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Waxman, Bloomfield Square Off in Forum

Rep. Henry Waxman and Bill Bloomfield are vying to represent California's new 33rd Congressional District.

Congress needs representatives who will reach across the aisle and work with members of the opposing party, according to the two men running to represent California's newly created 33rd Congressional District.

In front of a group of local dignitaries and small business owners at the Rolling Hills Country Club in Rolling Hills Estates last week, Rep. Henry Waxman, a Democrat who currently represents the 30th Congressional District, and candidate Bill Bloomfield, an independent from Manhattan Beach, traded barbs over Waxman's record and the hyper-partisanship in Congress, the Simpson-Bowles debt reduction recommendations and even the Department of Veterans Affairs facility in West Los Angeles.

The forum's format gave each candidate four minutes for an introduction before a 10-minute, question-and-answer session. However, the candidates deviated from the format quite often.

Bloomfield threw the first verbal punch with a reference to the new bipartisan commission charged with drawing district lines. Without it, Waxman's "pals" in Sacramento would have drawn him a safe district, Bloomfield said.

"I'm worried about the future of our country," he said, talking about the "bickering" in Washington, D.C.

Throughout the event, Bloomfield emphasized his independence from the two-party system, explaining his "No Labels" caucus that promises to bridge the gap between Democrats and Republicans.

"I do not favor lowering taxes for the wealthy," Bloomfield said. "Our country needs a nonpartisan, pro-jobs approach."

For his part, Waxman decried the hyper-partisanship and lack of compromise in Congress: "I've never seen anything like it."

Bloomfield also emphasized his support of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform—also known as Simpson-Bowles—a bipartisan group designed to figure out methods of getting the national debt under control. The independent candidate said he would have voted for the committee's recommendations.

"We need to get our fiscal act in order," Waxman agreed, but "[Simpson-Bowles] is only a framework."

"If you and the other leaders in Congress had embraced the framework of Simpson-Bowles, we wouldn't have a fiscal cliff," Bloomfield said. "You are an outlier on this issue."

He likened sequestration—automatic spending cutbacks in such areas as defense—to playing chicken with the U.S. economy.

"I think the idea of sequestration is absurd," Waxman said.

Both, however, disagreed with the Norquist no-tax pledge, the anti-tax oath championed by conservative activist Grover Norquist, with Bloomfield calling it "God-awful" and "stupid."

Among the other topics, Waxman told attendees that he fought to keep the local VA property from being sold to developers and said he was "pleased" that a class-action lawsuit had been filed to compel the VA to provide services.

"[The lawsuit will] light a fire under the VA," he said. "It's a disgrace to have homeless veterans."

"The VA facility on Wilshire in West L.A. is a disgrace," Bloomfield shot back. "Why didn't you ask [government officials] to deal with it?"

Waxman retorted that he had to fight the Republicans who wanted to sell the facility—who Bloomfield supported.

Both candidates support abortion rights and same-sex marriage. On the death penalty, Bloomfield supports it and Waxman does not.

Still, Bloomfield said he would be voting for Proposition 34, which ends the death penalty in California, because the penalty is "simply not working" and costing the state "a zillion dollars."

Election day is Nov. 6.

The new 33rd District stretches from the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the Beach Cities, through slivers of Marina del Rey and Venice, up to Santa Monica, Malibu, Calabasas and Agoura Hills. The district also extends inland to include Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills and parts of West L.A.

Jane Tuma October 28, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Where is he getting his financial support? Annan
Neil C. Reinhardt November 05, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Talks like a Republican? gee you mean he does not support dishonest racist I call Oduma? A low life who had a white / America racist preacher as close friend until Oduma threw him under a bus? I am a independent voter who thinks anyone who supports a lying low life who includes two terrorist leaders (Dorn / Ayers) as his close friends is as totally lacking in Honor, Ethics, Morals and Integrity as Oduma is. Neil C. Reinhardt
Neil C. Reinhardt November 05, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Not once, in my soon to be 78 years of life have I ever known anyone who has LIED as MUCH as ODUMA has! And Children, as I have lived in more places, had many more professions and done many more types of different things than most even think about doing, as well as being smarter than 97.5 % of the world, I most certainly have more of a clue than are most who are 77, much less anyone who is younger. And FYI, I am not only known for being one of the most truthful person most have ever met. I will take any and all tests designed to detect lies and ace them. OBOTS are only clueless Clods of the Loony Left who not only refuse to learn the truth and the facts, they will deny them with out even attempting to verify them, And before anyone thinks I am a Programmed Religious Robot on the far Right, I am an Agnostic Atheist Activist who has been an Atheist for 68 of my 77 years and an Atheist Activist for over half of a century. LAST, RIGHT ON TIM SOLE, RIGHT ON!
Kevin ABC November 07, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Let's see. He wants to fix the VA in Westwood (which IS a disaster) instead of just selling it like the Republican stance. He wants to repeal the death penalty because it's fiscally irresponsible and not enough of a deterrent since the average convict spends 16 years on Death Row. He is against lowering taxes for the wealthy. None of this is Republican rhetoric. He sounds like a Democrat with an emphasis on fiscal responsibility. I vote Democrat but my beliefs are very moderate. He votes (and contributes) Republican but also seems very moderate with an emphasis on FIXING IT even if fixing it means taxing the rich. I'm all for this guy!
Mark April 12, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Neil barged into an email group to which I belong and started in with his razzle-dazzled about his being the smartest, the most truthful, the most honest, the most moral, blah-blah-blah person who ever existed -- and then promptly started lying out of his teeth, making up information, and slurring every single member of the group. It's interesting to note that Neil managed to alienate both conservatives and liberals, theists and atheists; and ended up with ONE friend -- Bruce Majors, who is one of the most vicious trolls ever to infest the Internet. http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=local&sc2=features&sc3=&id=135266 You might be interested in knowing that Neil has gotten himself banned from all sorts of websites -- theistic, atheistic, conservative, liberal, etc. because of his really awful behavior online. Caveat emptor.

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