Democratic Senatorial Debate Podcast

The debate between the five Democratic candidates running to take on Elizabeth Dole in the general election is available as a podcast from Public Radio East. Those participating were Duskin Lassiter of Lexington, Marcus Williams of Lumberton, Jim Neal of Chapel Hill, Howard Staley of Moncure and Kay Hagan of Greensboro. Megen George, News Director for PRE moderated the debate. A very generous grant from Chestnut, Clemmons & Peacock, P.A. made the live broadcast possible.

Megen spoke with me about the ups and downs of trying to get five candidates in the same room to debate. After issuing the invitation to the candidates, most replied immediately that they would like to debate and the date of March 28 was set. Kay Hagan was at that time the lone holdout. Megen said that with a majority of candidates ready to go, the debate was on whether Hagan participated or not. No deadlines were missed and all five showed up for the debate.

Joining with PRE to put on the debate was the League of Women Voters of North Carolina. From their web site:

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Judie Burke, President of the League in North Carolina, is sincere in wanting to promote access to all of the candidates for North Carolina voters. When I spoke with her I asked about information on the two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate. In a pleasant but firm voice she reminded me that there are five candidates running. Of course I knew there were more than two candidates, but Judie was going to make sure I knew since I so easily dismissed the other three. That was just a wee bit embarrassing.

Both Judie and Megen were extremely pleased that the podcast of the debate was being made available for those who missed the event or the live broadcast. Megen explained that this was a first for PRE. The debate wasn't the only thing that was a first. Broadcasting an event like this from a remote location was a first for the station and Megen seemed very pleased and excited that they had pulled it off.

Public Radio East and the League of Women Voters of North Carolina have provided the voters of this state with an invaluable resource. Please take the time to listen to the podcast and offer your thoughts in the comments.

Democratic Senatorial Debate - League of Women Voters / Public Radio East

Comments

"Forum"

The podcast uses the word forum about 10 times in the first 30 seconds. They make it clear that each candidate will only answer the question and not address the other candidates or their positions.

That's not a debate, it's a forum. They even say so in their title Democratic US Senatorial Forum . Why would you call it a debate?

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Robert,

There's a common misconception out there that debate means people in the same room answering questions - much like our Gubernatorial Forum was billed as a debate. Ours could have been a debate, but neither candidate chose to make it so.

A debate however, means that there is some contention in the room, and those contending against each other actually address each other's points. For that matter the Presidential "debates" have hardly been such.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

They called it a debate on the LWV site

In my interviews Megen, Judie and I all referred to it as a debate. I was never corrected. You are right that on the PRE site they call it a forum. I am simply calling it what they called it in our conversations.

From LWV site

The League is cosponsoring debates for state primary races. All candidates for Lieutenant Governor have been invited to debate on UNC-TV April 10. This will be rebroadcast and then available on line, along with the 3 gubernatorial debates that UNC-TV is producing with NC Center for Voter Education. We are also cosponsoring a March 28 debate for Democratic candidates for Elizabeth Dole’s US Senate seat with Public Radio East. This will be in front of a live audience at Craven Community College and again available on line. The internet allows many more folks to hear a debate, a new direction for informing the electorate without involving money. And all earnest candidates get equal time.

Mark Binker called it a debate in this blog post.

Mark Binker called it a forum and a debate in this blog post.

and.....

The Associated Press called it a debate in this article.

There are some major differences between Hagan and Neal and I find it very telling that the Neal campaign and you would rather spend your time worrying about the definition of debate vs. forum than actually spelling out these differences.

[Edit] Sorry...forgot the link to LWV and the end tag to blockquote, so the quote didn't show up.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Listening now.

... for the first time. You're right, Betsy. There ARE major differences btw Neal and Hagan.

On a personal level, I like and admire them both. But I have a lot of friends I like and admire very much but with whom I disagree on certain issues.

I like Hagan just fine. She is quite polished and comfortable speaking in front of people and fairly well versed on the issues. The problem is, I do not agree with her position on some of the most important ones, so ... my Senate choice is firm. Neal, 100%.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

:D

Yes, these differences deserve some daylight. That's why I posted the link to the podcast. I haven't listened yet and plan to later today. If I have time I will post a transcript so those who want to read instead of listen will have a chance.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

well, piffle ....

the podcast ends at 31 minutes and it didn't sound like it was over. Hopefully there's a second part somewhere that will be posted later?

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

oh. heh. Yeah, there is a second part

::::embarrassed blush::::

Never mind.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

with all the major differences....

I find it very telling that the Hagan campaign and you are avoiding the fact that she won't give the voters of North Carolina a face-to-face debate to air those differences.

I like Mark Binker, but it's a forum.

I dislike the Associated Press, and it's still a forum.

I don't have feelings about the LWV but obviously before the event happened they realized - it's a forum.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

It is obviously important to you, Robert

...we'll just call it a forum so we can all move on to something of substance.

Hagan is giving them a debate. They've agreed to one hosted by the Alliance of Black Elected Officials. Unfortunately, I haven't found more information on that, but the Neal campaign referred to it as a debate and the Hagan campaign confirmed to me they have agreed to it. I wrote about that in my post from Monday. I also wrote that they are still working with WTVD to finalize the debate they've offered to host. It's taking the Hagan camp a long time, but Mark Falgout said they are nearing an agreement.

The problem is the Neal campaign listed organizations that have offered to sponsor debates, but as I outlined those organizations haven't all made offers to the Hagan campaign. WLTT did not ever make a formal offer to both or all five candidates and Young Dems hasn't finalized anything that I'm aware of. So, of the organizations the Neal camp listed as offering to host debates, two have been agreed to or are in the process and two either never made a formal offer or haven't issued a formal offer to all the campaigns. You can't decline an offer you haven't received.

Apparently, the Hagan campaign does take a long time to accept the invitations, but there's a big difference between taking a long time and completely declining the invitation.

Note: I do have a call in with the Alliance of Black Elected Officials to find out more about this debate, etc. I'll report back on that as soon as I can.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Marcus Williams sent an email wondering why he wasn't listed

at our dem site. We had never heard of him so I googled his name and this came up....."Lawyer boasts that he's not part of the Democratic team"

In the article he whines that he has never been elected to any office he runs for and that's because the dems don't support him. Then he says this about Hagan and Neal...

Williams said that unlike his two better-financed opponents, Kay Hagan and Jim Neal, he is running a grass-roots, low-budget campaign not connected to state or national leaders.

"The two leading Democratic candidates are more of the same old story," Williams said. "One [Hagan], who had to be cajoled into running, is the hand-picked nominee of the old guard, power elite of the party. The other [Neal] is the darling of the high-financed, special-interest groups. I believe North Carolina can do much better."

Yet he believes that because he's an African American, he'll have much support in the AA community riding on the Obama coattails.

Does anyone have any knowledge of this candidate?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Good for him

I think that anyone willing to put themselves forward in any race deserves some measure of congratulations. Rather than being a part of the peanut gallery, they're offering their own solutions.

That said, politics is still a business and you have to be able to compete in it. I feel a bit bad for the three also-rans: Staley, Lassiter, and Williams. They have no chance.