The two major party candidates seeking Iowa’s third district congressional seat met Monday evening in a second debate held at Simpson College in Indianola and carried on KCCI television.
The first question dealt with an issued raised in the first debate and whether Democrat Staci Appel would pull the passports of terrorists. Appel’s statement in that debate saying she would not support pulling the passports is being used in a political ad.
She was asked about her stance. “Let me be absolutely clear, I do not support giving passports to terrorists, we have a State Department that takes care of these problems that has the ability to take passports away. So, making sure tonight, everybody knows, I do not support terrorists having passports,” Appel said.
Republican David Young responded. “In that first debate you said you would not be advocating taking away the passports of terrorists. You can’t take these things back when you are a member of Congress, your vote is your vote. You need to be decisive,” Young said. “You said that, it was on the tape.”
Appel answered back. “Let me be absolutely clear one more time, I do not support giving terrorists passports,” Appel replied. “It’s absolutely absurd to think that a mom of six would think that it’s a good idea to let terrorists have passports. I will do everything possible to keep my family safe and your family safe.” Debate moderator, Kathy Obradovich asked Young if his standard for a member of Congress is there is no room for a misstatement or change of mind. “I think when you vote for and elect a member of Congress you want to vote on their judgment most of all — there’s likability, philosophy — but judgment. Are they going to make the right call and stick to it, or are they going to flip-flop. I’ll stick to it,” Young replied. “So there’s no room for a misstatement or a change in your mind?,” Obradovich asked. “This was more than a misstatement I would say. She said she would not advocate taking away passports from terrorists. That’s pretty cut and dried,” Young said.
The candidates were also asked about a couple of issues the made news Monday. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up challenges to gay marriage laws in 5 states and Appel was asked if Congress should step in and do something. “I think love is love…here in the state of Iowa we have same-sex marriage, I am supportive of it, and I think it should be decided at the state level,” Appel responded.
Young was also asked if Congress should take some stance on same-sex marriage. “Well Congress did, they tried to do this and the Defense of Marriage Act was passed in Congress and the Supreme Court essentially said there were problems with that and it was up to the states,” Young said. “But I am for traditional one-man, one-woman marriage. I just think in Iowa now we just need to make sure that religious institutions, churches, temples, that they are not forced to perform any kind of ceremony that is against their doctrine.”
The two were also asked about the one-year anniversary of the federal government shutdown and whether they would vote to shut down the government if elected. Appel said no. “What we need to do is elect folks who want to go and get the work done. I have the experience of doing that with the government reorganization in the state Senate,” Appel said. ” I worked with the Senate the House, Democrats, Republicans, department managers, employees, citizens, and we came up with great ideas because we worked together. Because we knew that Democrats don’t have all the right ideas, Republicans don’t have all the right ideas.”
Young responded that while Appel claims to have worked with everyone, she voted 99-percent of the time with Democrats while in the state Senate. “And also during the time in the state Senate you voted for the largest budget in Iowa’s history, hurling us into a billion-dollars of red ink that had to be bailed out by Obama’s stimulus funds. You raided the Senior Living Trust Fund, the rainy day funds, and Governor Branstad came along and help bail us out. So, you have a record, and I think that’s one of the reasons you were voted out by your constituents,” Young said.
The two also disagreed over how to handle the terrorism in the Middle East. Young said the U.S. doesn’t always have to wait for a coalition to take action. Appel said the U.S. should work with a coalition of countries to address the problem.
Appel made numerous mentions that she is the mother of six children. While Young said he will not run away from his years of experience working for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, even though campaign ads try to label him as a “Washington insider.”
The two candidates are seeking the seat currently held by retiring Republican Tom Latham.