This is an open letter to a Jackie Walorski supporter who contacted me via Twitter. He asked me why I’m supporting Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly (IN-2) in the upcoming election. First things first, thank you for asking.
In the interest of full disclosure, I worked with Jackie while employed by Indiana University South Bend when I was there from June 1997 – November 1999. She and I worked in the Office of External Affairs. I enjoyed working with Jackie very much. I liked her personally and found her to be friendly, professional and hardworking. Though I haven’t had any contact with Jackie since she left IUSB, I still think very fondly of her.
When she won her seat in the Indiana House of Representatives in 2005, representing the 21st district, I was happy for her.
But as I watched her activity in the Statehouse, I found myself at odds with some of her decisions. One, in particular, was her move to add “fetuses” as a protected class to a hate-crimes bill. Another was a move (I don’t recall if it ever was introduced as a bill) where Jackie was pushing to have all state government signage printed in English only. It was a fiscal decision, she claimed. I viewed that as a cynical attempt to curry support from the far right wing who push for English as our national language (something I do not support).
She is an avowed anti-abortion legislator and I feel, given the chance, she would strive to overturn Roe v. Wade. I do not have any issue with people who are against abortion, but I do not believe it is the government’s place to tell you, me, or any woman what she may do with her own body.
She has accepted endorsements from Indiana Right to Life as well as Sarah Palin, neither of whom I could support.
I choose to continue supporting Joe Donnelly because he has, in my view, continued to vote with the best interests of his constituents. I’ve always held the view that if an incumbent hasn’t given me a good enough reason to not support him or her, I will continue to support that candidate with my vote. Donnelly also has supported issues with which I agree, including PPACA. Yes, it was a politically volatile vote, but I do believe it was the correct decision and falls well in line with my personal views.
While I self identify as a Democrat and consider myself a liberal-minded person, I am hardly a party zealot. I have voted for Richard Lugar whenever his name is on the ballot and I cast my vote for Mitch Daniels in the last gubernatorial election.
While I no longer live in South Bend, I have openly discussed my support of Joe Donnelly with Michiana residents and have told them why I continue to support him and cannot stand with Jackie Walorski.
Again, I find Jackie to be a wonderful person. I enjoyed knowing her when I worked with her. But I cannot in good faith support nor cast a vote for a person in whom I do not believe as a representative in the United States Congress. Therefore, I choose to support Joe Donnelly.
I appreciate you taking the time to ask for my opinion.