Monday, January 23, 2006

Bell and Kennedy: Take a stance Amy

In the past few days since Amy Klobuchar coronation as the DFL U.S. Senate nominee, her two opponents, Ford Bell and Mark Kennedy, have challenged her to debates seeing that she has been reluctant to take a stand on some issues.

In a speech at the DFL Central Committee meeting here,
U.S. Senate candidate Ford Bell challenged Amy Klobuchar to a series of debates around the state to discuss "the serious issues facing the nation, and the kind of party the DFL will be."

Bell praised Patty Wetterling, who withdrew from the race Friday, saying she has brought "hope and promise" to the DFL. With her withdrawal, he said the DFL Senate race is now a "referendum on the Party's soul."

Bell also blistered Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the chair of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, saying that Schumer's message to the DFL grassroots was "sit down, shut up, we're from Washington and we know best."

In his speech, he spoke both to the Party's leaders and the broader DFL membership, asking "Are we still a home-grown, grassroots, activist party, or should we be a top-down, wholly- owned subsidiary of Chuck Schumer and the political leadership in Washington? Will we be the party with our finger in the wind, or are we still the party with our fists in the air, speaking truth?"

During the speech, Bell also spoke about a specific timetable to end the war in Iraq and his call for universal, single-payer health care, and he renewed his challenge to Ms. Klobuchar and presumptive Republican nominee Rep. Mark Kennedy to join his pledge to make such a health-care bill the first act of Minnesota's next Senator. (Source: Ford Bell for Senate Press Release, Jan. 22, 2006)

On Friday, Mark Kennedy challenged Klobuchar to debate.

"Our U.S Senate seat is crucial for Minnesota. The voters of our state deserve to know exactly where each candidate stands on the key issues facing our nation and our state.

"Unfortunately, too often these important issue discussions fall victim to
poll-tested sound bites and canned applause lines. I think it's time for the kind of open, honest, thoughtful, and friendly debate the people of Minnesota deserve. We don't need some cable-channel shout fest, but a real discussion of the real issues.

"I believe that in the next 2-4 weeks, we should begin these issue discussions across the state of Minnesota. Different regions of our state have different concerns and the debates should be scheduled accordingly.

"I am ready and willing to debate the Democrat candidates on the issues that
will decide this Senate election as soon as possible." (Mark Kennedy '06 Press Release, Jan. 21, 2006)


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