Editor, Times-Union:
After reading an editorial in this paper a few weeks back titled “Special Interest,” I have gone back and forth between responding with my thoughts and just leaving the issue alone. But then I discovered that the gentleman who wrote the editorial may not even live in Rebecca Kubacki’s district, and Curt Nisly proudly lists the “special interest” editorial on his campaign website.  That is just bothersome and wrong.
To begin with, I want to make it clear that I am not politically active. I am a husband and father. I have volunteered for many years in local youth sporting activities. I am a Christian. I am your neighbor (the one who cleans your drive out in the winter and only asks for a thank you in return). I am also a small business owner who builds homes in our community. However, the work politicians do affects me, my family and my business. So it is important that I have a voice on issues that impact me and my business. And this is true for every business owner in Kosciusko County.
This is why I, a Kosciusko County resident and business owner, belong to the Indiana Builders Association and support its political action committee. My voluntary donation allows our group to help elect and support candidates who support the housing industry, jobs and a strong economic environment for the state of Indiana. Between work and family, I simply don’t have time to monitor what legislators are doing at the Statehouse. And even if I did have extra time, I could find a great deal many more things I would rather be doing than watching politics. Fortunately for me, and other home builders in our community, there is a trade association that does monitor legislation on our behalf that is important to my business. They represent the builders and suppliers in our community. Why on earth would someone think that it’s OK for an elected official to ignore the person that represents me at the Statehouse?
In Gary Eppenbaugh’s “special interest” editorial, shortly before urging support for Curt Nisly, he poses the question: “How can you (Rep. Kubacki) claim to be a representative of the people of your district, yet take … money … from groups who are not even headquartered in your district?” Well, Gary, I think I can answer that question: Rep. Kubacki is not taking money from those “groups” headquartered in Indianapolis; she accepts voluntary donations from the members of those groups who live in her district. The builders, the bankers, the bakery owners, the filling stations and the farmers all have one thing in common – the groups that represent these folks would not exist if it were not for the support of individual citizens that live and work in our community.
Like I said before, I am not politically active. But I do care about democracy. And I do want my voice to be heard when it comes to issues that are important to me, my family and my business. Rebecca Kubacki has always taken my calls and helped whenever possible. The possibility that Curt Nisly believes that only certain people or groups should have a voice in shaping state law and that he doesn’t have to listen to every citizen in our area is an extremely scary proposition. I don’t care about the politics of this whole thing, but please don’t criticize or attempt to take away my ability to have a voice at the Statehouse.
Rebecca Kubacki cares about our community and every voice in it. Keep up the good work, Rebecca.
Brett Harter
Leesburg, via e-mail