Paul Burtzlaff had an hour-long question & answer session with the folks from Meet The Bloggers yesterday, and I think it went very well. The audio will be up soon, so I’ll link to it when it’s available. [UPDATE: Here it is.]
The other bloggers in attendance were Scott and Michele Bakalar, Tim and Gloria Ferris, George Nemeth, and Tim Russo. I was the only conservative blogger there, so it was no surprise that most of the questions came from a center-left perspective. To their credit, my friendly opponents didn’t ask Paul any “gotcha” questions, and they were uniformly courteous while still asking pointed questions. This bunch is really interested in getting information out to the voters, not in pushing a liberal agenda. They do an admirable job of limiting the Meet The Bloggers forums to raw information and saving their analysis and punditry for their own blogs. I will try to do the same.
Naturally nobody on the Democratic side of the aisle is going to vote for a conservative Republican like Paul Burtzlaff, nor will I vote for a Democrat. Further, we partisans and political junkies tend to be pretty skeptical creatures when we meet an office-seeker. Nevertheless, I think Paul may have disarmed them.
Center-left blogger Scott Bakalar had this to say:
Paul Burtzlaff does not seem to be your typical Republican either. Again and again he surprised our panel which consisted of mostly left-center folk (the exceptions being Alo and the other guy off of the street) by not spouting GOP talking points. The man is conservative, he’s Republican and a minister.
Burtzlaff concentrates on “Service”, reporting his whole career from the Navy to the Pulpit has been one of service to his fellow man. The U.S. House would be no different.
Unlike his chief rival for the GOP nod – Craig Foltin, Paul Burtzlaff is no RINO. He has a firm grasp on the issues important to the conservatives of the 13th District, and it is my impression that he believes what he believes very strongly.
It’s not very often that we at MTB get to interview Republican candidates for office. And although we have tried and tried and tried, Paul Burtzlaff is the only G.O.P. candidate for the 13th District that had the stuff to actually sit down with us. We respect that. It is a feather in his cap. Center-right voters in the 13th should, in my opinion, give this man a good long look. You will be impressed with what you see.
MTB ringleader George Nemeth of Brewed Fresh Daily fame seconded Bakalar’s opinion:
I have to agree with Scott. I enjoyed talking with Paul. Kudos to him … for taking part in Meet.The.Bloggers�
I’m looking forward to the other bloggers’ reactions.
Oh … here’s an aside to my fellow conservatives. Just because Paul made a favorable impression with a group of well-informed partisans from the center-left, that’s no reason to doubt his conservative bona fides. If my personal endorsement isn’t enough for you, I invite you to read the interview I just posted. I think you’ll find it reassuring.