VIDEO: Hudson Patch Debate Between Shelly Moore and Sheila Harsdorf

Watch the entire debate, and read the liveblog.

Watch the rough cut of the entire debate

Hudson Patch, in cooperation with River Channel community access TV, livestreamed the Monday, July 25, debate between Republican Sen. Sheila Harsdorf and Democratic challenger Shelly Moore.

The debate, which was the first of three between the candidates, was taped for later airing on community access TV and on Hudson Patch.

High-quality video of the debate, in its entirety, will be available on Hudson Patch in the afternoon on Tuesday, July 26, and will air on River Channel community access TV (Channel 15) several times before the election.


(Update: 11:20 a.m., July 26, 2011) There are a lot of people to thank for helping put on last night's event. So, here we go:


Debate Liveblog

(Update: 8:34 p.m.) -Lighting round: A series of quick-hit questions on high profile topics:

Q: Pro-life or pro-choice?

Moore: I'm pro-child. I volunteer to work to streamline the adoption process. I'm dedicating my life to that in my volunteer work.

Harsdorf: I support protecting life of unborn. Endorsed by Right to life.

Q: Voter ID Laws:

Harsdorf: I support Voter ID laws. Over 70 percent of the population supports this, which should bring integrity to the voting process.

Moore: I want to make sure we prevent voter fraud; but I want to make sure we don't do so at the risk of people's rights. Don't want to inhibit the voter process.

Q: Conceal/Carry and gun laws:

Moore: My opponent likes to suggest I'm not an active outdoors person/sportsperson. I was raised as a hunter. I'm ambidextrous with a handgun. I support right to bear arms.

Harsdorf: Support conceal/carry. Was vetoed several times before this governor, but now it's signed into law. We were one of two states without one. I believe conceal/carry is a right. Very pleased to pass the law.

Q: Marriage rights/Same Sex marriage.

Harsdorf: I support traditional marriage.

Moore: Let's leave it up to individual churches. And let's deal with what's important.

Q: Rural Broadband:

Moore: Rural broadband is critical, particularly to create jobs. Sen. Harsdorf is against that. We need to make sure we have access.

Harsdorf: This is essential. I have supported legislation that supports the private sector to expand rural broadband.

Q: What's your position on the environment?

Moore: I was born in Wisconsin. It's critical that we protect our environment; I'm saddened by the number of rollbacks in our current budget that would protect it better.

Harsdorf: As a hunter and fisher, I value our natural resources. Need to continue to protect and maintain the stewardship fund.

Q: What's your position on roads and infrastructure—particularly regarding the state roads through Hudson and the Stillwater Bridge?

Harsdorf: Stillwater Bridge: That project is long overdue. St. Croix crossing is critical. The Sierra Club has delayed this project with lawsuits for too long. The Sierra Club just endorsed my opponent. The only way we can get this built is through an exemption in Congress—which we'll see.

Moore: Stillwater Bridge is of critical importance. Sierra Club stands for a lot of things. We can work with them. It's time to move forward on this. Hopeful it will work through the process.

There are new budget cuts for state roads. Hundreds of millions of dollars are going to Milwaukee; we should be giving more money and freedom to local communities and their own projects.

Q: What's your position on campaign finance and the amount of outside money in this election?

Moore: I've never run for public office. Think the amount of outside money in this is appalling. My average donation is less than $20. Saddened that my opponent is against transparency to let people see more on campaign donations. We need to return our government to the people.

Harsdorf: I have traditionally supported campaign finance. I have more important priorities right now. We need to place our priorities on things more important than the public financing of elections.

Q: Both sides have engaged in negative campaigning. What's your position on this?

Harsdorf: Campaigns are about issues and leadership styles. It raises questions when the state's largest newspaper suggests fliers are false. It's not right to scare people or mislead.

Moore: The day I announced, there was namecalling. Republicans tried to run a fake candidate. My opponent did not stand up. A real leader would have stood up and stopped this.

Question: Why should you be the Senator for District 10?

Harsdorf: It's one thing to say something, but it's another to mislead. My opponent is trying to suggest she's a uniter. I believe that in order to turn our state around, we need to get our fiscal house in order. The reforms I voted for—that the special interests want to block—will help us. We need to continue on our path. We are a friendly business state. I don't want to see us return to the past. We can't afford it. We can't compromise our kids' future.

