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The Debate To End All Debates (between Massa and Kuhl) October 20, 2006

Posted by Kilgore Trout in Campaign, Economic, Energy, Evironment, Fighting Dems, Gay Rights, Local, Politicians, War.

Last night the final debate in the 29th district of New York was rebroadcast. It was in Rochester in a news studio with no audience. That must have been a relief to Kuhl who has faced an oppositional crowd every time, there were even rumors of a person who was basically heckling him the Bath debate. That’s just uncalled for. I must say its very hard to try to watch these debate’s and give an objective view, or sorry, objective is a bullshit term in this instance. I work with psychologists who are always saying they are being objective and they aren’t, physicists can be objective, anyone studying people cannot. They do their best at being objective but its not. What I mean is that I want to see the debate the way most people in the area do, this is very difficult when you know the persons voting record. When Kuhl says he’s for Ethanol, does the average voter realize that he also supports drilling in the ANWR, does the average voter know what ANWR stands for? (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) This means that he’s for energy independence but not sustainable energy. To be independent unsustainably while destroying the environment is not much to brag about. When Kuhl says that he’s for increasing the minimum wage, does the average voter know that he voted against it until they added in repealing a tax on the richest people in the country? Its impossible to watch and say how would I be influenced by his arguments if I didn’t know the truth. At least he didn’t mention “the ethanol bill” again.


Opening statements, eh heard ‘em before nothing real impressive. Massa had a similar style as the Elmira debate, he starts off quiet and lets the energy build, never gets loud and out of control, there no Dean moves going on, but you can see the fire build. By the end it was impossible to miss the passion this man has, and that’s something that’s been sorely lacking in politics- Passion.


Now the issues, again this is from memory and not going to be the best. I’ll go with the memorable ones, for the obvious reason I just mentioned. Health care, Eric nailed him on this one. Not surprising as this is Eric’s number one issue. He talked about single payer health care, and how its not the same as universal health care, which actually surprised me because I thought they were pretty much the same. Guess I need more info. Kuhl fired back with, its going to cost the US 1.8 trillion dollars a year, and that there is 6,000 per person tax build into the proposal. This is when Massa knocked it out of the park, Your right single payer will cost us about 1.8 trillion dollars, while currently we spend about 2.1 trillion on health care, or about 7-8 thousand a person. Awesome. That 2.1 includes what he calls stealth taxes.


The war, I must give Kuhl a little tiny bit of credit, I’ve never heard him utter the words “cut and run” that’s about all I can give him credit for but hey it’s something.  Randy says we need to finish the mission, but never gave any ideas of how to do that. Massa gave his Bosnian proposal (Iraq into three countries) which I’m not entirely fond of but hey its an idea, it might work, it might not but it can’t be much worse than what we’ve got now. Also bashed on the concept of finishing the mission when the mission changes every 6 months. WMD’s, ousting Saddam, installing a democracy, and now simply stabilizing what we destabilized. We don’t know what the mission is and more importantly neither do the troops in Iraq. Kuhl could only respond with I think its pretty clear what the mission is, its been stated many times by myself and the administration.

Oh and Randy did admit that we created the instability that now must be fixed, obvious to everyone, but still he’s a repub and he admitted it so that’s something.


Gay marriage, Kuhl is all for protecting the sanctity of marriage, maybe not his own but the concept he likes, so long as its not two dudes. Massa won’t go so far as to support Gay marriage, which makes me sad, but its probably a smart political move considering the area. He strongly supports the civil unions, and that those unions should have the same legal rights as a marriage. Eric will support the rights of everyone without bigotry or bias. Kuhl said he agreed and that we must protect the rights of everyone by banning gay marriage, this argument seems to do an about face on logic but hey that’s a stance that too many people take.


Stem Cell Research. Massa is for it, it can save lives-all the obvious reasons to support it. Kuhl doesn’t support it for all the obvious right-wing reasons. Can’t take a life to possibly save another. Which would be a fair argument if it weren’t for the fact that the “life” in question was going into a garbage can anyway. These are the extra zygotes that will be destroyed because they are not needed. Its just a way to get support from the right-wingers same as Gay marriage.


Taxes and the deficit, these might have been posed as separate questions I can’t remember but they are so interlinked that I’ll mix ‘em all together. Kuhl wants to balance the budget without increasing taxes, he also wants a constitutional amendment saying we have to balance the budget. Massa also wants to balance the budget and would like to keep any tax hikes to a minimum. Massa pointed out that just 6 years ago we had a surplus, because we had a PayGo plan where you had to pay for your expenditures. What a concept only spend money you have.


Oh there’s an important point, through out this debate Kuhl mentions his town meeting exactly 847,032 times and agrees with Eric on almost every issue, even when they completely disagree. That might not make any sense when I say it like that, then you have the right idea. There were two questions in a row where Kuhl said, now here’s one thing that I do agree with my opponent on. Reword that line the second time man, its fine once. This became the broken record of the night I agree, and during my town meetings this came up often and… Shut up about your meetings! We get it, you kept one campaign promise!


There were more topics covered but that’s all I can think of at the moment.


When they got to ask each other questions Massa was one line away from what I thought would be a crushing blow that he missed, he still hit him hard, and with great insinuation. His question was on this occasion (Massa gave better details) you called me a liar, at this time you called me a carpetbagger, at this time you said I had only voted in this district for 2 years which is because your people only looked at my voting records as a Democrat, Do you want this race to be about the issues, or about us personally? Now the one line I would have added is, and in Elmira you said you refused to run a negative campaign.



1. LV Veteran - October 22, 2006

Something that I think needs to be pointed out. Marrage is not a government issue. I know we call it marrage, but it is, in reality. a legal contract in the eyes of the government. Should properly be called a civil union. In fact, the US Supreme Court ruled in 1877, that marrage is a common right. Being a common right, a “marrage license” should not be required. Licenses are only required for privileged rights. After a civil union takes place, if one wants to be married in the eyes of a religion, they should go to church and become married. Germany, a christian country, has had this system for years. Even England has this system today.

Going further, in the very early days of this country, government did not keep track of marrage records or issue marrage licenses. Churches and traveling preachers kept track of the records. That is one reason that it is difficult to trace family lineages in the U.S. I do not know when or why state governments started keeping track of “marrage records”.

I really believe the strongest objectors to civil unions are the insurance companies and providers of insurance which includes the government.

2. olean gal - October 23, 2006

I keep getting so intrigued by this race. Thank you for the spotlight you and the other bloggers put on it. I still think it will be Randy at 53-56 or so but you never know. One thing is for sure: This District hasn’t seen action and options like this in years and years…..

3. Kilgore Trout - October 24, 2006

Olean, are you saying that Randy is going to win, or just that he still holds a slim advantage? I totally agree that there’s lots of action and exchange of ideas, I haven’t been voting long enough (im 24) to know how this compares to other years but it is exciting.

LV Veteran, you make a valid point, Marriage is a religious term and Civil unions is the legal side of a marriage. As long as they recieve the EXACT same protection under the law, same rights and tax advantages and all that crap, then fine call ’em civil unions, I can live with that, and if some churches then agree to add the term Marriage to that, it must be upheld. Some churches will do this if its allowed. The open and affirming Park church that I was a part of through my youth, I guarentee they would perform such marriages, we had a christening for the child of a lesbian couple when I was there.

anyway, thank you both.

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