For those who don’t know him, Mark Souder can be a shifty, manipulative, and self-righteous person. His latest display of all three characteristics comes in the form of a taxpayer paid mailing with a number of questions to be answered and returned. Let’s look at the questions and the manipulative manner in which he posed them.

Question #1. If forced to choose, would you support more federal spending on education or alternative energy?

____ Education ____ Alternative Energy

Hmm, let’s see. Education or Alternative energy? Alternative energy or education? Talk about a choice. Actually this is no choice. Souder’s expectation is that education will trump alternative energy. And, if alternative energy loses out, Souder will use that as further justification for his drill, drill, drill screeches. The truth is, no choice needs to be made. Cut the expense for the war in Iraq as well as the bloated defense budget and you should have enough for both.

Question #2. Do you think Congress should have bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

____ yes ____ no ____ maybe

Does it really matter now? The votes have been taken, and it is a done deal, so what is the point in even including this question?

Question #3. Would you support higher taxes on all taxpayers to fund government-run health care?

____ yes ____ no ____ maybe

Buzzwords – higher taxes. Clever, how many people are going to support higher taxes for anything? And, he made sure to throw in the term “government-run” so the specter of socialism arises. We do have other ways of ensuring health care coverage for Americans that do not necessarily include government-run health care. But why bother with the facts when you can mislead the public by fear?

Question #4. Would you support an across the board spending reduction in ALL areas to help balance the budget?

____ yes ____ no ____ maybe

Whom is he kidding? Would that be across the board EXCEPT the defense budget, the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq – you get the picture. The areas that Souder wants cut are the social program spending – just like so many of his fellow Republicans. Here’s the real agenda – social programs: cut; defense programs: expand.

Question #5. Which of the following do you believe is the best strategy to reduce gas prices?

____ Drill for oil

____ Force further size reductions in vehicles

____ Nothing, the current strategy is working

____ Other

Come on, this is really scewed. The first choice, drill for oil, is the one Souder is pushing, so he naturally lists it first. Since when has Souder paid much attention to what the voters want? In this case he wants to prove that his views are right in line with the panicky reaction instilled into voters by his party’s tactic of fear.

The second choice is flat out a lie. We have not and are not forcing a reduction in the size of vehicles. The reduction that has been sought is in the mileage per gallon that vehicles generate. The only “forced” reduction in size is due to market demand. Consumers are wising up to the benefits of smaller vehicles and are letting it be known in their purchases. Forced reduction in size – a blatant lie attempting again to use his party’s scare tactics.

The third choice? Just exactly what is the current strategy? Souder doesn’t say, so we don’t really know. Enough said.

The final choice is a catch-all category. If you select this one, a space is provided next to the choice and you could write something in. But, why bother? Souder already knows which one he wants – more drilling – and he will continue to push for that.

Question #6. In addressing energy problems, do you believe that mass transit, such as Citilink, is:

____ Very important

____ Somewhat important

____ Not very important

This one appears to be easy – unless you just don’t use it. If you drive your own vehicle to work, you may not have an appreciation for public – mass – transportation. Mass transportation can be an important solution to easing energy consumption. The problem is changing the mindset of the American people. Many Americans feel it really is their right to own two or three vehicles and drive every one of them on daily trips to work or running errands. While our gas consumption has dropped due to the high gas prices, an even greater impact could be made if, combined with an effective mass transportation network,we retooled the way we think about mass transportation.

Question #7. Mark Souder has been criticized for spending too much time working to help veterans, including by working to save the Fort Wayne VA hospital. What do you think?

____ I agree with the critics that he has spent too much time on veterans issues

____ I agree with Congressman Souder’s efforts to boost veterans benefits and save the hospital.

This one is a downright shameful and pitiful exploitation of what is really happening with our veterans, not only here in Fort Wayne but also across the country.

I am the director for a local grass-roots organization, Veterans for Better Health Care, so I have been involved since 2004 in our local VA hospital issue. Souder is truly amazing at manipulating the facts of this situation. First, it is not the hospital that is in jeopardy – it is the inpatient beds. Souder constantly reminded everyone of that fact in the past when the public misunderstood what was happening.

When that tactic worked to his benefit, he clarified the issue by always reminding us that it wasn’t the full hospital that was in jeopardy but only the inpatient beds. Now that he wants your support again, he is using the same misleading statements that he condemned from others. He states “working to save the Fort Wayne VA hospital.” Funny how his choice of words changes to suit his purpose. Oh well, he is a politician.

