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11/3/2018 11:31:00 AM
EDITORIAL: Brooks' bipartisanship effective in Congress

Herald Bulletin

Politics in America has become nasty, divisive and unproductive. Emotion and extremism have replaced sound reasoning and moderation.

Sometimes, the public, disgusted by this trend, paints elected officials with a broad brush, blaming all for this crisis of collaboration. You know — drain the swamp, and all that.

But we actually do have some good people in Congress, people invested in doing the right thing for Americans.

Susan Brooks, representing Indiana’s 5th District, is one of the good ones. The editorial board of The Herald Bulletin endorses the Republican in a race against Democratic challenger Dee Thornton.

In her three terms in the House of Representatives, Brooks has shown a spirit of bipartisanship. In The Lugar Center’s bipartisan index of Congress for 2017, Brooks had the top score among the Indiana delegation, ranking 44th overall among the 438 members of the House of Representatives who were rated. The Lugar Center bipartisan index is based on an analysis of “how well members of opposite parties work with one another, using bill sponsorship and co-sponsorship data,” according to the organization’s website. The Lugar Center is led by Richard Lugar, the widely respected Hoosier who served in the Senate from 1977 through 2013. Brooks’ willingness to reach across the aisle has helped her become a leader in Congress in just six years. She’s the chairperson of the Committee on Ethics and also sits on the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

While Brooks too often falls into lockstep with President Donald Trump and has in some instances been too slow or too mild in her criticism of the president’s incendiary comments and tweets, she’s an effective representative working in the House to solve problems and develop programs that benefit Hoosiers. Her range of experiences, including stints as a federal prosecutor and deputy mayor of Indianapolis, provide her with a well-rounded view of government and public policy.

Thornton, a former Xerox executive, is campaigning against Trump policies. For instance, she opposes any effort to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act, wants to explore expansion of Medicare, supports strong environmental protection initiatives and says America “should build bridges” instead of walls in its immigration policy.

Thornton has a firm grasp of the issues and is resolute in her approaches to addressing them.

In a red district that repeatedly elected Mike Pence, now our vice president, to Congress before Brooks, Thornton faces long odds in her race with Brooks.

And, while Thornton would potentially be a strong U.S. representative of Indiana’s 5th District, Brooks has already proved herself in that capacity.

#YYYY# Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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