Moore:  My record, even in the teacher's association, is to work hard. I know it's important for everyone to work together. It's actually the people who are being affected by the state's choices. It's time to stop the foolishness. It's time our elected officials are responsible with our tax dollars.

(Update: 8:11 p.m.)

Harsdorf asks a question to Moore: Why did you claim the government cleared you of using school resources when you haven't been cleared?

The Ellsworth School District did release a statement clearing me of the charges. Then they received more requests that have overwhelmed my district and making it look like it's an ongoing investigation. That's not telling the full truth.

The district complied and released my emails. Then they cleared me. My superintendent is busy dealing with budget cuts he didn't anticipate; now he's being forced to comply with these requests? It's a distortion.

Moore's question to Harsdorf: Your budget raised taxes on working poor. How can you say you're cutting taxes when all the evidence goes to the opposite?

Taxes were actually reduced by $24 million. My opponent is trying to scare people. The bottom line is the increases she's talking about are paying for medical assistance that we are not receiving support from the federal level for. This was not a tax increase. My opponent has a clear record against property tax control. The current budget, without its property tax controls, would have brought a $735 property tax increase.

Q: What is your plan for bringing private-sector jobs to the district?

Moore: Having a skilled workforce is critical to getting jobs. We're cutting funds to state colleges—and there are two in our district. It is critical that we do what we can to bring family-sustaining jobs to our area, not just short-term solutions.

Harsdorf: Want to continue doing what we've been doing thus far. Passing numerous tax incentives that create jobs. Help companies come here from states that are raising taxes. Education has been and continues to be a priority. What does not work is to invest in education only to see them leave for other states.

Tax structure and regulations are what businesses respond to. So we need to make this state friendly to that.


(Update: 8 p.m.)

Q: What's your position on collective bargaining and what, if any role, it played in the current budget situation?

Moore: I don't have a public record. I'm not an elected politician. I don't support just what I've been told to support. That's not how most people think. Specifically to collective bargaining: That's not the reason I got involved in this campaign. There were so many issues in the budget repair bill—that's why I got involved. Collective bargaining is important yes, but it's downright offensive to simplify my involvement in this race to just one issue. Collective bargaining is not the reason I'm here.

Harsdorf: I take very seriously what communication I get from constituents. My opponent has contacted me several times over the year on many issues. She has emphatically urged me to support tax increases. I'm not sure what that means. She does have a record in my office: supporting taxes and opposing revenue limits. There's a pattern developing with my opponent. Her credibility is being questioned. Specifically regarding collective bargaining. All the issues she says are driving her candidacy weren't even issues at the time she decided to run. There is a cost to collective bargaining. It ties the hands of communities trying to balance budgets.

Q: How important is constituent communication?

Harsdorf: It's not just about listening to the loudest voices. It's about listening to taxpayers. Want to listen to those who want us to keep our fiscal house in order, not outside special interests looking to serve themselves.

Moore: Important to listen to constituents and not slant things. I have been a constituent of Sen. Harsdorf for a long time. The thing I find most offensive as I get the mailings: They're slanted. It's the job of your state senator to give you the facts. We got a flier in late May that was absurd propaganda. These tactics—manipulating literature etc.—that's not giving them the facts. It's the priority of the state senator to respond and listen to the people of Senate District 10.

(Update: 7:49 p.m)

What's do you feel is the No. 1 priority for our state government right now?

Harsdorf: No. 1 priority is balancing the budget. Had a $3.6 billion shortfall. But this was about getting our fiscal house in order. While most states are addressing shortfalls, they're looking at massive layoffs. We are about providing flexibilities to local governments to deal with their challenges. The reforms we put in place are already creating jobs. Almost 13,000 new jobs. That's the most since 2003. Nearly half of the jobs in the nation were created here in Wisconsin. I want to encourage an environment where that continues to happen.

Moore: Job creation—the creation of jobs that stay here in the district. Sen. Harsdorf is talking about things that were created in the last administration. The last administration had a surplus. People in the senate district know they're hurting. They know the training isn't there because of cuts in training aid.

