Sunday, December 30, 2007

Eggs and Issues in the 14th CD

I caught the Q and A portion last night from the Eggs and Issues breakfast with the candidates sponsered by the St Charles Chamber of Commerce on Batavia Access TV.

The Geneva Republican covered it,

Candidates in the 14th District Congressional race gathered in St. Charles last Friday to share breakfast and their views on politics with community members.

In attendance were Democrats Bill Foster, John Laesch and Jotham Stein, and Republicans Sen. Chris Lauzen, R-25th District, of Aurora, and Jim Oberweis, who was endorsed by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Thursday. Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns, citing Hastert’s endorsement of Oberweis, pulled out of the race Thursday but attended the breakfast as a spectator.

Democrat Joe Serra and Republican Michael Dilger were absent.
It ought to be posted on YouTube, but here are some things I noted from the last half.

Foster took the humor award when he commented on Coburn and Obama's earmaks reform bill . Foster said it was an example of a Far Right Senator, and a Far ...hmmm... Moderate Left Senator reaching agreement. The pause and switch from Far Left to Moderate Left got laughs and Foster hadn't intend that. His face showed it.

All three Democrats talked about using earmarks to bring back dollars for needed infrastructure improvements. Oberweis too, although he may not have used the word earmark. Lauzen was the only one to flat-out call for an end of earmarks as back room deals; not open budget making.

That prompted Foster to talk about Coburn-Obama, which Oberweis then picked up on and called, watered down and fluff reform. Lauzen defended Coburn-Obama, saying getting real reform through legislatures is no easy task. That was payback for an earlier Oberweis dig about Lauzen's inaction in Springfield.

I thought Laesch scored a point on globalization and trade when he said no one considered the kid in China painting those toys with lead paint, when the scare over these toys was in the news.

Laesch also came out for expanding Medicare to all as a universal health insurance system. Lauzen said health insurance and employment needed to be uncoupled with health insurance made portable. At least Laesch had a plan, and Lauzen the innovation (I think Lauzen's idea is the only sensible direction when people move from employer to employer as they do today). Whatever the others said on health care is a fog to me now.

Stein made an interesting pitch to those pulling GOP primary ballots. He asked they consider voting for him at the same time in the special election. Lots of permutations there. This may well be a very odd dual election.

When asked about the housing bubble, Laesch came out for a semi-public corporation similar to what was done for the S&L bailout. Lauzen and Oberweis both came out for hands-off approach, with Oberweis getting the best of it here, comparing the housing bubble to the internet bubble. The answers drew the philosophical lines with all the Democrats looking for Federal intervention while Oberweis and Lauzen favoring letting the markets sort it out.

Note the Chamber restricted to local and domestic issues. That probably kept things real.

The frame of late is a bloody fight between Lauzen and Oberweis, although it seems to me Laesch gets plenty of slams as nutty and unelectable by Fosterites.

After all, bickering is how democratic people resolve who's in power without resorting to civil wars or tyrants. When politicians have a love fest like the Uzbek elections:
Since all candidates in the present election publicly endorsed the incumbent, the electorate was deprived of a genuine choice.
...then we see what order can be. The world needs more messy-sounding political-bickering instead of tyranny and war.

So the Eggs and Issues Q and A left me with a better sense of where all the candidates stood. A little more bickering besides Oberweis's jabs at Lauzen would have made it better.

None of these folks looked quirky despite what you'll read elsewhere.

This really should be posted on YouTube. I stumbled on it flipping channels. So you're depending on the aged brain of an AARP member here. It was a good and informative performance by all the candidates and deserves broader viewing.

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