The debate between 4 of the candidates running for US Senate last Thursday was a bit too far for me to comfortably travel.
Karen Kwiatkowski was there and was kind enough to share her overall assessment and thoughts on how the candidates performed.
The debate participants were Tim Donner, Bishop E.W. Jackson, Davis McCormick and Kevin Chisholm.
I did a podcast with Tim Donner after the event.
Two other candidates were invited, but declined to attend, Jamie Radtke and former Governor and Senator George Allen.
I would like to thank Karen for providing her thoughts!
Debate Revealed the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Shenandoah Valley Tea Party Patriots debate for U.S. Senate candidates was revealing. Some of the good:
- All candidates wanted to reduce the size of government, both budget and power.
- All candidates believed state’s rights and the constitution were important, preferring decentralized government.
- Most were willing, as Ronald Reagan once promised, to eliminate the Department of Education and the Department of Energy, and to reduce EPA funding.
- Most were willing to repeal or alter the Patriot Act; one candidate advocated dissolution of the TSA, to loud applause.
Some answers were bad, reflecting an alarming lack of awareness about how the economy works and how much the federal government spends.
- When asked if they would scrap the current tax code, all candidates said they wanted lower and smarter taxation. But they offered revenue neutral proposals, such as Fair tax or Flat Tax, or “making up the difference” in targeted and sin taxes. No Independent or Conservative candidate was willing to seriously reduce the overall federal haul.
- Several “conservative” candidates said they would actually vote to raise the federal debt ceiling under the “right” circumstances.
- To create jobs, candidates advocated incentives, protectionism, import tariffs to force us to buy American, tax code manipulation, and reducing regulations. None clearly stated that prosperity, liberty and productive entrepreneurialism – real job creation — is sustained only when government remains small, limited, and strictly constitutional.
In terms of ugly, I noted these:
- When asked about how they would stop executive overreach, and presidential and regulatory lawmaking, all expressed concern, but none had a solution. As aspirants to the Senate, they should have simply said: “Executive agencies attempting to “legislate” through rulemaking will be defunded.”
- When asked about the Occupy Wall Street movement, most candidates expressed distaste and disgust. None pointed out demonstrators would be better off in D.C., protesting federal agencies, departments and the Federal Reserve for rewarding improper financial activities, and for creating the environment, rules, and incentives in which Wall Street financial institutions exist and operate.