Thursday, January 17, 2008

No Debate, time to reschedule

There is just a few short weeks before the Democratic primary that will determine which one of the 4 Democratic challengers will advance to the special election for the open State Rep. seat in the 7th Bristol district. With so little time it is more important than ever to learn all we can about the candidates running for office. Yet due to a scheduling conflict one of the candidates, City Councilor Leo Pelletier, may be unable to participate in the only scheduled debate.

Now, you can hardly fault Leo for opting out of the debate because it's scheduled on the same night as the first City Council meeting of the current session. Yes, it can be argued that we the people would forgive Leo for missing a meeting to participate in a debate but it can also be argued that many would applaud Leo for his dedication in doing the peoples business.

The reality is Leo knows that he stands a very good chance of being our next State Rep. He knows that name recognition, popularity, and years of solid constituent service give him a great shot of winning the race. While I won't go as far as to say he won't debate, I will say he knows that missing the debate isn't going to hurt him, or that it might hurt him less than debating would.

Leo's excuse is a good one and a legitimate one. It's poor planning on the part of the debate sponsors to schedule it on the night of a City Council meeting. The whole purpose of a debate is to hear the various views and opinions of those running for office. What is the point of a debate if one of the 'front runners' is unable to attend? I understand that time is short but I believe the debate sponsors, WSAR and the Herald News, need to reschedule so all the candidates can participate. Not only should Leo have the chance to share his platform, his opponents should have the chance to show why they feel they are the better choice.

While this may be a special election, what happens here may well decide who wins a full term in the fall and considering the previous rep. held the seat for 30 years, maybe we need to take the time to make sure we know who we're voting for.

If you agree, contact the Herald News and WSAR and ask them to reschedule.


Anonymous said...

I do agree that the debate should be rescheduled.

My sense is that the sponsors were trying to avoid having the debate on the same night as a Presidential primary or debate, and overlooked local conflicts such as the City Council meeting.

Not having all the candidates on stage hurts the residents of 7th Bristol and the debate should be rescheduled. Although there is likely to be associated costs in rescheduling - it is the right thing to do.

That being said,it is not a big deal for Leo to miss one City Council meeting to attend the debate, it is a legitimate excuse and any reasonable voter should understand.

The other point is that if Leo wants to be both City Councilor and State Rep., there will be conflicts and he will have to choose. If he is already placing the State Rep. seat to second fiddle, why would we send him to Beacon Hill?

Although, the sponsors should also be concerned with Leo's track record in missing debates and why should they suffer the costs of rescheduling only to have Leo miss the rescheduled date?

Is a debate a weakness for Leo? Sure. But some legislative bodies are called parliaments - from the French word mean "to speak." Speaking plays a considerable part in being an effective State Rep.

It's too bad WSAR-Herald News offered Leo such an easy pass to avoid his greatest weakness.

General said...

That is the 1st council meeting of the new council. Here we have a newspaper that is supposed to keep track of council meetings and they make this huge boner!!

I am not surprised

RadioKeri said...

It was my fault. Nothing of interest usually happens at the City Council meeting, so it wasn't on my radar. Leo didn't mention it when I told him about it at the Mayor's ball thingy either. It's been rescheduled to the 24th. Was just waiting for BCC to call me back. You heard it here first.

SouthEndBoy said...

Is there any information out there about the candidates? The only thing I've scene is an article in the Herald about Pelletier's "platform" and I read about one endorsement for Rodrigues.

Not one candidate has a Web site. There's no easily accessible biographical information anywhere--not even a resume of anyone. Aren't the voters of this district outraged by this lack of information? Perhaps it doesn't matter, but I have faith that people care a little more than they let on by not veing vocal.

The newspaper doesn't push for specifics. If not, the candidates should volunteer them. If not, the voters should demand them!

Does anyone think there'll be some information available before the election? Help!

Lefty said...

well Kevin has a website..

Lefty said...

Folks it likes like the debate might be on the 22nd after all. It looks like some of the other candidates may have conflicts with the 24th.

Anonymous said...

Even though Kevin Aguiar has a website, there is so little information on it, that I think it is fair to say that none of the candidates have a website.

I, too, would like to see more info about all of the candidates. God knows we cannot count on the HN to do its job (why do people still buy the "sterile news" anyway?). The only thing HN is interested in is collecting money from the ads these candidates are going to place in their pages. So, I gues it is up to us to demand the info from the candidates themselves...

I cannot wait for the debates, whenever they are held...

Anonymous said...

why does having a website matter any in fall river? who in fall river reads candidate websites? bob correia was right about this issue, websites aren't important to elections. if he was wrong then why did he win?

Lefty said...

Interesting point to leave on my website.

Is having a website important? Well it's true that in Fall River old fashioned politics still rules. Building name recognition by use of signs, radio ads, and publicity mean an awful lot in Fall River. In this State Rep. race Leo and Kevin have the advantage simply because they're already known.

Today there is an ever growing population that turns to the internet for their information. Having a website isn't needed to win an election, but it is needed as a tool to bring your platform to the people.

Why did Bob win? Well first off, he had a website. Secondly, I wouldn't discount 30 years worth of name recognition and reputation and don't discount all the money he spent to win.

Anonymous said...

Why should the debate be held at BCC ?
Why not Henry Lord or some other school here in the Southend?
After all isn't the seat in question being voted on by Southend voters?