Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Change of Pace

On Tuesday October 12, 2010 the 2nd Congressional District Candidates' Forum took place at Dillard University. The current Congressman, Republican Joseph A. Cao was there along with Independent candidate Anthony Marquize and Democrat Cedric Richmond. The forum was held by the AAWPP. Going into the debate, I didn't necessarily know that much about the Independent candidate or Cedric Richmond, the Democratic candidate. Going into the debate, I did know a little bit about Congressman Cao; I knew that I didn't really like him. During this debate, however, I took a non-biased approach to evaluate each candidate and this is what I got from each candidate.

Congress Man Joesph A. Cao

Congress man Cao did a lot of things that I don't' believe helped his case. He came across as a stiff speaker. His answers to questions seemed like a fill-in-the-blank speech. Every question addressed to him was answered with the name of a bill he co-sponsored on this date, or how he has done something that was not pertaining to the question. The problem was that he wasn't answering the questions or/and he was sugar coating. Cao did say he was very bi-partisan and he has made the strongest attempt to cross partylines. This is true.

But when time came to answer a quick round of questions the Congressman by far did the worst. The moderator told everyone the answers to the questions had to be 'yes' or 'no.' He answered yes that he would support the health care reform, but in response to the next four questions he said unsure, undecided, restate the question, and I don't know. These were five yes or no questions about bills the elected congressman will face in office. He was just sad.

During the end of the forum each candidate was asked a question by another candidate. The Congressman received both the questions from his opponents. The first question Cao received was from Independent candidate Anthony Marquize. Marquize asked Cao if he would sign a pledge saying "I will appear at debates only if all the candidates are invited." Cao first asked for him to repeat the question. Then he said he'd have to read the pledge. The audience started to boo. It was a verbal confirmation Marquize expected. So after 2 minutes of confusion did Cao agree. The second question towards Cao came from Richmond. Richmond asked about Cao's reasoning for sending more money to one ethnic group in our community for health care than another. This issue concerned the New Orleans East hospital, or lack of a hospital and money to a health clinic serving basically the Vietnamese community. Cao averted response to the question to say what he has done for the majority ethnic group and then said Richmond had the wrong facts.

Cao, honestly made a weak, almost negative case during this debate. He didn't give concrete arguments to back up the things he said he's done. He is not very good at projecting his voice (fyi). He kept making jokes, which I don't feel is appropriate under the bases in which he made them. I saw many back-and-forths between him and Richmond but he didn't addressed attacks the way that would benefit him best. Of the three candidates I received the weakest argument, platform, and response from Congressman Cao.

Pastor Anthony Marquize

I would say he was very different from the other candidates and his approach was very different. He started presenting himself as a upfront guy. He expressed how he was about relationships. He also talked about how his current job would allow him to work well as a congress man. His ideas were good and genuine. He wants to invest in people and methods the benefit Louisiana. He also states how he speaks the truth. "I cannot make promises but I will try to do what is needed and learn how I should do it." Pastor Marquize was running really strong and too some presented a threat that was unexpected. His strategical fault came in when he brought God into the picture. He sayed that gays were not normal and have to be "fixed" and that "illegals" can't take our jobs. Then he kind of stepped on his throat by saying "I don't discriminate." Well technically he does. His cased slowly collapsed as he brought God into the picture. Where he may o believed his belief in God may have helped his case, I along with others may have seen him as using God for his own personal gain.

During the quick fire round Marquize answered along the lines of what the largely democratic audience wanted to here, until he said he would push to privatize social security. Yes he did! "I aint lyin". Marquize was asked what qualifies him to be congress man. He responded with; Integrity, Can't be bought, Love and serve people,Honest, Not a compromise. In his closing he says he loves people, he is in the business for people and will continue to "Pray,Pray,Pray".

As a Christian I understand his tie to God. I often question God's existence but I feel that makes my belief in him stronger. In that I take a little offense in Marquize trying to use God for his own benefit. Yes he is a pastor but that is no excuse. Overall I liked his flow and strategic approach but overall he kept finding ways to knock himself down. For example I saw him start at an "A grade an slowly fall to maybe an average candidate which lost him the debate for me at least.

Cedric Richmond

Last candidate, Cedric Richmond came to the forum with an agenda unlike the other two candidates. First of all, he was very aggressive towards Cao, he knew more facts than both candidates combined, he understood the system he wanted to go into, and he was very quick on counter arguments. Richmond's priority in response to the oil spill was accountability. I noticed that he attacks based on where he can win. He also said that he would invest in methods that works.

Richmond was clearly the audience favorite in that he said what people wanted to hear. I'm not sure he backed-up everything as effectively as he should have with methods to follow through with his plans.

During quick fire round he answered all the questions with democratic expectations, so all his answers were expected. Cao chose to ask Richmond why he failed to vote for equal pay for women. Richmond quickly responded that he had prior engagements on the date of the vote, along with other reps(on the State level) and he told the author of the bill in advance. Then he slammed back at Cao and said he would have voted for the equal pay for women act in Congress that Cao voted against. In his closing Richmond stated how this race will determine the pace and face of Congress. I did like that statement but I felt it was to tailored; he must of said it multiple times.

So of the three candidates, Richmond was the most stable and conducted himself the strongest. He didn't hurt himself with his own words and he gave the audience more they could relate to and respect. He showed up but I don't believe his competition presents a threat.

The outcome will fall on how the people vote.

That is my Doctrine of the 2nd Congressional District Candidates' Forum


1 comment:

  1. Nice piece, especially since I knew little about the independent candidate.

    The Democratic Campaign Committee is confident that Cedric Richmond's name is already on the seat in congress. They pulled commercial spots that they had originally produced.

    In my opinion, Cao needs to go. He is inconsistent, and by reading the latest on how he has been slinging mud at the Richmond campaign, he will do just about anything to continue his tenure in conference. I believe that falsifying information, thereby cheating the public, is unethical.

    The third candidate, Marquize, never did have my vote, nor will he gain it because of his plans to disenfranchised the LGBT community and immigrants (although I support going through proper channels to become a citizen or temporary worker). Not good Marquize!

    Finally, I must say that for civic engagement purposes I identify as a democrat; however, I will vote for the people who make the most sense to me. I supported Cao at first. I even supported former President George W. Bush for his first term election. That said, the person that makes the most sense to me is Richmond. No matter who gets the seat they must be accountable to the people of the district and God.

    Cornelle D. Carney