Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Participation in Debates Debated

There is a minor controversy over possible gubernatorial debates brewing. The upshot seems to be that Gov. Rell wants to include all the candidates, including two from minor parties, while John DeStefano wants a one-on-one with Rell. The Courant reports on why:
New Haven Mayor John DeStefano is trying to get Rell out of the Rose Garden and get her in front of the voters in a one-on-one debate. So far, that has not worked.

DeStefano is so frustrated that he is even citing disgraced former Gov. John G. Rowland as a positive campaign role model for Rell, because Rowland went one-on-one with Democrat Barbara Kennelly in 1998 and did not include the minor-party candidates.
...
As part of the spirit of the state's landmark campaign finance reforms, the minor party candidates should be given a greater voice, Rell said.

"Why shouldn't they be a part of the debate?" Rell asked reporters this week. (Keating)

Both Rell and DeStefano have a point. Cliff Thornton (Green) and Joseph A. Zdonczyk (Concerned Citizens) qualified for the ballot, and should be part of at least one debate. DeStefano makes himself look even worse by trying to shut them out. The precedent mentioned in the article is Sen. Chris Dodd's four-way debates in 2004:
Rell cites the precedent of U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, who participated in two four-way debates in 2004 that included equal time for the Concerned Citizens and Libertarian Party nominees along with the chief Republican challenger, Jack Orchulli. Political insiders said Dodd's strategy worked because the debates became so diluted that Dodd skated to victory in a cakewalk against three virtual unknowns. (Keating)

Right, it was the debate that cost Orchulli the election. Got it.

But DeStefano is right that Rell is avoiding him. And why not? She can afford to. She has a ton of money and a huge lead. If he's lucky, she may actually speak his name sometime in October.

There are a lot of issues that need to be debated. Something like three debates in October would be great. DeStefano, however, should accept the minor candidates. He should welcome them, in fact. If his ideas are as powerful, innovative and necessary as he says, then that should come through no matter how many others are on stage with him.

Source
Keating, Christopher. "Debating Protocol For Debates." Hartford Courant 20 September, 2006.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Come on, Genghis...you know those debates cost Orchulli some momentum. Shoot, if not for Timm Knibbs and Len Rasch, we might be talking about Senator Orchulli.

Between this story and Alan Gold, Orchulli looks like a political titan.

Cue the "Orchulli!" guy/gal.

Anonymous said...

So, why didn't Gallo run Orchulli instead of Gold? They certainly would of had a better chance.

Anonymous said...

Is DeStefano going to attack Sen. Dodd? Where is that windbag of a state party chairman Nancy Dinardo? Is she going to say that Dodd was wrong? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, my friends, so it is either all or nothing JDS. Rell should stick by her guns and let JDS continue to flounder. This is great watching a losing campaign continue to sink.

bluecoat said...

Dodd had been duly elected to his incumbent position. Jodi was put in place by her corrupt friend, John Rowland..

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's great to have a Do Nothing, Know Nothing governor.

Thornton is a crackpot who hates Democrats more than Republicans. Rell knows it and is simply using Cliff. Ijust hope some free therapy is included in the deal.

disgruntled_republican said...

bluecoat, that's a new low from you. The manner in which she became Governor is irrellevant. We have this document called the state constitiution which clearly lays out a succession line in the event the sitting governor leaves office. She was next in line. Don't you think that people were aware of that when voting for JGR?

Fact is you don't like her. We get that; but comments like that are expected from some other commenters, not you.


Getting back to the post, this is good politics. It happens every year in most campaigns but remains behind closed doors. It is simply negotiating terms. If I was an incumbant with a huge lead, I would want to put up as many roadblocks as I could to stop my closest challenger. See if it stays a landslide, Jodi can do more campaigning for others rather than herself...she does that and more people from her party win. Critize it all you want to but Democrats, like Mr. Dodd, do the exact same thing.

