Interview with Patty Weiss, Democrat for AZ CD8

WeissLast week I interviewed Patty Weiss, former Southern Arizona
newscaster, and currently a candidate for the Democratic nomination for
the Congressional District 8 seat being vacated by Jim Kolbe. I have to
confess to a staggering feat of amateurism; my tape of the interview
came up blank. Luckily, I have a good memory, took some notes, and
Patty was kind enough to review my notes to ensure that they accurately
reflect her positions. As a result, the responses I attribute to Patty
on the issues I raised are at best paraphrasing, not quotes, though she
did sign off my recollections.

My impression of Patty was that she is a very intelligent and
articulate person, the sort that might overwhelm less active
intellects, and garner a certain reputation from the envious or less
able. She is well-spoken, as one would expect from a professional
communicator, but I never got the feeling she was just stringing
together talking points, though, of course, there was some that,
naturally. There were also moments when she was less guarded than any
professional politician would have been and that could, unfortunately,
cause her some embarrassments in the future.

It is obvious that Patty is not just ‘interested in politics’ (a quote
that has been used widely to cast her as a dilettante); rather Weiss is
possessed of a well-considered viewpoint on the issues. Anyone who
thinks that Weiss is a less than serious candidate, or one who will
turn off the electorate upon greater exposure is in for a rude
awakening. She looks great on TV, and has charisma. The wildcard may be
how she fares in face-to-face retail politics. I suspect that she will
be better than most. In my opinion, Weiss is likely to exceed
expectations upon greater exposure and develop into a formidable
political contender. Her wide name recognition could very well
translate into wide electoral support as voters come to know her and
like her in this new role.

UPDATE 2/28/06: Blue in AZ at Daily Kos attended several panels with the candidates and transcribed their position statements on the Iraq war. There have been comments on this post that Patty’s previous statements about what to do in Iraq differ from how she answered me. I’ll let you review the record and decide for yourself whether that is the case or not.

I specifically requested Patty to keep her answers focused on the larger picture of principles, convictions and values at the expense of policy details.

I asked Patty what she felt makes a great representative. She said that the ability to listen to constituents and translate that knowledge into wise and principled compromises is the hallmark of democracy. When I asked her the related question of whom, outside of her own family, she most admired, she gave me a local answer – Peter Likins, the outgoing President of the University of Arizona – and a national answer – Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States. She admires Likins because of his dedication to excellence in education, a dedication she says she shares, and his willingness to make hard choices and to squarely take blame for his mistakes. Carter she admires as a man of deeply held principles who has dedicated his life to making the world a better place.

I always ask Congressional candidates on what committees they would like to serve. It immediately highlights what they feel are the most important issues in their district, and also gauges where they feel their own expertise lies. Patty said she would want to work on healthcare, education, veterans’ affairs and possibly appropriations because it is so important. This translates to lobbying for slots on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, the Committee on Educations and Workforce’s subcommittee on Education Reform, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (possibly serving on the subcommittees on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, on Economic Opportunity, or on Heath) and the Committee on Appropriations (possibly on subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, or on Military Quality of Life and Veterans’ Affairs). Freshman legislators pretty much take what they get for committee assignments, but Patty’s answers highlight what issues are of most interest to her, and what she feels is of most importance to the district. Patty seems clearly to be focused on the real human service needs of constituents, especially the special needs of veterans. These choices should be contrasted and compared with those of other Democratic candidates and the likely policy issues that will be at issue in the general election.

Patty and I touched the broader issues of Constitutional balance and the rule of law. She says she shares my concern that the President is over-reaching. She used the term Imperial Presidency to describe Bush’s administration of the executive branch. She maintains that Congress has the duty to reassert its constitutional prerogative of oversight. I asked her point-blank if she was ready to vote for impeachment of Bush. She said that she found the NSA monitoring program very troubling, but there were neither sufficient facts yet known and that she believed that there were still valid, good faith arguments as to whether the President’s actions broke the law. She felt that many of this Administration’s actions were troubling and potentially grounds for impeachment of members of the Administration. I have to comment here that I think Patty is being too cautious on this issue. I do not believe there is any credible argument that the President’s spying is consistent with the law. Of course, she may have changed her mind since we spoke. I certainly hope she has.

