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Edwards, Taylor Lock Horns Again


Once again, the candidates for District 17 met to answer questions from Brazos Valley voters.

At a forum run by the Chamber of Commerce, Blinn College and WTAW, Chet Edwards and Van Taylor began by answering questions on topics like health care, taxes, and the minimum wage.

But the meeting eventually returned to the status quo for this race.

Republican challenger Van Taylor returned to the topic of incumbent Chet Edwards voting record on illegal immigration.

"There were five separate opportunities that my opponent had to enforce these immigration laws, but he chose every single time not to enforce them," Taylor said.

But Edwards continued his calls that the amendment he voted against was a waste of Congressional time and taxpayer money.

"His amendment that he supported would have undermined our immigration efforts by taking away border patrol money from cities such as Houston," Edwards said.

"I'm saying we need to hire a traffic cop to enforce the speed limit, and he's saying that doesn't change the speed limit," Taylor countered. "You're right, Congressman, it doesn't change the speed limit. We just need to enforce existing federal immigration law."

On the question of working towards bipartisanship in Congress, both candidates said they would strive to work across party lines, but Taylor also added this: "Minority Leader Pelosi has led one of the most partisan Congresses ever seen in the history of the United States."

But Edwards responded, "We do it by not launching into a partisan diatribe as Mr. Taylor just did in answering a question about how we can be more bipartisan."

But Taylor again evoked Pelosi's name in pushing what he says was a liberal voting record of Edwards.

"Eighty-four percent of the time, he has voted with the ultra-liberal San Francisco Democrat, Nancy Pelosi," Taylor said. "He has voted against President Bush 80 percent of the time."

Edwards said he had no clue where Taylor had gotten those numbers.

"I don't think either political party has a monopoly on wisdom," Edwards said. "That's why if I think what a president is doing is right, I will work with him."

And in his closing remarks, Taylor pushed what he called fundamental differences in the beliefs of the candidates on topics like abortion, gay marriage and gun control.

"He's going to try and tell you I'm attacking him by telling you what his record is," Taylor said. "It is only because he disagrees with his own record and doesn't like his record."

"If I believed half of what he just said, I'd ask my wife to vote against me," Edwards responded.

And despite the grins and handshake at the end, it continues to remain clear that District 17's race is anything but all smiles.


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