At LWV Debate, Three 3rd District Democratic Candidates Seek Support to Challenge Turner

At the League of Women voters debate last night, I thought all three of the candidates showed poise and were well spoken.  David Esrati, Guy Fogle, and Joe Roberts — all three, to me, presented themselves as credible potential U.S. Congressmen.  The three are vying to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for Congress for Ohio’s 3rd District in the July 13 special Democratic Primary.  The Party’s nominee will challenge the Republican incumbent, Mike Turner, in the November general election.

Lynn Hulsey of the Dayton Daily News sat in the front, and before the debate showed me her new laptop computer, a Dell.  Her article this morning is headlined, “Three Democrats in primary express contrasting views,” and the article points out some differences in what the candidates had to say about such questions as to how to bring jobs to the region or what to do about Afghanistan.

The debate was held at the Democratic Headquarters at Wilkinson Street in downtown Dayton, and I thought the crowd a little thin — maybe 40 people — particularly, since prior to the debate there had been a fundraiser at the same location for party chairman, Mark Owens, Clerk of Courts.

I felt that, during the debate, David Esrati spoke with the most conviction and the most passion. I think David showed the most capacity to be an inspiring speaker.  Guy Fogel spoke in the most personal manner, telling, for example, advice he received from his father as his father lay on his deathbed.  Guy, I think, showed the most capacity to connect with listeners.  Joe Roberts showed a good understanding of the issues, and a good deal of maturity.

At a couple of points in the debate, Esrati referred to the 25 year old Roberts as being “naive.”  But I thought, in terms of how Roberts conducted himself in the debate, that assessment didn’t hold up. Roberts, I thought, showed a lot of maturity in his comments and demeanor.  It helps that Roberts, in his appearance, would probably be guessed more like age 35, than age 25.

The debate format was the usual LWV style:  an opening statement from each candidate, then questions that each candidate had two minutes to answer, the order of answers rotating, and, finally, a three minute concluding statement by each candidate.  The questions came from the LWV, but also from the candidates and audience members.

I particularly liked the question that asked, “What book has most influenced you?” Guy Fogle had the first answer and cited a book in the Bible, Phillipians, saying that in the turmoil of his cancer and bankruptcy, the book’s emphasis on joy had uplifted his thinking and perspective.  Joe Roberts cited a biography of Andrew Jackson, whose title I didn’t catch, and explained his admiration for Jackson.  David Esrati cited a small book written by his father, “Dear Son, Do You Really Want to Be An American,” available free on his web-site, and explained the book’s background and its impact on him.

Of course, in such a format, there will be some contrasting views, as Hulsey’s DDN headline proclaims, but I don’t think most voters who listen to the debate would really focus on the differences. Instead, the debate was an opportunity for listeners to evaluate who of the three would be the most effective campaigner and who could be the most effective congressman.

In my view, just in terms of how they handled themselves, Guy Fogle came out a little ahead of the other two — a little more down to earth, a little more personable.  But, I thought all three did a good job.

Later today, thanks to the efforts of David Esrati, a complete video of the debate will be available on Esrati’s web-site, and everyone who wants to invest 90 minutes in watching the entire debate can judge for him or herself.  I intend on watching the video when it is available and making more comments.

Esrati’s blog this morning says, “If Dayton had fiber for internet service, I’d have the video up from last nights debate already- however, because our country thinks building schools, hospitals and roads in Afghanistan is more important than the critical data infrastructure for the new economy- uploading 90 minutes of compressed video will take all night tonight.”

Esrati makes a strong point that his dedication to and practice in writing about issues on his blog gives him an advantage over the other candidates.  Esrati writes:

This is already at 1000 words and has taken 45 minutes to write. This is the kind of dedication and communication my readers are used to seeing. There may be others of you- who are finding this for the first time. This is the kind of communication- with the ability to comment – and discuss- that I would continue to deliver if you deliver me to Congress. Try commenting on Mr. Robert’s site,  or Guy Fogle’s- or even Mike Turner’s. In fact- note that Mr. Robert’s site main function is a plea for cash- while mine is to inform you.

