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Entries in Richard Lugar (5)

Tuesday
May082012

Mourdock Defeats Lugar in GOP Indiana Senate Primary

Mourdock for Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Richard Lugar, the third-longest-serving member of the Senate, went down in a primary defeat Tuesday night to his Tea Party-backed opponent in the Republican primary.

State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, backed by Tea Partiers and conservative campaign groups outside the state, ousted Lugar in Indiana’s GOP primary, according to projections.

Mourdock will face Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in November.

In Lugar, the Senate would lose one of its few remaining members with a habit of bipartisanship. In Mourdock, Lugar has been unseated by a mild-mannered, twice-elected statewide official who wants to eliminate five federal departments and cut more spending than House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would.

Lugar’s loss made history. Among senators who had served at least six terms, only one had lost in a primary before Lugar: Kenneth McKeller, D-Tenn., who joined the Senate in 1917 and lost to Democratic primary challenger Al Gore, Sr. in 1952. Only 22 senators in history served as long as Lugar has of 1,931 total, according to the Senate historian.

Lugar currently ties Utah’s Orrin Hatch as the Senate’s longest-tenured Republican. Hatch is also facing a conservative primary challenge in 2012.

Mourdock’s win was expected by political operatives in D.C. and Indiana after an expensive campaign in which outside groups flocked to the Hoosier State. A total of 12 groups spent $4.6 million, only one of them based in Indiana. If raw spending had decided the race, Lugar would have won. As of mid-April, Lugar had spent $6.7 million defending himself, to Mourdock’s $2 million. Outside groups spent more heavily in favor of Mourdock.

Mourdock’s win certainly signifies that the Republican Party has continued to grow more conservative. Where Lugar voted with Democrats to advance the DREAM Act and worked with the Obama administration to push the New START arms-reduction treaty through the Senate, Mourdock is as conservative and ideological as they come.

“Let’s do away with the Department of Education, Energy, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development,” Mourdock told ABC News in an April phone interview, and he has also proposed ending the IRS. Mourdock has suggested that Paul Ryan’s budget doesn’t go far enough, and he released his own rough plan last year to shrink spending by $7.6 trillion in 10 years. (Ryan’s would reduce it by $5.5 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.)

Perhaps most significantly, Mourdock outspokenly opposes bipartisan compromise. “Bipartisanship has brought us to the brink of bankruptcy,” he told ABC. “We don’t need bipartisanship, we need application of principle.”

Mourdock’s win might give Democrats a new chance to win Indiana’s Senate seat in November. Donnelly’s campaign says its internal polling has shown him performing far better against Mourdock than against Lugar. Democrats have held back their opposition research on Mourdock in the hopes that he would win. Majority PAC, the Democratic Senate-focused super PAC, spent money to help Mourdock’s primary bid. A GOP strategist acknowleged that, with Mourdock’s win, Republicans would have to keep a closer eye on the race, though, with Indiana solidly red in recent statewide elections, the party should feel good about its chances to keep Lugar’s seat within the GOP ranks.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar152012

Senator Lugar Can’t Vote for Himself

Office of Senator Richard Lugar(MARION COUNTY, Ind.) -- Sen. Dick Lugar has been declared ineligible to vote in the Indiana precinct where he once lived.

The election board in Marion County voted 2-1 on Thursday in favor of a complaint brought to the board that argued Lugar and his wife shouldn’t be allowed to vote there because they hadn’t lived at the address listed on their registration since the couple bought a home in Virginia more than 30 years ago.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the lawyer representing the complainant cited a state law that says a person loses his or her residency when the residence is abandoned.

Lugar is a Republican. The board that ruled him ineligible to vote comprises one Republican and two Democrats.

In a statement, Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher said the board “ignored” precedent and that the Lugars have “complied with Indiana law.”

“Hoosiers everywhere have made it clear that they won’t stand for these continued, calculated efforts to unfairly tarnish an Indiana statesman and his family,” Fisher said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul272011

Debt Debate Shades Indiana Sen. Lugar’s Fight for Reelection

Lugar [dot] Senate [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- Ending the debt ceiling stalemate in Washington will require some bipartisanship.  Neither side has the votes to pass their plan without help from the other party before an Aug. 2 deadline. But it has become politically perilous to work across the aisle. Just ask Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, who is the longest-serving federal lawmaker in Indiana history, and who is in the fight of his political life.

