An invitation to debate

The lieutenant governor’s race is starting to get some attention. Unfortunately, some newspapers and political observers have picked up not on the substantive issues in the race that have begun to be thoroughly explored here at BlueNC, but an inter-candidate spat that reveals little about who is best equipped to lead North Carolina.

Recently, Hampton Dellinger selectively plucked a few votes from Senator Walter Dalton’s legislative record to frame a presentation of his platform. Not surprisingly, this tactic led to Senator Dalton crying foul and calling for further financial contributions. The exchange caused quite a little stir on some political blog sites. We can do better! This type of activity is what, in my opinion, has caused many people to become disenchanted with politics and resulted in most North Carolinians opting to register as independents rather than affiliate with either party. The people of our state deserve better.

I believe it is time for those of us running for Lieutenant Governor to stop favoring snipping over substance. Therefore, I request that the three other candidates Councilman Dan Besse, Senator Walter Dalton, and Hampton Dellinger join me in a statewide series of thoughtful and substantive debates on the critical issues facing North Carolina. We need to let all voters share in the issues-oriented conversations that have started here.

Specifically, I propose six debates to be held in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Greenville, or other nearby locations that may be agreeable. I propose that the debates be sponsored and hosted by a statewide democratic organization, such as the Young Democrats, Democratic Women, or Senior Democrats, with the assistance of either the district or county parties encompassing the debate sites. Due to the importance of education, I further suggest that the debates be held at local high schools, with questions provided by local media representatives. I envision two debates in January, two in February and two in March, beginning in the eastern part of the state, so that scheduling will not conflict with the wintry weather in the west.

I am willing to take the lead in handling the necessary logistics until an organization is willing to assume that duty. However, I need to know whether my fellow candidates are ready to directly address the people of North Carolina.

By copy of this release, I am formally asking the announced candidates to notify me of their willingness to debate. As soon as I hear that at least three of us are prepared to participate, I will begin contacting the appropriate organizations to organize the events and assume responsibility for the debates.

I trust and hope that my fellow candidates will embrace these debates and contact me promptly to work out the necessary details. We owe it to the citizens of North Carolina.

Comments

Thanks, Pat.

It's looking more and more like the LG race is the place where substantive issues and vision will be the focus. And thank goodness for that. You're one of the leaders who are walking the walk to demonstrate the right way to do the people's business.

Well done.

at this point

I'm willing the LG candidates to the top of the list for Governor.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Happy to accept.

Pat, I am delighted to accept your invitation to a series of debates in our contest.

Six debates in different cities sounds good to me, although I'm also prepared to work with you and our respected opponents to bring everyone to the forum.

Our conversations have always been cordial, and I look forward to continuing our respectful discussion of the concerns and issues critical to the future of our state.

Thanks for issuing the invitation.

Dan

Dan Besse
Democrat for Lieutenant Governor

Dan Besse

Excellent!

I encourage all of the candidates to agree to this -- in the interest of the good of the Party and the good of the State.

Further - I would encourage BlueNCer's and other interested bloggers to be sure to cover these events (should this proposal or something like it come to fruition.)


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Spat?

I think debates are an excellent idea. However, I think that issue-based discussions in the broader media are also an important piece of the "educated voters" puzzle.

Plus, a "spat" is what I'd call a disagreement on such pressing issues as "diamonds or pearls?" for Hillary Clinton. Or even, in this case, a "spat" about a "spat"! Not highlighting a difference in opinions between the two front-runners on smokestacks legislation or the execution of the mentally disabled...

NC College Democrats -- Ready to Help

The NC Federation of College Democrats is willing to host this entire debate series in conjunction with our college chapters. We have the resources, infrastructure, and motivation to make sure that this project gets done.

We are willing to do whatever is necessary to help bring the substantive issues to the table.

We look forward to hearing from the candidates.

great offer

That's a great offer, and could simplify logistics significantly. Perhaps we could hold debates on the campuses of participating College Dem chapters.

FYI to other online folks, I'm signing off for several hours now to attend to a health clinic security matter, so I won't be able to respond to further posts and detailed proposals for a while this afternoon. I'll be back online this evening.

Thanks College Dems!

Dan

Dan Besse
Democrat for Lieutenant Governor

Dan Besse

Debate Suggestions.......for Lt Gov Dudes!

Perhaps we could hold debates on the campuses of participating College Dem chapters.* DB

That's the ticket! You need these locations on College campuses....The kids at these campuses will knock themselves out for you people...it's long, but it is a big state.....done it twice on Colleges....That is over a 2 and half month period during the campaign which is great for differences to change in the debates as things get hot on the issues..This covers the major markets in this state.....

1. Asheville
2. Boone
3. Greensboro
4 Winston-Salem
5. Durham
6. Raleigh
6 . Fayetteville
7. Charlotte
8. Wilmington
9. Elizbeth City
10. Greenville

When We Meet, Issue Differences Should B Fair Game

Dear Pat, you and I have appeared at a number of joint forums and I look forward to attending more such events, plus debates here at BlueNC and elsewhere. But I respectfully object to your suggestion that Mr. Dalton had a basis for "crying foul" over my effort to force a fair and frank discussion of the candidates' positions and records on such issues as reproductive rights, racial equality, death penalty reform, and the environment. Mr. Dalton did not offer a single specific reason why my discussion of the major differences between my policy positions and his was unfair. Nor do you. Dan Besse has weighed in here at BlueNC on the topic saying that the comparison I made "raised fair issues in a documented fashion." The judgment of other commentators at BlueNC and elsewhere has been the same.

To paraphrase what I wrote here earlier this week: Unlike other candidates, I don’t see a discussion of the policy differences between us as the “worst aspect of the campaign season”. I think it’s one of the best. Voters deserve to know the differences between candidates on critical issues that impact their lives. Nor do I think it is “sad” that we disagree or that such disagreements are something we need to “do better” than.

I've enjoyed our time together on the campaign trail and look forward to coordinating schedules for future meetings and lively debates. I hope you agree that a fair and frank discussion of our policy positions and public records will be a meaningful part of these exchanges. See you on December 8th, if not before.

Regards, Hamp

Well said.

I suspect we're all really in violent agreement!

Thanks for weighing in.

He didnt say

He didnt comment on if it was valid or not. He simply said that it was surprising. As in, you sent out an email to thousands of people and posted something here raising some very serious questions about Dalton. Both the fact that he responded and what his response said was completely unsurprising.

I do have to say though, sentences like this:

Mr. Dalton did not offer a single specific reason why my discussion of the major differences between my policy positions and his was unfair. Nor do you.

wont make you many friends in the long run. The type of back and forth that Pat was talking about was exactly what you are engaging in here. When he says that we shouldnt have a back and forth, and should be in front of voters discussing details on policy, not saying "well this vote 5 years ago said one thing, have you changed" "i am being attacked" "its not an attack its policy" isnt healthy. Comments like "nor do you" when Pat has not attempted to defend Dalton in any way, nor has he attempted to attack you is extremely petty.

Instead of trading press releases and emails yall could actually have debated what the state's policy on choice or executions or anything else should look like. But not even your initial post did that.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I was surprised by Dalton's response

Not by the fact that he responded at all, but by what he actually said.

After sifting through so many campaigns lately, I have to say I'm not distressed by any of this LG discussion. We're watching four very capable leaders, who agree on many issues, work to distinguish themselves. It looks to me like Besse, Dellinger and Smathers are generally trying to focus on substance, while that's less clear in the case of Dalton (at least here at BlueNC, where Dalton isn't engaging.)

I'm trying a new plan for this race. I'm hoping to reward civil engagement with pats on the back and attaboys, while mostly ignoring the inevitable conflicts.

