Frankel, Hasner lay it out in Post debateby Andrew Abramson | October 17th, 2012
Lois Frankel and Adam Hasner squared off for the first time today at The Palm Beach Post District 22 congressional debate.
Before they talked about Medicare and the housing crisis, they immediately went after each other on more touchy issues — Digital Domain and Super PACs.
“(Former Digital Domain CEO) John Textor donated $20,000 to (Frankel’s) campaign,” Hasner said. “It goes along the lines of a long culture of corruption we’ve seen in West Palm Beach for far too long. … Why did John Textor get money from the city of West Palm Beach and was it in response to the $20,000 he gave to Frankel’s campaign?”
Digital Domain was the visual effects company that recently went bankrupt after receiving money and grants from the state, West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie. Frankel was mayor of West Palm Beach when the city entered into an agreement with Digital Domain. West Palm Beach has already spent $2 million and is fighting in court to get $10 million in land back that it gave to Digital Domain.
Frankel shot back that she wasn’t running for office when the deal with Digital Domain was signed (Frankel announced her congressional campaign four months later).
Frankel said it’s Hasner who’s receiving support from questionable places.
“You have now spent almost $300,000 to $400,000 from Super PACs with fancy names that we don’t know who the donors are,” Frankel said.
Hasner said he can’t control Super PAC money.
“Your claim of Super PACs, you know I have nothing to do with, you’re trying to divert and distract attention from campaign contributions you received from Mr. Textor,” Hasner said.
On Medicare, Frankel said to Hasner, “Instead of saving and extending the life of Medicare, you give it back to the very rich in tax breaks.”
Hasner responded, “My plan protects everybody 55 and over with no changes to their benefits. You’re going to hear scare tactics from Ms Frankel.”
On health care, Frankel said, “The Obamacare plan is going to take 33 million people and put them into the insurance market.” Hasner shot back, “I don’t think anybody really believes we can add 33 million people into the system without increasing cost on taxpayers.”
When candidates were allowed to ask a question to each other, Hasner asked Frankel if she would join him and pledge to voluntarily term limit herself and not take a congressional pension.
Frankel responded, “Here’s a deal. I’ll consider your pledge. I want you to consider mine. My pledge is to not privatize Medicare. My pledge is to not give the ultra-rich more tax breaks at the expense of taking loans from students. My pledge is to never take away the right of choice. If you can promise that, if you can take that pledge, I’ll consider yours.”