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Ads distort Democrat's background

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rep. Brad Ellsworth
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Watching Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth's television commercials, Indiana voters might get the idea that he was a sheriff for 25 years. After all, Ellsworth himself says so in both his ads.

Problem is, Ellsworth was only Vanderburgh County sheriff for eight years -- he was a deputy for the other 17.

Both Ellsworth and his Republican opponent for U.S. Senate, former Sen. Dan Coats, are trying to portray themselves as Indiana's outsider candidate and their opponent as a Washington insider, even though both have plenty of beltway experience. Ellsworth is in his second term in the House of Representatives, and Coats served in the House and Senate before becoming a Washington lobbyist.

The state Republican Party called Ellsworth's ad misleading and said it's another example of how Ellsworth is trying to gloss over his D.C. experience.

"Clearly this is about Brad Ellsworth wanting to talk about anything other than his time in Congress and the votes he's cast there," said Indiana GOP chairman Murray Clark. "Apparently he is trying to be clever by overstating the amount of time he served as the elected sheriff in hopes that it will fill in the four year gap on his resume that he's spent in Washington."

Ellsworth couldn't have spent 25 consecutive years as county sheriff in Indiana because term limits prohibit sheriffs from serving more than eight years in any 12 year span. Ellsworth was elected as sheriff in 1998 and was elected to Congress in 2006.

In his latest 30-second ad, which started running this week, Ellsworth tells voters about his background as he poses next to a sheriff's department vehicle. He's shown wearing a sheriff's uniform and walking down the street talking to people.

"My 25 years as sheriff was all about putting other peoples' needs first," he says in the ad. "The U.S. Senate needs that same approach. Senators should be helping other people -- not just helping themselves like Washington always does."

Ellsworth said in his first 30-second ad: "One thing that 25 years as a sheriff teaches you is zero tolerance for bull. There's too much at stake. But out in Washington it's like they live and breathe the stuff."

Clark scoffed at that ad after it first ran earlier this month.

"One thing that four years in Congress teaches you is how to spin a lot of bull," Clark said.

The Ellsworth campaign said his claims about his time as sheriff refer to his entire time with the department, where Ellsworth spent 24 years and 8 months after joining the department after college. Campaign spokeswoman Liz Farrar said using the term "sheriff's department" instead of "sheriff" in the ad would have been too vague and wouldn't have reflected his leadership role.

The two ads have run in a total of 66 percent of the state, primarily in markets outside of the Evansville, Terre Haute and Louisville, Ky., markets where Ellsworth is better known, Farrar said. She said she didn't know how much the campaign had spent on the ads.

Whether anyone cares about the details of Ellsworth's ads and their accuracy is another question.

"It's a matter of semantics, but most people aren't going to pay attention to it," said Brian Vargus, a political science professor at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. "Whether he was sheriff or sheriff's deputy doesn't really matter."

In a longer spot, Ellsworth would be able to make the distinction between his time as sheriff and his time at the department, said Bob Schmuhl, a political analyst and University of Notre Dame professor.

"With political advertising, there is something akin to poetic license and this is an example of that," Schmuhl said.

Farrar said the ads aren't intended to be misleading. Ellsworth's time at the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office shaped who he his and taught him about solving problems and resolving conflicts, Farrar said.

"Whether as a deputy or as a sheriff, those values and priorities are the same," she said. "That body of experience and those values as a result are what makes him the best candidate."

Coats and Ellsworth are vying for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Evan Bayh.

Coats hasn't run television ads yet in the general election. But he earned some name recognition from the primary race and some older voters remember his last stint as senator. Coats was a senator for 10 years before deciding in 1998 against seeking re-election, avoiding a race with then-Gov. Bayh.

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Does Coats even live here anymore? Last I read about him, he lived in Virginia all these years.

-- Posted by Pearl2083 on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 10:35 PM

Ellsworth, I repeatedly told you that your healthcare vote would haunt you if you voted in favor of it. You did NOT "represent" hoosiers in that vote. We did not send you to Washington to know better than the little people back home. You blew it big time and your political career is going to reflect that. You have the stench of the political machine on you. All you had to do was represent us - and you didn't.