Genghis, in your post you said, and rightfully so, "If his ideas are as powerful, innovative and necessary as he says, then that should come through no matter how many others are on stage with him."

Only problem is that his ideas arent any of those...they stink.

common sense over patisan politics said...

"bluecoat, that's a new low from you." Well said DR.

bluecoat, for those of us who read this blog regularly, we know that you have no love for Rell and have actively supported JDS in your posts last last several months. No problem.

What is surprising, however, is that you have stopped engaging in real debate. Much like truebluect and other partisans, you come on, make a comment and leave. The other day I asked you questions reagrding your post and you failed to answer them. What gives?

I'll try again.

Please explain how Dodd's status - elected by the people to be their Senator - versus Rell's status - elected by the people to be Lt. Gov. and then sworn in as Gov. under the provisions of our state constitution (by the way we are the constitution state)- provides a rational basis for concluding that in Dodd's re-election bid all candidates should be allowed to participate in the debates, but in Rell's they should not.

I would actually argue that in Rell's case - where there is no sitting elected Governor - there is a stronger argument for all to be invovled. But that's me.

The other candidates in this race for Governor stand the same chance of winning as Dodd's challengers. Similarly, JDS stands the same chance as Orchulli - basically none. So competitiveness can't be a rational basis for your argument. Other than your dislike for Rell, I would love to see your argument.

CTRevolution said...

If Republican Governor Rell really had ideas and a vision for Connecticut, she wouldn't be afraid to debate DeStefano. I say bring it on. The people of Connecticut deserve a side by side comparison of the two candidates. It's obvious why Rell isn't debating, because she's up in the polls. But it's also glaringly obvious that she can't match DeStefano one on one in ideas and leadership.

Grumpy said...

Dumb move by JDS. Sure, as a political question, he wants a one-on-one debate with Rell. But that's an inside fight. Taking it public makes him look like a jerk and gives Rell yet another opportunity to play snow white.

As for Rell, this line from the article made me laugh. "As part of the spirit of the state's landmark campaign finance reforms, the minor party candidates should be given a greater voice, Rell said." Sure. That would be the "spirit" of the law that set a tremendously high bar for third pary candidates to qualify for public financing? Take the analogy all the way and those guys should get to "participate" via phone, and be limited to only making opening and closing statements.

Leaving the cynicism aside, I agree with Rell on the substance. A candidate who qualifies for the ballot should be included in the debates. Period.

Anonymous said...

CTR said: "But it's also glaringly obvious that she can't match DeStefano one on one in ideas and leadership."

LMAO!

I guess the 60% of us who are voting for Rell are blinded and only the 32% of you who support JDS are able to see clearly.

I am sorry we can not all be as intelligent as you.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

Right, CTRev: It's "obvious" Rell can't match Red Johnny ... just like it was "obvious" she was only leading by 18 points, until the latest Rasmussen poll came out and -- oops! -- back to reality.

Something is obvious, but I don't think Red Johnny or his fanboys have the faintest idea what it is.

bluecoat said...

Rell is governor because Rowland got caught - that's a fact. She was not duly elected to the position - that's a fact. I think Rell is incompetent but that doesn't mean I don't like her. In fact, I have never met her. The other day someone compared her to Harriet Meyers - that sounded right on. Some seem to have a problem discerniong my support for certain positions and my lack of support for any gubernatorial or senatorial candidate. You may recall that I have said that universal healthcare is a bullshit hollow proposal with no specifics.

Grow up folks....

bluecoat said...

and Jodi only wants two debates - that's all she thinks is necessary while Shays and Farrell will give us 11, which is more than enough for me. And who made csopp the debate monitor with an agenda?

bluecoat said...

