DFL Senate primary candidates Paul Wellstone, professor of political science at Carleton College; and Jim Nichols, Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture and a former state senator, debate and answer listener questions.
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(00:00:00) 26:12 Point 13 in one other item related to business Boise Cascade said today it has agreed to sell its Vancouver Washington paper mill in the first major step toward reducing its Pacific Northwest Pulp and Paper operations. The buyer is Appleton papers Incorporated based in Appleton, Wisconsin, but owned by a London company a reminder that Minnesota public radio's coverage of rural issues is made possible by a major Grant from the blandin foundation supporting a clean Mississippi River environment and mpr's programming is made possible with part with assistance from sis cam of Boulder Colorado developers of news pro software for Broadcast News rooms. This is a listener supported service. And this is knnow 1330 AM Minneapolis and st. Paul the Twin Cities news and information station of Minnesota Public Radio. Good afternoon, everybody. I'm Bob Potter. Welcome to a special 1990 election debate between the dfl candidate for United States Senate. This broadcast is made possible by contributions to the Minnesota Public Radio public affairs fund which supports the production and broadcast costs of live news coverage and by the generosity of the members of Minnesota Public Radio primary election day, of course is less than a week away now on September 11th, Minnesota voters will decide which Democratic candidate to send up against Republican incumbent Senator Rudy boschwitz in the November general election today, Minnesota Public Radio, and the st. Paul Pioneer Press are pleased to give you a chance to hear where the two major candidates stand on a variety of important issues. The candidates are Paul wellstone who won the dfl is endorsement at State party convention in June and Challenger Jim Nichols. Paul wellstone is a professor of political science at Carleton College in Northfield. Jim Nichols is the Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture and a former state senator. Here's a quick rundown of what we will be doing during this hour in the first 20 minutes or so. The candidates will take questions from a panel of journalists. Then we'll give the candidates an opportunity to question each other. Most of the last half hour will be set aside for listener questions. I'll announce the phone number that you can call just a little bit later in the broadcast. The last few minutes will be reserved for closing statements by the candidates to of our panel of questioners today are from the st. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper Steve dornfeld who is the national editor and Linda McDonald business reporter. Our third panelist is Minnesota Public Radio political reporter Karen Boris. Now, I'll go through the rules of the debate a little bit further. Although I'm not very difficult. Believe me. First of all, no opening statements by the candidates second. I'll call on a reporter to ask a question of a specific candidate. The candidate has up to two minutes to respond. All those shorter answers are encouraged. The reporter may ask a follow-up question if he or she wants to the candidate will get a maximum of Seconds to reply to the follow-up and that's that then after we've had about 20 minutes of questions from the panel of candidates can question each other. Excuse me for about 10 minutes. The questions will alternate back and forth between the two the questions will be limited to 30 seconds just in case somebody's tempted to turn a question into a speech. I don't imagine that'll happen and the answer is can be up to 2 minutes. We'll skip follow-ups on that segment then in the last half hour approximately we'll turn to questions from the listening audience. This segment will be a little bit more freeform listeners can direct a question to a specific candidate if callers don't specify I'll direct the question answers limited to two minutes and the other candidate can have 30 seconds to respond. If you wants then about five minutes before the hour each candidate gets a minute and a half to make a closing statement. So that's the ground rules. I think if we all understand them will get started. I'm going to put the first question if I can to Paul wellstone and my question Paul is how do events in the Persian Gulf change your thinking if they do it all about major defense (00:04:01) cutbacks. They don't change my thinking about major cutbacks Bob insofar as I think the case that's now being made for the stealth bomber or Midget Man or MX and all the rest makes no sense whatsoever. I think we've got a real opportunity for peace dividend and I want to go to the United States Senate and fight for that peace dividend my father who was a Jewish immigrant from the Soviet Union would say this is a new world in the making we have a real opportunity now to have a completely different relationship with the Soviet Union and I think I've made your arms reduction strategic arms limitations and Troop reductions in Europe. Secondly, I would emphasize over and over and over again that what we now have is the possibility for a new collective security arrangement in the world with the Soviet Union the United States working together multilateral action is what we should be encouraging and that I think is what from the very beginning I have I have talked about in the Middle East. I had wished that we had operated within a multilateral framework from the very beginning. I certainly have made the case that those people who talk about offensive military action are presenting a recipe for disaster. I think the focus should be on the United Nations both for economic sanctions and diplomacy and I think the initiative of four hostages released and so I don't want what's happening in the Middle East to it all enable people to make the case for once again a 300 billion dollar plus Pentagon budget has to be a leaner budget should be a peace dividend it needs to be restructured military and we need to put the emphasis on political settlements diplomatic action. And now I think more than ever the United Nations and multilateral action. (00:05:50) We may be able to bring some more issues up on that topic as the our continues. I'd like to turn now though to Linda McDonald and ask her to put a question to Jim Nichols. Mr. Nichols. I want to ask you about the federal deficit. That's one of the big Noddy (00:06:02) issues Congress has to deal with this fall. It's a drag (00:06:05) on the economy now and it looks like it's going to get (00:06:07) worse. I'd like to hear what spending cuts or tax increases you favor you support as a way of dealing with that deficit. Well, I think it's one of the major issues facing our nation our economy Linda and as you know, I have proposed a balanced budget within two years on spending cuts not text increases. I still agree with Paul that we can make the military cuts and hopefully I can expand on that in the future. We are three trillion dollars in debt were spending a hundred and seventy billion dollars in interest pay to pay interest on the debt. It takes the personal income taxes of every taxpayer west of the Mississippi. We're on the other side of the river just a couple blocks from here all of our personal income tax would go to pay interest on the debt. That's simply can't It won't work. We have to make tough choices in the problem with Congress is that they refuse to make tough choices and I'm really disappointed to see them now and they were on Face the Nation on Sunday saying well the situation in Iraq really we can probably spend gramm-rudman and we just won't deal with the deficit issue. We have to deal with the deficit issue. I propose a steep military cuts that cutting the budget roughly in half in two years a hundred and fifty 1 billion dollars. I'm opposed to farm subsidies. I think Farmers should get a fair price in the marketplace not a government subsidy that saves 10 Bane we can't afford to spend eighteen billion dollars a year on the Space Program. You don't see Japan launching a telescopes that won't focus cut that in half cut