Mark Stoops, Democratic candidate for State Senate District 40 says Monroe County Republican Party Chair Steve Hogan and local Republican candidates have no interest in debating their “Tea Party” agenda.
Stoops, current President of the Monroe County Board of Commissioners, says his opponent for the Senate seat, and many other local Republican candidates, are avoiding public debate. “My opponent has refused to stand up and make his case in a format that would force him to justify his agenda.”
Stoops’ opponent, Reid Dallas, declined to participate in the League of Women Voters forum or submit information for the Keys to the Candidates because Dallas thought they were biased. “He refused to even submit a 5 minute un-edited statement. But Dallas also refused to submit answers to questions for the Chamber of Commerce. He didn’t even attend forums by the Bell Trace Senior Center or the Broadview Neighborhood Association, and he refused to film an un-edited statement for CATS TV. He refused to participate in a forum on Public Education at the Ellettsville Library. Are all of these groups too biased for Reid Dallas?” asked Stoops.
Stoops says there are many issues that should have been discussed over the campaign that could not because Republican State level candidates refused to attend forums. Where are these candidates on issues like the attempt to privatize our public school system, women’s reproductive rights, same-sex marriage, and the Republican legislature’s attempt to put Latinos in a special class of citizens that must show their ’papers‘ or be arrested, violating their constitutional rights? The public has a right to know,” says Stoops.
Dallas’s refusal to participate in public forums has prevented the discussion of issues important to Monroe County, as well. For example, Dallas says he wants to get the Senate’s local government subcommittee to reverse Monroe County’s Comprehensive Plan, which, says Stoops, is designed to limit urban sprawl and protect farmland and environmentally sensitive areas in the county. “But this plan actually protects taxpayers from having to cover the cost of expensive infrastructure in rural areas. This attack on planning and zoning shows that Dallas, and many of the local Republican candidates for County Commissioner and Council, have a stunning lack of knowledge of Indiana’s tax structure, especially as it applies to local governments.”
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