John Hostettler VS John Hostettler (aka Brad Ellsworth)
Congressman John Hostettler and Brad Ellsworth had their sole debate tonight on the campus of Vincennes University in Indiana. Hostettler is the Republican incumbent, and he’s facing off against Brad Ellsworth, who is in his second term as sheriff here in Evansville (Vanderburgh county).
The debate was informative…to an extent.
Only problem? It was John Hostettler vs John Hostettler. There is actually no difference between the two men. Two conservatives, both pro-gun, anti-gun control, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, pro-tax cuts.
As Hostettler said at the start of the debate- the liberals are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the 8th district because of one reason- Ellsworth would add one more to the Democratic side, and he would be the vote needed to put Pelosi in as speaker of the house. That’s the sole reason liberal groups are supporting Ellsworth, because he doesn’t share their values at all. His values and goals…his entire platform matches Hostettler’s completely.
This is why I don’t care for Ellsworth, and I have a feeling that Hoosiers will vote for him, not realizing that a vote for Ellsworth will be a vote for the party of moveon.org, and it’s not a party of the values of the citizens in the 8th district.
BELOW IS A COMPLETE RUNDOWN FOR THE DEBATE, THE QUESTIONS ASKED, AND THE RESPONSES FROM EACH CANDIDATE.
-Hostettler for staying in Iraq. No time table for withdrawal.
-Ellsworth the same.
WARRANTLESS WIRE TAPS
-Hostettler against them. Patriot Act is enough.
-Ellsworth the same.
BALANCE OF POWER
-Hostettler voted with Dems to fight warrantless wiretaps.
-Ellsworth the same.
-Ellsworth= secure the borders with fences and technology. Stop the drug trafficking in doing this. Enforce existing laws to prosecute companies that hire illegals. Wants to “turn the job magnets off”
-Hostettler= has held scores of hearings on this issue. Most important thing is to “turn off the job magnets.” Enforce laws already on books. Admonish Bush admin. to enforce laws on books. Come up with new technology and barriers.
-Hostettler= against min wage increase. Increase in labor costs will cause inflation. Bad for economy. Most people making min. wage aren’t poor, but are teenagers with first jobs or wage earners in dual earning households.
-Ellsworth= Supports rise in min wage. Cost of living has risen. Min wage jobs, he says, aren’t jobs for young people…mentions anecdotal story of grown man he talked to who can’t make ends meet with his min. wage job. People can’t make a living in min. wage, cost of living has gone up and it’s been 10 yrs since the last raise in min. wage.
-Elsworth= affordable healthcare is at crisis proportions. Needs to be most important issue for this congress. We have to act now and be creative. Look at reimportation of drugs from Canada, which we’re starting to do. Look at letting small businesses pool together resources to bid on insurance for workers.
-Hostettler= clarifying “tens of millions without insurance”- approx. 15% of those without insurance are illegal aliens. Millions of illegals (9 million according to 1 witness)- they have displaced millions of Americans, now unable to get health insurance. The two issues are connected. Agrees with Ellsworth in allowing small businesses to pool resources to bid on insurance for their employees. Private sector solutions are best.
-Ellsworth= says illegal aliens have never been an issue in health care and lack of it in hearing others speak on this issue.
-Hostettler= mentions Ellsworth’s support for universal healthcare and wondering why he didn’t mention it.
-Hostettler= reduction in oil prices…increased pools have lowered gas prices. More oil being found in deep water exploration will help. We need to move away from oil, in general, as we depend more and more dependent on foreign sources. Ethanol and bio-diesel will benefit all of us, including farmers in Indiana. Hydrogen fuel cells also a good idea. Indiana businesses are researching these fuel cells, taking military applications and moving it to the consumer applications.
Ellsworth= we should have been looking at alternative fuels since the 1970′s. We didn’t learn our lesson in the 70′s. Beans and corn are sources for alternative fuels. $14 billion in tax breaks for “big oil” isn’t good. Hybrid and alt. fuel vehicles need to be brought about. Posey Co. Indiana has plants for this. We need hybrid vehicle tax incentives and make them more affordable.
Hostettler= tax breaks aren’t given to oil companies. You merely don’t take as much from the companies as you usually did. The fed. govt. would be a much larger recipient of tax money.
Ellsworth= will be an indepdent voice in DC.
ETHICS/STANDARDS FOR CANDIDATE IN D.C.
-Ellsworth= he has pledged alliegance as sheriff. Will be no different in DC in Congress. He wants to change the image of Congress. It will require serious ethics reform. “Fraternity” up there will be broken up.