military foreign aid that seems about 8 billion. So I proposed a hundred eighty 1 billion dollars in spending cuts. I don't think we need more Revenue 1.2 trillion dollars is enough money to run this country (00:07:34) one quick follow-up we've seen even President Bush has had to talk about Revenue enhancements politically. If you couldn't do it all with spending cuts, what kind of tax increases would you look at? (00:07:46) I wouldn't propose any text and you know, but what if you if you had to support some which (00:07:49) Under the least objectionable. (00:07:51) I wouldn't because you know, I've been in government for 14 years. I know that government will automatically expand to use up the available dollars. If you go over the 1.2 trillion government will eat it up 1.2 trillion dollars. The federal budget today is enough to run this country. We have to make the tough decisions and restructure our priorities and I think the minute you talk about tax increases. It's a cop-out then we are going to make a tough cut tough decisions to Cuts. I think (00:08:13) you know, I'm sorry Paul, we can't allow follow-ups in the segment. Oh, I'm sorry. Yes. All right. We'll get back to that. That's right. And you later on Karen Karen Boris know you can put a question to Paul wellstone. (00:08:23) Mr. Wellstone artist in this country receiving funds from the National Endowment for the Arts must now sign and anti obscenity pledge this follows move Advanced last November by North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, which amended any a rules to ban works that may be deemed obscene. How would you have voted on this and why I would have voted against the Helms initiative I grew up in a household where I was taught by both of my parents. Who knew the experience of people who had lived in the Soviet Union and did not have their freedom that First Amendment rights including freedom of speech and freedom of expression are inviolable rights, and I would have voted against Jesse Helms initiative without any second thought whatsoever. (00:09:05) Okay now Steve dornfeld if you'd like to ask a question of Jim Nichols, please Jim as you know, many law enforcement officers are pushing for a federal law similar to Minnesota and Minnesota has one that would require a waiting period for the purchase of handguns and establish a system of checks to try to keep guns out of the hands of felons the mentally ill children and other folks who shouldn't have them. How (00:09:29) do you stand on (00:09:30) such legislation and why (00:09:32) well, as you know Steve I voted against gun control as a state senator. I think you're even the political reporter in the capital n and I studied the issue very carefully before I cast that vote. I was convinced that gun control the Minnesota law would not keep guns out of the hands of the crooks and even if you look at the Minnesota law today, it is not been all that successful. Unfortunately, we've had some recent increases in crime principally in the metropolitan area primarily in Minneapolis. We're lucky we live in the suburbs, but still we have too many guns in this country already so somehow to pass a law that's a waiting period thinking that you'll keep the hands. Guns out of the hands of the crooks just simply hasn't worked. So I don't think the Minnesota law has been all that successful. I'm not in favor of transferring the Minnesota law to the federal government on the flip side of that. I do think that we need to ban a cop-killer bullets dum-dum bullets. I do not support assault rifles and I speak as one who for many years in the military possessed and handled in fired an M16. I had in my possession when I was in Vietnam and AK-47 assault rifles are designed with one purpose in mind and that's to kill I don't think anyone can defend weapons that can be fired on full automatic. Those are not weapons. You need to defend your home nor do you need them for recreational hunting purposes (00:10:42) is this time follow up on that Jim. There's a provision as you may know in the in the crime bill now pending before Congress that would clamp down on on importation of assault rifles. What about that provision? (00:10:54) Absolutely, I fully support Banning importation of assault rifles and the manufacture of import salt manufacturer of assault rifles here in the United States. I think support the You're on the right to keep and bear arms. We need to make handguns recreational rifles and shotguns available. But no one needs an assault rifle. I fully support that Steve. (00:11:15) This is a live debate between the dfl candidates for United States Senate Jim Nichols and Paul wellstone Linda McDonald your turn to question Paul wellstone. Now how I'm going to ask the same question about the deficit of Paul you had something to say and I'd like to know about this balance between spending cuts and tax (00:11:29) increases. Well Linda, I I think that deficit reduction is critically important. We now in addition to a budget deficit have an investment deficit we can no longer invest in ourselves the expression of farmers as you plant your seed corn. You don't eat your seed corn and the interest is eating up our budget. What I think is really kind of profoundly wrong with Jim's proposal is first of all, I don't really know anyone in Washington DC who says that we can cut the Pentagon budget in half in two years 60% of the pentagon's budget is wages and salaries. You have to have economic inversion planning put into place so that you just don't spit people out of the economy and people are not thrown out of work. We will have a peace dividend but it is not going to be a hundred fifty billion dollars in two years. That's completely unrealistic second of all a gym has no discussion of what has become the most astounding Financial boondoggle in the history of our country, which is the SNL debt and how we're going to deal with that and let's not forget that's facing us right now and third of all his They should on taxes I think is one that we should discuss further because everybody George Bush included in both parties are talking about how Revenue will have to be raised if we're serious about deficit reduction and investing in education and health care and cleaning up the environment and I think it's very important for those who run for office to take a clear position because people want to know and my position is it's not the squeeze on middle income and working income people. No, it's not a sales tax. No, it's not more Social Security tax. What we should be talking about is some progressivity apply to the income tax code and people on the top $150,000 and over should be painted 38 percent level not 28 percent level. That's fair. That's what it was about before 1981 all the income and wealth has been distributed and all in the wrong direction up the income ladder and to not face that squarely is not I think really a strong and honest politics. (00:13:27) All right, Karen borrows your turn to talk to Jim Nichols. Mr. Nichols. I'd like to also ask you the same question. I asked Paul about the National Endowment for the arts arts. How would you have voted on the Jesse Helms anti obscenity (00:13:41) move and explain why I would have voted against the Helms Amendment frankly. I can't see myself voting very often. If ever with Senator Jesse Helms. I'm not a fan of Senator Helms. I think he's made Much Ado About Nothing clearly there. There were some abuses in some instances and in Fairly minor where I think they've crossed the bounds and won't go into we all know what they were but Senator Helms wants to go far beyond that. He wants everyone to sign a waiver disclaimer. Whatever. He has used a couple of minor issues to somehow argue that we have obscenity in the Arts everywhere and I just don't think that's true and he's a great one for seizing on these issues that somehow would Would make the public angry raise public iron. I consider him a basically false issues. I've really seen no examples of obscene art here in (00:14:34) Minnesota. Steve dornfeld a question, please for Paul wellstone Paul. You've been criticized an occasion for being too liberal for somehow being out of out of step with the mainstream Minnesotan. What kind of Senator do you see yourself being and