Friday night, October 8, 2010, several DTP members and I attended the debate between Dr. B. J. Lawson and incumbent Rep. David Price, the two candidates for North Carolina’s 4th congressional district. The venue was the Durham Transportation Center on Pettigrew Street. It was co-sponsored by the Independent Weekly and Bull City Rising.
I don’t think they were anticipating the large turn out they got. The debate was set up on the second floor public space at the transportation center, and it quickly filled up with standing room only, and plenty of overflow landed on the first floor.
There were eleven total questions asked, four of which were questions asked from the audience. I could not capture the questions word-for-word, but I jotted down the topic addressed by each question.
- Health care
- War in Afghanistan
- Job creation through government policy
- Agriculture – Farm subsidies
- Transportation funding
- Immigration, Citizenship
- Off shore oil drilling off the NC coast
- Supreme Court decision to treat corporations as a person
- Federal Debt, where will you cut spending
- Federal research investment
I thought the debate was well worth the time. I think both candidates were able to express their positions effectively. The audience was mostly well behaved. There were a small number of outbursts. For example, we heard, “answer the question!” blurted out from both sides on the question about federal debt and where the candidates would cut if the win the election. And, even though the moderators repeatedly asked for the audience to hold there applause, we couldn’t resist expressing ourselves sometimes.
I thought the moderators did a good job. The start time was prompt, only a couple minutes late by my watch. They were respectful of both candidates as they kept true to the clock by cutting off rambling answers when time had expired. They kept things moving along quite well.
The debate was video taped and should be available soon on the Independent Weekly home page. As soon as we have a link, we’ll post it here. In the meantime, YouTube has it. A search using “Price Lawson Debate Durham 2010,” should help you locate it.