Lois Capps, John Hager and Tom Watson face off in District 23 Congressional debate
After refusing to debate for so long, Lois Capps finally agreed to debate Tom Watson, after many people have already voted absentee. Watson had previously agreed to debate her anytime, anywhere, any terms. Well, the terms were at a liberal junior college in Santa Barbara, with foreknowledge of most questions (so Lois could be first coached on her talking points). Another surprise: independent candidate Hager was included. No sign of Libertarian candidate Darryl Stafford.
Rick video recorded for us again. Initial video "footage";
Format was: opening statements, random order questioning, rebuttal, student questions, audience questions, five minute “conversation among candidates” of their chosen topics, closing statements. They hardly did any audience questions.
Overall, Lois came across as extremely Liberal, unapologetic and apparently unaware of the damage that her party, which she supports in lockstep, has wrought upon us, especially in the last four years and much more so in the last two.
John Hager sounded smart, polished, but to our ears, too liberal. He’s a personal injury lawyer, on the Progressive side, talks a fiscal Conservative game, but advocates most of the big spender programs- go figure.
Usually a Republican candidate runs to the right in the primary, then moves leftward in the general election, to pick off swing voters. It seems to me that Tom Watson is not following that playbook. While not as Conservative as I’d like, he definitely sounded like a smart, modern, real Republican and I will have no problem at all marking my ballot for him this week.
Conspicuous by their absence were the lack of a pledge of allegiance and opening prayer, as seen in more Conservative gatherings. Some groups are tougher on that.Questions were on:
1- Public education
2- Bailouts/too big to fail
4- Toughest obstacle affecting students
5- State sovereignty, including issues such as marijuana
6- What is a representative
7- Environment vs. our energy needs
8- Unemployment and how to bring jobs back to CA
9- Public service
10- Privatizing Social Security
(some other issues became embedded is some of the above)
Quick summaries of what I thought I heard:
Capps: (I was in such shock at some of the lies, that I didn’t write it all down and actually guffawed out loud). But, Her party has added 1,000,000 jobs, the economy is recovering, the financial crisis is basically over. (What planet is she on?)
Hager: The “parties” (Democrats and Republicans) have failed big time—financial crash, unemployment, overspending, etc. They can’t change, because they are beholden to their system and campaign contributions. He isn’t.
Watson: Is a retired navy flier and procurement officer, fought. Husband, father, business owner. Nation is being destroyed from within. Out of control spending, job-killing regulation, ongoing huge deficits. Need to rein in spending programs, focus on policies to facilitate growing jobs. He will focus on policy, not party.
1- Public education
Capps: Education brings prosperity, they will bring affordable higher education. They have delivered the largest increase in student aid since (something).Said Watson wants to abolish dept. of Education.
Hager: Too focused on numbers. No Child Left Behind forces teaching to tests. System based on college track- also need vocational track. Need adequate funding for public education. Doesn’t want Dept. Education abolished.
Watson: Need to improve K-12. Denied advocating Dept. of Education abolishment. However, why send money to fed govt., only get 50 cents on the dollar back and be mandated on how to spend it? Why defend such a poor system? No relief from excesses of fed. Govt. in sight.
2- Bailouts/Too Big to fail
Hager: Organization stoo large, lost capitalist competitive approach. Top 3 banks went from 10% of deposits in 1998 to 30% now. Prevent TBTF, not bail them out. Lois voted for the bill and precursors that caused the crisis.
Watson: TBTF= Too Big. Regulations did Not prevent meltdown, nor address core problems. FRE/FNME have $400BB in liabilities to govt. Reserve reqmts. problematic. Did not get rid of TBTF. Instead, large new fees and more regulations.
Capps: Angry at Treasury Secy. Paulson for saying they must pass bailout bill (which she voted for).Passed Wall St. reform to prevent recurrence.
Watson: We all want clean environment. Capps/environmentalists do not “own” this issue. Overregulation will drive out jobs. Intel, for example, won’t manufacture large semiconductor wafers here. Must focus on jobs. If govt. had enforced regs., gulf oil spill would never have occurred. Green technologies are not self-sustaining/economically feasible, has stranglehold on us.
Capps: Biggest oil spill ever, don’t trust oil companies to write own regulations. We are subsidizing oil industry. We are dependent on countries that don’t like us for oil. Green jobs will save the day. Agree with Hager that conservation is needed. Retrain people for green jobs. All buildings over 20 years old to be refitted.
Hager: Reduce fossil fuel use via conservation. We are already making 1%/yr. usage reduction. Was 4% in 1970’s. Develop biofuel alternates- NOT corn. Oppose offshore drilling.
4- What is toughest obstacle affecting students?
Capps: Cost pf education- must make it affordable (by spending more govt. money). Need skils to compete. Make sure there are jobs, via stimulus/tax credits. (Notice that government is always the solution).
Hager: Not enough jobs. High student debt. Hi national debt- $40,000 per person.
Watson: Jobs jobs, jobs. Stop wasting money, increasing YOUR debt via reckless public spending.$3.5 trillion added (by current regime). 12% unemployment in CA. Govt. is scaring business, way to such uncertainty (for the institutions creating the real wealth and jobs).
5- State sovereignty- on issues such as marijuana
Hager: Interesting constitutional questions,Marijuan is astate decision not federal govt. Congress delegated only specific powers to the federal govt. (he made no comment about other federal abuses, such as Obamacare. Cap and trade). Immigration is a federal issue. CA ballot initiatives are needed to correct legislative shortcomings.
Watson: 10th Amendment is to keep federal govt. out of state bailiwick. Feds are supposed to be commerce, money, defense. They are so far beyond that now. Proposition 20 (citizen redistricting is very important- yes on 20, no on 27). Propositions are misleading. Wants fewer propositions.
Capps: Role of Constitution to address states rights. CA has some laws that are better than fed. Law- clean air, water, womens’ rights. Federal govt. should not stand in the way of CA programs.
to be continued
Interview of Tom Watson:
I’ll write more tomorrow and will also get some comments from other Tea Party members who were th