Assembly candidates for the 68th, 69th and 70th districts took on Orange County politics in a surprisingly lively debate moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a Golden Mike-winning commentator Rick Reiff.
The event, held at the University Club, was presented by the Associated Students of UC Irvine, the League of Women Voters and the Irvine Chamber of Commerce.
Reiff was a key element in the event’s liveliness, moderating the forum with the pace and enthusiasm of a sports announcer, often joking with the candidates.
A particularly interesting portion of the debate, the ‘lightning round,’ presented candidates with an issue, after which they had to say whether or not they supported it. The format filtered out the seemingly inexhaustible fluff in the candidates’ responses and cut to the core of their positions.
For example, when Reiff asked the candidates their position on loosening drug laws in California, 68th Assembly Candidate Paul Lucas, a Democrat, told a long story about the people he knew that had problems with drugs and the harmful progression that follows. While his personal history with drugs was clearly negative, his political stance was unclear.
During the lightning round, however, Reiff asking the candidates, ‘Legalization of marijuana
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