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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

    Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

    Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

    Political Crumbs

    Six for Thirteen

    Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.

    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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