Regarding Iraq, Patty thinks that Rep. Murtha’s plan, which Patty says is widely misunderstood and unfairly maligned as ‘cut and run’, is a good basis on which to proceed. Patty feels we need to stop making the situation worse by pulling our troops into an ‘over-the-horizon’ posture where they can respond to crises but are out of major population areas. She thinks we also need to clarify to the Iraqi people that we will not maintain a permanent military presence in their country. I certainly agree with her view; the millions we are pouring into constructing four mega-bases certainly cannot be helping on that count. Finally, she says that we have to make it clear that Iraqis must fix their broken constitution to avoid a failed state. Personally, I think Patty is right in that the Iraqi constitution is moving toward a radically anti-American theocratic state and possibly a civil war, but correctly diagnosing the condition and getting the both the patient and Dr. Bush to apply a remedy is a big prescription. In any case, Patty feels that we should set a timetable for withdrawal of troops.

Given the looming pseudo-crises this Administration is trying to manufacture in Iran, I asked Patty under what circumstances she would vote to allow this Administration to use force in the future (not necessarily limited to only Iran). She says that the Administration should be held to much higher standard given its track record. Certainly, the Administration would have to present a much more objective assessment, and would have to demonstrate world support and provide a much greater degree of transparency in decision-making and information gathering. Patty’s answer seems to imply that Congress is to some degree dependant upon the Administration for its information about a foreign crisis. It is exactly this view, of Congress as a sort of jury on the use of force, rather than an independent investigator and fact-finder in its own right, that caused Congress’ horrible lapse in oversight on Iraq.

Congress must not allow the President to lead us blindly to war, but should provide an independent assessment and not just naively rely on the information spoon-fed to them by the Administration. All the shuffling of intelligence agencies that has occurred post 9/11-Iraq overshadows the massive failure of Congress to make independent inquiries, and not just accept the facts set before them. Congress has turned the constitutional responsibility to declare war into a practical dead letter by its subservience to the Executive in war. I would like to see Congressional candidates in this cycle making the case for a much more muscular Congressional role in use of force. Patty certainly has the right idea, but she continues to labor under the mind-set of the Cold War, where because of MAD, the Presidency arrogated far too much power to use force. Congress became a rubber stamp, and Iraq is the result.

Patty spoke to the issue of Iran specifically. I asked her what her approach to the problem of Iran’s nuclear program would be. She stated a strong preference to see a diplomatic resolution to the issue, but said she could not take a military option off the table. She declared that she would certainly understand if Israel felt that it had to take preemptive action given that it would be within range of an Iranian nuclear missile and the Iranian President has made very disturbing and provocative statements about wiping Israel off the map. This may be the only point on which Patty’s response gave me real reservations about her position, though, admittedly, I think about this issue differently than many.

First, military force can only kick this particular can down the road a bit; force cannot solve it without toppling the Iranian regime. As regime change in Iran is a completely unrealistic, the best result a limited military strike can accomplish is to force the Iranians to pull out of the NPT and take their program completely underground. The result will be another de facto but undeclared nuclear power (in addition to Israel) in the Middle East. Second, Iran is many years away from developing a nuclear weapon; it is not an imminent threat, but a distant one. Treating it as a crisis is only a tactic to ramp up fear domestically. Third, MAD will apply equally well to Israel and Iran as it did to America and the U.S.S.R. Despite religious fervor and rhetorical excess, neither Judaism nor Islam encompasses the sort of end of the world scenario that makes use of nuclear weapons seem possible by some fanatics. There is a large difference between strapping a bomb on one person to free one’s homeland and committing societal suicide by dropping a nuke on Tel Aviv. The result of a nuclear Iran will be strategic stability, not Armageddon. If anything, at this point in our political history, it is America that should not be allowed to have nukes. Finally, any assertion by any American official that an Israeli pre-emptive attack would be in any way acceptable is geo-politically naïve. In order for Israel to strike Iranian facilities, they would have to fly over airspace controlled by American forces. Such an attack would be strategically equivalent to an American attack in Iranian eyes, involving all the same strategic consequences as a direct American strike. The result could be an all out Iranian-backed Shiite assault on our troops in Iraq. Allowing Israel to carry out a strike might serve their perceived short-term security interests, but only at great cost to our own interests. For these many reasons, I urge Patty to rethink her position on this issue.

