OK, I went to the four candidate Immigration Forum this afternoon. I found that I need to do some research, so this is the first of more than one essay on the subject.
The forum was sponsored by Colorado Springs Catholic Charities and by Sacred Heart Catholic Church. It was the capstone of an all day seminar on immigration. The banner over the candidates read "Toward a Spirituality of Justice - A Day on Immigration."
The first six rows in the audience were allocated to the folks who paid $10 each to attend. The remaining ten rows were on a first come - first served basis. In reality, that meant that the last ten rows were Bob Schaffer supporters and the first six were ... Green Party supporters!
The overqualified moderator was Professor Tim Fuller of Colorado College. I say over qualified because he read the questions that the audience provided. We might have gotten one more question in if not for Father Bob spending so much time reading Fuller's very impressive credentials.
The format was five minutes of introduction of the moderator, 3 minutes of opening remarks by each candidate, questions followed by one minute answers from each candidate and 3 minutes of closing remarks. Some of the questions were filibusters.
While the order of speakers would have fit a two person "forum" it worked out that Mark Udall spoke after Bob Schaffer in three of every four questions. Several times Mark Udall tried to put words in Bob Schaffer's mouth and Shaffer would grab the mike and say "That's not true." While it broke the rules, I think it was necessary. Bob Schaffer always did it with a smile.
Since it wasn't a "debate," no one "won". Mark Udall might have lost because of a lack of support for him in the room. Bob Kinsey of the Green Party got much more crowd support for his comments than did Mark Udall. I don't think I saw a single Udall sticker or shirt. As I drove up to the church before the debate, there was one young lady on a corner waving a Mark Udall sign. She was a cutie, but she was all alone.
On the issues, my impression is that the two of them aren't that far apart. That is no surprise. It is traditional to move to the center in the general election. I spoke to Professor Fuller after the forum and he also thought they weren't that far apart.
The best quotes from Bob Schaffer were:
"Immigration quotas should be driven by needs," and "The risks of disobeying the law should be higher than the risks of obeying the law." He wants an immigration law that "we can be proud of."
Mark Udall's best quote was:
"I'm for lower gas prices."
I almost choked! Mark Udall has spent every minute of his ten years in Congress trying to drive energy prices up and now, just over two months before the election, he is for lower gas prices.