Q: What's the best way to balance the state budget?

Moore:  (1) Create sustaining jobs. (2) Look at what's going on with our money. Gov. Walker is proposing a larger budget than ever before. But all our municipalities are seeing significant cuts. Seeing higher taxes. Middle class is the target. Sen. Harsdorf needs to focus on the needs of her district. I see this in my classrooms. Constituents here can't stay because they can't afford to, and can't get jobs. There are no guarantees that there will be job creation with tax breaks.

Harsdorf: Best way to balance is the budget is to live within our means. Previous administration tried increasing taxes. We eliminated structural deficit. If we look at the failed policies of the previous administration, we lost jobs. We increased taxes that affected hard-working families. These are real taxes. That's not the answer. It doesn't work. The bottom line is we are seeing jobs created in this state now.

(Update: 7:40 p.m.)

Q: What do you think about the recall effort and what it means to the political process?

Moore: Believes recall is the right of the people. We tried to say to our representatives: Listen—you have not heard us. I stood up in front of persons who said recall. We tried to communicate but felt our voices were not heard. That's when neighbors began coming together for this recall. We need to make sure to put the true needs of their constituencies before the people. Political parties are not the answer. Listening to the political parties are what put us here.

Harsdorf: I'm not being recalled because I did anything wrong. I'm being recalled because I stood up to special interests. In February we saw the special interests involved in the recall. There was more spent in collecting those signatures than any other district. That all came from outside our district. This is being driven by outside this senate district. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent to try and elect a special interests' hand-chosen candidate. These out-of-state interests are not interested in the welfare of Wisconsin residents.

(Update: 7:34 p.m.) - Candidates Sheila Harsdorf and Shelly Moore introduce themselves to the voters. There is an invited studio audience of approximately 50 in attendance.

