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Live Blog: Ashwin Madia, DFL-3rd CD candidate

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12:00 p.m. In the second series of candidate forums sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute, DFL 3rd Congressional District candidate Ashwin Madia is giving a speech entitled, "Green Technology, Green Power, and Greenbacks: A Plan to Protect Our Environment and Our Economy."

12:07 p.m. Madia begins by listing all of the challenges facing the United States - the wars in Iraq, economic woes, budgetary crises etc. Madia is running neck-and-neck with GOP nominee Erik Paulson: a SurveyUSA poll of 634 likely voters released last week found Madia with a 46 to 43 percent lead, with Independence Party candidate David Dillion at 8 percent.

12:10 p.m. Madia now focuses on his plan for a comprehensive energy policy. The "bottom line" problem, says Madia, is our dependency on foreign oil. First, he says it has hurt our economy - with prices more than doubling in recent years - affecting individuals, small businesses, and corporations. Half of our 700 million dollar trade deficit is oil. Secondly, Madia adds, our dependence on foreign oil is a national security issue, with our money going to countries (e.g. Saudi Arabia) that sometimes funnel it to terrorists. The third problem Madia lists is its planetary environmental impact.

12:18 p.m. Madia's solution is that the U.S. should become the world leader in carbon-free energy development. Madia says there are business opportunities in bio fuels, wind, solar, and geothermal which will create jobs for Americans. The private sector must be unleashed on this problem, Madia adds - so the government should create tax credits and rebates to spur the private sector on in this sector.

12:20 p.m. Madia says we should use the 14 billion dollars that the federal government gives in tax subsidies to oil companies and move it into research and development of these alternative energy resources. Madia says we must maintain this will for change in our energy independence, even as oil prices come down.

12:25 p.m. In a question and answer session with Larry Jacobs, Madia stresses his faith in technology to develop real solutions to these problems. He says we have only given 'lip service' to change, and have lacked the political will to date.

12:30 p.m. Madia acknowledges there will be a loss of jobs in some energy sectors (oil, coal etc.), but there will be new jobs created to offset this loss. Madia supports 'cap and trade' policies, as a means to get the government to work with the private market to make alternative energy solutions profitable.

12:34 p.m. On the issue of transportation, Madia says more money should go into mass transit (e.g. building a light rail in his 3rd District to downtown Minneapolis). Madia does not think a tax increase will be necessary to fund mass transit projects.

12:38 p.m. Madia says Wall Street is on the brink of collapse because of deficit spending, particularly during the Bush administration.

12:42 p.m. Like most of America, Madia's 3rd District's view regarding the most pressing issue for Congress today is the economy. Last week's SurveyUSA poll found 66 percent of 3rd District likely voters believe it is the top issue, with terrorism (9 percent) and health care (6 percent) distant second and third issues. Only 10 percent of 3rd district likely voters approve of Congress' job performance, with 78 percent disapproving. Bush's approval rating in the district is 28 percent, with 68 percent disapproving.

12:47 p.m. Madia was not able to answer an audience member's question as to whether people should be able to get insurance if they build or move into homes in say, a well-known flood plain. He said he had not thought about this issue.

12:53 p.m. Madia says his top preferences for committee assisgnments in Congress from Speaker Pelosi - should he be elected - would be the Armed Services Committe and the Budget Committee. Madia says he will not take a pledge to not support earmarks, because sometimes there are important projects that need to be funded (e.g. the I-35 construction legislation). But he says he would pledge not to sneak in pork 'in the middle of the night' and that any project he wanted funded he would subject to an up or down vote.

12:59 p.m. Madia says the three failed economic strategies of the past seven years have been massive deregulation, massive tax cuts during wartime, and too much borrow-and-spending.

Previous post: Election Profile: Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District (2008)
Next post: Live Blog: Erik Paulsen, GOP 3rd CD Candidate


  • I have no doubt the students and others at this event found out what supporters have known for some time...Ashwin Madia is a wise and knowledgeable individual that has well thought solutions to the problems facing our district, state, and nation. I have no doubt that after all three candidates are interviewed, the vote from these students would be overwhelmingly for Madia! Should he retire from politics in the future he'd make an incredible teacher.

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  • Well, I was kinda disapointed he wasn't able to answer the question about insurance. Saying "I haven't thought about it" isn't very professional!

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    Remains of the Data

    Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

    Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

    Political Crumbs


    When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."

    73 Months and Counting

    January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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