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White: "Jim Crawford vs. Art Linares Debate Opinion"

"The race for this local position is not the circus that we see every four years between presidential hopefuls on national television. "

 

This letter is written by Nick White:

The debate last night at Valley Regional High School for Senator of the 33rd District should not have been missed by many - but it was.

Of hundreds of young supporters of Republican nominee Art Linares, I found that the youngest person in sight was myself, 23. As a former classmate of Art, not having seen much of him over the past five years, I was curious to see how he had grown, what platform he would be running on, and how he was all of a sudden in the political limelight so shortly after college.

I was also curious to see how Democratic nominee and current state representative Jim Crawford, a former teacher of Art’s and mine, would perform in the debate (it has been 10 years since his tutelage).

Perhaps I expected more people from Westbrook High School to show up, particularly alumni, many of whom have been supporting Art on Facebook for months now. But the vast majority of the audience were 40+ years of age. This bothers me.

Those who did show up hopefully found, as I did, that the race for this local position is not the circus that we see every four years between presidential hopefuls on national television.

Jim Crawford spoke earnestly and lucidly, Art Lineras displayed true passion and surprising competence in the debate despite his youth and some overblown attacks on his former teacher, and Green Party hopeful Melissa Schlag demonstrated experience and thorough, detailed knowledge of every point covered, albeit vaguely radical at times.

What impressed me most was Crawford’s determination to stick to the subject, often having the original question repeated prior to rebutting. This was often done following Linares, who frequently strayed from the topic in order to attack Crawford’s record or talk about job creation.

Although the debate did become heated at a point between Crawford and Linares - after Linares accused Crawford of “turning his back” on the district and not caring about our safety - for the most part things were quite civil. Linares seemed to be picking a fight with Crawford the whole time, but perhaps he was simply being audacious in his youth and fighting to overcome inexperience.

Regardless, those who were present for this debate were presented three clear options for this November, and it is a shame that so few young audience members were in attendance.

I am not someone who regularly participates in political discourse with anyone but my own family, but I was excited and proud to attend, and I learned a lot and found a greater interest for local politics.

All discussions that took place were thought-provoking and engaging, much to my amazement, so these debates should not be feared by anyone with a phobia of politics. It is my hope that my age group will represent itself better at next week’s debate at Morgan High School. But don’t worry - I will be putting my money where my mouth is and telling everyone I see. Such events are, after all, how one best determines one’s vote.

-- Nick White

Rachel October 19, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Democrats for Schlag! "like" on FB https://www.facebook.com/pages/Democrats-for-Schlag/483213878366179
Alyson Roberts October 19, 2012 at 11:38 PM
The next debate is October 24th at The Morgan School and is being sponsored by The Morgan School Political Club. The State House debate starts at 6:30, followed by the State Senate debate at 7:30. There will be a 15 minute break at 7:15 in between the two debates.
Bruce Farmer October 20, 2012 at 12:45 AM
In my opinion, If you check out Mr. Crawford's voting record, he has not voted in favor of our district's residents or businesses, especially the small businesses which make up the majority of businesses in our district. Not one thing on his record in the way of incentives or tax breaks for small or large business except the UCONN Health Center. He says Ct.'s manufacturing jobs are NOT coming back !! - If he believes that - he will not help us will he. He is loved by the environmentalists but he voted for the bad land swap deal in Haddem - which would have pushed polluted land on us. He voted for the bus route from Hartford to New Britain (cost $700 million+) which will not bring us jobs and the ridership will not develop the revenue to pay for it !! Mr. Crawford says he is proud of his voting record and that he studies each bill before voting - if he does, he does not get the big picture. We need less gov't - less spending - business incentives and tax breaks and oh yes this WILL lead to more jobs. His negative voting record goes on and on. Art Linares gets my vote !!
Jane Scully Welch October 20, 2012 at 05:26 PM
I can not imagine Mr Linares in the Senate. He is yes, young, good looking and well schooled in his Tea Party talking points. But as far as experience...he seems lacking, Oh I know he grows jobs... founded his own company... all very admirable....but is there no other office in Westbrook he might have run for before the State Senate?.....he is in a hurry to get to the top I believe. He was rude to his former teacher and opponent and basically ignored Melissa Schlag during the debate. And I am told he graduated from a school in Florida......so he really hasn't lived in Connecticut as an adult, but this past year.....Folks...he is 23...do you remember when you were 23?? He will I am sure have a bright future...but get on some local committees or commissions and see how this whole government thing actually works from the ground up! And as Nick White says above...young voters go as well to this next debate at The Morgan School and see for yourself and vote accordingly. Jim Crawford has the experience and he is not just another politician........he's been in the service, served as a teacher, State Rep, small business owner...he has a resume!!! And most importantly...he cares about the people in this district!!!
Jay October 20, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Linares did not found his own company... Daddy set up the outfit and gave his offspring a no show position like he did a few years ago with some kind of failed gift wrap franchise. Linares is a joke as a candidate .
Bruce Farmer October 20, 2012 at 11:26 PM
You can NOT ignore Mr. Crawford's voting record as I stated above - he is NOT and never will be voting in favor of Ct. residents or businesses - check the facts !!
Bruce Farmer October 21, 2012 at 12:12 AM
For the record, Art is among several young people who have run for public office in Ct. and around the country - he also worked in Washington,D.C. for Marco Rubio after graduating from college at Miami U. and he CO-FOUNDED his solar company in the basement of his family's home. At the last debate he did NOT ignore Ms. Schlag. I was there and I know that they are friendly politicians as reflected in prior debates. Art has knocked on over 7,000 doors and is committed to our district's residents and businesses and I can tell you "he is no joke". Art was the first candidate to write a letter to Gov.Malloy asking him to put a "hold" on the early release prisoner program that Mr. Crawford voted for. Mr. Crawford also said some VERY negative comments about Art prior to the last debate which are NOT true and Mr. Crawford knows it !! At the last debate - Art had every right to defend himself and his family.
Jane Scully Welch October 21, 2012 at 06:21 PM
sooo...Art graduated from Miami University...good to know...only Westbrook High School is listed in any of his promos...I think he is a fine young man...I just wish at his age he would get some experience in Town affairs in Westbrook...work at the local level and gain experience.....I was at the debate too and thought he was lacking in posture....and gosh...I am not talking about saying mean things about the other candidates.....this is a race for the State Senate...not Student Council. Again Jim Crawford has the experience and the resume and cares about us all...this is not a stepping stone for him!
Bruce Farmer October 21, 2012 at 11:54 PM
You can go on line and check on Jim Crawford's voting record. In my opinion, he has not voted in favor of our district's residents or businesses at all to date. Jim may care about us verbally but his actual record does NOT reflect it. His record is as follows: Voted for the polluted land swap deal in Haddam Voted for the bus route to no where - waste of millions Voted for tax increases on the middle class 3 times Voted in favor of the Unonn Healthcenter but NO votes in favor of incentives OR tax breaks of any kind for any other large businesses or more importantly our small businesses which make up 85% of all businesses in our district. The worst decision of all is his vote in favor of the prisoner "early release program" which puts our citizens at risk every day !! The list of his votes that do not contribute to our citizens or economy goes on and on. He has no plan or idea of how to create jobs,improve our economy or reduce spending - in fact - he has helped to increase spending on projects we can't afford nor do they make sense. He said that the manufacturing jobs we lost are never coming back so if he believes this he will not help us. He also said that the public job sector is doing fine !! This is NOT the resume of a fiscally responsible candidate nor of someone who will create jobs or work to cut expenses.
JustSayin November 07, 2012 at 03:14 AM
(art graduated from university of tampa, not miami u)

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