak for the values that made America great, the values that have made America a model of freedom and opportunity around the world.”
The senator believes that what Washington D.C. needs is a dose of Hoosier sensibility. “Indiana people have made the hard choices,” said Coats. “That’s what Washington needs to do. The fight is real and the fight is necessary.”
Coats says he and his staff went around Indiana talking to citizens from all walks of life and that led him to develop a ten-point plan called “the Indiana Way.”
“This is a wide range of ideas that can benefit both Indiana and the federal government in Washington D.C.,” he explained.
“The top item is to protect Hoosiers from the burden of Obamacare. There are horror stories around Indiana and they are true. We need a responsible replacement for that law.”
Other parts of the Indiana Way include support of Indiana’s infrastructure, working toward a better energy policy that includes coal, go after waste and fraud in the federal government, support community and faith based groups, support small business and community banks and protect them from burdensome regulations, build on Indiana’s defense assets and in particular Crane, and he wants to get rid of the estate tax. “Too often we hear stories of family farms that can’t be passed down because the taxes are so high families have to carve them up to pay the taxes,” said Coats.
Coats says those Indiana based ideas and values are what he argues for everyday in Washington D.C. “My duty and responsibility is to be your voice in Washington,” he said.
During the Lincoln Day dinner, the local Republicans honored former chairman and Daviess County Treasurer Martin Mumaw III. Mumaw died of cancer in 2013.
They also presented the Helen Jones awards for outstanding service to the party for 2013 to County Councilman Mike Myers, and for 2014 to Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit.