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AC-T's John Boyle:

"Congressman Charles Taylor and Democratic challenger Heath Shuler will debate this political season - on the radio.

It will be the first debate Taylor, an eight-term incumbent, has granted a debate since a televised exchange with Maggie Lauterer in 1994.

The men will face off against each other on Matt Mittan's talk show from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday on WWNC-News Radio 570 AM, according to News Director Jerri Jamison. The show will be simulcast on WMXF-1400 AM in Waynesville, which is also owned by Clear Channel Communications. The debate will also be Podcast through the radio station's Web site:"

Shuler Campaign Manager Hayden Rogers confirmed that Shuler would debate Friday. Taylor's spokesman could not be reached immediately."

This race is getting tighter.  Charles Taylor has always been a strong closer, and this cycle, evidently, is no exception.  Heath Shuler, thanks in large part to the same AC-T that endorsed him, gained the reputation of eschewing debate despite attending seven debates that Taylor wouldn't attend and despite having made it clear he doesn't campaign on Sundays.  The AC-T again leaves the latter fact out of its story, preferring the vague "couldn't find time" to the accurate "doesn't campaign on Sundays".


Photobucket - Video and Image HostingBut that, of course, is neither here nor there.  Heath Shuler will debate Charles Taylor on a renowned local conservative talk radio station. If you think I'm exaggerating, just look at the ancient picture of Taylorthey've put up at their website.  Taylor's face is much better suited for radio than it used to be, and he's got a quicksilver tongue to match.  Shuler will need to clearly articulate the argument for change.  Charles Taylor looks like this now ---->

Scrutiny Hooligans salute the candidates for giving the public the opportunity to hear their candidates debate.  Charles Taylor could have attended the seven debates that he skipped and given us much more clarity as to his explanations for Abramoff, Ivanovo, CAFTA, national debt, Iraq War.  But we'll take what we can get from serial debate dodger Charles Taylor.  Heath Shuler has demonstrated his boldness throughout this campaign, and this move, only 5 days before the final vote, shows us again that he's the most serious contender western North Carolina has had since 1994.

More as it happens.

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Originally posted to GordonNC on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 04:22 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I shall be listening (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Latest poll has Shuler up by just 4 points now I think 47 to 43. Taylor literally is running 6-8 ads an hour on some station now. He has given up on the positive ads. They are all slime Shuler ads, non stop 24 hours a day.

    Don't like crooks in D.C.? Vote Against Charles Taylor (NC-11) who is one of them.

    by trifecta on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 04:28:51 AM PST

    •  You Can Call In (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      randallt, The Southern Dem

      Be a caller if you've got the time and inclination.

      Yeah, the Shuler lead shrunk in the last poll.  I reckon it's been about tied since July, and this poll might help Dems to fend off complacency.

      I've met a lot of folks working the phones at MoveOn, DFA, and the Democratic Party who are working their asses off.  It's going to take all of us making extra efforts to elect Shuler.

      The debate?  How about spin wars the following day.  At the AC-T's forum, calling in to radio shows, shouting on the street corners.  No matter how this debate turns out, I can assure you that Heath Shuler will have won.

  •  I met Heath (0+ / 0-)

    I met Heath recently in Marion at a small but enthusiastic rally. Also got to re-aquaint myself with Dr. Chuck Aldridge who is running for State House.

    Heath was relaxed, seemed genuine and was very gracious. I told him that i've had an ActBlue page up all summer and had been on a sign mission for months. He seemed a little taken back. Like, wow, I don't know this guy but he's working hard for me behind the scenes. He was very grateful.

    Shuler YES Taylor NO!

  •  Good News/Bad News (0+ / 0-)

    The Zogby poll released yesterday has good news and bad news on this race.

    The bad news is that Shuler lead was cut so that it is now inside the margin of error -- his 51% to 40% lead is now 48% to 43%.  Also, as mentioned here, Taylor has been a strong closer in previous races pulling out of tight spots usually by launching a whispering campaign in the final days.

    The good news is that Shuler still leads and his loss of three points and Taylor's gain of three points from the earlier poll are shifts inside the first polls margin of error.  That Taylor, a 16 year incumbent is well below 50% at this point in the game still suggests a lot of ground to make up in a short period of time.  Add to that the fact that Taylor has never had an opponent like Heath Shuler and never had to run in year like 2006.  (I know there is also some question as to how reliable Zogby tends to be, although I don't know the specific complaints.)

  •  Taylor Did Not Show! (0+ / 0-)

    The debate was scheduled to go off at 3:00.  Charles Taylor did not show up at the Asheville radio studios of WWNC and instead called in from a radio station in Hendersonville.  Each candidate gave an opening statement, and then Shuler called off the debate as Taylor did not adhere to the agreed-upon rules by not showing up in person.  He left the studio, leaving Taylor to be scolded by the host (a bit of a surprise since this is a conservative talk station) for not showing up and sticking to the agreement.  People have been calling in afterwards, mainly in favor of Shuler.  Some thought he should have stayed, but one woman said she wanted to thank Taylor, since his not showing up ensured she was going to vote for Shuler, as she said she was previously undecided.  Hard to say how this will come off in other media reports in town, but facts are facts, and Taylor didn't show.

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