This September, Congressional candidate Tennessee Trey Hollingsworth finally visited IU to speak at an event sponsored by the IU College Republicans. Although Hollingsworth is running for Congress in a district that encompasses IU and Bloomington, he did not live in Indiana until 13 months ago.
This is because Hollingsworth, a multimillionaire son of a multimillionaire, has decided he can buy our votes. As a student and voter, I decided to attend.
Since Hollingsworth has never been in any sort of political office and has been reluctant to answer questions on his positions from voters or reporters, I decided I would politely and respectfully ask Hollingsworth what he would do to get big money out of politics.
I also decided to record his response. This a process commonly referred to as “tracking.” It is a legally protected practice used by both parties to hold politicians accountable to the people they serve.
Tracking ensures that the public knows what a candidate is saying at public events. Since Hollingsworth has never spent a day of his life in office, and since his website does not list his policy positions, it is especially important that we know what he has to say to potential voters.
I was not allowed to ask the question. I was ejected from the meeting before I could speak to Hollingsworth by the president of the College Republicans.
In doing so, the College Republicans demonstrated how little respect they have for political accountability. They demonstrated just how much they fear being questioned on the issues of the election. They showed that Hollingsworth has no problem with millionaires buying elections.
The College Republicans also cancelled a bipartisan debate event the night before it was scheduled to take place. They say they did so solely because they were unwilling to debate me.
Whether this is out of aversion to political accountability or a fear of debating the issues, it is disappointing and petty. To use this as an excuse to avoid talking about the issues affecting us this election is distressing and apparently par for the course from the GOP.