Illegal immigration is going to be a big issue in the general election. I asked Patty what her priorities and convictions about this issue are. First, she insists that terrorism and illegal immigration must not be conflated, as they so often are. Terrorist infiltration of our borders is an issue that needs to be addressed comprehensively on all our borders, from the wild coasts of Oregon to our busiest ports, as well as the borders with Mexico and Canada. We need to recognize that any real solution to border security will be a high-tech one, utilizing drones, sensors, and the like, not low-tech solutions like a wall along the border. We need a guest worker program to bring the 11 million illegal immigrants into the light so we can deal with the problems of this population. We also need stringent employer sanctions to prevent the current situation from recurring. The economic driver of illegal immigration is lack of economic opportunity in countries of origin. We have to address development in Latin America in the context of globalized trade. Globalization is a fact of life we have to deal with constructively. We need to ensure that free trade is also fair trade with locally indexed living wages, workers’ safety standards, labor rights and environmental standards.

Patty is very concerned about healthcare in America and I asked her how she would approach the problem of extending coverage and addressing the cost of care. She believes strongly that we need to have a universal coverage in this country. She believes it not only to be a quality of life issue and simple fairness, but also a matter of global competitiveness. We cannot compete with other industrialized nations who all have universal care if we are the only country still imposing primary healthcare costs on employers. To create a system of universal coverage Patty believes we can build upon Medicare-type government programs. She points out that while the administrative costs of private healthcare insurance averages 25-30% of premiums, public programs have a much lower administrative cost of about 3%. I think The West Wing gave the cause of universal coverage a big boost when Santos pointed out this fact in the faux Presidential debate. I feel sure there is much more that Patty would want to say on this issue, I had to cut her off to bring the interview to a conclusion.

I asked Patty for her take on the macro-economic position of the nation after 5 years of Bush. She charges Bush with using deficits and irresponsible tax cuts as a tool to attack program that Americans need and deserve from their government. Taxes are a duty of citizenship which allow society to operate and accomplish great things like building world-class transport networks for commerce, waterways and flood control systems to keep our population safe, ensure safe and efficacious drugs through our FDA, and many other wonderful and necessary things upon which our prosperity and well-being depends. We need these programs and we deserve them, and Bush is trying to destroy and undermine them. Our priority as a society should not be making the already wealthy wealthier still; it should be making life better for everyone. We cannot do that if our government is living on credit to meet the bills. Moreover, we cannot have a courageous and independent foreign policy if OPEC and China hold our debt; our spendthrift President is mortgaging our security.

Finally, I wanted to know what she was reading. I am a bookworm, and so I have a belief that what one is interested in reading tells you a good deal about a person. The last book she read was “Collapse” by Jared Diamond. It was heartening to me that Patty was paying attention to such an innovative scholar. She said that she thought him a very smart man, but that he needed a good editor. At the time, she was in the process of reading E.L. Doctrow’s “The March”, a historical novel about Sherman’s march to the sea in Georgia and subsequent slash and burn campaign up the coast of the Carolinas. If her reading is any indication of her campaigning style, we are in for an interesting primary season.

0 responses to “Interview with Patty Weiss, Democrat for AZ CD8

  1. Carmi Turchick

    Ok, the original post here claims that “Weiss is possessed of a well-considered viewpoint on the issues.”

