Hostettler holds town meeting

By Scott Tibbs

On February 7, 1998, U.S. Representative John N. Hostettler held a town meeting at Ivy Tech in Bloomington. Hostettler began the meeting by defending President Clinton's decision to send a strong message to Iraq, noting the need to prevent Saddam Hussein from amassing weapons of mass destruction. However, Hostettler decried Clinton's massive cutbacks in the military, noting the military that defeated Iraq in 1991 is no longer at the strength it was.

Hostettler also hailed the balanced budget, but criticized Bill Clinton for including so much new spending in his budget. Hostettler also called for tax relief to the American people.

Hostettler then took questions from the audience. One audience member challenged his support for roads into the Hoosier National Forest. Hostettler defended the roads, noting logging is needed for the health of the forest. Another audience member explained that much of the logging there is salvage logging. This removes dead trees from the forest, which become very dry and are kindling in the event of a forest fire. Hostettler explained salvage logging also removes dead and dying trees before diseases can spread to other trees.

The local chapter of the Sierra Club presented Hostettler with a poster detailing opposition to his environmental policies. Hostettler defended his views on this as well. On the Endangered Species Act, Hostettler noted the harmful effects of that act by explaining an incident were levees were not repaired due to the fact that the levees were potential habitat for the North Valley Long-horn Elderberry Beetle. Since the levees were not repaired, they broke and caused a flood, killing nine people. Hostettler noted that nine people lost their lives to preserve potential habitat.

At the end of the meeting, State Representative candidate Jeff Ellington presented Hostettler with a scorecard noting 100% approval for his voting record, meant to poke fun at the Sierra Club's 13% rating of Hostettler.

Later that day, Hostettler held a town meeting in Bedford.

Eric Seymour

Robert Schiener

Bryan Wilhelm

Bryant Lewis
Joel Corbin