US Senate Debate #1

The first of two televised debates in the CA US Senate “primary” was held on Apr. 26.

The five candidates (of the 30+ on the ballot) were:

Kamala Harris (D, AG)
Loretta Sanchez (D, Congresswoman)
Ron Unz
Duf Sundheim
Tom del Beccaro

It’s on Youtube at,d.cGc

Some thoughts.

(a) Rep. Sanchez has been changing Congress for twenty years, she says. But if that’s true (and not just self-serving fluff), given that Congress has been changing *for the worse* for many years, she’s clearly part of the problem and not part of the solution.

That said, she does have a point about how she knows where the swing votes are, and how that’s a benefit.

(b) “who are you most concerned about helping as a Senator?” is a terrible question.

(c) Ron Unz is a Republican who wants to focus on inequality. That’s … unusual.

(d) Duf Sundheim characterizes the rich:poor divide as being equivalent to the free:slave divide in 1860. What? (Also, wow is he a bad speaker)

(e) Tom del Beccaro thinks that government has gotten more involved with college education. Sure, it’s taken over student loans, but … in CA, at least, state funding of colleges has dropped precipitously over my lifetime.

(f) The death of a Californian in Paris makes Californians “acutely aware that we live in a dangerous world”? Really?

(g) AG Harris thinks there’s a general consensus that we’re making progress in Syria. I am not aware of that consensus.

(h) Duf Sundheim describes a border wall as 6th century BC technology, which is amusing.

(i) Ron Unz thinks we need to crack down on illegal immigration now even though he agrees that it’s not very high right now? Also, he thinks increasing the minimum wage for legal workers will *decrease* illegal immigration, which is … insane

(j) Loretta Sanchez’ “shoot from the hip style” offends people? Given who she replaced in the Congress, that’s hardly shocking. Orange County seems to like that.

(k) Ron Unz has said outright he isn’t in the race to win, but he’s in the race to publicize a ballot measure. WTF?

(l) both Democrats are in favor of rescheduling marijuana out of schedule I, yay. Three of the five *said* the war on drugs has failed. (Tom del Beccaro thinks that marijuana decriminalization is responsible for the Heroin epidemic, which seems … unlikely).

(m) Tom Del Beccaro wants a flat tax! Ugh.

(n) Ron Unz admits that it’s hard for a Republican to win, and he understands that Pete Wilson’s failed policies causedd it – and he has an interesting point: if a non-traditional Republican pushing things like a minimum wage increase actually *wins* in California, it will really boost his agenda, because Republicans will take notice of what it was that made a Republican win in California.

He’s an optimist, I guess. I’m not as optimistic.

(o) Loretta Sanchez’ closing statement story about meeting a constituent and then getting so outraged that she got the Pentagon to change its policies was a *great* story.

(p) Duf Sundheim wants to work every day and every night to end High Speed Rail, because why?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s