Wrap-up from Barnes-Deal-Monds debate

There weren’t too many surprises in Saturday’s debate with Democrat Roy Barnes, Republican Nathan Deal and Libertarian John Monds. We started with a trio of questions about health care — the event was sponsored by the Medical Association of Georgia — but also touched on the economy, taxes, immigration, education and water (in which retiredds’s question about plans A, B and C made an appearance!) in what felt like a very short hour. I really appreciate all the questions y’all submitted, and I’ll incorporate more of them as I meet with the candidates during the rest of the campaign.

Moderating a debate leaves little time for thorough note-taking, so I’m trying to track down a transcript or copy of the video to confirm a few things I think I heard that may be of interest. In the meantime, I direct your attention to the following write-ups and video clips in case you missed it.

First, from the AJC’s Aaron Gould Sheinin:

Given the sponsor’s focus, the questions were dominated by health care matters. Barnes and Deal agreed on much, including the need to create incentives to attract primary care physicians to rural parts of the state. But they differed on many other topics.

On tort reform, Deal decried a state Supreme Court ruling in March that struck down limits on jury awards in medical malpractice cases created by a landmark 2005 state law. The former congressman said the state should amend its constitution to re-create the limits.

Voters, he said, “would overwhelmingly say yes because they understand the practical consequences of it.”

But Barnes said he was firmly against amending the constitution and said juries and judges should be trusted.

“Generally, the jury does the right thing,” Barnes said. “Occasionally, they get cranked up and don’t. And in those cases we give judges the right to correct that.”

Barnes said he also favors “cracking down on frivolous cases” through fines and awarding of attorneys fees to parties who are subject to such suits.

Monds’ view came closest to that of Barnes, although he said he wasn’t familiar with the Supreme Court ruling.

“In any instance that you can, the people should be trusted and given the ability to allow their judgment to prevail,” he said, “whether it’s in the voting process or in cases with these damages.”

Shannon McCaffrey of the Associated Press also noted the exchange about stem-cell research:

Barnes said that Deal would harm economic development in the state by moving to restrict embryonic stem cell research.

“I don’t oppose embryonic stem cell research,” Deal replied. “I oppose creating life for the purpose of taking that life.”

The Barnes camp fired back after the forum by listing several votes Deal had taken in Congress opposing the research.

Barnes hammered Deal again on the issue later in the forum saying that if the state moved to halt the creation of embryos for scientific research it would bring cutting edge embryonic stem cell research “to a screeching halt.” in the state.

“Are we going to be a modern state or are we going to go backward?” Barnes asked.

Deal said he backs the use of cord blood which he said could serve the same scientific end. He said the state should move to support research that is “scientifically appropriate as well as morally appropriate.”

Based on my conversations with, and emails from, the campaigns afterward, I don’t expect this issue to go away.

WXIA-TV (11 Alive) had a live stream of the event but its archived footage is limited. Here’s a report that focuses on education and immigration. (Note: I have been fiddling with the embed code for a while now and am just going to post this with the link for now…I’ll update with the video in the post if I can get it to work.)

I think it’s safe to say the real fireworks are yet to come.

44 comments Add your comment

Jefferson

August 30th, 2010
11:42 am

Stem cells should be the last thing on the Governor’s mind. Revenue is the leading concern. Waste of time on the “social engineering” topics. This is the problem, they should deal with problems instead of “issues”.

Good job Kyle, btw.

Kyle Wingfield

August 30th, 2010
11:43 am

Road Scholar

August 30th, 2010
12:05 pm

Jefferson: If Stem cells are used within business and research, then it is revenue producing! All Deal has said to date is that we need to cut programs and taxes, not increase revenues.

CJ

August 30th, 2010
12:06 pm

Speaking of revenue, this recent report (PDF), “Advancing Georgia’s 1930s Tax System to the Modern Day” from the Georgia Budget and Policy institute is definitely worth a read:

http://www.gbpi.org/documents/20100825.pdf

Aquagirl

August 30th, 2010
12:08 pm

Stem cells *are* a revenue issue. We can’t attract biotech jobs when we have GRTL obsessing over frozen blastocysts, the vast majority of which will end up being destroyed. When you have a Governor who would approve this legislation, it directly impacts revenue. Who would establish a research facility here when the Governor backs this sort of nonsense?