What really makes my blood boil on this one though is his allegation that he has been criticized for “spending too much time” working to help veterans. Conveniently, he mentions no group or anyone who has criticized him. Is there anyone out there who might feel he has spent too much time helping veterans? Probably, we can always find people who are not happy about anything. I doubt though, he can name anyone who has criticized him. Maybe I will ask him. But I have tried that before in requesting other information – his usual response is that he can’t release the name of individuals.

Question #8. Should members of Congress and candidates for federal office be requried to disclose their home mortgages?

____ yes ____ no ____ maybe

Here’s what I think about this red herring – who cares? Don’t we have more pressing problems than to worry about lawmakers’ mortgages? If there is a shady transaction, report them to the ethics commission and conduct an investigation.

If you haven’t already tossed the mailing, take a close look at it. If you still have it, answer it, and send it back. I doubt it will do any good though if your opinions differ with Souder’s opinions.

It really is time for a change in the Third District. It was time two years ago when Dr. Tom Hayhurst ran, and it is still time today. Souder promised to serve no more than six terms. He is now in number seven and is asking to be “given” number eight. Michael Montagano is running against Souder this time, so let’s not drag out Souder’s broken promise for another two years.

But given his manipulative tactics in explaining his reasons why he shouldn’t be held to his six-term promise, does it surprise anyone that he has manipulated the questions in his latest mailings?


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.
This entry was posted in Democrats, Energy, Government, Indiana, Politics, Republican Party and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. gmac says:

    “The problem is changing the mindset of the American people. Many Americans feel it really is their right to own two or three vehicles and drive every one of them on daily trips to work or running errands. ”

    You’re kidding, right? Please tell me what I’m allowed to own and how and when I can use it. Or perhaps because it’s a “right” so the government should make sure to give two or three everyone and even pay for the gas. While I’m no huge Souder fan, your statement is more ridiculous than the wording of his questions.

  2. jeanne says:

    I don’t know about “shifty” and “self-righteous” but he is certainly manipulative, and that is a direct outcome of his authoritarian personality. One only has to look at the transcripts of his questions to, comments and attacks on witnesses on the House Committee on Government Reform hearings (where he tries to set himself up as the arbiter of what is and what is not “scientific”) to get a good picture of how he operates. The ultimate sign of his authoritarianism is his support for torture. For that reason alone he should not be reelected.

  3. GMAC:

    “You’re kidding, right? Please tell me what I’m allowed to own and how and when I can use it. Or perhaps because it’s a “right” so the government should make sure to give two or three everyone and even pay for the gas. While I’m no huge Souder fan, your statement is more ridiculous than the wording of his questions.”

    Really? Own what you want. If you like paying $4.00 a gallon gas prices, so be it. But I am tired of those who want to drive gas-guzzling vehicles complaining about gas prices. If you want to own a Tahoe or any other vehicle that gets low gas mileage, then pay the price.

    How many times do you see the media interviewing people at a gas pump and their huge SUV is sitting there with the gas nozzle in it sucking in gas. But boy, those owners can sure complain about gas prices.

    Drive through some of your newer subdivisons. I campaigned in some new ones around Fort Wayne, and you can’t find too many that don’t have three-car garages.

    Americans do have a mindset of not wanting to conserve, but economic forces can change that. Just look at what happended when gas prices skyrocketed. We drove fewer miles. It may take some pain to get there, but eventually the message sinks in.

    I just hope that the change in driving habits is not short-lived. But something tells me that if gas prices drop .50 or .75 a gallon, many drivers will climb back in their enormous vehicles and forget what they just went through.

  4. gmac says:

    Do I feel sorry for those that complain? Absolutely not! I find it rather humorous when the news media interviews those people. I particularly find it funny when those same people complain about how much it costs to put fuel in their boats at the lake.

    We all have choices to make and that is my point. However, I don’t want anyone to dictate that I do not have the right to own what I want (to drive) or when I can use it (and for the record, I drive a sedan (28mpg).

  5. Gmac:

    I am not saying the government should dictate what you or anyone else drives. We are in agreement on the issue of paying the high gas prices if that is what people want to do. Anyone is free to buy the vehicle of his or her choice. I realize many people who can afford the Tahoes, Hummers, etc. probably don’t have any financial issues. But when I see those same people complaining, I just shake my head.

