I will be brutally honest in regards to last nights Congressional Debate between Jerry McNerney and Ricky Gill as this one was not even close. McNerney provided information and was solid in his beliefs while Ricky Gill resorted to negative rhetoric and lack of details in his answers. McNerney showed he was best for the District while Gill highlighted his inexperience.
Truthfully, this wasn’t a debate because Ricky Gill used the opportunity given to talk about issues to personally attack McNerney. Politics aside, Democrat or Republican, the antics used by Mr. Gill were painful to watch. If you don’t believe me, watch the video.
On a few of the questions such as military suicides and veterans, Mr. Gill looked lost and did not really provide an answer. Same can be said for the Violence Against Women act. His response was that his campaign was not focused on social issues. On the “Abortion question” stated his campaign was on the “bread and butter issues. Well Mr. Gill, maybe to some voters abortion is a bread and butter issue. You do not get to decide the issues, the voters do.
The Delta debate was also very interesting as Mr. Gill would not defend taking money from special water interest in Southern California to bring Delta water down south. McNerney’s stated the special interest will want to be paid back in water while he made the point how you can trust someone to protect the Delta when he is taking money from those who want the water.
McNerney and I will disagree on the Keystone Pipeline, but other than that he had a very solid night considering the attacks he put up with from Mr. Gill on every question. I probably would not have been as polite as the Congressman. McNerney won this debate by a landslide.
On a side note, there were some really great questions asked that were entertaining to see the candidates both respond regardless of where you stand on the issue.
Here is the recap.
McNerney: Three goals which includes jobs/economy, protect our delta, continue to serve veterans.
Gill: Said the District is underrepresented and been marginalized and outsourced representation to the Bay Area. Put community back to work, fix our schools, clean up Government.
Q1: The first question deals with military suicide rates. Individuals seeking treatment for things like PTSD face difficulty. “What changes should the government make” to support them?
McNerney: Has been to Iraq and understands the needs, adjustment period. It’s our duty to provide it to our veterans. Stated bills he wrote to support veterans. Doesn’t want veterans to fall through cracks.
Gill: agreeing that we should not balance the budget on the backs of returning servicemen and women. This is a cross party issue. Gill takes issue with some of McNerney’s characterizations of his approach.
Q2: The next question deals with foreclosures and the housing crisis
Gill: This is an issue that attacked psyche of our community. This is government run a muck! I made decision to not take money from any Wall Street bank. Gill wants a “clean approach” implying his opponent’s relationship with banks.
McNerney: This is an important issue to Stockton and around the country as he has been unemployed before. He wrote partisan short-sale bill and spoken out aggressively to make this administration accountable for foreclosures—wants principal reductions.
Q3: Asks if they regret some of the campaign literature about each other.
McNerney: Says the way campaigns are run now is hurting our democracy. He supported the Disclose Act. He also hopes that Citizens United will be overturned.
Gill: It’s not how much money, but where it’s coming from? Accused McNerney have raising 80% of his funds out of District. Accused McNerney of saying things in Stockton Record without fact checking
Gill: I don’t believe in Federal Funding for Abortion. My focus is on bread and butter issues, putting people back to work, schools…
McNerney: Went back to previous question and stated Ricky Gill took the time to attack him on a personal issue and should stick to the issues, then back to Abortion saying women should have the right to choose. Supports woman’s choice.
Q5: Agricultural – How to balance benefits for farmers and those in need of food stamps?
McNerney: Offer them whatever makes sense from the Federal Government. Fought very hard to have more emphasis on specialty crops in California but what I can’t agree to is trade one sector over another. Can’t have imbalanced trade agreements.
Gill: Gill says his campaign has been endorsed by many farm groups. Attacked McNerney for living in Pleasanton which is not a farming community.
Note to Mr. Gill, Pleasanton used to be a little farming community decades ago.
Q6: Gill, when asked about how small he actually wants program (Government programs)
Gill: stated he is a fiscal Conservative. Attacked McNerney for federal deficit, wants a “single subject rule” in Congress and sunset provisions. Believes in line-item veto to extract waste.
McNerney: says there is validity to concerns over government overreach. He says bipartisan efforts are necessary. Getting rid of EPA, etc. he says is partisan rhetoric that widens the divide. Stated a need for Government but there needs to be a balance between Government and private industry.
Q7: Keystone Pipeline, and the possible consequences to the environment? Second part of the question dealing with fracking.
McNerney: Is on the science committee they’ve had the fracking debate over and over. No regulation is NOT realistic, he says. People need to know what’s happening in their communities – the process needs to be transparent, he says. Concerns about contamination are valid, and thus the need for transparency.
Gill: I disagree on Keystone Pipeline, I would have voted for it. Energy supply now going to Asia. We know we have a problem with supply.
Q8: the peripheral canal or underwater pipeline through the Delta.
Gill: this is vitally important. If built, the canal would “devastate” our community and he will fight it tooth and nail. Will not let it happen and will fight …. Says McNerney took 5 years to mention it on senate, would take him 5 minutes. Accused McNerney of not saying Perifi
McNerney: Words and actions, my record is clear. Since 2007 been speaking out against the canal. Opponet talks a good talk, but took tens of thousands of dollars for those who support the canal. How can we trust someone who took money from those who want to build the canal. The Delta is the most valuable resource of this community. I know the community is behind me on this. I have an excellent record on this.
Q9: McNerney If you lose, will you stay in Stockton? Gill, your next step and will you run for a lower office?
McNerney: I am committed to the valley, been out here since May. There is so much potential out here. This is a wonderful place. McNerney brings up crime as one of the top issues, saying he’s worked to bring back Operation Ceasefire.
Gill: This community is in my heart, I didn’t need a transmission committee to come here.
Q10: Violence Against Women act.
Gill: Tried to explain how farmers support him in spite of his Gill says he hasn’t read the version that’s currently under consideration, but he supports equal pay and domestic violence is something that should not be a political football. He’s been outspoken on women’s issues, Gill says, and he outright condemned the Akin remarks (the “legitimate rape” remarks).
McNerney: again says Gill is beholden to supporters of the peripheral canal—says they will get their money back from Gill in water. This gets boos and cheers. McNerney would support controlling hate speech against women and that would go a long way.
Gill: Gill outlines the difficulties facing people in this county. “If you’re from here, you know what it feels like to be marginalized,” he says, calling McNerney a Bay Area congressman. Gill says he wants to prioritize education, clear government, and more. His opponent, he says, is outsourced. He is hoping to earn your trust.
McNerney: honor and privilege to serve, and he’s proud of what he’s accomplished, including work on the VA hospital. Worked hard on foreclosure crisis, champion of veterans issue throughout the county and country, champion of the Delta working shoulder to shoulder against administration, the governor, and I want to continue to serve the community.