I agree it should be the last thing on the Governors mind—along with microchip implants and gay marriage.

LA

August 30th, 2010
12:31 pm

Aquagirl

Unless you are a doctor, not you nor anyone in congress knows anything about stem cells.

md

August 30th, 2010
12:31 pm

“Stem cells *are* a revenue issue. We can’t attract biotech jobs when we have GRTL obsessing over frozen blastocysts, the vast majority of which will end up being destroyed.”

Vast majority?? And what of the ones that aren’t??

As for economic impact, may as well start with euthanasia – that should eliminate quite a bit of spending. Then we can go after the poor – more savings to boost the economy. Then eliminate all prisons by getting rid of the scum inside.

That saved enough yet? All economic impacts.

But I’m guessing somebodies “definitions” won’t allow for those savings – let’s define the unborn as a “blastocyst”, then everything well be hunky dory.

LA

August 30th, 2010
12:32 pm

“If Stem cells are used within business and research, then it is revenue producing! ”

It really is sad when bloggers, with zero experience in dealing with anything medical, come in and post their opinions on a subject in which no one knows anything about.

I bet you took Al Gore seriously too.

jconservative

August 30th, 2010
12:48 pm

I have heard of voting for the lesser of two evils but voting for the dumbest of three dummies is a new one.

barking frog

August 30th, 2010
12:58 pm

1. If you set award limits on medical malpractice, why not
set award limits on all lawsuits. why should just the
medical insurers be protected? don’t auto insurers
deserve protection, also?
2. stem cell research should be like 1st trimester abortion.
government keep out.

Aquagirl

August 30th, 2010
1:02 pm

LA, It really is sad when politicians, with zero experience in dealing with anything medical, come in and pass laws on a subject in which no one knows anything about.

I bet you take Nathan Deal seriously too.

For the record, I prefer leaving science to scientists, not politicians, special interest groups, or radio talk show hosts. The Republican mileage obviously varies.

Ayn Rant

August 30th, 2010
1:45 pm

Thanks for keeping us informed, Kyle.

Unfortunately, the politicians avoided the issues that matter and chose to tilt at all the old irrelevant windmills: stem cells, excessive claims awards, etc.

How did they get away with avoiding significant issues? Why did the journalists present allow this?

Aquagirl

August 30th, 2010
2:09 pm

Not being snarky, Ayn, but what do you think they should have covered? It was, after all, sponsored by the Medical Association of Georgia. Tort reform and laws concerning stem cell research are within the power of the State government. They affect our State economy.

I didn’t catch the debate but have a hard time imagining Kyle tossing softball questions to candidates.

Intown

August 30th, 2010
2:41 pm

Sounds like you were able to keep the debate on the issues for the most part. But, priority of focus was wrong (thanks in part to sponsor of event.) Folks who understand the real issues facing this State would put them as follows: (1) Water supply; (2) Transportation; (3) Education.

LA

August 30th, 2010
2:51 pm

“I bet you take Nathan Deal seriously too.’

Nope, I can’t stand him.

LA

August 30th, 2010
2:51 pm

“The Republican mileage obviously varies.”

And the Democrats don’t?

No More Progressives!

August 30th, 2010
3:09 pm

Aquagirl

August 30th, 2010
1:02 pm

For the record, I prefer leaving science to scientists, not politicians, special interest groups, or radio talk show hosts. The Republican mileage obviously varies.

And therein lies the problem. There is no venture capital flowing into stem cell research. Why? Probably because the private side is scared that once they’ve got a zillion dollars invested, the Feds will regulate it out of existence.

So what you have is the Federal Government, confiscating money from all or us as taxes, giving it back to select “research” firms as a reward for acceptable behaviour.

That’s not revenue. Revenue is earned.

PS: Differentiate between embryonic and cord blood stem cells, please.

