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Publication Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Voter Guide: Two challenge Anna Eshoo on issues from Iraq to taxes Voter Guide: Two challenge Anna Eshoo on issues from Iraq to taxes (October 23, 2002)

By Marion Softky

Almanac Staff Writer

The differences between Democratic Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and Republican challenger Joe Nixon start at the top.

"I support George Bush," Mr. Nixon said repeatedly at a League of Women Voters candidates' forum in Mountain View October 17. The candidate for the 14th Congressional District hammered on the new dangers since September 11, the need for homeland security, the threat of nuclear attack, and the need for pre-emptive strikes on Iraq. He said we should take the next war "in slow motion -- one nation at a time."

Rep. Eshoo, a 10-year veteran running for a sixth term, defended her vote against giving the president new powers.

A pre-emptive strike on a sovereign nation sets a dangerous precedent, Rep. Eshoo warned. "We are trading deterrence for pre-emption. We are trading multilateralism for unilateralism. This is a departure for both parties."

Libertarian candidate Andrew Carver of Menlo Park agreed with Ms. Eshoo. "The threat to the U.S. (from Iraq) is exaggerated to push Congress," he said.

The rest of the forum was tamer and more predictable.

Ms. Eshoo, an Atherton resident who served on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for 10 years before being elected to Congress in 1992, focused on domestic issues. She supported expanded economic opportunity, full access to health care, and protecting the environment for future generations. "A great deal is at stake," she said.

Mr. Nixon, a businessman and videographer from Bonny Doone, comes from the large area of Santa Cruz County that was added to the 14th District during the last redistricting. Besides promoting security and military readiness at home and abroad, Mr. Nixon supports lower taxes, free and fair trade, and bringing the creativity of Silicon Valley to bear on national problems.

"We are in terrible shape and getting worse," he said in conclusion. "We need new ideas. I have experience."

Mr. Carver, a resident of Menlo Park, is an economics researcher studying for his Ph.D. at Stanford, He supports lower taxes, smaller government, less regulation, better spending, and privatization of poorly run government services. "People know how to run their lives better than the federal government does," he said.

One thing all candidates agreed on: support of Roe vs. Wade -- the landmark decision permitting women to have an abortion. But each candidate had a different take. Mr. Nixon also supported research on therapeutic stem cells. Mr. Carver would oppose spending federal dollars on abortion. Rep. Eshoo deplored the refusal of the administration to fund international family planning. "One of the prime issues is global population," she said.


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