Thurston Howell III July 27, 2011 at 03:27 AM
Sharon, No I am not. Why would you accuse me of that? Mr. At 6:45 in the video above. Shelly Moore refers to State Senator Harsdorf as State Senator.
Sharon Vlasak July 27, 2011 at 03:31 AM
Not accusing - just asking.
Thurston Howell III July 27, 2011 at 03:33 AM
Eddie, As I stated earlier. "You also must realize, public employees capitulated to the fiscal demands of Walker and Harsdorf. But that was not good enough. They had to get rid of collective bargaining to bust the unions, or in GOP parlance "Give local districts the tools"." This is so bogus it is laughable. This is part of a nation wide scheme concocted by Karl Rove Inc. and associates to bust unions because unions traditionally support democrats. The objective is simple and transparent. Bust the unions to stop their money from supporting Democratic causes. Make President Obama a 1 term president. That's the goal. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect these dots.
Elisabeth July 27, 2011 at 06:34 AM
th3...the only ones that will be Union Busting will be the employees....not our Great Gov. WALKER. The employees will have to decide what they want to do. Send in that $800. check or keep it....Have a Choice for once. If unions are so great, than what are you worried about? Everyone will keep writing that big check out to them....Could it be you know that the employees might not think they are that great??
Thurston Howell III July 27, 2011 at 11:59 AM
State Senator Harsdorf ( how's that for being respectful? ) sure has returned to the farm A LOT. Maybe should could help this fellow farmer out? I wonder why she didn't when she had the opportunity to do so? http://youtu.be/HPv65tMpu5A ( Here's another one of those old videos for you Marsh.... enjoy )
Eddie July 27, 2011 at 12:10 PM
I'm still waiting for Elizabeth to answer my question. I don't need some has been from Gilligan's Island regurtitating moveon.org talking points. Please let us know what changes that have been made that you would classify as "radical".
Thurston Howell III July 27, 2011 at 12:34 PM
Eddie, FYI, I honestly can't remember when I last visited MoveOn.org. I think you've referred to the wrong "Outside special interest". Listen to Rush Limbaugh today for your marching orders, I'm sure John Boehner will be listening for his.
Jim Bob July 27, 2011 at 12:37 PM
Joan, who defines the needs of the senate district. I can find as many people who support Harsdorf as support Moore. I would guess Harsdorf, like Moore if elected, will supports the needs of them that help get them there. There are millionaires in the 10th Senate district who think they need more tax breaks. There are single moms with unemployment running out who think they should have unemployment extensions and addition WIC aid and food stamp help. Maybe the tax cut to the mnillionaire will create a job for the unemployed single mom? Maybe increasing the taxes on the millionaire will help provide unemployment extensions. My guess is that Harsdorf needs to represdent the needs of the district that you hold near and dear.
Eddie July 27, 2011 at 12:39 PM
My question was for Elizabeth and what she deems radical about Gov. Walker's proposals. It's too bad that you feel it necessary to insert your opinion into every part of the discussion on this blog. Perhaps you could take up another hobby for a few hours and let her answer instead.
Thurston Howell III July 27, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Eddie, The last time I checked this was still a free country, ( though it won't be for long with Walker types in charge ) . I don't think there's anything stopping you from posting Americans For Prosperity videos here. Or would that make you admit that they are an " Outside Special Interest" backing the Harsdorf campaign?
Eddie July 27, 2011 at 12:58 PM
I guess asking you to untie yourself from your computer for a few hours was asking just a little too much. After looking at your 24 hours of continuous posting on here it must be quite the life that you lead. My question for Elizabeth was pretty simple. I'll wait for her response, although I'm sure you'll respond within minutes.....
Jim Bob July 27, 2011 at 12:59 PM
If Harsdorf was smart, she would ignore these debates. She declined to be on WPR yesterday morning. I don't think the end results of the election will be impacted by any of these debates. Seriously, how many people watch local access cable TV? Those who do likely have their minds made up. Many people commenting here and fighting for Shelly Moore to win believe she is a good person and deserves to win. Fact is, western Wisconsin is solid Republican country and it is highly unlikely that the Moore campaign will break that growing tradition. Look at the results last November. Looks at Harsdorf's win in 2008. I guessing a lot of you who have just entering the political waters of western Wisconsin are going to learn the facts of life in August. Keep in mind, I don't support Harsdorf. I just know the difference between realistic and wishful thinking.
Michael Fermanich July 27, 2011 at 01:37 PM
What does a gun shooting it right side or left side have to do with important issues in Wisconsin. Only crime is that Teaparty folks think they control the GOP. That will end by Aug. 2 via the debt ceiling. I have never been exposed to so many simpletons via any real issues. Just defame and slam because ............
Thurston Howell III July 27, 2011 at 02:50 PM
Eddie, I can assure you I have many more interests and hobbies than you. This just happens to be what I'm focusing on currently. Would you like to join Mainstreet and I for a local fishing trip, or a round of golf. Maybe we could have a jam session together? Or maybe even help out at the local food shelf. There's always plenty to do away from the computer, isn't there?
Thurston Howell III July 27, 2011 at 02:54 PM
I wonder why State Senator Harsdorf singles out one person who emailed her 80 sometimes? FYI that was not me. However, isn't it likely that if State Senator Harsdorf was more efficient should would have sought the advise of some IT people to create an automated response to her overwhelming amount of email. At least then she could claim that she responded. Instead, her office just ignored the many constituents who wanted to express their displeasure with her unfailing support of the Walker agenda. No wonder people feel government is inefficient.