The other day I asked you questions reagrding your post and you failed to answer them. What gives? Your questions were answered but not to your satisfaction. Let me be clear, Lieberliar made a stupid squirrelly speech, contradicting himself several times along the way.

bluecoat said...

and I just checked the title at the top of this little box; it says Leave your comment but nothing about be prepared to answer questions from people who support Liberfool and Rell.

bluecoat said...

even Republican Senator McKinney has remarked that Cogswell,The commissioner, who was appointed six years ago by you know who, has made some bad decisions but never called her incopetent to hold that position as she is and proves again in:Storm Forecasting Affects the State's Insurance Oversight Latest computer models predict New England's in the crosshairs By Patricia Daddona
New London Day


and more of Jodi's nickel and dime photo ops on transportationin today's Norwalk Advocate that I beleive even turffgrrl sees the same way as I do.

disgruntled_republican said...

bluecoat -

What I think common sense over partisan politics is trying to say, and common can feel free to correct me if I am mistaken, is was that at one point we used to be able to debate issues with you. Now all you do is post and amazingly annoying number of links to articles that 90% of the people here have already read and spew partisan rhetoric. We want the old bluecoat back. Such as your comments about Rell. Using your logic, Harry Truman had no right to drop an atomic bomb even though it saved countless American lives.

bluecoat said...

and the hits just keep on coming:

Rell aide, DeStefano trade jabs over gun violence by inner-city youths
Gregory B. Hladky, NHR Capitol Bureau Chief September 20, 2006


States pays $7.7M to questionable contractors
Gregory B. Hladky, NHR Capitol Bureau Chief 09/18/2006

disgruntled_republican said...

And holy crap, how is that a photo op? She announced a state initiative to hopefully improve driving conditions on 95...is she not the head of the state, the ones responsible for this change?

bluecoat said...

DG: Rell is an incompetent governor with many holdover Rowland incompetent commissioners reporting to her - and now her own Ralph Carpenter at ConnDOT; but I understand you support her - and even believe waht she says is true.

Gabe said...

Echoing Grumpy, the spirit of the campaign finance laws was to make it almost financially impossible for small parties to compete. But apparently, they can be in the debate. If she is up 30.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

Bluecoat: Rell is a highly competent (and popular) governor who has replaced most Rowland appointees (among them DPS, DOT, DEP, DOIT, OPM, DMV, DOL, DAS and DSR); but I understand your world view is built on denying that - and you even believe "waht" you say.

bluecoat said...

and DG, your non-sequitor: Using your logic, Harry Truman had no right to drop an atomic bomb even though it saved countless American lives. is just plain dumb.

disgruntled_republican said...

bluecoat-

Was he not illegitiamte in your view? Or is it different for Democrat Presidents...and not sure how your comments reflect you "growing up"

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone else enjoy the fact that, when DeStefano had a lead in the primary polls, he went out of his way to dodge debates with Malloy, finally consenting to only one, and now that, in the general, he is trailing so overwhelmingly in the polls, he is crying foul that Rell is using the same tactic he used?

bluecoat said...

John Rowland was a very popular Governor and Bill Clinton was a popular President. Rell replaced Rowland's DPS Commissioner, Spada, right away becasue it was the popular thing to do - and Boyle is honest but not competent to hold that job. When the heat got too hot she replaced Rowland's DMV Commissioner - a Valley Republican with Carpenter who was known for his screwups at DPS. Rell responds to problems when they come to the surface.Rell is well scripted and that's why she is afraid to debate more than twice - and that's why her handlers are so defensive on this blog

common sense over patisan politics said...

bluecoat, your first post on this topiuc at 9:12am was and I quote: "Dodd had been duly elected to his incumbent position. Jodi was put in place by her corrupt friend, John Rowland."

Putting aside your feelings of her as a Governor or your opinion of JDS (or anyone else for that matter) I am trying to understand why this distinction entitled Dodd to require that all candidates on the ballot participate in debates, yet it does not allow Rell to do the same.

Perhaps I misread the purpose of your post, but in the context of this topic and the posts before it, I can't read it any other way.

BTW, Rell was elected Lt. Gov. and most voters, I think, understand that the Lt. Gov. really is a ceremonial position called upon only in the event something happens to the Gov. But that is a digression and beyond the point here.

