The three Minnesota Senate (MN-SEN) DFL candidates appeared on KSTP's At Issue this morning. Host Tom Hauser moderated and they talked about three topics and snuck in a fourth at the end. The three topics were the most important to Minnesotans: the economy, Iraq and healthcare. The fourth was should Congress repeal the Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans. Duh? Of course, all three want to repeal a gift to the rich that wasn't needed and hurt the economy.
The most remarkable thing about the debate was that Mike Ciresi attacked Al Franken whenever he could. Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer stuck to a more positive message realizing that with Ciresi's attacks on Franken, he could just keep making his points.
The bottom line is that Mike must realize how far behind Al he is and has decided it is time to attack. The informal, unscientific polling that the Franken campaign is touting indicates that Mike may even be trailing Jack! I'll post the results at the end of this post.
Iraq was, of course, the most contentious issue. This is where Mike most stridently attacked Al. He called out Al for his initial support of the war and for opposing a regional peace conference. Al responded by pointing out that there wasn't a more prominent critic (via Air America) once it became clear that we were lied into war and that the war was being horribly mishandled. Furthermore, Al replied that Mike was misquoting him when he was discussing specific aspects of Rep. John Murtha's plan which would have established specific benchmarks and penalties if they weren't met. Jack just pointed out that we're in Iraq to steal the oil and build permanent military bases.
The economy is where they agree the most. They all feel that Bush and Norm have harmed our economy by borrowing so much and that the Iraq War is the main culprit. While none completely favored the economic stimulus package that just passed, they pointed out tweaks they would have preferred. Both Al and Jack emphasized that they want the Minnesota economy steered toward green technology like building wind turbines, solar panels and trains.
The healthcare debate became a bit contentious, too, though they all want universal coverage. Mike called Al's healthcare plan incomprehensible. Sorry, Mike, it's fairly straightforward. Al wants single payer system for kids and wants each state to figure out their own universal program. Al thinks that this is the best way to find out what works best for the US. Jack wants a single payer, but I think y'all already know that.
The deal is Mike's plan is the one I have problems with. First of all, Mike doesn't see that the health insurance industry, HMOs and pharmaceutical industry are why we have a healthcare crisis. Under Mike's plan we'll have a Health Board which the panacea to all our healthcare ills. His website doesn't even mention these magical Health Boards.
Here's the few straw polls on the MN-SEN race I talke about earlier. This is interesting because it agrees with the poll I talked about earlier that shows Al with 42% among DFLers with Mike trailing with 18% and Jack with a paltry 3%.
|St. Paul||Crocus Hill||19||4||4||8|
|St. Paul||Highland Park||55||7||18||12|
|St. Louis Park||16||70||0||0||0|