Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

WA-03: First Democratic candidate forum takes place in Lewis County

Full Disclosure: I am a supporter and volunteer for Senator Craig Pridemore's campaign to succeed Brian Baird as U.S. Representative in the 3rd District. My opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Pridemore for Congress.

Last Thursday night at Centralia College, the Lewis County Democrats played host to the first candidate forum for the Democratic party candidates in the 3rd Congressional District. This was the first opportunity for candidates to introduce themselves to the party faithful and explain why they are running for the seat being vacated by Brian Baird.

According to the e-mail, from Chair Bob Schroeter, that went out advertising the forum, each candidate was given five minutes to state their reasons for running for election, followed by each candidate being given one minute each to respond to a minimum of three standardized questions.
A list of twelve possible questions (from which the three would be selected) was provided ahead of time to each of the candidates.

One question asked of candidates was regarding their thoughts on the annual budget deficits that the federal government has been running since the beginning of the Bush presidency. The responses ranged from the sensible (Craig Pridemore) to the off-the-wall, scratch your head (Maria Rodriguez-Salazar). Here's Pridemore:
"There’s only one time the federal government should ever deficit spend and that’s a time when the economy is sluggish and we need something to get things moving again, and that’s a time like now. As soon as those times are over we have to get back to a time when the budget is balanced."
And here Rodriguez-Salazar's response to the same question:
“I’ve moved on from the Bush Administration. Don’t want to talk about it, don’t want to go back and want to go forward.”
Huh? I think all of the candidates would agree with that statement, but it doesn't explain Ms. Rodriguez-Salazar's thoughts on budget deficits, nor does it inspire confidence in her ability to do the job.

Another question inquired about why each of the candidates believed they were more electable than the others, especially since a strong Republican campaign and expensive race for the seat is expected.

While all of the candidates highlighted their strengths, it was Senator Pridemore who skillfully explained how to win a swing district in a tough campaign.
“Barack Obama won the 3rd Congressional District this past presidential election. He didn’t do it by turning away from the Democratic Party's values, or apologizing for them or pandering to corporations. He did it by appealing to our values and things we believe in. He did it by engaging young people and getting them out to work tirelessly during the campaign, and that is literally what is going to be required from us to hold this seat. We need to inspire those same people who turned out for Barack Obama in this upcoming election and if we don’t we’re not going to hold this seat, it’s not possible.”
Though this was just the first candidate forum of this campaign, NPI plans to bring you live coverage from future events with the candidates.


Post a Comment

By posting a comment, you agree to be bound by the Northwest Progressive Institute's Comments Policy, which may be updated at our discretion.

<< Home