By Scott Tibbs, November 26, 2006
Every now and then in politics, someone of great integrity and character comes along who truly inspires people. That person commands respect by holding on to his convictions no matter the consequences. Congressman John N. Hostettler, who lost his seat on November 7, was just such a person.
I first became familiar with Hostettler when I was a student at Indiana University. I remember going door-to-door for him in the fall of 1996 and handing out literature in one of the dormitories. I was impressed that, even when faced with a hostile audience on a university campus, John Hostettler never wavered from his convictions.
Hostettler demonstrated how deep his convictions go in 2002 when he bucked his own party and voted against giving the President the authority to invade Iraq, only one year after 9/11 and facing bipartisan support for removing Saddam. It is worth noting that both John Kerry and Baron Hill voted to give the President authority to invade.
Hostettler further demonstrated his courage by voting against a federal disaster-relief package in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The waste, fraud and lack of accountability we have seen in the year since has proven Hostettler's concerns to be valid, though he was one of only 11 members of Congress with the courage to say so back then.
Hostettler refused to take money from any special interest Political Action Committees, something that hampered his ability to raise funds and virtually guaranteed he would be outspent in every race. He also refused his Congressional pension. Hostettler's integrity and courage have never been in question.
Thank you, John Hostettler, for your twelve years of service to the people of Indiana and for the example you provided. If there were more like you in Washington, this country would be a much better place.