First question, none of you like Washington, can you name a federal program that you like, one that you don’t like. Hutchison and Perry argued over highway funding–are we getting back 76 cents per each dollar, Perry says 70 cents. Medina likes military but says the federal gov’t is not doing a good job running the military. She would nullify the EPA and Health care. Question from listener: What would you do about unemployment. Medina–Perry and Hutchison will offer big government solutions. We should learn to lean on each other. Should eliminate prop taxes, adds $3 billion to personal income. To Perry, unemployment useed to be at 8%, used to be 4%. Perry–nobody misunderstands that Texas is the best state in the union for this. We lead the nation in the development of jobs. America lost 3 million jobs, spend it all, spend it now, Texas created jobs in Oct Nov. Let’s have skilled work force, get schools adequately funded. (Uh, what about the structural deficit.) Perry is getting passionate about a lot of jobs. Medina–You’re talking about 08-09, what about 07. Perry–really wears me out that there are two people on this stage that wants to tear Texas down. KBH — Lower the burden on business so that we can create more jobs. Gov Perry has raised the burden. New business tax, have to pay the highest unemployment tax. Our unemployment rate is higher than all of the surrounding states. Hiding from it is not the way to make things better. KBH — Don’t add business expenses. Medina — important to point out, we have lost jobs in the private sector. All the jobs the gov is talking about is 156 thousand in the government sector. Perry: Hold on. No gov has cut taxes more than we did. We cut taxes for 40,000 small business.l We cut property taxes by one-third. KBH — Dallas Morning News says largest tax increase in our history. Perry — I don’t take the Dallas Morning News as the standard for truth and veracity. Perry–cut property taxes by 1/3. KBH–no you didn’t, didn’t take into account increasing appraisals. Question on Abortion–Do you support Roe v, Wade. KBH — I have always supported life. We have added restrictions on abortion that protect life. Follow up–should Roe v Wade remain in effect? Follow up — So you would not overturn. SHE WON’T GIVE A STRAIGHT ANSWER. (Audience laughs). KBH — You have to look at what happens if Roe goes away. Question for Medina–You have indicated that you support right to bear arms. Given how you feel, is there any restriction you would support. Answer–Here is the difference between someone who understands the U.S. Constitution and the answer the governor and Senator would give. We have had tragedies, Columbine, Fort Hood. Private property ownership and gun ownership, the two things essential to a free society. Gun registration leads to gun confiscation. Question–Where are the limits? Medina–We have made average citizen unable to defend themselves. For Perry–Farm Bureau opposes you over eminent domain. You vetoed legislation that would compensate landowners for taking their property. Knowing what’s going on, I know that people in rural Texas care about that. Fact is, we passed a major eminent domain bill in Texas. Reason that piece of legislation got vetoed is that it was going to expand concept of being able to come in and sue, cottage industry for personal injury trial lawyers. Perry–We had vigorous debate in 2003 about frivolous lawsuits. People of Texas understand that last thing we want to do is turn back the clock on the gains we made on legal reform. Now, candidates can question other candidates. Perry–Senator Hutchison has had a problem on consistency. You told people of Texas you weren’t going to vote for the bail out. Then you went to Washington and voted for it. Then you said it was probably a bad vote. Then you went back and voted for $20 billion for bailout. KBH–President Bush came to Senator Cornyn and me and asked us to vote to protect the financial system. I didn’t say I would never vote for the bailout. I said I would never give $799 billion to anyone. But you, Governor Perry, are the one who is disingenuous on this issue. You wrote Congress, you asked for it too, you were for it before you were against it. Perry: We thought you understood what we meant, don’t spend all the money. Hutchison–That’s not what you said. Medina: You were a Democrat before you were a Republican. You have broken promises on tax reform. RP–I made the same decision Ronald Reagan did. I promised I would do everything in my power to make Texas a place where people wanted to live. (More self-congratulations). [Perry is smiling a lot, but it looks a lot like a smirk to me.] Voter’s question, from a member of the audience: Texas advance directive act gives hospital the right to end life. Keeping in mind that Texas is the only state with such a law, what would you do. Hutchison–Didn’t know we had an act. Makes me very concerned. Perry: I always stand by the side of life. You do everything you can to protect life. [Hey, he signed that act.] Medina–I’m a registered nurse, I’ve been at the bedside, Governor does a great job of giving lip service to pro-life. [More candidate to candidate questions} Medina — What evidence and assurance can you give Texans that you will be bound by our constitution. KBH: I share with you and the governor that we have gone way beyond what we have intended. I vigorously agree with everyone that what we need to do is remind Congress and the federal government that we must not go beyond the bounds. KBH to Perry: You are running an ad that says you have cut taxes on Texas business. But you have permanently increased taxes on our businesses. How can you say you have cut taxes when you have increased them by 80%. Perry–We have the second lowest tax burden of any state. We have a state that is growing. People understand that we are growing. Big states are draining, people are leaving them. They would not be coming here if things were as bad as you say. KBH — You know you can’t control appraisals so you know you can’t say you cut taxes. Perry ??? to Hutchison. Speaking to consistency: “Are you going to resign from the United States Senate? (He was supposed to ask Medina, she says she will not resign.) To Medina: You have said you will legalize drugs. Can you expound on that? Answer: I rode with Dallas police officer. He says 95% of what he does is drug-related. Texas has to be courageous enough to have a discussion on this. Question for all 3: Possible 17B shortfall, just how would you deal with this, will a tax increase be inevitable. Medina–I have talked about eliminating property taxes and instituting a sales tax, we will see an increase of $3B in personal income and 150 thousand new jobs. Lots of opportunity to look for transparency in government. Hutchison — I have run a business, made a payroll, best experience I have had. Governor decided to take stimulus money and spent $4B in recurring expenses and that is going to have to be made up. Start the cuts now, don’t wait until the biennium starts. Why couldn’t we consolidate 45 health care industries. TxDOT lost $1 billion in an accounting error. Perry: We’ve already done this (cut the budget, referring to 2003). I’ve got the experience. You’re laying this criticism at Republicans. KBH: You’re laying this criticism at Republicans. You’re lumping us in at Democats who are doing this. You are presiding over a budget that is going into a $17B budget deficit. Immigration question to KBH: What legislation would you support to control and deal with illegal immigrants. KBH: State of Texas does not even use e-verify system. Easiest way to find out if someone is in our country. Perry — You have supported sanctuary citizens. KBH: I have not. Medina: Both the governor and the senator are giving lip service to a problem, we must stand up against Washington DC. We’re at the end, closing statements. Medina: Many of you had to work very hard to assure that we would have a voice on this stage tonight. That has made all the difference. We will restore sovereignty to our state, we will control illegal immigration. Perry — I want to say thanks for allowing us to participate. It’s been a great opportunity to exchange ideas. Texas is the land of opportunity, there is something special going on in Texas. Why is Texas in a better situation than any other state. It’s because of the decisions we have made. KBH: Texas is the best place in America. I am running because I want to see that Texas is prepared twenty years from now. Dropouts. Leadership at TxDOT is the most arrogant in our history. Border security, we can do something about it, not just talk about it. Cronyism is creeping into our government. That is awful and I will change it. I don’t want Texas to be run over with toll roads. I don’t want our governor to mandate vaccines for twelve year old girls. That’s it!