Jefferson Jackson

August 30th, 2010
4:29 pm

Tort reform is a bigger issue than many of you think. As a retired attorney I guarantee you there are legions of lawyers out there for whom the “pursuit of justice” equates to the “pursuit of money” and the client be damned. They will talk a cliient into lawsuit when a settlement would be best for everybody. A lot of these so-called “plaintiff’s attorneys” are nothing more than charlatans.

josef nix

August 30th, 2010
4:51 pm

Kyle

Please do find us a transcript…I’m interested in Monds’ responses and, well, no offense meant, but the only way I’m going to find out is to go to a transcript. Seriously, have you been looking at the range of those who are considering him…?

LA

August 30th, 2010
4:53 pm

You know things are bad when Jay Bookman is screaming that Obama is a Christian and Cynthia Tucker copies and pastes a piece from a bankrupt magazine that states the GOP will make the economy worse than Obozo.

LA

August 30th, 2010
4:54 pm

“Tort reform is a bigger issue than many of you think.”

Yes it is. It is one of the biggest reasons health insurance is high and doctors are fleeing the medical field.

JF McNamara

August 30th, 2010
5:05 pm

LA, I fixed what your wrote to be accurate.

You know things are bad when Jay Bookman needs to write an article proclaiming that Obama is a Christian which he clearly is and Cynthia Tucker copies and pastes a piece from NewsWeek that states the GOP will make the economy worse than Obama because the American people are too brainwashed by Republican propaganda to know otherwise despite the fact that Republican policies led us to financial ruin in the beginning.

LA

August 30th, 2010
5:38 pm

“LA, I fixed what your wrote to be accurate.”

Left wing retards are clueless.

No More Progressives!

August 30th, 2010
6:15 pm

“……too brainwashed by Republican propaganda to know otherwise despite the fact that Republican policies……”

Name the top (or bottom)3 policies:

1.
2.
3.

Mike

August 30th, 2010
6:54 pm

I’ve voted Democrat my whole life, but I know a snake when I see one, and I never voted for Barnes the first time around. I didn’t vote for Guy Milner that year either. I voted Libertarian, and I will again. Barnes is, in my opinion, a snake in the grass. He won’t get this teacher’s vote. I could smell him before he was first elected governor, and I didn’t like what I smelled.

Teachers: Do not vote for Barnes. You’ll regret it. He will stab us in the back again.

Mike

August 30th, 2010
6:56 pm

I bet the AJC is going to endorse Barnes, just like they did before.

Roy Barnes: the first Democrat governor to lose to a Republican in over a HUNDRED YEARS.

And his flag was ugly too.

josef nix

August 30th, 2010
7:12 pm

Mike
Believe me, Flag Boy won’t get THIS teacher’s vote…

Jason T

August 30th, 2010
7:35 pm

LA

August 30th, 2010
4:53 pm
“You know things are bad when Jay Bookman is screaming that Obama is a Christian and Cynthia Tucker copies and pastes a piece from a bankrupt magazine that states the GOP will make the economy worse than Obozo”

Amen, LA, Amen!!!

Scott

August 30th, 2010
7:57 pm

@LA

Left wing retards are clueless, Obozo…you really need some new material for ALL of those screen names…lol

LA

August 30th, 2010
8:15 pm

“Left wing retards are clueless, Obozo…you really need some new material for ALL of those screen names…lol”

What screen names, ma’am?

Steel Magnolia

August 30th, 2010
9:58 pm

josef- I watched the debate and I was surprised by the lack of substance in John Monds answers.To say that we need less government is interesting but we need specifics and he gave none. This was my first exposure to John Monds besides his website and I frankly expected more .I hope he can articulate his ideas in future debates to give us something (and someone) to support.

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
6:52 am

Steek Magnolia
Thanks for the response. I have only heard him in one interview of any length and he is not the most dynamic speakers, that’s for sure…he did in that interview address some of my issues and was on some and not others…my own support of him comes mainly from the fact that I couldn’t vote for either of the other two and still sleep at night…

I do believe that if he were given more media coverage and the opportunity (and demand) to answer and state a more cohesive platform…

On the other hand, with no exposure and nothing to say, the number of votes he gets should be a good indicator of how fed up we voters are with bidness as usual!

jm

August 31st, 2010
8:53 am

Deal is an idiot. Do we have to debate anew a topic, that while important, is way down the list of real priorities, like stem cell research?

