20th District Debate — Minus One Candidate

The Times Union published an article today about the debate between Eric Sundwall and Scott Murphy, two of the three people running for Congress in the 20th Congressional District in New York. The article mentions some of the views of both candidates.

Sundwall, a Libertarian, opposes Murphy’s views on healthcare, saying “As a Libertarian, it’s not my responsibility to make sure my employees floss their teeth or have good health habits in place.” Murphy supports lower prices for healthcare, to reduce the number of people who are uninsured.

Sundwall believes in immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, while Murphy believes that it’s necessary to stay in Afghanistan longer. The two agree on guns and civil liberties.

You can read the full article here. Source: Times Union.

28 thoughts on “20th District Debate — Minus One Candidate

  1. Morgan Brykein Post author

    It seems to me that Jim Tedisco refused to be in the debate simply to screw over Sundwall, or save his own ass.

    I assume his supporters are the typical pro-gun, anti-bailout/stimulus Republicans. If he was in the debate, more of his supporters would have watched. A chunk of his supporters might have switched sides.

    I really hope Sundwall wins this. The LP is counting on you, Sundwall!

  2. Robert Milnes

    Wins? How he is supposed to do that? Hope? Obama has the market on that. Sundwall hasn’t got a snowball’s chance in Congress…unless he listens to me. & I don’t hear that happening.

  3. George Phillies

    The LP is counting on you….

    I hope that Eric does well. The Liberty for America PAC gave a significant chunk of cash on hand to support him. LNC, Inc.? Well, for February the National Party raised under $80,000, and spent it mostly on administering itself.

  4. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 3 Dr. Phillies writes: “Well, for February the National Party raised under $80,000, and spent it mostly on administering itself.”

    And Michael ask; George is that what the donation thing on the home page of the national site is for?

    MW

  5. Morgan Brykein

    Well, for February the National Party raised under $80,000, and spent it mostly on administering itself.

    Thing is, the Libertarian Party doesn’t have rich benefactors or anything of that sort, like the two major parties have.

  6. Libertarian Joseph

    Apologies, just woke up :p Anywho. I’m not sure how this will do for Sundwall, is he a good speaker? Is Sundwall a “left-libertarian”? Well, It’s PBS, I don’t think the many of the GOP’s constituents watch PBS. But what do I know.

  7. George Phillies

    Morgan,

    Under current election law, rich benefactors are impossible. The average Libertarian is wealthier than the average D or R supporter, or so amrketing claims I once read said.

    LfA PAC gave $200. And we will be raising more.

    Joseph,

    It is against the law for corporations to give to political parties.

    Michael, the donation thing soon appearing on LibertyForAmerica the PAC page is for sending us money. The donation clock on the LNC web pages appears to be their donations via the web, on which they pay 10% off the top to Terra Eclipse, or so I am told by prominent LNC members.

    George

  8. Libertarian Joseph

    Okay, George. But still, McCain and Obama received donations by AIG during their campaigns, the LP received nothing. I guess they don’t want freer markets 😀

  9. Nate

    Let’s say for a moment that they hypothetically do want freer markets. But can we assume that means they want nothing else? Supporting the LP won’t give them any leverage on elected officials as the LP candidates are not likely to win, even with their large donations. So they split their money amongst those candidates they feel have a chance, feeling that those donations are investments in future favors. Why make a large investment that will never pay off?

  10. George Phillies

    Joseph,

    If you look carefully you will find that they received donations from AIG employees, who are our fellow Americans with the same rights as you and I, not corporate money. Both candidates would have been looking hard for signs their opponent was receiving corporate money so that they could crucify their opponents for taking bribes.

    @14 hits the nail square on the head and sinks it with one blow. Good work on that one.

    George

  11. Nate

    I don’t disagree that they don’t want free, or freer trade. Or should that be “nor freer,” I’m really tossing around negations in that sentence like they’re going out of style. Let me rephrase:

    AIG, as well as other large corporations undoubtedly get more from a system where they can influence the government to get them better deals than smaller companies, as well as receive billions in government bailouts, stimuli, pork rinds, etc, than they would in a free trade environment with competition at every turn.

