Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dan Coats Leads Primary, General Election Rivals in Bid to Return to Senate

Bruce Drake

Contributing Editor

Former GOP Sen. Dan Coats, who represented Indiana from 1989 to 1999, holds double-digit leads over rivals both in the race for the Republican senatorial nomination and the general election contest, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted April 22-26 for the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics.

As Tuesday's primary nears, Coats had support of 36 percent of likely voters, followed by former Rep. John Hostettler at 24 percent and state Sen. Marlin Stutzman at 18 percent, with two other candidates in single digits and 13 percent undecided. The margin of error is 5 points.

Stutzman has been endorsed by the Senate Conservatives Fund which, like the Tea Party movement, has backed anti-establishment conservatives. Still, Coats outpolls Stutzman 34 percent to 20 percent among those with a favorable view of the Tea Party movement, and by 30 percent to 23 percent among those who say they identify with the movement.
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For the general election, Coats leads Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth 47 percent to 31 percent with 22 percent undecided. Hostettler also leads Ellsworth 45 percent to 32 percent with 23 percent undecided, as does Stutzman, by 41 percent to 35 percent with 25 percent undecided.

The race is for the seat now held by Democrat Evan Bayh, who chose not to seek re-election.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fred Thompson And Indiana Right To Life Endorses Dan Coats

Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson Endorses Dan Coats

Calls Coats ‘Solid, Principled Conservative’

INDIANAPOLIS (April 27, 2010) – Adding to the growing list of conservative leaders endorsing Dan Coats including Congressman Mike Pence and Dr. James Dobson, former Senator Fred Thompson released the following statement in support of Dan Coats for United States Senate:

“I’ve known and worked with Dan Coats for a number of years. He’s a solid, principled conservative, and a leader of our Republican Party. I’ve seen him represent the people of Indiana honorably. When we were together in the Senate, I witnessed moments where Dan had to make tough votes that some in our party might not have agreed with, but he did it because he knew it was the right thing to do. Making those kinds of decisions aren’t easy; Dan never took them lightly, and I know his experience and leadership are greatly needed in Washington right now.

“That’s why I endorse and support Dan Coats for a return to the United States Senate, and I hope conservatives and Republicans in Indiana do the same,” Thompson said.

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Bishop Brandt Blocks Expansion Efforts of Nuns who Supported Health Bill

By James Tillman

GREENSBURG, PA, April 19, 2010 ( -- The Sisters of St. Joseph in Baden, Pennsylvania opposed the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by supporting the Health Care Reform Bill. Now Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt of Greensburg has withdrawn his diocese's support for their community by prohibiting the use of any diocesan media or parishes in their recruitment efforts.

"He has the right to disapprove a request from a religious community that wants to host a recruitment event when that community has taken a public stance in opposition to the Church's teaching on human life," said diocesan spokesman Jerry Zufelt.

“Furthermore an environment of dissent and public opposition to the positions of the U.S. Catholic bishops does not provide an appropriate seedbed for vocations."

The Sisters of St. Joseph had signed a letter written by NETWORK, a Catholic "social justice" lobbying group, which urged members of Congress "to cast a life affirming 'yes' vote" to the Senate Health Care Reform Bill. The USCCB as well as countless pro-life organizations had opposed the bill as seriously flawed and as opening the floodgates to federal funding of abortion.

Afterwards, the Sisters of St. Joseph requested promotional support from Greensburg parishes for a vocations awareness program called "Explore," which was meant to show teenage girls what it was like to be a sister. They were refused because of their signing of the letter.

Msgr. Lawrence T. Persico, the Greensburg diocese's vicar general, wrote a letter on April 8 to diocesan priests stating that no diocesan office, the diocesan newspaper, or any parish or event would "would promote a vocation awareness program of any religious community that has taken a stance against the United States bishops by being a signatory of the Network document."

Sister Mary Pellegrino, moderator of the leadership team of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, claimed that "based on our prayerful discernment and careful research" there would be no public funding of abortion caused by the bill.

"It would not violate the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Church," she said. Her community has requested that the diocese reverse its decision

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Eighth U.S. Bishop Severs Ties with Anti-Poverty Arm, CCHD

by Patrick B. Craine

GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, April 26, 2010 ( - Bishop Lawrence Brandt of Greensburg, Pennsylvania announced Thursday that his diocese will no longer support the U.S. bishops' domestic anti-poverty arm, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), because the national organization has funded groups that promote activities contrary to Catholic teaching.

Speaking at a fundraising dinner for Catholic Charities of Greensburg, the bishop announced his plan to develop a Diocesan Poverty Relief Fund to support the poor locally with funds that had previously been sent to the national CCHD.

"This change allows our diocese to know exactly how the poverty relief funds are spent,” he said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It also assures the parishioners who make generous contributions to the diocese that they are helping their neighbors right here in southwestern Pennsylvania."

He explained that he made the decision at the end of 2009 following complaints to him and his priests. He also stressed that no local CCHD grants, which are approved by the local bishop, had been given to groups advocating positions contrary to Church teaching

A statement from the diocese, reported by the Post-Gazette, noted that "Bishop Brandt and other U.S. bishops have been critical of CCHD because some of the national grants it awarded did not receive appropriate oversight, and monies were used to fund activities that were not in keeping with the teachings of the Catholic Church."

Monsignor Raymond E. Riffle, managing director of Catholic Charities for the diocese, told the Herald Standard that the new diocesan program will allow the funds to be used to support direct services to the poor, which are specifically denied funds by CCHD. "CCHD funds cannot be used, for example, to help a parish food pantry or a St. Vincent de Paul Society store expand its services or fill an emergency need," Msgr. Riffle said. "The Diocesan Poverty Relief Fund also allows us to respond to requests from these worthwhile organizations for funds to buy food, clothing and other necessities and then distribute them to people in need."

Bishop Brandt also made headlines last week after he denied his diocese's support to the Sisters of St. Joseph in Baden, Pennsylvania because they went against the U.S. bishops in supporting the health care reform bill.

