Video starts around 22 minutes in and lasts about 1.5 hours. Be sure to turn up the sound in the lower right corner
The West Liberty Rotary and LULAC Council 310 of West Liberty sponsored a gubernatorial forum for Democratic candidates for governor of Iowa Tuesday night.
Five of the seven candidates were in attendance. Nate Boulton and Fred Hubbell were attending a renewable fuels forum elsewhere. Mr. Boulton had a surrogate stand in for him.
Let me say right out of the chute that any of the five candidates on stage Tuesday night would make a much better governor than what we currently have and have had for the past 8 years. The Branstad/ Reynolds regime has bankrupted Iowa and taken our education way down while handing Medicaid over to for profit (read not-for-patients) companies.
We are desperately in need of a change and it looks like Democrats have the leadership to do it.
The forum had an interesting format. There were 4 rounds of question and in each round the candidates were given one of 3 questions to answer concerning that rounds topics. Topics were environment especially water quality, civil rights, education and Iowa fiscal matters like TIFs and taxes.
So in each round as many as 3 candidates may answer the same question but every question would be asked. SO even though all candidates did not answer the same question they were in the same area. Since the candidate had no idea what the exact question was they were going to answer, they couldn’t exactly prepare. A different format, but it sure tested a candidates knowledge of a subject and ability to respond.
May I say all candidates were well prepared and answered to the questions, were succinct and knowledgeable. Mr. Boulton’s surrogate sadly gave it his best, but let’s simply say he wasn’t Mr. Boulton.
All opposed the current Medicaid privatization with a passion, as it should be. All support bringing our education level back to the top. And our current governor took a much deserved bashing from all.
Please make your own judgments. My impressions below are only my impressions and not meant to sway anyone.
I will not go into depth on the answers. I will give some overall impressions:
1) We got an excellent group of candidates, folks. Each and every one is prepared. I have met Mr. Boulton and Mr. Hubbell on previous occasions, so I do have some basis for comparison with the others.
2) So the question was to me last night is there one or two who stood out?
3) I went into the forum with a ranking of 1 and 1A as Hubbell and Boulton in no particular order, perhaps because they have had the most publicity. My third choice was Cathy Glasson due to her labor background and support. Note that Boulton also has deep labor support.
4) Well, the forum in my opinion had one clear leader and one just a step behind. Surprising even to me, John Norris knocked my socks off. Even I was surprised, but by round three I was most eager to hear him answer the questions. Obviously he has experience and almost came across as you could imagine a governor would.
5) A small step behind was Dr. McGuire. She is smooth and confident and quite knowledgeable. For some I spoke with afterwards she definitely has baggage from her stint as Dem Party chair.
6) Cathy Glasson did a really good job, also. She could easily step in and lead the state right now.
7) Jon Neiderbacher and Ross Wilburn were both knowledgeable and confident. My impression is that both may need a bit of on the job training, but could certainly do a much better job than what we have now.
I am so hoping there is another forum like this. For one thing, the candidates themselves need the exposure.
The CR Gazette covered the story here.
I would dispute their crowd estimate which I guessed at 200. Good turnout in a small town on a weekday night shows that Iowans are hungry for REAL leadership.
Republicans had been contacted to do a similar forum the following Thursday, but both declined.
Below is candidate information: