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Just answer the questions

2014-06-04T06:00:00Z Just answer the questions Glens Falls Post-Star

What I found so disappointing about the recent debate between Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik was the sameness of their positions, their almost religious fervor for Republican principles and their apparent inability to stray at all from the national party’s talking points.

Neither mentioned compromise. Neither talked about consensus to get the country moving.

And worst of all was their inability to answer direct questions.

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I suspect my expectations were too high. After all, they are going head to head in the Republican primary on June 24 and the goal is to convince voters they are the purest conservative candidate on the ballot.

They hold almost identical viewpoints on repealing Obamacare, immigration, opposition to the Paul Ryan budget and the importance of Fort Drum.

The most heated exchanges reverberated around who lived where, for how long, and who is the true North Country native.

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Does it really matter where they went to high school at this point?

I’m looking for someone who has the brains to understand the complexities of the federal government, the willpower to battle for what is right for all Americans and the guts to stand up to the leaders in their party and say “enough is enough.”

You can’t say Washington is broken while being in lockstep with current party principles and showing no willingness to compromise on anything.

There is no indication either candidate is that person.

If you are looking for a true star in the debate, it was moderator Liz Benjamin, the former newspaper columnist who now hosts the show “Capital Tonight” in Albany.

Benjamin tried repeatedly to pin both candidates down on the issue of taxes. Faced with shutting down the government or raising taxes, she asked how they would vote and reminded both candidates that this was not a hypothetical, it actually occurred.

Stefanik rambled for awhile before Benjamin told her she had not answered the question.

Stefanik tried again without ever reaching a conclusion.

Exasperated, Benjamin went on to Doheny, who played his own game of dodgeball.

Needing to move on, Benjamin summed it up, “So neither one of you answered the question.”

They stared back in silence.

After this performance, I’m ready to vote for Benjamin as a write-in candidate, and I don’t really care where she lives, because she sounded like the only one in touch with reality.

Ken Tingley is the editor of The Post-Star and may be reached via email at tingley@poststar.com. You can read his blog “The Front Page” daily at www.poststar.com or his updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kentingley.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(28) Comments

  1. Jonny
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    Jonny - June 12, 2014 7:57 am
    Boat, the problem is you/yours don't understand that voting for more government control, more socialist programs lead to government corruption and largesse at the expense of those who work and pay taxes. The uneducated and poor masses that vote in these liberals under the guise of "more free stuff" like welfare, stimulus packages (Obama's money!) earned income credits and the system that allows all these things, bring down the wages of the working poor, to the benefit of no-one. You want to talk slavery, one needs look no further than our current welfare system. Designed to be near impossible to escape, as it pays more than an entry level job. I know people who have escaped that system, and it wasn't easy. Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, own him so long as you have fish. We need to teach people, and your system doesn't want that to happen... it's how they will remain in power.
  2. boater_1
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    boater_1 - June 11, 2014 1:57 pm
    Jon,

    You/yours "understanding" is horribly flawed... unless you prefer a land of owners & wage slaves.

    Presidents have LIMITED POWER to influence econ. outcomes - & over extended time periods. The RECORD is PRECISELY & SPECIFICALLY as I've described it. - largely a product of the great & growing CORRUPT disparity between system-privileged influential capitalist haves & workwer have-nots. That POLICY is & has been supported by the GOP which has blocked too-feeble attempts of Demos to CHANGE tax policy which would address/mitigate the outrageous disparity & today's enough GOP control to block those Demo efforts.

    The RESULT? Clearly the richest, at the expense of the rest, feast on US prosperity while the masses stagnate, are overtaxed & suffer. CONCLUSIVE data proves that. The "cake" is for the few. Hardship's common for the ner-gonna-be close to rich!

    Valid opinion is inclusive of ALL available & best info. I'll CIVILLY meet, & state NOTHING not supported by overwhelming EVIDENCE.
  3. Jonny
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    Jonny - June 10, 2014 12:29 pm
    You keep claiming everything is the fault of Joe 6 pack (The average American) for voting Republican, which breeds business people paying no taxes and living in luxury, off the back of the poor, uneducated masses because they are in cahoots with Republicans. Democrats don't succumb to the vote of the rich, only Republicans, from what I gather of your difficult to understand rants. Reagan turned the economy around in less than his first term, from a disaster left by Carter, this is fact, not fiction, it happened and the main stream media reported on it back then. You make no sense, in that Dems have been in charge for quite some time now, yet, in your illogical mind, the Republicans and Joe 6 pack are still to blame for the lack of action from the Dems. When you realize you are wrong, you resort to impish indirect name calling. You call others for not citing facts, when you also have none, or use liberal think tank sources. You want your cake, and to eat it, too.
  4. boater_1
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    boater_1 - June 09, 2014 2:23 pm
    You're still lost, & when corrected retreat to the same idiocy. Fascisn is extreme right wing - communism is extreme left. As ever you are not only FLAT WRONG, you're anxious to prove it in print. RE: methodology, Fascists NOR Communists typically tolerate opposition. But they're poles apart on the issue of ownership. Fascism's is pvt. - communism's public. The data shows the US gov't is married to the interests of the wealthy. That, of necessity, means the masses are POORER as, e.g., GDP's LIMITED. .

