Campaign for Liberty and We The People hosted an event they labeled a “debate” last evening in the auditorium at Battle Ground High School for candidates of the 3rd Congressional District hoping to replace retiring Democrat, Brian Baird.
In attendance where Democrat, Cheryl Crist, Independent Normal Jean Stevens, Republican and alleged Marine David W. Hedrick and proxy for Republican David Castillo who couldn’t attend due to a prior commitment Candice Jackson, a local attorney. Democrat Denny Heck also had a prior commitment and Republican Jaime Herrera could not attend, no reason given and their campaigns sent no proxy.
Maybe 60 people, many Hedrick devotees, attended to hear the candidates.
Although listed as an unbiased forum, it was clear from the start that the forum was expected to make alleged Marine David W. Hedrick a star. The questions asked were written and asked by Campaign for Liberty; a Ron Paul inspired group and We The People, both of whom are supporting Alleged Marine, David W. Hedrick.
I give credit to Katja Delavar and her husband Michael for trying to make it appear balanced and for excellent time keeping plus holding candidates to their time limits.
The format seemed a bit odd to me as a question was asked and whichever candidate wished to answer first raised their hand, with others offered a short amount of time to reply as well. Each was given ample opportunity to rebut.
I thought it also a bit odd to witness Hedrick during the Pledge of Allegiance, not holding his hand over his heart or doing a Military Salute, as Veterans and active duty Military are now allowed to do when wearing civilian clothes, but holding his right hand up as if reciting an oath. Maybe he has done that before and I just never paid attention, but that struck me as bit odd since proper pledge etiquette is the right hand over the heart or a salute.
The questions were often lengthy during the first half of the forum and each candidate was given scant time to reply, 60 seconds in some cases, 45 second later on.
I witnessed Hedrick often waiting until one or more of the others replied, then he would jump in to make his regular replies. Unfortunately for him, Castillo proxy, Candice Jackson, is a well educated and well versed attorney who knows Castillo very well and often schooled Hedrick.
Hedrick seemed to be getting nervous as he began taking subtle pot shots at Castillo, then a little later taking direct pot shots at him by name, saying “Enterprise Zones” were unconstitutional. He agreed with Ms. Jackson reply on free market would bring about green energy sources if actually needed, but had to add a slam that he doubts Mr. Castillo believes that.
Alleged Marine David Hedrick seemed quite comfortable slamming a candidate that was not present in such cowardly personal attacks.
After not being admonished for his personal slurs against Mr. Castillo, he took a shot at absent Democrat Denny Heck, claiming he once left Mr. Heck red-faced in a debate and the audience laughing at him.
At one point he took a shot at Cheryl Crist, saying how much he likes her personally, but doesn’t want her to “be elected to anything.” At this point, Michael Delavar, moderator from Campaign for Liberty, advised all of the candidates not to make such personal comments.
Hedrick supporters in the audience were their usual boisterous self, loudly clapping and cheering after each comment. When a request was made from the moderators to refrain from applauding and cheering after each comment, many yelled back “hell No, we’re here to support our candidate.”
Katja turned around requesting the same and telling them they will get to more questions if they refrain and was largely ignored by the Hedrick supporters, prompting other candidates supporters to act likewise.
Cheryl Crist was treated to groans a couple times for her views as a progressive and silence met much of Norma Jean Stevens comments, who had a much better stage presence this evening that before.
Ms. Stevens gave well thought out answers to most questions while looking out to the audience each time. I applaud both Ms Crist and Ms Stevens for their replies and for having the courage to face such an audience that at times must have seemed a slight bit hostile.
In all the star of the evening was Candice Jackson, prompting some supporters of alleged Marine Hedrick sitting near me to comment she was smarter than Castillo, not realizing her replies were Castillo’s, who she strongly supports.
A questionable comment from the alleged Marine was when asked about how they would vote in Congress, by the wishes of their constituents or by their principles, Hedrick replied that he would vote his principles, ignoring polls.
A couple minutes later, he boasted of a questionable poll he claims shows him neck and neck with Jaime Herrera, not commenting that Denny Heck placed higher on that same poll than both. He also took the opportunity to slap Mr. Castillo again saying his polling numbers were very low.
I guess his like of polls depends on where his ego places him.
Undoubtedly he will again brag about how he put everyone to shame, but it was obvious that Ms. Jackson, sitting in for Mr. Castillo amply schooled him on many subjects.
For all of you Hedrick supporters who will take exception to my labeling him as “alleged Marine,” as a Viet Nam Veteran myself with over 8 years active duty in the United States Army and since he makes his service central to his campaign, while not disclosing such basic information pertaining to his service, such as BPED, ETS, MOS, training, units served in, where deployed and 3 times now has replied as to the nature and place of the injury that grants him a disability being a “classified mission,” this Veteran will view him as only an “alleged Marine” until such time as such information is supplied by him and supported to voters.
While I am sure he did serve, he owes voters at least basic information.
I thank Campaign for Liberty and We The People for their efforts and hope the next time they will be less obvious.
UPDATE: Since several Hedrick supporters have expressed displeasure with my labeling Hedrick as “alleged Marine,” we are clamoring for a more “Open and Transparent” government. We desire more “Open and Transparent” elected officials.
How do we trust one who will not even be “Open and Transparent” about the very thing he bases his campaign on?
If seeking that very “open transparency” we say we want makes me a “hatchet man,” so be it.