Finally, I have no dog in this particular fight, but I disagree with your characterization of Dellinger's original post. It was absolutely about policies. It was also a positioning move. If you start with the assumption that Dalton is the presumptive leader because he's a member of the business-friendly club, every other candidate faces the challenge of narrowing the field. Going one-on-one is a classic marketing move (best exemplified when Avis took on Hertz with its "We try harder" campaign and instantly positioned itself as #2 in a crowded rental car industry). I thought Dellinger did it effectively.

And finally, finally, what candidates do here is a piddly drop in the mainstream media bucket. The newspaper blogs and their links to the papers themselves are the holy grail, and frankly, they wouldn't cover a substantive policy discussion if their lives depended on it. You've been on the Dome blog enough to know that it's nothing more than a bunch of he-said-she-said crap . . .

Respectfully disagree.

I think Mr. Smather's post (which seems to be an email he copied on to this page) calls into question the actions of Mr. Dellinger.

The lieutenant governor’s race is starting to get some attention. Unfortunately, some newspapers and political observers have picked up not on the substantive issues in the race that have begun to be thoroughly explored here at BlueNC, but an inter-candidate spat that reveals little about who is best equipped to lead North Carolina.

It seems to me that the issues raised by Dellinger and NOT responded to well by Dalton WERE substantive issues. Sooner or later someone had to begin pointing out the moderate/conservative leanings of the corporate candidate - Senator Dalton.

Recently, Hampton Dellinger selectively plucked a few votes from Senator Walter Dalton’s legislative record to frame a presentation of his platform. Not surprisingly, this tactic led to Senator Dalton crying foul and calling for further financial contributions.

Quite frankly, without Dellinger pointing it out I would not have known about Dalton's votes on those issues. I knew enough about his "leadership" in the Senate to think he put corporate profits before people, but the votes pointed out by Dellinger confirmed in my mind that Dalton is the last of the four I want leading North Carolina.

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

I wish I would shut up

and let you 'splain things all the time.

Gonna use A's disclaimer

Im gonna use Anglico's disclaimer and admit that I am in a pissy mood. But his reaction to Moore the other day is my exact response to Dellinger. So far Dellinger has tried to paint himself as the great savior progressive. He has done so by being the exact opposite of progressive.

Progressive, to me, means exploring new ideas about what to do with our problems. Besse and Smathers have some very specific ideas about what they want to do. So far Dellinger has "stuck his neck out" on some very controversial subjects. The other day he sent out an email saying that he respected women, and that women are equal to men. Then he expressed his support to a bill that not only was passed, but is already law. Color me impressed. I think his next email should be about the fact that he likes both Dogs and Cats.

So now for him to say that he really was debating the issues when he sent out an email saying that one of his opponents voted the wrong way 7 years ago, well, I just dont care.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Ha! Point taken.

However, whether it makes you more inclined to like Dellinger or not, I think the information on Dalton was worth knowing. If it walks like a Duck and quacks like a Duck, but claims it's a moderate, it's probably a platypus.

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

Ha back at you.

A platypus. I like it.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Just saw Dellinger's email on this

You left out an important sentence:

But I respectfully object to his suggestion that Mr. Dalton had a basis for "crying foul" over my effort to force a fair and frank discussion of the candidates' positions and records on such issues as reproductive rights, racial equality, death penalty reform, and the environment.

Which was right in front of your call out:

Mr. Dalton did not offer a single specific reason why my discussion of the major differences between my policy positions and his was unfair (other than a version of "I was for it after I was against it"). Nor does Mr. Smathers. Dan Besse has weighed in on the topic saying that the comparison I made "raised fair issues in a documented fashion." The judgment of web commentators and pundits such as Tom Jensen has been the same.

My take? All is well.

What is the distinction?

That Smathers didnt defend Dalton? Thats not a distinction I care about.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I think the point I tried to

I think the point I tried to raise in my last post is that Smathers is snipping and spatting here at the other candidates while saying he doesn't approve of the other candidates' snipping and spatting. :)

And if they avoid each others' records and drawing distinctions, it will be much less of a debate series and much more a "four stump speeches cut into smaller sections" series. So instead of just posting about how we'd like to engage in a real discussion about substantive issues and policy, I'd like the candidates to just keep engaging in a real discussion about substantive issues and policy.

