Issues Already in the Bloody 8th - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Issues Already in the Bloody 8th

Reporter: Emily Sinovic

New Media Producer: Rachel Chambliss

A fallout Friday from a personal attack on congressional candidate Brad Ellsworth.

The fuss is over what a supporter of incumbent John Hostettler saw on the Internet and reported to the media.

The 19-year-old daughter of Sheriff Brad Ellsworth reportedly posted Internet pictures of herself drinking a beer.

Sheriff Ellsworth calls this a personal, family matter. Ellsworth is currently out of town.

The Hostettler camp says this was not their doing, and both sides say negative campaigning is not part of their game plan.

Voter Jessica Pardee says, "I think it would be helpful if we had some sophisticated intellectual debates about the issues going on."

The debates, however, will have to wait.

The race between the incumbent John Hostettler and his challenger Sheriff Brad Ellsworth isn't even official until after the May primary.

But the attacks have already begun.

University of Evansville's Professor Robert Dion responds, "My first reaction was, this seems a little early out of the gate."

Political Science Professor Robert Dion says not only does this latest attack from a Hostettler supporter seem early, but he says the type of attack doesn't sit well with most voters.

Professor Dion continues, "When negative campaigning turns to personal attacks, personal destruction, drawing in family members and tawdry details, voters have been shown to recoil a little bit."

Both the Ellsworth and Hostettler campaigns say they will steer clear of such attacks.

Ellsworth campaign manager responds, "We certainly aren't going to do anything like that. We are going to talk about the issues."

The Hostettler campaign says, "The election is about the candidate and the issues. You stick to the issues."

Voters we spoke to say any other way, won't get their vote.

Voter William Johnston comments, "It's hitting below the belt. Campaigns are about issues. They are not about personal lives, people's families."

Jessica Pardee adds, "I think it's one thing to go after the politician, but families are separate and shouldn't go after them."

Late Friday afternoon, the Indiana Democratic Party called on Congressman Hostettler to publicly condemn the actions of the supporter who forwarded the pictures of Ellsworth's daughter to the media.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker called what happened a 'cheap attack,' and said Hostettler owes it to the people of the 8th district to set a campaign standard that doesn't include going after an opponent's family.

So far, there's been no reaction from the Congressman to the call that he issued a public apology.

Read more about online community Web sites students use to post pictures and information about themselves. It's a growing trend, however, can sometimes get its users into sticky situations.

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