I think Roy is correct on this one – it just highlights Deal’s willingness to hang onto social issues when the nation (the tea party in particular) is now focused on fiscal issues. We want jobs, we want businesses, and that means get things done and ditch the social issue BS.

Mike

August 31st, 2010
9:07 am

The Tea Party is disingenuous. They should have formed during TARP, Trillion-dollar wars, big government that grew, etc., all during the Bush years.

Here’s what I think: Had McCain won and done exactly what Obama is doing, the people who are Tea Partiers would support it.

The Tea Party and the Republican Party are the same party.

Port O'John

August 31st, 2010
10:17 am

Years ago Georgia passed one of the strictest medical malpractice laws in the country making it very difficult to bring a lawsuit against a doctor or hospital for malpractice. We were told that this was necessary to stop the “explosion” in med mal cases — despite that medical malpractice cases dropped by over 40% in the ’90’s according to the DOJ study on medical malpractice.

What’s happened in Georgia? No drop in med mal premiums that’s for sure. Could it be that insurance companies keep the rates high to cover poor investments and keep the profits rolling in?

Of course not. Insurance companies are never motivated by profit.

LA

August 31st, 2010
10:52 am

“The Tea Party is disingenuous. They should have formed during TARP, Trillion-dollar wars, big government that grew, etc., all during the Bush years.”

Guess Mike is a retard. Mike doesn’t realize that the conservatives sat home in 2006 and let the RINO’s get their a$$es slaughtered by the demos.

LA

August 31st, 2010
10:53 am

“We want jobs, we want businesses’

And you think an ambulance chasing democrat is gonna bring in jobs? LOL

LA

August 31st, 2010
10:56 am

Liberals are hypocrites in the highest degree. They scream and shout at rich people but never say a word about wealthy left wing retards who’ve ripped tax payers off.

John FU Kerry: number one wealthiest guy in congress.

Wealthy lawmakers increased their riches as economy sputtered in ‘09

The wealthiest members of Congress grew richer in 2009 even as the economy struggled to recover from a deep recession.

The 50 wealthiest lawmakers were worth almost $1.4 billion in 2009, about $85.1 million more than 12 months earlier, according to The Hill’s annual review of lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) tops the list for the second year in a row. His minimum net worth was $188.6 million at the end of 2009, up by more than $20 million from 2008, according to his financial disclosure form.

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/116489-wealthy-lawmakers-increased-their-riches-as-economy-sputtered-in-2009-

Cekker

August 31st, 2010
11:13 am

That Luckovich cartoon today is disgraceful. He is too chicken to even let people post. Loser.

Jefferson

August 31st, 2010
11:18 am

Roy is just in the right place at the right time.

AmVet

August 31st, 2010
11:32 am

24 hours and only 40 posts at the Wingfield Morgue?

Not good, not good.

And 11 of them are from the right wing’s self-appointed brain-trust!

Kyle, do you think it could be the stench of LA (retard!) keeping most people away from here?

The other two AJC forums get that many posts in ten minutes.

Too funny…

LA

August 31st, 2010
12:10 pm

“Kyle, do you think it could be the stench of LA (retard!) keeping most people away from here?”

It was only a matter of time before the draft dodging dog dung of Bookman’s blog showed her true colors.

And yes, the left wing retards of Bookman’s blog stay far away because their daddy can’t help them over here. People like you are not used to having to defend yourself without the help of the moderator. Sucks for you, ScumVet.

“The other two AJC forums get that many posts in ten minutes.”

That’s because 90% of Bookman’s bloggers, you included, are on welfare and therefore have all the time in the world to blog.

LA

August 31st, 2010
12:10 pm

“24 hours and only 40 posts at the Wingfield Morgue?”

Nothing like a draft dodger to lighten up the blog.

[...] in case you missed Saturday’s gubernatorial debate, AJC columnist Kyle Wingfield has provided a recap of coverage: There weren’t too many surprises in Saturday’s debate with [...]