Wednesday, April 27, 2005

This is Democratic Candidates Week

I'm also privileged to hear John Edwards and Chris Bell the next two nights, but the week opened with a meet-and-greet with US Senate candidate Barbara Radnofsky last evening.

With about thirty in attendance, Radnofsky used the hour to clarify her views and answer questions. There were some skeptics at my table; there's been a lively discussion here which serves as your backstory.

While my friend KG might have been more discreet had she poured gasoline on her head and lit a match, the fact that Ms. Radnofsky was responsive to her aggressive questioning -- and proved worthy of the challenge -- was far and away the highlight of the evening.

A few of the prospective Senator's positions:

-- Social Security: she objects to the "privateers" moving in on the nation's pension plan. (A great word to use, since it was also employed two hundred years ago by Jean Lafitte's PR man to try to reframe themselves as something besides criminals.)

-- Healthcare: one of Radnofsky's hot buttons is the surging number of uninsured children in the country. She counts the insurance companies as obstacles to solving this problem for all of us, but the kids need to come first.

-- a category I'll call global hegemony (because she didn't): Radnofsky detailed her father's involvement in his generation's war as a backdrop for her stance on the current campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. I thought I heard some objection to a draft in a references to "Bush's future wars", but the candidate generally comes down in the Howard Dean camp -- the so-called "Pottery Barn rule".

-- recent Cabinet confirmations: Radnofsky "probably" would have voted to confirm Condoleeza Rice, considers herself "uninformed" about John Negroponte, and would have opposed Alberto Gonzales' nomination to be Attorney General.

-- electronic voting: she strongly supports open source code and a voter-verifiable paper trail at the ballot box, and believes that anything short of transparency at the polls imperils democracy.

-- bankruptcy legislation : "never should have been proposed, much less passed".

Barbara Radnofsky has kept to a rigorous schedule of speaking before local Democratic clubs as well as locations throughout the state. I urge you to attend a meeting so that you can assess her candidacy in person. I'll have my own views cobbled together so they're coherent at a later time.


Seth said...

Thanks for posting this writeup of Barbara's talk, and thanks for encouraging people to get out and hear Barbara for themselves. Whether they agree with her or not (and I'm convinced that most people will agree with her), it's the informed and participatory electorate that holds the keys to our democracy. Like you, I thought Barbara's responses to Kris's aggressive questioning were a highlight. There's no point in running for office if you can't handle the tough stuff.

PDiddie said...

Thnaks for reminding me that I need to opine about Barbara, Seth.

Give me another day or two...

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