Md. Senate candidates bicker in debate
AP - Maryland's Senate candidates bickered over embryonic stem cell research and the war in Iraq during a televised debate Wednesday as each sought to portray himself as the most independent.
The three candidates — Democratic Rep. Ben Cardin, Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and Kevin Zeese, nominee of the Libertarian, Green and Populist parties — disagreed, sometimes angrily, over who was best suited to replace retiring Democrat Paul Sarbanes.
Actor Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, has backed Cardin for his support of government funding of embryonic stem cell research, an endorsement some Republicans have called inappropriate.
Steele said he supported most kinds of stem cell research, but not when the research destroys a human embryo. He also said criticisms of Fox's endorsement were "over the line."
Cardin, who beat former Rep. and NAACP president Kweisi Mfume in the primary, mentioned that he voted against going to war in Iraq and would fight President Bush and GOP leaders.
"You keep saying you voted against the war in Iraq. We applaud you for that," said Steele, who went on to criticize how Cardin has voted since then.
Moderator Bruce DePuyt of Washington-area TV station WJLA asked Steele if he thought Cardin made the correct vote against the war.
"No. I think it was a wrong-headed vote. But he stood for something," Steele said.
Zeese, a former spokesman for frequent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, called his opponents the hand-picked choices of major party leaders.
The three debate Thursday at an NAACP forum, and Cardin and Steele meet Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press."
BOSTON (AP) — Republican Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, trailing badly in the polls, warned in a debate Wednesday that tax-happy Democrats already are celebrating victory by her opponent.
"All around the Statehouse this week there's just been a buzz which is, `We're so excited that Deval Patrick will be our next governor, because he's going to be a rubber stamp for every single spending proposal that we have,'" Healey said, adding that Patrick would have to raise taxes to pay for more than $8 billion in spending proposals.
Patrick said he will cut $730 million worth of "inefficiencies" from the state budget and curbing legislative spending on pet projects that totals $500 million.
A WHDH-TV/Suffolk University survey released Tuesday showed 53 percent of voters favoring Patrick, double Healey's 26 percent. Independent candidate Christy Mihos and Grace Ross of the Green-Rainbow Party were in single digits, and the margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Healey has hammered Patrick, who headed the Justice Department's civil rights division under President Clinton, as soft on crime, citing Patrick's letters in support of a parole bid by a rapist. A recent commercial depicts a woman being stalked as she walks in a dark parking garage and says of Patrick, "He should be ashamed — not governor."
Healey defended the ad and others before it.
"I have always felt these weren't negative ads. These were ads that presented negative information and important information," she said hours before the debate.
The candidates have their final debate Nov. 1, six days before the election.
Associated Press Writer Glen Johnson contributed to this report.
Last edited by ballz2wallz; 10-26-2006 at 08:29 AM..