See related coverage:

Bishop Brandt Blocks Expansion Efforts of Nuns who Supported Health Bill

Seventh Bishop Won't Take Up CCHD Collection

List of Bishops:
Bishop Robert J. Baker - Birmingham, Alabama
Bishop John O. Barres - Allentown, Pennsylvania
Bishop Lawrence Brandt - Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz - Lincoln, Nebraska
Bishop Victor Galeone - St. Augustine, Florida Statement
Bishop Robert C. Morlino - Madison, Wisconsin Statement
Bishop David Ricken – Green Bay, Wisconsin LSN
Bishop Edward J. Slattery - Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Can You Afford Just $5.00 A Month?

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It's times like these that tempt Catholics to throw in the towel and give up on the culture of despair.

Greed and corruption have wreaked havoc on our nation's economy. Euthanasia just received Washington State's stamp of approval. And all the pro-life victories of the past decade are now in jeopardy. It's the perfect storm for despair. But despair is the last thing we should do.

In troubled times, Christ calls us to pray, to trust in his perfect will, and to cooperate with his grace.

Ultimately, Christ calls us to hope. He calls us to remember that for Christians, peace does not rest on who wins an election or on the value of our stock portfolios, but in a loving God who “in for good.”

Of course, God doesn't just call us to hope. He gives us reasons to hope and signs of the good things to come.

I truly believe one of those reasons, one of those signs, is the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center.

While many other Catholic institutions have sold out to the culture of death, the Portiuncula, along with a few others, has fought steadfastly for a culture of life. It has faithfully stood alongside the Church, forming men and women capable of true leadership and committed to bringing Christ to the culture.

But the Portiuncula Retreat Center can't be built alone. To build, we need your help! And that is why I'm writing you today: To invite you to join me in helping our culture through these troubled times by helping build the Portiuncula Retreat Center.

United in the Roman Catholic tradition and obedient to the Magisterium of the Church and the Bishop of Steubenville, we are committed to our Lord and Savior in the Scriptures, the Eucharist, the Sacraments of the Church and in our Brothers and Sisters.

With God's grace and your help, I believe past Portiuncula retreatants and those soon to follow in their footsteps will lead our culture and our country out of these troubled times.

That is why I invite you to share the work of these Catholics and the Portiuncula Hermitage that is forming them.

First, allow them to pray for you.

Prayer is the lifeblood of the Portiuncula Hermitage, and the Franciscan family would be honored to include you in their prayers. Please e-mail your most pressing intentions to:

Everyone at the Portiuncula will pray for your intentions before the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and at Mass.

In turn, please pray for the Portiuncula, that it might continue to form leaders who can be salt and light to our world.

Finally, I would be grateful if you supported the work of building the Portiuncula Chapel with a generous financial contribution.

Your support of the Portiuncula will make it possible for the sons and daughters of the Church to grow in faith during their retreats, and become the courageous Catholic leaders the world desperately needs.

Today, I want to ask you to become a partner in the Portiuncula's mission to build the Portiuncula Retreat Center by simply donating $5.00 $10.00 or $15.00 a month.



Or mail your Alms to:

Portiuncula Hermitage
% 508 South 16th Street
Richmond, IN 47374

Please, become a part of the Portiuncula Hermitage's work today. Don't let this chance to turn the culture around pass you by.

Pax Et Bonum!



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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mike Pence Jokes About Running For President in 2012

Dave Weigel reports that Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, another favorite of movement conservatives and Tea Partiers, joked about running for president last night:

At last night's Washington Press Club Foundation dinner, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) used his lighthearted, deadpan speaking slot to indulge the speculation that he's looking at a 2012 presidential bid.

"I'm trying to get over that all-important 3 percent mark in the straw polls," said Pence. He recounted a phony conversation with President Obama in which the president questioned whether the country was ready for a "politician from the Midwest ... with so much experience."

"Maybe I'm overqualified," said Pence with a smirk.

I know, I know: it's only 2010. But keep in mind Republicans will begin to declare their candidacies or the creation of "exploratory committees" in a little over six months from now.

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Former Coats and Hostettler Staffer Makes Choice: Dan Coats!

Curt Smith
Executive Director
Indiana Family Institute
(Focus on the Family of Indiana)

By Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS — When it comes to the Republican U.S. Senate race, Curt Smith has had vivid relationships with four of the five candidates. He helped launch Richard Behney's campaign and he's worked with State Sen. Marlin Stutzman on marriage legislation with the Indiana Family Institute. He's been Dan Coats' Senate state director and congressman John Hostettler's chief of staff.

When it comes to the Senate primary, Smith is making it clear whom he supports: Dan Coats.

"When Dan called me and said he was getting back in the race, I was very excited because I know a little bit about the Senate having worked there for six years," Smith said. "I know how senators interact with one another. I am thoroughly convinced that Dan Coats would be the best possible senator from Indiana. That's not to take anything away from John Hostettler. John is a smart guy. But the House of Representatives is wholesale where groups and blocks come together to advance legislation. The Senate is retail. You've got to have ‘Triple A’ people skills on legislation to get votes on your issues. I just don't think John Hostettler is as well suited for the Senate as Dan Coats."

The Senate primary is a presumed race between the two former Members of Congress, though Stutzman has won the endorsement of the American Conservative Union and U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint. A fifth candidate, Don Bates Jr., has asserted that unlike Coats, Hostettler and Stutzman, he has no government experience and, thus, has not been “part of the problem.”

With Hostettler, whom he met at a 1994 Promise Keepers convention, Smith explained, "John's used to putting coal in there and getting electricity out of here and that's not always how the legislative process works." Hostettler graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute and was an engineer at Vectren before he ran for Congress. "A lot of times you need to bring the people skills in. You have to advance the conversation."

"It's not only because Dan's been there before and served years in the Senate; it's his people skills, his ability to reach out to folks. He can do something with someone who was as far to the left as Ted Kennedy and not compromise his principles and not give the store away," Smith explained. “He has the skills to negotiate with people who think differently; to blur the ideological lines and look for consensus. Dan Coats will make the logical argument and establish the principles, but he knows that the art of persuasion includes a human dimension. Dan is going to connect with people.”

