On The Road To 2008 - Commentary on issues as we countdown to the next opportunity to change the direction of America

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Burner vs. Reichert Debate - In The Raw

The Seattle Times sponsored debate between Darcy Burner and Dave Reichert was held at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue tonight, and since you will be able to see the debate on TVW, or hear it on KUOW radio Wednesday night I figure what I can offer that you can't get until then are my raw notes taken during the debate.

These are very raw, and you can get the gist of things without my having to worry about making things pretty and correcting spelling and punctuation. After all, since this is a blog, I can do this, so I might as well...


arrived shortly after 6pm - line already winding around second level of meydenbauer.

loud cheering for arrival of darcy

burner buttons and flyers on entrance table. didn't see any reichert material going in (note: saw a table full coming out).

6:40 - theatre packed within 10 minutes

reichert sneaks a peak from the back right of theatre

6:53 joni balter taking question cards from audience members

entrance of candidates at 6:57

cheers for darcy - standup applause for reichert (to make a point of one upping Darcy supporters)

man shouting out from audience and asking why no flag on stage? ignored

no opening remarks

process: 3 min to respond to qs from panelists, 1 min rebuttal
then next panalist

1 hour.

then 3 minute ending remarks each.

then 1 min response to audience qs for 30 minutes.

question (q) about iraq from steve scher (ss)
Dave Reichert (dr): we're never going to agree on anything, but we're all americans...
Can't stay the course in any war. need to be flexible (1st ref to prev life and collecting intelligence) Endorses congressman Wolf study group.
Darcy Burner (db): bush and dr plan for iraq has failed (on attack against this congress and this congressman)

ss: democrat plan? exit strategy?
db: what are strategic objectives.
dr: first we have to remember we were attacked! (ref to sheriff's role) iraqi government can maintain peace. We need to stay in iraq (gave in to fact time is up for his answer)

kate riley (kr): immigration q
db: country built on immigration, don't support guest worker programs. comprehensive immigration reform. secure borders. reference to bill dr voted for.
dr: secure borders, story about immigrant cambodian in army uniform who served in Iraq. nation of laws and compassion.

ryan blethen (rb): net neutrality
db: support it. everyone can have a voice and an impact. referred to NPI and the impact Andrew V started making at 17. equal voices.
dr: immigration - churches shouldn't be held accountable - will change law laer that's how things work in D.C.
supports net neutrality

jonathan martin (jm): let tax cuts expire
db: need fair tax policy that rewards work not just accumulated wealth. working people paying too much. Must change congress to get change. need fiscal responsiblity national debt is an incredible debt. we all owe 28,000 as a share of national debt. mortage on our future we can't afford. invest in education and infrastructure. tax cuts to oil companies. dr voted against investigation into lost money in iraq.
dr: tax cuts have create 5.5 mil jobs since 2003. create businesses, lowered unemployment 4.4%.

ss: foley, should hastert be held accountable.
dr: 33 years as lawman - wants justice. Poeple must be held accountable - prosecuted to full extent of law. Hastert was right to refer case to fbi.
db: mother dissappointed, hastert who knew. asked dr to ask for hastert's resignation. deputies in sheriffs office weren't held accountable. Pattern of not holding people accountable.
dr: country of laws. due process. 33 years... what I did as a cop. Can't say I don't uphold laws of land.
db: question of ethics and accountability. hastert admitted they knew and did nothing.

kr: 9/11 commision recommendations - what's left undone that keeps you awake at night?
dr: 43 recommendations in 9/11 report. 5 thru my committee. let me check my notes.... IOP emergency communication. We as a country received a "D" mark. 5 hearings on it. passed 414-2. then married to fema bill. we are working to impl all findings. More hearings.
db: microsoft would have fired this government for their performance of not delivering results. failed to fix problem. reichert chairs committee responsible.

rb: fcc media deregulation rules. laws for local and diverse laws.
dr: passes on answering q - not familiar with issue.
db: not enough diversity of media voices due to merging and conglomaration.

jm: health care - how to pay for it
db: evry american should have affordable health care (hc). tells story of sister who lost coverage during difficult pregnancy. spend more than any of country - 16% spent on hc. waste too much. 40mil uninsured. need to pay for preventative care. instead we pay for catastrophic care. insurance premiums go up. need to focus on everyone getting preventative care.
dr: how to lower hc? association hc plans. personal health savings acounts. pooling resources. plan d has worked.

ss: support raising cap on social security?
db: need to strengthen ss, stays solvent. one thing to consider is to look at the cap. asking wealthy americans to pay their fair share.
dr: we can look at raising cap, but it won't solve the problem. We need to investigate. SS as an issue creates a lot of fear and should. does not support privatizing ss.

kr: benefits for veterans
dr: I was in air force reserves for 6 years, served in police force. voted for 18 increases for loans for homes, additional funding for psych needs. some votes have been budget votes that don't mean anything. Voted to increase vet benefits.
db: vets cannot get hc. wait list 10,000 people long. dr voted for budget that's not keeping up with what is needed. norm dicks, patty murray asked for more money.
dr: I continued to vote yes for vets. rhetoric is wrong. We need to do more. I served in the air force. I wouldn't abandon fellow men and women.

