Posted: 02/09/16 14:16, Edited: 02/09/16 14:18
by Dave Mindeman
There was another MN District 2 GOP debate last night. This was in Goodhue county....kind of GOP rebel territory....Gerson territory.
But we also added a new candidate to the mix. He just filed and the event planners allowed him to participate. His name is Gene Rechtzigel...kind of a gadfly type who ran for Mayor of Apple Valley in 2014. He has "interesting" views.
But as for the debate itself, John Howe and Jason Lewis were the main source of conflict. Howe is pursuing his "carpetbagger" theme on Lewis - who does live just outside the district. And Lewis, in turn, is going to try and label Howe as a "Dayton style bonder".
But there were other issues to contend with. One of the questions dealt with whether or not humans are contributing to climate change. Of course, with this crowd the answer is no. Howe went into his science "expertise" again and said that volcanic eruptions are more of a problem than human activity. Darlene Miller thinks that our technology will save us anyway. Gerson and Reichtzigel are more concerned about the economy than any climate change problem. And Lewis just thinks we are confusing causation with correlation.
When it comes to energy, Reichtzigel has the answer - "breeder reactors". Guess you can look it up.
Darlene Miller listed the top 3 issues that she believes the 2nd District is concerned about...in this order: 1) Jobs, 2) Fear of ISIS, and 3) Mental Health. Interesting mix. Jason Lewis listed his priorities as restoring economy, (?), reform the tax code, establish a flat tax, audit the Fed, and secure the Homeland. Kind of sounds like a familiar grouping.
One of the questions was about Obamacare, but this time the question was "what would you replace it with"? Now we are talking.
Lewis: Allow competition across state lines. Repeal mandates. Get rid of allowing 26 year olds on parents insurance. And give people an option of a "real" catastrophic insurance plan.
Miller: Allow competition across state lines. Enhance small group policies.
Myhra: Make it similar to car insurance (?). Has to be portable. And also allow competition across state lines. The car insurance analogy is, I guess, about picking out the insurance coverage options you want and ONLY paying for those.
Howe: Competition across state lines.
Gerson: The same
Reichtzigel: All he would say is that the insurance mandate hurts the poor. (For some unknown reason)
Let me just point out that this insurance competition across state lines is a pretty lame solution. If we want to have the poor coverages of Alabama as our main competitive model, then health care will see a rapid decline in quality. States have their own mandates about what is required in coverage and that makes the premiums vastly different. That is why the Federal minimums are so critical.
On destroying Islamic terrorism in America.....
Myhra: Secure border. Forge a plan to destroy ISIS. She made a comment about how we are "fearful" of going to the Mall of America. (Judging by last weekend's crowds, I don't think so.)
Reichtzigel: He wants Israel to police the Middle East. (How that would stop domestic terrorism is hard to figure).
Howe: Seems to want to have the Middle Eastern countries establish a draft of their own young men. I guess a version of Arab troops on the ground.
Lewis: Wants to pressure Sunni allies. He wants Saudi Arabia to step up.
Miller: Supports SAFE act...protect the borders. And more vetting of refugees.
Gerson: Some version of "cut off the head of the snake". (OK)
I often wonder why conservatives think they can just reason with the Sunni and Shia and develop the right people fighting in the right place. None of that has worked in the past - won't work in the future.
There was also a question about a local issue - the proposed Zip Rail line to Rochester. Most indicated they were just against any Federal funding to help in this venture....although Reichtzigel had an interesting solution to our transportation problem - forget rail, just double all the lanes in the Interstate Highway System. (There you go)
There was a question about student loans as well....
Lewis: Wants to promote Trade and Vo-Tech schools for real jobs. Stop the Democrats from "subsidizing" education.
Howe: Have to get great jobs for when students graduate....and he believes that if you get government regulation out of business, those jobs will magically appear.
Miller: Thinks colleges need to be held accountable for what they teach. Need to teach what businesses need.
Gerson: "Break up the accreditation cartels." (What?)
Everybody wants to defund Planned Parenthood, but Howe used the opportunity to make a claim that when Jason Lewis ran in Colorado, he was perceived to be pro-choice. Lewis had to dismiss that in his closing statement, but never really answered the charge in specifics.
On immigration we got the usual talking points about current undocumented going to the back of the line - not much specifics on deportation, but NO path to citizenship.
Reichtzigel took the his time on this question to put out his Zika virus theory....in which he says that genetically modified mosquitos that were supposed to limit breeding capacity have actually been the source of the Zika virus. Monsanto is out of control.
Reichtzigel also gives us a new Constitutional right - the "Right to be Forgotten". Apparently a reference to google searches I guess.
When it came to closing statements, they were going to go in the same order they started and that would have been John Howe. But he pointed out that under the format, the order should be reversed and that he would go last. Which was important to him because it gave him the opportunity to rip into Jason Lewis without any chance for Lewis to counter.
When the straw poll was taken, Gerson was the winner, with Lewis second. This area is the only place Gerson actually did better than Kline, so that was no surprise.
But Reichtzigel managed to convince 3 people to vote for him. That was a major victory for the Zika virus guy!
In general, not much new - and I fully understand why John Kline in not endorsing in this race.