Do issues matter? UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Do issues matter? UPDATE

Posted By on Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 6:14 AM

Patrick Kennedy, a Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress, asks a question directed at Rep. Robbie Wills, who's already demonstrated an incumbent-style campaign of gladhanding and dodging tough questions. I sent Wills an e-mail with similar questions. No response so far. Kennedy:

I wanted to ask why Robbie Wills hasn't posted his views/issues on his website for public consumption? As a candidate running for this seat, I wanted to know his views on student loan debt - possibly indicating how he would vote for student loan reform. As a former educator and as someone who has $30,000+ of student loans to pay (similar to national average), I wanted to know what his views were, which was when I discovered he did not have any (at least on his website). So I'm not exactly sure what he's running on /what he plans to do (specifically), and I'd like to know so that I know who I'm running against - as would all voters.
I'm asking this respectfully, and I appreciate his service, but this is too important of a race to not know where our congressional candidates stand on the issues. Plus, none of us running for this seat have run for or held federal elected office. Respectfully, Robbie's decision to hide his views is the opposite of authentic leadership which the voters are looking for.

Here's another race with remarkable fresh faces on the Democratic side -- Kennedy, John Adams and David Boling -- in addition to House Speaker Wills and Sen. Joyce Elliott, themselves a cut above the general legislative level. A series of debates is reportedly in the design phase, perhaps to include an Arkansas Times-sponsored social network-driven installment. Could be interesting. But no need, Rep. Wills, to wait until then to answer a question or two.

UPDATE: Nothing from Wills himself, but a campaign spokesman reiterates Will's vacillating statement on health care. I continue to ask, which parts would Wills repeal or change to "improve" it?

Here is the statement Robbie gave regarding the health care vote.  Also, please note that he has publicly stated he would not vote to repeal because of all the great things this historic legislation does; he would work to improve it.

"Health insurance reform is needed.  Health insurance should be more affordable, portable, and take care of the most vulnerable. The recent vote would have been a very close call for me. Without a commitment from House leadership or the President that addressed Arkansas' unfunded Medicaid mandate, I couldn't have supported it.  The fact is that I was not there to fight for my principles to lower costs and protect our budget. My hope is that this bill, now passed, will work as advertised and reduce the deficit and remove the burden of rising health care costs from small business.  As Speaker, I've had to balance a state budget.  I agree with Governor Beebe that it is something we will have to address here in Arkansas."

No one in this race has done more to improve the quality of or the access to health care in Arkansas than me.  As our next Congressman, I will fight for those same principles.  Arkansans can know that I will protect our interests and get the job done.  My primary focus is to create jobs for Arkansans and get this economy back on track.  Removing the burden of rising health care costs from our economy will help us do just that."

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