"It's tough seeing John Hostettler having those kind of people skills," Smith continued. "I think John has this notion that the Senate is where you go and reflect. Because you have a six-year term it's the longest horizon in government, it's not a deliberative and reflective body as the Jimmy Stewart movies would suggest. The reality is the United States Senate is as reactive as the House, it just reacts differently."

Asked for examples, Smith pointed to Coats' work to revamp the U.S. tax code in 1986 and his pioneer efforts on what he called the Project for American Renewal that eventually formed the structure for President George W. Bush's faith-based initiatives.

On the tax code, Smith explained, "Dan secured a promise from President Reagan in a meeting with House Republicans. Dan almost single handedly was responsible for doubling the dependency exemption."

As for Hostettler, Smith explained, "I just see John as a guy who makes the case and then he says, 'You decide.' Sometimes you've got to do more than that. You have to stay with it, be passionate and make the message. It was hard to get him to return media calls. He did not want to do fundraising. He did not want to meet with some of the constituent groups."

There's another element to Smith's perception that Coats would be the better Republican nominee over Hostettler and that has to do with the 2006 election that Hostettler lost to U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth — the presumed Democratric Senate nominee — by 22 percent.

Howey Politics Indiana reported in October 2006 that Hostettler essentially gave up on that race, citing several high-level Evansville Republicans. Smith recalls, "I sent you an e-mail saying you were crazy." But in retrospect, Smith explained, "I don't really know what happened in 2006. I did not see him as giving up. I saw him as being fatalistic.”

That 2006 loss — the biggest by an incumbent that year — is in Smith's mind Hostettler's greatest liability. "The really tough question for John Hostettler to answer in his Senate campaign is why should he be the one to carry the Republican Party's banner when he lost to Brad Ellsworth by 22 points?" Smith said. "That's the question and I don't think John has a good answer."

The columnist publishes at

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mystic Monk Coffee: Order Through The Portiuncula And Donate To Birthright (a loving alternative to Abortion)

The Carmelite Monks of Wyoming

Mystic Monk Coffee is roasted by the Carmelite Monks, a Roman Catholic monastery in the silence and solitude of the Rocky Mountains of northern Wyoming. The monks live a hidden life of prayer and contemplation in the pursuit of God. The monastery is inundated with young men who seek to leave everything to pray for the world, in a tradition at least a thousand years old. It is the monks' great joy and privilege to share the fruit of their life with you in every cup of Mystic Monk Coffee.

The Monk Master Roaster

Brother Java is the master roaster who meticulously roasts beans in small batches. His philosophy is that each roast must be not only the labor of his hands, but a master roast of the highest quality. Brother Java is passionate about obtaining the perfect roasts for you. He carefully roasts only the finest gourmet beans under conditions that will make each roast consistent and smooth with a taste that will make your taste buds tingle. With experience and perfection, Mystic Monk Coffee is a coffee to savor and enjoy - with or without cream.

The Legend of the First Monk

Coffee is a product perfected and loved by monks from its beginning. When a monk of old heard the anguished tale of a shepherd who had sleepless goats, he himself discovered growing on shrubs the berries, which had such a wonderful affect. Delighted at his find, the ingenious monk boiled the beans in water and drank the resulting coffee. He found in his discovery a hot drink that could keep his eyes awake even amidst the midnight vigils and unceasing prayers of the monastic life.

The secret coffee continues to keep minks ever alert and vigilant for their prayers, but now Mystic Monk Coffee shared the hidden, master roasts of monks with all who seek a delightful cup of coffee.

Monks are Passionate Perfectionists

The monastic life is one of ordered perfection, which you will taste in every bag of Mystic Monk Coffee. Passionate about perfection, no challenge is too great for Brother Java and the monks, if it will result in a Mystic Monk brew suited for the most discriminating coffee drinker. The Carmelite monks have mastered the ancient art of roasting coffee, laboring with steadfast determination to make each cup of coffee simply superb. Taste the monastic perfection in each brew, which makes all the difference.

To Order Direct:
simply click on the
Mystic Monk Icon
at the
top of this page.

Please remember that the Portiuncula Hermitage tithes ten percent of all their Mystic Monk Coffee sales to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion).

Fra Chris


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Dan Coats Endorsed By Congressman Mike Pence Is "Old" New News

IN Senate Race: What’s old is “news”

April 21, 2010 - 3:20 PM | by: Steve Brown

What's your definition of news?

Is it information that's 2 1/2 months old?

It was for Dan Coats last night.

In a five-candidate race, Coats is considered a slight favorite in the May 4th Indiana Republican primary for the US Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Evan Bayh. After Tuesday night's televised GOP Senate debate, Coats told reporters he had an announcement to make, before taking questions.

Coats said, "Lemme just pass on some news that I'd like to give you here. I'm really pleased to announce tonight that fact I just got off the phone with Mike Pence. He's given me his unqualified endorsement and support for this race which I'm thrilled to have. He said some very good things about me when I indicated my intention to run. He's been supportive but say he's given me now his unqualified support very important to me and I'm very appreciative." (You can watch Coats says this for yourself on the video linked to this story.)

The endorsement announcement was bigger than anything that happened in the debate. Congressman Mike Pence is very influential among Indiana Republicans. In the minds of many Hooiser GOP'ers only Governor Mitch Daniels endorsement would be bigger. (And Daniels in not endorsing. He says he'll back the primary winner.)

Wednesday morning, on Coats' campaign FaceBook page, the status trumpeted the Pence endorsement:

Dan Coats for Indiana Big News! Congressman Mike Pence has given Dan his unqualified endorsement for the U.S. Senate!

The thing is...Pence's backing was old news. That's how Pence's chief of staff Bill Smith described it when contacted by Fox News.

In early February, a statement of support for Coats candidacy was issued. This was shortly after Coats' announcement that he intended to join the race. The Pence statement was picked up by some DC media outlets.

Roll Call on February 3rd ran the following quote attributed to Pence:

“I am very excited about the possibility that former Senator Dan Coats may run for the United States Senate in 2010 and I sincerely hope he does it,” Pence said in a statement. “His integrity and conservative record would make him the ideal candidate for Hoosiers. If he runs, I will support him.”

