Fifth Congressional district forum notes

by thoughtfulconservative

(Updated post to link to bloggers’ posts)

I attended the Fifth congressional district Republican forum featuring Rep. James Sensenbrenner and challenger Jim Burkee. Question: Why is it that I have only one chance to hear these two “debate” and why did I have to drive over a half hour to do so?

I saw steveegg (who also has audio) as I walked into the hall and Nick afterwards (a nice summary with some visual clues I couldn’t see from my obstructed position). I’ll update when they post. Jack Lohman was also there as shown by his comments here and I assume the West Bend Citizen Advocate was, too (yes, he has a couple of posts with pics). 8-29, 13:35 – Owen has audio and video posted also. Patrick McIlheran links and has some thoughts also. Thanks to all those who linked.

It was an overflow crowd I saw as I stepped into the room where the forum was held. Owen Robinson, the moderator and blogger at Boots and Sabers sat between Burkee and Sensenbrenner. Wisconsin Eye videoed the event (it’s posted) as did someone who appeared to be a supporter of Mr. Burkee. I didn’t see others though there might have been–my vantage point wasn’t ideal.

Each man was allowed an opening statement then Owen asked questions and allowed both men to answer alternately. He questioned them on an array of subjects and then asked questions submitted by the audience. He was only able to get through a few of the many questions submitted but the ones I heard were excellent.

Topics included controlling energy costs, illegal immigration, extending the Bush tax cuts, our heavy tax burden, the size of our Armed Forces, Russia-Georgia situation, and Iran. Audience questions delved into their core values, what they would target in budget cuts, eliminating the IRS, the Kyoto treaty, what they would do about trade and federal deficits, change in Pakistani leadership, and some I missed because I needed to field a phone call (it was on vibrate so it wasn’t THAT one). Then the men made their closing statements.

That’s it. No fisticuffs, no yelling and talking over (that I heard anyway)–just what a debate/forum is supposed to be.

It was only marred at the end when Mr. Burkee challenge Mr. Sensenbrenner to continue the forum. I felt that this was a cheap trick designed to only embarrass his opponent. I share his frustration somewhat, but that was the wrong place to broach the subject.

I came away agreeing with both men on some subjects and disagreeing with them on some. That’s normal. I just have to decide which is more important and vote that way.

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8 Responses to “Fifth Congressional district forum notes”

  1. I agree with your assessment. The choice is between the devil you know and the devil you don’t, but my sense is that it is time for change. Sensenbrenner has voted for some pretty stupid things, especially for the Medicare drug program, and against saving public Medicare and the GI benefits.

    Burkee had no other choice but to ask for more debates at the forum. He has been excluded everywhere else by Sensenbrenner, who obviously does not want to give him any exposure. I tried to read the crowd, and it seemed to favor more debates.

  2. I certainly don’t like the influence of money in politics. I’m not sure it’s as influential as you contend, but it surely doesn’t pass the smell test for me. I’m also not sure yours is the best way to do it, but I confess I have nothing better.

    Strategically, you can hardly blame Sensenbrenner. He feels he’s approachable and why should he give more exposure to an unknown. In fairness to Mr. Burkee, I also feel he hyperbolized (is that a word?) Burkee’s criticism of the GOP. Certainly other conservatives besides me are not entirely happy with the GOP’s performance from 2000-2006.

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