Anonymous said...

Democrats should unite in their call to force DeStefano to get off the dime, agree to the debates with anyone/everyone who wants to debate and GET HIS FACE OUT THERE any way he can-
Everyday that goes by without him out there in public statewide is another nail is his coffin-which is
pretty much nailed shut anyway-
How dumb can you be? Opportunity for huge FREE statewide coverage and you say NO because you don't like who stands on the stage with you....and this guy thinks he's going to be GOVERNOR??? Think again....

Anonymous said...

Actually, Gabe, Rell has also talked about the ballot access laws that have been passed into law. In CT, under the new law, anyone can run for office simply by getting the requisite number of signatures, whereas our old laws required the endorsement of delegates at a convention. The new law is a more open process. Rell feels that opening up debates is consistent with opening up the process.

I agree with you that the campaign finance law passed helps the major parties and hurts 3d party candidates. Just remember, though, that the Democrats in the legislature trumpeted this new law by saying, in part, that it would open up the process.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Lisa Moody was taken off the hot seat. This was DeStefano's only shot.

Anonymous said...

BTW, in debates with many candidates, the dynamic is such that the front runner gets attacked or criticized by everyone. Thus, Rell could be setting herself up to be attacked by 3 candidates not just 1. Also, being next to 2 out of the mainstream candidates may actually make JDS look moderate and within the mainstream.

JDS is making this such a big issue because he is so far behind in the polls and can't get any traction with any of his ideas.

Aldon Hynes said...

As much as I hate to say it, I have to agree with what Rell saying. Every candidate on the ballot deserves an honest opportunity to debate. I hope Rell and Destefano can find a way to make this happen. We need a free exchange of ideas.

However, to have a free exchange of ideas, you need to have sufficient time for the ideas to be expressed. That is where Rell's rhetoric doesn't match her actions.

The number of debates should be a function of the number of candates, and that function really ought to be exponential, since the number of different dialogs grows exponentially as more people participate.

With four candidates, there probably ought to be sixteen debates. This gets unwieldy, so perhaps limiting it to around ten would make sense.

That is what Rell should do if she really believes that people should be given a greater voice.

Yet, if she really wants to limit it to two debates I have to seriously question whether she wants people to have a greater voice, or if she is simply afraid of Mayor DeStefano's voice and is doing everything she can to stifle it.

bluecoat said...

I agree that JDS should debate on Rell's terms - he has no choice because she is in the driver's seat - he's made his point for anyone who's paying attention. He'd do better to just laugh at her the way he laughed at Malloy when Malloy got on his high horse.

Rowland, Silvester buddies plan fundraiser in Mass. for U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson
By Don Michak, Journal Inquirer
09/20/2006


Rell kept on Rowland's DCF and DPH Commissioners too:Trauma In The ER
September 20, 2006
By HILARY WALDMAN, The Hartford Courant

Anonymous said...

Anon. 11:37 - With all due respect, even with Lisa Moody on the "hot seat" JDS still loses. The Moody affair got plenty of news yet Rell's numbers did not suffer at all.

It's over folks! Move on to something else.

Gabe said...

D_R - This isn't partisan for me. I am always in favor of minor parties being involved in debates. Any candidate that fights against it, I think is wrong. I include every candidate in that assesment.

Of course, when you are up, it is a good move to want everyone in, when you are down you want a one-on-one.

For the moment, thats not what I am talking about (and that goes for you too, Anon with the ballot access laws).

I am talking only about the campaign finance laws and what Rell said:

As part of the spirit of the state's landmark campaign finance reforms, the minor party candidates should be given a greater voice, Rell said.

The spirit of the campaign finance laws gives minor parties less of a voice by giving them hurdles that are almost impossible to overcome before allowing them to access public money. Thats why they filed suit against the law.

bluecoat said...

