Two of the three candidates for the U.S. House seat in Minnesota’s 6th District held a debate last night in Stillwater.
DFLer Tarryl Clark and Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson frequently took aim at incumbent GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann for not showing up, as well as for her stance on issues. The event’s organizer said Bachmann never responded to the debate invitation in her home town.
About 100 people attended the debate, many of them wearing red to support Clark and the DFL.
Anderson, a Woodbury resident and dental technician with no political experience, showed wide knowledge of the debate issues. When asked how he, as a conservative, would differentiate himself from Bachmann, he drew cheers from the audience.
“Well I tell you what. If I got all that free time on Fox news and those national networks, I’d be putting out something positive, like making common sense changes to the health care plan,” he said.
Clark and Anderson agreed that infrastructure projects could boost job creation and that the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy should be abolished. Anderson often nodded his head to concur with Clarks’ points.
They disagreed on issues like cap and trade, as well as tax cuts.
Clark said she would not support extending Bush-era tax cuts for top earners. She says the country can’t afford it.
“We were told by President Bush that if we did that, we’d see all sorts of jobs, and that just never panned out. I support extending the tax cuts for over 97 percent of our constituents here in the 6th District, which means families making up to about $250,000,” she said.
Clark says she also supports closing a tax loophole for companies operating overseas.
Anderson says he would maintain the tax cuts for all income levels, a step he says is necessary in the bad economy.
He said he was disappointed to learn that Clark is challenging Bachmann to eight Town Hall forums but has not invited him.
Anderson also criticized Bachmann and Clark for spending millions of dollars on a two-year position. He said Bachmann is on a “national crusade” to raise millions of dollars for the “far-right movement.”
“The 6th District needs a congressperson right here in the district, and that’s my one ambition. I can represent the constituents because I’m one of them. I’m a small business owner,” he said.
Meanwhile, MinnPost reports that Bachmann raised $5.4 million in the third quarter, “an amount so large it doesn’t just dwarf the haul any Minnesota campaign has had in a single quarter, it’s more than any House candidate here has ever raised for an entire cycle.”
Reporter Derek Wallbank says:
Two Bachmann campaign officials confirmed the totals today, though spokesman Sergio Gor said the campaign would release detailed numbers, including cash-on-hand totals, Wednesday.