Libertarian candidate Greg Knott and write-in candidate Jerry Lucas are profiled today. Democratic incumbent Baron Hill and Republican challenger Todd Young were profiled in Monday's Madison Courier.
Libertarian candidate Greg Knott and write-in candidate Jerry Lucas are profiled today. Democratic incumbent Baron Hill and Republican challenger Todd Young were profiled in Monday's Madison Courier.
Although most of the attention and advertising in the race for southeastern Indiana's seat in Congress is on the two major-party candidates, voters have two other choices.




Greg "No Bull" Knott

For the first time, the Libertarian Party has a candidate in all nine congressional races in Indiana. In the 9th District, it is Greg "No Bull" Knott. "No Bull" is an acronym for planks in his campaign platform, and he got listed on the ballot with that as part of his name. He said nicknames are allowed as long as they are not challenged within 60 days, and no one challenged it.

The planks in his platform are:

• "No bailouts or corporate welfare - no business is too big to fail in free market."

• "Overhaul tax code for jobs, simplicity and fairness." He refers readers to a FairTax website.

• "Bring troops home - let foreigners defend themselves, while we invest in our economic security." He said this plank also means that troops should be brought home from Japan, Germany and other places where wars are long over and the countries' can afford their own troops.

• "Unconditionally end foreign aid foolishness; why borrow to aid corrupt dictators like (Afghan President Hamid) Karzai?"

• "Lower the national debt; end undeclared wars of choice and only extend 'tax cuts' without borrowing."

• "Limit lobbying influence on Washington.."

Knott said the talked-about 23 percent national sales tax, the FairTax, "is just a better way to collect the same amount of taxes, and is not a tax increase for anyone except criminals. Drug dealers, prostitutes and other tax cheats in the underground economy currently pay no taxes because they don't report their cash income to the government and don't receive paychecks with payroll taxes already taken out.

"The FairTax forces these criminals to pay their fair share when they buy items at the store which will allow taxes to be lowered for honest middle-class Americans while collecting the same amount of revenue to pay for government services."

On Social Security and Medicare, Knott said both could be saved if the funding was switched "from the shrinking tax base of the payroll taxes (to) the growing tax base of FairTax."

But FairTax "is not part of the equation," Knott said, so if he had to choose between the current system and Roadmap for America's Future, which later would add private accounts to Social Security and give subsidies to senior citizens to buy their own insurance, he would vote for the personal accounts "since they cannot be raided by politicians." U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., ranking member of the House Budget Committee, unveiled the Roadmap this month.

On the role of government, Knott said he believes that individuals can have more impact that government on the well-being of people, so he tithes - gives 10 percent - of his income to such organizations as The Shalom Community Center in Bloomington, Share the Blessing, Habitat for Humanity and WorldVision.

Knott would like to see the Promise Academy school, which has been the topic of programs on television, become the model for public education throughout the nation. The academy has a 100 percent graduation rate, spends 60 percent more per-pupil than Indiana spends, and its officials "don't have to deal with teachers unions and not remove bad teachers from the classrooms," he said.

"It shouldn't be about protecting the teachers. It should be about educating children," Knott said.

Knott's campaign has been low-budget, so his first TV ads will begin airing this week. "It is somewhat of an attack ad," Knott said, adding with a laugh "which is kind of what you have to do when you're 45 points down (in the polls). It pokes fun at my opponent's record."

It does that by strongly implying that after receiving campaign donations, Hill did favors,. One of them cited was putting an "earmark" in the federal budget to get something funded for the donor. He said the money the donor got from the federal budget was 13 times more than the donation. He calls it "pay to play."




Jerry Lucas

Jerry Lucas is a write-in candidate, so his name will not appear on the ballot. People who want to vote for him will have to follow the procedure for the type of voting machine they use; he advises anyone who is unsure to ask a polling place official for help.

A write-in candidate has to file candidacy papers ahead of time, so nobody else's name can be written in the space provided and be counted.

"I'm trying to prove to people you don't have to spend a million dollars to get elected, and every citizen has a right to get a write-in vote," Lucas said.

Lucas' main way of campaigning is You Tube, where voters can hear him speak on his positions.

If he gets elected and a constituent wants to talk to him, "I'm not going to make you pay me to see you," he said. Nobody has to provide an expensive meal to get him to sit down and talk; meeting over a sack lunch would be fine, he said.

He is critical of the economic stimulus bill because he says it didn't provide a long-term solution to joblessness.

"People want jobs that will keep them employed for 20 years, not three years," he said.

He agrees with the idea of PAYGO. "We will not spend any more than we bring in, and will try to spend less so we can pay down the debt for our grandchildren," Lucas said.

On defense spending, Lucas said he is willing to pay "whatever it takes to protect the soldiers in the field," but draws the line there.

"I'm not going to give money to Baghdad or Afghanistan because we are giving people money who are fighting us."

Lucas has an alternative idea for Social Security.

"Social Security is broke, absolutely, no money in there. They (politicians) have raided it, stole it. We should be allowed to get our money back. ... You should be able to get a percentage of the money for every year you worked. I will then invest my money as I see fit.

"We have allowed that system to be used by everybody who didn't pay for it. People have told me they are on Social Security because they cannot read. That's not what Social Security was intended for."

Similarly, Lucas said that education dollars should not go to immigrants at the expense of American children.

Lucas said he read the health care law in its entirety.

"It's ridiculous," he said. He said provisions slipped into the bill included that parents of a pregnant girl under the age of 16 could be fined $1,500 and that buying and selling gold has to be reported to the U.S. Treasury.

He said he disagrees with the law's provision that doctors will be paid when they have end-of-life discussions with patients because hospitals already have social workers who do that as part of their job, not for extra pay.

As with most laws, Lucas found the writing in the health care law difficult to understand.

"Why don't we write laws that are clear, that people can read?" he said. "They do that so you won't question it."

Lucas said he would put a two-term limit on himself, and would not become a lobbyist after leaving office.



The other 9th District candidates, Democrat Baron Hill and Republican Todd Young, were profiled in Monday's Courier.