Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mayoral debate may include minority parties

I got some ink in today's (Aug 7, 2007) Post-Gazette.

The debate on debates lingers as a topic of discussion. On inclusion and diversity, there should be no debate. If you are on the ballot, you should included. That has always been my view.

If you are on the ballot, you have a chance to win. If the big party candidates speak or act foolishly, they will loose.

When all the choices are present on the debate stage, the heavy-weight candidates are more inclined to behave throughout the campaign.
Mayoral debate may include minority parties The conventional wisdom holds that a crowded stage favors the incumbent by drawing attention from the challenger. That's not necessarily true, said Mr. Rauterkus, a South Side swim coach who is also running for city controller and councilman.

A regular attendee at council meetings, he argues that he'll be better able to parry Mr. Ravenstahl on neighborhood issues.

'I think DeSantis and the Libertarians and the Socialist Workers Party can take down Luke Ravenstahl,' he said. 'I don't think DeSantis can do it himself.'
The real debate on the debates should not be confined to the thinking that there is only one hour of time. That's wrong. There are 90 days until the election.

If there is only one hour of time to stage debates among the candidates, Pittsburgh can't win.

Furthermore, I think we need debates among the city controller candidates too.

Some other mentions and quotes I shared in yesterday's interview with Rich Lord of the Post-Gazette that did NOT get into the article include:

- "Q: Who is to blame for debates without all the candidates?" My reply: Everyone needs to share the blame. The voters need to demand inclusion and diversity. The other candidates need to make a stand and not appear crooked by playing the part of a cronie. The station managers need to understand that democracy is not like a boxing match with only two opponents. Democracy is messy.

- "Q: Has this happened before?" Yes.

The Jewish Federation is the worst. Once that organization hosted a debate within the Jewish Community Center and excluded an active member of the Jewish Community Center. That debate was NOT on television. I spoke with strong words of protest.

I marched with LeRoy Hodge at WPXI's studios in the past.

Bob O'Connor could have been mayor in 2001, but he went onto the debate stage with Tom Murphy without the others on the ballot. Murphy was better in a side-by-side 'slow dance' and was able to zing O'Connor on his ability to 'go to Harrisburg' to bring back a bailout because O'Connor could not remember the names of the state house and state senate leaders. That 'Duhh' was a show stopper for Bob.

Then I shared the story of the AARP exclusion.

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