Ed Fallon’s campaign is keeping up the pressure on Congressman Leonard Boswell to agree to a debate before the June 3 primary:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fallon Encourages Groups to Host Joint Debate
Hopes Boswell will Reconsider
Thursday, May 8, 2008, (11:00 AM CDT) – Late yesterday, Ed Fallon sent a proposal to ten media outlets and organizations to join together to host a debate between him and Congressman Boswell. These ten were chosen because they recently issued their own debate invitations to Fallon and Boswell. Fallon accepted all ten invitations, while Boswell has not accepted one.
Fallon said, “I believe ten invitations reflect a clear mandate from the voters that they want a chance to see and hear from Congressman Boswell and me. Maybe Congressman Boswell will reconsider participating in a debate if this group can bring enough pressure to bear. It may be incentive enough for him to change his mind.”
Fallon has already heard back from four of the groups and all have expressed an interest in pursuing a joint debate. Fallon encourages any other groups interested in joining this effort to contact his campaign by Monday, May 12th. The Fallon campaign is only initially facilitating the effort to bring groups together to take the lead as the sponsoring organizations. Those interested should contact Stacy Brenton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-822-3029.
As I wrote earlier this week, Boswell’s excuse that he is just too busy to debate is not credible. He has been visiting the district for fundraisers and various public events. I saw him myself in Waukee on Sunday. Why couldn’t he have scheduled a debate for this past weekend, when he was planning to be in the Des Moines area anyway?
It’s not uncommon for an incumbent to refuse to debate a challenger, so as not to risk making a mistake or giving the rival favorable media exposure. But if Boswell is going to duck debates, the least he can do is be honest about his reasons.
On a related note, I mentioned on Tuesday that I hadn’t seen any yards with signs for both Hillary and Fallon. That changed this morning when I was walking my dog a mile or so from my house.
If you’ve seen Obama/Boswell or Hillary/Fallon combos in someone’s yard, please let us know.
Also, please post a comment or a diary if you’ve seen our “too-busy-working-in-Washington-to-debate” Congressman at an event in the third district recently.
UPDATE: I posted a diary about this at Open Left, and Bob in AZ asked if any organization would be willing to host an “empty chair debate,” which would attract even more media attention to Boswell’s refusal to show up and talk about the issues. That is a great idea. I would encourage the Fallon campaign to try to make that happen.