The following is my recollection of the question and response at the October 28 Plumb-Reed debate. I do not have a transcript or a recording of the debate.
Near the end of Friday’s John Plumb-Tom Reed debate, the candidates had the opportunity to ask a question to the other candidate. Reed went first.
Reed made the point that Plumb has been campaigning for a year and a half, brought up the environment, and added that many, including farmers, were concern about “TMDL”, and ask Plumb how he felt about TMDL. (He always used the acronym, never the actual words).
Plumb responded that this was a classic example of a “Gotcha” question. He refused to pretend he had an answer to a question about an acronym that he doesn’t recognize.
Reed, in his 30 seconds to respond to Plumb’s answer, showed no acting skills when he feign his bewilderment that Plumb didn’t respond to his trivia question.
TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) is a term used by the Environment Protection Agency to quantify the amount of polluted materials allowed in a waterway. The EPA regulates the TMDL. When they lower the accepted amounts of pollutants, local Wastewater Treatment Plants need to make adjustments. The municipalities would then need to increase efficiency, which probably would increase costs.
Reed’s ploy was clear–the goal was to embarrass his opponent. If he really wanted to know what Plumb thought of the Clean Water Act, or the EPA regulations, he would have asked that—he would have used the correct term. But he didn’t.
Plumb did not fall for it.
We are looking for a representative who takes his position seriously, someone who can be admired–a good role model, and Rep. Reed blew it.
BTW—Plumb asked Reed why he voted to defund Homeland Security.