11:43; you are most likely correct that Rell will win but if we are going to be stuck with Rell for four more years the only way to get her to move is to criticize her, her policies and her peoples' performance - just look at what has driven her reactive record.

Anon. 11:36 said...

Gabe said: "The spirit of the campaign finance laws gives minor parties less of a voice by giving them hurdles that are almost impossible to overcome before allowing them to access public money."

On that point, Gabe, you and I are in complete agreement. I hope the lawsuit is successful too.

Nice that we can agree on something!

bluecoat said...

at 9:33 DG said:If I was an incumbant with a huge lead, I would want to put up as many roadblocks as I could to stop my closest challenger. See if it stays a landslide, Jodi can do more campaigning for others rather than herself...she does that and more people from her party win. Critize it all you want to but Democrats, like Mr. Dodd, do the exact same thing. then at 11:33 he said Such as your comments about Rell. Using your logic, Harry Truman had no right to drop an atomic bomb even though it saved countless American lives. Rell is stalling for political advantage to hold her unelected job - it has absolutley nothing to do with any good government philosophy or fundamenetl fairness doctrine on the part of Rell or her handlers.

Gabe said...

D_R - You will be retracting the "wouldn;t expect anyhting less than total partisan from you", right my friend?

cgg said...

Rell is right but for the wrong reasons. Everyone should be invited to the debates, but of course she wants that only because it gives her the advantage.

disgruntled_republican said...

Gabe -

Consider it retracted and thank you for clarrifying your position.

bluecoat said...

Aldon says, and I agree:However, to have a free exchange of ideas, you need to have sufficient time for the ideas to be expressed. That is where Rell's rhetoric doesn't match her actions. but that would cut into the photo-op time and after the fact ceremonial bill signing around the state at taxpayer expense that Rell has been doing because the GA passed a law that said she couldn't be in any state sponsored TV ads 1 year prior to the election - so she's going for the free TV time as the shrewd politician she truly is; just an incompetent governor, that's all..

bluecoat said...

and I would be remiss if I didn't remind ADANR that Rell kept on Rowland hack, Stephen Korta, at the head of the state's largest agency _ ConnDOT. Korta had been at Bradley where Tomaaso built the infamous parking garage; and the Commuter Rail Council will attest to how Korta blundered the VRE railcars from day one. But Rell isn't running on her record, she's running on being granny, being shrewd, being nice and being on the TV & in the News.

Derby Conservative said...

New Haven finally reports crime states. New Haven Register article here.

Not so flattering…no wonder Red Johnny took so long to release them…

Derby Conservative said...

bluecoat said:
But Rell isn't running on her record, she's running on being granny, being shrewd, being nice and being on the TV & in the News.

Don't be so bitter. There has to be a winner and a loser in every election...in this case, your boy JDS is definitely the loser.

bluecoat said...

DC: defend your candidate but don't call JDS my boy when I have made it clear that his universal healthcare, universal pre-K(that Rell wants on somedays too) and a few other things are wrongheaded. I am not bitter, just saddened that we have a shrewd politicain serving as an incompentent governor who many like just because she's not corrupt and she's nice.

bluecoat said...

and the New Haven crime stats have been on the NH Police Service web for ages - but nice spin; when' ACR gonna come on and tell us New Haven has been corrupt for years - I guess the US Atty, Kevin O'Connor, hasn't gotten on it becasue whoever's doing it is a friend of the O'C's up on Battam lake.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in hearing more from bluecoat about why he thinks Len Boyle is not competent to hold his position.

Anonymous said...

Gabe and Anon 11:36

I get the minor parties' beef with the hurdles in the campaign finance law, but I don't think they're that difficult. All it takes is roughly 1,500 signatures (depending on the district) and they can get $25,000 for a State Rep. race... more money than they see now.

The hardest hurdle for the average minor party candidate to clear is the one everyone has to clear: the qualifying total ($5K Rep to $250K, gov.) from small contributions ($100 or less).

