Morales tries to get campaign messages heard on ongoing controversies | Policy
INDIANAPOLIS—Diego Morales wants to tell voters why he is running and what he would do if elected Indiana’s secretary of state.
But with a campaign plagued with scrutiny and controversy, the Republican candidate is often forced into the defensive.
Morales immigrated with his family from Guatemala to Sellersburg, Indiana, where he attended high school, and he uses it to frame his race.
“It is important for me to ensure that everyone else will have the same opportunities as me to register to vote and be part of the electoral process,” Morales said. “And for me to continue to protect the American dream that I live, I believe it starts at the ballot box. I believe it starts with the ballot box.
Morales spoke to The Statehouse File on Friday before spending the weekend at the Republican Leadership Meeting for the 4th Congressional District, Brookston Apple Popcorn Festival, Goshen Hispanic Heritage Festival, Festival of Faiths, Indy Taco Fest and the Johnson County GOP rally.
He prides himself on being a “grassroots guy” who has visited every county in Indiana and is on the campaign trail “not six but seven days a week.”
Morales’ time at the Secretary of State
Despite the long weeks of his campaign, reports of a questionable work record surfaced during his run for the US Congress in 2018 and resurfaced.
The Associated Press found that just over a decade ago, Morales had trouble during two separate stints in the Indiana secretary of state’s office.
Records obtained by the AP indicated that, among other things, Morales had a “lack of focus” and “poor execution.”
The first stint was when Todd Rokita, Indiana’s current attorney general, was secretary of state.
Rokita, however, supported Morales’ candidacy and described Morales’ exit as “on good terms” in a letter to Republican delegates before Morales won the nomination, from The Indianapolis Star.
Morales also pushed back, calling the documents detailing his supposedly poor work ethic a result of office politics.
For the business services division, Morales would “streamline how Indiana small businesses will work with the office of the secretary of state,” making it easier for Hoosiers to start businesses.
“INBiz, the Secretary of State’s one-stop resource for registering and maintaining a business, has become the backbone of the Hoosier economy,” former Secretaries of State Ed Simcox and Todd Rokita said in a statement. a statement. September 15 Editorial. “Diego intends to expand INBiz’s offerings because, as a small business owner, Diego understands the unique and emerging needs of entrepreneurs and our state’s business community.”
“With the car dealership division, my goal is to make sure we can effectively get the car title for this industry,” Morales said.
Morales also wants to teach financial literacy to young adults — “just bring them back the basics” — like balancing a checkbook. He would also focus on making sure older people don’t get ripped off when they “make their own investments”.
The last is the electoral district.
“My No. 1 goal is to increase voter confidence,” Morales said.
Morales would strengthen voter ID laws and make it “easy to vote, harder to cheat.”
(Studies have shown that fraudulent voting is already rare. The Associated Press found between 400 and 500 potential cases for Biden in the 2020 election in the six states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, “represent[ing] just 0.15% of its margin of victory in those states. “)
Morales would also take county clerks overseas to be international election observers. In 2019, Morales spent time as an in El Salvador and Guatemala for the presidential election of each country.
One of the reasons Morales gives is to expose county clerks to the fact that many countries in Latin America and Europe require photo IDs to vote, which goes to show that it’s “natural ” and “common sense”.
A research paper from 2019 from the right-wing Crime Prevention Research Center found that ID is required to vote in all European countries except the UK.
“Under the administration of former Secretary of State Todd Rokita, Indiana became the first state in the nation to pass and implement photo ID laws,” Simcox and Rokita wrote in the op-ed submitted to REAL News Michiana by Morales’ campaign. “To further improve elections in Indiana, Diego is proposing to apply these photo identification requirements to mail-in voting.”
“In addition, it will update outdated voting equipment with advanced machines with paper backup systems, making it easier to perform audits if needed,” Simcox and Rokita said.
Morales says he also wants to see more minorities vote, a goal tied to his identity as a Hispanic Latino.
And he’s not waiting to see if he gets elected, Morales said.
“You know, over the summer, during Black Expo, I was registering voters,” Morales said. “During the Hispanic Expo, I was registering voters.”
Now, says Morales, “the 28 days are working very well and will continue to stay the same.”
When asked again why he changed his mind, Morales repeated to himself, “The 28 days work.”
Controversies over vocation, vehicle and veterans
In the same article regarding Morales’ work file at the State Department, The Associated Press also reported he called himself an assistant professor when “assistant instructor” is the more correct term and gave hazy details regarding his business.
Currently, Morales’ LinkedIn lists he has been a “business executive, consultant, entrepreneur” since 2018, but does not list a specific workplace.
“Trust between voters and candidates is based on transparency. The need for a reliable vehicle to run a campaign is a valid need that requires no explanation,” Libertarian candidate Jeff Maurer told Indy Politics. “But we would like to understand the thought process of using campaign funds to buy a vehicle for a four-month campaign when borrowing, and in particular leasing, would have been a much more practical use of campaign funds. country. Transparency requires answers.
Political science professor Gregory Shufeldt said The Indianapolis Star it was a “bad look to be continually tied up in unnecessary controversies, especially I would say the lavishness of the price of the car when in general, even if a campaign needed transportation, most Hoosier families don’t don’t buy cars for $43,000.”
The Star reported that the campaign said it would sell the SUV after the election, reinvesting the money into the campaign.
In common parlance, for the most part, Morales is a veteran, Teresa Mankin said.
The former executive director of the National Guard Association of Indiana suggested Morales could inflate his biography as a veteran, however, and Star opinion columnist James Briggs did the same.
As Morales crosses the state, from county to county, the 2020 presidential election looms in the rearview mirror.
Morales wrote a searing op-ed, chastising Sullivan for not commenting on the election.
“It’s amazing and incredibly unfortunate that Holli Sullivan wants to be elected as Hoosier State’s Chief Electoral Officer, and she won’t even recognize the most controversial election in American history,” Morales wrote.
The 2000 presidential election between George Bush and Al Gore ended in a Supreme Court decision and led to left-wing conspiracy theories. (Morales called the 2020 election “Bush vs. Gore on steroids.”) There’s still election fraud charges in the 1960 election that saw John F. Kennedy narrowly defeat Richard Nixon. And the 1876 election was settled by an informal compromise in which House Democrats upheld the Election Commission’s decision placing Republican nominee Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House, so long as Hayes withdrew troops from the South, thus putting an end to the reconstruction.
Morales, compared to Sullivan, was more than willing to broach the subject, writing, “The 2020 election was flawed and the outcome is questionable.”
His reasoning boiled down to some states changing election laws at the last minute, in-person voters on Election Day facing more “policing,” and social media platforms trying to hide a NY Post report about Hunter Biden’s laptop.
In the March 8 editorial, Morales said, quoting a CNN Articlethat “Among the enthusiastic, the motivated [Republican] midterm voters, 86% of them don’t believe Biden legitimately won.
Six months after the op-ed and three after winning the Republican nomination on June 18: “I’ve been clear that President Biden is the legitimate president,” Morales told FOX59.
“I can tell you this: Biden is the rightful president,” Morales told The Statehouse File on Friday.
When asked if he thought there was voter fraud but not enough to nullify the election, Morales offered no response, instead repeating himself and saying Biden was a president.” horrible”.
Morales ended his interview with The Statehouse File by expressing hope that “the next generation of Hoosiers, perhaps within the Latino community,” will see him rise to the post of Secretary of State and see that they too can be anything from mayor to president.
“So I try to give back, to create hope and to open doors for others,” Morales said. “So for me, it’s easy and simple. You know, it was never about me. And I hope people see that the American dream is still very much alive in Indiana.”
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