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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ellsworth makes stop at Brazil City Hall

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Evansville) discusses issues with Brazil resident Clifford Peterson Wednesday at Brazil City Hall. Jason Moon Photo.
U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Evansville) told a crowd at Brazil City Hall it is his duty to keep in touch with his constituents.

"We're trying to do 18 counties in five days," Ellsworth said. "It's rock-n-roll. This is the fun part of the job, most of the time."

Ellsworth paid a visit to Clay County residents Wednesday as part of his "Listening Tour."

While in Brazil, he offered residents the opportunity to ask him questions.

"I think that's extremely important," he said. "I feel obliged to stay in constant contact. What's important is what you all think. This is what we need to be doing."

Ellsworth hammered on several topics Wednesday, including healthcare, illegal immigration, social security, United States troops and the possibility of a draft.

Prior to fielding questions from an audience that eventually reached 30, Ellsworth talked about how difficult it can be to be a Congressman.

"What you learn up there does change you," Ellsworth said. "But I think it changes you for the good. It's a great experience and I'm learning every day."

Regarding the continual problem of illegal immigration, Ellsworth told county residents he understands why people want to live in America, but added there should be constant checks and balances.

"I don't blame people for wanting to come to this country for the American dream," he said. "But we've got to be smart about this. We can't go out and round up 12 million people.

"It's tough. It is a complicated issue, but our public expects us to do something. We don't want to waste your money, but we're still pushing."

One resident asked the Congressman if he knew anything regarding the rumor of the draft being reinstated. Ellsworth responded that he didn't know of any bill currently proposing the issue and then discussed how "scared" he was regarding equipment that is being provided to deployed troops.

"I am scared about our readiness," he said. "I went up thinking our military was the best prepared (in the world) and it probably is. But I'm a little shocked about our readiness.

"But we owe (the armed forces) anything, regardless if we think we should be there or not."

Another resident asked Ellsworth what his stance was regarding the possible privatization of Social Security.

"I oppose it," he said. "We've got to fix this. We've got to tackle this and do it."

Ellsworth then discussed how much wasting takes place in Washington, D.C., something he is not in favor of.

"We need people up there pounding their fist saying, 'this is ridiculous,'" he said following a discussion regarding the cost of flowers in the House by both parties.

"I would love to do this for hours," he continued. "If I came in here and told you I had an answer for everything, I'd be lying. I don't claim to have every answer."

To the best of his knowledge, Wednesday's visit to Brazil was Ellsworth's 143rd in the Eighth District, which includes Clay, Daviess, Fountain, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Owen, Parke, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Warren and Warrick counties.

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