(June 8, 2007) -- LBReport.com provides extended on-demand audio coverage below of the June 7 independent, non-party orchestrated forum/debate which included 13 candidates (9 Dems, 2 Repubs, 1 Green, 1 Libertarian).
The candidates are vying in the June 26 special election in which 80% of LB (plus Signal Hill, Compton, Carson, Willowbrook and vicinity; for map, click here) will vote their choice for their next Congressional representative...who'll succeed the late Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald (D., Carson-LB) and become America's newest member of the House of Representatives.
This is the second candidates forum/debate covered in detail with extended on-demand audio coverage by LBReport.com.
The event, which drew over 100 people, was organized by clergymembers from Compton, Carson, Long Beach and was held at Compton's MLK Transit Center. By webposting this grassroots event (as with the prior LB event), LBReport.com is expanding its reach beyond the walls of the room to include on-demand access for all district voters (and listeners statewide and nationally...who could also be affected by the next representative's votes in Congress).
Among quotes we found significant:
State Senator Jenny Oropeza (D., southbay): "...I believe God puts everybody on this planet for a reason. And I believe my calling in life is to be a public servant and I'm proud of that. Some people say that being a quote "politician," that all politicians are bad, I beg to differ. I think some of us are put on this planet to do good work and some of us do good work, and I think that's what God put me here to do..."
Assemblywoman Laura Richardson (D., Carson-LB) [delivers opening and closing from floor, not table]: "I'm going to fight for our community...This is about someone who says that no one can take our seat from us without us fighting every bit of the way for it. [applause] This is our community. This is our seat. And let me tell you something: why is it that with redistricting, Compton was removed out of the 55th [Carson-LB Assembly district]? We need people who want Compton, who will represent Compton and who will do everything humanly possible to make sure all of the cities in our community are represented and taken care of."
Valerie McDonald (Democrat, daughter of the late Congresswoman): "I want to continue the work that was laid down by the Congresswoman that you have elected for the last twelve years...I will work with your state and local legislators to make sure that your communities are taken care of, your hospitals, your schools, but on the federal level I will fight that our border are secure and that the jobs stay here in the United States and do not go overseas and that there are enough work here that keep our citizens working."
John Kanaley (Iraq war veteran/LBPD Sgt., Republican): "...I became a Republican and left my proud Democratic history in my family because I felt they weren't willing to defend the country strong enough internationally overseas and also at home. The Republican party is the party of freedom. It was started by Abraham Lincoln [and] went across the grain at that time and stood up for freedom...The Republicans [today] have not...let themselves be known in what are considered safe Democrat and minority districts...Although I'm a Republican, you're going to get an independent voice..."
Bishop Leroy Guillory (Republican): "We keep doing the same thing every two years and every two years we get the same result. Only a fool uses the same formula and expects a different result [applause]. I am running for Congress because men have go up there and fight...We keep sending women to do a man's job. [audience displeasure]..."
Daniel Brezenoff (Green): "I'm going to go rock the boat. OK? [applause] I'm going to raise the roof too. [applause] I'm tireless, I'm fearless and I know the issues. Look. I have the best preparation you could want for going to the United States Congress: I work in a psychiatric hospital. [laughter, applause]"
The forum was moderated by KJLH radio's Jacquie Stephens with umpiring by the clergy...who enforced groundrules that forbid personal attacks and directed candidates to address issues and not each other.
The 13 candidates (Kanaley, Parmer, Price, Brezenoff, Oropeza, Richardson, Guillory, McDonald, Evans, Ford, Matthews, Peters, Davis) sat at a large table. They responded in their seating order with the moderator sometimes alternating starting order at opposite ends of the table.
Initially, questions were directed to groups of four candidates (meaning not all candidates answered the same question); in the interest of balance, we didn't webpost these exchanges.
We've webposted two questions the clergy and their panelists found significant and directed to all candidates: What is your position on same-sex marriage and abortion? And why are you the best candidate for the office? We provide that Q & as well as the candidates' opening and closing statements.
Providing extended on-demand coverage for a 13-candidate event (17 are on the ballot) is a challenge (one question with two minute answers consumes nearly half an hour). We addressed this by providing the audio in two forms: the unedited responses of all candidates and (if the reader chooses) a highlight file with responses from candidates we believe turned in the strongest forum/debate presentations overall [which is what most print reporters would routinely do in reporting the story]. By providing both versions, we're enabling internet news consumers [and voters] to choose as they wish...as well as providing candidates from multiple parties.
If no candidate receives over 50% of the votes on June 26, the top-vote drawing candidates from each party will face each other in an August 21 runoff.