    Sounds good…let us take a looksee at how that plays out. Here is a quote from Weiss’s own campaign webpage. “America is the only industrialized nation that does not offer health care to its citizens. That’s why we need a national healthcare system. A single public insurance agency can provide basic health insurance, with premiums deducted from Social Security, paychecks or welfare. Individuals could supplement basic coverage with private insurance.”

    Her national health insurance idea is to have people on welfare and Social Security pony up some of that extra cash they have floating around for their own health insurance? These populations are entirely covered now as it is; this amounts to a huge cut in aid to the poor, retired, and disabled.

    Let me be blunt here. This position is absurdly far from being “well-considered.” It looks more like a jr. high assignment done at the last minute. And while Giffords faces accusations of not being “progressive” enough, she at least is progressive enough not to propose a program that seems to be considerably to the right of even the Republicans. Have disabled people pony up from their…huge(?!)… Social Security checks for their own health insurance? That is what it says there on Weiss’s own campaign site.

    Sorry folks. That is not progressive. It is the opposite of progressive. It is not well-considered, really seems not to have been considered at all. It does not reflect a candidate who is intelligent enough for the job she wants. It does not reflect a candidate who knows a lick about what she is talking about.

    When you read her bio the Weiss candidacy is revealed for what it is, just another bid for the attention she lacked as a child (she talks about “raising” herself as a teenager, for example). Pretty simple how a lack of attention and affection made her seek the job of newscaster and now makes her seek the job of Congresswoman. It would be healthier for her to seek therapy instead.

    Briefly let me mention that we should also elect people who have a command of English, at least know it well enough not to confuse weather and whether, or by and buy, as Mr. Leister does above. If you should not have passed high school English, you should not be in Congress. Much of the job there involves fine details of word meanings and the ability to know exactly what you are reading. If one does not know the difference between by and buy it is clear the job would be far beyond you.

    Latas or Giffords, that is the choice in my view. Giffords has the track record and the organization and money. Latas has the more direct and unequivical approach, which has it’s appeals. We may even be able to win with Latas this election. But I go with Giffords based on her experience and the critical need to win the seat. However you feel about all those union endorsements and all the money and so on, it translates into feet on the ground, hands on the phones, and adds on the TV. We have to win. Gabby can win, and she is great on a lot of very important issues. For example, while Iraq is important, Global Warming is far more critical an issue for the average American’s future. There must be some reason all these environmental groups are endorsing Giffords…
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: AZ-08: Jeff Latas, Francine Shacter Interviews
    URL: http://thegreatsociety.blogsome.com/2006/03/21/az-08-jeff-latas-francine-shacter-interviews/
    IP: 212.147.136.3
    BLOG NAME: The Great Society
    DATE: 03/21/2006 01:44:59 AM
    Blog for Arizona has an interview with Jeff Latas and Francine Shacter, Democratic candidates for the vacant seat in Arizonas 8th Congressional District.

    It is definitely worth reading for you T-Locs out there.

    Related: Last month, BfA posted…

  2. I have heard some comments about The Leister Campaign not attending a couple of Forums. I was not invited to attend The Forum in Patagonia,and had filed a motion for “Clarification,” from The F.E.C. about disclosure of 527’s;501c3,501c4 and Candidate forums that did not give me full disclosure of whom its board members support or oppose. I was taken back by board members of a 501c4 non-profit tax exempt being able to advocate for another candidate and his committee sponsoring a “Federal Candidate Forum,” with the Jack Abramoff scandal in full swing,calling for the impeachment of The President for “Having a Picture Taken with a Lobbyist.” Before I start showing up at any event,forum or non-profit I do not want to be supject to a fine from The F.E.C. because of the carelessness of another candidates supporters,weather volunteers or paid. As to not be accused as was Al Gore buy attending a Chinese Funded event that he knew nothing about but was held accountable for attending,until I receive the decision from The F.E.C. I will not be fish-bate for Carl Rove!

