October 7, 2004: Headlines: COS - Fiji: Politics: Election2004 - Shays: Congress: Westport Minuteman: Farrell, Shays come out swinging in first debate

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Fiji: Special Report: Former Congressman Chris Shays: RPCV Congressman Chris Shays: Archived Stories: October 7, 2004: Headlines: COS - Fiji: Politics: Election2004 - Shays: Congress: Westport Minuteman: Farrell, Shays come out swinging in first debate

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-9-111.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 1:02 am: Edit Post

Farrell, Shays come out swinging in first debate

 Farrell, Shays come out swinging in first debate

Farrell, Shays come out swinging in first debate

Farrell, Shays come out swinging in first debate
By:Bonnie Adler , Staff Writer 10/07/2004
Fourth District Republican Congressman Christopher Shays squared off Monday against his Democratic opponent, Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell, before a spellbound audience of 500 in the first of six debates scheduled during the month of October.

Click to learn more...
The debate at the Stamford Marriott, which was sponsored by the Southwestern Area Commerce and Industry Association (SACIA), touched upon a broad range of issues, including foreign policy and national and local topics.

Farrell repeatedly attempted to pin Shays to the conservative Republican right label, portraying him as a former independent who has turned to the right over time. In turn, Shays defended his record vigorously, called himself a leader and an independent thinker, commeting, "The only people I have to answer to are you (the voters)."

Farrell was on the attack, denouncing the Republican party's economic policy, citing a change from a record surplus of $56 trillion to a record deficit of $2.7 trillion in four years. She criticized the "go-it-alone" foreign policy which she said has resulted in American isolation in in Iraq, and pounded an education policy that she said has resulted in unfunded mandates for the No Child Left Behind Act and serious unresolved problems with health care.

Shays, who has served the Fourth District in Congress for 17 years, specifically noted his achievements and his leadership in campaign finance reform. He pointed to his role in the establishment of the 9/11 Commission and his influential positions on important Congressional committees, such as the Budget and Government Reform Committees; the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations; the Financial Services Committee; and the Department of Homeland Security.

Shays, who has visited Iraq six times, often traveling without military escort, reiterated his strong support for the administration's position on the war there."We got a wake-up call on Sept. 11," said Shays. "We must confront terrorism at home and abroad. The war on terrorism is being fought in Iraq. I fully and completely support the president in bringing democracy to 25 million people."

Farrell criticized the war, saying the United States entered it under the false premise that the United States would eradicate weapons of mass destruction, and that now, "we are on our own."

She criticized the focus of the Bush administration on Iraq, calling the war "unprecedented," and added, "Shays ignores the fact that Osama bin Laden is still at large." She said the $87 billion cost of the war has had a huge impact upon the budget of the United States.

The candidates hammered away on economic policy, both national and local, touching upon tax cuts which Shays repeatedly defended, and which Farrell consistently took issue with. Shays said the tax cuts he supported helped to turn the recent economic downturn into a "shorter and shallower recession," and "returned some dollars to the people who paid among the highest taxes in the nation." Farrell disagreed, saying the tax cuts reach fewer than 1 percent of the population and "do not trickle down to the those who really need the money, such as the residents of cities such as Norwalk, Stamford and Bridgeport."

Shays said that while Farrell accused him of cutting taxes, during her administration in Westport taxes had doubled. Farrell shot back, "But look what we got for it, new schools and a new senior citizens center."

Farrell has positioned herself as a leader in the area of transportation, and criticized Shays for poor performance in obtaining requisite federal funding for roadway and rail improvements.

"We should be getting more for our tax dollars," said Farrell, pledging to fight for more effective results should she be elected to Congress. Shays again defended his record, defended his position supporting a rise in the gasoline tax to pay for the badly needed improvements, and called upon the state of Connecticut to take a larger role in funding transportation assistance.

Farrell noted her continuing attempts bring local governments and business leaders together to assist Bridgeport in its efforts to become a more viable economic power. She accused Shays of hurting the residents there, by "broad brushing" the city as filled with corruption. Shays, who had previously noted the tremendous future and potential of the city said, "It needed to change. I call what I did there leadership."

The next debate between the two candidates will be held on Sunday, Oct. 10 at Temple Israel in Westport from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

©Westport Minuteman 2004

When this story was posted in October 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.
Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention
Governor Schwarzenegger praised the Peace Corps at the Republican National Convention: "We're the America that sends out Peace Corps volunteers to teach village children." Schwarzenegger has previously acknowledged his debt to his father-in-law, Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver, for teaching him "the joy of public service" and Arnold is encouraging volunteerism by creating California Service Corps and tapping his wife, Maria Shriver, to lead it. Leave your comments and who can come up with the best Current Events Funny?
 Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and can you come up with a Political Funny?

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Westport Minuteman

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Fiji; Politics; Election2004 - Shays; Congress



By Fred Werner (ool-4356662a.dyn.optonline.net - on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 12:26 am: Edit Post

I'm beginning to think Diane Farrell is right. You don't do Peace Corps or anyone else a favor by endorsing Shays just because he's an RPCV. He seems to have taken a hard turn to the right, perhaps because of 9-11. He's very much lock-step with Bush and DeLay and the rest, especially on foreign affairs which should be extremely troubling to all RPCVs.

I'm a newcomer to Connecticut, and since I've moved here, I've heard a lot on both sides. But it really sounds like Shays has become an anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, America-can-do-know-wrong, dellusional reactionary in the wake of 9-11. His foreign policy tilt has become frighteningly neoconservative and that's the only place he's influential. His pro-environment stance and moderation on other issues are irrelevant because he has zero influence there, and obviously hasn't hindered the Republican Congress's assaults on the environment and other rights (e.g. Patriot Act, abortion, gay rights, etc.).

I think we need to replace Shays for some of the same reasons we need to replace Bush. It makes NO sense for PCOL to endorse Kerry so strongly and simultaneously urge us to support Shays.

- Fred Werner
Bolivia 95-97
Westport, CT

Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.