Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

CD7 debate: Fiery ideology vs ideas and facts

Standing-room only audience at the CD7 debate.

Last night’s Congressional District 7 public debate revealed the stark contrast between the candidates and their followers.

Congressman and incumbent Democrat Raul Grijalva faced challengers Republican Ruth McClung, Libertarian George Keane, and Independent Harley Meyer, in front of an enthusiastic (and sometimes rowdy) standing-room only crowd.

OK, call be biased (and I’m sure you will), but Grijalva was the only candidate with solid ideas based upon facts– rather than ideology. The only other interesting candidate with original ideas was Meyer (the Independent). Unfortunately, he is too smart to be elected in Arizona– or probably anywhere out side of NYC, LA, San Francisco, or Boston. McClung is a Sarah Palin wannabe— one of the Republican Party’s new Stepford Wives of Politics. As if she were at a rally and not a debate, she spouted fiery, rehearsed rhetoric based upon the standard Republican Party line. The Tea Baggers, who were well-represented, ate it up. Keene (the Libertarian) spouted their party line– cut taxes, government, and regulations; let the markets be free and the people be dammed.

The debates was built around 5 questions based upon major issues: immigration, jobs, healthcare, education, and balancing the federal budget. The hosts of the debate (Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Public Media, ASUA, and Pima Community College Desert Vista Campus) distributed the questions in advance. The moderator from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce kept the speakers to strict time limits with their answers, but it was difficult for her to control the boisterous and disruptive Tea Party section of the audience. Everyone was told at the beginning that the audience could have “no audible responses” to the questions– no clapping, cheers, boos, etc. The moderator said that people who didn’t obey these rules would be removed.

The problem was that a block of 40 or so of McClung’s Tea Party supporters, who were sitting together, thought the rules didn’t apply to them. [And these are the patriotic “law and order” folks?] They repeatedly interrupted the televised debate with cheers and clapping for McClung or negative comments for Grijalva. At one point, Grijalva said politely, “Excuse me. All I’m asking for is a little courtesy and respect.”

Although they were warned by the moderator and random Grijalva supporters shouted, “Throw them out!”, the Tea Partiers didn’t pay attention. In their final act of disrespect, several of them walked out en masse as Grijalva began his closing remarks.

In a nutshell, here is what the candidates said on immigration and jobs. Check out the Arizona Public Media for a video of the debate to learn more.

Immigration
Grijalva: We need security on the border. This means “dealing with the realities of the border”, and this goes beyond building a fence. We need to stop the drugs coming to the US and stop the guns and money going to Mexico. We also need to deal with the realities of “blended families” whose family members are on both sides. And, we need to have an honest assessment of our workforce needs as a country (ie, what types of workers do we need to build our economy). [People who say we should deport the 12.5 million undocumented workers in the US are forgetting that when the Baby Boomers retire, the US will have a severe worker shortage.]

Keane: We should build a double fence in populated areas but forget about trying to build the fence along the whole border. [So, won’t they just go around it?] We should increase the number of people who can work legally in the US because the quotas are too low.

McClung: The border fence is necessary. We should have a guest worker program, where people could secure “day passes” to cross the border to work. [In my opinion, a guest worker program would just further depress wages in the US– and particularly in border states. This is seriously bad idea for Arizona’s workforce, but a really great idea for profit-hungry businesses.] We should “go after” employers who employ undocumented workers.

Meyer: We need to look beyond the border and the fence. Splitting families up is dangerous for our country.

Jobs
Grijalva: The federal government should directly invest in projects to get people working [the FDR model]. We should continue the Bush II era tax cuts for the middle class but let the tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of Americans to expire. [This is what President Obama has been pushing for, since 1) the rich don’t need the money and 2) it will help the country financially.] We should invest in job training and retraining for a new economy. If someone is working in an industry that is no longer based in the US, the government should invest in retraining. We should keep the capital gains tax.

Keane: We should lower corporate taxes, lower state and local taxes, and deregulate. [Where has this guy been? Didn’t we learn anything from the deregulation spree under Bush II and the Republican-controlled Congress?]