    Dwight D. Leister:Chair
    http://www.committee-to-elect.org
    T.Mae Leister:First Vice Treasurer
    http://www.dwightleister4congress2006.com

  3. We at The Leister Campaign for Congress in Cd8 are not engaged in a hobby,only to win!

    Dwight D. Leister:Chair
    http://www.committee-to-elect.org
    T.Mae Leister:First Vice Treasurer
    http://www.dwightleister4congress2006.com

  4. Giffords is getting raked over the coals by some folks who feel that it is their right to tell her what defines a true Democrat or a pure progressive. That is nothing but overly-pious bunk!

    Giffords offers Democrats in CD8 the best chance for taking back this seat because she is bright, articulate, has a solid voting record, can attract crossover support that will be critical in this district and has shown the ability to raise money. Anyone who refers to her as a closet Republican is more interested in shouting from a soapbox than they are in winning this election and having a voice for our views in DC.

    What have we learned from the examples of both Jim Jeffords and Carol West? When we start sniping at people about how they don’t belong in the party because they fail one or more of our litmus tests, they bail and the party as a whole is then smaller, less diverse and weaker. Besides, who bestows on these folks the right to define who is/isn’t a Democrat or a progressive?

    Giffords can win and she is right on the issues. The other candidates have many attractive qualities, but Giffords offers the complete package. I think Graf will win the GOP primary, but she matches up very well with any of the Republican candidates.

  5. It took a little while for me to get a chance to listen to the entire tape of the DFA forum again, but I did check it for you and I did not hear Patty mention Murtha. Maybe she mentioned it afterward? I think she is a fast learner, and I also think she’s trying hard and doing a good job. I just have a lot more respect for Jeff Latas because he had the courage to enter this race before Kolbe announced his retirement, and his passion really comes through.

    Jeff’s positions on the domestic issues are really what got me looking into his campaign. I came across this post on the DailyKos back in October:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/10/8/14463/6365

    I went and checked out Jeff’s site, and I was impressed. A military guy who not only wanted out of Iraq, but was also passionate about energy and the environment? Wow. And his son has leukemia, and he talks about how he had the military health care plan that was based on the Clinton plan, and how he wanted to make sure that everyone had health care like that.

    Jeff’s son relapsed with leukemia while serving in Iraq, and Jeff chronicled the whole ordeal on his blog:

    http://www.dailykos.com/user/Jeff%20Latas/diary/2

    He even talks about animal welfare, civil rights, and oil dependence on the Kos:

    http://www.dailykos.com/user/Jeff%20Latas

    Anyway, even though the war in Iraq is one of my biggest concerns for many reasons, Jeff won me over with his domestic issues. And I really think that someone needs to be able to stand up to the Rove machine so that we can get out of Iraq and use all that money to balance the budget and provide health care.

    I heard that Dwight Liester refused to attend the DFA forum because he claimed that the DFA people were all Latas supporters. I don’t know about the other forums, but I don’t think he has shown up at anything. I’m not sure what his deal is.

  6. Dean & Cheri

    Thanks for the responses. We are still considering Latas and Weiss but need to learn more about both. Giffords might get our support but we are iffy on a lot of issues with her and she has not performed well at the forums so we don’t think she can beat the Republicans unless she starts taking stronger stances. She seems to be trying for that non-existent ‘middle’ and doesn’t seem to realize that strategy is what lost us the House and Senate to begin with. People we really respect within the Party are for Giffords. She seems to have the most Pima support but Latas and Weiss are doing well in Cochise from whatwe hear.

    We wish Weiss had a stronger campaign team (maybe they will get better) and we sure like Latas but wish he would talk more about domestic issues. We have read his site, but those are common platform issues and we are looking for more solutions. Latas at least wrote up a lot on his site. He and Weiss also seem to go more indepth in person. We are are progressive people and we strongly believe in fiscal responsibility so we look for our candidates through those eyes. Thanks again for the responses.

    Anyone know why Liester is not attending the forums?

