Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gubernatorial Candidate Bob Thomas Says Government Should Not Be Involved in Protecting Religous Freedom or Preventing Discrimination

Bob Thomas, a Ft. Wayne car dealer, earlier this month held a press conference to declare that he would:  1) be a candidate for Governor running against Mike Pence in the GOP primary in 2016; or 2) he would run in the Republican Primary for the Ft. Wayne area 3rd congressional district being vacated by Congressman Marlin Stutzman who is running for Senate. 

Thomas ran for that district in 2010.  Thomas lost the Republican primary to Congressman Mark Souder that year by 14 points.  Unlike state legislative seats, congressional candidates only have to
Bob Thomas
live in the state they seek to represent; they don't have to live in the district for which they run.

In a recent interview with Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, Thomas indicated he had dropped the idea of running for Congress and would focus instead on defeating Pence in the 2016 GOP primary.

Thomas, who has degrees from Princeton and Harvard, touts his business success as qualification to be Governor.  He like most political novices though cite a lack of political experience as qualification for elected office.  It was clear from the interview though that Thomas clearly is not prepared to be Governor.

Shabazz asked Thomas about Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  Thomas response was that government should not be involved in the issue.  Huh?  Government is already involved in the issue.  The whole impetus for RFRA was a 1990 U.S. Supreme Court decision that basically gutted the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, making the clause virtually toothless when it came to protecting religious liberty.  Congress and states have reacted passing RFRAs to restore that protection.  The whole "government should not be involved" line makes no sense.

Thomas was then asked about expanding Indiana's civil rights to include sexual orientation. Thomas again responded the same way...that government shouldn't be involved in the issue.  Of course, government is already involved in prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations.   Even if Thomas doesn't support expanding the law to include sexual orientation, that is still government being involved in the issue.  Not including sexual orientation is still a public policy choice.

Thomas' apparent belief that he can simply skate by these issues by using the "government shouldn't be involved" line shows how utterly unprepared he is to be a candidate for Governor.

Shabazz's interview with Thomas can be found here.

1 comment:

Pete Boggs said...

He should read the First Amendment of the document to which he'll swear an oath if elected; an amendment of primacy, in which religious freedom factors heavily...