Friday, October 10, 2008

Kryzan and Lee Debate.....FINALLY!

The debate occurred last night between 26th congressional district candidates Chris Lee and Alice Kryzan. There were no fireworks or explosions and at times it sounded strangely like the previous Presidential debates. Even so, the first question that always seems to be asked is, “who won?” Well, it seems that this question has never been so difficult to answer honestly than it has throughout this election year. It's a relevant question but, will we really have the answer before Nov. 5th?

So, what did we see? He's my summary of part of the debate - please let us know what you think and if you thought there was a clear winner. E-mail me at
If you didn't catch the debate on TV, watch it on - and check back for more on Lee's and Kryzan's answers to tough questions about jobs and trade and the economy!

It began tame and cordially as the candidates made their opening statements but it would soon become notably more intense in the studio as the questions from the panelists hit on every soft spot the candidates had. Bailing on ‘the bailout question’ bit Mr. Lee in the backside during the debate. He was criticized not only by Ms. Kryzan, who accused him of being, “MIA” for five days while, “Congress was in turmoil” over what to do; but also by a debate panelist from the Buffalo News, Bob McCarthy. In one of his questions directed toward Mr. Lee, Mr. McCarthy asked Lee, point blank, how he would have voted if he were, in fact, a member of congress. Staring directly back at his questioner, Lee answered, “I was for it.”

Alice Kryzan was questioned about her involvement in one of the worst environmental disasters of our time and region, Love Canal. She defended herself by defining her role in the situation as one who helped deal out money from a fund she helped ensure for the tenants. Their respective tense moments were handled very nicely by both candidates.

The question that provoked much of the mudslinging that occurred during the debate was about accountability. Bob McCarthy’s question began with a narrative about how he had tried to ascertain Mr. Lee’s stance on abortion and the bailout and wasn’t able to do this for either issue. (nailing Jell-o to the wall, if you will) This has also been Working Families Win's experience with Mr. Lee. Simple and complex questions alike, Lee has eluded them all. Chris Lee’s defense was that he had in fact, answered these questions but not in the way in which the interviewer had asked him to. He was asked to define his stance on abortion in two words. (presumably pro-choice or pro-life) He said that, “at the time” he was not able to do so…but still didn’t offer an answer.

We were happy that some of these questions were finally acknowledged by Mr. Lee, even if he didn't really answer them. WFW has been trying to get him to talk to us for months now. We're glad he's finally saying something. On the other hand, Ms. Kryzan has been very generous with her policy proposal information. During the debate, when Lee criticized Ms. Kryzan for not having a hold on the problems facing WNY and claimed that his website provided lots of press releases and links to information; she shot back that he, "..Must not have been reading my website" and then named several packets of policy related info on her site.

See for yourself:

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