Debates Work

I went to the debates tonight for my district. First Al Murasuchi debated David Hadley. My question, Do you support fracking? was one chosen by the moderator from the League of Women Voters. The answer couldn’t be more clear: Hadley says he’s leaving it up to the locals to decide (but for the most part, he isn’t opposed to it) and Muratsuchi is wholeheartedly against fracking. He explained that he was concerned about fracking’s use of huge amounts of water and dangerous chemicals entering our water table (benzene, a proven cancer-causing chemical being one).

When Sandra Fluke debated Ben Allen for the 26th District’s California Senate seat, they acted more like a married couple than competitors. But Allen handily beat Fluke on several points: experience, ability to work with Republicans, endorsements, and the most crucial of all, speaking to his audience like he knew us. Fluke kept pounding on her issue of standing up for women’s rights, while our audience mostly cares about money. I’m sorry, but Palos Verdes residents are by-and-large a conservative crowd who don’t care about the environment if it means paying more for something. They don’t believe in global warming. They’re ready to throw poor people under the bus. They’d rather give recent college grads low-paying jobs than raise the minimum wage for parents of poor families.

When Fluke said that protecting the environment was at the top of her concerns, I worried that she didn’t study the audience to know what ranked highest for them. Not that she should pander; just that she could have addressed our voters’ interests. Oh, and she said that when it comes to beefing up the economy, we have to find out how to create opportunities. Well, people don’t want to hear that you’re trying to find things out. They want to hear answers. HOW are you going to bring jobs?

But I have to say, NOBODY answered that question satisfactorily. Not even the Republicans. The race to the bottom is so fast, that no amount of lowering the tax rate is ever going to bring jobs back. This is a new economy, where you have to be more creative and nimble. I liked that a few candidates talked about fixing California’s water infrastructure. But tell me how you’re really going to bring jobs here or create them from scratch. What, specifically, is wrong with the current “regulations” that everyone complains are suffocating small businesses? Please, comment below if you have specific information.

When California’s 33rd District Elan Carr and Ted Lieu debated, I asked whether they would support an increase on taxes for the top 1%. Elan Carr thought that was a bad idea while Ted Lieu supports it. Lieu handily beat Carr, in my opinion, based on experience. He’s written legislation, gotten support across party lines, and passed that legislation time and again. Carr has no such experience in government. He’s mostly a pretty face spouting Republican rhetoric. I was embarrassed listening to his assessment of the problems in the Middle East. Then he “kissed up to” the Jewish people (of whom I am one) by saying that we have to back up Israel. But his policy, if he were President, would have been more of the same crap that we’re seeing from Obama who is essentially following in Bush’s footsteps.

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