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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

District 1 candidates hope to be a part of a better Congress

At the midterm election Nov. 4, voters will decide who will represent them in the House of Representatives for the next two years.

In a Gallup poll taken last week, dissatisfaction with government was ranked the second biggest issue facing America, following the economy.

The 113th Congress has the lowest approval rates in history.

Currently, 14 percent of Americans approve of Congress, according to Gallup. That rate was as low as nine percent in 2013.

This Congress has passed 185 laws to date, the lowest number on record at the Library of ?Congress.

Candidates for U.S. Representative of Indiana’s District 1 have a few reasons for why they believe Americans are dissatisfied with government and what they would do as representatives to form a satisfactory ?legislature.

Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, has not spoken publicly about this and could not be reached for comment.

Republican challenger Mark Leyva said he believes that part of the issue is a lack of public education on how the federal ?government should operate.

“I think because of the lack of education in our school systems that do not teach the Constitution, that’s why people do not understand how out of control Congress is at this time,” Leyva said. “Though they are dissatisfied, they do not understand.”

Leyva said Congress is the reason the other two branches of government are unsatisfactory to the public.

“It’s a shame that they are absolutely allowing the other branches to let them be constitutionally out of control,” he said. “They have the power to stop the funding of certain agencies when one of the branches are out of control, and they aren’t even doing that.”

He also said politicians should not stay very long in Congress.

Visclosky has served as District 1 representative ?since 1985.

Libertarian candidate Donna Dunn said she believes citizens’ dissatisfaction comes from a lack of variation in parties and ?incumbents.

“They’re not seeing anything change,” Dunn said. “We get mad at the Republicans, we vote Democrat. We get mad at the Democrats, we vote for the Republicans. Nothing ever changes, it all says the same.”

Dunn said she believes citizens should do their part to vote for candidates who represent them and not choose the candidates who are supporting interest groups.

Aides to Visclosky were reported in 2009 as being involved in offering legislative earmarks in exchange for campaign ?contributions.

Dunn said voting for a libertarian is an option most people ?consider to be a waste because ?Libertarians have a low success rate but that voters should not go for candidates just because of party popularity.

“Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil,” she said.

This story is part of a weekly series profiling members of the U.S. Congress and their opposing candidates for the midterm election Nov. 4. Candidates from each Indiana district were interviewed on a ?rolling basis.

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