Wyden fired back, denouncing Huffman's support for the bailout of the finance industry, bonuses to Wall Street executives, privatization of Social Security and repeal of the new health care reform law. "You stood on the side of Wall Street," Wyden said. "I stood on the side of the Oregon people."
Wyden argued government initiatives, such as stimulus spending, have helped the economy and saved jobs. And tax reform, timber land use compromises and government efforts to foster more green industries promise to give Oregon's economy a boost.
The two went on to outline their plans to foster small businesses in the face of a lousy economy. Huffman said that he believes in a moratorium on new federal regulations on businesses, a payroll tax holiday and an extension of the Bush tax cuts would help small businesses survive the downturn. "I believe small business is the most important employer in this state," he said.
Wyden pointed to his bipartisan work on a bill to help small businesses finance equipment they need to grow and his support of biomass as a job machine that would greatly benefit Southern Oregon. Wyden criticized the Obama administration's lumping biomass in with fossil fuels in terms of pollutants. "(Biomass) is a clean energy source for our state," he said.
Wyden voted against the Wall Street bailout and said he favors the federal government ending tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas. He also supports limiting taxes on Internet-based companies.
Huffman argued that these proposals are too small when the country faces double-digit unemployment and a terribly slow recovery. He said Wyden's great mistake was voting for the stimulus bill because those funds will never be returned to taxpayers.
At one point, Wyden was shown a television ad he supported that claimed Huffman defended the Wall Street bailout and believes in privatizing Social Security. When asked to comment on the negative ad, Wyden said it was the exception and not the rule of his campaign to run such an ad.
Huffman said the ad was full of lies and half-truths.
Wyden says Huffman's opposition to complicated legislation, the Eastside Forest Plan, he's worked out among warring interests over the use of forests in Eastern Oregon defines how the two candidates differ. "He doesn't want people to work to find common ground," Wyden said.
Huffman said he opposes Wyden's forestry plan because it forges agreements with some, but not all, of the parties involved. "I'm not against collaboration," he said. "We need to be realistic about it."
Wyden says his forest plan is just one example of how he has been able to get results in Washington's toxic partisan climate. He is casting himself as different, as one who is "always going to try to find common ground."
Q: Wyden's new wife, with whom he has toddler twins--that they essentially live in New York?
Huffman: Well, I understand that he's got some real estate here in Oregon.
Q: Does he have a trailer somewhere?
Huffman: It could be.
Q: He does appear now more and more to be a carpetbagger.
The above quotations are from 2010 Oregon Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts from 2010 Oregon Senate Debates.
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