-Hostettler= when first running for Congress, his model was restoring trust in government. He has stayed consistent on his decisions. He doesn’t take PAC money. Only takes money from Americans. Ellsworth, he claims, has no similar stance in his campaign. He refused Congressional pension, as he doesn’t want the bill to be put onto his kids and grandkids.
-Ellsworth= signed pledge not to take a pay raise. He claims Hostettler takes money in a “shell game,” and basically calls him a liar.
- Hostettler= reports are available to public and there’s no shell game. It’s Ellsworth who has to give explanation why all the liberal groups are sending him money when he talks so “conservative.”
TAX INCREASE OVER NEAT 2 YEARS?
-Hostettler= no support for tax increase. Greenspan says we tax too much. We need to reorganize and deal with immigration issues, which will help tax burden. It’s federal govt’s role to tax, and keep up military. Need to reprioritize budget the spending to lower tax burden. Reduce spending to balance budget.
-Ellsworth= agrees with Hostettler. No new taxes pledge, he’s signed. Better spending in Congress. Wasteful spending in Congress is wrong. If he ran his sheriff’s dept. like Congress- he’d be out of a job. Money missing sent to Iraq is a bad thing.
-Hostettler= claims Ellsworth has given no solution to how we can reduce size of govt. and reduce spending. Waste, fraud, and abuse will be limited with lower spending.
-Ellsworth= agrees with Hostettler.
INDIVIDUAL PRIORITIES (TOP 3)
-Ellsworth= 1. listen to the people. What they want their Congressman to be. Citizens want to know they can get ahold of you. 2. Increase jobs in southwest Indiana. Do better job in both parties to sell Indiana to employers to turn out economy around.
-Hostettler= 1. Focus of Hoosiers is immigration from his discussions with them. Will work to fight illegal immigration. 2 Will work with local military contracted businesses to create jobs, create better technology, etc. 3. Will work to get I-69 in place, build it, create jobs through it, etc. Industry will flock to I-69 if it is built.
QUESTION NOT ASKED YOU’D LIKE TO ANSWER?
-Hostettler= Ellsworth has talked on conflicting circumstances. Has spent last 2 yrs listening to voters in 8th district. But he claims he took oath to do his job in Evansville. You can’t do your job and also travel nonstop to get voters to vote for you. He needs to clear up this inconsistency. If he were elected, voters need to know he will do his job he might be elected to do.
Ellsworth= With all these important issues today (immigration, Iraq, healthcare)- this congress has been compared to ‘do- nothing congress’…why doesn’t Congress work longer hours and more weeks to do their jobs. He does more work, hour-by-hour as a sheriff than Congressman.
-Hostettler= Ellsworth not familiar with the job in Congress. He’s held over 100 town hall meetings in 12 years, which might be a record.
- Ellsworth= says he is always available to the people in Evansville in his duty as sheriff.
-Hostettler= this election is about very first vote cast in Congress. 1 vote that WILL be held, regardless or any other issue, is the speaker of the house vote. We don’t know whether Dems will be in majority, as Ellsworth pointed out…but this doesn’t change the fact. Will Ellsworth’s vote, in this regard, be a throw-away vote. Ellsworth hopes, he claims, will be a Republican majority.
-Ellsworth= claims he hears about Pelosi nonstop. He’s not voted once with her. He mentions Tom Delay and this week’s scandal (Foley, we assume). This is about a man working for the people in the district. It’s about getting the work done…stop talking about it, get to the job. Stop partisan bickering, and this can’t happen with current Congress. He will work to fix the problems of Hoosiers and will do the job he’s elected to do.
MY CLOSING COMMENTS:
As I said- I see very little differences between the two men, and I think what Hostettler said was true. The liberal groups have spent massive amounts of money in this campaign to support Ellsworth, not because the groups share his values or the values of the constituents in the 8th district, but because they want a more liberal-leaning Congress in general that won’t share these values. They want one more peg added to the Democratic side, in order to further their ambitions of having Pelosi as speaker, Rangell as head of a very important committee, and more. I’m personally voting for Hostettler. I disagree with him in his fight against warrantless wiretaps- I think they’re vital. Ellsworth comes off as a nice guy, but I don’t want the party of moveon and Kos to have a single new seat in Congress, and when you have two men who basically agree on the basic issues- I say go with experience, go with the candidate who will help keep in place the party that truly represents the values of south, central, and western Indiana.
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