Sep 27, 2010
Check out the Great Debates for the rare opportunity to see Republicans debate
In my opinion, there is perhaps no better way for voters to get the true measure of a political candidate and see if their views and positions can stand up to scrutiny than a political debate, so that’s’ why I’m happy to see that the Center for Michigan and Detroit Public TV are again teaming up to televise debates between state House and Senate candidates.
The Great Debates are 30-minute debates scheduled between August and October. All debates will be taped in studio without a studio audience, and they will be moderated by professional journalists. Public television stations throughout Michigan will broadcast the Great Debates, and they will also be available online and at MiVote.org.
It’s very telling that Republicans are afraid to debate, and that’s because they know their positions can’t stand up to any kind of scrutiny. It starts at the top of the ticket where Rick “Chief Executive Outsourcer” Snyder only agreed to a single debate with Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Virg Bernero after constant public pressure to do so.
Secretary of State Candidate Jocelyn Benson has challenged her opponent to debate - who has ran for just about every political office in the state and therefore an experienced debated - but her opponent continues to duck and stall. The only statewide candidates to debate were the Attorney General candidates, and Democratic Attorney General nominee David Leyton had to fend off constant personal attacks from his opponent on a debate on WKAR’s “Off the Record” show.
Leyton is the Genesee County Prosecutor, and he has tried hundreds of criminal cases with a more than 90 percent convention rate. His opponents exploited two families who had loved ones murdered in an attempt to smear Leyton. This from a man who has never stepped foot into a criminal courtroom.
People grieving are usually angry, and want to blame someone for the senseless murder of their loved ones getting a lesser sentence or an imagined possible accomplice getting away. Unfortunately, a Prosecutor has to go on the evidence the police give them.
In most cases we get bluster from a Republican challenging their opponent to a debate, and once it is accepted they do everything in their power to get out of it. We saw this when the Chief Outsourcer challenged his opponent to a series of debates, and as soon as Mayor Bernero accepted the CEO tried to weasel out. Other Republicans are taking up that tactic.
For an example, we have the case of Rob Steele, the teabagger Republican Congressional candidate for the 15th District, who is set to be the latest person to be defeated by the dean of the U.S. House, Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn.
After whining that Dingell will not debate him, it turns out its Steele who is afraid to debate and is ducking. Dingell sent a letter to Steele right after he won the August primary election congratulating him and asking for debates, but all Steele did was lie and cry that Dingell was avoiding him. After a month of blustering from Steele, Dingell finally sent a letter earlier this month asking that Steele commit to as many debates as possible, and Dingell says he looks forward to appearing at voters forums put on by various groups like the AARP and others. Dingell has already accepted an invitation from Monroe Community College to debate.
No word from the usually loud and obnoxious Steele crowd.