47th House of Delegates Debate: Photos and Highlights

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Prior to the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC) debate tonight in the 47th House of Delegates district, I took a photo (click to "embiggen") of the 5 candidates in the race to succeed Del. Al Eisenberg. From left to right, they are: Patrick Hope, Miles Grant, Andres Tobar, Adam Parkhomenko, and Alan Howze.

I mainly concentrated on video, which should be available soon, but for a pretty good photo of Adam Parkhomenko speaking, click here. For one of Alan Howze, click here.

I'd say there were about 150-200 people in attendance tonight, potentially indicative of a large turnout on June 9. I talked to a bunch of people after the debate, and the strong - nearly unanimous - consensus seemed to be that Miles Grant, Alan Howze and Patrick Hope (not necessarily in that order) did very well tonight. I tend to agree, but hopefully you'll be able to judge for yourself from the video as soon as it's uploaded...

UPDATE: Del. Adam Ebbin tweeted the debate. Also, see Brian Devine's tweets.

UPDATE #2: While I'm waiting for the videos to upload, here are a few comments made tonight that caught my attention.

*Alan Howze said his political role model is Mark Warner. Patrick Hope mentioned Bob Kerrey and Hubert Humphrey. Miles Grant pointed to Henry Waxman and Paul Wellstone. Adam Parkhomenko said Hillary Clinton. Andres Tobar named a number of people, including Walter Tejada and Emma Violand-Sanchez.

*Alan Howze cited electric power decoupling in California as an example of something another state has done well. Howze said we need to turn Dominion Power from an adversarial relationship to one where they're playing a constructive role.

*Patrick Hope pointed to a success story with health care in North Carolina, citing $260 million per year in savings on Medicaid expenditures by spending $10 million.

*Andres Tobar said that drivers licenses are a public safety issue, not an immigration issue.

*Alan Howze said coal is the "wrong approach" and emphasized the need to reduce power demand by providing energy efficiency incentives for homeowners and businesses. Patrick Hope said that coal is our past and our present but it does NOT have to be our future. Hope added that we need mandatory renewable portfolio standards, and we need to be a world leader on alternative energy. Andres Tobar said we get half our energy from coal, so we can't move away from it right away.

*Patrick Hope gave a strong answer to a question on women's issues, noting that he's a father of three girls and wants them to have the same opportunities that he's had. Hope says he would be a leader in this area.

*Andres Tobar noted that Arlington has many dynamic, elected women on the school board, county board and in the State Senate. He joked that he's delighted they "gave us guys a chance here" to run for House of Delegates.

*Miles Grant said he was raised to fight for women's rights; he's even got a photo of him when he was a little boy wearing an "ERA Yes!" t-shirt at a rally with his mother. He said he strongly supports a woman's right to choose, and noted with horror that there's a pharmacy in Leesburg that's refusing to fill birth control prescriptions. "We need to take Arlington values to Richmond."

*Adam Parkhomenko pointed to his 6 years working for Hillary Clinton, plus the support of State Sen. Patsy Ticer and Alida Black - as evidence of his commitment to women's issues.

*Alan Howze related that his mother was the victim of sexual discrimination on her job, and said that we need to strengthen workplace protections for women.

*Miles Grant said that universal health care coverage has to be the goal, and that we need to rally people in Arlington and around the state behind national health care.

*Alan Howze called for expansion of electronic medical records, SCHIP, and primary care coverage.

*Patrick Hope stressed the importance of expanding Medicaid eligibility, making it strictly income based. He disputed Miles Grant, arguing that Massachusetts is NOT the model because there's no cost containment.

*Adam Parkhomenko argued that we need a full-time delegate, but none of the other candidates agreed with him. Patrick Hope said that some day, Parkhomenko will settle down, buy a house, and his life will change so that he can't afford to be a full-time delegate. Hope and the other candidates disputed Parkhomenko and said that the position of delegate is designed to be a part-time citizen legislator position. They also emphasized the value of experience coming from working in their "day jobs"

UPDATE: Here's video of Miles Grant talking about the Massachusetts health care situation.