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Monday, May 2, 2016

Ellsworth mulling run for senate

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Congressman Brad Ellsworth, left, greets Putnam County Council member Keith Berry Wednesday morning at Greencastle City Hall. [Order this photo]
GREENCASTLE -- While Congressman Brad Ellsworth has spent each of his four Februaries in office on his annual Listening Tour, his stops are generating a bit more attention this time around.

On the heels of Sen. Evan Bayh's Monday announcement that he will not seek reelection, Ellsworth's name has been one tossed out as a potential replacement to run for the seat as a Democrat.

Ellsworth made his Putnam County Listening Tour Stop at Greencastle City Hall Wednesday morning to more press and citizen attention than past tours have generated.

In an interview with press members before the event, the congressman said he is getting encouragement to run "from a lot of different areas."

"Three ladies at a gas station about 10 minutes ago said, 'Do it,' and 'Go for it,'" he said with a laugh.

Before simply 'going for it,', though, Ellsworth said he has many things to consider, including the thoughts of his family and constituents.

"I've had very little time to talk to Beth (his wife) and our daughter about that and what that would mean to our family and to my constituents. You get pretty protective of your area, so I don't want to feel like I'm deserting them," he said.

"That's nothing you want to make on a whim. It's a huge undertaking. It's a huge responsibility, as is the House of Representatives," Ellsworth added. "But I'll give it a look and listen to what people are saying and make a decision in a few days."

As the town hall meeting began, thoughts of what office Ellsworth might seek in the fall lingered.

"We know that he is running for reelection, and a lot of us have on our mind how many people he might be representing from the state of Indiana," Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray said in her introduction.

Getting down to the questions, though, Ellsworth didn't find quite the same encouragement from all of the gathered constituents. Similar to how Bayh, another moderate, expressed frustration Monday with being in the middle of conservative and liberal agendas, Ellsworth was alternately accused of "taxing and spending" and asked why he voted against cap and trade legislation.

"Senator Bayh was exactly right. Petty partisan politics gets in the way," Ellsworth said.

Ellsworth fielded a question from a health care reform supporter, as well as a number from some vocal detractors. The congressman responded to all that he had voted for the bill, not because it was perfect, but because he knew anything ultimately passed would be revised before taking its final form.

"I think we'll still get there," Ellsworth said.

He also said he gets input from lots of different places, including the national level, the state level and his 700,000 constituents.

"My job as a representative is to take those opinions and try to use all of them and then make my decision," he said.

Another big theme of the day was fiscal responsibility in the federal government. While many in the audience indicated they were frustrated with the current system, Ellsworth included, he was speaking a message of responsibility. Instead, the government should set its budget and then stick to it.

"We can't do this 'emergency spending' and then fool you in November," Ellsworth said.

He used an example from his personal life as a model for how the government should approach spending.

"When Beth and I were saving for Andrea's college, there were a lot of things I saw I would have liked (to buy), but we saved it," he said.

Finally, keeping with the theme of being fiscally wise, Ellsworth explained why he voted against cap and trade legislation. He explained it would have placed an undue burden on Indiana, as we still rely heavily on coal.

"Don't beat us up for (relying on coal). We can't do it without coal and oil right now," Ellsworth said.

He went on to explain he supports advances in nuclear, wind and solar power, but changes must come over time. He also said new oil drilling isn't out of the question, but the help we provide to oil companies has to stop.

"I'm against the subsidies to the oil companies when they are making billions in profits every quarter of every year," Ellsworth said.

Universal applause greeted this comment as, for once, everyone in the room agreed.

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sorry, didn't know he was coming. Is this only for the people in City Hall?

-- Posted by whodouthinkur on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 7:57 AM

Funny how politicians can turn things around and make it seem like they were doing the right thing. Congressman Ellsworth stated "it would have placed an undue burden on Indiana, as we still rely heavily on coal." when talking about Cap and Trade. My question is why then Congressman if you knew that Cap and Tax would hurt Indiana and the people you represent, you still voted yes for Cap and Tax when it was in committee allowing it to get to the house floor where you knew it would pass and you would not have to vote for it in the final roll call vote. Furthermore, how can the Congressman still try and claim that he is a fiscal conservative? TARP Bail-Out Bill under Bush administration voted for it. Obama stimulus bill that has been a failure, voted for it! ObamaCare voted for it! Truth be told congressman you have been in office since January of 2007 and we have seen spending and the national debt increase thanks to politicians like yourself from both parties who spend money like it grows on trees. It is time for true fiscal conservatives to win office and bring Washington spending under control.

