Lois Frankel, Adam Hasner debate video: District 22 congressional candidates face off

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. —  Lois Frankel is a pay-to-play politician.

Adam Hasner wants to throw grannies out of their homes.

Those were some of the charges leveled during Wednesday morning's debate between the two candidates who are running for the 22nd district House seat.

The seat could decide control over the House of Representatives, and at times, the candidates echoed arguments made by leaders of their national parties.

The debate comes as a poll released by the Frankel campaign shows the former mayor leading the former House member by ten percentage points.

The Hasner camp discounted the poll as, "Unreliable," because it was a poll done by a firm hired by the Democratic Party.

"Where is Ms. Frankel going to get the money to pay for infrastructure for more roads and bridges?" asked Hasner, a former State House member and a Republican.

"I'll tell you what I won't do, I will not go along with raising taxes on the middle class," said Democrat Lois Frankel, the former mayor of West Palm Beach.

Frankel's tenure as mayor was a point of contention during the debate.

Panelist George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post asked whether a deal that Frankel struck to build a film school in West Palm Beach with Digital Domain and Florida State University, reflected poorly on her ability to manage public money. 

Several aspects of the project will not likely be completed after the company went bankrupt and laid off hundreds of employees.

"The two most disappointed people in the room about Digital Domain are myself and Mr. Hasner, because when he was the Republican leader in the legislature, he voted to give Digital Domain $20 million so that they could set up a studio in Port St. Lucie," said Frankel. "We built in safeguards, Florida State will still be here for at least three years. Digital Domain has gotten no cash because they didn't make the benchmarks they were supposed to make."

Hasner responded: "Ms. Frankel should know a little bit better. She served in the state legislature, and she knows that the legislature doesn't appropriate money to companies like Digital Domain."

Hasner argued that Frankel received $20,000 in campaign contributions from top executives at Digital Domain.

"It goes along with the culture of corruption that we have seen in West Palm Beach for far too long."

The candidates got heated over Medicare as well, with Hasner arguing that Frankel is short on specifics and that she offers no solutions to the program's insolvency beyond 2024.

"If we do nothing like Ms. Frankel proposes, then Medicare as we know it is going to end," Hasner said. "Ms. Frankel is going to call it vouchers and try to scare you, and get you upset about it."

"You support the Ryan budget," Ms. Frankel responded. "That takes $716 billion instead of saving it and extending the life of Medicare, you give it back to the very very rich in tax breaks."

During the debate, Hasner said several times that he would term limit himself to eight years in office, refuse a congressional pension and refuse pay increases.

Frankel said she would agree to those things if Hasner promised not to privatize Medicare, give tax breaks to the, "ultra-wealthy," and to never take away the right for women to choose to have an abortion.

On that deal, the two sides agreed to disagree.

The Cook Political Report rates the race as, "Lean Democratic."

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