Congressional candidates Denny Heck, Dick Muri debate in Olympia

By | October 11, 2012 | Comments

Denny Heck

Dick Muri

Updated with video of debate below.

The candidates for 10th Congressional District, Democrat Denny Heck and Republican Dick Muri, debated Thursday night in Olympia.

Heck is a former state legislator and worked as chief of staff to former Gov. Gardner. He’s the co-founder of TVW and an entrepreneur who invested in Real Networks and helped start Intrepid Learning Solutions, a firm that specializes in business training.

Muri is a retired Air Force officer with 22 years in the service, including 14 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and sits on the Pierce County Council. Muri unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. Adam Smith for the 9th Congressional district seat in 2010.

Here’s some highlights from the debate:

On the legalization of marijuana:

Heck: Supports medical marijuana, and wants the federal government to reclassify it. Heck said his support for medical marijuana comes from watching family members “who went through ravages of cancer and chemo.”

Muri: Plans to vote yes on I-502, which would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in Washington. Muri said he’s not a proponent of illegal drugs, but he believes that states should be allowed to make their own decisions outside of the federal government.

Would you vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare?”

Heck: Yes, because “it makes us a better country.” Heck said it has good features — such as requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-exisiting conditions — but it isn’t perfect.

Muri: No, he would vote to repeal it. Muri said the ACA lacks tort reform and interstate competition, and the nation should “start with a clean slate and come up with bipartisan approach to healthcare.”

Support or oppose the proposal to export millions of tons of coal from Washington’s ports?

Heck: “I’m a bit against taking hard and fast positions before analysis has been done.” Heck said he supports Gov. Gregoire’s position of requiring a cumulative environmental review of all the terminals.

Muri: The current plans go “too far.” Muri said the town where he lives, Steilacoom, lies along the railroad tracks and long coal trains could “muck things up.”

On extending the Bush tax cuts:

Heck: Favors extending the Bush tax cuts for households earning less than $250,000, and let it expire for households that earn more.

Muri: Would extend the Bush tax cuts and make them permanent.

On money in politics:

Heck: He called Citizens United a “threat to democracy,” and says he’s opposed to Super PACs in Washington.

Muri: “I wish I had as much as my opponent,” he joked (Heck has a formidable fundraising lead over Muri). Muri said the government shouldn’t tell people who they can donate to.

On same-sex marriage and R-74:

Heck: Plans to vote in favor of R-74. He said his marriage of 37 years “isn’t the slightest bit threatened by same-sex marriages.”

Muri: Plans to vote against R-74. Muri said “non-traditional families have everything they need,” because voters approved Referendum 71 in 2009, which gave domestic partners “everything but marriage” rights in Washington.

Watch the full debate right here:

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