Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

October 14, 2012

DECISION 2012: Goshen residents figuring out what matters most to them

GOSHEN — As the Nov. 6 general election approaches, local residents are sifting through the political rhetoric, campaign television ads and weathered yard signs to determine what is most important to them during this campaign season and beyond. Many are trying to determine — if they haven’t already — which candidates line up with those determinations.

For Goshen resident Betty Martin, the biggest concern with the upcoming election season is Medicare.

Martin, who had lunch with friends in The Electric Brew downtown last week, said she was keeping her eye on which candidate’s positions were on cuts to the program.

“I’m the oldest out of the three of us,” she said, looking at her friends. “I’m concerned about Medicare cuts and what that means.”

Martin said she leans more liberally than others her age. Her friend Barbara Springer also said she leaned more liberal, citing world experience and moderation as the two issues most influential on her vote.

“I think (President) Barack Obama has experience with world view,” Springer said. “That’s important to me. I like my president and other leaders to have that experience.”

When it comes to moderation, Springer said she looks for a leader who is willing to work for all citizens.

“I think it’s important to care for all aspects of society,” Springer said. “Sometimes I think that (Republican presidential candidate) Mitt Romney’s views are black and white, when things are really gray. You have to make programs for the gray.”

Goshen resident Jerry Burt said he looks at economic policy and job creation as he looks at candidates.

“It’s a big thing,” Burt said while at the County Seat Cafe Friday. “I’m also looking at the health care plan (the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare). A lot of people are out of work, and I feel that if the health care plan goes through, that will be worse for people.”

He cited high prices, for everything, including gas, as evidence that the country needs economic help. Burt also said he wants to see Indiana governing stay the course.

“I’d like to see what (Indiana governor Mitch) Daniels had going continue,” he said. “It’s on the right track, state-wise.”

M.J. Hochstetler, also dining at the County Seat, said he’s also paid most attention to the economy and job creation.

“I’m concerned,” he said. “I hope we elect someone that can get jobs for the country, because more jobs will make the economy improve.”

Hochstetler said he will be voting on Election Day, and though he knows who he’ll be casting his ballot for, he said he hasn’t put as much thought into races outside the presidency.

“Economy and jobs,” Hochstetler said. “I’m trying to think of others, but those are the big ones for me.”

Other local residents are not so politically active. Local Chad Wooten said he doesn’t vote, and he has never registered to vote.

It’s not because of laziness, he said. It’s just because he’s “never been one of those people.”

“Everyone has a right to believe what they want to believe,” Wooten said.

Wooten doesn’t find politics to be beneficial to the general populace, mainly because it focuses too much on tearing down the opposition, rather than helping citizens.

“I’ve never found someone who said, ‘Hey, let’s all work together,’” Wooten said. “At the end of the day, that’s what’s missing. We spend so much time focusing on the weaknesses, when we should be focusing on our strengths.”

Wooten, who said he has worked and lived in many states and is now involved in a small business locally, said that politics is, sadly, a money game.

“If we would just focus on the problems, instead of the people,” he said, “we would have progress.”

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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