  7. Kevin Cunningham

    You know, I have been to see the candidates twice (NW Neighborhood Ctr. and S. Vista). I have changed my mind on who to support throughout these two forums. I was for Giffords (she was my senator) but then as time went by I switched over to Jeff Latas. His passion and conviction has inspired me to work for him. I honestly feel that Lt. Col. Latas has a very broad grasp of the issues and has carefully thought out his positions on those issues. I feel he is the smartest candidate in this race.
    It’s funny dean and cheri, you know who scares me? It is the Giffords supporters who are acting like Bush supporters. If you even dare to critisize her, you then are “hating on her” (not my words). I have no time for that stuff. I see Latas’ supporters taking the lead from their candidate as passionate and knowing that this election is waaaaaay too important to lose to someone who has already done some “not too nice” things within her campaign. It is my humble opinion that Giffords has sold out to the unions, who will be next?

  8. Glad to see some open minded people here at this site. Just to respond to the comment on Latas and his domestic issues. I think that Col Latas addresses his domestic policies pretty clearly at his web site, http://www.jefflatas.com. He addresses Education, he wants universal health care, immigration, civil liberties, even animal welfare, origin of the universe, reproductive health, separation of church and state, labor, free trade, tax reform, social security and medicare, and his number one issue is energy which he does quite well in connecting to many of our other problems. There are other issues discussed on the site, too.

    Unfortunately, Iraq and the border are what get the most attention when he speaks. This is what most people want to hear and ask.

    Given his life experience, his strong suit is military but he also has experience that enhances and separates him from the pack. Dealing with health care issues like cancer which as given him very good back ground on things like stem cell research and insurance. Unlike a couple of the candidates, he is a dad which I put pretty high on the list. His kids went to public schools and I think I read that he was even a PTA president at one point. Being an engineer brings a refreshing dose of new blood into a Congress bogged down with lawyers and businessmen. Maybe the flooding of New Orleans may have been averted if more people like Jeff would have been in office a few years ago, engineers that understand how bad the levy system was.

    I personally think that Jeff addresses the domestic issues much more thoroughly then any other candidate, by far. Hope you can come to this same conclusion.

  9. When it comes to Iraq, none of the candidates are really taking as strong of a stand as they should be. Latas:”We should have never invaded a country based on misleading evidence…”

    No, we never should have invaded, period. As a US citizen, I (Dean) was able to figure out on 6 months before we went to war in Iraq that we were going to. If I could figure out that it was a political maneuver, surely everyone in Congress knew. Besides, what evidence according to the candidates would have made it okay to go to war? WMD? Shortsightedness all around is what we continually see from Congress. It isn’t about evidence at all; it is about using political posturing to support a financial and power agenda then killing American soldiers (and innocent Iraqis or whomever) in the process. Korea, China and Iran have always been bigger threats. We have evidence of that. So, do all the candidates think we should start wars with these countries too, because there IS evidence to support the threat? Oh, wait. I guess we cannot with China. Since they own us.

  10. Just read the transcripts. One, we don’t see a flip-flop even with the partial transcript there. Two, we are now convinced Patty Weiss has a stronger understanding of the issue than we previously thought, so thanks for that. Three, Blue did not do a full transcript. We were at the Tucson one and Patty Weiss specifically said she favors the ‘Murtha Plan’ for withdrawal. No mention of Murtha’s name in the transcript. It might have been part of the response to a different question, but she said it nonetheless. So, to be fair, Blue, even though you are a Jeff Latas supporter, you need to be accurate and objectively transcribe all comments if you are going to use it for your argument.

    Besides, as a supporter of Latas, you should know he has admitted changing his view on more than one issue early on. In his presentation to the progressive council group, he did a PowerPoint and on two issues said he has since changed his mind. On a third issue he changed his mind by the time the DFA forum occurred. So, why is it bad for any of the candidates to change if they have more info? If it is a total flip-flop, well, maybe you have a point. Haven’t seen that though with Weiss or Latas.

    We thought it was a sign of leadership when Latas changed his positions and openly discussed it. Patty Weiss shouldn’t be held to a different standard because she is a woman, or not a military person, or whatever the reason is those communicating the untruths have for doing so.