    However, I disagree with the statement that not supporting the LP means they don’t want freer trade. I put forth a hypothetical that they did support freer trade and then gave an example of why, even if that were the case, they might choose not to support the LP with donations. I can give one more example, if you’d like:

    Hypothetical US political party, lets call it the HP, is all about the freer trade. That’s their main platform. The want all the little trades to be released, to run and frolic and be free. Oh, and by the way they also feel that jews should be shot. Why the jews, you ask? Because it’s always the jews. Now, this may not be a main part of their platform, in fact some members might be against this part of the platform but submit due to agreeing with the vast amount of the rest of it. And yet, I would find it hard to believe that if someone chose not to support this party that would automatically make them not want freer trade.

  12. Nate

    To get back to the actual topic at hand, or what at least should be the topic at hand, the debate and the article regarding it, I’d like to quote from that article 3 pieces, what I’d like to call the good, the bad and the ugly:

    The good:

    ‘The country is in trouble, Sundwall, 41, of Kinderhook, said, and much of the blame lies with the two political parties that hold power in America. Offering the voters another choice besides a Democrat and a Republican is never a bad thing, he said.’

    The bad:

    ‘Sundwall said it was wrong to assume health care is a right.

    “As a Libertarian, it’s not my responsibility to make sure my employees floss their teeth or have good health habits in place,” Sundwall said.’

    The ugly:

    ‘Sundwall’s biggest concern about the stimulus is the inflation that may result as the government prints more money. He said despite the psychological effect it may have on Americans, a little failure wouldn’t be a bad thing.’

    I’ll start with the ugly. The inflation that may result? May? Really, you don’t say? Printing tons of money just might result in inflation? Amazing. This is not an attack on Eric, I watched the debate twice and I’m fairly sure he never said it may cause inflation, but that it would. This is sloppy journalism, as is the “quote” on health insurance, I’m pretty sure he never mentioned his employees in regard to flossing. In addition to that it goes on to say that Eric feels a little failure might help. A little failure of what? Just failure in general? He very definitively said that if AIG should fail without the bailout, that would be fine, better for that to happen now than for the government and the US taxpayers to prop it up and just push these dire problems off until later, when they would be far worse. Ok, I’m paraphrasing somewhat, I’ve already watched it twice and am not going to watch it a third time to get it exactly right, but it’s a whole lot better than simply writing “failure.”

    To the good: Just plain outstanding, the reporter possibly even got it better than what Eric said, sloppy perhaps again, but quite well put.

    To the bad: He should have had a better answer prepared for this question than the one he gave. He should have known it would be asked, and he should have had a libertarian but friendly sounding answer, not this flossing bit. It’s an important issue for many voters and sounding uncaring doesn’t help your cause any. Should it be your responsibility to make sure I floss? Hell no. But noone asked that. They asked how to make sure more people were covered by health insurance, and I feel he could have made an argument that free trade and lower taxes would lead to more people being covered, in addition to reducing the deficit. Or something along those lines.

  13. Steven R Linnabary

    They asked how to make sure more people were covered by health insurance

    Indeed, most people confuse health insurance with health care. And I think most people are concerned more with their health than who is going to pay for it.

    It was a perfect opportunity for Sundwall to explain how 50 or 60 years ago, there were doctors in every neighborhood. Lots of them. So many that they made house calls.

    And then the government got involved, and made things worse. His opponents want more government involvement, presumably because things aren’t bad enough.

    It is up to Sundwall to paint his opponents as uncaring politicians more interested in political patronage than the health of their constituents.