Eddie July 27, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Still looking for an answer on what Elizabeth finds radical about Gov. Walker's proposals. Hyperbole is easy but facts would help. I'm not straying from this question until there is an answer.
Micheal Foley July 27, 2011 at 03:45 PM
I appreciate the persistence in getting your question answered, but be careful not to harass other users. I'm not saying you are, but I'm keeping an eye on what's going on.
Eddie July 27, 2011 at 03:56 PM
It wouldn't be that hard if the mayor of your blog didn't feel the need to insert himself into every conversation or question being asked.....
Thurston Howell III July 27, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Eddie, Thanks for appointing yourself moderator of this forum.
Annette July 27, 2011 at 04:18 PM
The policies of Walker and the Republican majority of the Senate and Assembly are working. http://www.examiner.com/fiscal-responsibility-in-national/wisconsin-s-pro-growth-policies-are-working One only has to research with open eyes to see that the legislation that passed this year is working. I will keep supporting the Republican Senators that were voted into office last November by the electors of this state. I will do so because they are doing the job that the majority of the electors told them to do. Recall elections should not be used because people don't like the stance legislators take. That is the purpose of sending emails, phone calls, letters and attending public hearings to provide written and in person testimonies on the bills being proposed. The intent of recalls is to recall legislators that do not perform their duties or are engaging in illegal activiities. We cannot let mob rule run this state or this country! If you do your job, keep it! If you don't do your job, step aside! If you leave your job and are derelict in your duties you should be fired. I Stand with Sheila! because she stayed and did her job even when she was being harrassed and threatened and imtimidated. The policies of this adminstration are working for the citizens of Wisconsin. Keep up the good work, Senators!
Elisabeth July 27, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Mr Foley, it seems you may have deleted one of my comments...why do you let the Th3's on here slam everyone who says anything against moore, but delete one of my comments? It seems like this place is off limits to passionate republicans, but not the left's insults. I don't think i said any thing out of line or different than the stuff they dish out. Just saying.... Like mr. th points out above, i thought it was still a free country? At least while we Right Wingers keep control TH!! Power to the People!!
Thurston Howell III July 27, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Marcia, FYI My comment was deleted also.
Thurston Howell III July 27, 2011 at 05:36 PM
Annette, If one were to subscribe to your logic, Our Founding Fathers would be considered an angry mob. Think about that.
Shannon July 27, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Marcia, don't be paranoid. I've had a few comments deleted. It's not a conspiracy. And since we're throwing out political slogans, here's a rally cry for you: "A working class hero is something to be."
Concerned about being united July 27, 2011 at 06:09 PM
THIII~ yes, I am trying to decide. I am not voting party lines, never have. I am looking to who I think can do the best for all of us. I have not been thrilled with Shelly Moores video, so was really looking for her to show that she is more than a 1-issue candidate. I am not against teachers, our school has some very good teachers, and some that make me wish that just because they have been at a job for 3 years. i work to keep my job everyday, and I have to be honest and say that rule with the unions puts a little sour taste in my mouth. Here is my 1 question with the union issue that I have not had answered, "if union bargaining rights are not stripped, what is to keep the unions from making the state reverse what was given up this year? I do believe that the unions are very powerful. I believe that when the unions are able to give so much money to the democratic party, it is for a very good purpose for the unions. And to be honest, Shelly is a union person, for those of us who have not decided and are not union, she must address it. I personally did not like that instead of being in the Hudson parade she was at a union deal. I found the lie and the emails to be a bigger deal than you did. But I believe that is because I am not pro-shelly, when are totally pro-anything, it clouds our vision. I am looking for our country to be more moral. I was looking for some of that from shelly in the debate. I would love to see this country, starting at the top to become 1 team for us.
Concerned about being united July 27, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Not democrats vs. republicans. And I believe that is exactly what is happening in Washington. But if we cannot do it in our District 10 civilly, how do we expect the big wigs to do it? Shannon ~ as you've said, the question was something you like about the candidates, since I am pro-neither yet, I will answer for both. Sheila Harsdorf, I like that she has a real thought on the marriage issue, not leaving it wishy-washy and really not giving an answer. I also like that she is a farm girl, having grown up on a farm myself. Shelly Moore, I think she has heart. I like that she is a teacher. Dislikes: Sheila Harsdorf, she is a policitician, and I believe that every politician, repub. or dem. loses some of their self when this becomes their job. Shelly Moore, that she is so into the union, and from what I've seen so far, and waiting for her to change my mind, is I believe that she is only in this race for that reason.
Elisabeth July 27, 2011 at 06:24 PM
shannon, i'm sure u have! Don't tell me what i am. U seem to try and do that often. I really don't care what u think.
Micheal Foley July 27, 2011 at 07:47 PM
Come on folks, let's knock off the personal attacks. Seriously. Thanks for keeping this a clean forum that children can read and learn from.
Thurston Howell III July 28, 2011 at 05:47 AM
Mike, You are correct our children should be able to learn. I learned about this poem inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty when I was in grade school. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" Emma Lazarus
Micheal Foley July 28, 2011 at 12:44 PM
Check out live video of the second Moore-Harsdorf debate happening right now in River Falls!: http://j.mp/odcDtR


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