Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Congressional Roundup: Immigration dominates debate

Four of the five challengers for the Third Congressional District seat held by Rep. James McGovern (D-Worcester) squared off last night in a Shrewsbury debate. The forum, sponsored by the Shrewsbury League of Women Voters, gave Brian Herr (R-Hopkinton), Michael Stopa (R-Holliston), Martin Lamb (R-Holliston), and Robert Delle (R-Paxton) a chance to differentiate themselves from each other, however slightly. One area where there was both some consensus and disagreement was on immigration policy, as reported in the Telegram:
Though they all oppose amnesty, the candidates differed somewhat in their views on illegal immigration. Mr. Herr and Mr. Lamb both said the borders need to be secured, with the help of the U.S. military. They said existing laws need to be enforced to make the country unattractive to illegal immigrants.

Mr. Lamb went a step further, saying employers should be fined or charged for hiring illegal immigrants. He also believes citizenship should not be a birthright for children born to illegal immigrants.

Mr. Stopa voiced strong support for Arizona's new immigration law and said other states should be allowed to pass such laws. “I think we should send 12 million illegal aliens back to their home countries,” he said.

As a lawyer, Mr. Delle said, he has represented hundreds of illegal immigrants.

He said the illegal immigration problem has been overstated, and that people who live in the country illegally are not stealing jobs that citizens and legal residents would want.
Delle, who has lived in Westboro, Wayland, and now Paxton in the last year, also remarked that he was the best candidate because he doesn't "need a GPS to get around here." The article doesn't mention if the remark was serious or self-deprecating, but if he was joking about his frequent moves...well, that's funny.

While the Republicans were slugging it out, McGovern was discussing food stamp policy and other subjects on the Callie Crossley show on WGBH-FM.
Fifth Congressional District
The four Republicans hoping to replace Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) faced off in a debate Tuesday in Chelmsford.
Just hours after the Tuesday debate, the campaign headquarters of Jon Golnik (R-Carlisle) were destroyed in a Westford blaze. Golnik told The Boston Globe that the fire will not slow down his campaign. In fact, Congressional Quarterly reported yesterday that Golnik has turned the loss into a fundraising pitch.
First Congressional District
Michael Engel (U-Southampton) asks on his blog if anyone has seen Rep. John Olver (D-Amherst) recently, illustrating his query with a photoshop of the incumbent on the side of a milk carton.

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