On October 21 Bakersfield's KGET 17 aired a previously recorded debate between Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and his challenger Terry Phillips (Independent).
Terry Phillips, a former correspondent for CBS, won the debate. He consistently called Rep. McCarthy on the political games he and other members of Congress play when they present legislation so they can say they introduced a bill (only to see them stalled because of poison pills and a lack of genuine bi-partisanship).
The debate was an hour long so if you're looking for some highlights you can fast forward to the following:
* THE BUDGET: Phillips talks about mandatory cuts and the "fiscal cliff" that's looming over America by reminding everyone that Rep. McCarthy voted for the Budget Control Act (45:10), which mandates across the board cuts, including in defense spending (sequestration).
* GAME PLAYING IN CONGRESS: Phillips calls Rep. McCarthy out on the "poison pill" stuffed legislation and faux bi-partisan bills that are a regularly part of the political games being played in Washington.
* PHILLIPS' PARTY AFFILIATION: Republican consultant and McCarthy supporter Cathy Abernathy tries to goad Phillips into identifying with a party (43.06), but Phillips dismisses her with one of the best answers of the night (he also dismisses Abernathy's leading question at 17:40).
* PLAYING GAMES, II: Phillips takes a look at funding for our veterans, and reminds everyone that the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have given Rep. McCarthy a "D" rating on his votes (36:15) and that (2) simply because a bill gets passed in the House is not the same as actually doing something. In fact, Phillips makes it clear that passing bills in the House when you know they're not going anywhere in the Senate is simply playing games (35:10 and 34:07).
* GOP OBSTRUCTIONISM: At 32:03 in the clip Phillips reminds Rep. McCarthy that the GOP got together on the night of the inauguration and pledged to stonewall the President. McCarthy tries to deny that this happened, then claims that that the GOP was only going to propose legislation in response to what the administration does, and then backs off when Phillips asks whether Draper is not telling the truth (30:45).
* ACKNOWLEDGING THE "PARTY OF NO": An interesting comment from Rep. McCarthy: "I get frustrated with my own party that just says no ..." (30:31).
* AMERICAN GREATNESS: When asked about budget constraints and why we should pursue high speed rail in the central valley Phillips reminds everyone about the great things America did when we faced even bigger challenges during the Civil War and the Great Depression (26:40).
* THE FEDS CASH MACHINE: Phillips reminds Kevin McCarthy that the Federal Reserve is lending and putting the American taxpayer on the hook for trillions in credits and other guarantees (16:40; which I've written about numerous times). Despite claiming to be concerned over bloated budgets, after the topic is changed by the moderators, Rep. McCarthy ignores the reference.