Tuesday, October 12, 2010

WLFI Holds 4th District Candidates Forum

WLFI in Lafayette broadcast a one-hour candidates forum for the 4th District Congressional candidates, Democrat David Sanders, Republican Todd Rokita, and Libertarian John Duncan.

I have embedded the forum below, and there is a so-so summary of the event here.

In the debate, Sanders was the aggressor taking the fight to Rokita. Rokita appears to think he's Peyton Manning with a four touchdown lead in the final minute of the game. He played it very conservatively and didn't really do much to engage the stronger debater (Sanders) in a give-and-take.

Sanders scored some major points on Rokita's claim that he's running a 2010 Secretary of State's Office on a 1987 unadjusted-for-inflation budget. Sanders claims that Rokita's office had a 50 percent increase in spending a year ago. Sanders also hit Rokita hard on the use of what he called "a convicted sex offender" by Rokita to run his volunteer operations. Rokita actually defended this individual saying essentially all are welcome in his campaign. An odd answer.

What else we learned about Todd Rokita's campaign...
--He says he's a hawk on defense spending.
--He believes we should return to 2008 spending levels (plus 15 percent less).
--He never believes we should raise taxes.
--He wishes to add to the deficit by continuing the Bush tax cuts.
--He breathes loudly when challenged on his office budget.
--He's not shy about defending what David Sanders called, "a convicted sex offender," when he is willing to help the Rokita campaign.
--He's now against term limits.
--He's a career politician looking to move up.
--He's a horrible debater. David Sanders cleaned his clock.

Here's a portion of the Sanders campaign's release on the event:

At the debate Todd Rokita combined dishonesty about the spending of the Secretary of State’s office with flip-flops on the issues, denials of previous positions, and what was famously called “voodoo economics.”

Todd Rokita repeated his erroneous claim that he has made dozens of times during the campaign that the office of the Secretary of State that he runs has the same budget as it did in 1987. This claim is a complete distortion of the facts. There has, in fact, been a steady increase in spending by the office of the Secretary of State
throughout Tood Rokita’s term with a 50% increase occurring between the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 budgets. How can the voters trust Todd Rokita to cut spending in Washington D.C. when he can’t be honest about the greatly increased spending of his own office?

Todd Rokita earlier in the campaign was against term limits for legislators. At the debate he claimed to be in favor of them. During the Republican primary Rokita insisted that he would not request earmarks, now he has changed his position. During the Republican primary, Todd Rokita called for the repeal of Medicare part D, the prescription care benefit. Now he denies that he said that.

Voters cannot be confident of Todd Rokita’s ability to serve as U.S. Representative because of Todd Rokita’s poor grasp on economics. He repeated the long-discredited notion, referred to by former Republican president George Bush as “voodoo economics” that reducing taxes increases tax revenue. Mr. Rokita also insisted, against all accepted principles of economics, that social safety-net expenditures—Mr.
Rokita singled out unemployment and food-stamp benefits—do not stimulate the economy. Hoosiers cannot afford to be represented by someone who is so ignorant of basic economics.

If you have a few minutes, take a look at the debate below. It's worth a watch.


Anonymous said...

Please, some commentary on the Ellsworth-Coats debate, which Ellsworth won big time. Need to spread the word!!

Anonymous said...

Coats certainly appeared to be grasping for ideas and fumbling for the correct words. It was like he just woke up from a long nap or something. I would hope people would see this and wonder if he is capable of representing Indiana.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why this blog and the Indianapolis Times are ignoring how well Ellsworth did and how bad Coats looked. You'd think they'd want to encourage a Democrat to be senator rather than be stuck with a retread-GOP-lobbyist.

They've had all day to report it, and...nothing. What gives?

Jon E. Easter said...

Hi folks. Not ignoring the debate. I will be blogging on this. It's also not an oversight.

I haven't had a chance to watch the debate yet. I tried to watch it last night, but it had not been posted on the Indiana Debate Commission's website. I was at a meeting last night and couldn't see it live.

Life gets in the way. I'm not a full time "getting paid for this" blogger. So, be patient. I just got home tonight. I'll probably be seeing the debate sometime tonight or tomorrow depending on if the caffeine kicks in or not.

As for the Indianapolis Times, you'll have to ask Terry.

Anonymous said...

Jon, you will need a lot of caffeine to stay awake during this debate.

Anonymous said...

Todd Rokita is horrible.