Let the claims and counterclaims begin

It’s round two of the commercial war. In the blue corner, it’s Democrat Frank Kratovil who’s promising to “Stand Up” for the First District, while already standing in the red corner is State Senator Andy Harris, who’s “Working for Families”.

(G.A. Harrison already posted the Kratovil video below, the Harris spot can be found here.)

The Harris ad is relatively simple and hammers succinctly on three main themes:

  • Families need help with health care, and as a physician Andy has unique insights on a solution.
  • He’ll work for solutions to our energy crisis, which include drilling for oil.
  • As it is, Congress is not accountable nor are they spending our tax dollars wisely.

I know that certain buzzwords help to win elections and it’s a 30 second commercial, but I’m leery of any federal government solution to the healthcare issue except for them getting out of it. Obviously Andy has a little different perspective on the issue than his opponent, the question is who would benefit the most? Otherwise, he maintains the positions which have broad support without getting overly specific (of course in 30 seconds you really can’t anyhow.)

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Frank Kratovil is also running against Congress in his commercial, while vowing to “stand up for those who work hard and play by the rules.” Other claims he makes are:

  • To end dependence on foreign oil, where he cuts to a video of an Arab sheikh.
  • To “cut taxes and wasteful spending”.
  • He’ll crack down on illegal immigration.
  • To protect the Bay.

Knowing that Frank has sold out to the environmental lobby (which is why he takes potshots at Andy Harris’s pro-common sense voting record on the subject) it’s doubtful that he’ll advocate the proper, market-based solution to the energy issue – but I’ve discussed this before. We also know that the one issue where either candidate would likely be a good fit is illegal immigration, with a lot depending on how much either wants to buck their current party standardbearer.

But the intriguing part is Frank Kratovil actually saying he’ll ”cut taxes.” Of course, the billion-dollar question is if he would retain the Bush tax cuts or make the taxation system even more “progressive” and attempt to soak the rich or other achievers like oil companies. The Democrats seem to have a way of wishing to cut taxes for those who already don’t pay them, in essence giving them a government handout.

And speaking of Democrats, Kratovil goes out of his way to claim independence. He is running so far away from the Democrat label that those inside the Beltway are known for that they’re going to have to fish him out of the Pacific before this is all said and done. This is totally unlike the 2006 election, where the Democrat was fairly liberal and made no bones about it. In 2008 we have a Democrat who is attempting to be just a little less conservative than the Republican, and using some of the more conservative buzzwords in his commercials.

So let’s look at what the two had in common.

  • Both Harris and Kratovil are trying to establish an anti-Beltway, anti-Congress, fiscally conservative campaign, essentially vowing to go in and not be a typical DC politician.
  • Both Andy and Frank want to address high gas prices, but they have differing solutions.

Contrasting themselves, Harris uses his background in the medical field to talk about health care, while Kratovil uses his legal practice as expertise on illegal immigration and implies he’s the only environmental candidate.

It all comes down to who is more believable; in this case you probably have a wash. I do commend both candidates for not going negative but I suspect that tune will change after Labor Day.

In checking out the Harris website, I also noticed that he’s taken off the links to various area bloggers. While it’s a little disappointing to me because I was one of those linked, I can understand that the fickle nature of the blogosphere and having our local lightning rod for criticism and controversy featured among the local bloggers makes it difficult to keep a good bloglist going. So I think it’s for the best; besides, I didn’t really get a lot of traffic from there anyway.

In any case, so ends round 2 of the commercial wars. All I have to say is that I can’t wait for the candidate forums, especially if the other two candidates (yes, there are two others on the ballot) get involved.

Crossposted (with video) on monoblogue.

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