I recently watched the congressional debate for New York’s twenty-fourth district, which included Republican Ann Marie Buerkle, Democrat Dan Maffei, and Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum.
To be honest, I’m a little confused about the districts. My online searches indicate that the debate that I just watched was for the twenty-fourth district, but, according to this, Ann Marie Buerkle represents the twenty-fifth district, whereas moderate Republican Richard Hanna represents the twenty-fourth. Richard Hanna is running against Democrat Dan Lamb, and that’s the race in which I will be voting (albeit, for whom, I’m currently undecided). There must have been some redistricting!
So why did I watch this debate? Because I thought that it was awesome that the Green Party was represented in it. And, not only that, but Ursula Rozum has appeared with the other two candidates (and, sometimes, only Buerkle) in other forums. I’ll post this link to a debate that she had with Buerkle, both for your edification and also so that I can watch it later.
Why has Rozum been included in these forums and debates? To be honest, I don’t know. Is it because she has a significant amount of support? Has she made more of an effort than most third party candidates make to get her name out? Or are people just interested in having a more diverse panel? When I went to DePauw University in Indiana, I saw a televised debate for the local congressional race there, and it included the Democrat, the Republican, and also the Libertarian. I doubt that the Libertarian had a lot of support, but perhaps she was included simply because she was a candidate.
Whatever the reason that Rozum has been included, I’m glad that she is being included. She’s certainly intelligent when it comes to policy, I can tell you that! Or at least she’s able to defend her positions. In the debate that I watched, she came back with statistics supporting clean energy when Buerkle was presenting statistics against relying on it. And Rozum in the debate not only criticized right-wing policies, but also Obama’s stimulus, contending that it’s not creating permanent jobs and that it’s tax-breaks for corporations are not stimulating the economy.
Moreover, when Bill Clinton visited the district to show support for Maffei, Rozum said that Clinton was “a conservative corporate-financed New Democrat” (see here).
You can probably tell that this race is significant, if Bill Clinton is visiting the district. Not only that, but Sandra Fluke came to the district to stump for Maffei (see here), on account of Buerkle’s stances on reproductive issues.
As far as I can see, the race is particularly nasty between Maffei and Buerkle, for I’ve seen negative ads on both sides, and, during the debate that I watched, the two were critical of each other. Some may fear that Rozum will take votes away from Maffei, leading Buerkle to victory. That’s a legitimate concern. But I’m still glad that Rozum is in the race and is criticizing Republicans and Democrats, while also supporting a single-payer health care system. If I were voting in this race, it would probably be for Rozum.