Days before election results are announced — and with nearly 70% of ballots already returned in their district — state Rep. Frank Chopp and his third-party challenger Sherae Lascelles seemed to be agreeing on most policy issues in a Hillowee-flavored debate hosted by The Stranger Thursday night. The result for the online crowd Thursday night, anyhow, was a victory in the viewers poll for the incumbent Chopp — a possible prediction, he hopes, of the veteran lawmaker’s maintaining a connection with his Democratic base and resonance with at least a portion of its more progressive edges.
Both said they were in support of a head tax-like proposal for big business. Both said they wanted to enact “good cause” eviction legislation at the state level. Both said they were against fare enforcement. Both said they wanted to cap rent increases at 2%. Both said police officers were overrated and protesters demonstrating for the past 150 days were underrated.
And both said they wanted to ban high capacity magazines in guns and decriminalize sex work. Chopp said he wanted to tax capital gains at 10% and Lascelles said 5% would be a good starting point.
But they did notably diverge on one question not relating to policy that could say a lot about how they would govern if elected in the 43rd Legislative District.
Is this a time for civility in government — or is it time to take the gloves off? Continue reading