McClung: We should extend all Bush II era tax cuts– even those for the wealthiest Americans [even if it blows a hole in the deficit. This brought cheers from the Tea Partiers. Even though none of them appeared to be in the richest 1% of Americans. Even though the Tea Partiers say we should balance the budget and cut government spending, they somehow support extending tax cuts to the wealthy.] We should allow the Rosemont Copper Mine to go through because it will create jobs [to heck with the environment]. We should end capital gains tax. We should invest in new technology [no specifics here], and we should NEVER HAVE SOMEONE WHO WILL CALL FOR A BOYCOTT! [Her emphasis, not mine. This also got her Tea Party supporters to break the moderator’s rules. You’ll note that most of her answer– except for the copper mine– had nothing to do with jobs and everything to do with the Republican Party line.]

Meyer: We can’t compete with the extremely low wages paid to workers in other countries. We should change our system and incentivize businesses to create jobs in the US again. [Several times he suggested that the audience google “OPIC”— Overseas Private Investment Corporation– a government program created by President Nixon that incentivizes US companies to invest in businesses abroad. Check out the link. I told you this guy was smart.]

If you missed the CD7 debate last night, you can catch the CD8 debate– Gabrielle Giffords vs Jesse Kelly– on October 18 on the University of Arizona campus. (Hopefully, they have reserved a decent-sized room.)

Members of RepubliCorp performance art group in the Pima Community College lobby. Note the signs saying, "McClung is ours. Buy your own dang politician."

34 comments on “CD7 debate: Fiery ideology vs ideas and facts

  1. tiponeill
    October 14, 2010

    I’ll bet most of the tea-baggers at the debate were really from Gabby’s district 😉

    • Pamela
      October 14, 2010

      Well, maybe, but I bet there are some angry, old white folks on Social Security and Medicare (AKA Tea Partiers) in CD 7. McClung’s supporters yesterday were representative of the people described in the “Tea and Crackers” story printed in Rolling Stone recently.
      http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/210904?RS_show_page=0

      • fraser007
        October 14, 2010

        You like throwing around words like that. “Angry white folks on Social Security.”

      • leftfield
        October 14, 2010

        fraser, I have made it a point to attend Tea Party rallies here in town.  Based on my observations, it is overwhelmingly white at Tea Party events and if those folks aren’t on SS, most of them certainly qualify.  Now, the frequent misspellings on the banners and signs is still a mystery to me. 

      • fraser007
        October 14, 2010

        Heck Leftfield that term applies to you. Anger white folks on Social Security?  I think you have said you are over 62?? Or 65.  lol

      • leftfield
        October 14, 2010

        No, not quite.  Close enough though that nobody at the TP rallies looks at me twice.  They never suspect that a commie is in their midst,  keeping an eye on them. 

      • fraser007
        October 14, 2010

        You would have had a great career in the NKVD, KGB, GRU, STASI and a host of others. Whats the Cuban Secret Police called?……

      • leftfield
        October 14, 2010

        Whats the Cuban Secret Police called?……

        I think they’re called, “The Fraser Team”.  Here, they keep an eye on revolutionaries, there they keep an eye on counter-revolutionaries.  Seems fair, don’t it?

      • fraser007
        October 15, 2010

        LOL

      • JoeS
        October 14, 2010

        They have the DGI for abroad and SDE for home….

      • Pamela Powers
        October 14, 2010

        Well, I was there and who I saw cheering for McClung. As leftfield states, if they are not on SS, they appear to be old enough to qualify.
         
        As for angry– they were shouting an awful lot. I take that as a sign of anger.

      • fraser007
        October 14, 2010

        Its called Democracy. Are you going to stop people from going ?

      • leftfield
        October 14, 2010

        Yes, we’re going to stop them by calling their grandchildren and telling them that the old guy is acting up again and the neighbors are starting to complain.  If that doesn’t work, we’re going to put reruns of Matlock and Lawrence Welk in heavy rotation to keep them at home.

      • Pamela
        October 14, 2010

        Nope, I just think the “they’re breaking OUR laws” mob should 0bey the rules like everyone else. McClung’s supporters were rude and disrespectful to everyone who didn’t agree with them.

