Home 2015 elections Video: Democratic Debate for the 45th House of Delegates District

Video: Democratic Debate for the 45th House of Delegates District

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Here’s video from last night’s Democratic debate for the 45th House of Delegates district, held at the Alexandria Country Day Schoool. The candidates are Julie Jakopic, Mark Levine, Larry Altenburg, Clarence Tong and Craig Fifer. The first video is a question about the ethics issues raised by the resignation of (former) Del. David Englin and the egregious behavior of (former) Del. Joe Morrissey. More video – opening and closing statements, questions on taxes, Medicaid expansion, voting reform, police misconduct, local government, education, transportation, the environment, etc. in the comments section. Also, I may or may not end up grading this (depends how much time I’ve got today), but my initial impression was that the top three in this debate were (in no particular order) Mark Levine, Craig Fifer and Julie Jakopic, all of whom deserve “A” grades. I like Larry Altenburg and agree with much of what he has to say, but we are definitely not in sync on tax policy or on the importance of a delegate from this district helping to elect Democrats across Virginia (he thinks the latter is NOT the job of the delegate from the 45th; I strongly disagree). As for Clarence Tong, he’s a good guy, very smart, and we agree on the vast majority of issues, but he’s clearly not particularly comfortable with debating (or public speaking generally, for that matter)…

P.S. In the question on ethics, Jakopic ripped Joe Morrissey as a “pedophile” who “harassed that employee,” and said there’s “no excuse” for having him as an elected official. Tong said it’s right to have a “high expectation” for our elected officials. Fifer said incarceration should be incompatible with service in the General Assembly, also finds it “a lot more offensive that the voters keep electing Joe Morrissey and some lawfully serving Republicans with terrible ideas.” Altenburg said “criminals should not be serving…in legislative office,” legislators should be “role models,” it’s reprehensible that people keep electing criminals. Levine says non-criminal behavior should not force someone against their will to leave office, that ex-felons should have a chance to serve, that non-violent drug crimes don’t “bother me.”