and who in the Senate now best represents the kind of Senator you (00:14:55) aspire to be? I see myself first on the labeling. I see myself Steve swimming right in the mainstream my positions on National Health Care. My positions on children and education. I've devoted my adult life to education. What I've said about protection of the environment. What I've said about separating wealth from political power and campaign Finance reform what I've said about privacy rights and what I've said about a new military and a new Farm policy getting away from all the expenditure of money on weapons and death and destruction is right what the vast majority of people in the state believe in that's number one. I'm in the mainstream re boschwitz his way out of the mainstream people just don't know his voting record and when they know his voting record, I will win the general election. I think I'll be a senator. First of all who be issue-oriented that's the kind of campaign. I've conducted I have been focusing on issues. I have been campaigning all across the state and I've been listening carefully to people I think I will be a senator who's honest I talk at high schools and I meet with young people there so turned off and I tell them that politics is disreputable when disreputable people are in politics and it's reputable when reputable people Politics I think I will be very honest Senator. I will always say what I believe and finally I want to use this position and combined it with my background in teaching and I want to be an early warning system for people back in the state of Minnesota. So that part of my staff work part of what we're going to be doing by way of serving constituents is letting people know about key votes that come up on amendments before those amendments are voted on not afterwards, you know, it's always reported in the paper about how your representative in Senator voted but people don't know beforehand. I think you can really use this position to sort of Empower people back home and let people know what's going on in Washington and how they can be more of a voice. (00:16:50) Second part of that question was who in the Senate best represents a kind of Senator Udall I aspire to be. (00:16:56) Wow. I really like Bob Kerrey from Nebraska. I met with Bob Kerrey. It was so refreshing because what we focused on were issues not have you raised eight million dollars. Have you raised 12 million dollars we talked about issues. I think he's very honest about where he stands and he certainly one person that that that I'm very very impressed with and there are others we turn (00:17:22) now to Alan McDonald with a question for Jim Nichols. Mr. Nichols. There are lots of ideas about (00:17:28) how to reduce welfare dependency and strengthen family (00:17:31) structures particularly on our in our inner cities (00:17:34) a few years ago Minneapolis Mayor, Don Fraser proposed reducing welfare benefits to women who had additional children while they were on welfare. Do you favor that sort of approach? If not, what kind of approach do you favor to address this problem know what we've tried to set up as a Some of penalties for those on welfare. I don't think that is a workable solution at all. I would argue that the way to get people off welfare and they principally are single parents mostly women. Unfortunately Linda. The first thing they need is a decent wage a decent income. I'm a strong believer in increasing the minimum wage. In fact, I'm proud of the fact that when I was a state senator authored successful legislation to raise the minimum wage, and I was also at the same time the only one of the 201 members of the legislature that refused to legislate a pay increase I contrast that to boss witch who voted six times to raise his own pain is against the minimum wage increase so I strongly believe in better wages. The second thing you have to have is health care benefits because the minute you leave afdc, you leave behind those health care benefits and you're out on the free market if you will and the third thing is you have to have a child care system in place. Those are the principal things when you talk to anyone who's on welfare, they need first of all a job at a decent wage second if they're a mother with dependent children and most are they need health care benefits for themselves and their family and third they need childcare. So I have strongly advocated those issues as a way to get person's off welfare. I think it's a workable solution. I think there's more than enough jobs in this country. We actually import labor and it's we talk about quotas that we manage through the green card. We manage a lot of quotas and we've imported a lot of Labor actually from Asia the jobs are there but the wages and the benefit package is simply aren't there. That's the true way to get people off welfare. (00:19:16) Folks we've done a pretty good job on time here. Let's take one more round of questions Karen borrows for Paul wellstone Paul, you have been campaigning for about two years for this job. Jim has not been campaigning that long and lately has been running his campaign out (00:19:29) of his kitchen. It's sometimes hard to detect the Nichols campaign yet the two of you seem to in the most recent polls. I've seen seem to be running almost neck and neck. How do you account for your inability not to have been way ahead of somebody with a minimal campaign? Well, first of all when you're a new relative newcomer, you have to overcome name identification. Jim has been a commissioner since 1982. That's a huge Advantage second of all until it's really awful. But until TV gets interested in campaigns not that many people are necessarily attuned to it and during the summer people are not paying that close of attention. I have been everywhere across the state. I have met with people all across the state have built a broad based organization. You're quite right. I mean II have endorsements from Building Trades unions from the public employees from teachers from industrial unions endorsement from the Sierra Club environmental Community from women the endorsement of my party the Democratic farmer labor party the endorsement of Congressman Oberstar in the eighth and vento in the fourth and Sabo in the fifth and Sikorsky in the sixth strong support from the governor. You name it on down Walter Mondale and I think that what's happened is that people have decided in this particular race that they are going to wait right up to a primary day to really start taking a close look at it and then decide the to endorsements. I received last week and two major papers the start rib, and the st. Paul Pioneer Press are very very important and that dealt again with my knowledge of issues and my ability to wage an issue-oriented campaign and the fact that they'll be that kind of Senator. So I'm feeling pretty good about where I am right now. We're very close and I think Going to see over this next six days is (00:21:19) I'm not going to stop (00:21:19) campaigning I never do we have a great organization. We're going to be doing all the phoning all the getting out the vote and I think we will win the primary by a good margin and then move on to the general election. (00:21:32) All right Steve dornfeld final question from you for Jim Nichols, please Jim as egg commissioner. You've been criticized on occasion for being outspoken and of rubbing some people the wrong way including the Democratic chairman of the US House agriculture committee. If you were elected, what kind of Senator would you be in would you be able to work effectively with with people in Congress who are there now? (00:21:56) Well, I was accused of being that as a state senator to as you'll recall of deep Tangled more than once with members of my own party in the state senate have done so as a commissioner, I'm not going to Try and silence myself on the issues. I'm going to call a spade a spade always have and always will and that's not going to change despite the fact that I've had my differences with members of both party. I think I'm well liked. In fact, I feel very good. Now as I leave this job as a commissioner, so my best friends are Republicans one Republican legislator sent money to my campaign and I leave I left the Senate feeling good