This morning's debate between Sheila Harsdorf and Shelly Moore was sponsored by the River Falls Chamber of Commerce, and was well-attended, with over 300 people in the ballroom of the new University Center at UW-River Falls. The crowd seemed to be a well-mixed balance of supporters of both candidates, and cerrtainly people who are as of yet undecided.
Many admonitions were made to the audience to avoid outbursts, and this was well-respected by the crowd with two exceptions. At one point late in the morning Harsdorf brought up the issue of Moore having used her email account at school to send an email with a political viewpoint. Harsdorf said she did not know whether it was worse to have a candidate who does not believe in laws and rules, or to have a schoolteacher that will teach a lack of respect for laws to her students. Much of the crowd turned on Harsdorf at this point, and calls of "shame on you" came from the audience. Later when Moore stated that she thought Wisconsin government would be more transparent if Harsdorf simply took tax dollars and gave them directly to "her friends at M&I Bank" some of the audience applauded.
I continue to see Moore growing as a candidate, and she was clearly in a slightly confrontational mode today. In contrast, Harsdorf often seemed to be defensive, and to be at a loss for words other than trotting out the same phrases she has used throughout her campaign - "making the tough decisions", "giving schools the tools they need", and " not raising taxes on our job creators" were all heard multiple times.
But we'll let you judge. We will shortly be uploading the audio of the debate. This is not high-quality audio, as it was captured on my cell phone. It should, however, give you the flavor of what happened in the debate this morning. This is an unedited recording of the entire debate.