    ALL gov'ts are socialist to some degree (roads, schools, infrastructure, e.g..) Pvt. capitalism - the power of $ concentrated in the hands of a few damages the vast majority. This OUTRAGEOUS distribution is foolishly promoted by IGNORANCE of masses who've made themselves poorer. I CITE SPECIFIC DATA indicative of the disparity.

    Most of the wealthy are interested in keeping you/yours ignorant & overtaxed. You prove you/yours are willing subjects & pay dearly for your ignorant rigidity!
  5. IWILLNOTCOMPLY
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    IWILLNOTCOMPLY - June 09, 2014 9:59 am
    Well Ken lets see if you can even ask the questions that matter? Try asking Obama why he continues to lie about obama-care working when all the data shows the opposite? Ask obama why he allowed guns to go over the border to Mexico that killed hundreds of Mexicans and a US border guard? Why did he allow the IRS to target American citizens who disagree with him? Why to this day do they continue the lie that it was a video that causes the 4 dead Americans in Benghazi? Why was Stevens there with no proper protection when everyone else left? Why with all the assets on the ground did he done nothing and allow them to die? Why doesn't he live up to any of the promises he made to get elected the first time and why was he not called out when he ran for reelection?
    Why would we trade 5 heads of the Taliban for a deserter? Why would he give terrorists the means to get more out of us by kidnapping soldiers for trades?
    Here is a big question? Why doesn't the media ask any questions?
  6. boater_1
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    boater_1 - June 07, 2014 5:34 pm
    Again, the only point you make is that many well-meaning folks prefer (i.e. don't understand) REALITY! They're being injured to benefit the ruler/owner class w/ their subscription to right wing media salesmen for the owners. The clearest of records makes that assessment inarguable. Typically, Joe 6-pk is taken in.- has little in the way of education & lives poorer for his G preference.

    The wealthy have health care & the best of it all - NO MATTER HOW obtained?
    Data proves they're doing better'n ever. THAT HAPPENS AT THE EXPENSE OF SHORTCHANGED WORKERS, many of whom deny FACT!

    Is Joe better off than a few decades ago? NO, more likely he's worse off! The wealthy are WILDLY ENRICHING because that's where the corrupt SYSTEM - ALL considered - has taken us.

    I OFFER TO MEET civilly ON facts & issues.

    Your continual reference to socialism is both wrong & irrelevant. The issue is justice & dealing w/ the illness & corruption of a system that rewards few while punishing the vast majority
  7. IWILLNOTCOMPLY
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    IWILLNOTCOMPLY - June 07, 2014 5:29 pm
    I like how some people come purporting to have an education and lack any common sense. Lets see we have one who comes here and says how socialism is wonderful and capitalism is bad but yet with all this education I have yet to see any facts to back up the claim how socialism is better. I have asked many many times to prove a socialist economy that is doing well and all we get is silence and the usually uncivil insults to avoid the truth.
    Now we are blessed with saying the left is towards socialism and the right is towards fascism. Have you ever seen someone make up such crap to justify a losing argument. Socialism and fascism are two of the same side not separate. Socialism and fascism are both from the top down (government knows better) and if they don't get people to buy into the lie then they will start using force to get their way.
    Show us where conservative ideas promote the use of force by the gov. to get things done? We want less gov. not more, talk about ignorance of truth.
  8. IWILLNOTCOMPLY
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    IWILLNOTCOMPLY - June 07, 2014 12:12 pm
    obama-care, Look what he could get? Obama and the democrats rammed it down the throats of America while from the beginning to now the majority of people don't want it. But we are treated to the continuing lie that it's the GOP's fault obama-care is a failure.
    Get real and stop the childish game because you clearly lack the knowledge to discuss any of these topics.
    The VA scandal is a perfect example of socialist care run by the government and look at what that has done to the Vets? Well that is exactly what obama's socialist care will do for America if we don't get rid of it.
    Never do any of these talking heads ever show you the disaster stories of what socialist medicine is really about because they don't care, all they want is their socialism and nothing else matters.
    So anyone who wants to follow people like this down the rabbit hole go right ahead and if you need any more proof it won't work take a good hard look at Valenzuela and see what if gets you.
  9. boater_1
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    boater_1 - June 06, 2014 4:17 pm
    Jon,

