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Why Candidate Debates Are Important

I have invited my opponent, Congessman Peter Roskam, to meet me in a series of debates. We need to talk about our contrasting ideas, so that voters can make an informed choice. See my new blog.

This week, I , Congressman Peter Roskam, to meet me for a series of town hall-style debates in the eleven weeks we have left until the election.  I am very much looking forward to an exchange of views in front of the voters for one simple reason: Mr. Roskam and I disagree on how to solve most of the problems that face our country.  For that reason, I believe that voters deserve to hear from both of us so that their choice for Representative is clear.

That is not to say that we don’t agree on some things.  We both agree that the economy needs to be strengthened so that businesses can create more jobs.  Congressman Roskam has voted for bills that he says would do this by eliminating regulations and retaining tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  He has also twice voted for the Paul Ryan budget that would cut the taxes of the wealthiest people even further and turn Medicare into a voucher program. 

On the other hand, I believe that continued weakness in the economy is the result of too little demand for the products of our businesses.  If more people had good jobs, more people would be able to afford to buy the things they both want and need.  They’d be able to buy a new car, which would strengthen the auto industry, or purchase a new home, which would help put the housing market back on its feet.  For that reason, I believe we must focus on economic growth through initiatives like investing in our infrastructure – repairing crumbling roads, bridges and schools – in order to put more people back to work and get more money circulating in the economy.

Unless Mr. Roskam and I debate, though, this and other differences in our outlooks may not become clear.  Our paid advertising, frankly, will tell you one point of view, either his or mine.   The voters deserve to know how we would each propose to:

  • Preserve Medicare (or turn it into a voucher program)
  • Protect our environment (or reduce environmental regulations)
  • Reform our tax code (make it fairer? or more beneficial for the richest Americans?) and
  • Determine the priorities for our nation.

I am a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) so I am trained to delve into the numbers to understand the facts and develop solutions.  I hope that Congressman Roskam accepts my invitation to debate so that we can discuss the problems facing our nation and what Congress should be doing to solve them. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jac Charlier August 20, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Thank you for your posting. As an active citizen engaged in building community, I have long advocated for mandatory (by law) public debates in each and every election to ensure the voters at least have an opportunity (hopefully more than just one) to see/hear/question in person, their potential elected officials. In cases where there is no opponent, the "debate" should then require mandatory open appearances in front of the voters. Number of debates could be set by local and state jurisdictions. As to your request, I hope it happens. My anecdotal experience tells me that incumbents decline to debate opponents, even when those same incumbents once called for debate(s) when they themselves were the opponent.
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