Incumbent Tim Walz and challenger Allen Quist had their first mediated debate on Thursday, Sept. 27 at Somerby Country Club in Byron. Photo by Tara Lindquist
By Tara Lindquist
First District Congressional Candidates incumbent Democrat Tim Walz and Republican challenger Allen Quist had their first mediated debate on Thursday, Sept. 27 at Somerby Country Club in Byron. The debate was hosted by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce and focused on job creation and the economy.
Growing the Economy
Quist frequently criticized Walz for the national debt, spending money America does not have and investing government money into businesses that have failed.
Quist said that the only way to grow the economy is for government to get out of the way of business owners, roll back legislation such as the clean air act and other EPA standards so business can expand. He routinely slammed what he referred to as the "Unaffordable Health Care Act" and the negative effects it will have on businesses and families. Quist frequently criticized Walz's Farm Bill and the fact that 80% of the bill goes to food stamps. "You have not created a way to get people off of welfare you are creating more ways for people to stay on it," he said.
Walz pointed out Quist has taken $600,000 in government farm subsidies through the farm bill. Quist claimed that it is not his fault; he's not the one that voted for the wasteful spending. Walz pointed out he is entitled to VA benefits but does not take them.
Even with the structured debate the two were able to continuously launch personal attacks on one another. Walz criticized Quist for being an extremist for past statements he has made. Quist asked to keep the language civil and did not like being called an extremist.
Walz quickly pointed to Quist's campaign statement in 2010 when he said defeating the liberals is more important than fighting terrorism. "I did not serve in uniform for this country for 24 years to be compared to a terrorist," he said.
Walz says he supports making investments in transportation, education and science research to help the economy grow and create new jobs.
Jobs and taxes
Raising taxes on the middle class is not the way to pay down the National Debt, according to Walz. He believes in tax increases for the top 2% and widening the tax base by investing in businesses and he supports a revision of the corporate tax code.
Quist pointed out he's a balance the budget kind of guy and believes government programs need to change, the country needs the middle class to get married and not be stepped on financially and hurt by programs like "Obama Care". "Government needs to get out of the way and let the economy grow," he explained.
Read the rest of the story in the Byron Review or the Star Herald print edition.