Machado and Podesto Debate at UOP
The battle for California's 5th District state Senate seat has been one of the most contentious in memory. Last night, the two candidates got together for a debate at University of the Pacific. As Bob Hensley reports, incumbent state Senator Mike Mac
Friday, October 8, 2004
Hostess) Please join me in welcoming our candidates Mayor Podesto and Senator Machado. (fade applause cross fade ns inside) The mudslinging of their TV ads was, for the most part, left behind in this debate before an audience of about 500 people.Podesto and Machado were questioned on a wide range of topics by a panel of journalists and academics, as well as members of the audience.The candidates had similar responses to questions relating to issues like health care, access to prescription drugs and education. But stark differences emerged on the topic of taxes. Machado, a democrat, says he would never take taxes off the table when trying to balance a budget. MACHADO :22-I think the question of raising taxes is always appropriate and that tool should never be taken off the table when you're looking for compromise. If you're facing cuts to essential services, you have to weigh what those cuts mean. And I think there's a certain amount of compassion that needs to go in the construction of any budget Podesto, a Republican opposes any tax increases and says taxes are running businesses out of the state. PODESTO :21-The number one export in California will soon become jobs. They need to turn that around. They're doing what I call milking the cow through the fence. They're moving to Nevada, Arizona conducting business. Coming here where we have 34 million people and selling the products in California. Once they invest 30 million dollars in a plant in Arizona we don't get them back here. We've got to stop that exodus. Both candidates have raised over two million dollars for their respective campaigns. That's big money for a state senate race.Would they be beholden to the special interests, which donated a good deal of that money?Podesto says he won't. PODESTO :13-You go into a position like this understanding your goal is to do what's best. Do the right thing. I think folks will know where you got your money and they can watch your progress when you vote. Machado said he wouldn't either. MACHADO :09-The challenge that you have is to understand the issues. To understand what the district's issues are, and to act in the best interests of your district. An audience member asked why the candidates are running so many negative ads attacking each otherBoth Podesto and Machado challenged the premise of the question. Gary Podesto. PODESTO :13-I don't believe that any other campaign spots put out by us, there are independent expenditures of course, that have gone on out there, have been negative, and I ask you to look at them. Most of them have been positive. Machado answered the question with a question. MACHADO :06-Is it a negative ad to highlight an opponent’s position and inconsistencies? (ns outside) Following the debate reaction from the undecided members of the audience was mixed. Joe Schmidt of Stockton said it was enlightening. SCHMIDT :13-I thought it was very good. Both candidates expressed their sides I think very well. The both seemed to be pretty well versed in everything they were asked and I think they're answers were to the best of their ability, as honest as I think anyone could expect from them. Damon Bendy of Stockton isn't any closer to making a decision. BENDY :10-I came here looking for something other than the typical partisan rhetoric that they normally spew at this time of the year, but I didn't see it. You didn't get anything from this. Not surprisingly the partisans from each camp thought their candidate was the most effective. For the candidates the final three and a half weeks of the campaign will be filled with stump speeches, civic club meetings and the production of more media ads.Bob Hensley KXJZ News.