and well respected in the Senate was well respected as an egg commissioner and what people say to me now they say, you know, we don't always agree with you on your issues Nichols, but at least we know where you stand and we respect you for where you stand I've conducted my life as one that has had strong disagreements on issues of policy, but I kept it on a different level. I can disagree with someone and still be friends. When you learn in the legislative process. Today's friend. Maybe tomorrow's enemy and vice versa. Today's enemy may be tomorrow's a lie. I have a great record. I'm very proud of it as a state senator in passing successful. Isolation I introduced the just over a hundred bills passed over 20 of those pills another 40. I'm ended on to another bill. I got about a 66% record in passing legislation. I know how to pass legislation and how the system works. I know how to Lobby my colleagues to get the votes that I need and I think I will have their respect even though I will disagree with them and I won't deny that at times I'll hit heads with a whole lot of people in the states and the US Senate. There's no doubt about that. (00:23:33) You're listening to a live debate between the two dfl primary candidates for United States Senator dfl and Dorsey Paul wellstone and Challenger Jim Nichols. Whoever wins on September 11th will be the dfl nominee and will impose incumbent IR Senator Rudy boschwitz in November this broadcast today is being co-sponsored by the st. Paul Pioneer Press and Minnesota Public Radio. If this point we're going to give the two candidates chance to question each other a bit later in the hour, we'll turn to listener questions. And so this is a good time to open the phone lines give you chance to call in if you'd like to put a question to either Jim Nichols or Paul wellstone Minneapolis st. Paul area listeners dial this number 2276 thousand 2276 thousand in Minneapolis st. Paul outside the Twin Cities area. The call is toll-free at 1-866-553-2368. Five two nine seven zero zero now we turn to the segment of the debate where the Get the question each other a quick reminder about the ground rules gentlemen, the the question takes no more than 30 seconds the answer no longer than two minutes. We'll dispense with the follow-ups and we'll just rotate back and forth between you Jim Nichols. Why don't you start with the first one for Paul (00:24:48) wellstone? Well, Paul you and I have disagreed somewhat on Cuts in military spending and the war in Iraq you and I were both protesters against the Vietnam War. So I signed find your position is inconsistent. Don't say we can't cut the troop strength. We cut over a million troops in two years following the Vietnam War. So my 2 year production in military is realistic and you only have to go back to the early 70s to find out that you can actually do that and it won't hurt the economy and then finally in Iraq, you know, I've said it's a mistake to put troops in. It's a tactical mistake and yet you've supported that it seems inconsistent to (00:25:21) me. All right, Paul your answer. Okay, (00:25:23) let me let me take those in reverse order especially and by the way, I don't see any inconsistency at all. Jim Iraq, first of all. What I have said and I outline my position and op-ed piece in the start rib, and I did that right away because I want to take a very clear position is that everything has to be multilateral but that I think the sending of troops as the first step was very important because I think it sent a message to Saddam Hussein in the message is that you just can't go in and swallow up another country. I've been very critical of the United States for trying to do that in the past. I think your your doctrine of massive retaliation that you wait and you essentially say to Saddam Hussein. If you go any further, then there will be air strikes is misses the point we send in troops as a deterrent to make it clear that they go no further, which is the way that you avoid an all-out war in the Middle East. I have also been very very clear and very critical of what I see coming and I think a lot of the most important decisions are going to take place in the future. One of those decisions is whether or not this will be truly multilateral. I've made it very clear. It (00:26:30) must be can't be alone Ranger Vietnam. (00:26:33) Type action another one of those decisions is will it be pre-emptive military action? I've been a very strong opponent of that and then finally now (00:26:40) we hear Baker talking about how we're going to have a presence in that (00:26:43) part of the world for a long time. That doesn't sound to me like multilateral that doesn't sound to me like United Nations. And and I think I would be in profound disagreement with such a proposal. I am in profound disagreement on the cuts one more time Jim you're going to have to look long and hard and far to find people including people like myself. Who by the way have a record for the Whole Decade in writing in research and in work with people all across this country challenging nuclear arms race in the Pentagon budget who say that we can cut that budget by 50% in the next one year or two years. (00:27:16) Okay, Paul wellstone now, you can shift from answering a question to asking one of Jim Nichols. (00:27:23) Well, I think the first question I want to ask Jim is has to do with one issue that he's been focusing on I have been campaigning around the state on a variety of issues. Jim has really been focusing in on one issue and that has to do with abortion and Jim has taken the position that he would take the lead for Constitutional Amendment overturning Roe v-- Wade and women could not choose an abortion and I want to ask you do you think that women who have abortions who make this Choice are criminals and what kind of sanctions what kind of criminal sanctions are you talking about against women? Okay. Well, first of all, you know, this hasn't been a one issue campaign. We've talked about a whole range of issues here and we agree on someone who disagree on others and I've tried very hard not to make it one issue campaign. Unfortunately party structure being what it is and it especially at the endorsement convention. It was a one-issue convention to your question specifically. No, I do not think women are criminals and if they end up with an abortion, I have a proposal penalties Norwood a for the women or for the doctors, but We I have argued from the beginning that this is the ultimate liberal issue and you and I and we talked about this this morning you and I know that those babies most likely to be aborted are those that have a handicapped whether it's a mental or physical handicapped and I'm a little bit biased because I have a handicapped child, but those are the babies really the really at risk you've spoken up for children, especially handicapped children, I would argue that we as Democrats. We're the party that found it Social Security. We take care of our senior citizens. We're the party that is always proposed Child Care initiatives. We're the party that should stand up for those unborn children and those who most need someone to fight for them. Those are going to need a champion are those least able to help themselves and I would say that those least able to help themselves would be an unborn handicapped child of all the people we should stand up for you and I Paul those are the people we should fight for their I really disagree with my party because I consider my opposition to abortion as the ultimate liberal issue. Those are the people that need us to Champion their cause they can't fight for themselves. Let me let me Respond in a couple of (00:29:24) different ways out of this is a little bit again. This is a little out of the (00:29:27) ground rules, but promised chairman. Let's let's enforce the rules here. (00:29:30) Okay. All right. I think I think that's probably what we ought to do in gym. You can ask a question of Palma. (00:29:36) Okay (00:29:37) hard to shift gears there so quickly as yeah. (00:29:41) Paul when the governor Ventures Out The North Door of the capital you grab his leg and he drags you to the range and you don't let go till he's back you've attached yourself his party yet. I know this violates the