SEATTLE NEEDS A DEBATE!
Seattle needs a two-party system! For too long, the Seattle metropolitan area has been poorly represented in the House of Representatives. The incumbent is ineffective and isolated in congress, out of touch with the mainstream, and weak on national security. Instead of a one-sided far left monopoly, we need open dialogue and political diversity and vigorous debate.
On May 3, 2008, Steve Beren, the Republican candidate for congress in the 7th congressional district, issued an open letter to Jim McDermott, challenging the far left incumbent congressman to a series of broadcast debates. Beren handed the letter to McDermott in person at the Rainier Community Center, where McDermott was giving a talk. For the full text of the open letter, CLICK HERE
At the May 3 Rainier Community Center meeting, McDermott and Beren clashed over U.S. policy in Iraq and Afghanistan. In his talk, McDermott called our troops “mercenaries.” During the discussion period, Beren voiced support for the troops, saying “our troops are not mercenaries, they are heroes". For a full report on the May 3 event at Rainier Community Center – CLICK HERE
Women In Unity sponsored a Candidates’ Forum on August 9, 2008 at the Central Area Senior Citizens Center in Seattle. Despite confirming his attendance in advance, Jim McDermott was a no-show, ducking a debate with Steve Beren. For more information on the Women In Unity Candidates’ Forum, CLICK HERE
The second Candidates Forum was September 29, 2008 at the Horizon House, sponsored by the First Hill Unit of the League of Women Voters and the Residents' Council at Horizon House. Jim McDermott did not participate.
The third Candidates Forum was October 16, 2008 at the Seattle Center (Olympic Room), sponsored by the Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce. Jim McDermott did not participate.
The fourth Candidates Forum took place on Wednesday October 29 at Olympic View Elementary School, sponsored by the Maple Leaf Community Council. Jim McDermott cancelled at the last minute after previously confirming that he would participate. In his opening statement and during the question and answer period, Steve Beren criticized McDermott for his September 29 vote in favor of the $700 billion bailout of financial markets, for his plan to do away with the 401(k) tax exemption, for his opposition to drilling American oil to reduce our dependence on Mideast oil, and for calling our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq "mercenaries" and felons in a "war on civilians."
The following are excerpts from Steve Beren's opening statement:
"We need political diversity in Seattle and King County. I’m a former Democrat, so I understand how Democrats think and feel. But a one party monopoly is harmful to the citizens and taxpayers. When one party has a monopoly, it leads to arrogance and extremism.
"For example, when it comes to tax policy, Jim McDermott and other Democratic Party congressmen are considering doing away with the 401(k) tax exemption, which saves the taxpayers $80 billion each year. McDermott has said: 'we have to start to think about whether or not we want to continue to invest that $80 billion for a policy that’s not generating what we now say it should.'
"But if Jim McDermott were here, I would tell him, 'Jim, that’s not your money to invest.' When Americans get a tax break, McDermott looks at it as lost revenue for investment in expanded government. But when I look at an $80 billion tax break – I see the American people keeping $80 billion more of our own money!
"I’m for cutting taxes by raising the federal personal tax exemption to 25,000 dollars - 25,000 dollars for each member of your family. With lower taxes, families have more take home pay – more of your own money to pay the rent or mortgage, educate your children, buy health insurance, and save for retirement. With lower taxes, businesses create more jobs, provide more products and more services – improving the economy, reducing unemployment.
"Lower taxes increase our liberty, and lower taxes are therefore very popular with the American voters. This is a point of difference between Democrats and Republicans, of course. I’ve had many arguments with Democrats about my support for lower taxes. But even Democratic activists and politicians know how much the American people support lower taxes. That’s why, for example, Barack Obama pretends to favor tax cuts. That’s what he says now, when he’s trying to get elected…."
As columnist Joel Connelly wrote in the 6/12/06 Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “The spirited [Steve] Beren is challenging Seattle's congressman-for-life and its one-party reputation. The Emerald City used to elect Republicans: A two-party system is badly needed.”
Throughout the course of the 2006 campaign, Steve Beren publicly challenged Jim McDermott to a series of debates. At first, McDermott tried to avoid debating Beren. But ultimately, he was forced to accept three debates with the Republican candidate. For the details of the 2006 effort to pressure McDermott to debate, and for a report on each of the three debates, go to the following links:
April 30, 2006 at Meadowbrook Community Center – CLICK HERE
May 29, 2006 (Memorial Day) on KIRO radio – CLICK HERE
July 4, 2006 at Seattle Center – CLICK HERE
July 30, 2006 at Pista Sa Nayon (Filipino Festival) at Seward Park - CLICK HERE
October 5, 2006 – Debate #1 at Shoreline Conference Center - CLICK HERE
October 9, 2006 – Debate #2 at Korean American Voters Alliance - CLICK HERE
October 9, 2006: PHOTOS OF STEVE BEREN AND JIM MCDERMOTT AT KOREAN AMERICAN VOTERS ALLIANCE CLICK HERE
October 25, 2006 – Debate #3 at Maple Leaf Community Council - CLICK HERE
Compare the Candidates - CLICK HERE
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Beren for Congress
1916 Pike Place #12667
Seattle, WA 98101