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
"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.