    If you really want to convince us to support Latas, tell us what he stands for besides being in the military? What is his domestic agenda? We have yet to hear one, which is the main reason we haven’t been able to support him yet. We need someone well rounded and we aren’t sure Latas has more than his one-trick-pony. He still ranks the highest overall for us, though. Mostly because we have no confidence in the way the Weiss campaign is run and Giffords is coming across as too much of a McCain. Latas, as others have said, has run a really good campaign. He just needs to get off the military thing and start focusing on other areas too.

  11. Godzilla, is it an official transcript, word for word? Or is it just Blue in AZ’s impression? Who does Blue support? Disclosure is important. Doesn’t mean Weiss has actually flip-flopped. Kos is a blog ripe with personal agendas of the posters. We will check it out though.

    No offense, but some of the things we hear supporters of certain campaigns saying and posting on the blogs is nothing more than smear campaigns and propaganda, with no regard to the truth. It’s like what the Republicans do and we need to be better than that.

    We still cannot figure out what Giffords stands for, Weiss’s manager doesn’t seem to be running a good campaign in Pima and doesn’t even bother responding to the false statements, and Latas supporters are starting to scare us a little coming across as fanatical.

    We both are thinking of sitting out the primary and just voting in the general. It seems that most of the Pima activists think Giffords already has it wrapped up because of the money she has raised and no one is bothering to check her voting record. When it comes to big business (and she interestingly isn’t touting it on her site), is she a progressive or Repub-lite? We tried to get those records from the legislature but so far no go. We asked her supporters, even chairs of the various LD’s. They assured me she was progressive. When we asked about specific legislation, no one could offer any. So, it is just their ‘impression’, just like it is just an ‘impression’ that Latas is more progressive or Weiss will have more name recognition. Not really a good way to choose candidates.

    Thank you, Mr. Bryan, for the only interview on the candidates and impressions that seem to have some objectivity. You discussed strengths but also things you don’t agree with. Every activist should be able to say that about the candidate they are supporting or not because realistically, none of them have a perfect platform.

  12. Blue in AZ posted a transcript of all three forum on the Iraq issue. Sounds like a flip flop. Do a AZ-08 tag search on the Dailykos. Posted today.

  13. M.B. – I posted a link to your interview as a diary at DKos so hopefully they come over here to check it out.

  14. Weiss did not represent her position on Iraq as having been long held, or as the only one she’s ever had on Iraq. She didn’t lie to me; I didn’t ask. She simply stated her preference and I didn’t follow up with a question of whether that had always been her position, though I admit that I assumed that it had been.

    It would be good to have a record of an earlier position. If you someone will provide that, I’ll certainly contact the campaign and ask her why she changed her mind. Unlike some Republicans, I don’t think the worst sin one can commit is changing your mind in the face of adequate evidence that your previous position was wrong. That’s not ‘flip-flopping’, that’s growth. What I don’t respect much is changing you position for purely political reasons without a change in the facts or one’s analysis of the facts.

  15. I was at Patagonia and the DFA forum. I’ll vouch for Blue, I heard what Patty said and she has flip-flopped. Her handlers have straighten her up, I’m sure. Just give her a new telepromting job, stick to the cards and she’ll do OK. If she has professed to you that she has always campaigned to get out of Iraq, ie Murtha plan, she lied to you. I know someone who recorded the forum. Let me see if I can get hold of him and I’ll quote you exactly what she said. Stay tuned.

  16. Blue in AZ, changed it from what? I talked right when she got in the race and she had the same position as what Michael is saying above. Maybe you are thinking of Gabby.

    I found out today that Gabby is running as centrist Democrat, pro-big business. I am very disappointed to learn that. Also learned she used to be a Republican and has voted for tax cuts for the wealthy. I need to get copies of her full voting record before I can verify that, but if true, she has lost my support.

  17. I’m glad to see that she’s changed her stance on Iraq.

  18. Would be great if you could do an interview with Bruce Wheeler too on the issues facing fair elections and how the Secretary of State impacts that. The AuditAZ is doing some great work on the issue too. If the votes don’t count, it will be a mute point on who the nominee is.