rules but I just can't remember tackling the governor. It's a metaphor here and (00:29:57) I start again, but (00:29:59) now I'm on the short side. Maybe you don't have good sight. Sometimes we walk together. By the way. I've been campaign on the range for a year and a half. I win this on my (00:30:07) own. Yes. Let Jim Nichols. Let's go ahead. Can we start the time again start the timer (00:30:11) give him his tiny how I never have tackled the governor cross my heart. Well, you've attached him yourself to him. You've attached yourself to every legislator who would let you now in southern western Minnesota. Frankly. They are unwelcome out there in those legislative districts. They won't campaign with you, but I have to ask you where will you lead the ticket? What's happening here is your dependent upon the party platform the party to drag you through this election where the top name on the ticket you and I at some place in the state and I know where I'm going to leave the ticket. Where are you going to leave the ticket? Are you going to add to the part of you're asking them to drag you with them? You need to (00:30:45) lead your answer, please Paul (00:30:47) wellstone. Okay, this is this a truly astounding by the way with the governor. But if you haven't noticed I've been campaigning on my own for two years. I'm proud to have the support of people all across the party and a variety of different groups of people all across the state. I in southern and western Minnesota. If there are tremendous number of people that are there campaigning with me and the converse of that would be you go up to the northern part of the state and the eighth and you campaign in the metro area and you can't find legislators to campaign with you that's not important. We don't want to start getting into this kind of discussion which legislators are with which one of us, what do we offer people? I'm going to lead the ticket. I'm going to do the same thing. I've done for two years. I'm going to focus on issues that are important to people's lives over and over again. I'm going to talk about the need for National Health Care Program. I'm going to talk about children and education. I'm going to talk about protection of the environment. I'm going to talk about campaign Finance reform and I'm going to talk about what my dad talked to be about the possibility of a whole new world in the making those are the issues that people care about and I'm going to lead my party the democratic-farmer-labor party to Victory on the basis of that kind of politics. Not on the basis of personal attack of any kind in any way shape or form (00:32:03) alright now, mr. Wellstone a question for mr. Nichols. A question for mr. Yeah question that you might put to Jim Nichols. (00:32:14) Jim I'm kind of interested in the sort of how we campaign and what that says to people about the general election as Karen said earlier. I've been at this for some time. I've met with people Cafe schools union halls churches Tennessee God brought organization with a tremendous amount of support from people all across the state have waged an issue-oriented campaign. It seems like you haven't been campaigning and I don't see you focusing on but one issue. Okay, when around the state how do you expect to beat Rudy boschwitz without an (00:32:51) organization without that broad base of support, (00:32:53) please? Okay, you and I were together in Virginia yesterday. I was working the plant gate at 5:30 and Grand Rapids yesterday morning. I get about four hours of sleep a night. I'm always amazed when people say we have a minimal campaign. My wife would disagree. I don't have a paid staff. I have some of the best volunteers frankly my volunteers here. I couldn't pay them enough. You can't go out and hire attorneys to work on the campaign. It can't be done. We decided not to open a campaign office and I've had several offers for free offers. You know, it's like I had to raise the money to do it but to control the campaign we chose to run it out of our home. That was the gist tactical decision. Not a decision related to money. Somehow the media says if you don't have a campaign office, it's not a viable campaign. I fail to see the connection. I have very strong positions on all of the issues. I've been all over the state in 84 of the 87 counties. I've campaigned hard. I've worked very hard. I'm not particularly good at asking people for money and you can criticize me for that and rightly. So so if not raise enough money, but we will spend on this campaign about $100,000 a governor purpose spent a hundred and thirty thousand to defeat Warren spanis, and we're going to win this primary election. I feel good about I've been out working every day. Now, I'm a little bit handicapped. They've had to go to work every day as Commissioner of Agriculture and when I'm not at work, I'm on vacation you have limited numbers of vacation days. I'm on vacation today. Obviously, I chose not to resign my job Frank. I have to feed my family and just couldn't afford to go a full. Without a job and I don't know how you do it. I commend you for being able to do that. But this campaign it's not run out of the kitchen care is one of the family room. We got to get that straight but we have worked very hard. We're going to have a Precinct in the captain and every Precinct that's 4068 Precinct captains a chair in every County and Senate District in the state. We're going to turn out the vote. This is a very hardworking campaign. It's run mostly by volunteers. I'm not going to apologize for that. If you've got a lot of volunteers, you don't need to pay the people that are here with me and others. I could pay him $100 and call him full-time staff because they work 12 hours a day 7 days a week. Maybe I should have done that. I just didn't think it would focus so much on on efforts that are called minimal when I don't think their minimum at (00:34:55) all. Thank you. Jim Nichols dfl Senate primary candidates Jim Nichols and Paul wellstone are debating live today on Minnesota Public Radio. We began the hour with questions from a panel of journalists as you heard the to of just finished questioning each other and now we turn to questions from our radio listeners again. Telephone number in the Twin Cities is 2276 thousand outside Minneapolis st. Paul 1-800-662-2386. Our first caller is standing by would you go ahead please? Oh, I'm not sure about that. Okay. Well, we'll get the control room to get that organized just as quickly as we can then. Let me let me put a question to Paul wellstone here as we await the listener questions Paul lot of people experts say that the US economy is already in a recession that of course will mean lower federal tax revenues and still more growth in the budget deficit. Would you raise taxes under those circumstances? And what taxes would you raise? (00:35:58) Well, I think that again Bob I think that the discussion about that they'll be there's no need to raise revenue that there are other ways we can do this is a is a dishonest discussion taxes are going to be raised and I think the taxes that have to be raised have to be raised according to the principle of progressivity. They can't come out a middle and working income people it you have to be you have to talk once again about going up from 28% to 38% for individuals with incomes of $150,000 a year over or a hundred thousand dollars a year over. (00:36:31) Visuals (00:36:33) we are alone among the advanced economies in the world who do not have some kind of fair tax system where the people with the wealth and income pay a little more carry their fair share the second thing about the recession, which is very very important to understand is part of the problem. There (00:36:52) is that might not be the you don't raise (00:36:54) taxes to deal with recession. I mean with a recession you want people to be able to consume more. So the real question and dealing with a recession is we have to get our economic house in order. I see no credible macro economic plan. I see no credible capital investment plan if we don't invest in our physical infrastructure And if we don't invest in human capital education and children, then we will not have a skilled Workforce and we will not find our niche in the international