Debate for the State: U.S. House

Incumbent Republican candidate Don Young and Democratic nominee Harry Crawford came to the KAKM studios for the 2010 edition of  Debate for the State, brought to you by Alaska Public Broadcasting.

Alaska Public Radio Network‘s Libby Casey served as moderator for Debate for the State. APRN‘s Lori Townsend and Dermot Cole from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner also participated as panelists in the debate on October 27.

Here is the complete audio from U.S. House debate with questions listed below.

Q 1  (2:00)
Demot Cole – Don Young

Only 12 percent of Americans think Congress has done a good job, and 62 percent of Americans say all of Congress should be replaced. That’s according to a national Rasmussen poll released today. So explain to us why you should be re-elected?

Q 2 (3:00)
Demot Cole – Harry Crawford

Representative Crawford, what would you actually do to make things different if you got to Washington?

Q3 (4:46)
Lori Townsend – Don Young

Submitted by Sue Sprinkle of Fairbanks:

She points out that you’ve spent more than 1 million dollars on lawyers who’ve helped you fend off Justice Department investigations. Those are now over, so Ms. Sprinkle wants to know what you were defending yourself against. She says it’s important for her to know before Alaskans decide whether to send you back to Washington.

Download Audio (MP3)

Q4 (5:48)
Lori Townsend – Harry Crawford

You have been so focused on criticizing Mr. Young – have you failed to focus on your own platform? Have you shown voters who Harry Crawford is?

Q 5 (6:53)
Libby Casey – Harry Crawford

Back in June when Congressman Young said the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico was not an environmental disaster, you argued that it was. Given the situation now, do you still hold to that?

Q 6 (8:10)
Libby Casey – Don Young

Since you made that statement in June, a lot of oil continued to flow… do you stand by your comments that it wasn’t an environmental disaster?

Q 7 (8:46)
Dermot Cole – Don Young and Harry Crawford

Private contractors now make up more than 50 percent of the Department of Defense presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. The reliance on security contractors is expected to grow as the number of American forces declines. Is this a problem for the United States?

Q 8
Dermot Cole – Don Young and Harry Crawford

As a 30 second follow-up, what are our next steps in the region as the U-S looks to withdrawal?

LIGHTNING ROUND (:15 sec answers)

Q 9 (14:11)
Lori Townsend – Harry Crawford and Don Young

David Lewis of Kachemak Bay asks if you support a national war tax that everybody would pay when the nation goes to war?

Q 10 (15:00)
Libby Casey – Don Young and Harry Crawford

Should we restate the draft to get more people invested in the wars we’re facing?

Q 11 (15:46)
Dermot Cole – Don Youg

I’ve been told you carry a knife in Washington, D.C. Why?

Q 12 (16:24)
Dermot Cole – Harry Crawford

What unique insights have you gained from your career as an iron worker that prepares you for politics?

Q 13 (16:57)
Lori Townsend – Dong Young and Harry Crawford

Do you support a subsistence priority for Alaska Natives who move to cities?

Q 14 (18:28)
Libby Casey – Harry Crawford and Don Young

The leader of U.S. House Republicans, Congressman John Boehner, has called for the “defunding” of public broadcasting – do you agree?

Q 15 (19:30)
Dermot Cole – Don Young and Harry Crawford

Should we extend the Bush Era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, that’s those making more than 200 thousand dollars?


Q 16 (20:49)
Harry Crawford – Don Young

Do you support the national sales tax, HR 25?

Q 17 (22:51)
Don Youn – Harry Crawford?

In your ten years in the Alaska legislature how many bills did you sponsor and hows many did you pass into law?

Q 18 (24:42)
Harry Crawford – Don Young

Many of the biggest contributors to your campaign are now in jail. Do you feel as though you own anything to your supporters?


Q 19 (27:18)
Lori Townsend – Don Young

You have opposed your party on earmarks, arguing that they are vital for the future of Alaska. Since your party opposes them, how will you have success in getting them approved by Congress?

Q 20 (29:24)
Lori Townsend – Harry Crawford

What’s your response?

Q 21 (30:50)
Dermot Cole – Don Young and Harry Crawford

Did you and the Senate delegation make a critical mistake in 2005 by going for the bridge projects in Ketchikan and Anchorage? They became national symbols of earmark excess and were stopped.

Q22 (33:35)
Dermot Cole – Harry Crawford and Don Young

Do you think the “Road to Nome,” the Susitna Hydro-electric Project, should be supported by federal funds?

Q 23 (34:25)
Libby Casey – Don Young and Harry Crawford

To what extent are humans contributing to climate change through fossil fuel emissions?

Q 24 (36:53)
Lori Townsend – Harry Crawford and Don Young

What’s the future of the Small Business Administration program that gives Alaska Native Corporations an advantage getting no-bid government contracts? The 8-A program is under scrutiny in Washington, and one Senator wants to end it. What do you say?

Q 25 (40:15)
Dermot Cole – Harry Crawford

Senator Mark Begich, who’s relatively new to Washington, says this about seniority: “It gets you a bigger office, better parking space, better seating when you’re in committee” and “you might get more people showing up to fundraisers in Washington DC. Is he correct?

Q 26 (41:21)
Dermot Cole – Don Young

What does your seniority actually get Alaska?

Q 27 (42:22)
Libby Casey – Don Young

You lost your ranking status on the Natural Resources Committee in December, 2008 after Republicans had concerns about the Justice Department investigations. Does that negate your seniority?

Q 28 (43:26)
Libby Casey – Harry Crawford

If you go to Washington, Nancy Pelosi is leader of the House Democrats. Do you feel like you’re aligned with her on many issues? Would you be able to work with her effectively?

Q 29 (44:06)
Demot Cole – Don Young

You have a flair for colorful language but sometimes it gets you into hot water. Do you regret calling Governor Parnell “Captain Zero” when he ran against you?

Q 30 (44:49)
Dermot Cole – Harry Crawford

Polls are showing that Republicans may indeed win the U.S. House. What would that mean to you in Washington?

Q 31 (45:32)
Lori Townsend –  Harry Crawford and Don Young

Access to doctors is becoming a severe problem in Alaska for senior citizens on Medicare. What needs to change?

Q 32 (51:06)
Dermot Cole – Don Young and Harry Crawford

Do you favor tax increases, benefit reductions or do you have other ideas to preserve the Social Security system?

Q 33 (54:40)
Libby Casey – Don Young and Harry Crawford

This question comes to us from a viewer in Fairbanks: What’s your solution to illegal immigration?