Manchester, NH - 1st District Congressional Candidates Jeb Bradley and Carol Shea-Porter faced off in another debate last night, this one created, implemented and moderated by the Mayors Youth Advisory Council, comprised of Manchester High School Students.
While the debate was an excellent forum where Bradley again demonstrated his support for lower taxes, troops and veterans, an energy plan and a strong economy, it took a turn for the worse near the end. Responding to Bradley's recently announced campaign radio ad featuring Gold Star Mother Natalie Healy, Shea-Porter told the audience she did indeed contact Mrs. Healy twice, despite Natalie's firm statements to the contrary.
Transcript form Healy Radio ad:
"Danny died fighting for the country he loved, why then did Carol Shea-Porter vote against funding our troops while they were in combat? How could she?" Natalie says in the radio ad. "I've called Carol Shea-Porter as a mother, as one of her constituents, but she won't even take my call. I've written to her, she just ignores me. I've called her three times, she won't call me back. My son gave his life for our country and Carol Shea-Porter can't be bothered to talk to me? Shame on you Carol Shea-Porter, Shame on You."
Following the debate, and after Shea-Porters claims she had indeed been in touch with Natalie, The Gold Star mom corrected the record, noting all she ever got was a generic form letter.
"When you give your child to this country, and you see someone being elected or voting in a manner that you feel is detrimental to the spirit of our nation, than you have to speak up," Healy said.
"Natalie Healy's family has given the ultimate sacrifice," said Bradley. "If it weren't bad enough that Congresswoman Shea-Porter refused to call her back after repeated phone calls, she refuses to take responsibility for her inaction. A form letter via email from a staffer is not compassionate response from a Representative, it's dismissive and doesn't count. These are the families we should hold in the highest regard, not disregard and mistreat for political gain. As Natalie says in her radio ad....shame on you Carol Shea-Porter, shame on you."
Unfortunately,the disrespect didn't end there. Visiting Gold Star Mother Debbie Lee was also in attendance. Debbie lost her son Marc, a Navy SEAL, in Iraq in 2006 and is a leading spokesperson for the missions of U.S. troops fighting in the war on terrorism and for Move America Forward.
Following the debate, Ray Buckley engaged in a discussion with her about the Natalie Healy phone call situation. As he demanded she show proof of Carol Shea-Porters lack of contact, he proceeded to tell Debbie she was "being used." As she requested respect as a mother who lost her son, Ray Buckley informed her "we've all lost things."
"This has simply gone too far," Bradley said. "Why in the world would anyone go after a mother who lost her child fighting for this country? This demonstrates just how far Carol Shea-Porter and her democratic team will go to win this race. Its win at all costs, even at the cost of the deserved respect and dignity of one who gave so much. We need to honor all those who have been lost and all troops, veterans and families. What Shea-Porter is doing is beyond the pale."
Bradley continued, "Ray Buckley has stepped over the line this time. He has crossed every boundary of good taste, respect and compassion. If he believes that any New Hampshire person, regardless of party, will accept this kind of disregard, they have another thing coming on election day. Carol Shea-Porter and her attack dogs are so callous and desperate to win they will attack these women. It is deplorable. Ray Buckley and Carol Shea-Porter should apologize, and Buckley should resign because New Hampshire is better than this."
The following link will send you to the press release: