Starting at 10 a.m., The Palm Beach Post will host a 90-minute debate between Democratic U.S. Senate rivals Kendrick Meek and Jeff Greene, and The Florida Independent will be live-blogging the whole thing. Follow the jump, and keep refreshing to catch the latest.
You can stream the debate yourself here.
10:05 Greene: we are failing in every way, my opponent has accepted money from Fannie Mae, my opponent has accepted money from BP. I would work to stop this culture of bribery and corruption, I will not take a penny of special interest money.
10:10 Meek: I am glad to have the endorsement of this city. I am the only candidate of the four major candidates who have not run as a republican. Meek rejects accusations of corruption.
10:15 Greene: I am running against three candidates involved in corruption scandals: Rubio, Meek, and Crist. I will cut this culture of corruption.
10:15 Meek: Greene is the king of credit default swap and profited on it. I have not done anything improper. I am not subject to any investigation.
Greene was asked about his role in derivatives.
10:20 Greene I do not regret investing in credit swaps. I had to take care of the jobs I had created. I took a risk if I had lost the big banks would have made money. The cause of the housing crisis came about because the government failed to regulate the banks. Derivatives should be regulated, I did not create the housing crisis.
10:20 Meek: Greene was a pioneer of credit swaps that took Floridians’ homes, he was praying for people to lose their homes so he could make a profit. The derivatives helped his Wall Street buddies make money when the market crashed. I have voted on financial reform. His background is questionable. He is carrying a republican style against me.
10:25 Greene: everything you say is fiction. You didn’t want to talk about the issues but run around accusing me of creating derivatives, I was protecting jobs and my investment.
Another question for Meek: With the oil spill what other energy sources should we explore?
10:30 Meek: I think it’s important we get this spill capped, we need to keep pressure on BP. Senator Nelson called me to halt offshore drilling until we understand why this happened on the Coast. I fought against offshore drilling in Florida waters, I am for a special session to stop offshore drilling, we need to look at new energy opportunities, working with the public and private sector to develop a green economy.
Greene: this situation in the Gulf is a wake-up call to show us that Meek and career politicians have failed. As far as I’m concerned this should not have happened. We are sending 350 billion a year to foreign countries to pay for oil, I am putting a stop to this, I will not take money from oil companies, I will invest in developing a green economy, increase research and development, for wind farms, solar panels.
10:35 Meek: I have a proven track record of protecting the environment. 230 state leaders have endorsed my campaign. We need a Senator who knows what the Senate is all bout. I voted for a cap in trade legislation. What you see now came out of the stimulus package. That came about with the leadership of President Obama and myself. I wish Greene had blown the whistle to regulators on derivatives. We need to know how to protect Florida.
10:40 Greene on nuclear energy: If we can do it safely I am all for it. Unless I’m convinced there is no risk for Americans and Floridians I’ll vote against it.
Meek on nuclear energy: I support recent nuclear energy bills. It has to be safe. there is a major battle in Congress between oil and other alternatives. I’m for the future.
10:45 Question about Social Security trust fund
Greene: I want to come up with solutions to raise revenue for Social Security. I will fight to protect Social Security and medicare.
10:50 Greene: Israel is our only ally in the region so I stand with Israel. Middle east oil is vital to our economy.
Meek: We must understand the Israel-Iran issue that we know that the protection and sovereignty of Israel is a global issue.
Would you support military action against Iran to stop it from getting a nuclear weapon?
10:55 Meek: Absolutely.
Greene: I will do all I can to stop Iran from getting this weapon
Question on gay rights.
10:55 Greene: People should not be submitted to ridiculous laws like don’t ask don’t tell, I am for gay adoption if courts see custody should be given to someone who is gay I am OK with that.
Meek: gay people should be allowed to adopt, I have worked in doing away with don’t ask don’t tell. As it relates to gay marriage I fought for constitution amendments to support gay marriage.
They both support social security benefits for gay couples.
What is their position on illegal immigrants?
11:00 Meek: individuals who are here illegally should be treated as such, but law enforcement should not be burdened with the job of catching 11 million people. It’s important to develop paths to residency and citizenship. I think it’s important that we look at the consequences of the SB1070 in Arizona. Such a law in Florida could affect our tourism industry and burden law enforcement and impede its ability to fight crimes. We need to protect our borders, people need to pay taxes
Greene: we need sensible and comprehensive immigration policies. We need to make it possible for immigrants to come to create jobs and contribute to our economy.
Meek: we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Question for Meek: you voted for the $787 billion stimulus bill is it working?
11:10 Meek: I think it’s important to know we would have gone into depression if it had not been for the stimulus package, the economic meltdown came about in Wallstreet and Mr. Greene played a key role in that process, that made him a billionaire.
Greene: I’m glad the stimulus bill was passed but I would have not let it loaded with earmarks and special interests. Meek speaks about jobs but the only job you created was for your mother. We are in an economic war. Since Meek has been in Congress we have lost 700, 000 jobs only in Florida. we need to determine how to create jobs so we can sell into a booming middle class worldwide. In this race, three career politicians Meek, Rubio, Crist have failed. I’ll give the people of Florida a choice to put the people of Florida first.
Meek: Greene you are of special interest, you come here from Wallstreet to tell us we need a stop sign. How dare you attack the character of my mother, and you continue to attack her because I’m a man of integrity I will never attack your family. I wish you run against it.
Greene: I’m not attacking your mother but you, you went to this crooked developer. When I get to Washington I will work to stop earmarks.
Withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Is our strategy working?
11:20 Greene: Afghanistan has been challenging. Karzai is negotiating with the Taliban assuming we are leaving. I don’t know if the people in Washington are keeping us safer. I am not in favor of timetables, we should talk about getting our job done. A timetable tells the enemy we are leaving, they will use that against us. I have confidence in President Obama.
11:25 Meek: we must bring an end to the conflict by mid-2011. It’s important to look at the death of over 230 Floridians in Afghanistan. We must look at the objective that we need to meet. Mr. Greene speaks of timetables, Bush spoke about timetables, President Obama has developed a plan to get us out of Iraq and the same should happen in Afghanistan.
If you’re in the Senate in July what do you need to hear from the Administration about staying in Afghanistan and should McChrystal be fired?
Meek: Congress’s responsibility is funding and if the money is not there we can’t continue., Obama, I need to hear that the hunt is still on for Bin-laden.
Greene: If I hear that our country is not safe then we need to fight until our country is safe. It’s up to the president to fire the General.
The debate is over