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John Hall, the democractic candidate for the NY-19 th, challanged incumbent Congresswomen Sue Kelly on Sept. 18th to five debates (one for each county the district represents). This has not been refuted.


Sue Kelly's campaign has remained silent about these debates. Several other organizations want Sue Kelly and have requested her presence. But something is happening -- the local press is reporting the story and might be getting Ms. Kelly to cave. One press source now says Ms. Kelly HAS accepted  the five debate challange!


Read about it below:


(This being my first diary I apologize in advance for errors, spelling or grammar mistakes and other possible oversights -- please reply in the comments section about such errors)


Lets list the groups wanting Ms. Kelly to debate:
1) League of Women Voters of Somers (Sent her three invites first being around a month ago, none returned)
2) Orange County Farm Bureau (Kelly agreed to debate at this group which conveniently recently made its debate during the same time as the LWV's meeting.)
3) Poughkeepsie Area Chamber of Commerce (Both candidates have agreed to attend)


4,5,6) The John Hall campaign requested that Ms. Kelly attend at least five debates in each county she represents so that all of the public can have a chance hear both candidates speak. (No debates have been setup by Ms. Kelly for both candidates to participate in)


So there we have it... 2 public debates.


Where are the debates for the other 3 counties that Kelly represents? Does Ms. Kelly believe that only two forums are enough? Does she think that she has 'accepted' John Hall's challenge?


First we have This wonderful Journal News article stating the current affairs about recent hopes for Ms. Kelly to debate.


The article states:

"Rep. Sue Kelly, R-Katonah ... so far she has not committed to any public debates in Westchester, Rockland or Putnam counties, which make up a substantial portion of the five-county 19th Congressional District."


It goes on later to recap the fact that Kelly and Hall will only get to 'debate' in

"forums hosted by the Orange County Farm Bureau and the Poughkeepsie Area Chamber of Commerce."
-- not really all of the area's she represents will get a chance to see the candidates, right?


If you have been following this race you would have known that the somers League of Women Voters invited Kelly to debate during its Oct. 16th meeting only to receive no response by the Kelly Campaign. The group sent three letters and none have been directly responded to.


So the article states basically a lot is going on with the debate situation and nothing is resolved as of yet.


Until we read this blurb by the Mid-Hudson News: Here

It states:

"The Kelly for Congress campaign Friday said Congresswoman Sue Kelly has accepted five invitations to debate her opponent, John Hall, in October."


So... Kelly accepted the debate offer then?


The blurb continues:

"They include one televised debate, two editorial board debates with newspapers in the district and two public events."


So... Kelly is trying to say she 'accept' the Hall offer to debate when only two debates are open to the public? That's clearly not what Hall's challenge was:

In Hall's Press Release challenge he stated quite clearly:

"So let's bring the issues to the voters, in a series of planned debates around the district... As to when and where the debates should be held in each of the counties, John proposes that the Kelly campaign name the place and the time, and he will be there."


No, we can't let Kelly slip away from real debates that easily. What debates are -- what they need to be and must be in this race are debates that are completely open to the public.


Kelly should be feeling that as a representative of her district for 12 years she has nothing to hide to her constituents - that she fear no questions about her record. She needs to respect the voters and answer all questions the public has. She needs to have a real open debates on all issues with Hall and not just pretend to have. Don't let Kelly get away with this latest snub of the public she is supposed to represent. We can't let Ms. Kelly claim, as the second link does, that she will debate 'five times'.


Kelly needs to answer questions about  funding the No Child Left Behind Act, she needs to answer questions about why she supports tourture, about why she co-sponsored legislation which gives teachers the right to strip search students without any suspicion.


It's still in Kelly's court - she gets to choose the locations, the time and the date. Three more debates Ms. Kelly.  

-- MrMacMan

Originally posted to MrMacMan on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 08:06 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Do you really expect Kelly to show her face? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrMacMan

    n/t.

    Take the NY-25: Dan Maffei for Congress

    by Progressive Moderate on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 08:16:54 PM PDT

    •  What I expect is (0+ / 0-)

      That she doesn't try to put out statements through the Mid-Hudson News which are at best deceitful and at best lies.

      She's been posting unattributed PR statements through this 'paper' for more than two months and its getting sickening.

      If she wants to debate -- its all up to her time schedule. She has nothing to be afraid of besides her long and dedicated republican party voting record.

      -- MrMacMan

  •  Down in NY-13 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrMacMan

    The Republican incumbent refused to debate his opponent in 2004.  Now he is in trouble with a few corruption issues.  His opponent took a news crew to his office and held a press conference saying the incumbent refused to debate.  They are now having 4 debates.

    •  I'm praying Hall does similar (0+ / 0-)

      I mean its hard to claim that 'your considering potential debates' when its your campaign creating the location, time and date for that debate.

      What's so hard?
      You look at the calandar, you ask a group if they can moderate a debate and then you call the Hall campaign and say this is where and when it is.

      You don't even have to consider the other guy's schedule -- only your own!