Fifteen days later, Coats filed to run in the Indiana Senate election.

Smith says since that February statement, "The Congressman has not been hesitant" to tell reporters who asked that he was a Coats-backer. Smith made it clear in a telephone interview that while the February statement did not contain the word 'endorsement', it was certainly considered one by Pence.

Still, there was at least some confusion about Pence's backing of Coats. Some supporters had contacted Pence's offices asking who the Representative liked in the primary. Smith says all who inquired were told the same thing, "Coats".

But it shouldn't have been confusing for people who visit Coats campaign website. On a page titled "What They're Saying" a Pence quote sits atop the list:

Congressman Mike Pence: “His integrity and conservative record would make him the ideal candidate for Hoosiers.” (Congressional Quarterly, 2/3/10)

So, did Coats just plain get it the timing wrong with his post-debate "news" announcement?


Kevin Kellems of the Coats campaign sent an e-mail this morning which reads in part:

"Cong. Pence called Dan after the debate. I don't speak for him, but I believe the reason the Congressman reached out to Dan was to make it clear that his statement of support that came very early on was indeed an endorsement."

So, Coats did have Pence's endorsement all along...even before Coats was officially in the race. And certainly a lot of people missed it (including this reporter). But was Coats post-debate announcement last night "news" as he said?

As we says around here at Fox, "You decide."

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Begging For Stones in Ozark, Ohio

Catholics in Monroe County, Ohio are being asked to collect all their field stones and drop them off at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery on Ozark-Eddy Bridge Road so that we can duplicate this Portiuncula Chapel located at the Franciscan University of Steubenville

"Francis set to begging for stones with which to restore the church of San Damiano. He called to the passers-by: 'Whoever gives me one stone will have one reward; two stones, two rewards; three stones, a treble reward!' "

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions

We are begging our Catholic brothers and sisters in Monroe County, Ohio to round up all their field stones and dump them into the woods next to the Immaculate Conception Cemetery on Ozark-Eddy Bridge Road (in the direction of the large white house towards Woodsfield). These stones will be used to erect the Portiuncula Chapel.


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Monday, April 19, 2010

Dr. James Dobson Endorses Dan Coats

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson is wading into the Indiana Senate race in a radio ad endorsing Republican Dan Coats, a former senator.

“Dan has been a consistent leader of pro-family causes and a stalwart defender of unborn children. If my wife Shirley and I were Hoosiers, we would definitely vote for Dan Coats in the May 4th primary,” Dobson states in a radio spot that will begin airing statewide Tuesday through early May. “I am excited about the prospect of having him in the Senate again.”

The Colorado-based Focus on the Family is one of the nation’s most prominent evangelical Christian groups. Dobson is no longer its head, and he stressed that his endorsement was personal and not on behalf of any organization.

Coats is a leading contender for his party’s nomination for the open Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, who is retiring.

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Dan Coats Widens Lead In Rasmussen Poll

Rasmussen Election 2010
Indiana Senate:

Coats 54%, Ellsworth 33%

Following his vote for the national health care plan, Democratic Congressman Brad Ellsworth's support remains stuck in the low 30s, while two of his Republican opponents now earn 50% or more of the vote in Indiana’s U.S. Senate race.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Indiana finds that 65% favor repeal of the recently passed health care law. Just 29% in the state oppose repeal. Those findings include 56% who strongly favor repeal versus 21% who strongly oppose it.

Support for repeal is even stronger in Indiana than the national average.

As for the candidates, the latest poll finds former Senator Dan Coats with 54% support, up five points from last month. In that match-up, 33% of voters prefer Ellsworth. Five percent (5%) like another candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.

If Hostettler, a former congressman, is the Republican candidate, he picks up 50% of voters. Against Hostettler, Ellsworth earns 33% of the vote. Five percent (5%) prefer someone else in the race, and 12% are undecided.

The third GOP hopeful, State Senator Marlin Stutzman, gets 41% support again this month, and Ellsworth earns 36% of the vote. Seven percent (7%) favor another candidate. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided.

This is the first time that Coats has outperformed Hostettler. Coats previously represented Indiana in the U.S. Senate before retiring from office. His return was initially with skepticism by some Hoosiers. Indiana Republicans will pick their nominee in a May 4 primary.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

Coats earns 78% of the votes of those who strongly favor repeal, while Ellsworth gets 79% of the votes of those who are strongly opposed. The spread is similar if Hostettler is the Republican in the race. In a Stutzman/Ellsworth match-up, the Republican gets 62% of those who strongly favor repeal, while the Democrats’ support among those who are strongly opposed rises to 82%.

In three surveys to date, Ellsworth’s overall voter support has held to the range of 27% to 36%. Stutzman has earned roughly 40% support in those surveys, while Coats and Hostettler have both risen from 46% support in February.

Voters in the state not affiliated with either major party prefer Coats and Hostettler to Ellsworth, but the Democrat edges Stutzman among these voters.

Fourteen percent (14%) of all Indiana voters have a very favorable opinion of Ellsworth, while 16% view him very unfavorably.

Coats is viewed very favorably by 17% and very unfavorably by eight percent (8%).

For Hostettler, very favorables are 14% and very unfavorables nine percent (9%).

Stutzman has very favorables of six percent (6%) and very unfavorables of seven percent (7%).

At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dan Coats Outraises Foes For GOP Senate Bid

Dan Coats and Chris Dickson
Sylvia A Smith
Washington editor

WASHINGTON – Dan Coats primed the pump with a $25,000 infusion from his personal bank account into his campaign for the Republican nomination for Senate and headed into the final weeks of the campaign with $331,057 on hand.

He is one of five Republicans jostling to be the GOP nominee for the seat being vacated by Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., who announced he is not running for re-election.

Don Bates reported $52,250 in the bank as of March 31 and said he has $45,300 in unpaid campaign bills.

He raised $86,865 from individual donors and none from political action committees.