economic order. If we don't invest in new emerging Technologies telecommunications in new clean Technologies, we will find ourselves way behind in relation to a single Market. That is the that is developing in Europe in relation to Japan. If we don't invest in in the industrial structure of our economy, we will continue to take a beating in Auto steel you name it? So I think the real question is economic performance and that's what we have really let go by the wayside one final point. We'll have to come up with a new definition of real National Security. (00:38:03) All right, and that part of that is going to be focused on our economy and at that point Paul wellstone you run out of time. Let's see if we got those a listener questions is standing by now. First caller should be ready to go and you're on the air you would you like to direct your question to one or the other of the Candidates actually, I'd like both candidates to answer this. I'd be curious as to how each candidate if they could give an example as to how they would work with or against Senator durenberger to protect the interests of minnesotans Jim Nichols. I start with you. (00:38:31) Well, actually I think I could work very well with Senator durenberger. I think he's been ineffective u.s. Senator clearly, he's had some personal financial problems that have cast a shadow on him. I think he's done a good job in healthcare, even though he initially started off proposing legislation. That was very unfair to our rural hospitals reimbursement rates for a rural hospitals are very unfair. He's tried to correct that situation. I think Senator and durenberger is a man of compassion. He and I have discussed several times agricultural legislation and I pointed out to him that if he wanted to be on the side of the farmers and out on the side of the agribusiness Giants, he should always vote the opposite of Rudy boschwitz and he'd be right every time unfortunately he has and he's admitted to He taken the senator bus which is lead and he's voted with the cargill's too many times, but I think I could lead senator durenberger in the right direction on a lot of issues. He just follow the lead of the wrong person are it's unfortunate, but I think he's a good man a man of compassion. All right, Paul wellstone your response to that question. Well, I have very mixed feelings about What's happened with Senator? Durenberger? I don't like to see anybody in such personal difficulty. But I think as a man said to me at the fair the other day. He said we work hard and all's we ask of you all is to be honest. I think we saw some very serious ethical transgressions. I think many people feel that if they had been involved in that kind of Wheeling and dealing they would have lost their jobs. There would have been some some sanctions taken against them and I think people are very tired of the kind of Wheeling and dealing and ethical problems in Washington DC and I think David durenberger is going to have to go a long long long long way to restore people's faith and trust and confidence in him and I'm kind of indignant about his behavior there and not just his behavior, but I think all of the sort of Wheeling and dealing that takes place among entirely too many people in the Senate and in the (00:40:41) house (00:40:43) on issues, I have said it a number of different Gatherings around the state and it sure gets people's attention. I think Rudy boschwitz should resign because David Aaron Berger has at least shown some leadership on some issues that are important to minnesotans Rudy boschwitz his All of his time raising money David durenberger has shown some concern about health care costs. I take it much further. I'm going to be remembered as a senator from Minnesota very much in the Hubert Humphrey tradition that led the fight for Universal Health Care coverage. It's not an accident. It's no accident that I have support from the Sierra Club and the environmental Community issues of energy and environment of where I've been through this out this past decade of (00:41:26) the 80s (00:41:27) and David Aaron Berger has shown at least some leadership on the environment far more than Rudy boschwitz. So I will give credit where credit's due and finally the Americans with Disability Act, which was just passed which was a very important piece of civil rights legislation (00:41:39) for people with disabilities. That's Hank David. Thank you major. Yes. Yes, very very good. All right listening to a live debate between the dfl sent Senate candidates Paul wellstone and Jim Nichols and we have another question from a listener now. Go ahead, please. Yes back in 1980 President Carter left and energy. It meant that was doing something towards researching and looking for Alternative forms of energy President Reagan all but dismantled that and so we are in the position in which we are now in the Middle East another problem with a somebody who wants to take our oil away and destroy our quote way of life unquote. I'd like to know what your feeling is about going back to government-sponsored research on Alternative forms of energy so that we will not find ourselves in this position again. So let's have let's have Jim Nichols take that one first that last time well, he was first last time. All right, but it doesn't really matter the car didn't specify go ahead Paul else. Don't go ahead. (00:42:40) We'll just keep alternating. Yeah fine. You sure you don't want to be first. I'll be first to be living. I don't want to let you (00:42:46) go ahead right? Let's not waste time. (00:42:50) I think what's happened in the Middle East will be a triggering event. And it brings home the lesson that we have to reduce the Strategic importance of that part of the world. And what that means is we have to deal very seriously with demand in our country Reagan administration dismantled the Solar Energy Research Institute. I worked as the governor special adviser 1983-1984 in the state of Minnesota all on conservation saved energy efficient energy use and Renewables. We have seen the budget for conservation and Renewables cut 90% over this decade of the 80s from what it was in nineteen eighty-one clearly for environmental reasons and for national security reasons. We will have to become very serious about soft path energy policy which is conservation and Renewables and we will have to dramatically reduce our dependency on Middle East oil. I think those people who talk about a gasoline tax are talking about an important environmental program, but there have to be rebates to make sure that it Is not have a regressive effect on people working in working income people people in Greater Minnesota that have to rely so much on the car. Clearly we need to do something about that demand. Also, by the way, we have to deal with the whole problem of Monopoly oil companies that are I think ripping people off at the gasoline pump. Finally. What about a rail system. What about a rail system is part of our national transportation system. What about getting serious about funds from the federal government for mass transit? Whatever model is chosen in our metropolitan areas on all these fronts the energy issues and the environmental issues. And by the way, the economic development issues because there's a tremendous growth industry with clean Technologies. It's labor intensive and it's building of neighborhoods and communities can happen. That's what we should do boschwitz gets his money from Exxon. He's a senator from Exxon. He won't be Ford. That's why I'm going to be (00:44:42) the center from now on. I knew you get that line. Let's go to the let's go to Jim Nichols 444 half minute to (00:44:48) rejoin. Okay, we when President Carter had the courage to tell Americans that were too dependent upon imported. Oil, we were 47 percent dependent upon oil from the Middle East primarily thanks to his initiatives. We reduce that to 29% Reliance on imported oil. Now, we're at nearly 50% That's not a record that anyone can be proud of clearly the Reagan Administration dismantled all the president Cardis Carter's energy initiatives and we're going to pay a price for that. It costs a lot of money to send troops to Iraq. I'm proud of the fact that as a state senator a freshman state senator, I pass