-- Posted by Heritage Lake Resident on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 8:19 AM

Is he a puppet to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with invisible strings attached, for election purposes when he returns home? Maybe I just don't understand a modern day bloated goverment system.

-- Posted by Against tax & spend on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 9:08 AM

Against tax & spend, our current congressman is very much a puppet of Princess Pelosi. What the princess wants the princess gets. What Washington needs is some people with real backbone. Vote Dan Stockton for Congress!!! Vote in the May 4th Republican Primary and then again in November!

-- Posted by Heritage Lake Resident on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 9:49 AM

This guy is a "spend and tax" democrat who thinks we are not able to see through his ties to the Pelosi/Reed Congress. His record speaks far louder than his words.

-- Posted by justasking on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 9:50 AM

Educate me. What tax increases has he voted for?

-- Posted by Sour Grapes on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 2:06 PM

Sour Grapes: if you look at his voting record he has voted strictly with party(govtrack.com). Same as Bayh. Neither one has done anything to help our country or community. But I cant say that Dick Luger has helped a whole lot either. Personally I think we should fire all of them a start over with no pay and see how many takers we have.

-- Posted by worrieddaddy on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 4:42 PM

That's a great idea. He lost my and my entire family's votes for getting reelected to congress.

He votes down the line with Pelosi and party like on the "stimulus" bill and health care and doesn't listen to the people he represents. Why should we vote for him for senator?

-- Posted by whatsup on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 1:17 PM

I see by the comments here there is the same dissatisfaction with our elected officials as there is across the entire country. Both parties are at fault. At this point in our nation's history, one is as bad as the other. Both are spending us into oblivion. If you are tired of politics as usual. If you are afraid of what the future may hold for you and your kids. If you truly want "Change" you can believe in... check out the Greencastle Defenders of Liberty. The next meeting is March 8th at 6:30pm at the Dixie Chopper Business Center. This group is directly associated with the Indiana Tea Party and has been meeting in the Greencastle area since October. Get involved and put some "Hope" back into your life. You CAN make a difference!

-- Posted by Thomas Paine on Sat, Feb 20, 2010, at 8:21 PM

JesusHCrist, I can give you an example of a tax increase Brad Ellsworth voted for. The SCHIP program which provides Health Insurance for lower income children. In 2009 the Democrats and Brad Ellsworth raised the taxes on tobacco to pay for the increase in the SCHIP program. Sounds great right. That's until you look at and read the bill and see that the new SCHIP program includes children who families are making 80,000 dollars a year or more. Furthermore, all of the spending that Mr. Ellsworth has voted for TARP Bill, Stimulus Bill, Omnibus Bill which in time will lead to tax increases because we have NO MONEY however they keep PRINTING IT and SPENDING IT!!

-- Posted by Heritage Lake Resident on Mon, Feb 22, 2010, at 8:21 AM

JHC - It is obvious from your typical, liberal attack you are as uninformed as you are ignorant. To insinuate racism is not only wrong it is insulting. To stand up and speak out for what we believe in is a right guaranteed all Americans, at least for now. Your mocking choice of a username demonstrates your complete disregard and contempt for anything True and Good and erases any credibility you may have had in ANY argument. Your oh so clever response should be regarded for what it is - cheap shots and lies.

-- Posted by Thomas Paine on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 7:53 AM

Jesus, thanks for the compliment. However, I do disagree with you on the insuring of children. I am all for helping out those especially children who are unisured, however, as I stated in my comment this tax increase went to cover children who parents make over and above $80,000 dollars a year. My wife and i do not make that much money a year and we have insurance and we carry our son on that insurance. My point is that if you are making that much money, not that $80,000 a year is all that much you should not need assistance from the government. Here is a better idea, if you cannot afford to have kids and all the expenses that come with them do not have kids!!! Personal responsability is a wonderful thing!!!

-- Posted by Heritage Lake Resident on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 8:12 AM

TP.....Spoken like a hard core conservative Rebublican.

BTW...JesusHChrist "the mocking use of username" ...we live in America and have the freedom to refer to ourselves anyway we choose.

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 10:53 AM

citizenoftheworld - You might want to rethink your last comment.... try a username with a "four letter word" in it or a racial slur and see how far your freedom goes......

I do appreciate the complement, though. Well, maybe all but the "Republican" part.....

-- Posted by Thomas Paine on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 6:44 PM

Right you are, sir...I stand corrected.

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 6:53 PM

I could care less on his party affiliation but his office helped get back SSD for a very deserving person.

-- Posted by ladyinthewoods on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 2:38 PM

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