The other candidates in the May 4 primary – Marlin Stutzman, Richard Behney and John Hostettler – did not respond to requests for copies of their reports, which were due by midnight Thursday.

Coats did not enter the campaign until early February and in less than two months had raised $292,049 from individuals and $62,250 from PACs.

His campaign provided summary information of the January-through-March campaign report, which does not include the details of who gave money. However, some donors have filed their own reports. PACs controlled by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., each sent Coats $5,000. A PAC controlled by Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., donated $10,000.

Coats, a former senator and Washington lobbyist, was expected to easily tap into donors to power his campaign.

Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-8th, the likely Democratic nominee, reported he had $1 million in the bank as of March 31. He started the year with $519,643 and raised $621,819 in the first three months of the year.

He collected $314,676 from individuals and $301,892 from PACs.

Ellsworth received the maximum $10,000 from at least 15 PACs: American Association for Justice, American Crystal Sugar Co., American Federation of State County and Municipal Workers, National Association of Credit Unions, Home Depot, International Association of Bridge Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Midwest Region Laborers, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAIC Inc., United Food and Commercial Workers, and PACs operated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii; Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

GoodSearch: Please Help Build The Portiuncula Chapel

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dan Coats (Mr. Pro-Life) Television Add To Air Tomorrow

Dan Coats Add To Air Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, Dan Coats will be the first candidate for the U.S. Senate to hit the airwaves with a television advertisement to air across Indiana.

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Pro-Life Dan Coats Leads Indiana Senate Republican Primary

Exclusive: Leaked Senate Primary Poll

By Hoosier Advocate | April 10, 2010

Hoosier Advocate has obtained exclusive results of internal statewide polling conducted by one of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate in Indiana. The results suggest that three of the candidates stand decent chances of succeeding, with the race still wide open.

A telephone survey of likely voters across the state finds former Senator Dan Coats and former Congressman John Hostettler virtually tied at 29% and 26% respectively, within the margin of error. State Senator Marlin Stutzman also remains in striking distance with 18% of likely voters. The survey was taken last Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Nineteen percent (19%) remain undecided in that match-up. Here are the results of the head to head match-up:

Candidate April 6-7
Don Bates, Jr. 5%
Richard Beheny 3%
Dan Coats 29%
John Hostettler 26%
Marlin Stutzman 18%
Undecided 19%

Unless there is a major shift in the electorate, Don Bates, Jr. and Richard Beheny face little chance of winning the primary. Ironically these two anti-establishment candidates appear to be helping the establishment’s candidate, Dan Coats, the most. According to the poll, voters who plan to vote for Bates or Beheny (8% of primary voters) would otherwise vote for Hostettler and Stutzman.

Coats is viewed favorably by 30% and very unfavorably by 22% of likely Republican voters. Hostettler is viewed very favorably by 32% and very unfavorably by 5%. Stutzman is viewed favorably by 20%, while 3% regard him very unfavorably.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

MSNBC: Coats hits 'socialistic' Obama, defends record

From NBC’s Domenico Montanaro

WASHINGTON -- Former Sen. Dan Coats, running for the open Indiana Senate seat that will be vacated by Evan Bayh (D), said he is running out of a “call of duty,” because he said he believes the current “radical” administration, is “moving this country rapidly toward a European Socialist style of government.”

“Wasn’t it Margaret Thatcher that said the whole thing wrong with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money?” Coats, 66, said in an interview here with First Read. Asked if he sees this administration as “moving toward socialism,” Coats said, “I do. I do. I think this is a socialistic agenda. It’s definitely moving this country rapidly toward a European socialist style of government.”

Coats, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, is facing a primary -- which takes place in 22 days -- from the right, notably from former congressman John Hostettler. Coats served in Washington for 28 years, beginning in 1980, first as a congressman then, in 1989 as a senator. Coats served as a district representative for Dan Quayle from 1976 to 1980 and was appointed to replace Quayle, when Quayle became vice president.

His ties to Washington have become an issue in this cycle of anti-Washington fervor. After leaving the Senate, Coats was an ambassador to Germany, registered as a lobbyist and lived in Virginia -- not Indiana, something that has become an issue as well.

But Coats said he is focused on retail campaigning and getting reacquainted with Indianans by participating in numerous forums sponsored by various Tea Party groups and county Republican parties. And today, in fact, his wife Marcia was baking apple pie at a pie auction in the Hoosier state. (What makes it great, he said, is the crust.)

With regard to the other Republican candidates, Coats said he is trying to stay positive. “Ideologically, we’re all singing off the same song sheet,” Coats said. That’s the message he reiterates to conservative primary voters, particularly those who identify with the Tea Party and are wary of an insider like Coats with more than three decades of Washington experience.

Coats, however, is trying to sell his experience as a positive. He tells them that his knowledge of how the Senate works can bring real change. “The nature of the issues before us, you know, experience helps.”

Plus, he said, “It’s been 12 years since I’ve served. And a lot has changed.” In particular, this administration. He explained that there is “downright anger toward the Obama administration for what they perceive as, which I agree with, a pretty radical leftward tilt. And a massive expansion of government resulting in massive debt and frightening deficit and long-term debt.”

But Hostettler, for one, doesn’t see Coats’ experience as a good thing. In a Web video, he attacks Coats on abortion (for voting for Bill Clinton Supreme Court appointee Ruth Bader Ginsburg) and on gun rights (for voting for “the Clinton gun ban and the Brady Bill.”)

"When Dan Coats was elected to the Senate,” an announcer in the ad says, “he assured us that he was one of us, a Hoosier conservative. But something happened to Dan Coats while he was in Washington. … Now after a 12-year absence from Indiana, Dan Coats wants us to believe he will represent our values in Washington. ... We've had enough of compromise.”

The 1998 Almanac of American Politics, however, wrote: “Coats is strongly against abortion -- a leader on the fetal tissue research ban, an opponent of RU-486 and the Henry Foster for surgeon general nomination. He sponsored a law allowing parents to block dial-a-porn phone numbers and one banning ‘indecent or lewd’ material on the Internet. Most interestingly, he has proposed a series of laws designed to strengthen families and faith-based institutions.”

