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Mini Report on Huntington Presidential Forum

Notes below:

The Presidential Forum at the Huntington Library on Thursday night was put together by the Huntington branch of the LIPC. Those initials stand for “Long Island Progressive Coalition.”  Which should never be confused with the LIPC – Long Island Poetry Collective. Though, they were confused tonight. Some people who showed up for the Forum were redirected to a woman’s home in Northport, where the poets had changed their meeting to when the library was overbooked. Things got straightened out eventually.

Invited were: A Democrat for Barack Obama, a Republican for John McCain, and a Green for Cynthia McKinney. When Libertarian Chris Garvey showed up last minute and asked to represent Bob Barr, he was allowed to join the podium. Congratulations to Terry Morrone and the LIPC for having a very open debate.

Terry Morrone videotaped for Public Access Television. Ian taped as well. We hope to have video up in the next few days. Stay tuned.

Some impressions:

There were about 60 people there. (Will try to get a more accurate count from the video)

As a whole, the group was resistant to the message of the Republican representative.

The Republican representative actually frightened me a bit with his speech. He was doing that thing where he says you should be scared of Osama Bin Laden and terrorists, so the government has to take away our civil liberties and all. It’s like a spell that the speaker tries to put the crowd under.

The Democrat actually said stuff like “La-La Land” and “fantasy” because the Green Party person asserted that the War in Afghanistan is bad. Evidently Barack Obama and Jon Cooper who spoke for him want to continue the War in Afghanistan. I think a little more than half of the very progressive audience, applauded for war.

Other issues that distinguished the Democrat from Green positions: Nuclear energy, which was discussed. (McCain and Obama FOR nuclear energy and funded by the industry. The Green Party and Cynthia McKinney AGAINST nuclear energy. And, single-payer healthcare was alluded to, but it was near the end and people forgot to give clear answers. I know from research that the Green Party is the only one among them all for Single Payer healthcare.

Nobody in the audience was buying the bailout. People laughed at the thought of it, clapped when it was critiqued, and everything. The audience included people from Working Famlies Party, Green Party, probably Democrats and various progressives. None of them wanted the bailout. The Democrat rep actually said something like he has not formulated his opinion on it, and wiser minds are working on it in DC right now.

More tomorrow or when we get the video up.

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