Thursday, October 23, 2008

one more article on the debate

From Daniel Suddeath in the Jeff/NA News-Tribune...

A nice overview, especially of the second hour of the debate, including details on our positions-- and a discussion of our press release on not getting a closing statement and having only one debate.

The first and only debate featuring 9th District candidates went off with a few fireworks Tuesday.

Most of the forum — which was held at the Arts Center on the campus of Vincennes University’s Jasper location — consisted of the three candidates defending and explaining their platforms on issues such as abortion, economic bailouts and tax strategy.

Republican Mike Sodrel and Libertarian Eric Schansberg aggressively portrayed differences between their ideas and those of incumbent Democrat Baron Hill, who mainly was on the defensive.

Sodrel accused Hill of flip-flopping on his opinion of the economic situation in Indiana and America while Schansberg contrasted himself as the only candidate willing to break away from typical Washington politics, at one point likening the choice between mainstream party choices as “shuffling chairs on the Titanic.”...

Sodrel attacked television advertisements paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, including what is known as the “Millionaire Mike” ad, calling them unfounded and off base.

Schansberg said the ads sponsored by Hill were not dirty but also condemned the DCCC spots, saying the candidates should publicly denounce such tactics.

The Libertarian said this campaign is cleaner than the 2006 run, citing a big lead by Hill and less funds available to Sodrel....

Schansberg’s qualm over lack of closing statement

The program ended without the candidates making closing statements after questions from the crowd exasperated the time limit set for the debate.

Sodrel was the only candidate who was asked a question from the panel during the first hour about Iraq, a topic Schansberg planned to tackle during his final remarks.

“We didn’t get a two-minute closing statement — as per the agreement. I was hoping to use that to speak to our ongoing efforts in Iraq,” Schansberg said.

He claims to be the only candidate who is serious about bringing troops home from Iraq, saying Hill talks about it but continues to vote for the “status quo in Iraq.”

Sodrel said he was pleased with progress in the war-torn country and would support bringing troops home “as soon as practical.”

Hill was not asked about the war during the debate and left prior to a post-debate press conference.

Aside from the lack of a closing statement, Schansberg said he enjoyed the format and wished there were more debates.