Home -- Indiana or Washington?
Coats has been criticized for living in Virginia since leaving Congress -- instead of Indiana -- and for taking a job as a lobbyist. Coats, who is originally from Fort Wayne, now maintains a residence in Indianapolis.

He said he stayed in Washington for family -- and money.

“Grandkids were here,” Coats said of the Washington area. “My kids were here. They’ve been raised here. … It was mainly a family matter and a financial matter. … There were good job opportunities here, better job opportunities here.”

“Better paying, in particular,” this reporter said.

“Better paying,” Coats affirmed, and then pivoted. “So, we’re back. I am a resident of Indiana now, living in Indiana now. I feel a very close connection to the people who welcomed me back.” He added that he chose Indianapolis, because it’s easier to campaign from there. “Right now, we’re living in Indianapolis,” he said, “because it’s the center of the state and campaigning and all statewide. Fort Wayne’s up in the corner.”

It’s a seven-hour drive from Ft. Wayne to Evansville, Brad Ellsworth’s hometown, Coats pointed out. From Indianapolis, it’s 2 ½ hours. Ellsworth, a former sheriff and current congressman from the eighth congressional district, a swing district in the southwestern corner of the state, is the likely Democratic nominee.

In 1996, when he announced he would not run for re-election, Coats explained his reasoning for stepping away this way, per the Almanac: “If politics is not your life, when do you leave? I want to leave when I am young enough to contribute somewhere else -- young enough to resume a career outside government. I want to leave when there is still a chance to follow God's leading to something new.”

Defending lobbying role
Coats also spoke at length about his lobbying, defending his role.

The Washington Post reported:

“The former senator has had scores of corporate lobbying clients over the years, including health-care firms (Amgen, United Health Group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America), bailout recipients (Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch) and communications companies (BellSouth, Sprint Nextel, Verizon). Another past client is Cerberus Capital Management, where Dan Quayle -- whose seat Coats took over in the Senate -- is a top executive. Lobbying disclosure records also show that Coats represented foreign firms or governments that could prove controversial, including the Indian government and Bombardier, a Canadian aerospace firm. Coats also represented a Texas oil-and-gas company that partnered with Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, records show.”

Coats said that characterization of the work he did unfair. “What it turned out was that every allegation they put out there was factually wrong,” Coats said of Democratic operatives.

He went point by point. Coats, who said he was just a “part-time” lobbyist, said he never lobbied for any company while they were trying to secure bailout money.

“Our firm represented Bank of America on one issue and one issue only for about a three-month period that ended long before TARP was ever thought of.” He said it was a “very narrow patent issue” that “had nothing to do with outsourcing of jobs; it had nothing to do with TARP. End of story. We represented Bank of America for three months. We wish we represented them on a lot more things, but we don’t.” And he said he wasn’t involved “at all” in representing Bank of America.

On the Chavez oil company connection, Coats said, “The company we represented Harvest Natural Resources Company was a Houston oil company Chavez was trying to put out of business by annulling their contract, and extorting them and saying, ‘We’re going to nationalize you unless you pay us an exorbitant amount of money.”

Coats took it on because of his connection to the Indiana delegation. The head of that company wanted “to tell our story to Sen. Lugar” and Rep. Dan Burton. Lugar is the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Burton is a member of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee. He said he made two phone calls -- one to Lugar’s office and one to Burton’s office.

On being a “foreign agent,” Coats said, “Yes, I was in one instance” with relation to India. “One attorney in our firm was representing India and that person had received a request from the Indian government that their prime minister when he came here speak to the joint session of Congress. ‘Could you help me with this? Could you call Sen. Lott, then Senate majority leader, and Congressman Haster, then speaker of the House and say that the request has come in from the state of India that the prime minister speak to a joint session. I made those two calls. I had to register. So I registered.”

He said he represented Cerberus to help with their German operation because of his Germany ties, but never on getting bailout money.

Coats vs. Ellsworth, all about health care
While Coats didn’t want to criticize his Republican primary opponents, he had no problem taking shots at Ellsworth. He said Ellsworth used to be a “conservative Democrat,” but no more.

Why? Health care. Coats said he was “shocked” that Ellsworth “ignored the governor’s plea and the voters’ plea and instead voted for health care. That’s going to be a primary issue.”

He added, “Brad ran as a conservative Democrat in his first two race, but his support for Pelosi and Obama, and particularly on this health care against the wishes of the governor and strong wishes of the pro-life community, have left him in a position where he’s no longer seen as a conservative Democrat. He’s seen as someone who goes to Washington and falls right in with the rest -- and that is whatever the president and his leader in the House tell him to do, he does.”

On health care, Coats said he is running on repeal, but with a caveat. “I run on repeal,” he said, “but I am also candid that there’s no guarantee that repeal can succeed as long as President Obama has the veto pen. The numbers that would need to be reached to overturn a veto on that -- a two-thirds majority -- are going to be very hard to get unless there is a dramatic shift in numbers, but that’s why the election’s important.”

He also advocates for the conservative attorneys general push to challenge the constitutionality of the bill, particularly the mandate.

Obama, more ‘radical’ than Clinton
Coats served in the Senate in the 1990s when Clinton was president. In comparison to Clinton, Coats said Obama is much more “radical.”

“This agenda,” Coats said, “This pushing through in spite of the will of the people is in direct contrast to Bill Clinton, who had an agenda, but realized that it needed support from the people in order to succeed. Bill Clinton’s very good at measuring the public and the public mood and the public’s support. Barack Obama could care less about what the public thinks. He’s got the numbers and he’s going to jam his proposals through.”

The reality, however, is that Democrats wound up killing Clinton’s health-care bill. Clinton, like Obama, had sweeping majorities. And like Obama, the health-care bill ran into stiff resistance from a GOP opposition. But Democrats didn’t rally around Clinton the way Democrats did for Obama this time around. One of the reasons, arguably, is that Congressional Democratic leaders had more buy-in, since they were allowed to write the bills. It wasn’t handed to them from the White House.

Still, Coats dismissed Obama, who became the first Democrat to win Indiana since 1964. Coats said Obama “won on charisma” and has now ignored the will of the people, that he acts like “he knows better” -- something, he said, “that’s insulting to a lot of people. “And there’s a lot of frustration and a lot of anger and a lot of frankly,” he added, “disillusioned Democrats and independents who voted for him."

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mike Pence at SRLC

Coats clearly favored for Senate

Commentary By Sylvia A. Smith

WASHINGTON – The conventional wisdom is Hoosier Republicans will pick Dan Coats as their nominee for the Senate race.

Does conventional wisdom always hit the mark? Of course not. And you’re right to be suspicious when the subject is politics and the words are “conventional” and “wisdom.”

Nonetheless, unless something unexpected happens, the expected result will occur. That’s true in most endeavors, it’s true in politics generally, and it’s true in the Indiana GOP Senate primary.

When political handicappers look at any campaign, they ask a few basic questions: How well known is the candidate among voters? How much money does the campaign have? A subset of the money question includes questions about the competence of staff, the experience of an advertising team, the ability of the candidate to travel around the state. Does the candidate have voter appeal (a clear and memorable answer to “why should I vote for you?”)? What kind of baggage does the candidate have?

For most of those questions, Coats has the advantage over the four other candidates in the Republican primary.

He’s been a statewide officeholder, albeit more than a decade ago, and a lot of people may have a “Dan who?” reaction. But none of the other candidates has run or won a statewide race. They may be well known in pockets of Indiana – John Hostettler in the Evansville area he represented in Congress, Marlin Stutzman in the northern area he represents in the statehouse – but none has solid name recognition statewide.

So even if Coats’ recognition factor has dimmed in the years he’s been removed from Indiana, he has more of it than the others.

The other candidates could erase that advantage. But it takes money.

We won’t know until late this week how well the candidates have done in fundraising. But only three of them raised any money last year, and none of them had even $7,000 to start 2010 with. Seven grand would be nice in your bank account or mine, but it is diddlysquat in a statewide election.

Coats and Hostettler got into the race after Jan. 1, so they have not yet had to disclose how much money they have raised and from whom.

From his past campaigns and from his years as a lobbyist, Coats has a list of past donors to tap and plenty of D.C. connections. A political action committee controlled by Sen. John Kyl, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, sent Coats $10,000, and Sen. John McCain’s PAC contributed $5,000.

The other candidates simply don’t have those inroads into the money set. Even if they have fervent and generous individual donors, it takes twice as many individual donors giving the legal maximum ($2,400) to come close to the maximum contribution from a PAC ($5,000). Note: If Coats loses, he will have to send back half of the $10,000 that Kyl contributed.

There’s another clue that the other four candidates are not setting records in fundraising. None of them has aired a commercial. One proven way for an unknown candidate to become known is through commercials, TV in particular.

Because they are not spending money in the one sure-fire way to generate name identification, it suggests they don’t have the cash. Coats may also not have the name recognition he once had, but unless the other candidates are making inroads, he doesn’t have to spend money on TV commercials to stay ahead in that category.

It’s a guess – but an educated one – that when the candidates report how much money they raised in the first three months of this year, Coats will be in a better position than the other candidates.

Any of the four other candidates could make this election rough on Coats. So far, however, they largely seem to have taken a pass.

Hostettler has been the most hard-hitting, criticizing votes Coats made in 1993 on gun restrictions, confirming Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg and on a foreign-affairs spending bill that Hostettler said allowed tax money to pay for overseas abortions.

Hostettler’s ad might have some resonance these days. In the mid-1990s, senators tended to vote on Supreme Court nominees on the basis of the nominee’s “character, experience, qualifications and intelligence – not politics,” as Coats said at the time. Politics and ideology take a front seat in judicial confirmations these days.

But potent though Hostettler’s 2-minute video is, it will have no power because it is seen only on his campaign Web site. If Hostettler had the money, he’d air that video on TV.

Conventional wisdom could be turned on its ear in Indiana this year. The electoral mood is sour, and tea party activists – voters who seem more engaged than other GOP constituencies – have not warmed up to Coats and his establishment connections.

But that’s not enough. None of the four non-Coats candidates is a runaway favorite among the tea partiers, and it’s not yet clear how sizable that group is, anyway.

Hostettler has demonstrated he is willing to challenge Coats on his record. But until he has the money to be more visible in his attacks, and until the other candidates have the moxie – and the money – to go after Coats, conventional wisdom will prevail.

Sylvia A. Smith has worked at The Journal Gazette since 1973 and has covered Washington since 1989. She is the only Washington-based reporter who exclusively covers northeast Indiana. Her e-mail address is Her phone number is 202-879-6710.

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Dan Coats for Indiana

The first time I saw U.S. Senator Connie Mack was several years ago at a Catholic Men's Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Connie witnessed to over 8,000 men how then Senator Dan Coats, a Presbyterian, was holding weekly Bible Studies in the basement of the Senate Building. It was at one of the Bible Studies that Dan Coats led Connie Mack into a “born again” experience and back to his Roman Catholic faith.

A couple years later, when Dan and Marsha Coats left Germany as our American Ambassador, I spoke to Connie on the phone. He told me he had invited Dan to join his law firm and the two of them were lobbying for Pro-Life organizations, saving the lives of America's Pre-Born babies. It came as no surprise to me, then, when Sam Alito hired Dan Coats to be his lobbyist when he made his bid to become a Supreme Court Justice. After all, Justice Alito is one of the most conservative Pro-Life voices on the United States Supreme Court.

You can imagine my dismay when some young Republican's began a smear campaign against Dan Coats by pretending it was somehow filthy to be a lobbyist. If they were my kids, I would wash their mouths out with soap! After all, these young kids today have no idea what it means to be principled men of honesty, integrity, and high moral character like Dan Coats. The way they are running their campaigns prove it. Maybe that's why Congressman Mike Pence, another man of high moral character, endorsed Dan Coats for U.S. Senate and not one of them.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Mike Pence Number 2 in GOP Presidential Rankings

GOP 2012

Presidential Rankings

-- Updated!