legislation of give a tax credit for ethanol. I call it the clean air fuel. I totally agree with Paul. We've got to look at Rail and mass transit in and when you go and travel in Europe, it's affordable and its energy efficient than in finally our missed a major opportunity in the Clean Air Act there we could have mandated. Okay higher mile per gallon standard (00:45:38) op. Thank you very much. Nice. Next listener question, please go ahead. You're on the air. Yes. I've got a question from I'm from Wadena, Minnesota up and Itasca County and I've got a question for both candidates what they would do to strengthen. Native American rights across this country and especially another question related to that. How do they feel about ex Native Americans exercising their off-reservation treaty rights, especially in resource issues. Okay question for both. They'll each get two minutes. We'll start with Jim Nichols. (00:46:11) Well, one of the things that we certainly cannot be proud of and I'm not a Native American so I'm guilty of this is that we have not honored the treaties that we signed and clearly if anything if we have anything has any value it's the word of our nation and I think we have to honor those treaties now, that's it's not an easy situation clearly the situation. The Black Hills is tough. But if you can't honor it then at least we have to make monetary compensation in some of those treaties that were not honored the monetary compensation was far too small again. We see it cropping up in fishing rights in Wisconsin. And we as Americans have to recognize we as immigrant Americans we're all immigrants with the exception of yourself, sir, if you're in American we have to recognize that we were not here first that we have to honor the commitments that we made and we have to respect the rights of those who were the first inhabitants of this nation, okay, mr. (00:47:06) Wellstone. If you want to take two minutes, you can you don't have to I think (00:47:10) that much of what Jim said is important and and on the mark it does it make me proud that we have really broken our word on untreated rights. It doesn't make me proud Jim that even with the financial compensation. It's not been by any standard of fairness adequate financial compensation. I agree very much with what was said about fishing rights. I would take it further to me when we talk about Native American rights. We also have to talk about people that live on the reservations and people that live in the cities I have in this campaign. It's a part of the way I campaign and so kind of Senator I intend to be I have met with Native American people in the Twin Cities. We talk about issues that are important and you know what those issues are that Children are just not making it in the schools education for our children that the job opportunities are just not there that there's too much poverty that there's homelessness and these are extremely important issues to Native American people in the urban communities as well. So when we talk about rights of Native American people, I think we need to talk about reservations where I have also campaigned and also to talk about the needs and circumstances of Native American people in our urban communities (00:48:41) as well. You're listening to a live debate between the dfl candidates for United States Senate Paul wellstone and Jim Nichols. We're taking questions from listeners during this segment of the debate with about five minutes left in this portion. Let's go to our next caller. Hello. Hello. Yes, you're on. Um, I have a question for that should be directed at both candidates dealing with Healthcare throughout the campaign. Both men have talked about Universal Health Care or mandated health insurance. And I would just like them to Define for me the difference between Universal Health Care versus universal health insurance. Are you talking about are you both arguing? Particularly Paul wellstone, are you arguing for socialized medicine so much of his argument seemed to be this redistribution of wealth the form of Socialism in a lot of different areas. Is that what you're looking for with regard to health care? So that that people don't have too much freedom of choice and have to be stuck on on waiting lists just to get minimal care as happens to many in England. All right, we'll start with the Paul wellstone then get to Jim Nichols Ki (00:49:43) thank I thank you for the question. I have to tell you that to talk about people at the top paying a fair share of their taxes, which many many upper-income Americans agree with as to the vast majority of people. Talk about one more time children and education in the environment and Health Care is what the vast majority of people agree with and and believe in I would hardly call it redistribute quote redistribution of wealth socialism, whatever that whatever that means socialized medicine came out of the age-old debate about a national health insurance program or National Health Care Program in our country. It was a phrase that was used at a time when people in the health care profession were with Vernon only against any kind of a national health insurance program that's changed. What we are talking about is a universal healthcare coverage. It's a National Health Care Program. It means that every single citizen by virtue of being a citizen has accessibility to Affordable dignified you main health care every other Advanced economy in the world has such a system the only country that doesn't is South Africa, which we don't want to compare ourselves with in any case There are a lot of different models. I think the proposal of the national Physicians working plan, which was presented in the New England Journal of Medicine. Very prestigious Journal makes the most sense you raise the money at the national level. It's National Insurance, but you implemented at the state and local level and it's within a pluralistic framework consumer choice fee-for-service is a good idea if that's what you want prepaid group medicine hmos is a good idea if that's what you want. If we have a good strong vital Public Health Service, then that's what you choose. That's the framework pluralistic but a national health insurance program that makes sure that we allocate Health Care on the basis of need not on the basis of ability to pay its not centralized. It's not bureaucratized but it will be an enormous step forward think less expensive and by the way much more important for citizens in this country there (00:51:50) there we are. That's the end when the crap Ball please. Yep done. All right now. Chuckles your vision of Health (00:51:56) Care. Unfortunately, we do spend an awful lot of taxpayers dollars on a Healthcare System right now, but it's not a good delivery system. We spend twenty six billion dollars for Medicaid primarily for those who can't afford any health care. We have a Ramsey County Hospital right here in Ramsey County a lot of State dollars go for health care. We need in place a National Health Care system. I have proposed a national health insurance program that would create a national competitive pool would set one set of benefits and One Premium One Rate that way small businesses who cannot afford to compete with large corporations because they don't can't offer the same plan. They pay much more for the same plan. They would get an affordable rate. This pool will be very large. I would estimate in the neighborhood of a hundred million people in the pool those who do not have access to health care and we got remember that if you don't live in Minnesota and where we have the state pool here in another state if you're forced off your health care plan, you couldn't even buy it. They would have access to this National pool public plan if you will and we're going to have to subsidize those high cost as we do. No high cost to individuals with the healthcare. I have proposed in my budget twenty three billion dollars for health care as part of my national national health insurance program and we have to recognize that our system spends 11 percent of GNP nearly 600 billion dollars for health care as opposed the Canadian system at 8% It's a better system that we have. We do not emphasize prevention. We emphasize cure all of those people out there