    In 2012, "TP-S" endorsed MORE Repubs than Demos. It's editors are biased WHEN their critics disapprove you "feel." You/yours ignore much reality & unless pt. of the privileged few owner/ruler caste (highly unlikely) destroy your own prospects for econ. betterment due that ignorance.

    I'll civilly meet on the FACTS/DATA & ISSUES, & take NO position/out overwhelming evidence.

    Contact: Venus Diner, River St., Hud. Falls (coffee's on me.) Good idea is to meet where net access is available.
  10. boater_1
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    boater_1 - June 06, 2014 4:02 pm
    Jefw, ETC!,

    Obama preferred single payer - took what he could get. It's NOT a model of the developed world where 30+ other countries SPEND LESS, & have better rated & universal care. That's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED! (E.g., they don't compensate the system's ruler/owners w/ multimillions in PROFITS. Germany & Japan, e.g., spend a tad over 9% for their systems, the US spends 18%.

    The HMO & pharma industries here were/are highly influential in the provisions of O'care. That's largely responsible for the serious flaws in O'care - still a for profit industry.

    Only massive ignorance causes public tolerance for a too-expensive health care (& other systemically corrupt & massive outrage that's left millions w/out while the wealthy enjoy the best-of-everything & then (courtesy of GOP policy) bequeath their power & wealth to their privileged offspring. Joe 6 lives poorer!

    I state nothing I can't prove w/ accurate data & will CIVILLY meet w/ those who have the nerve & conviction to reciprocate.
  11. boater_1
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    boater_1 - June 06, 2014 3:47 pm
    !wiln, ETC!,

    As ever, you ignore irrefutable data & facts to assert idiocy... unless of course, you wish to provide more wealth, income & power to the few. Because of that, you/yours PAY dearly for that ignorance of obvious reality. More of LIMITED income & wealth skewed to the top MEANS automatically LESS for the rest - precisely what has happened.

    This isn't about philosophy, be that left or right wing, (socialism or fascism, e.g.). it's about a decent concept of justice. Today the top 10% own 89% of all pvt. wealth - the bottom 50% share just 1%. (Census & IRS data) How much more would you prefer the rich get w/ the corrupted-by-$ system as is?

    ALL CONSIDERED, I offer to civilly meet on facts & sources, will DOCUMENT my position w/ accurate & specific info. You yours are glued to opinion, refuse, & suffer for your ignorance. That's proven costly for workers & grandiose for the ruling few who SELL WORKIN' Joe 6-pk. positions heavily detrimental to himself & the US vast majority!
  12. pfenton
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    pfenton - June 06, 2014 2:17 pm
    and don't let those bouncing checks bother you either!
  13. Jeffw
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    Jeffw - June 05, 2014 6:41 pm
    Compromise can only come from something that already exists. This then is why the right are the only ones who can compromise. Use the ACA for example. It did not exist 6 years ago. The right was asked to compromise the existing health care system to "create" the new system(nonexistent). So what did the left compromise on? Nothing. If it flies great, if not, they have lost nothing because it doesn't exist. So it is rammed through and America was forced to compromise. "Consensus" is the progressive speak of those who willingly compromise the principles of their opponents.
  14. IWILLNOTCOMPLY
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    IWILLNOTCOMPLY - June 05, 2014 9:53 am
    Remember too many cooks ruin the stew because each one wants different ingredients.
    I don't remember when obama rammed obama-care down our throats with the democrats ever seeing them care about what the GOP had to offer. BTW obama and the democrats did not even give a crap what the people wanted because since day one the majority of people do not want it. It is a proven failure!
    Lets also remember it's this get along with each other policy that has given us 17+ trillion in debt and climbing, the VA scandal, The NSA spying on us, The IRS going after people for political purpose and on and on. So I find gridlock to be a good thing because if they just argue over stuff then maybe I will get to keep a quarter in my pocket.
    Tell us after the big Gov. shutdown and all the screams of the country going down and all the jobs lost, what happened? Answer- NOTHING!!! right nothing happened, it was all smoke and mirrors for the sheep to be distracted from the truth.
  15. IWILLNOTCOMPLY
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    IWILLNOTCOMPLY - June 05, 2014 7:43 am
    Yes we have heard the same crap for years now, BLA, BLA, BLA, tax the rich, the rich don't hire anybody and OH yeah the government is great. Do you not get the point, we don't want your socialism and no one yes NO ONE wants to meet because all they would get is the same nonsense we read here all the time and BTW you not one shred of facts to back up your socialist claims.
    The problem with Washington is that the top of both parties is run by progressives, look at how the rhino GOP attacked Ted Cruz for following threw with his campaign promises. His own party attacked him for daring to speak for the people not the party machine.
    It takes a complete lack of any common sense to make a statement that the rich do not provide jobs! How many trickle down jobs are done when they build a new multi-million dollar summer home? How many trickle down jobs did the elevator lift for Romney's cars provide as I have proved before.
    The good news is that NO ONE buys into your socialist propaganda.
  16. noirjak
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    noirjak - June 05, 2014 7:16 am
    One need only read the comments posted here to understand why Congress can't get anything done. This is where it starts. I think it would serve us well If we'd take a little more time and try to understand the other fella's position. It doesn't mean you agree with it but in order to gather a consensus of opinion it seems to me we all need to work a bit harder on listening. Can't make a good stew until all the ingredients simmer together for a while.
  17. jje1952
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    jje1952 - June 04, 2014 10:06 pm
    Unfortunately it does not matter if there is a D or R next to the politicians name. They never answer the questions that are asked. They only answer you get is what they want to say even if it is not related to the question.
  18. boater_1
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    boater_1 - June 04, 2014 5:43 pm
    Jon & his,

