Letter to the Editor

Baird continues to vote for party over people

Thursday, February 25, 2021

To the Editor:

Once again, Congressman James Baird has voted for his party over the people in Indiana. Baird began this trend in 2010, when he was elected State Representative in District 44. Baird consistently voted against public schools in District 44, by voting for a Republican budget that forgave $91 million in charter school debt and expanded virtual school funding, while funding our traditional public schools at 2008 levels. Forty percent of the schools in Indiana lost funding under the formula.

Baird voted to privatize the annuity work for the Teachers Retirement Fund (TRF) and the Public Employees Retirement Fund (PERF) for public employees, police officers and firefighters, reducing benefits by up to 25 percent. Baird voted for a punitive A-F school letter grade system for public schools and for high-stakes testing, while neglecting to raise teacher pay over the last decade. Baird has received a rating of “F” from the Indiana Coalition for Public Education (ICPE) based on his voting record against traditional public schools.

Baird voted against our LGBTQ community members by voting for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), resulting in the loss of millions of dollars for the state. Baird voted for House Enrolled Act 1337, a bill that violated the privacy between women and their doctors. This bill punished women who suffer a miscarriage by requiring that the fetus be buried or cremated.

Baird voted for Right to Work, which harmed working men and women in Indiana. He also hurt families in Indiana by voting in 2017 for a gas tax increase that also included a $15 increase for vehicle registration. This bill contained annual gas tax hikes for the following five years.

Baird has failed to invest in reliable internet access for the constituents in House District 44. Our rural hospitals, fire departments and ambulance services have been negatively affected by Baird’s budget votes.

Baird voted against mandatory drug testing for home healthcare employees, due to his involvement in this business and the additional costs, putting vulnerable Hoosiers and veterans who are homebound in danger.

In his congressional position, Baird has seditiously voted to object to presidential electors in Pennsylvania and Arizona based upon lies and disproven conspiracy theories. He also voted against impeaching President Trump on the charge of incitement of insurrection for the attack on the Capitol which resulted in five deaths, including that of a Capitol police officer, at our Nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Baird voted against a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill, expanding the Affordable Care Act and extending housing assistance due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Baird voted against allowing the federal government to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. 

Enough is enough. The constituents in the 4th Congressional District deserve much better. Shame on Baird for his continued support of party over people. Working families continue to struggle due to COVID-19. Companies have halted contributions to Baird. Voters in the 4th Congressional District must halt giving votes to Baird.

Kim Fidler