Eddie Mauro, 3rd District Democratic Candidate: Get Money Out Of Politics

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Democratic candidates for the 3rd Congressional District took the stage Thursday evening for a televised debate sponsored by KCCI-TV and the Des Moines Register.

The debate was held in the State Historical Museum auditorium at 600 E. Locust St. in Des Moines.


Watch highlights:

KCCI’s Steve Karlin and Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich served as moderators of the 3rd District debate. The primary election is June 5.

Follow Hannah Hilyard on

Twitter or our live blog for updates.

7:59 p.m.

In closing statements at the only 3rd Congressional District Democratic debate, candidates made their final pitch ahead of the June 5 primary.

The winner of the Democratic nomination faces Republican incumbent David Young in the fall.

Pete D’Alessandro recalled Robert Kennedy’s assassination and called for winning the future. Cindy Axne said voters should elect someone who has experience. Eddie Mauro said he’s a different kind of candidate.

7:47 p.m.

Democrats in the 3rd Congressional District Democratic race want to decriminalize marijuana, while Pete D’Alessandro added that “we need to make (recreational) cannabis legal in this country.”

The candidates were asked if the decriminalization of drug use should be a part of criminal justice reform.

Eddie Mauro and Cindy Axne said the issue is affecting minority communities and impacts racial disparity in arrests and imprisonment.

D’Alessandro said anyone incarcerated over a marijuana offense should be removed from prison, and cannabis should be taxed like any other business. He added that police should be demilitarized, and not racially profiling people in the community.

7:40 p.m.

As the #MeToo movement continues to take down powerful men in the media, politics and entertainment, those running in the 3rd Congressional District Democratic race said they don’t have any skeletons in their closets as the June 5 primary draws close.

Eddie Mauro said he’s taken a lead on combating sexual harassment in the workplace and has strong policies on equal pay and family leave at his business. He said he would train his staff to respect women all the time.

Cindy Axne, the only woman in the race, said she is “less exciting than I thought I was” while looking into her background. She added that she has thoroughly vetted herself and her husband.

Pete D’Alessandro said the only thing in his background that could lead to a question in his judgment is turning down an opportunity to work on a campaign for then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

7:31 p.m.

Three Democrats who are challenging U.S. Rep. David Young for the 3rd Congressional District seat said they want to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which ruled that the government cannot restrict the spending of corporations on political campaigns.

Cindy Axne said she’s had to work 70-80 hours a week on her campaign to raise money and call donors.

Pete D’Alessandro said he can’t write his own checks for a campaign and said Citizens United is the worst Supreme Court ruling since the Dred Scott Case.

Eddie Mauro said he supports comprehensive reform because candidates with the most money are getting the most votes.

The Democrats also touched on the minimum wage debate. D’Alessandro said he wants to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour; Axne wants to raise the minimum wage but look at it regionally; Mauro said instead of raising the minimum wage, there should be expanded earned income tax credit.

7:21 p.m.

Democrats in the 3rd Congressional District race argued Thursday evening that there should be comprehensive immigration reform after the Department of Justice began prosecuting adults who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, even if they might be eligible to seek asylum.

The topic has been widely contested because the adults might be separated from any children who are accompanying them.

“We need more people in this community,” Democratic candidate Eddie Mauro said. “We need more people in this district.”

Cindy Axne said “it’s unbelievable” that children are being separated from their parents and that the issue needs to be addressed immediately. She said the government needs to protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Pete D’Alessandro said he wants to take comprehensive immigration reform to another level and “break ICE into a million pieces.”

7:09 p.m.

Democrats running for the 3rd Congressional District seat, currently held by Rep. David Young, slammed President Donald Trump over trade agreements that could hurt Iowa farmers.

Pete D’Alessandro said politicians on both sides of the aisle have made trade agreements for two decades that have hurt workers, which enabled Trump to do the same.

Eddie Mauro said NAFTA has been good for farmers and, therefore, good for Iowa, but that corporations have had too much power in negotiating trade agreements. He opted for transparency in rules and eliminating tax evasion opportunities.

The Democrats also agreed that climate change is the greatest security threat to the United States.

Almost a year ago, Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation.

Cindy Axne said climate change is “affecting the most vulnerable communities” and causes droughts, famines and wars, which inevitably involve the U.S.

D’Alessandro said there are going to be more refugees and more civil wars if the trend continues. Mauro advocated for 100 percent renewable energy.

7:04 p.m.

Democrats vying for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District seat said they are in favor of raising the income cap on Social Security contributions as a way to shore up Social Security for future generations.

Cindy Axne and Pete D’Alessandro said they want to raise the cap to around $200,000-$250,000, while Eddie Mauro said he would raise it to $1 million.

The candidates also tackled how to improve gun safety; all of them have said they want restrictions on gun ownership.

Mauro said there should be a balance between making sure the Second Amendment is respected and improving gun safety. He said an assault weapons ban worked for 10 years and that data can convince gun owners they shouldn’t be allowed to own certain types of guns.

Axne, who supervised the hunting and fishing division at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said she respects the Second Amendment but wants universal background checks to keep firearms away from criminals and those with several mental illnesses, as well as closing loopholes and reinstating an assault weapons ban.

“We’re at the point in the country where parents have to wonder if their kids are going to make it home that day,” she said.

D’Alessandro said money in politics, such as funding to the National Rifle Association, has limited discussion in the gun debate in Washington, D.C. He said until Citizens United is overturned, there can’t be a conversation about gun safety in Congress.

6:39 p.m.

Three Democratic candidates in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District race took the stage Thursday evening in a televised debate co-sponsored by KCCI-TV and The Des Moines Register.

Eddie Mauro, Cindy Axne and Pete D’Alessandro are each hoping to garner the Democratic nomination for a chance to unseat Republican incumbent David Young in the fall.

The debate is moderated by KCCI’s Steve Karlin and the Register’s Kathie Obradovich.

When asked about the best option for health care, the Democrats said it needs to be made affordable.

Mauro said he supports universal health care but that there needs to be a second plan in place. Axne said there needs to be a public option to buy into Medicare or Medicaid to give everyone access. And D’Alessandro said he supports Medicare for all but wants to “take profit out of the equation.”



Source : http://www.kcci.com/article/third-district-candidates-debate-tonight/20974414

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