[I will try to more accurately update this once I get a chance to watch video of the debate]
The following is what I was able to transcribe as the debate was occuring. Do not consider this verbatim, however you can consider this the jist of tonight's debate. The debate took palce at the Bay Ridge Community Council meeting. The BRCC outlined the rules of the discussion. All but a handful of the attendees appeared to have favored a candidate prior to the debates. It turned into more of a rallying of the base then a debate.
Each candidate had 5 minutes to give an opening statement. Fossella:
(I was just setting up my computer so this description is lacking)
Subway station 86th streetHarrison:
• Oversaw (?) largest rezoning in Brooklyn, drastically reduced over development
• President Bush has backed off of Stay the course, wants to be flexible, Vito's whole campaign is now in trouble because of this. He (Bush?) recognizes what is going on over there is wrong.
• Great quandry for Vito, agree with President and admit he is a Republican or disagree with the President and be the last person in the US to agree that we must leave Iraq
• Race about credibility and trust
• On Social Security President Vito Fossella said Bush is on the right side of history, 2 years later wrote a letter to his constituents saying he opposes privitization of Social Securityquestion 1:
Rep. Fossella why won't answer questions from AARP?Vito:
• His great-grandfather was a congressman who voted to establish Social Security
• We must ensure that Social Security it around for our kids, grand kids (this got a large amount of applause)
• Helped create Medicare Prescription drug PlanHarrison:
• In 2002 Vito favored privitization, after finding out 70% in community didn't support it, he wrote a letter stating otherwise, he is for it, he is against it, he doesn't know what to do with it. Harrison knows what to do with it, it is safe until 2042 without touching it.question 2:
H.R. 5429 (need to verify the HR#) additonal drilling in Alaska (essentially asking Fossella why he voted for it)Vito:
• This country is very dependent on our energy, it is a question of supply and demand. The more the demand shrinks the higher the price grows. The reality is we need to find new sources of energy. We need safe and secure and environmental friendly ways to do so. Residents should not pay through the nose for energy.Harrison:
• Oppose drilling in ANWAR.
• Oil prices will always go up and never come down. We need a plan like JKF's moonshot, we need oil indenpendence in 10 years.
• It is a security issue.question 3:
Directed to Vito, 2 weeks ago said you voted in favor of 9/11 commission, why did you lie to us? (copy of House resolution that says he voted against)Vito:
• Serious question is what happened on 9/11. (interuption) "I gave you the curtouesy to ask the question now you need to listen to my answer."
• Oppose efforts to weaken our efforts to go after terrorists.
• Supports interrogation so that another 9/11 doesn't happen.(applause)
• Congress was evaluating a joint commission on 9/11 commission, when I felt it was sufficient I decided to vote for it.Harrison:
• Congressman 3 times you denied voting against the commission, you voted for the report after it came in. This race is about misleading and distorting facts. I believe you owe an explanation.
Moderator: Time for 1 more question due to time constraints. question 4:
I missed the question, but it was about money Fossella has taken from corrupt politiansVito:
missed answer, lot's of heckling. Basically denied any wrong doing and sat down.Harrison:
• Hastert, Foley, Elmo, Vail, Vegas, take a second and make up your own mind.
5 debates in 2 weeks, 2 in one day, unprecedented, thanks Vtio for his participation, but says "I think I should win". I am looking at the people of Brooklyn. Vito represents the smallest part of his district to allow him to stay in office. Fossella brought $1 million in transportation for the island. I will do that too. Vito has gotten less than 1/10th of 1% of the money for Brooklyn that he has gotten for Staten Island. If you want more than 1/10th of 1% of a candidate vote for me.Vito:
Thanks community council. I respect people of Bay Ridge. During the course of the campaign it is about the people going to to poll to vote for people who will effect their lives in positive ways. I fight for local issues, keep the Brooklyn VA open, Fort Hamilton, taking street vendors off corner, $100,000 for street lighting for walking on the street. On issues that matter most like issues of national security. I will take the fight to enemy so they won't attack us again. Harrison will limit those tools so we have to fight with one arm behind our back. (lot's of booing, although directed at Fossella for that comment) The Bay Ridge Community Council represents great things, clearly there are some non Bay Ridge people here tonight (a parting shot in response to audience heckling).