5/5/08

Labor-state Republicans fear worker-choice

The Porter and Lake county (Indiana) Republican committees held a joint conference Saturday to defend their incumbent state representative candidates against recent mailings. Allegations made in the mailings against Ed Soliday of Porter County and Don Lehe of Lake County are either lies or distortions, the committees' chairmen said.

And on Monday, they're going to the Porter County prosecutor and the election division of Indiana's Attorney General.

They're also considering pursuing the group behind it for mail fraud.

"We believe these are all shadow groups of the Right to Work Committee, and these people are going after Republican candidates that don't kowtow their line," Porter County Republican Chairman Chuck Williams said.

The mailings began arriving about nine days ago in Porter County, with similar ones arriving a few days ago in Lake.

The Porter ones accuse Soliday, who's running for the District 4 seat, of being anti-Second Amendment, Will-iams said. He is an NRA member.

The mailings also make accusations of the candidates voting for a gas tax hike, a sales tax hike and a wheel tax that never existed, he said.

Lake County Chairman John Curley said that mailings also make accusations about bipartisan work.

Those mailings, which appear to target registered Republicans, ask the recipients to send money.

Williams said he's already heard from elderly people who've given money.

"They're outside groups -- some of them from Virginia, some of them from Indianapolis and some of them have been created in the last few days," Williams said.

The National Gun Owners Alliance was created in Indiana on April 22 and operates out of a UPS box in Indianapolis. It files no financial disclosure statements, Williams said.

"I can't find the accountability of these guys," he said.

Shawn Olson, running against Soliday in the primary, has disavowed the mailings.

(post-trib.com)

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