What do you think the odds are on another debate between incumbent Congresswoman Melissa Bean and candidate Joe Walsh? After last nights League of Women Voters forum in Grayslake, it is highly unlikely. Less than ten questions were asked which did cover a wide range of topics but it failed to answer many that were asked by the audience (over 300 submitted on cards). With Bean currently leading in the opinions of most professional polsters it is doubtful that she will subject herself to another debate and will continue to hunker down with very few public appearances.
Yet, the latest indication from the Associated Press-GfK poll shows that the GOP stands to do major damage to the current Democratic incumbents. The poll shows that overall 43% would vote for the Democratic candidate while 50% would vote for the Republican candidate (with 5% undecided). Could this nationwide mood spell the end of Congresswoman Bean’s term and become an upset victory for Joe Walsh? With less than two weeks left before the election we won’t have to wait long to see this horse race play out.
Here are some additional comments from last nights LWV forum:
On education Melissa Bean stated that she believes in strong education and is not in favor of eliminating the Department of Education. Joe Walsh supports tax relief and sees value in education but feels that schools are a State and local issue and do not need the Federal government involved which is why he supports eliminating the Department of Education.
On the health care issue, Bill Scheurer stated that the recently passed ObamaCare bill was deeply flawed and suggested a better way was the proposed Medicare E program. Walsh stated that Congress “just passed legislation that will destroy the best health care system in the world”. Bean supported her decision to vote in favor of the health care bill, stating that she had heard from many of her constituents over the past several years that their biggest concern was the cost of health care.
On cap and trade, Walsh stated that there was a need to attract business and not send it off-shore, especially in a climate of uncertainty that has help fuel the economic and job situation. Bean continued to defend her vote in favor of the Cap & Trade Bill. Scheurer opposes the Cap & Trade bill and suggested it would not create a better life or environment, and should instead be concentrating on better use of things like energy. Walsh again stated that small businesses made it clear that they did not want the cap and trade bill passed, saying that it would handcuff the economy and hobble business growth. He is also in favor of offshore drilling. Bean mentioned several statistics that claim businesses have grown and will continue to grow especially in the energy sectors.
On gun control, Scheurer stated that responsible citizens should be allowed to own as many guns as they like but also said that they need to learn the proper use of weapons through training. Walsh is steadfastly in favor of concealed carry, stating that it has been proven in States that allow it, that gun related crime is down. Bean is opposed to concealed carry but does support the 2nd Amendment.
On the recent stimulus bill Bean read off more stats that the GDP had actually increased over the past 4 quarters and that the private sector showed job growth over the past nine months. Walsh called the bill an absolute failure and did little to “get the government out of the way”.
A question was asked as to why the government expenses were growing while others like the U.K. were cutting expenses by 19%. Scheurer and Walsh both stated that government needed to reduce spending while Bean continued to defend her voting record on major expenditures.
On education, Scheurer again stated that it is another deeply flawed system and suggested several ways to improve it including a need to breed creativity in our public school system. Walsh continued to oppose federal involvement saying it was a State and Local issue. Bean mentioned that the Recovery Act included the State Stabilization Fund so that schools would not lose vital support services.
In closing remarks Bean mentioned many of the news organizations that have backed her candidacy. Walsh pounced on this stating that being endorced by news medias such as the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, etc. means nothing since those are Chicago area papers and their opinions are not representative of the residents located in the 8th Congressional District which is far and away from their main readership.