Congressional district candidates show their stances on economy, health care
Published: Sunday, October 7, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 7, 2012 18:10
No seats were left unfilled throughout the 47th Congressional District Forum with Democratic State Senator Alan Lowenthal and Republican Long Beach Councilman Gary DeLong, despite the muffled volleyball game taking place above.
Cal State Long Beach hosted the forum from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday in the Pointe of the Walter Pyramid. Students and the general public came out to become better informed on the candidates.
The event was moderated by Bea Antenore, a member of the Long Beach League of Women Voters. The candidates were given two minutes each to answer questions provided with no rebuttals allowed.
Topics discussed ranged from education and healthcare to medical marijuana and foreign policy. However, the future of California’s economy was a recurring theme throughout the night.
Both Lowenthal and DeLong agreed that the two biggest problems facing California are the economy and the number of jobs.
Lowenthal, who worked as a CSULB psychology professor for 28 years and now acts as senator for the 27th District of the California State Senate, praised Obama’s economic plan and denounced former President George W. Bush’s tax cut policies.
“We can’t allow the richest Americans to not pay their share,” he said. “We need to reinvest in schools, Cal State Long Beach and police.”
DeLong displayed modest conservatism, talking about his pro-choice and pro-gay marriage stances. However, he supported a more conservative approach to fiscal issues by proposing cutting government spending and issuing tax cuts that he said would benefit the growth of small businesses.
“It’s not about raising taxes,” he said. “It’s about motivating the private sector.”
Both candidates agreed that education is another high priority in California. DeLong said that the federal government’s role in education should be minimal and that reducing spending in the government, rather than raising taxes, would help fund education in a proper manner.
“Tax money goes to education,” he said. “What is left in the classroom for the teachers and kids? Nothing.”
Lowenthal, however, supported federal government aid to education. He said he would move forward with educational changes and assessment techniques.
“All states have come together to create common course standards,” he said. “We need to set standards on how we want schools to be run.”
Students who came out to the event agreed that younger generations need to stay more informed about government actions.
“The event is mostly about students,” senior film and electronic arts major Allan Tolkoff said. “They did a good job of putting the whole thing on.”
Even though Tolkoff said he enjoyed the event, he said he would have liked it more if the candidates were given more time to speak about issues.
“One problem with political debates have in general is that there is far too little time for answers,” he said.
Political science senior Kevin Nally agreed that the candidates were cut off too early to convey their full ideas.
“There was not enough time for [answers] … and it was very bland,” he said. “I know they are from the same city, but they could have done a better job showing their distinctions.”
Students who are registered in the 47th Congressional District will be able to vote for either Lowenthal or DeLong on Nov. 6.