Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
So here's the deal: our local television and cable networks here in Tucson are enjoying a windfall from all of the campaign spending by the political parties and third-party interest groups in the CD 8 Special Election. I assume this is also true for local radio networks as well. This means that local media is sitting on a pile of money that "responsible" media organizations would part with just a little of their cabbage to sponsor a series of candidate debates to better inform the electorate, so that voters can make an informed decision. It also gives them something with which to fill air time and column space.
The same goes for dead trees journalism like Lee Enterprises (Arizona Daily Star) and Wick Communications (Tucson Weekly, Green Valley News & Sun, Sierra Vista Herald, and many other small town newspapers).
Do you mean to tell me that these media conglomerates cannot get together and pool their money together to rent some space and host a series of debates in this CD 8 Special Election? How much could it possibly cost? When are they going to act like "responsible" media organizations and demonstrate their civic mindedness? It happens in other cities all across America, but for some reason, just not here.
Now I realize that putting together a panel of qualified journalists to ask the candidates piercing substantive questions is a bit of a stretch. I watch the local evening news broadcasts -- yikes! But we still have some reasonably professional reporters out there like Bud Foster, Sandy Rathbun, Barbara Grijalva, J.D. Wallace, Bill Buckmaster, Jim Nintzel, and if he's still in town, Sal Quijada. The dead trees newspapers are going to have to just pick someone.
So step up to the plate media conglomerates. Send a debate invitation to Jesse Kelly and Ron Barber, even that nutty Green Party candidate, and then rent some space in Tucson, Green Valley/Sahuarita, Sierra Vista/Fort Huachuca, and -- why not? -- Bisbee, Douglas and even Marana. I am sure the League of Women Voters or other civic groups would be willing to assist you as a debate sponsor.
Time is running short, voting starts soon. And the media conglomerates are completely failing in their civic duty to inform the public -- while raking in all that campaign advertising cash.
Debate! Debate! Debate!
UPDATE: What, that's it?
Democrat Ron Barber, Republican Jesse Kelly and Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis will meet for a one-hour "debate" at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, on KUAT-TV, Channel 6, one day before early voting begins in the June 12 general election.
UPDATE II: The Sierra Vsta Herald reports Barber, Kelly to participate in forum at Sierra Vista VFW post:
Some members of the area veterans community are hoping to find out on May 19, when Republican Jesse Kelly and Democrat Ron Barber will take part in a forum at VFW Post 9972.
Each candidate will speak separately to the group at the event hosted by the Greater Sierra Vista Area United Veterans Council.
Stu Carter, who will be moderating the forum, said Kelly and Barber will be asked questions pertaining to veterans issues only.
Saying he expects each candidate to take about 20 minutes out of their half hour to answer specific questions developed by him and Gene Fenstermacher, Carter said the remaining time will be open to the floor for additional queries.
“But the stress is veteran only issues (of the questions from the floor),” said Carter, who is registered as an Independent.
Kelly is to be first to speak at 8:30 a.m. followed by Barber at 9 a.m.
Neither candidate will be in the room at the same time, Carter said on Tuesday.
Individuals who want to attend the veterans issues event are asked to be at the VFW hall by 8:15 a.m.
The United Veterans Council will be the second scheduled forum for both men.
On May 16, KUAT-TV has scheduled an hour-long televised event, which will include Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis, according to a station spokesman.