Thursday, October 05, 2006

Farrell-Shays Debate Revolves Around (What Else?) Iraq

The Stamford Advocate reports on the first debate between Shays and Farrell. The highlights, as you would expect, revolved around Iraq:
"This is one more illustration of what has been happening with the existing Republican leadership," Farrell said of the Foley scandal, alleging House leadership knew the former congressman sent sexually explicit e-mails to a teenage page but did not take action to stop it.

"It has been one mistake or one scandal after another, and the one that is the most substantive right now is, of course, where we are in the war in Iraq," she said.
Shays spent most of his 15 minutes defending his vote to authorize military force in Iraq, as well as his recent call to set a timetable for troop withdrawal after returning from his 14th trip to the country and reporting no political progress by the Iraqi leadership. After the debate, he called on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign over his handling of the war.

Farrell suggested Shays was switching his position in light of the Democratic primary win last month of anti-war candidate Ned Lamont over incumbent U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn. Shays responded angrily that he would not suggest policy based on politics.

Brandishing a packet of letters and observations about Iraq, including a letter to the Bush administration written before the primary, Shays said his position has been extensive, sincere and real.

"I have attended five funerals," Shays said. "I would never, ever, ever have a policy on Iraq based on my personal election."
"The vast majority of the money (spent), we built a new middle school, refurbished our high school, renovated and touched every single school in the town of Westport," [Farrell] said. "I challenge you to stand here and tell me the $250 million we spend every day in Iraq is money better spent." (Ginocchio)

Farrell knows that Iraq is why she has a chance against Shays, and she's playing that tune whenever she gets a chance. Shays has the unenviable task of trying to defend a nuanced and somewhat less clear position than his opponent's.

In the end, though, it may very well be the widening Foley scandal that puts Farrell--and the Democrats--over the top, and not Iraq at all. We'll see.

Ginnochio, Mark. "Congressional candidates spar over Iraq war exit strategies in three-way meeting." Stamford Advocate 5 October, 2006.


bluecoat said...

GC: the LWV invited Maymin who had the best line of the debate when he said that no Libertarin in Congress had been involved in corruption but GC still doesn't list the guy as a candiadte on the face of this blog - so much for Sunshine.
and another take on the deabte here:
Debaters Focus Beyond District
Shays, Farrell Animated In Faceoff, First Of 11 In Hotly Contested 4th
October 5, 2006
By JOEL LANG, Courant Staff Writer

and here:
War of words heats up
Shays, Farrell spar on Iraq policies

Anonymous said...

Lieberman Assails Lamont Over Commitment to Israel

turfgrrl said...

GC- I disagree. Iraq is not the motivating issue for Farrell in the 4th CD. Iraq plays a part, yes, but it is the fact that Shays was such an ardent advocate while ignoring the very real issues of gridlock, housing costs, economic development etc of the 4th CD at the expense of being gung-ho for Iraq. BUt maybe it's also that voters here recognize that it is time to vote for a new majority rule in Congress over parochial interests. Shays, despite his saying so, has always been a weak voice in the raucous congress, and not so very independent as that.

bluecoat said...

Farrell wasn't much of a leader on curing congestion along the coast - it's not gridlock but the rhetoric sure sounds good - when she chaired SWRPA; SWRPA did nice technical work but the political machine never took it anywhere. Shays has alwasy given the region the money thsy've asked for; maybe Farrell should have run for Governor or state rep, not the US Congress, if she wants to fix congestion, housing costs and economic development.

Anonymous said...

I see she got a big pay raise as 1st Selectman... can she afford to be in Congress?