that can't afford it when they go to the hospital. It's too late we end up with some very high cost programs. And finally we have to have some reforms in the insurance industry because I want to continue the private insurance industry, but more importantly in malpractice when you go to make a doctor's call right now 20 to 30% of the cost is malpractice insurance premiums we can set limits on that and not you know, by law the federal government can limit how much in a ward can be made and we have to in this instance follow the Canadian model where those who file malpractice lawsuits get a trial by a judge and not a jury those malpractice costs have to be limited. They don't help anyone, but they cost a lot of (00:53:52) money. Thank you Jim Nichols. Our is just about over and we'll take time now for the candidates closing statements given the chance to wrap up any loose ends that may be left over from the earlier comments that they made. I'll call First on Paul wellstone if that's alright for his closing today beginning. Well, I'm going to fairness the gym. I think (00:54:12) if you don't eat it since I went first the beginning, I'll let him go first (00:54:15) now well, but he also spoke last effect two seconds ago, but Jim if you're ready, go ahead. Yeah, (00:54:20) that's fine. I've been privileged to serve for 14 years in a capacity that I think has done some good for the citizens of Minnesota two terms of the state senator two terms as Commissioner of Agriculture. I kind of set some limits on myself. I think two terms is enough and I would do the same as a u.s. Senator. I'm proud of my accomplishments Chief author. The public Waters law is Chairman of the Senate to public lands committee major player in the groundwater Protection Law that was just passed food safety and the federal level can take a great deal of credit for the conservation Reserve program. So I've been able to get legislation through the state legislature as a state senator as Commissioner of Agriculture. I propose legislation lobbied through it's been successful it's past and I've even had a role in passing National legislation. So I think I've got the experience that would qualify qualify me for this job. I think I have the commitment. I feel very good about my honesty. I never sent out a mass mailing as a state senator never will as US senator if I call my wife I pay for the phone call. I have a very high standard for myself that I don't see being enforced at the national level. And when I took office as a state senator I said you got to walk out this door someday and you got to walk out feeling good and I left feeling good. Now. I'm leaving as Commissioner of Agriculture and I walk out feeling good. I've made a difference. I've accomplished things and I feel good about how I conducted my personal (00:55:40) life. All right, Jim. Thank you very much now Paul your chance for a closing statement men and a half maximum. It saddens me that extent (00:55:47) to which people have become so disengaged from politics. They view it as phony and fake and superficial and irrelevant and Any by big money and I'm opposed to all that and that's why I'm running for the United States Senate. I think the politics has to do with the Improvement of people's lives. That's what I have devoted my adult life to being involved with that's what I have done. I've been campaigning all across the state I built an organization. I've been speaking out on important issues. I have very broad Foundation of support AFL-CIO Auto Workers public employees environmentalists women urban and rural and I have been absolutely convinced that minnesotans. Once they know what Rudy boschwitz stands for will vote them out of office. We have done some polling and I've talked with people and his support is amazingly superficial and when people hear what I say and what I believe in on health care and the environment and childcare and education I go way up and I think that it's really quite clear that not only can I win this nomination, but that I can be Rudy boschwitz. I I believe with all deference to Jim Nichols that Jim has not been out there campaigning actively that he has not been talking about a lot of those issues except now the end that he's focused on really just a one issue and I do not believe that kind of campaign can beat Rudy boschwitz. I look forward to Leading my ticket in the November election to Victory. (00:57:17) Thank you Paul wellstone with those closing comments. We are at the end of this live debate between the dfl candidates for United States Senate and or see Paul wellstone and Challenger. Jim Nichols voters will decide in the dfl primary election next Tuesday, which of these men will oppose the incumbent IR Senator Rudy boschwitz. Let me take a moment to thank our panel of questioners Karen Boris from Minnesota Public Radio Steve dornfeld and Linda McDonald from the st. Paul Pioneer Press. This debate was a joint presentation of Minnesota Public Radio and the st. Paul Pioneer Press. The executive producers are George Busey and Ron Clark. The producer was Sarah Mayer. Marlena Benzie our production assistant technical Direction by Tom Mudge and Craig Thorson with help from Cliff Bentley. This broadcast was made possible by contributions to the Minnesota Public Radio public affairs fund which supports the production and broadcast costs of live news coverage and by the generosity of the members of Minnesota Public Radio join us on Friday at the same time for a debate between the independent Republican candidates for Governor featuring and or see John grunts F and Challengers Arne Carlson and Doug Kelly. This is Bob Potter speaking. And this is Dan Olsen in st. Paul bringing to a close this Wednesday edition of midday with a couple of additional listening reminders and a quick look at the weather forecast information as well a reminder that tomorrow during the noon hour. You'll hear Alexander dubcek chairman of the federal assembly of Czechoslovakia. He spoke to the Minnesota meeting today and the Anoka County Chamber of Commerce. And we took the liberty of tape recording that address in your interest and will be bringing it to you tomorrow during the noon hour as part of midday on these Minnesota Public Radio station. So you'll want to stay tuned for that Alexander dubcek Thursday during the midday noon hour in st. Cloud partly sunny 77 degrees in the International Falls area cloudy and 68 a shower in Duluth and 64 degrees in the LA area cloudy and 68 in the Rochester vicinity partly. Sunny 78 degrees in the Twin Cities now cloudy and 77 briefly the forecast for Minnesota humid and hot Highs will range from the mid 70s North East to the low 90s Southwest tonight variable cloudiness still humid and a chance of thunderstorms in the Central and South. That's midday technical directors Clifford Bentley and Brandy Johnson. I'm Dan Olson. And this is knnow am 1330 Minneapolis and Saint Paul the Twin Cities news and information station of Minnesota Public Radio. Minnesota public radio's news and information service is your source for the most comprehensive political and government reporting on radio. (01:00:03) No radio service devotes (01:00:04) more time to political analysis commentary or live coverage. This is where you get the whole story. It's about one o'clock. It's not about one o'clock. It's about 11 seconds after one o'clock. And in about 45 seconds will go off to the news headlines best friend always humored by my lack of ability to give the correct and precise time. All right, what do you have for take out 200 couple of discussions in the educational vain? We're (01:00:29) going to find out about literacy efforts both in Pakistan and here from Girl Scouts and Girl Guides. We'll find out about a curriculum teaching labor history and the Saint Paul schools will hear the news of the black family reunions that are taking place all across America and a conversation with Dirty Harry himself Clint (01:00:46) Eastwood, all of this in one action packed take out program. So hold on to your radio strap yourself in because it's coming by and just a short time these hot humid conditions will persist through tonight and then into tomorrow and who knows perhaps relief is on the way. This is Minnesota after all at one past one.