Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dem Governor Hopefuls Debate

For the first time in this election cycle, the Democratic candidates for governor directly challenged each other on the issues during a televised debate.
During every forum and debate so far, the candidates have focused on themselves, and avoided criticizing their opponents' policies and positions.
That changed during a debate hosted by League of Women voters and WITF-TV in Harrisburg.
State Senator Anthony Williams and Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel had several exchanges, including a back-and-forth on whether Hoeffel would pledge to bar campaign contributors from winning state contracts or serving in his administration.

"No one who supported my campaign will be on a board. And they're not supporting me to get business. Nobody does that. So in your county, there are people who have gotten benefits by Joe Hoeffel arriving. And they knock on your door and say, hey Joe I want you to support me in this process. And they do."

"...And how would you know that, Tony? You're just making stuff up. We've got a competitive process in Montgomery County that I want to take to the state level."

Hoeffel says he supports competitive bidding, but called Williams' across-the-board ban on giving posts to donors "crazy."
The two also tangled on school vouchers.
Williams is a strong supporter of subsidizing poorer and middle class children's private educations with state money, but Hoeffel says that would undermine public schools.

The forum featured several unscripted moments like when the candidates were asked to name a mistake they had learned from.
Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato couldn't think of one.

"After six years of governing as an executive, if I had the luxury of hindsight, and could go back and change some things, knowing how they ended up, there's probably a handful of things I would change. But overall, in sort of... I mean I really don't--I don't have any regrets on it. I can't think of one at this point in time."

Joe Hoeffel said he regretted voting for President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" law when he was in Congress.

Auditor General Jack Wagner said he wishes he could go back and amend some of the bills he voted on while in the state Senate, specifically mentioning legislation sending state resources to cyber and charter schools.

Anthony Williams says he'd like to go back and put more accountability benchmarks into school funding legislation he supported.

No comments: