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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Indiana Democrats Launch Attack Highlighting Mourdock’s Website Scrub

Indiana Democrats have launched an online campaign criticizing Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock for scrubbing his campaign website of certain information.

After beating longtime Senator Dick Lugar in the GOP primary, Mourdock began clearing his website of links that showed him opposing the auto bailout and supporting budget cuts that would affect entitlement programs. It also scrubbed the site of any criticisms of Lugar before May 8 and his announcement speech entering the race.

Indiana Democratic Party spokesman Ben Ray says Mourdock is trying to hide his record and his relationship to the Tea Party.

“We’re even talking about endorsements disappearing. Eric Erickson, who is the publisher of RedState.org, his endorsement is gone. Herman Cain’s endorsement is gone. And so really I think what we’re seeing is Richard Mourdock attempting to wholly reinvent himself for the general electorate and we’re not going to let that happen.”

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Lugar Not Campaigning for Mourdock

After a brutal primary contest, U.S. Sen Dick Lugar, R-In., told CBS News he doesn’t plan on helping Republican Richard Mourdock in the general election.

“For the time being, I don’t plan an active campaign,” Lugar said Sunday.

From Face The Nation:

Mourdock faces Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly in the fall.

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Donnelly Web Ad Highlights Mourdock Attacks on Lugar

In an online ad, Senate Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly’s campaign criticizes the way Republican Richard Mourdock attacked longtime Sen. Dick Lugar Lugar, R-In., in their primary battle.

Check it out:

Mourdock upset the six-term Senator in the GOP primary earlier this week and the Indiana Senate race has been thrust into the national spotlight as a result. Earlier this week, the Indiana congressman told WFPL that Lugar voters have a home with his candidacy and welcomed their support.

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Donnelly Comes Out Swinging Against Mourdock

One day after the Indiana primary, Democratic Senate candidate Joe Donnelly has begun his campaign against Republican Richard Mourdock.

Mourdock thumped longtime Sen. Dick Lugar Tuesday in a 20-point blowout that has received national attention for retiring a lawmaker considered a bipartisan statesman. But Democrats are confident that Mourdock’s conservative primary campaign will make him vulnerable in November.

Donnelly, who represents Indiana’s Second Congressional District, says the past two years have shown Hoosiers that division only leads to gridlock and Mourdock will increase partisan rancor in Congress.

“There’s a number of folks in Washington already who all they want to do is fight and all they want to do is create division. That’s not healthy for the country. It’s not healthy for the challenges we face. And I think Richard Mourdock would only intensify those divisions,” he says.

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Coats Congratulates Mourdock, Thanks Lugar for Service

In a statement, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-In., congratulated Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock in his blowout victory over incumbent Dick Lugar in the GOP primary.

The state treasurer defeated the six-term Senator by a 20-point margin and ended one of the largest Senate careers. Backed by the Tea Party, Mourdock’s victory is being seen by Democrats as an unexpected opportunity to win the Republican seat in the fall and cling to their slim majority in the Senate.

Coats, who will become Indiana’s senior Senator next year, urged GOP voters to unite behind Mourdock.

From Coats’ office:

“I congratulate Richard Mourdock on winning the Indiana Republican Senate nomination, and I encourage Hoosiers to support him in November. Our country can no longer afford more of the same failed economic policies from this Democrat-led Senate and White House. It is important that Hoosiers come together in the months ahead to send Washington a clear message that we need a more limited, fiscally responsible government.

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Live Blog of Indiana Senate Primary

The polls have closed in most the state and awaiting the results between Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock longtime incumbent Dick Lugar in the primary.

Because Indiana is mostly in the Eastern Time Zone save a few counties around Evansville and Gary, projections aren’t expected to come in until another hour. Several Tea Party activists and groups that backed Mourdock are gathering in anticipation of the upset.

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New Lugar Attack Ad Targets Mourdock’s Judgment

With the Indiana Republican primary a week away, incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar released a vicious new attack ad Tuesday, chastising challenger Richard Mourdock over his decision-making as state treasurer.

The 30-second spot accuses the Tea Party backed Mourdock of gambling with state “pensions on junk bonds” and alleges he “risked thousands of Hoosier jobs” by filing a lawsuit against the Chrysler bankruptcy on behalf of two pension funds. The petition went all the way to the Supreme Court, but the justices denied the motion.

Check it out:

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Indianapolis Star Endorses Lugar Over Mourdock

The editorial board of the Indianapolis Star endorsed U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-In., Sunday over state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the hotly contested May 8 Republican primary.

In giving the six-term incumbent the nod, the newspaper responded to four chief objections to Lugar’s nomination raised by his Tea Party challenger and his supporters. Among the chief complaints from conservative activists is that Lugar is a disloyal Republican who party leaders can’t rely on.

From the Indianapolis Star:

Our response: Lugar has voted with the Republican majority in the Senate 88 percent of the time for more than 20 years.

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Lugar Unveils McCain Radio Ad While Mourdock Touts Palin Endorsement

The 2008 Republican presidential ticket is split between the two GOP candidates in the hotly contested Senate race.

In a 60-second radio spot released Friday, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Az., supports fellow Sen. Richard Lugard, R-In., and reminded voters the six-term lawmaker has stood against President Obama’s administration.

The former presidential candidate also addressed criticisms levied by state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, adding that Lugar is not the president’s favorite Republican.

“Dick Lugar has always put his country first, helping keep our nation safe and secure as the foremost expert on national security in the Unites States Senate,” says McCain. “Yet, some in Indiana are claiming Dick Lugar is Obama’s friend. That’s ridiculous. And I know it firsthand. Because I fight alongside him every day in the Senate. Dick Lugar is a patriot and a hero, and we need him in the United States Senate.

Listen here.

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Tea Party Express Coming to Southern Indiana

The Tea Party Express will be in southern Indiana Saturday to host two rallies as part of the group’s “Restoring the American Dream” tour.

Based in California, the political action committee’s tour is focused on battleground states in this year’s congressional and presidential elections where tea party candidates are vying for office.

Across the country, the group has gained the reputation for aggressive campaigning and has raised millions of dollars to support candidates who are in favor of shrinking the federal government and reducing the national debt. In 2010, however, the Tea Party Express was embroiled in controversy when its leader wrote a blog praising the slave trade. He quickly resigned.

Sal Russo is chief strategist for the Tea Party Express. He told WFPL the movement remains successful because voters are tired of Washington’s ineffectiveness, which is often tied to perpetual incumbents.

“The zeitgeists of the times are clearly people are concerned about the increasing size, cost and intrusiveness of the federal government with an unsustainable and skyrocketing national debt. I think that’s what people are concerned about. So I think to the extent that candidates address that they’re going to do well,” he says.