Coats visits Berne Tuesday
Indiana Senator Dan Coats told a group of local residents on Tuesday that he is proud to represent the "Indiana model" in Washington.
"It is a privilege to represent the state of Indiana in Washington," said Coats to a group of residents gathered at The Gathering House in Berne at lunchtime.
"We determined what is necessary to keep our fiscal house in order," said Coats.
"We have done it without a tax increase. We are a business friendly state, a place known to many now as the, 'Indiana model.' Thanks to leaders like State Representative Matt Lehman and Senator Travis Holdman, we are better off than any other state in the nation."
Coats said that he traveled around the state for a year before allowing his name to stand as a Republican candidate for senate when Evan Bayh vacated his seat.
"The people of Indiana clearly gave me the message that we don't want to spend more than we make," said Coats. "The taxpayers want us to be much more conservative in spending our money."
Prior to lunch, Coats and his wife, Marsha, along with other public officials, visited the clock tower and witnessed the playing of the glockenspiel.
"The values of this community are true and are instilled in the clock tower," Coats said. "The characteristics that are carved in the clock tower truly represent what this area stands for."
Marsha Coats said that she was impressed with the flower boxes and beautiful Adams County gardens she had seen along U.S. 27 on their way into town. Coats said that he and Marsha had experienced similar atmosphere when they were ambassadors to Germany earlier in the century. He noted that they learned many things about the Swiss heritage when they traveled close to the Switzerland border.
"I was given a tour of the Mennonite Church and saw the pipe organ. I got to play a pipe organ a little when we were in Germany but it was nothing like this organ," said Marsha Coats. "It is obvious to sense the faith these people have in the Lord when I look around at the churches and representations of faith."
Coats, currently the junior United States Senator from Indiana, had currently served in the Senate between 1989 and 1999. Prior to that, he had served between 1981 and 1989, representing the state's fourth congressional seat in the United States House of Representatives. In 1990, he won an election to serve the remainder of Dan Quayle's term following his election to the Vice Presidency in 1988.
Between 2001 and 2005, Coats served as an ambassador to Germany. He then served as a lobbyist in Washington until he was re-elected to the Senate by a substantial margin in 2010.
"I would like to thank you for your kind words about the people of our community," said Berne Mayor John Minch in greeting the senator. "We thank you for coming. You are welcome to the city of Berne anytime."
Doug Milligan, who serves on the Geneva Town Council and is the executive director for Swiss Heritage Village, said that he had a brief opportunity to talk to Coats about the continued need for tax deductions for those who give to non-profit organizations.
"I requested that if there is a change in tax rules or regulations for not-for-profit organizations, that they still remember the deductibility to those who contribute to the not-for-profits," said Milligan.
Milligan added that if there is one word he would use to characterize current times, it is the world, "uncertainty."
"He agreed in the importance of not touching, 'not for profits,'" Milligan said. "He said that he was not a supporter of that kind of legislation. He said that he is aware of the uncertainties that are out there and the concerns of the people."
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