GOP contender prepares for Senate race

An interview with John Price, Republican candidate for US Senate

By Scott Tibbs

John Price is an Indianapolis lawyer running for the United States Senate seat Dan Coats will vacate in 1999. Following is an interview with Mr. Price.

Hoosier Review: Why are you running for the United States Senate?

John Price: I want to make sure Dan Coats, America's best pro-family Senator, is not replaced by a liberal Democrat. If a liberal Democrat wins, we are sliding backward on the progress we have made. This Senate seat must be filled with a pro-life, pro-family conservative Republican.

HR: How are you different from Peter Rusthoven, another candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by Coats?

JP: Peter is a nice guy. We are not very different philosophically. The primary difference between us is I am conservative not just in what I say but in what I do. I have been on the front lines fighting on abortion, decency, education, and home schooling. I have a proven track record. Conviction without action is meaningless.

HR: In addition to Rusthoven, how are you different from Ft. Wayne Mayor Paul Helmke, the third candidate for the Republican nomination?

JP: Paul is a very nice guy as well, but we are very different. For one thing, I would have never endorsed Bill Clinton's crime control package. I would also never force people to be included into a city who didn't want to be included. Helmke describes himself as a "moderate conservative", but I'm not sure such an animal exists. You either are committed to conservatism or you aren't.

HR: The Congress has recently passed legislation setting up funding for abstinence only sex education. Do you agree with this, or do you think sex education should be taught at all in the government schools?

JP: Sex education should be taught in a different environment than the classroom. The classroom is a forced forum due to attendance requirements and so forth. Sex education is not the role of the government.

HR: What is your position on the abortion issue? Do you allow any exceptions with regard to allowing abortion?

JP: I believe there is only one possible exception, that being if medical science concludes the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother if it is allowed to go to full term. With today's medical technology, that doesn't happen very often. As to rape and incest, the child is not guilty of what was done to the mother, and should not be killed for the actions of his father. Another difference between Peter Rusthoven and myself is he does make exceptions for rape and incest.

HR: If elected to the Senate, would you favor overhaul of the tax code?

JP: I favor abolishing the tax code and replacing it with a single rate flat tax or national sales tax. Until we see more debates on the matter, I do not know which is best. That is what is great about the debate series being set up by House Majority Leader Richard Armey, so America can see the points of both. I oppose a VAT tax, however, because it is hidden.

HR: Do you think the Republicans can defeat Evan Bayh in 1998?

JP: One question to be considered is will he even run? He is interested in being Vice President, and may be chosen for that position if Al Gore is forced to resign with his current problems. Also, he has two young children at home and is making a lot of money doing what he does now. Finally, 1998 will be a terrible year for Democrats. I believe one or two national leaders will resign or be impeached, plus Bayh hasn't even announced yet, and it's past the traditional Labor Day deadline for candidates to announce. I believe Bayh will be defeated in 1998.

HR: If Bayh is not the Democratic candidate, who will be the candidate for the Democrats?

JP: Either former Democratic state chair or Mayor Marl Lawler of Anderson.

HR: There has been some controversy regarding the Republican Senate's non-action on several of Clinton's appointees. What is your view on this?

JP: I believe the nominations should not move forward unless the nominee is asked about judicial activism. We have seen an example of judicial activism right here in Indiana, with Judge Hamilton's decision on the informed consent bill. He decided that phone counseling meets the requirements of the law, but the woman does not see pictures of the baby that is going to be killed. The General Assembly already discussed the issue of phone counseling and decided not to allow it.

Eric Seymour

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