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Lightning round provides levity, more attacks


YNN's Liz Benjamin and Bill Carey's fantastic debate — the best of the NY21, really — included perhaps the highlight of the whole campaign for bored political reporters.
That was the lightning round. You'll recall that the previous lightning round in the "race" between Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Wendy Long caused a bit of a national kerfuffle.
The lightning round between Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, and Republican Matt Doheny might cause a local one. Especially from Don Hassig.
Ms. Benjamin asked the candidates whether they had ever cow-tipped. Mr. Doheny, who grew up in Alexandria Bay, said that he had. Mr. Owens, who grew up on Long Island, said he hadn't.
I asked Mr. Owens (cow-tongue-in-cheek) after the debate whether he considered it animal abuse. He didn't bite.
Pressed for details about where and when Mr. Doheny cow-tipped, he looked to his wife, Mary, an attorney, and sought the advice of his counsel. He pleaded the fifth.
"Going cow tipping on a Saturday night was not foreign," Mr. Doheny said.
Some say cow-tipping is a myth. Others don't. One person alone can't tip over a cow; according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, you'll need at least two or more.
Mr. Hassig, the Green Party candidate, has said that he loves cows so much that he wants farmworkers who don't speak English to have their asses thrown out of the United States.
In the second-most interesting lightning round question, one of the moderators — can't remember if it was Ms. Benjamin or Bill Carey — asked both candidates whether they had done P90X, the workout craze made popular, at least politically, by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.
Mr. Doheny said no. Mr. Owens didn't know what the moderator was talking about.
Said Mr. Doheny of Mr. Owens' P90 hex: "It's a newfangled workout regime, congressman, you'll have plenty of time in January to practice it."
Here are the rest of the lightning round questions (I'm paraphrasing the questions; sometimes the candidates went with more than one word):
Do you support expansion of wind farming on the shores of Lake Ontario?
Mr. Doheny: No.
Mr. Owens: Yes.

Is someone who makes $250,000 a year rich?
Mr. Owens: "Yes, based up on my position relative to the Bush tax cuts,"
Mr. Doheny: Yes.

Do you support Gov. Andrew Cuomo's push to expand non-Native casino gambling in New York?
Mr. Owens: No.
Mr. Doheny: No.

Have you ever hiked Whiteface Mountain?
Mr. Owens: Yes.
Mr. Doheny: No.

Would you support your party's current leader for Speaker of the House?
Mr. Doheny: Yes (Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio).
Mr. Owens: Yes (Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.)

Did you take out loans to pay for your education?
Mr. Owens: No.
Mr. Doheny: Yes.

Is Lake George a better vacation spot than Alexandria Bay?
Mr. Owens: "Yes and no." (This got a good response from the crowd.)
Mr. Doheny: "Are you going to let him get away with that? Home is home. Alexandria Bay." (Mr. Doheny grew up in Alex Bay.)

Is John Roberts a good chief justice?
Mr. Owens: Yes.
Mr. Doheny: Yes.

Have you ever had a Tom and Jerry (a brandy, egg and rum mixture) at the Crystal Restaurant in Watertown?
Mr. Owens: No.
Mr. Doheny: Yes.

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