October 07, 2008
It's debatin' season

With early voting fast approaching and voters really tuning in to campaign coverage, now is the time that candidates get together to debate. Or at least, one candidate calls on another to do so, with varying effect. We know all about the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates; there's another Presidential debate this evening for those of you who like that sort of thing. We've also got two Senate debates, between Rick Noriega, Sen. John Cornyn, and LIbertarian Yvonne Schick, scheduled for this Thursday the 9th and next Thursday the 16th. These too will be televised at 8 PM on KUHT Channel 8 locally; check your PBS station for a listing if you're not in Houston. We've had County Judge debates, we've had District Attorney debates, and though it was a close one for a while there, we've had a Sheriff debate. There's plenty more where that came from - take a look at what Red, White, and Blue has on tap, for instance - though some challenges will go unheeded.

I've got a couple of calls for debate in my Inbox, which I'm passing along to see if they come to fruition. First is an email from Michael Skelly to Rep. John Culberson:

Dear Congressman Culberson:

Given the seriousness of the challenges our country faces, including a financial meltdown and an energy crisis, it is critical that voters be given the opportunity to hear where their candidates stand - and where they differ - on the most critical issues of our time.

The voters of the Seventh District of Texas deserve to hear us participate in a substantive policy debate so that they can make an informed choice about which direction they want to take moving forward.

I was disappointed to hear that you rejected the League of Women Voters invitation to host a debate between us. I am writing to request that you agree to two debates in the month of October, to be coordinated between our campaigns.

There is no justifiable reason why the people of the Seventh District should be deprived of this crucial aspect of our democratic system.

Please direct your staff to contact Dylan Loewe at (713) 522-7535 to coordinate a time and place of mutual agreement to conduct these debates.


Michael Skelly

We'll see if Skelly has any more luck with this than Larry Joe Doherty did. Let's just say I'm not expecting much.

Meanwhile, the office of Harris County Department of Education Trustee may be obscure, but any debate featuring Jim Henley would be worth the price of admission. Henley sent the following to his opponent, Stan Stanart:

Dear Stan,

Many voters may be unaware of our campaign for At-Large Position 7, as this is a presidential election year that brings many distractions.

This past March you defeated the long serving president of trustees in the Republican primary.

Traditionally, trustees have been non-partisan citizen volunteers who support public education.

In a radio interview prior to the primary, you stated that you were "highly entertaining doing away with the board"*. I am certain that you agree that the elimination of the Harris County Department of Education is an issue thatshould be publicly discussed and debated prior to Election Day. I hope that you will accept my invitation to debate the future of the HCDE.

A series of three debates held across Harris County will provide voters with the opportunity to make an informed decision when they cast their ballot in the next few weeks.

I am flexible on dates and venues and will work with you to schedule these debates during the month of October.

I look forward to hearing from you. I can contacted by telephone at 281-685-3117 or by email [email protected]

Best Wishes,

Jim Henley

* (www.thewhatsupradioprogram.com - January 29, 2008. See Archives: guest, Stan Stanart for recordedinterview).

Incumbents can usually duck debates for a host of reasons, but it's a bit dicier for a non-incumbent to do so. I'll pass along word of any response when I get it.

(With apologies to MeMo for dropping the "G" in the title.)

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 07, 2008 to Election 2008
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