This race will be a heated contest. Muratsuchi lost the primary by five hundred votes, and after looking throughout the city of Torrance, I have noted that there are more Hadley than Muratsuchi signs on display.
During the debate, Muratsuchi seemed flustered, stuttered sometimes with his responses. David Hadley seemed more prepared, somewhat confident.
Opening statements from Hadley including his perennial references to his family, his private sector work in a capital firm, and his reasons for running: concern about leaving the state of California in worse shape than he his parents had left it to him and his generation.
Assemblyman Muratsuchi talked about his career as a prosecutor for the Department of Justice, then as a Torrance School Board member. He talked about his work across party lines. Because of his freshman year in Sacramento, he could discuss a record of accomplishment passing legislation.
The usual talking points about balanced budgets and rainy day reserves do not convince me that fiscal sanity has returned to Sacramento.
Hadley pledged his support for Prop 13, and his local ties to the district. Muratsuchi played up his bipartisanship in Sacramento, including legislation to help businesses, protect the aerospace industry.
Muratsuchi relied on the same personal attacks he has used in the past.
In one mailer, he tagged his 2012 challenger Craig Huey to Hadley, claiming that he is a Tea Party extremist. Let us not forget that Huey took in 46% of the vote, and Hadley is certain to peel away the centrists who bolted for Muratsuchi following the lying campaign which targeted his conservative challenger in the last election.
The crowd scoffed at the Tea Party attack.
In another mailer, the attack ads hammered Hadley's financial firm for irregularities. Anyone with common sense would recognize that with the overregulated financial markets of our times, how can corporations avoid the red tape and regulatory burdens which set them up for fines? How can one not be fined these days?
On the issue of fracking, Hadley struck a conciliatory pose. Fracking should be under local control, n his opinion. The interest of Bakersfield residents would be widely different from those of residents in Hermosa Beach and San Diego. Muratsuchi came out strongly against fracking. This statement was a significant departure from March of this year, when he had declared that he did not know whether he would support a statewide ban or not. What changed Muratsuchi's mind?
The most important point in the debate focused not just on endorsements, but financial contributions. There is no running away from the truth: Muratsuchi is bought and paid for by government unions and outside interests. For all the financial support from these Democratic groups, Muratsuchi has struggled for money compared to the individual contributions for Hadley.
The best remarks came from Hadley's closing statement, in which he channeled President Reagan against Jimmy Carter in the 1980 debate.
"If you like the way things are going in California, in your district, then vote for a career politician. Vote for the same legislators who collect money and lie to their constituents. . ."
Then Hadley listed all the businesses fleeing California for other states. Toyota, Tesla. . .
Ouch! Loved it.
Now, I am somewhat disappointed in one aspect with Hadley. He supports drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. Then he segued to the federal laws and the concerns over illegal immigration. This is the Kashkari shuffle all over again. "They can't live here, but while they are here, they can drive here."
Besides, there is no evidence that this policy will create safer streets. None.
Other than the above complaint, all in all, the Hadley v. Muratsuchi debate was the best of the three.