Prior to the Vice Presidential Debate between Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, there are a few things that undecided voters need to know about Mike Pence. Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick has a substantial history in politics.
Prior to becoming the Governor of Indiana, Pence was a Representative in the House from 2001 to 2013. After two failed bids for election in Indiana, he went to radio in Indiana with the The Mike Pence Show where he spoke out about infidelity, among other social and political topics. He even penned an essay condemning negative campaigning and apologizing to his competitor after slinging some of his own mud.
Hmm, I wonder what happened there considering he’s now on the same ticket as Trump who cheated on multiple wives and who is also running the dirtiest presidential campaign to date? Huh?
Here is just a small sample of Pence’s work in government.
He made LGBT discrimination legal in Indiana.
In 2015, Mike Pence signed a law that opened the way for businesses to deny services to people in the LGBT community because of their sexual orientation. Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed and made it to the governor’s desk in a retaliatory backlash of the seemingly nationwide support of marriage equality, which did come to fruition a few months later.
Shortly after receiving backlash of his own, Pence amended the law. However, this change only came after his state was subjected to national scrutiny, lost business and the pressure became too much. His original intent was certainly obvious and the state of Indiana has had to spend more than $2 million on public relations to recover from their legislative bigotry.
He banned abortions in Indiana for fetal abnormalities.
In March of this year, Mike Pence signed a new abortion law in Indiana which is considered some of the strictest regulations on women’s rights to date. The new law bans a woman’s right to choose if her decision is motivated by condition of the fetus, including disabilities. Immediately following the enactment of the law, Planned Parenthood and other women right’s activists vowed to challenge the law in court.
He supported the Iraq War.
Mike Pence supported the Iraq War and even voted to make the Patriot Act permanent. In fact, he was opposed to setting a date to remove our troops from Iraq.
He voted against defunding NASCAR sponsorships on the very same day he voted to defund Planned Parenthood.
On February 18, 2011, Mike Pence was a congressman fighting against the availability of women’s healthcare by co-sponsoring an amendment to completely defund Planned Parenthood. It passed with a 240-185 vote, Pence’s being in the majority, of course.
VoteSmart.org summarizes the amendment as:
Vote to adopt an amendment to HR 1 that prohibits federal funds from being made available to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, or to any of its state or local affiliates, for any purpose.
On that very same day, Pence voted against prohibiting federal dollars from the Department of Defense for NASCAR sponsorships. It was rejected with a 148-281 vote, again, Pence being in the majority.
VoteSmart.org summarizes the amendment as:
Vote to pass an amendment to HR 1 that prohibits the use of public funds for Department of Defense sponsorship of NASCAR race cars.
In Pence’s world, it is far more important for the federal government to spend tax dollars on race car sponsorships, than women’s health.
He praised the Citizens United ruling.
In a statement placed on his House Representative website, Pence said:
Freedom won today in the Supreme Court. Today’s ruling in the Citizens United case takes us one step closer to the Founding Fathers’ vision of free speech, a vision that is cherished by all Americans and one Congress has a responsibility to protect. If the freedom of speech means anything, it means protecting the right of private citizens to voice opposition or support for their elected representatives. The fact that the Court overturned a 20-year precedent speaks volumes about the importance of this issue.
Of course, one can only view the Supreme Court’s decision to extend the right of freedom to speech to corporations as a good one, if one believe corporations are people, too. This was a blow to those who support the idea that corporations shouldn’t be permitted to use their money to influence elections in their favor. The Citizens United Political Action Committee has financial ties to the Koch Bros – as does Mike Pence.
Oh and here is a bonus little factoid. Mike Pence also once said:
“I was Tea Party before it was cool.”
Because, apparently in his circle of friends, people like Ted Cruz are the cool kids? Oh c’mon! LOL
Featured image via Getty Images/Aaron P. Bernstein/Stringer