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Watch the TX 32 Democratic Forum

 

This was an “Awesome” forum.  I try not to use that work often as our younger generation seem to over use it, but it is warranted this time.

You can watch the video recording by clicking here.  Please be patient with the bit of fumbling at the beginning and you may need to turn your sound up!

Don’t want to watch all 1:45 minutes.  Here is a great highlight by NDTDW member Anne Shuttee.

Attending today’s Democratic candidate forum for US House District 32! We have five terrific candidates: Lillian Salerno, Colin Allred, Brett Shipp, George Rodriguez, and Ed Meier!

UPDATE: The forum was outstanding. Best questions I’ve heard from a moderator (an SMU political science professor) and very thoughtful answers. A few that struck me as new, unexpected, or different (this is NOT a summary of all they said – they agreed on many important issues and you can check out details on their websites) – and this is in no particular order:

— Colin Allred: Said that while we want to register and turn out Democratic voters and provide a “safe landing place” for disaffected independents and GOP voters, we may be unable to attract GOP anti-choice single-issue voters. Unlike the other candidates, he also said that there is no hope for a bipartisan gun control bill as long as the current GOP representatives are in place – they will never agree to any gun control measures. Said he opposed the Democrats’ decision to end the recent government shutdown because that was our leverage to protect Dreamers, a critical goal. He also said we need to focus on issues other than Russia – voters are focused on those other issues, and we need to do the same. If elected he would press for restoration of the Voting Rights Act and automatic voter registration, and for making Election Day a national holiday. He’d want to serve on the House Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee. Regarding women’s reproductive rights, he said that this issue relates to women’s economic freedom and that should be part of our message. Said that many skilled trades workers are retiring and we need extensive vocational training and apprentice programs to prepare students for those jobs.

— Lillian Salerno: Said several times that we need a representative who will “fight – and compromise”, and that until we have more women in Congress, nothing will change because it’s about power and representation. Also said that Dems caved to Big Pharma in agreeing to the ACA instead of single payer health insurance. She wants to serve on the House Health Care Committee and promote “radical transparency” in health care costs, and break up health insurance and pharmaceutical oligopolies. She said she had an unintended pregnancy at age 37 and that she had to decide what to do, in consultation with loved ones – and she made her choice, deciding to continue the pregnancy and have the baby. She said that this is not a decision that should be made for women by male legislators. She said that she is descended from Italian immigrants who were denigrated as “Wops” (from “without papers”) and she is in favor of a path to citizenship for most immigrants here without papers. America is a land of plenty and we need to act accordingly. She emphasized that she “believes in government,” citing rural electrification as one example of the valuable role played by government.

— George Rodriguez: Asked whether this is a “litmus test” race, or a race to choose the candidate best able to beat Sessions. Said that we need to keep the ACA until we have Medicare for All in shape to transition to a single-payer solution. If elected, he’d like to hold a joint Town Hall with other Dallas-area representatives. Proposed a pre-clearance process for anti-choice laws. He is an immigration attorney and wants to be an architect for the immigration system. He supports the Hurd-Aguilar immigration bill (DACA plus funding investigation on how best to improve border security). He favors moving from radar to GPS in the Air Traffic Control system.

— Ed Meier: He said a couple of times how important it is to have the resources to campaign on the ground and over the air against Sessions. He’d like to be on the House Workforce and Education Committee. He said that just as with coal miners, workers in other areas will find their jobs vanishing as technology advances (for example, truck drivers if self-driving trucks become a reality) and that we need to think ahead and invest in training, apprenticeships, and middle-skill job opportunities. He also said that with our wind energy and solar energy, Texas can become a green energy super-power, and the congressional representative from HD 32 should strongly support such industries. He lived in Nigeria with his parents, who were medical missionaries when he was a child, and their concern for all people are a basis of his own value system.

— Brett Shipp: Was very passionate about integrity, the perfidy of the Trump administration, and especially about gun violence. Said he didn’t support shutting down the government as leverage to pass a Dreamer bill and described Trump’s proposed wall as a “metaphor for hate”. Wants to fund “Medicare for All” from Medicare fraud recoveries, and noted that Medicare is cheaper to administer than ACA policies. Also wants to raise gas taxes to pay for infrastructure repairs, something no other candidate mentioned. He said he’d vote in favor of John Cornyn’s bill on background checks and bump stocks.

Again, this is not a summary of everything the candidates said – they agreed on many issues and I didn’t list those agreements here. I believe there is a recording of the forum available on line and if I find a link, I’ll post it here.