-- Posted by brazilian on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 1:54 AM


You mention supply and demand....that is exactly why this new healthcare bill will increase medical costs. As America's population increases and its demand for health care follows, the supply of doctors is decreasing. People will have to wait longer and pay more for healthcare.

I do what I have to do to make sure my spouse and children have health insurance...am I now responsible for the cost of my neighbor's health care? Maybe I should quite paying my premiums and let you pay for my healthcare. Am all for helping out my fellow man, but do we really want to become a socialistic society?

We have the plaintiff's bar and congress' spineless approach to tort reform to blame escalating health care costs...outrageous verdicts and frivolous lawsuits have caused medical malpractice premiums to soar and those costs are passed along to the consumer...us.

-- Posted by madman36 on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 6:31 AM

Typical dumbocrat.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 9:38 AM

The fact that we didn't require everyone to have health insurance means that people that are currently paying premiums, in reality are paying for people that don't have any health insurance. Wake up people. Our current system is not sustainable. People always grumble in the beginning when a new program is started that is good for everyone in the long run. Certainly it was like that with Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance (paid by the companies). Do you seriously think any people of those generations wanted portions their hard earned income diverted to those programs for people they didn't know or care about? However, all of those programs have become main staples for which every citizen is thankful. I will vote for Brad Ellsworth every chance I get.

-- Posted by My opinion counts on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 9:46 AM

I just want to add one thing regarding the health care bill & our government .... give me one program that the federal government has run efficiently, effectively, and on a good budget ... any program not over ran with costs, miss managed, robbed from, .... any program? And what are the odds that all of a sudden our fat politicians are going to run a health care program efficiently? Not when they don't have to turn a profit, when the point is to over spend a government program so they get allotted more tax money the next year ...

-- Posted by Lacey62 on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 9:57 AM

Tulie32, I don't consider you a little person, but I'm happy to explain. First the big picture: What does the constitution allow or require? Is the required purchase of a product as a condition of citizenship in there - with fines and jail time for disobedience (remember that part of the bill?) I think everyone should have a decent dwelling and vehicle. Should the government mandate an extra $50 a month on your mortgage payment and $25 each month on your auto loan to pay for such a program? Someone is sure to quickly say "That's great because I rent and don't even have an auto loan." It's always great when the other guy pays and I just get to receive. Go ask the CFO at the hospital what it is that drives costs so high. He is likely to say that it has everything to do with oppressive and expensive governemt mandated regulations, tiny reimbursement by medicare (25 cents on dollar), rediculous reimbursement by medicaid (11 cents on dollar). Tulie32, imagine that you owned a restaurant and 10% of your customers didn't pay (the uninsured). 50% of your customers had a government charge card(medicare/medicaid). You serve them a full meal, but when you submit the bill you wait months and months to get paid. Once you do it is reduced to 11 cents, or if you're lucky, 25 cents per dollar. What do you do? If you're going to stay in business you raise your prices by double - or more (hospitals have). Now that other 40% of your customers will pay $10 for what should only need to be $5. Some of us probably can't eat at your place anymore, but will have to make do at home. Ask the CFO if anything in this law will lower costs. It won't. Probably the opposite will occur. How efficient are Medicare/medicaid right now? Both are broke or going there despite consuming an enormous portion of the national and state budgets. Watch this Tulie32. We will pay taxes for 10 years to get 6 years of coverage. Would you EVER put up with that with your auto, home, or life insurance? Why tolerate that with your health insurance? If your health insurer tried something like that, you could complain to your congressman. What happens now that your congressman is your insurance provider? You will pay the premium or they will fine you or put you in jail - did that provision make it in the final draft, I don't recall. Remember that the law necessitated 16,000 new IRS agents to monitor compliance. So many things could have been done to improve access and lower costs, but that would have left you in control of your health and health coverage. This law merely moves the payor to the Federal government with the control that it brings - and votes of those getting something for nothing. P.S. The poor in spirit are blessed because theirs is the kingdom of heaven - but I did understand your point. :)

-- Posted by brazilian on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 10:40 AM

LOL - If the U. S. government ran Heaven, it would be Hell.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 11:41 AM

A choice between 2 insiders in November. Hooray!

This underscores the importance of everyone voting in the primary. With a little more turnout last May, we may actually have fielded a candidate that would have worked for the citizenry.