      • JoeS
        October 14, 2010

        Are you just as outraged when Code Pink causes a disturbence at a public event,  or students at Columbia University storm the stage to end a speaking engagement by a speaker from the Minuteman project?

        Or is your outrage just reserved for some?

      • JoeS
        October 14, 2010

        “Its called Democracy. Are you going to stop people from going ?”

        The left is finally realising that those that stand against them are finally starting to play for blood at the grass roots level,  just as the left has done for generations.

        It scares them that if someone with an  “R” by their name gets elected it might not be the standard “go along, get along” Republican…but someone ready for war in the trenches.

      • tiponeill
        October 14, 2010

        The left is finally realising that those that stand against them are finally starting to play for blood at the grass roots level,  just as the left has done for generations.
        Umm – that isn’t something that we have suddenly realized – it’s been going on all my life.

      • JoeS
        October 14, 2010

        Well…..someone forgot to tell the country club Republicans….thats why they are also on their way out.

        8^)

      • Pamela Powers
        October 15, 2010

        It scares them that if someone with an  “R” by their name gets elected it might not be the standard “go along, get along” Republican…but someone ready for war in the trenches.

        Who are you referring to here? Not McClung. Grover Norquist has produced a TV attack ad for her, and her campaign rhetoric is straight out of the Republican Party’s Pledge to America. She’s already in lock step with the “Country Club” Republicans in Congress.

      • fraser007
        October 15, 2010

        My God, lady you have to have more supporters here than leftfield!!

    • fraser007
      October 14, 2010

      Thats because Gabby has done such a great job of protecting the border! What did she push for a “whole” 530 troops on the line. Wow, a whole 530. Thats a little more than two companies of troops. I’m really impresed.

      • cochisecitizen
        October 14, 2010

        She didn’t “push” for 530 troops on the border, she pushed for thousands. The President is the one who agreed to send only 530. Gabrielle Giffords has been the strongest advocate for our border security in Washington, much more effective than McCain or Kyle. She is well liked and well respected out here in Cochise County. Those Republicans in her ads who say that she “gets it” when it comes to border security are real live residents of Cochise County – not some out of state actors told to act like “hicks”, like the NRSC used in West Virginia.

      • fraser007
        October 14, 2010

        So where are the thousands?

      • fraser007
        October 15, 2010

        Well maybe the Toad doesnt want many troops here. It will keep back all of his future voters.

  2. tiponeill
    October 14, 2010

    Well, maybe, but I bet there are some angry, old white folks on Social Security and Medicare (AKA Tea Partiers) in CD 7
    True – but they have always been here – and a minority. There are lots of teabaggers in Tucson, but from what I’ve seen they are mostly in Gabby’s district and are just trying to make noise in a district they don’t live in.

  3. Tony Venuti
    October 14, 2010

    Pamela is negative campaigning Immoral?  I would love your answer.

    • Pamela
      October 14, 2010

      Lying to get votes is immoral.

      • JoeS
        October 14, 2010

        Well…..can you point out just one “moral” member of Congress then by using that standard?

      • tiponeill
        October 14, 2010

        Well…..can you point out just one “moral” member of Congress then by using that standard?
        Politifact fount that 4 percent of political ads this year (by both parties) were honest.

      • JoeS
        October 14, 2010

        Well…..I bet you would have trouble finding one member of Congress that has not “lied” to get a vote.

      • tiponeill
        October 15, 2010

        Well…..I bet you would have trouble finding one member of Congress that has not “lied” to get a vote
        Honesty is the best way not to lose elections in us politics – just ask Jimmy Carter.
        We want them to lie to us.

  4. Agent00
    October 15, 2010

    So is there video of the tea bagger embarrassment?  I was hoping to get some laughs on azpm.org, but all I find is a quietly moderated debate with no audience.

  5. assurance sante
    August 1, 2011

    excellent information keep up your good work thanx

  6. mutuel
    August 1, 2011

    Cool post thanks, needed some more images maybe.

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About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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