Political Blog

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date


Fingerpointing and scathing ads as Young, Hill escalate battle

Fingerpointing and scathing ads as Young, Hill escalate battle

by Joe Arnold


Posted on September 13, 2010 at 7:50 AM

Updated Sunday, Sep 12 at 11:33 PM

The congressional election between U.S. Rep. Baron Hill (D) and Bloomington attorney Todd Young (R) is living up to its billing as a batteground race for control of the U.S. House.

In the latest development, The Evening News and Tribune's Daniel Suddeath reports on the question if Todd Young is really a deputy prosecutor in Orange County like he says he is.   Young has appeared in Orange County court only three days since 2007, but the county prosecutor says Young, indeed, is a deputy prosecutor. 

Baron Hill says Young is disengenuous and untruthful.  Young says Hill is trying to shift the campaign off important issues like the economy and jobs.

Though Young spent a nominal $3,000 in pre-Labor Day television ads on cable television in Evansville and Louisville, Hill launched an aggressive TV campaign on both network and cable television.  The Young campaign has responded with a healthy ad buy of its own, making the 9th District race one of the most prominent on local airwaves.

Hill's latest commercial features a scolding of Young by Southern Indiana seniors: 

Meanwhile, it was only a matter of time before Hill got hit with his infamous "This is my town hall meeting" video clip from 2009. 

At a Bloomington health care town hall in late August, Hill chastised a student who complained that she was not being allowed to videotape the event.  Hill's press secretary would later explain that only credentialed media were allowed to videotape the event and though the young woman claimed to be a journalism student, she had not applied for credentials in advance.

"This is my town hall meeting and I set the rules...." Hill is heard saying on a video clip of the event.  The crowd murmers in a dissent which grows in intensity. "Let me repeat that one more time," Hill says his voice charging the microphone, "This is my town hall meeting for you.  (boos) And you're not going to tell me how to run my congressional office."

I wrote about the eventual impact of the video one year ago:

Regardless of the context, the youtube video of the exchange will doubtlessly be used by whoever opposes Hill in next year's election.

The Huffington Post quotes Congressman John Yarmuth as saying "Baron Hill may have lost his job that night. He had a town hall in Bloomington and apparently banned recorders. When a 17-year-old girl asked why, he kind of went ballistic on her and said 'I set the rules and no one tells me how to run my office!'"

Former Republican Congressman Mike Sodrel promised that the voters would see it when he announced his candidacy in January.

But, Todd Young won the GOP nomination, and here is his ad that we knew was coming:


Meanwhile, Hill completed his walking tour on Friday through 45 towns and all twenty counties of the Ninth Congressional District.  The last leg was from Versailles to Milan. 

“This walk has given me the chance to meet and talk to hundreds of voters.  I was able to talk to voters about the issues while meeting it them in their homes, businesses or places of worship," Hill said in a statement, "My opponent calls these places, ‘The middle of nowhere,’ but I know these small towns are what make Southern Indiana so great.”