    The government does have a role, though, in setting mileage standards for automobiles. I drive a 2004 Nissan Frontier, and I get 33 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg in town. I am pleased with the mileage, in particular when I drive to see a son who lives two hours away and another one who lives 3 1/2 hours away. It still costs me a pretty penny, so I don’t get to see them and my grandkids as much as I did before.

  6. kent strock says:

    Where can I find that transcript…not that I need more facts about the non-reality based Republican ideology.

  7. clint jenkins says:

    I think the questions are straight forward. And by the way on question 8 you site that mortgages are non of your business or concern. Can you explain why they have been in your past?

    A previous post about gov daniels by you. Do you have more pressing problems? Or do you just want to throw these things out when they fit the bill?

    “His commercials attempt to paint an average, plain Joe. Nothing could be farther from the truth. He has refused to live in the Governor’s mansion, and, instead, lives in a community on Geist Reservoir in a home with about 8,000 square feet. The house is for sale at an asking price of $1,250,000”

  8. Clint:

    I don’t recall a lawmaker’s mortgage ever being my concern – now or in the past. I don’t care where the mortgages come from. If there is something underhanded about it, then, like I said, turn it over to a congressional ethics committee and let them investigate.

    As to my previous post about Daniels, I find it very pressing to help defeat him. So any posts I do are geared toward that end. Daniels has tried to pass himself off as a “good ole Hoosier”, which, as I said, is a total campaign fabrication.

  9. kent strock says:


    The questions are straight forward? Are you kidding me? Not sure what to say to such ignorance. Nutin personal

  10. clint jenkins says:

    The questions are as straight forward as a CNN or MSNBC poll asking “would you prefer alternative energy to free us from foreign oil”

    I seriously think that asking do we want education or alternative energy is a good question. I think budget cuts across the board means across the board and I am sure most Americans are for it. By the way, budgets you hear of being cut are not actualy being reduced they are being held static- another misconception put forth by your media friends. The citi bus question- straight forward.
    The question on drilling- Forget about it, just ask the people and they will say DRILL! No need to load this question up.
    The problem with not drilling is that libs see it as a powerplay for oil companies, the libs see the environment damaged. I see Russia invading Georgia testing the strenght of America and Europe. Russia now has more money than they know what to do with and more power over Europes oil and natural gas supply, leaving them comprimised politicly– just as we are comprimised politicly by not being more self sufficient in oil and all other sources of energy. Russias next move will be to choke or theaten to choke out wheat supplies to Europe. But I guess we are more worried about a dumb questionaire.

  11. It is my blog, and, as such, I can write about what I choose – even if it doesn’t meet the approval of my readers.

    I think Souder’s questionnaire is relevant – it shows his manipulative tactics, and it was paid for by the taxpayers.

    I am not so naive that I don’t realize that politicians, whether Democrat or Republican, will manipulate questionnaires and polls. I just happen to be a Democrat, so I will pick on Republicans. 🙂

  12. clint jenkins says:

    I guess I try not to look at is as R or D. Thats the problem. Like Obama saying answering when life begins is above his pay grade. He also said Clarence Thomas wasnt suitable for the bench. I dont care who says this= junk. Obama couldnt shine Thomas’ shoes. Obama is nothing but a street activist with 150 days in the senate. He has voted to end life after the birth canal and cant decide when life begins? Bush spent too much money and tried to give Mexicans legal status above all others which is BS. See I pick on both sides.

  13. little debbie says:

    clint how can you play level headed and say you are trying not to see it as d or r, when on your prior post your doing your best to tell us liberals how we think and how basicically its ignorant because it is blind to the russia threat looming. and i agree with obama on thomas and his readiness for the job when he got it. i think obama used wisdom and wry humor commenting on the decision of when a fetus has rights. i frankly am sick of groups of old white men making judgement calls about womens legal rights when it comes to abortion..regardless of any persons religious beliefs. roe v wade doesnt make anyone have an allows personal choice which is nobodys business except the woman involved, and the fertilizer of the egg if he is in the picture.. we cannot be a nation who legislates based on biblical sin level. not everyone believes life begins at conception, and not everyone feels obligated to cast legal judgement on anyone who believes differently than they do about the matter.

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