1st term Republican Aaron Kaufer and Democratic challenger Bob McDonald had the obligatory LWV forum at Wyoming Sem in Kingston.
Bob is a first time candidate and Aaron is an experienced politician and it showed. Kaufer was well rehearsed and confident in his answers speaking into the microphone while McDonald sometimes rambled and sat 2 feet away from the table/mic. I hope the TV audio picked him up. In his opening statement Kaufer said that good policy makes for good politics. That's something Bill Clinton said. McDonald said we are about to elect our first woman President and talked about dignity.
People in the audience submitted questions and you can tell who planted the most.
On the economy Bob wants a gigabyte revolution and Aaron agreed we need more fiber optics then pitched cutting corporate taxes.
On welfare Kaufer touted he was able to add a check mark to assistance applications so people can't get benefits in more than state and claimed it saved money. He wants family caps on benefits and work requirements . McDonald reminded him it's illegal to claim benefits in more than one state and that welfare is a floor and most benefits go to children .
They both agreed that anew approach is needed to the opioid crises. Bob stated that addiction is not a moral failure but a medical problem. Aaron said there s no silver bullet to solve this problem and is part of the HOPE caucus .
Neither one seemed to like Charter Schools.
On HB76 Bob said eliminating school property taxes is not going to happen and said people who keep promising that are like Lucy holding the football. Aaron then gave an impassioned defense of eliminating property taxes saying the legislature passed a constitutional amendment that I haven't heard about providing a 100% Homestead exemption. The audience applauded.
They both agreed that discrimination against LBGT people is wrong. Kaufer cited his gay brother Seth.
On term limits Bob got a laugh saying that he thinks that Aaron should be limited to 1 term. Aaron invoked George Washington cautioning against political factions and said he wears an orange tie to show his support for reform.
Kaufer said that Unemployment compensation is too generous and voted to reduce it and regulations should be pared back. That left an opening for McDonald to argue that the frackers are just as bad as the coal companies.
After the event I asked Kaufer what he thinks of his party's Presidential nominee and would he vote for him. He said he had his own race to run and would not say if he would vote for Trump.