I had the pleasure of attending the Fortenberry/Connealy debate this evening. It was held at the Embassy Suites, in downtown Lincon, Nebraska and sponsored by AARP. In large part it was a rehash of things both candidates have been saying all along. Fortenberry did, I think have answers that more directly addressed the questions than Connealy, in a way that is not much diferent than what we have seen in the national debates. The two major differences between the candidates really seems to be in the areas of medical costs, coverages and stem cell research.
We have heard it all before
I won't bore you, by laying it all out here, suffice to say we heard the same thing from the Presidential debate the other night. I am sure Fortenberry and Connealy genuinely believe the positions they espoused, but it was essentially party line politics on both of these issues and we have heard it all before.
After the debate
I got to speak briefly with Jeff, we didn't even mention the debate just a little small talk, "Hey hows the family?" Great and yours?" "Real busy" "Yea I know the feeling me too" kind of stuff.
I also spoke to Jessica (his campaign manager) and Josh one of his communications people, about getting a chance to sit down with Jeff to answer some questions for the blog before the election.
This one's for you Two
I also had a few moments with Matt Connealy as well. I mentioned that I was concerned with his voting record on the 2nd amendment and his positions on firearms issues. Matt started to give me the I'm a sportsman and a hunter spiel, before I came back at him with the 2nd amendment is not about hunting and what were his thoughts on the recently deceased "Assault weapons ban". Matt flat out and straight up told me didn't want to see it go, BUT now that it is gone he would not vote for any kind of renewal or any anti-gun legislation that may come up if he is elected. "It didn't work", He said. "It needed to go" Yes I believe him, I just got the feeling that this is not a subject Matt is comfortable discussing.
He then explained why he has voted against the concealed carry law in Nebraska. Yes he has voted several times to advance it out of committies, but he has/would not vote in favor of it in it's final form as it has not had a training requirement. This last part is simply not true, I have read the bills (ed..and they have been posted on the internet I'm just to tired/lazy to get a link right now) that have been introduced in years past. The lack of a training requirement was a sticking point several years ago and a requirement has been a major part of the bill for at least the last three years. In fact it mandates the State Highway Patrol to adopt the standards of training if/when the bill passed. So Matt didn't fair to well with me on that one.
In closing, the candidates have been at it long enough that they have heard just about all the questions that can be asked of them and each has developed their own canned answers to them. From both sides this is what it sounded like tonight. Jeff Fortenberry was a bit more smooth with his presentation, but I think this is a product of being younger and having been better groomed for the part. The Kentucky Derby Favorite if you will. Matt Connealy on the other hand gave a lot of his answers in classic coffee at the local diner style. And there ain't nothing wrong with that at all. The ole plow horse if you will. And there ain't nothing wrong with that either.
If it were any other election or if Connealy felt just a little bit different a bout a couple of the issues I could vote for him. But I have cast my lot with Jeff and saw nothing this evening to sway me away from that.