    Boat has repeatedly offered CIVIL MEETING on the facts/ISSUES. You/yours make excuses & hide.

    The Washington "cesspool" has, like the US pvt. sector capitalist econ., done very well by the most well healed/privileged & that's necessarily come at the expense of the vast majority, BECAUSE WEALTH & INCOME IS LIMITED!

    It takes ignorance from the working class to believe that the rich provide many jobs. SPENDING from whatever source is the source of job creation. Do the rich SPEND windfall millions in GOP tax cuts (BUSH II's, e.g.)? NOT according to the CBO - the rich create few jobs. It is sold by the right wing media & GOP that the rich pay all the taxes. That's FALSE, But after being gouged, the rich are RICHER! Joe's POORER!

    R, leader, Sen. McConnell & nearly all GOPers argue that taxing dividends & cap. gains is DOUBLE taxation. Those who buy this condemn the non- cap. gains winners to PAY HIGHER TAXES. IT'S HAPPENED. (See Tingley on prop. tax cuts for Q'bury snrs.
  19. boater_1
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    boater_1 - June 04, 2014 5:22 pm
    (cont. from below... hopefully)

    3rd parties are dissolved into D's & R's where endorsement & $ is key.

    An unbiased view of what's HAPPENED is clear. While the vast majority do not gain, those atop a steep socio-econ-pyramid prosper as never before. The data is INARGUABLE. in sum, the wealthy do better'n ever; the vast majority maintain if lucky & 10's of millions fall further behind.

    If there were no diff. between D's& R's, wouldn't DC be less divided - less responsive to the $/power/will of the ruling rich? Instead weak Demos pay lip service to reducing an outrageous inequity that rewards few & punishes those NOT gaining (that VAST majority - workers).
  20. boater_1
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    boater_1 - June 04, 2014 5:12 pm
    Those who lament the lack of choice, who find Demos & Repubs the same animal, demonstrate their ignorance, though there's good reason to be dissatisfied w/ both.

    Those who prefer an "out" party waste time & effort.
  21. boater_1
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    boater_1 - June 04, 2014 5:08 pm
    Jon, ETC!,

    Boat has offered to CIVILLY MEET on the ISSUES/FACTS. You/yours make excuses for not doing so.

    Reliable data shows the top 10% own 89% OF THE NATION'S WEALTH. THE BOTTOM 50% OWN A COLLECTIVE 1%. Since wealth & income is LIMITED, more for the privileged means LESS for the rest - AUTOMATICALLY!

    Since most of us are poor, by comparison to the owner/ruler caste, it MIGHT behoove us to vote in what's our best interest - against those who granted millions in tax relief to multimillionaires & who's leaders FORCED higher TOTAL TAXES/DEBT on the working vast majority - the GOP (SEE: Bush tax cuts 2001-03).

