Monday, October 25, 2010

The Debate

Hey Readers!


First of all, thanks for the emails I received asking about the post. I'm not quite sure why it didn't make it up (technical difficulties?)…but here it is, in all its glory. Its a long post, so enjoy what it has to offer!


Tonight at the El Kadir Shrine Club in Kirksville, candidates for positions throughout the county met to discuss key issues and give voters a general idea about their stances on those issues. I have never been to a political debate forum before, and it was very interesting. Basically, the candidates for whatever office was up would both stand. A question would be asked, one candidate would respond, and then the other candidate would respond. On the representative and senate seats, the candidates also had a 30 second rebuttal time. Candidates either had one or two minutes to share their opinions. Each office was asked about three or four questions.

Before the debates began, there was an hour meet-and-greet. I arrived around 5:40 to walk around and meet the candidates. I encourage anyone to go to a debate in the future. Not only was their free food (YES!), but there were a bunch of handouts and fliers with good information about the candidates. It was interesting to me that though I walked by every candidate for office, none of them caught my eye or attempted to talk to me, even those that were not conversing with anyone! However, I also did not attempt to start a conversation, so take that for what it is worth. When
Representative McClanahan arrived, however, she spoke to me almost immediately, remembering my name and asking if I was excited for the debates. The only other candidate that spoke to me was Wes Shoemyer, who came over and introduced himself to me, asking my name and where I was from. We spoke briefly about this project, and he expressed his pleasure at students taking a role in this process.


Now, what you've all been waiting for…

The actual debate between McClanahan and Wyatt was very intriguing. Both participants were highly passionate about their issues. There were four questions asked, concerning healthcare, education, jobs, and social security/senior citizens. Here is my summary of how the candidates answered (I tried to write as fast as possible and include the major points from both candidates to the fullest extent):

Question concerning:Representative Rebecca McClanahanZach Wyatt
EducationMain points:

  • Education took a hit this year
  • We were able to protect career ladder
  • We must do what we can to keep Parents as Teachers
Main points:

  • We need to do better.
  • No school vouchers
  • Need to bring Parents as Teachers Back
  • Need to stop the Democratic Governor from cutting education
HealthcareMain points:

  • McClanahan was encouraged by the health care cuts of 2005, causing her to run in 2006
  • McClanahan is an RN
  • Fought to protect personal care attendance for elderly and disabled
  • In rebuttal to Wyatt's comments about "Obama-care" – we have little influence in Washington, but we must focus on Missouri healthcare
  • Encourages people to keep in mind that "Obama-care" covers children with pre-existing medical conditions
Main points:

  • 7/10 people in Missouri do not support Obama-care, which hurts Medicare.
  • We must have better healthcare for our children
  • The children are the future of Missouri and we need to have them here.
JobsMain points:

  • Must have a favorable business environment
  • McClanahan sits on the agricultural policy committee, helped to identify language to defend animal agriculture
Main Points:

  • Agriculture must be preserved
  • Frivolous lawsuits hurt farmers
  • We must look to our neighbors to the west
  • The Governor and Attorney General could lose us jobs, we may become a ghost town

Senior Citizens/Social Security
Main points:

  • Sits on MO HealthNet Oversight Committee, Healthcare Committee, and was recently appointed to the Missouri Rx Plan Advisory Commission
  • Has stood up for funding for seniors
  • Meals on Wheels type programs
  • We must cut back do to the budget, but we must do so strategically.
Main points:

  • Missouri must stand against Obamacare.
  • Seniors could lose $5 million
  • We must take care of our Veterans, such as in Amendment 2, which we will be voting on



Overall, I was highly impressed with Rebecca's answers, though I would like to know have liked to hear more specifics on what is being done for secondary education programs like the Bright Flight program. Her responses on healthcare were very passionate, which is one of the things that makes it easy to like Representative McClanahan. I was a little confused as to how she planned to create a more favorable business environment.

Wyatt spoke very clearly and was easy to listen to. I felt that his answers lacked depth or knowledge, but I also plan on watching the debate again to see if that was just me at the time or if there is still something to be desired.

My post for Tuesday, October 26th will be about the reactions after the debate – what did Representative McClanahan, as well as a few other people think?

Did you watch or listen to the debates? What did you see?

See you all soon!

  • Abi

1 comment:

  1. Talked to Rebecca about Bright Flight! A really neat post, coming soon!