-- Posted by RDK on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 1:51 PM

Leo L Southworth, I hope you are seated. I totally agree with you.

RDK, someone will come up with the lame excuse that they don't want to declare their politics. They don't realize that a primary election is when you vote for who you want to represent you & your party.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 2:25 PM

Is the sky falling? Are pigs flying?

Since I would rather not assume, "Typical dumbocrat" refers to the subject of this article?

Brazilian, I agree with most of what you say except I believe everyone should have an equal opportunity to EARN a decent dwelling and vehicle.

I have read some theories that the new healthcare bill will increase the number uninsured Americans. It will cost less for American Corporations to pay the fines for not providing health insurance to their employees and than to pay their share of health insurance premiums (my employer pays 2/3 of my family plan).

-- Posted by madman36 on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 3:10 PM

Oh the honorable Brad Ellsworth at it again. After I too wrote to him telling him not to support the Health Care Debacle, he was kind enough to have one of his staffers write me back and tell me his position on how the Health Care Bill would save Americans big money, "(the bill) reduces the federal debt by $109 billion over the next decade alone".

Really, and just recently according to the CBO that Mr. Ellsworth quoted, we learned how much more the bill was actually going to cost Americans; something like $115 million more in discretionary spending over the next 10 years, bringing the total cost to nearly $1 trillion. But who's counting; it's only money generations after us will be required to repay. They call that "stealing".

Any how many times was Mr. Ellsworth available for those town hall meetings he promised? Oh sure, if you were a member of the Chamber of Commerce you might get a seat. Or, if you were pre-approved you might get to speak to him during a "cheesy" telephone town hall meeting.

Mr. Ellsworth, you blew it. You had a golden opportunity to represent Hoosiers, but you caved to the Washington Establishment and your Vanderburg County union buddies. I wouldn't be able to call myself a "Blue-dog" if I were you (if there is such a thing); maybe Curr dog might be more appropriate!

-- Posted by Shadrach on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 8:46 PM

Tulie32, the reason a majority of the people of the United States are upset, regarding the 'ObamaCare' bill, is that it is not the kind of reform they wanted. Most people, from the surveys and polls, wanted tort reform, reforms on the insurance companies, over premiums and pre-existing conditions, just to name couple of examples. What has people in an uproar is that our Congressmen seem to have forgotten who they work for, i.e. We The People. They ignored the mandate of the masses and pushed through their own agenda and now they are going to reap the consequences of ignoring their 'bosses'.

I hope this helps you understand why so many are opposed to the healthcare bill. It's not that they don't think healthcare needed reform just that they wanted real reform and not a government takeover.

-- Posted by Village_Id10t on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 9:42 PM

Ellsworth likes to put a spin on alot of things. I wrote him concerning the working conditions in the federal workforce and all he did is meet with management 1 time and thats the last we heard or saw him. He voted with the dumbocrat's on health care not what we the people of Indiana wanted. so my vote is for coats

-- Posted by po-po on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 10:17 PM

I voted for Hostettler.

-- Posted by no1special on Sat, Jul 24, 2010, at 4:37 PM

Well its like this!! I do not care for the health care bill at all!! My husband works full-time and at this point is able to carry health care on himself. I work part-time and i don't have health care offered unto me by my employer. So i don't have any health care coverage. My four children have hoosier healthwise which we also pay a low premium every month for plus part of the precription cost along with my husbands health care premium. My husband pays 1/3 of his premium costs for himself out of every paycheck he receives. The cost for him to carry me on his healthcare is so much that there is no way we can afford it. Unless however, We quit paying rent,(which by the way people are charging way to much) for our home, move out with our four children and live in a tent, or our van... and no!! before anyone accsuses us of it, we don't have any credit card bills, car payments, or even have sattelite or cable, by choice. We simply can't afford it. So needless to say I get alittle bit worried when they say there could be fines and jail time for those who don't have healthcare insurance. What i want to know is, is the government going to dramatically make the insurance companies lower their prices so that people like my family are able to afford insurance, or are they going to stick us with fines we can't afford either.

-- Posted by some1ispraying on Sun, Jul 25, 2010, at 1:12 AM

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