Bath Debate Canceled

Syracuse News 10 is reporting that the League of Women Voters debate in Bath has been canceled. Both Randy Kuhl and George Winner [R-SD-53] declined to attend.

I covered this debate in 2006. Compared to the usual televised debates, it was a tea party. The League screens the questions. Kuhl was born in Bath. It's the friendliest imaginable format in a Kuhl stronghold.

I had thought that Kuhl's delay in accepting debate invitations was just political jockeying. But now it looks like he's trying to minimize his debate appearances.

At the Massa press conference two weeks ago, Eric Massa claimed that there were 10 debates scheduled in the 29th. I was skeptical about that claim, and asked his campaign to sent me a list. It turns out that ten non-partisan third parties really do want to hold Congressional debates. This includes WHAM, which has offered to post those debates on their website.

Conventional wisdom says that incumbents who are ahead in the polls shouldn't debate, because debates give your opponent legitimacy by appearing on the same stage. If there's a poll that shows Kuhl way ahead, his campaign hasn't paid for it recently. The last public poll in this race was taken on November 7, 2006, and it was pretty tight. And I doubt that there's anyone in this district inclined to listen to debates who hasn't heard of Eric Massa.

Kuhl has accepted only two of those ten debate invitations. He's stopped town hall meetings. He spent a good part of last month in Washington participating in a silly, meaningless protest that isn't even supported by his party's President or Senate. I don't know if there's a master plan underneath all this, but from where I'm sitting, it sure looks like Kuhl is simply hiding from the press and the public.


Events like that are political rallies, not debates. The Massa campaign had people come in from outside of the district (perdominately Ithaca -- I asked them -- which was in Randy's Senate district but not in his house district), several of whom were later arrested for failing to leave Randy's Bath office last year and although the organizers asked the crowd to keep quiet (it was in a church), the Massa supporters got so unruly that even Massa had to ask them to be quiet (that was for show too, but whatever). I would rather watch a debate that the audience was not participating in, such as a televised studio debate with no sarcastic laugh tracks or statements to "work the crowd" like Massa does. The worst example of a debate was the one in Canandaigua where the Rotary sponsored a lunch and the Massa campaign bussed in their long-hairs, many of whom didn't even pay for lunch (ask the Canandaigua Rotary).

Once again,


I was at the Bath Debate and the Rotary debate.

No buses of long-haired hippies were sent to the Rotary event. The organizers were clearly overwhelmed with the standing-room-only crowd. Randy Kuhl was the only person offended by the presence of Massa supporters. Read more here:

At Bath, if there were evil Ithacans, their characteristic horns and tails were not visible. There were also Massa-supporting older Vets who didn't look like vegans. And, it was peaceful:

All the Kuhl supporters who keep posting about the terrible ruckus created by Massa supporters at the debates give the impression that Randy Kuhl is made of butterfly wings, fairy dust and the dreams of little girls. If he is so delicate that he can't handle a slightly raucous debate, perhaps he should be kept in a little glass case in the corner and only be brought out on special occasions. But if that's true, he has no business representing us in Congress.

Dude, you can't quote your own shit to make a point...

From the Steuben Courier article my Mary Perham: "The debate was attended by more than 100 local nonpartisan Rotarians, and dozens of Massa's supporters, who staged impromptu rallies before and after the debate. The supporters sat at tables near the head table and twice cheered their candidate, despite reminders the event was nonpartisan."

Many of them stiffed the Rotary by not paying for lunch. Nice thing to do to a charity organization... You need only ask the Rotarians who caused a ruckus at the debate in Canandaigua... they're certainly not looking to host another one this year.

Of course I can quote my own stuff to make the point that I was there and paid attention. For all we know, you're just making up stuff that benefits your employer in DC.

Yes, some Massa supporters came, sat at the front, and clapped a couple of times. Before and after the meeting, they chatted. I'll pardon Mary Perham for some excitable prose since the Steuben Courier is so used to one-party rule that she probably hadn't experienced a contested campaign while writing for that paper.

I've been to a few other Rotary meetings. If a member brings a guest, Rotary pays for the meal. There's no real mechanism to pay for the meal -- it really looks a free buffet. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding. More likely: the room where the Canandaigua Rotary meets is way too small for the crowd that showed up. I don't have the massive intelligence you seem to have of their operation, but my guess is that they didn't want the hassle of renting a bigger room to have a debate this year.

If Randy doesn't want to debate, that's fine. Nobody's making him. But your spin is lame, dude, because it makes him look like a delicate little flower who only blooms on sunny, windless days.

I guess I should have said you can't use your own shit to prove a point. I was there too. And my employer is not in DC, as you suggest and seemingly say that you know, but I'm in Corning and that's where my employer resides as well... but you REALLY sounded like you knew something... maybe all of your statements are as accurate? Randy has agreed to debates as you've already stated in other posts. So the little flower seems to be set to bloom despite the weather.

It's within bounds for me to use my own reporting (not my own opinion) to make a point. I think you're too used to other blogs that are all spin.

When you post I capture your IP address, which can be tracked back to your ISP. That's not 100%, but there's some guy named Erik who comments mostly from DC-area IP addresses. Right now, you're posting from a business-class RoadRunner IP somewhere in New York State, so maybe you moved, or you're a different Erik, but you sure sound like the same Erik who posted from DC.

Hey, remember the subject of this post? It was on a debate in Bath. You and others commenting here are making the case that the reason he won't debate in Bath in 2008 is because he was treated poorly there in 2006. Fling all the poo you want, the fact remains that the claim that the 2006 Bath debate was out of control is simply, completely and totally false, and you might want to move on to a line of argument that has some basis in fact.