It’s impossible to get all the interesting tidbits of a Congressional debate shoehorned into a three minute radio story, so here are a few remainders from last night’s final NY-21 debate between Bill Owens and Matt Doheny:
- The lightning round produced one sharp policy difference: Doheny said no to wind power development on the shore of Lake Ontario; Owens said yes. It also yielded one similarity: Doheny and Owens were both opposed to expanding legalized casino gambling beyond native reservations. Our friend Brian Amaral of the WDT’s Public Interest blog transcribed the whole lightning round here. (http://wdt.net/article/20121025/BLOGS13/121029950)
- The only question about agriculture had to do with labor and the hundreds of undocumented Latino workers on dairy farms. Doheny said he would support a 3-5 year term guest worker program that would work better for year-round work on a dairy farm. Owens said he’s already co-sponsored “four or five” such bills, but he said they were shot down by Republican House leadership.
- Doheny used the phrase “tens of…” at least twice. As in “I have tens of friends…
- There was an awkward moment when Bill Owens refused to answer a direct question from Doheny, arguing Doheny still hadn’t answered the direct question Owens had asked. The debate ground to a halt for a moment, until the moderator beckoned Owens to answer. Doheny slipped in the zinger, “this is why you don’t want a lawyer in Washington!”
- Doheny promised to open constituent services offices in all 12 counties of the district. He said he would pay for it by not sending out any bulk mailers. Now, I’m no Congressional office accountant, but given the small budget of a freshman lawmaker, this seems hard to imagine. The Congressman with the second largest legislative district in the world (and the 6th highest seniority ranking in the House), Republican Don Young, has just four district offices. He serves all of Alaska. (http://donyoung.house.gov/contact/)