I for one thought that, up until this thread, that's what all three of the LG candidates posting on BlueNC were doing!

We're on.

Dan and Hampton, I appreciate you enthusiastically embracing this idea. While we have not yet heard from Walter, I believe we owe it to the voters to proceed with or without him. If you are both comfortable with the College Dems taking the lead on this project, we can coordinate with them to determine dates and venues.

College Dems, thank you for stepping up. I look forward to working with you and my fellow candidates to make these debates fair, informative and meaningful.

Hi Pat. A debate between the four of you would be great!

I have had the honor of seeing you, Dan, Walter and Hampton speak on more than one occassion. All of you are worthy of your efforts and of the office you seek.

Please make sure we are all kept informed.

If it occurs, I will most certainally be there to witness your eloquent dissertation of the issues, and that of your worthy opponents as well.

Walter Jones will never agree to debate me. That unwillingness is unfair to the voters, however politically safe for him.

Go Pat. It is worth the great efforts you are and have been putting out.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

Fantastic Pat, Dan and Hampton!

We here in NC are very lucky to have Lt.Gov candidates as well thought of as the three of you. I hope Mr. Dalton will agee to participate as well.
I'm available to help out with the Greensboro event if needed.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Good point

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I was wondering who would bring up Flavor-ville!

If seven locations work out, it should be two in the west (Asheville and ... someplace else, I'm not a western NC guy), two in the east (Wilmington and G-Vegas), and then one in the Piedmont, one in the Triangle, and one in Fayetteville (yes, I know, guess where I live? :)

Even better, I would recommend having it at Fayetteville State so at least one HBC/HBU would be represented and ask questions that are important for the minority community (hopefully they would ask those questions no matter what venue!)

On a side note, I'm amazed/impressed that the candidates (well, three of them anyhow...) do post so much on here. Please continue to do so!! We have tough critics here that will help you get a better idea of how to shape your messages.

With due respect to my friends in the Triangle and Triad

I'd vote for Fayetteville as well. I'm spit-balling here, but I'm guessing it's the closest large location geographically to the center of the state.

And, coincidentally, quite convenient for me. :)


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Not disrespecting Fayetteville, but

I think that, while Raleigh and Charlotte are necessary evils, perhaps a few smaller cities or county seats should be included - Albemarle, Shelby, Lumberton, Morganton, Hickory, Statesville, Dobson ... I also like the idea of a debate in Spencer since it's between Charlotte and Greensboro and I could go to a debate called the "Spencer forum" or something to that effect.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Time for some educatin'

Fayetteville is the county seat of Cumberland County. :)

It was NC's capital from 1789-1793; Sam, would you deny a forum to the home of the 82nd Airborne and birthplace of actress Julianne Moore? (Fayetteville is also where the University of North Carolina was chartered and the Constitution was ratified.) Fayetteville is 49% white, 42% African American, and about 9% mixed race, Hispanic or other -- so pretty diverse too!

I haven't looked at a map, but

a consideration might be to have the six debates in the most populous city of the 6 red congressional districts. I realize that this might not be possible due to the organizational limitations of the various campaigns and the college dems.
Might as well get as much democratic play as possible. Just an idea.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

They don't got no fancy colleges in them districts!

I am SO just kidding.

But seriously, I think this proposal is coming from Pat because he's got Zeb Smathers as his debate coach and sparring partner, a truly unfair advantage that I think bears looking into.

we get two then

We got Robin "NAFTA" Hayes and Sue "Ms. Family Values" Myrick representing parts of Charlotte.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Now I cant find the comment

Whoever suggested that there be at least one event at a community college made an excellent point. But now I cant find the comment to say "great point".

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I would think the UNC system or community colleges

They would have a student body that would probably be excited by it. They would have some kind of hall to hold the debate. Also, if they don't have a young democrat or college democrat group it would be a good time to build one up. Or, it might be used as a "bonus" to those colleges that have strong groups already in place.

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