    Progressives & unions built the mid. class that Tingley (CORRECTLY) laments is declining.

    Reality is that virtually all econ. gains have gone to the uppermost few. Want more of this outrageous systemic redistribution to the top? Be critical of imperfect Demos & support all-for-the-wealthy Republicans. Millions of Joe 6-pk. GOP voters are today POORER for that preference.

  22. IWILLNOTCOMPLY
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    IWILLNOTCOMPLY - June 04, 2014 2:24 pm
    Yes the greens have a party boss and if you listen closely you can hear them, It's called socialism. I heard and no where did I hear anything about cutting government or taxes, on the other hand I did hear we need more of this and that. I hear a lot of talk about R's or D's but yet when it comes election time everybody goes right out and votes for the same people over and over. They will never vote for term limits, but we have the power to get them just by voting them out.
    Why is compromise only talked about when it comes to the GOP but never the Dems.? Also lets remember that TPS endorsed Cuomo, remember? Well Mr. Editors, how's that working out for us? You all so supported obama twice and how is that hopey changee thing working for the country? You want these candidates to compromise with either one of these two?
    Jonny, you hit the nail on the head with your comments but don't forget Albany too!
  23. Jonny
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    Jonny - June 04, 2014 12:18 pm
    I feel if they had a (D) after their name, this would be a glowing review of the more experienced candidate, and how the younger, inexperienced candidate is playing spoiler. This paper's slant shows through time after time. My comments disparaging the dems are often deleted, yet some on the democratic Boat are free to denigrate and demean at will, with no concern for facts. Because they have an (R) after their name, it's considered a good thing the party is split, yet the candidates are unintelligent/unable to answer simple questions. We need real political reform, real candidates not career politicians, and we need to flush that cesspool called Washington. It's unfortunate (given our present circumstances of corruption in political) that we can't vote them ALL out at once and start fresh.
  24. lifelong
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    lifelong - June 04, 2014 11:33 am
    bfaranell, your idea about supporting Funiciello would be too radical for most people. We are so used to being bullied by the interests who have held power so long that we complain about our "choices" the two major parties present, but refuse to try and help anyone who doesn't have the "seal of approval" from the Dem or Repubs.....
    Sad.
  25. bfarenell
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    bfarenell - June 04, 2014 10:41 am
    Ken: I encourage you to vote for Matt Funiciello. He won’t be accountable to the party bosses (the Greens don’t really have any). He won’t be beholden to corporate sponsors (unlike the other three candidates, he refuses them). And he’d be happy to give in-depth answers to any questions you or anyone else has.
  26. robzzyzx
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    robzzyzx - June 04, 2014 10:04 am
    Hmm, the same REP principles and both wouldn't answer the questions directly. Can't wait for this primary to unfold. Reality, maybe neither is the best candidate? But then, the total line up has yet to show an outstanding single candidate. Like most elections, we will have to pick from the line up of least offensive candidates.
  27. IWILLNOTCOMPLY
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    IWILLNOTCOMPLY - June 04, 2014 7:51 am
    "Neither mentioned compromise. Neither talked about consensus to get the country moving."
    Yes why don't you show us the compromise in obama-care the democrats gave. Do the democrats compromise raising taxes on the rich, do they compromise on abortion, welfare reform or cutting the budget? Please show us where Obama has compromised during his terms? You know when he goes around the constitution to get his way, like letting terrorists go in exchange for a deserter.
    You do realize that your compromise and go along to get along is exactly what has us in the mess we are in today. What we are missing is not compromise but integrity and morals in Albany and Washington. True character, you know like when Ted Cruz said what he would do when he went to Washington and did exactly that and then was crucified by both parties and the press. Oh yeah compromise in progressive language is giving into what democrats want.
    Yep hard hitting questions from your paper in the Woolf piece.
  28. cg57
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    cg57 - June 04, 2014 7:34 am
    compromise?, consensus to get the country moving? Why on earth would I want to vote for someone who would compromise with the opposing party who is doing everything in their power to take the country down the wrong path? That's the last thing I want my representative to go to DC and do. The Democrats don't seem to concerned about compromising their positions. I think we are moving to a more parliamentary type of government, unintentionally. The ruling party will get to install their policies, but only so long as they control all 3 branches of government. Of course, as President Obama is showing, even that isn't necessary as he prefers to execute by executive order now. Why bother with all that will of the people stuff when I can just dictate seems to be his mantra. Anyway, I don't want my rep to compromise. What I want is to get all 3 branches of the gov't to repeal some of what has been done the past 6 years.

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