    PEACE

  14. George Phillies

    No, Steve, what happened is that between 60 years ago and now medicine advanced a great deal, so that legitimate medical care cannot be provided via having an MD show up at your home. 60 or a hundred years ago, physicians were taught about ‘the bedside manner’, how to behave when visiting the patient, because that was one of the few things that an M.D. could do for a wide range of conditions…try to bolster patient morale. But if they had cancer, or a heart attack, or had their kidneys fail, or were a fragile diabetic and had ignored the mandatory dietetic advice that left you skinny as a rail, well, there wasn’t much that could be done. All those gadgets are not very portable..the clinic in a moving van is about as good as you can do…so house calls were largely worked out of medicine because they became bad medicine.

    Of course, it also became the case that between 1945 and now most families moved to having more than one person who could drive a car, so that it became consistently *possible* to move a patient to someplace where they could get quality medical care.

  15. Ross Levin

    George, I don’t think that’s the whole story. Insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and HMOs have created an environment in which doctors can’t be the way they used to be, for fear of being sued or because they doctor is bribed by these companies. Again, though, that’s not the whole of it – it’s a complex situation, and I’m not sure whether it’s helped or hurt by government.

  16. Gary Julian

    I am a brand new Libertarian after voting 30 years for the GOP. I am watching the 20th Congressional to see how badly the party will do.

    What bothers me is local 3rd party candidates even don’t try to win. Special elections are a golden opportunity to shine for the media. We need to hit the pavement and press the flesh at shopping centers, malls, factories etc. TRY TO WIN. Voters are pissed off. Jesse Ventura won even though he was outspent. It can be done. But even pulling 25% would send shock waves through the Liberal Establishment.

  17. Steven R Linnabary

    George @ 19: I suspect that you are correct to a point, and I am not trying to minimize medical advances of the last few decades. But I also suspect that your second paragraph tells us more about how the medical profession has changed.

    Ross @ 20: You are correct that insurance companies, the AMA and government has made the medical field far more complex than it needs to be.

    I was on the board of a small medical clinic back in the eighties. The malpractice insurance we paid for two General Practitioners was astronomical even then. And we had to turn away pregnant women in order to keep our insurance from progressing up to OB/GYN rates. And the paperwork involved in our patients private insurance was overly complex. The same procedure could have a dozen different codes (for Blue Cross/Blue Shield alone), depending on the employer. And there were a lot of other patient insurance companies out there.

    It is maddening, enough that even intelligent people want the government to do it. And government never makes anything easier.

    My point I was hoping to get across in my post above was that Libertarians are not cold hearted people without concerns for the way US Health care is getting out of hand. This is the “issue du jour”, and I hope Eric has a team of supporters to help him come up with a better soundbite answer than the one he gave in the debate.

    PEACE

  18. Richard Cooper

    Could the people who are free with their advice give some money to Eric Sundwall’s campaign? http://www.sundwall4congress.org. If you don’t live in the district that is the most important thing you can do.

    Honestly, Eric and his team don’t have time to read all your advice.

    Richard Cooper, Campaign Manager
    Elect Eric Sundwall

  19. paulie

    No, Steve, what happened is that between 60 years ago and now medicine advanced a great deal, so that legitimate medical care cannot be provided via having an MD show up at your home. 60 or a hundred years ago, physicians were taught about ‘the bedside manner’, how to behave when visiting the patient, because that was one of the few things that an M.D. could do for a wide range of conditions…try to bolster patient morale. But if they had cancer, or a heart attack, or had their kidneys fail, or were a fragile diabetic and had ignored the mandatory dietetic advice that left you skinny as a rail, well, there wasn’t much that could be done. All those gadgets are not very portable..the clinic in a moving van is about as good as you can do…so house calls were largely worked out of medicine because they became bad medicine.

    Of course, it also became the case that between 1945 and now most families moved to having more than one person who could drive a car, so that it became consistently *possible* to move a patient to someplace where they could get quality medical care.

    True, but government has done lots of other things to make fee-for- service unaffordable for most people, and to make health care much, much more expensive than it should be.

  20. Erik Geib

    @ Libertarian Joseph:

    Adam Smith once concluded that the enemy of capitalism is always the short-term interest of capitalists.

    @ Richard Cooper:

    Well put, and good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *