Confessions of a Hoosier Democrat

Blogging Indiana Politics and the 2008 Presidential Race.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Five Questions with Barry Welsh

Running against a conservative icon can't be easy. But it's a challenge that Barry Welsh has taken on with dedication and vigor.

Barry Welsh is running for the Indiana's 6th Congressional Seat. Barry is currently the pastor at the Laurel United Methodist Church and previously was a high school teacher at New Palestine and an on-air personality at WIFE 100.3FM in Connersville. As a pastor, Barry is committed to serving the people of his community and congregation which has increased his knowledge and compassion with those less fortunate. "Nobody likes to be poor, nobody wants to admit that they are poor... Seeing how the dignity of people is compromised by situations beyond their control is heart-wrenching and motivating." As a former public school teacher Barry knows the importance of our public school system and the problems facing it. "Public Schools are the springboard of opportunity for any kid who has a dream."

Barry was nice enough to take the time to answer Five Questions... so here they are.

1. What is the biggest issue facing citizens of the 6th District and what can the US Representative do to help?
The single biggest issue facing citizens of this district is the price of fuel. As this cost goes up and more funds are required to go toward the gas tank, those funds are not there for discretionary spending in many cases, and in some extreme cases, some of the necessities of life.

The current representative could have voted to enforce price gouging legislation and to remove the tax breaks and corporate welfare given to big oil. He chose to vote for the oil companies and against the people. I would have made the opposite choice and listened to the citizens.
2. Which US Congressman do you think you'd most be like when you're elected?
When I am elected this November, the people of this district will find that I share the traits of many fine Indiana Democrats; I have the same priority for the future of our planet that Former Representative Phil Sharp holds, that I share the concern for Homeland Security that Former Representative Lee Hamilton voices, that I have the genuine best interest of the people as my focus as does current Indiana Representative Julia Carson, and that the Working Familes of Indiana must be protected and strengthened which is a Bayh Family legacy.

So the people will find that I am yet another in a long line of compassionate, caring, committed, public servants to represent our great state.
3. Much has been said about the Democrats lack of a voice in Washington, since they hold neither the House, Senate nor the White House. How can Democrats do a better job at getting their message out and their goals accomplished?
That's a great question Rob, as are all of these. We must take back the House and the Senate and put true oversight back into the vocabulary of the Washington D.C. daily language. Our first goal as a party on the national level has to be to bridle the current administration's all out War on the Middle Class.

During the time leading up to this election, they will show moderation, but we can not trust that to extend past election day without taking back the one branch of government where it is possible, the Congress.

The Democrats have many voices, Our own Senator Bayh among them, and all of our voices will be heard between now and 2008.
4. DNC Chairman Howard Dean recently paid you a visit. Did he give you any advice for your campaign?
I want to be above board on everything Rob, and Governor Dean did not visit me individually, but rather visited the state, and spent some time one on one with me. He told me to keep doing what we were doing, and that is to take what he started in 2004, and tailor it to our district. It was good advice and it is working.
5. Mike Pence has been in the news recently for his immigration proposal. What do you think is the best and worst part of his proposal?
I am glad you asked that Rob, and that I have a chance to speak about this.

I understand the desire for a better life, and the chance for a new beginning. America offers that, and many enter legally and take advantage of this land of freedom and dreams. The problem is some did not wait their turn and came across the border in violation of the law. This has been going on for a number of years and only when it is out of control does it draw attention. This in itself speaks volumns about the priorites of the Corporate Republicans.

I believe we need real border security, and the Bush/Pence plan does not come close to adaquately addressing this. I believe the Bush/Pence plan gives a blanket pardon to Big Business which provides the incentive through illegal employment opportunites to encourage illegal immigration. These businesses are undermining our economy and the future of our children and they should not be fined, they should not be allowed to do business any longer.

I believe the Bush/Pence plan and the proposal for foreign "Kelly Services" type stations that advertise jobs available in America will increase illegal traffic, not stop it. LEGAL immigration should be allowed and is a vital part of our nation's history and thus it's future, but to punish the legal immigrants that play by the rules by rewarding those that chose illegal activity is not just.

The best thing about the Bush/Pence plan is that it does not call for the mass deportation of those that are here. I do not agree with the Bush/Pence amnesty masked in carefully crafted words, but amnesty none the less. But I do not agree with mass deportation either. We must take away the incentives for being here illegally and begin to humanely turn back the tide.

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