Thursday, October 14, 2010

Well, it sure became clear why our local empty suit refuses to debate Heck in Clark County: she'd lose 10 points if she did!

As those in the political know have stated all along, Barbie is no more qualified to be a member of Congress than she is to do an intestinal resection.

Last night, it's fairly clear that Heck hammered Herrera like a nail. But when you're a person completely devoid of substance, intelligence, knowledge or integrity, what could we expect from a political waste of skin?

The TDN has the blow-by-blow:

Heck, Herrera take the stage at LCC

Heck, Herrera take the stage at LCC
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buy this photo The Daily News U.S. House 3rd District candidates, left to right: Denny Heck, Democrat, and Jaime Herrera, Republican.

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Who do you think won Wednesday's debate in Longview?

Jaime Herrera
Denny Heck
Neither candidate
I haven't seen the debate

Total Votes: 114

Democratic congressional candidate Denny Heck took off the gloves during a debate with his Republican opponent in Longview on Wednesday evening, accusing Jaime Herrera of misrepresenting his record and challenging her to be specific about what programs she would cut to balance the federal budget.

"Her answer to every challenge facing this country is cut, cut, cut!" Heck said. "‘No' is not a plan to create jobs."

It was the most aggressive confrontation yet in a closely watched campaign that could put the 3rd District in Republican control for only the second time in a half century — and help Republicans take control of the House. Democrat Brian Baird is stepping down after serving 12 years in the seat, which represents most of Southwest Washington.

During an hour-long exchange in front of a raucous crowd at Lower Columbia College, audience members sometimes heckled Herrera, chiding her to be specific about her policies. Heck intervened once, asking the audience to show respect for his opponent.

Herrera insisted throughout the evening that Heck and his party support reckless federal spending and "crushing tax burdens" on local businesses.

"This Congress, for the first time in a generation, has not passed an operating budget," said Herrera, a 31-year-old state legislator from Camas. "Yet, in the last 20 months this Congress has managed to add more to the federal debt than in all 200 years of our nation's history combined."

Herrera said she favors repealing the health care reform bill passed earlier this year, making permanent former President Bush's tax cuts and loosening regulations on the private sector so that business is more free to create jobs.

Herrera said she opposes the Obama Administration's $800 billion economic stimulus program, adding that the country has been "driven to the brink by overspending and debt."

Heck, 58, of Olympia, pointed out that tax cuts make up one third of the stimulus package. Heck also said he wants to encourage banks to extend more credit to small businesses, eliminate tax breaks for businesses that send jobs overseas, revitalize the economy by encouraging renewable energy and other "green" manufacturing, and invest in new public works projects. Heck said he also favors a tax credit for the purchase of U.S.-made industrial machinery "so we can make things in America again."

Wednesdays' debate came just hours after The Hill, a Washington, D.C., newspaper covering Congress, released new poll numbers showing that the margin in the race has narrowed to within two points, with Herrera leading 42 percent to 40 percent and 15 percent saying they didn't yet know who they'd vote for. A different poll had Herrera leading by 10 points a month ago.

Heck tried to portray his opponent as young, inexperienced and short on specifics about how to pull the country from its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

During his opening remarks, he blasted Herrera for supporting a tax reform pledge that, he said, advocates sending U.S. jobs overseas.

A short time later, Heck said Herrera has no specific plan for boosting private-sector jobs.

After Herrera said Heck supported the Cap and Trade carbon policy to limit greenhouse emissions, Heck stopped the debate cold and turned to his opponent: "Rep. Herrera, three times you said I support Cap and Trade. ... I have never said I would support the Cap and Trade Bill. You keep saying it. Please stop."

Then, his voice booming, Heck demanded to know what programs Herrera would cut reduce federal spending, asking if she was willing to reduce college tuition grants or cut funding for local public works projects such as restoring the Columbia River jetties or building sediment retention structures downstream of Mount St. Helens.

Herrera simply grinned and pointed out that Heck's time was up.

When asked about how she would improve the country's higher education system, Herrera noted that she had worked her way through college, but quickly steered her answer back toward the question of Cap and Trade legislation, demanding to know whether Heck would pledge to vote against such a bill.

"Answer the question!" roared audience members to Herrera.

"She doesn't know how!" shouted another audience member.

"How about a little respect?" called out another in Herrera's defense.

"She has to earn it!" yelled an elderly woman near the front row.

Herrera appeared visibly rattled.

"We don't have to overspend," she said simply.

Later, Herrera said she wanted to take a moderate approach to reforming government spending. "I'm certainly advocating for having an adult conversation for how this money is spent," she said.

"You haven't advocated for any specific cuts yet," Heck countered.

He noted that during a radio interview she suggested cutting 10 percent of the federal budget across the board, but then backed away from the statement when, he said, it became clear such a plan would be unrealistic.

"You had to say you were new," Heck said. "You didn't understand that."

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Cross posted at Clark County Politics:

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