The Pennsylvania Democratic Party now finds itself in hot water after a party operative silenced the question of a college-aged voter at a press event. The female student attempted to ask Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) a question about a recent advertisement by Governor Tom Wolf, but was interrupted by self-proclaimed Pennsylvania Democratic operative Mike Mikus:
The shut-down of a young voter’s question is an ironic move by Pennsylvania Democrats, the party that claims to be champions of young voters and higher education. In response, Communications Director for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, Jason Gottesman, tore into the Democratic operative for refusing to answer the student’s question:
“Pennsylvania college students have just as much of a right to ask tough questions of their elected officials in public as anyone else. Democrats publicly intimidating this student, interrupting her, and requiring her to ask questions ‘off to the side’ and ‘in private’ is egregiously unacceptable behavior...Instead of hiding from tough questions, avoiding town halls, and keeping validly public documents secret, Democrats could do better to stick to their self-proclaimed transparency values,” he said in a email.
Youth voters have become an increasingly large voting block nationwide, tilting toward Democrats, with the Commonwealth being no exception. Lack of transparency and censoring voters’ questions do not equate to a winning strategy for Pennsylvania Democrats in the contentious midterm election year on a national and gubernatorial scale.