As my wife can attest, I’m a terrible insomniac. Not sure if it’s my miserable sinuses, or I’m just wired to wake up at an unreasonable hour. So, when I sat up at o’dark-30, and went out to the couch to surf the internet, I was pondering what topics I might touch on today.
One thing I wondered, is where does Democratic Candidate Matt Varilek stand on some of the hot button political issues, because that’s not something I’ve really heard anything about. The only issue I recall he touched on was the whole same-sex marriage thing, and when his position came out, you could hear the howls of his party far and wide. For a moment, after that comment and the you tube video of a guy who makes me look svelte getting winded down a hill, some thought that Jeff Barth snowball might actually have a chance to slip through the fiery pits of tartarus.
And, it was a pretty brief moment, as Varilek shellacked him.
So, with the question of where he sits on hot-button issues in mind, I went and looked at Project Vote Smart, where they compile these sorts of things. And…. nothing.
Then, I went to Varilek’s own website… And I didn’t get much more. Not to say that I came back with nothing, but things are pretty murky in the spin zone. Not an uncommon complaint, as noted in this Mitchell Daily Republic article which noted that before the primary, people were searching for specifics in a sea of generalities.
Kathryn Crockett said while she hopes he runs, she wants Varilek to take firm stands on issues. She said his speech was long on generalities.
Well, no kidding. It hasn’t gotten any better since the primary. So, let’s look at some of the hot button issues, and if there’s an answer out there somewhere.
Okay, so we know Varilek is opposed to same-sex marriage, which isn’t surprising in South Dakota. So, let’s try a tougher issue – where is he on the whole spectrum of the abortion issue; in general, as it applies to planned parenthood funding, taking minors over state lines, etc., and so on?
And according to his issues page… it isn’t addressed at all. Not even hinted at. If you check out NARAL, who actively looks for this stuff… They’re stumped on his position as well, noting “Matt Varilek (D) has no known position on choice.” SD Right to Life noted both candidates in the Democratic primary as pro-abortion, but without a citation, it’s difficult to look at the source material.
Looking at Gun Control, we get a vague statement from Varilek’s issue page about “preserving the rights of law-abiding gun owners and protecting our great outdoor spaces for future generations.” So, where does his sit on such things as concealed carry, stand your ground laws, arms manufactured within a state, etc? Again, there seems to be little if anything at all on the record.
Another hot button issue? How about Obamacare? Here we get the closest thing to a statement as we can find on the candidate’s website. Varilek states “On the issue of health care, Congress should look forward, not backward. Instead of repealing the bill and then starting a new divisive health reform debate, Congress should work on further improvements to our health care system.” So, for Varilek, Obamacare appears to be a “Yes.”
But here, we not not only get a resounding yes – we also get a statement about moving control further away from states: “I would support the idea of achieving even greater cost containment through creation of voluntary regional health care exchanges as an alternative to 50 individual state exchanges.” So, as opposed to ObamaCare’s only nominal gesture to state’s rights via giving them some control over state health exchanges, candidate Matt Varilek wants that process to sit at the federal level.
So, yes on supporting and strengthening Obamacare, no on same-sex marriage, and the rest is vague to non-existent.
Tom Lawrence at the Mitchell Daily Republic is reporting today that Varilek claims to be looking forward to debating US Congresswoman Kristi Noem this election season. Maybe as part of this process, he can clearly and concisely state where he sits on the issues.
Otherwise, we might as well tag him as Mr. Vague.