This, the 2008 election year one marked on the premise of change, new ideas, etc. Maryland Eighth District Congressman Chris Van Hollen seems unwilling to debate.
This year, Van Hollen is being challenged on the Republican side, a doc, Steve Hudson. He does not seem like the typical bassakwards Republicans Montgomery County and the 8th district has produced since Connie Morella's departure in '02.
Many of us Democrats campaigned against Connie for partisan reasons, when in essence, she was a very good representative for our district. I am not impressed at all with Chris. Yes I am a Democrat born and raised, Montgomery County bred, but I just don't get the warm and fuzzies from Chris. The times I've met him, he is very cold and unfriendly (I'M A CONSTITUENT, at least put on the obligatory smile!) His handshake, cold, sweaty and weak -- makes me wonder where his arrogance comes from.
The point is that, many of us (including myself) campaigned against Connie to put a Democrat in office, I seem to think it was a mistake. She was a true representative of the people. I didn't elect Chris to become the DCCC chairman - don't get me wrong, I hope the Republicans get their butt kicked in November, they deserve it for having their heads stuck up their you know what -- but the point is, we need a representative who will always be there - not a partisan party boss.
I'm sure others will agree, don't we get sick of party lines after a while? Why can't our elected leaders just do what's best for us -- instead it has to be a "Republican policy" or a "Democrat policy"... I just want what's best!
That's why I bring up the issue of a debate this election year in my district.
It looks like Steve Hudson has asked Chris Van Hollen to participate in some debates... with no response:
On June 10, 2008, the Steve Hudson for Congress campaign issued the following challenge to the Congressman Chris Van Hollen:
I write to respectfully request your participation in several debates and town hall meetings over the next few months before the November election to be hosted throughout our district.
Why not? If the voter registration in MD-8 is 2-1 Democratic, what does Chris have to lose? If he's right on the issues, why not have a debate --it's healthy, and its what makes our country great!
For a Republican, Hudson hits the nail on the head:
"I realize that it must be difficult for my opponent to find the time to debate given his busy schedule at the DCCC; however, I hope he will respond accordingly. I am asking Mr. Van Hollen to have a real debate about the serious issues facing the citizens of our district and our country. Let's have a discussion about healthcare, high gas prices, energy, the environment, the military and veterans affairs, and why Congress holds one of the lowest approval ratings in history."
The voters of Maryland's Eighth District are well educated and open to an intelligent discussion on the issues. Hudson concluded, "In this election year, with "change" as a central theme, I believe it is important to provide the voters with a thought-provoking dialogue on how their district has been represented over the past six years. Once again I respectfully urge my opponent to accept this invitation to debate."
Again, I stress I supported his election to have Democratic representation here at home, not a party boss in my back yard. Things don't get done in Washington because of the thick partisanship. We need leaders, Democrat or Republican, who will lead and do what's best for the people without being afraid to snub party bosses.