The Wayne Independent has invited the Democratic and Republican candidates for the 10th Congressional District seat to a debate 7-9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4 in the auditorium at Honesdale High School.


The offer was faxed to both campaigns Friday night (see below).


The Wayne Independent has invited the Democratic and Republican candidates for the 10th Congressional District seat to a debate 7-9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4 in the auditorium at Honesdale High School. The debate is free and open to the public.

The offer was faxed to both campaigns Friday night (see below).

If both incumbent Chris Carney and challenger Chris Hackett accept, a debate will be held. If only one candidate shows up, a town hall format meeting will be held, according to Wayne Independent Publisher Steve Fountain.

“As publisher of The Wayne Independent, I remain convinced that one debate for this critical race is not enough,” Fountain said. “We will have two microphones and an auditorium ready for the candidates. It is my sincere hope that, be it here or elsewhere, the candidates take part in at least one more debate.”

Fountain is urging Wayne County voters to contact both campaigns to encourage their participation.

 

The Carney campaign can be e-mailed via the link at www.carneyforcongress.com/contact, called at (570) 585-1308, faxed at (570) 585-1309 or mailed to Carney for Congress, P.O. Box A, Clarks Summit, PA 18411.

The Hackett campaign can be e-mailed via the link at www.chrishackettforcongress.com/contact.php, called at (570) 255-2008, faxed at (570) 255-0916 or mailed to Chris Hackett for Congress, 23 Dallas Shopping Center, Dallas, PA 18612.

In addition, voters are asked to send questions to the candidates to Fountain at sfountain@wayneindependent.com or mail them to Debate, Wayne Independent, 220 8th St., Honesdale, PA 18431.

Fountain is also inviting the local Democratic and Republican parties to have informational booths and voter registration efforts in the lobby of the auditorium before and after the debate.

On Sept. 12, The Wayne Independent invited both candidates to debate in Wayne County. Hackett accepted the offer, while Carney declined. In declining, Campaign Manager Vince Rongione said: “We are eager to participate in our scheduled debate Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. on WVIA. And we have no plans for further debates at this time.”

Fountain said he is decided to go ahead and schedule the debate in hopes of a change of heart.

“I received a lot of feedback regarding the open letter and about 85 percent of it was in agreement that another debate was needed,” Fountain said. “I really believe a debate in a rural setting would benefit voters.”

Fountain noted that the second debate often shows different results than the first.

“In 1976, the second debate between President Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter turned voters toward Carter after Ford’s ill-made comment about “no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.:

“In 1984, Walter Mondale was considered the winner of the first debate again Ronald Reagan.,” Fountain said. “It was the second debate that turned momentum back toward the eventual winner.

“In 1988, the first Michael Dukakis vs. George Bush debate was uneventful. However, the second debate saw Dukakis stiff on an emotional opening question and Bush getting the ‘liberal’ tag to stick.”

 

Steve Fountain’s letter to the candidates:

To:     U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, Democrat

Chris Hackett, Republican challenger

From: Steve Fountain, Publisher, Wayne Independent

Date:   Sept. 26, 2008

Re:      Invitation to debate

  Dear Rep. Carney and Mr. Hackett:

Thank you for your consideration of The Wayne Independent’s Sept. 12 offer to debate. I am sorry that our offer was not mutually accepted.

I remain convinced that more than one debate is needed for voters. A persistent view, coupled with feedback from Wayne County residents in support of a second debate, has prompted me to go ahead and rent the auditorium at Honesdale High School for a debate 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4.

You are both invited. If you both show up, we will have a debate. If one of you shows up, we will switch to a town hall forum. If neither of you show, I am in for a long evening.

Please inform your respective local party offices that we are making available the lobby of the auditorium for campaign booths and voter registration efforts before and after the debate.

I am also extending an invitation for any other day, date and time should Oct. 4 be in conflict with previous arrangements. I stand ready to serve each of you for a debate.

 If I get confirmation from both of you, I have commitments from TV and radio to carry the debate live.

I look forward to hearing from you. My office number is (570) 253-3055. My cell is (570) 309-5061. Or, you can e-mail me at sfountain@wayneindependent.com.

Thank you. I look forward to seeing you in Wayne County!

  Steve Fountain