In Indiana, state treasurer Richard Mourdock, who’s hoping to unseat 35-year incumbent Lugar, is hoping to use the gridlock to his advantage.

Mourdock is zeroing in on Lugar’s relationship with President Obama, which Mourdock calls “a burr in the saddle of every Republican paying attention.”  Mourdock is also accusing Lugar of not acting quickly enough to back the conservative cut, cap and balance proposal that passed the House, but failed in the Senate last week.

“I was stunned that he was the last of the Republican Senators to get on board with the cut, cap and balance,” Mourdock told ABC News.  “The day before it went to Harry Reid, Lugar suddenly said, ‘Yeah, me too’ and jumped on to co-sponsor.”

Mourdock added that Lugar has voted to raise the debt ceiling in the past, something the Tea Party-supported candidate hopes will work to his advantage with conservatives.  He says that on the campaign trail he constantly meets voters who say they respect the 79-year-old-Senator, but that “it’s time” for a change.

The Lugar camp says it’s just not true that the Senator was late to sign on to cut, cap and balance, and that Lugar has been involved throughout the year on spending issues.  Lugar’s spokesperson for his Senate office, Andy Fisher, stressed that the Senator didn’t just back the bill but added his name to the list of co-sponsors.

“That’s a full endorsement,” Fisher told ABC News.

Fisher added that Lugar is co-sponsoring Sen. Pat Toomey’s “Full Faith and Credit Act,” which will ensure payments are made to Social Security recipients, the military, and interest on the national debt if the government does go into default.

Brian Howey, author of Howey Politics Indiana, says until the outcome of the debt ceiling deal is known,  it’s too early to know how the debate could affect this campaign.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar142011

Key Senate Republican: Declaration Of War Needed for Libyan No-Fly Zone

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Monday said if the Obama administration wants to implement a no-fly zone in Libya, it must first get Congress to declare war.

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., also said if a no-fly zone is implemented, the Arab League should pay for its costs. 

“Given the costs of a no-fly zone, the risks that our involvement would escalate, the uncertain reception in the Arab street of any American intervention in an Arab country, the potential for civilian deaths, the unpredictability of the endgame, the strains on our military, and other factors, it is doubtful that U.S. interests would be served by imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. If the Obama Administration is contemplating this step, however, it should begin by seeking a declaration of war against Libya that would allow for a full Congressional debate on the issue,” Lugar said in a statement Monday.

Lugar, who is fighting a tough re-election battle in the Hoosier State, differs with the Senate’s number-three Democrat, Chuck Schumer, on the issue of whether or not the White House should get Congress to declare war if the administration wants to implement a no-fly zone.

On Sunday Schumer, D-N.Y., said it is up to the president to decide.

“I believe on these we should defer to the commander in chief on short term, immediate situations like this,” Schumer said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

A number of senators have vociferously demanded a no-fly zone in Libya. On Monday, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, I-CT, introduced a resolution in the Senate calling for a no-fly zone to combat Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Sunday
Dec192010

Top Senators on START: 'Believe it Will Pass,' 'Votes Are There'

Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., (L) and Richard Lugar, R-Ind. appear on ABC's "This Week." Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate has turned its attention to remaining legislative priorities for the lame-duck session, including continuing debate on ratifying a new arms control treaty with Russia, known as New START.

"I believe it will pass, and I believe there will be a vote," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour in a joint appearance with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

Lugar, a ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, has supported the treaty as well, working with Democrats to get the two-thirds majority of Senate votes required.

"Several Republicans will support it, and I join the chairman in believing that there are the votes there," Lugar said. "The problem is really getting to that final vote."

The Senate rejected an amendment Saturday seeking to remove language from the treaty's preamble, introduced by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who argued the language would restrict the United States' abilities on missile defense.

"There is no restraint, zero, none, no restraint whatsoever on our missile defense capacity," Kerry responded. "Secretary Gates says it. Secretary Clinton says it. The intelligence community says it. All of our military leaders want this treaty." 

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