Today was our Third District Democrat breakfast at Brevins in Churubusco, Indiana. Our monthly breakfasts are held in a back dining room, and we have speakers each month. I really enjoy them; the company is great and the conversations are always stimulating. I also get to see my brother and sister-in-law, Glen and Patty Weybright. Patty is the Whitley County Democratic Chair, so I guess our love of the political scene runs in the family.

Michael Montagono and his wife, Bethany, were in attendance today. Mr. Montagano will be announcing his run for the Third District congressional seat on Monday in Fort Wayne at the Embassy Theater. Of course we all insisted that he speak, so he inspired us by us talking about his ideas and his vision for the Third District. He will be facing incumbent Mark Souder – assuming Souder gets past any primary challenges.

Photo Credit: Montagano for Congress

Souder has been in office now for 14 years – 2 years past his pledge to limit himself to six terms. Yeh, I know everyone came up with reasons why he shouldn’t be held to that pledge. Boundary changes, dangerous times, the dog died, the computer crashed, and on and on. Regardless of the reason, Souder was absolved from keeping his promise, but it is time to change the guard.

And Michael Montagano is just the new face we need. Mr. Montagano is young and energetic. He has been traveling the state for the last nine months, meeting citizens – listening to citizens. And he doesn’t just listen as a courtesy – he is involved in the conversation. He pays attention to what is being said.

True listening is an art. Some listen to words go in one ear and out the other without really paying attention, and others listen and become a part of the conversation. Mark Souder falls in the first group – he always seems anxious to end the conversation and get away. Michael Montagano falls into the second group. One needs only to spend a few minutes talking with him to realize he listens and engages in a meaningful conversation about issues and concerns.

Yes, another congressional election looms on the horizon, and it really is time to change the guard.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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  1. roach says:

    but is he pro-life “uber alles”? god? gays? guns? marijuana?
    he’s got no experience. and so on. I’d vote for a ham sandwich, if he was running against Souder.
    You Go “FEZ”!

  2. jeanne says:

    Mark Souder, perhaps in anticipation of Michael Montagano’s candidacy, began planting seeds for this year already last November when he spoke in Elkhart Co before a group of businessmen: “He said he is the rare representative with a business background, while most who serve in Congress are attorneys…Many of his fellow legislators do not understand accounting and how legislation may affect business.” (“Souder Discusses Economy”, Goshen News 11/30/07). Mr. Souder began his congressional career by signing on for the Contract With America. One of its central aims was to institute a Zero Baseline Budget. Both in 2006 and 2007 Souder was still co-sponsoring an Act with this misnomer (a true zero baseline budget begins with “zero” and builds a new budget every year), …this even though it had never been enacted by his party and had only 13 co-sponsors last year, down from 27 in 2006. No reputable economist would support a true zero baseline for a national budget. The Act calls for disregarding inflation in the baseline budget for certain discretionary spending (not military, of course). If I were in business I certainly would not make a budget for essential items without considering inflation. One doesn’t have to understand accounting to figure out that this is Souder’s way of reducing spending on programs he doesn’t think are necessary. How long would we be able to meet the social needs of our country with Souder’s method of accounting?

    The second swipe at Montagano in which he derides Montagano’s past months of listening forums in IN-3 is in Souder’s op-ed dated Jan 14, written by Martin Green, “Representatives Should Be Listeners and Leaders”: “You will sometimes hear politicians say that they’re not going to form their own opinions on issues until after they’ve talked to you, the voter. Under the guise of being “listeners,” they wait before taking a stand on any issue… At first blush, this may sound like a good characteristic. But it’s actually how certain politicians develop reputations as handwringers. They typically want to review public opinion polls or review focus group data before making up their minds.” He goes on to repeat a debunked myth about Al Gore, one of Souder’s favorite punching bags. Mr. Souder has a well-earned reputation for talking, and talking, and talking—and not listening. I am looking forward to seeing where Mr. Montagano stands on the issues that are important to us in IN-3.

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