Now, on to the rankings! (Previous ranking in parentheses.)

1) Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota. Since announcing in June that he won’t run for re-election, Pawlenty has visited 17 states and six foreign countries, according to reports. That includes New Hampshire, in December, for the first major visit of the 2012 cycle. He’s also come out for a balanced-budget constitutional amendment, which figures to be popular in the party. Just confirmed to speak at the big, big Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC), in New Orleans in April. (1)

2) Mike Pence, US Representative from Indiana. His Leadership PAC is called “Principles Exalt a Nation PAC.” He seems to be uninterested in lesser opportunities (ie, Senate against Evan Bayh, Governor 2012), and yet according to Politico he has hired serious new national-level campaign staffers, and according to Chris “The Fix” Cillizza he’s gathered a circle of advisors that includes Phil Gramm, Ed Meese, David McIntosh, and Tony Perkins. Hmmmm.... (2)

3) Jim DeMint, US Senator from South Carolina. I dropped him from #2 last time, but I may have been too rash. The conservatives love him, and he’s willing to take up any fight for them. It will be interesting to see whether he uses his PAC to help candidates and GOP committees in key outside-the-South states (like Iowa and New Hampshire).(4)

4) Rick Perry, Governor of Texas. Texas Monthly has just put Perry on the cover under the headline “Perry For President?!?” I’ve said all along that he’s in my top five if he wins re-election, and with the primary less than two months away, it’s starting to look really likely that he will. Oh, and later this month he’s hosting a “blogger summit” with some of the bigwigs of the right-wing blogosphere. (7)

5) John Thune, US Senator from South Dakota. Conservative Matt Lewis and moderate David Brooks have both touted him -- what’s that about? Plus, he got in a high-profile fight with Al Franken, which has got to be good for one’s conservative cred. If he delivers a standout speech at CPAC or SRLC, watch out. (3)

6) Mitt Romney, former Governor from Massachusetts. More evidence of my theory that Romney is pursuing a “blue-state strategy” that surrenders the South: Romney is not scheduled to speak at SRLC. That’s a big, big one to skip. (5)

7) Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi. His Leadership Pac is called “Haley’s PAC,” but his more important one is called the “Republican Governors Association.” (6)

8) Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives. He has yet another new Leadership PAC -- American Solutions PAC -- and a speaking slot at SRLC. Move him up! (11)

9) Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana. He keeps getting talked about, but as far as I can tell he doesn’t have a Leadership PAC. How do you run for President without a Leadership PAC? (8)

10) Eric Cantor, US Representative from Virginia. His Leadership Pac is “Every Republican Is Crucial PAC,” which spells ERIC PAC. Clever, huh? Clever or not, it’s the biggest money-raising Leadership PAC in the country. (12)

11) Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida. He’s becoming more visible and the idea of him running is getting taken more seriously by GOP insiders.(14)

12) Luis Fortuno, Governor of Puerto Rico. With one of those squiggly things over the ‘n’ that I don't know how to make on this blog. And no, I’m not making this up. I keep saying Republicans are dying to support a minority candidate, and apparently they had to go outside the 50 states to find one. (--)

13) Jon Kyl, US Senator from Arizona. He’s been awfully quiet. I have to drop him a few notches. (9)

14) Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana. I’m thinking more and more that he’s angling for VP ’12. (10)

15) Dan Quayle, former Vice President. He just endorsed conservative Ovide Lamontagne against GOP establishement favorite Kelly Ayotte in the New Hampshire US Senate primary. Why would someone insert themselves into New Hampshire Republican politics, I wonder? He’s been running in investment-banking circles, which are great for fundraising. Just 62 years old. (--)

16) Bob Corker, US Senator from Tennessee. His Leadership PAC is “Rock City PAC,” which apparently refers to a place in the Tennessee mountains known as Rock City. More to the point, he’s done little to suggest a 2012 run. (13)

17) Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas. His Leadership PAC is "HUCK PAC," but I don't think it stands for anything, so that's not very clever. On the patented Gore Scale, his waistline is clearly at "not a candidate." But his proxies are reportedly keeping very involved with the RNC primary-scheduling process.(15)

18) Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska. Signing a multi-year deal as a FOX News contributor says no 2012; so does not visiting New Hampshire on her book tour. But headlining SRLC (with no fee!) says maybe. (16)

19) Rick Santorum, former US Senator from Pennsylvania. His Leadership PAC is called America’s Foundation. It’s been very very quiet, and he’s been indiscrete about his 2012 plans -- which leads me to think he’s going the Dean route of declaring for President this summer. That gives him a year to work on winning the Iowa Straw Poll, thus catapulting him to be this cycle’s Huckabee. Huckabee lost, of course -- and that’s Santorum’s best-case scenario.(17)

20) Kay Bailey Hutchison, US Senator from Texas. Brilliantly poised if she comes back to beat Perry in the Texas guv primary. If. (21)

21) Paul Ryan, US Representative from Wisconsin. “Prosperity PAC” -- not bad, huh? Coming to New Hampshire next month, which would normally move him up a few spots, but I think he’s looking at 2016. Recently put out a statement saying “There is a zero percent chance I will be seeking the Republicans’ nomination for president in 2012.” He might even mean it. (18)

22) Marco Rubio, former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. The way his stock is rising among the movement conservatives, he might be able to run even if he loses the Florida Senate primary. (24)

23) George Pataki, former governor of New York. In the last Presidential cycle, Pataki was the very first to rent space in Manchester, NH -- terrific space, best available. Then he couldn’t raise any money so he didn’t make it to the starting line. He did a NH visit in November, and reportedly thinks things would go better this time without a better-known New York Republican in the race. I doubt it. (--)

24) Dirk Kempthorne, former Interior Secretary. Still quiet, still rumored. (19)

25) Chuck Grassley, US Senator from Iowa. “Hawkeye PAC.” Generally speaking, I like naming your Leadership PAC for your home state this way. But what if conservatives think it’s Alan Alda’s PAC? (20)

Dropping off the list: Michelle Bachmann, Lindsey Graham, Joe Scarborough

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