So, even if the court strikes down the minor party hurdle, I imagine some minor party types might have problems with the basic qualifying rules. What then? Just have the state give money away?

bluecoat said...

because Boyle has only policed DPS, he hasn't led the organization or instituted one ounce of reform that wasn't a response to a problem.

bluecoat said...

and anybody who doesn't still think that the CT State Police are a bunch of whining misfits from the rank of Trooper up to Clonel, should check out a hard copy of today's New Haven Register and read the lead letter to the editor - same old shit just a different day.

and I see we have state computers logged on as usual - interesting way of conducting important state business.

bluecoat said...

Boyle called in the New York State Police IA folksto look at the CT state Police, which is admirable, but that was a year ago. There are only 1200 state cops (who think they are understaffed becuase they are leess than a modern agency BTW) so he could have got around by now and straaightened most things out but he has no experience running an agency that size - as small as it is.

and the quote by Sacred Heart Political Science Dept head, Gary Rose, at the end of this article is precious:DeStefano claims Rell is ducking 1-on-1 debate
Gregory B. Hladky, NHR Capitol Bureau Chief September 20, 2006

bluecoat said...

Just a little more on the Rowland legacy - aided and abetted by the General assembly Democrats:Connecticut loses track of financial numbers; $100 million can't be billed.

CTRevolution said...

Watch the news tonight con bloggers. You'll see that your leader Republican Governor Rell is afraid to debate DeStefano. Why won't she defend her record of failure. Every minute that people think about this race, her numbers go down. If I were her I'd leave the state because in a comparison between the two, DeStefano is hands down more intelligent and a better leader with a proven record.

In response to anonymous post earlier, DeStefano and Malloy appeared and debated at 13 forums. I'd like to see Rell do that.

Ghost of Yogi said...

Anon 2:46,

Nice. You have learned well. The Dark Side has taken you in. Now you are ready to dumb down the rest of the nation. Your logic is dubious and annoying. I believe that everyone, except for the diehard right wing-nuts loath Bush II. He is a failure at everything.

What I want to know, Anon 2:46, is this: Will George Bush invite the Governor again. She was the chairwoman at the Rell-Bush fundraiser for Simmons. That went well. She didn't show. I heard she was too busy being an absentee Governor.

All Republicans can do is avoid the issues (Rell dodging JDS on debates) or try scare the crap out of everyone by talking about terrorism. I guess it's too bad for you, Anon 2:46, and all the other crazies out there, that people aren't scared anymore. And it's time to pay the Piper now Bush II.

Ghost of Yogi said...

I actually heard that Republican Rell agreed to one-on-one debates.

Someone told me they read an AP report that Red Rell was game.

Anonymous said...

Gabe,

You aren't really opining against campaign finance reform? Public financing of campaigns is as paramount to the left-wing as universal healhcare, and taking our guns.

Using you own issues for political gain demonstrates how truly partisan you are.

ken krayeske said...

DeStefano, Rell Spar over Debate Format

Gabe said...

Anon 12:58am -

You aren't really opining against campaign finance reform?

Clearly not. I (thought) I was pretty clear in that my comment was directed only towards the minor party hurdles in this particular legislation, not towards campaign finance in general, or even this legislation in general. More specifically, I was pointing out the absurdity of Gov. Rell's quote regarding minor parties.

Public financing of campaigns is as paramount to the left-wing as universal healhcare, and taking our guns.

I'm not interested in your guns.

Using you own issues for political gain demonstrates how truly partisan you are.

Above, I argued that minor parties should be included in the debates (exactly Gov. Rell's position) and that the campaign finance legislation unfairly raises barriers to minor party participation (the barriers help both major parties, but help the Democrats more as the Greens are more visible, known, and organized than are minor parties on the right).

How is that partisan? Unless you are accusing me of being a partisan Republican, which is laughable.

Your willful misreading of everything I wrote "demonstrates how truly partisan you are."