Four Democrats running for the nomination for John McCain’s Senate seat met in a debate last Friday sponsored by KTVK 3TV and moderated by Frank Camacho.
A variety of issues including, but not limited to, immigration and border security were debated. Here is a summary of those other issues Arizonans face:
On how to break the gridlock in Washington, all four pledged to put partisanship and corporate and special interests aside to work across party lines to find solutions to the nation’s and Arizona’s economic problems.
Randy Parraz spoke of his community activism while Rodney Glassman reminded people of his term as the vice chair of the Tucson City Council.
- Cathy Eden, who worked for both Republican (Rose Mofford) and Democratic (Janet Napolitano) governors, highlighted her legislative record working across party lines to pass major legislation.
- John Dougherty said that he will be an “aggressive Senator” and ensure oversight of laws that have been passed.
On addressing the budget deficit and economic renewal, all four agreed that the stimulus has worked–seen in the new spate of road construction–and that a second should be implemented.
- Glassman said that Arizona’s next Senator needs to focus on bringing longer-term jobs to Arizona through large, established employers such as Boeing. More jobs will also increase and expand the state’s tax base.
- John Dougherty reminded viewers that the current economic problem resulted from President Bush’s “recklessness” and that “John McCain was there to cheer it on.” He called for a reallocation of government funds from support for fossil fuels to boosting resources for renewable energy.
- Parraz wants to see a response to people who are “really hurting” and noted that McCain voted against extending unemployment benefits to Arizona workers. A second stimulus should focus on Arizona’s strongest industries–tourism, health care, and renewable energy
- Eden added that there considerable attention should be given to a bipartisan commission appointed by the President. She warned against an “either-or” approach on deficit reduction efforts versus job creation: both, she said, are needed for an economic recovery.
The war in Afghanistan drew a few different observations.
- Eden said we have to decide how long we really should stay in Afghanistan. She pledged to hold the generals to the July 2011 withdrawal date unless there is a way to pay for a prolonged stay.
- Glassman, an Air Force Reservist with the Judge Advocate General, says there is no exit strategy. He opposes sending more troops to Afghanistan but does not believe we should state an exact exit date for the enemy to hear.
- Dougherty said the most important issue is to secure nuclear weapons in Pakistan that the Taliban could get hold of. He called for setting a firm withdrawal date and preparing Afghanistan’s police and army to assume responsibility for security. He also advocated targeting terror cells rather than laying siege against villages, and called for a post-war focus on education and establishing information technologies in Afghanistan.
- Parraz called for bringing the soldiers home now. The CIA says there are only about 50 Al Quada operatives in Afghanistan. There has not been a major attack on the US so we can call it a victory.
You can view the debate in increments on the 3TV Website.
Next article: the danged fence and immigration.