Democrats Todd LeVeck and Andrew Meyer each did their best to convince voters that they are the candidate to beat Republican State Rep. Nan Baker at the Westside Democrats debate Tuesday night.
LeVeck, a public schools teacher, and Meyer, a private practice attorney, met at to answer questions on privatization, fracking, foreclosure and more. The winner of the March 6 primary will go head-to-head with Baker in November to represent District 16, which includes Bay Village, Rocky River, Fairview Park, North Olmsted and Westlake.
Here is a selection of questions, as asked by moderator Steve Bennett of the Lakewood Democratic Club.
Q: What can and should be done to fix the foreclosure crisis?
Meyer: "The problem is banks that foreclose and don't get the property back," he said. Meyer suggested that the bank should have to take the property back within a certain amount of time. "That way, we can hold the financial partners' feet to the fire... so that the government isn't left holding the bag."
LeVeck: "We need to get direct relief to the people that have been victimized by this crisis," he said. Leveck also said he hopes to find a way for people to refinance, create land banks and find money for revitalization.
Q: Will you try to stop Kasich agenda of privatizing services like the turnpike and prisons?
LeVeck: "If workers are united, we won't let them privatize our services," he said. LeVeck also stated that the way to fight privatization would be for Democrats to take back the state house. "I don't think the media care about the working class. I think it's going to have to be the working class," he said.
Meyer: "We need vocal leaders to keep the media spotlight on failed experiments," he said, citing projects in Indiana and Pennsylvania. Meyer agreed that a Democratic state house would be the solution.
Q: What is your position on fracking, and how would you vote when pressured by unions?
LeVeck: "Frankly, I don't believe there's been enough exposure. I'm not convinced it can be done safely," he said. LeVeck said he wasn't against fracking, citing jobs and industry that could be created, but said it must be done safely.
Meyer: "I would put a moratorium until the projects are held to the drinking water standards," he said. "Communities would profit short-term, but in the long-term, many would be left as ghost towns."
Q: Are you for or against the JobsOhio plan?
Meyer: "It's an indication of the lack of planning in the Kasich administration," he said, adding that he does not support the plan. "It's kind of a race to the bottom."
LeVeck: "I think JobsOhio is another example of government trying to give away state resources with no accountability," he said. LeVeck stated that an oversight panel is desperately needed, and that the investment should be going to schools. "We need to make sure that kids can fill the jobs that will be created when the economy recovers."
To see their answers to questions about schools, read Democratic State House Candidates Talk Schools.