  19. I am starting to get more and more interested in Patty but I don’t know if it is I am getting disappointed in the other two candidates I am considering or if I really like her positions which I really need to learn more about.

    “Patty’s answer seems to imply that Congress is to some degree dependant upon the Administration for its information about a foreign crisis.”

    I don’t get what you mean by that, Mike. What you wrote about how she responded seemed to agree with what you are saying about Congress needing to be independent and not counter that. She seemed to be criticizing congress for not holding the president accountable and doing their jobs, which I agree with. Unless you transcribed her comments incorrectly, but I don’t read it the way you are. I will follow up with her directly because I cannot tell what is your opinion and what she actually believes but I thank you for posting this anyway. You seem tougher on her than the other candidates so I hope you post some background on Giffords non-progressive votes or Latas’s lack of community involvement particularly in the things he says he has always supported like the environment and other social issues (certainly hasn’t worked with the groups I have…no one heard of him before he decided to run). I think many of the candidates are presenting themselves as something different than they are and when that integrity bell goes off in my head I will know I found my candidate. I didn’t agree with Howard Dean on every position he had, but I felt confident he had integrity and an open mind and for the most part that has turned out to be true. Policy stuff can be learned, integrity you either have or you don’t.

    Also, don’t fool yourself into thinking Congress relied on the Bush administration for their information. If I as a citizen knew what was going on before we even went to war, savvy politicians like Hillary Clinton did. This ‘they lied to us’ defense is just an excuse because they sold us out and think we are too dumb to know what went on. Everyone who voted for the war sold us out. And they did it because Bush was polling in the 90% and they were too cowardly to stand up. I do remember Daschle started to stand up and none of his fellow Democrats supported him…something most voters seemed to have forgotten about or didn’t pay attention to. Daschle was fighting before we even went to war, he was fighting for the civil rights Bush quickly started to stomp on immediately after 9-11 and Daschle saw what was coming. He didn’t get any support from his own side though. Then look what happened to him. He started voting like an idiot and got booted out of his own seat.

    Thank you for this interview. I haven’t heard enough from Patty directly and she is getting slammed (I think unfairly) by the Latas and Giffords camps, which just makes me that more interested in her because I like an underdog. Giffords was my senator and I would vote for her if she gets the nomination, but while we have the chance in the primary I would really like to get the most progressive candidate we can, who also has integrity, intelligence, and an internal fortitude. I recently found out some things about Weiss’s personal life that tells me she is a lot stronger than anyone knows but her campaign isn’t taking that approach which is too bad (unlike another candidate that exploits every personal opportunity for political gain). Mostly, I do think based on your interview and the forums I have heard her speak at that she is the most progressive candidate who also has a real chance of winning the general.

    I would also love to see you do an interview with Dwight because I cannot for the life of me figure out what that guy is about. I can’t tell if running for office is just a hobby or if he is serious.

    On the Iran issue, I don’t think there is a good solution. The reality is, every major country is going to have nuclear power sooner than we think. Maybe the US should start with our own disarmament to set an example and get rid of all the toxic isotopes spewing out of the 3 largest nuclear plants in the Phoenix region. They pose a hell of bigger threat than Iran. Nuclear proliferation in these other countries is inevitable since we set the bad example, and our desperate attempt to try to curb that is defeatist. That is exactly why we should be working toward diplomatic efforts because it is the only way to ensure peace. In 100 years the US will be a third world country after all the alliances form against us. Some say it will happen in 50. Our abuse of power and the old ‘who has more and bigger guns’ mentality has created this hostility against us and it is the very people who turn a blind eye to the human cost of what we do who will reap what they sow.

    Regarding Pederson in your last post, he is a right wing shill and the one Democrat I will never support. This administration isn’t spying on terrorists, they are spying on us to control us. Pederson will lose against Kyl and I don’t care because they both will vote the same anyway. Rather have the enemy I know than the wolf in sheep’s clothing.