The National Board of the Republican Liberty Caucus has endorsed two former Members of Congress in their respective runs for U.S. Senate in Indiana and Pennsylvania.
U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (D) decided to retire this year, leaving Democrats to hope that Blue Dog Brad Ellsworth can win statewide. Because of where Ellsworth is from in the state and the political climate, Republicans in Indiana would be best served to select former Congressman John Hostettler to face him in the upcoming May primary.
Hostettler’s main primary opponents are State Senator Marlin Stutzman and former U.S. Senator Dan Coats. Stutzman is fairly competent on the issues, but seems to take a more interventionist position on foreign policy in contrast to Hostettler. The other problem with Stutzman is that he will not be able to rival Ellsworth in the General Election in southern Indiana. Senator Dan Coats is a moderate, not a conservative or a libertarian. He would not be the best candidate to capitalize on the angst and frustration expressed by conservative voters in 2010.
Which brings us to Hostettler. He’s not a perfect candidate, as he opposes a Balanced Budget Amendment and term limits, supports a closed border, and is too conservative on most hot-button social issues (but doesn’t usually believe the federal government should be involved). Perhaps his most significant vote was his 2002 vote to oppose the War in Iraq. He said at the time, “Iraq indeed poses a threat, but it does not pose an imminent threat that justifies a pre-emptive military strike at this time.”
Hostettler favors the dissolution of the Department of Education, and voted against the No Child Left Behind Act because he believes education is a state matter. He also voted against most federal health care bills with the view that health care is a private or state matter. He maintains that many federal environmental laws and regulations infringed on individual property rights. He is active in promoting issues of freedom of religion and expression. He supported repeal of the estate tax, capital gains tax, and marriage tax penalty. Hostettler was recently endorsed by Congressman Ron Paul, and his supporters are having a MoneyBomb tomorrow.
Let’s hope Hostettler wins the upcoming primary and sends Brad Ellsworth back to southern Indiana.
The Republican Liberty Caucus also endorsed Pat Toomey for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Toomey’s Republican primary opponent is Peg Luksik, who is affiliated with the far-right of the Republican Party. His general election opponent will likely be Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Spector.
Pat Toomey is a former Congressman who upheld his term limits pledge in 1998 to only serve three terms. While in Congress, Toomey voted to reduce the capital gains tax, to eliminate the estate tax, to cut small business taxes and to eliminate the marriage penalty. He publicly opposed the stimulus package passed in 2009 and supports a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Toomey takes a libertarian position on Roe v. Wade, believing it should be overturned and returned to the states. That position, however, seems to contradict his support for an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. He also has a poor record on drug law reform (having voted against medical marijuana for DC) and foreign policy (having supported the Bush Administration’s War in Iraq).
Pat Toomey would be a competent and pro-liberty Senator for Pennsylvania.