rb: time to reconsider tax breaks for internet companies?
db: high tech companies need the advantage so they can create good jobs. ms, amazon, next gen energy companies, r&d tax credit needed.
dr: agree tax credits for r&d, support helping microsoft. $14.5 bil to energy companies.
db: technology companies reinvent themselves all the time. ms innovative company. as long as they are doing r&d creating jobs we should support them in doing so.
dr: business need to invest in youth and colleges as ms does.

jm: proud to be photographed with bush in June - now trying to distance self with Bush?
db: no. i invited him here. I respect the office. I'm an independent thinker an independent "action taker". opposed bush on schiavo. 4 votes against ANWR. MTBEs - tax payers should not pay for cleanup. Endangered species act. national journal defines me as a centrist.
db: dr is a bush republican. votes with bush nearly 90% of the time. votes against the party when leadership tells him to do it.
I admire inslee, smith, dicks.
dr: when you go to congress you talk and compromise on votes. working with people. 671 votes last year. 46 adminstration took a position on. 86%. Democrats voted for them too - they must be bush democrats.

closing statements...

db: we have choice: stay the course with bush, rubberstamp congress, or change direction. We must change congress one congressman at a time.

loud applause - james vesely (mc) gives more time to reichert because he told audience to be quiet until end. audience not happy with that.

dr: 35 years of public service. talk about leadership. people have pointed guns in my face. Sheriff's office. I served in the Air Force. National sheriff of the year. I spent 19 years bringing to justice g.ridgeway. Passion about independence. I am your opponent not bush.

last jab gets response from supporters, but not as loud applause.

Q's from audience:

- iraq on wmd - what about N korea?
dr: false intelligence. face to face talks. we need to talk to people. Need to talk to Kim Il Jong (sic).
db: n.korea was threat many years ago - we knew that, but instead went into iraq.

- outsourceing of jobs
db: need good jobs for hard working americans. we need a level playing field.
dr: global econ fact of life. cafta. we need free trade agreements.

- why can't congress raise min wage without tying it to other legislation.
dr: I voted for tri-fecta bill.
db: people deserve a raise. voted 5 times against raising min wage. Won't take a pay raise in Congress until we raise the min wage.

- can phamacists refuse to fill prescriptions for personal religious reasons.
db: no
dr: yes
db: not the place for a phamacist to stand in the way not knowing medical history of patient that have to go thru them.
dr: what was the question again? ... Yes.

- what to do support middle class to keep income from eroding.
dr: tax cuts generate economy.
db: middle class is dissappearing. need tax fairness. wealthy must pay their fair share. Congress voted to cut funding for education at every level.

- opinion of presidential signing statements
db: constitution says how it works. president signs or vetos laws. congress should spend less time worrying about flag burning and more concerned about burning our constitution.
dr: all presidents have used the tool.

- terrorists tribunal bill
dr: we are in a different war. need to be flexible for a changing enemy. terrorists will have rights but can't see classified info.
db: due process. every person has right to see evidence. ashamed of bill. need to stay consistent with our values. bill doesn't.

- Should we end congressional page system? can we then abolish electoral college as well?
dr: page system should be maintained. op for young people to be involved in govmnt. Stuck with electoral college.
db: agree - we must do everything we can to protect the children who are there.

- 2nd amendment
db: I am a gun owner. Was stalked in college and police suggested get a gun. Draw line at assault weapons.
dr: I also have a gun. I carry one. to protect people. Support 2nd amendment. Gun owners need to lock up guns. Sheriff's office...(out of time)

- change campaign finance laws?
dr: support lobby reform.
db: campaign finance system is broken, too easy to abuse system. won't take money from big oil, big pharm. Pledged open info on all meetings with lobbyists.

- would u vote against district wishes?
db: yes, to do the right thing, not just to be popular, be principled.
dr: yes, faith based, issues of heart, moral stands. Will listen and learn. Make decisions based on facts.

Candidate asks q of candidates:

dr: darcy what have you done for your community.
db: community service, business backgrnd. the real question is what kind of rep will I be going forward.
db: dr what side of issues are you on? how can people trust you based on your different votes?
dr: look at record. anwr, stem cells. voted first from my heart. then studied.

end of debate


Overall a great debate and chance for both candidates to answer questions on a wide range of issues. One could say the outcome was a "tie". Burner was able to touch on almost every point her campaign has been trying to make this year, and she did so with poise and force. Reichert was able to tell us about his life as a Sheriff numerous times, and when he got hot under the collar in his answers he was at his most forceful. At the same time Burner may have missed a few opportunities to make some points, and Reichert dropped the ball on a couple of questions. While Burner was polished in her presentation, Reichert seemed less than enthusiastic about having to be there.

Perhaps simply because Burner is the new face she needed to impress more than the known quantity that is Reichert. I think she was mostly able to do that and the packed house was supportive of her performance.

In all a very good debate and held in a civil manner.

Thanks to the organizers and candidates - too bad the venue couldn't be bigger so more could attend in person, although it may have been just the right size to fit all who came.

Be sure to listen or watch the debate on Wednesday.

2 Comment(s):

Comment by: Anonymous Darryl

Thanks for the detailed notes! I got to stand in the lobby for awhile, but arrived too late to get a seat....then went to Drinking Liberally.

10/11/2006 8:30 AM PT  
Comment by: Blogger Daniel Kirkdorffer

I've heard people were turned away, but there were still some seats available. I had an open seat next to me and a few more were open in my row. They should have tried harder to let people in.

10/11/2006 8:33 AM PT  

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