John Ransom

US Senate candidate and Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock blasted US Senator from Indiana, Richard Lugar, the incumbent Republican he’s trying to unseat, over farm subsidy payments that Lugar received from 1995 to 2010.

The record shows that Lugar has a long history of rent-seeking from the US government even while singing the praises of free markets.

Mourdock, the presumed Tea Party favorite, according to Greg Fettig head of Tea Party-centric Hoosiers for Conservative Senate, is Treasurer of one of the few states operating in the black this year. But still, he faces an uphill battle to oust the quintessential “establishment” Republican in Lugar.  

According to records compiled by the Farm Subsidy database, Lugar received $165,687 in farm subsidies during a decade and half in the Senate, including the six years he spent as chairman of the Senate Agricultural Committee, from 1995 to 2001.

“As part of his month long visit to Indiana in August,” Mourdock told Townhall Finance “Senator Dick Lugar on multiple occasions spoke of eliminating subsidies for sugar growers, yet he remained completely silent about the fact, according to, that he has been personally receiving farm payments from the federal government on wheat, corn and soy beans for many years on acres he owns in Indiana.”

“It comes back to the protection of a very few [sugar] growers who have had a hammerlock on [prices], and they are not unique. I’m opposed to subsidies in general,” Lugar told Chicago’s Public Radio station WBEZ about sugar subsidies.

He’s opposed to subsidies “in general,” but not specifically when it comes to subsidies for sugar’s direct competitor in the United States, corn, which Lugar just happens to grow. Or soybeans.  

You know? Coincidentally.

Lugar is chairman of Lugar Stock Farm, Inc. which according to Lugar is a 600 acre “active corn, soybean, and hardwood tree farm in Marion County, Indiana.” Lugar enjoyed an income of $197,342 in 2010 according to financial disclosures he made as a member of the Senate. He has a net worth of $2.5 million.

John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance, host of Ransom Notes Radio and you can catch more of the best money advice and monetary commentary by him daily 10am PT, 1pm ET at or on Comcast Cable