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7 Responses to At LWV Debate, Three 3rd District Democratic Candidates Seek Support to Challenge Turner

  1. john b says:

    i’ll paste my comment from the other thread here about my thoughts:
    after last night’s debate, i’m not entirely decided, but i’m leaning towards guy fogle. roberts seems to be a straight dem party man and will just be a puppet and esrati REALLY turned me off with his racist comments about afghanis (“they’re used to living in caves, they don’t need schools” etc). fogle’s perspective of having been hit directly by the recession, housing crisis and our crappy health care system means that at least he has some first-hand knowledge of many things that need to be fixed though i wasn’t convinced that he has a powerful grasp of specific policy.

  2. David Esrati says:

    Robert’s book choice was: American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (New York Times Notable Books)
    @John B. I agree that wasn’t my best line of the night- which is why it made it into the DDN- they want Roberts to run against Turner so Turner can win even bigger.
    I’m not a racist. I am a realist- and until we decriminalize drugs- Afghanistan will be run by drug lords.
    As the only veteran- and one who served with Special Forces- I can tell you more about the history of Afghanistan than most.
    Why we are spending billions there- while our country is in a depression is a crime.
    Also- if you really have an opinion worth stating- try using your full name- instead of hiding behind John B.
    This won’t be the land of the free- unless some brave people start taking a position openly about how corrupt our system has become.

  3. john b says:

    does my opinion carry less worth because i didn’t put my last name? should i put my address? my birthday? my employer? isn’t it enough to say that i was one of the few dozen people who came to the forum last night? i was one of even less who is under 30. and one of two to ride a bike to the event.

    anyhow, the comment in question shone a light on an ugly side of your character, and you don’t seem too keen to apologize for it. i don’t like that in a potential representative of mine.

    and for the record, i agree with most of your positions (possibly moreso than with the other candidates). but i cannot stand for that sort of bigoted attitude as a representative of my interests.

    maybe it was a mistake and you don’t really mean it. but i haven’t seen any evidence of that yet.

  4. David Esrati says:

    I’ve said that I didn’t like my response either.
    It wasn’t meant as bigoted. But, I don’t see “western civilization” as the only form of “civilization”- in fact, I find that our fascination with material wealth – measured by numbers of cars, television sets and square feet of “home” to be a poor way to measure “wealth.”
    I commend you for riding your bike. If I hadn’t had to bring my 82 year old mother, a video camera and tripod and a camera operator- I would have come via scooter.
    No one that knows me would call me a bigot.
    Unless- when it comes to stupid people- whom I have very little use for.

  5. john b says:

    then what exactly did you mean when you said it? do you think that “those people” are used to living in caves? i can empathize with saying things that you don’t mean when in an intense debate. which is why i’d like for you to clarify/re-think what it is that you’ve said. so far you just said that you “didn’t like [your] response.” that in no way implies that you don’t believe. just that you didn’t like that you said it.

    did you mean like you implied above that we shouldn’t try to impart our own measures of civility on the afghani people? if so, then say so.

  6. David Esrati says:

    There are parts of Afghanistan where caves and tents are the norm. There are parts that are urbanized- but, the point is- they don’t have to look like our country- to be considered an ok place to live. We don’t have to homogenize the world, or apply our standards. Democracy isn’t always the best solution for every culture.
    We should have never attacked Iraq. The targets in Afghanistan were Al Queda and Bin Laden. The Taliban- maybe. However, the drug trade in Afghanistan is what rules the economy- and as long as drugs are illegal here- we will always be on the losing side of a battle with our vendor.
    Talking in two minutes about complex subjects is never easy- that’s why I write around 500 words a day for people on my positions. You won’t get that from other candidates.

  7. David Esrati says:

    The video has been uploaded but is still processing. Check to see if it’s completed

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