Congressional challengers weigh in on bailout listen10/03/08 Seán Kinane
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While incumbents Kathy Castor and Gus Bilirakis were in Washington casting their votes against the Wall Street bailout bill that passed the House today, the challengers who are trying to win their seats debated at the Tampa Tiger Bay Club.
Castor was the only one of nine House Democrats from Florida who bucked party leadership and voted against the bill. Challenging Castor for her District 11 seat is Republican Eddie Adams Jr., who said he also opposed the bailout.
Five Florida Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for the bailout bill; 11 voted against, including Gus Bilirakis. Bilirakis faces four challengers for his District 9 seat. Neither John Kalimnios, who is running without party affiliation, nor write-in candidate Andrew Pasayan attended the Tiger Bay Club debate on Friday, but Democrat Bill Mitchell did and said he supports the bailout plan.
The fourth person in the District 9 race is Richard Emmons who is a member of a new party called Term Limits for the United States Congress Party. Emmons opposes the bailout.
The event was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters. WMNF spoke with several people in attendance to find out their opinion of the bailout bill, an hour before the House passed it.
Tampa business owner Joe Redner opposes the bailout.
Michael Steinberg, chair of the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee, said he opposes the bailout. The money should be used instead for public works, transit, and infrastructure programs, Steinberg said.
Fellow Democrat Vic DiMaio, who is finance chair of the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee, said he doesn’t like everything about the bill, but supports it.
The next Tiger Bay Club of Tampa meeting on Oct. 17 will feature a debate on Amendment 2, which if it gets 60 percent support on November’s ballot will outlaw partnership rights for everyone except people in heterosexual marriages. The debate will be at Maestro’s restaurant in the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
The deadline to register to vote is Monday, Oct. 6.
Photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF