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August 25, 2019

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Jon Ralston:

An unreal debate in CD2

As early voting in that cooly contested special House election begins this weekend, I wanted to share this transcript of the “Sodium Pentathol” debate between Republican Mark Amodei and Democrat Kate Marshall:

Marshall: “Good evening. I’m Kate Marshall. I know most people have no idea who I am or what the treasurer does. But I want to be your gal in Congress. Really, I have no idea why I talk like that.”

Amodei: “Hi. I’m Mark Amodei. I loved Paul Ryan before I read his plan, then I had to say I hated him because my mom (and the NRCC) told me to. Mom was good enough to let me use her to inoculate myself against those mean Democrats named Barack Obama and Harry Reid. I don’t like to mention whatshername next to me.”

Moderator: “Could each of you tell voters why you are running? Mr. Amodei?”

Amodei: “It’s an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. Ordinarily, I’d have no chance to even get the Republican nomination because I wanted to raise taxes so badly in 2003. But when my ex-law partner and current mining-claim partner Todd Russell ruled the party committees could pick, I knew I was golden. Then all I had to do was put my feet up and let the national Republicans do the rest.”

Moderator: “Thank you. Ms. Marshall?”

Marshall: “I’m running because I did such a great job running the state’s economy that this is a natural next step. Just joking — I really had nothing to do with the economy, good or bad, but what else have I got? I can’t really say my Wall Street investments tanked with everyone else’s. That doesn’t really sell too well. And I can’t really display my prowess on federal issues because, well, I have none. So, frankly, this is one where my opponent and I have the same motivation: Opportunism.”

Moderator: “Ms. Marshall, we have seen a lot of ads saying you are to blame for the state’s poor economy. We all know it’s not your fault, but isn’t this karmic payback for all your bragging?”

Marshall: “I just disagree. I have done a spectacular job as treasurer. I am a fiscal goddess, a female Warren Buffett even. Maybe I exaggerated a wee bit, but I know more about bonds and unclaimed property and contracts than my opponent. I really did save a lot of money in the treasurer’s office. Why doesn’t that qualify me to be a congresswoman? I’m your gal, I tell ya.”

Moderator: “Mr. Amodei, you have tried to get around your tax-happy days in 2003. Why would any Republican vote for you?”

Amodei: “Because I’m a solutions guy. And I don’t mean Bausch & Lomb. Everyone talks about 2003 but what about 2009? I voted against everything. Sure, maybe I was thinking of running but why can’t people see I have evolved? Evolution is a solution, too, right? I was for taxes before I was against them, just like that Ryan budget. I tell the truth always. Just ask my mom.”

Moderator: “Ms. Marshall, do you think it’s fair to point out your closeness to Harry Reid, that he raised so much money for you, that he essentially hand-picked you to run?”

Marshall: “Harry who? Never heard of him. Just kidding — I’m your gal for jokes, too! Listen, what am I supposed to do? They’d like to hang Reid in effigy (and otherwise) in parts of this district. Am I supposed to cozy up to him as my opponent does to Paul Ryan? Sorry, those talking points are like programming at this point.”

Moderator: “Mr. Amodei, you have been called the ‘poster child for conflicts of interest’ during this race by your opponent. Is that true?”

Amodei: “Well, I’m no child and I don’t think my body would fit on a poster. OK, OK — that’s the Mark Amodei humor. Mark Amodei can be funny. Mark Amodei is a funny guy and a solutions guy. Mark Amodei likes the third person a lot. Ethics? In politics? Are you joking?”

Moderator: “Could each of you please distill your campaign themes for voters?”

Amodei: “Well, it’s hard to distill something so light. But here goes: I’m a Republican solutions guy who wants to hide my history but who doesn’t have any pictures with Harry Reid or Barack Obama. Vote for me.”

Marshall: “Sure: I’m your gal, he’ll kill your Medicare and I can pretend not to be a Democrat if you give me half a chance. Vote for me.”

Moderator: “Final question for both candidates. Can either of your seriously argue that the campaign you have run should make Nevadans proud to vote for you?”

Marshall: “Of course not.”

Amodei: “On this, I agree with my opponent.”

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