      -- MrMacMan

  •  Well, media-sponsored debates MAY be a good thing (0+ / 0-)

    MacMan, I think a media-sponsored debate, for TV or print is a good thing. However, a "debate" before an editorial board of a newspaper may technically mean a face-to-face. But, it could just as easily be two separate appearances at each editorial board, without Hall and Kelly actually facing off. As far as TV is concerned, that's certainly not a bad thing, either. The larger the audience, the better. And, the media--as long as it's "real" media as opposed to some podunk weekly shopper rag or something--aspect of this could actually be a benefit. But, on the other side of the coin, there are some REAL "in the tank" dailies in the district. [A quick review of the RecordOnline.com website (Ottaway papers) is an example of gross, one-sided coverage of this race.] And, in fact, most of the print outlets IN the district are, by definition, Republican-leaning organizations.

    Now, the NY Times would be a good venue. And, perhaps Cablevision of Westchester wouldn't be bad, either. They would both facilitate larger audiences and inherent credibility. And, judging from the even-handed play that Hall's getting in the Journal-News, I'd have to add the largest daily in the district (Gannett papers) to this list of media outlets that would give some semblance of a fair shake on this effort, too.

    But, I'd be willing to venture that Kelly will be more interested in doing media-related gigs with Hall other than the Journal News (perhaps if it's not face-to-face she'd agree to it), Cablevison, or the NY Times.

    And, on a final note, MacMan, as one of the most vociferous Hall supporters I've had the pleasure of bumping into on DailyKos, I just want to say it's a pleasure making a comment on your first diary entry!  Keep up the great work.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 09:01:03 PM PDT

    •  All debates are good, no doubt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobswern

      The theoritical 'editorial board' debate could be as fantastic as the candidates sitting down to a table, a tape recorder in the middle and the editors asking them questions point for point which gets printed in the paper.

      Or the editorial board debate could be pre-scripted questions that are edited out so they could fit a news column and only summerize the candidates position.

      A TV debate is good too -- but I like a TV debate to be held in front of the public. The problem also is that cablevision has political intrests and ties it needs to look out for.

      The thing is that Kelly can't claim she has fullfilled Hall's challange like the blurb stated because clearly she has already ignored the LWV debate and refuses to put up her own created debate schedule with hall on the issues and not different 'forums' requesting her to come and speak.

      Hall's challange clearly wanted a public, open system -- he mentioend organizations, possible colleges and the publc. A closed meeting with editors who might not even potentially public a full recount of the proceedings isn't what the challange was all about.

      And thanks for the support... This diary didn't take very long to write because of all the background you and several others have given me in this race.

      I hope to get a more focused article next time on a topic that the press isn't covering rather then a topic they are already jumping on.

      -- MrMacMan

      •  I see Kelly's only committed to 2 debates.... (0+ / 0-)

        After reading the article in today's Journal News, I now realize she's only committed to two debates, not five. The editorial board meetings and the appearance on the cable show are just that. They're not debate opportunities, at all.

        At least, not yet...

        NOW...what would be REALLY COOL would be if an outlet like the Journal News or Cablevision would ask Ms. Kelly if she wouldn't mind turning her previously-scheduled appearance into an actual debate, instead. Either, or both, of these outlets would be performing a very valuable public service by extending their hospitality accordingly.

        As far as Kelly's commitment to the debates in Poughkeepsie and Orange County, it's my understanding that both of these organizations may include somewhat rather vocal Kelly supporters, too. (What a surprise, huh? But, I'm sure John Hall will take her on anywhere; anytime. Hey! How about her freakin' living room? I'll bet John would love that!)

        Yes, both the Orange County Farm Bureau (OCFB) and the Poughkeepsie Chamber of Commerce are about as pro-Kelly (Republican/Conservative) an audience as Sue could possibly hope for in the entire 19th Congressional District. The OCFB is about the ONLY
        place in the entire district where Kelly's done ANYTHING substantive in her 12 years in office as far as the environment's concerned. (And, I'm being very generous to even say this.) If she went anywhere else, and attempted to talk about her anti-environment positions, the backdrop would be just like her real positions on this issue are concerned--a visual testament to her ultra-conservative, anti-environmental policies.

        Both of these organizations have directly benefitted, financially, from Sue's 12 years in office. Then again, she's probably having a difficult time finding three other locations based upon this criteria!

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 09:43:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If I were as lame as Sue Kelly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrMacMan

    I wouldn't want to debate someone as smart and informed as John Hall either.

    My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

    by Major Danby on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 09:58:31 PM PDT

    •  Lets just hope the public realizes too. (0+ / 0-)

      I just find it sad that when someone gets to pick the audience (basically gets to choose which group), the location, the time and the date of a debate...

      Why wouldn't you want to debate?

      You get to choose everything besides your opponent -- you can make the group as biased as you want it to be, so why only 2 public debates?

      Sure Hall is a smart guy but why not make it that much harder for him by swamping him with a lot of debates favorable to you?

      -- MrMacMan

  •  excellent job (0+ / 0-)

    great first post, MrMacMan.  Hope to be seeing more soon.

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