Steelman slammed her rival early and often over his support for ethanol subsidies and "wasteful spending" in Washington.
Hulshof, in turn, criticized Steelman for opposing tort reform and for flip-flopping on the ethanol issue.
"Ms. Steelman was for ethanol before she was against it," he said.
In the debate co-sponsored by the News-Leader, KYTV and KSMU,Hulshof defended his support for ethanol subsidies when asked whether he had a conflict of interest -- Hulshof grows corn on his family farm and has accepted donations from the ethanol industry.
He blamed "big oil" -- and Steelman -- for distorting the issue.
"Big oil despises ethanol, he said. "The facts are that the only solution so far we've been able to come up with (to the energy crisis) is domestic biofuels ... Ethanol allows us to pay less in gas prices."
Steelman, however, said the state's ethanol mandate hurts consumers by driving up prices on food, as well as fuel.
"I buy into the free market system," she said. "A government mandate to tell people what they have to buy hurts competition."
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Differences on ethanol highlight Steelman/Hulshof debate
Differences on Missouri's ethanol mandate highlighted Wednesday night's debate between Republican gubernatorial candidates Sarah Steelman and Kenny Hulshof in Springfield. From the Springfield News-Leader article: