5CD Republicans have started their debate debate.

Feda Morton is angry because Sen. Robert Hurt has declined to participate in a pair of proposed candidate forums, and the story behind why he declined turns out to be revealing. Both are among the seven Republicans looking for the nomination to run against Rep. Tom Perriello. The race is basically Hurt vs. everybody else. The six lesser dwarves basically want to have their debates in the parking lot in front of Perriello’s office while everybody burns a Muslim in effigy. Hurt isn’t thrilled with this, and suggests that perhaps the Republican committees for a few of the localities could hold debates.

I’d read Morton’s statement (below) and figured that the reason Hurt didn’t want to participate in the debates is because they’d be run by people who think that the president is a Kenyan and regard Borat as a role model. Nope. The debates are planned for Friday, January 22 and Monday, February 8. You know, during the week. In the middle of the General Assembly session. The General Assembly, that body of which Robert Hurt is a member. Senator Robert Hurt. Now, it’s possible that the Friday debate is scheduled for the evening, in which case I’d argue that he probably could make it—the legislature meets for mere minutes on Fridays, and once the gavel falls the place clears out like somebody called in a bomb threat. (Many legislators then have scheduled meetings back in their district, though—very few manage to just kick back their feet for the next two and a half days.) But from 6 AM Monday morning through 2 PM on Friday, it’s just not reasonable to expect a legislator to be doing anything that doesn’t pertain to legislating.

There are two possibilities here. One is that the rest of these candidates are so clueless that they don’t have the faintest idea of what goes into actually serving in a big-boy elected office, and they figured that they could schedule debates during the work week during the legislative session and Hurt could work it out. The other is that the candidates are so eager to make Hurt look bad that they’ve deliberately scheduled debates during the work week during the legislative session, which they will then use as an opportunity to beat up on him. With any other bunch, I’d discount the former, but most of these folks are dumber than a sack of hammers (Joe the Plumber, anyone?)—they really may just not know better.

Feda Calls Hurt Out On Evading Debates
Scottsville, Virginia (January 7th, 2010) – Today, Feda Morton stated that she feels Robert Hurt’s recent call for five debates to be held and sponsored by token GOP Unit Chairs in the district is “simply a ploy to evade answering the tough questions that he might receive in a less controlled environment of conservative activists and TEA Party Patriots regarding his troubling record of taxes, excessive spending and large government. He wants to narrow the scope of the debate and I want to expand it. Hurt is afraid of showing up for TEA Party sponsored debates and I am calling him out on it.”

Prior to his press statement requesting five GOP led debates, several debates were already being organized by local 5th District TEA Party groups in collaboration with several GOP committee chairs. The contradicting factor about Hurt’s debate request, however, is that he is the only candidate out of seven who has not agreed to the multiple open and objective debates that are already scheduled.

Hurt has also failed to appear at a 5th District debate which he was invited to in Halifax and was the only candidate who would not prioritize his schedule to attend a forum formerly being organized in Henry County.

Feda concluded, “The facts are very clear. Hurt has a voting record he does not want to talk about in public, especially Hurt’s vote for the Warner budget of 2004 which led to the largest tax increase in the history of our Commonwealth. It is apparent that he would rather debate in friendly, controlled environments with handpicked moderators.

Let me make it clear that my campaign is about the people of this district and restoring their voice in Washington. I will stand for them and with them and answer any question on my past record of service. I’ll put my conservative credentials up for debate anywhere, any place, and anytime. Mr. Hurt, I hope you will join us, you bring your record and I’ll bring mine.”

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

10 replies on “5CD Republicans have started their debate debate.”

  1. Waldo, get your facts straight before you jump to the conclusion that there’s some type of conspiracy. Hurt has backed out of two debates during the General Assembly. One is on Friday evening in Charlottesville that was worked out with Hurt’s agreement, originally, (http://va5thdistrict.com/2010/01/07/hurt-reneges-on-tea-party-debate/). The other, on the Monday evening, is a College Republicans debate at UVA and not the Tea Partiers. And, well, they are college kids, they probably did mess up. That’s what they do.

  2. As a Republican Unit Chair myself, I too was curious about Morton’s reference to “token GOP Unit Chairs.” All I can say is that, right now, I’m glad I’m not in the 5th.

  3. NotAndySere,

    Waldo never said that there was a ‘conspiracy.’ This is the sort of thing that goes on in political campaign strategy all the time. Not in every race, but certainly cut-throat tactics like trying to schedule a debate at a moment most inopportune for a strong adversary are hardly the stuff of conspiracy theories. Trust me, it happens.

    As for Hurt backing out of previous debates during the General Assembly, yeah that is the problem. Dude has a job to do.

    The very idea of these tea party people ever attempting to actually govern is every bit as absurd and horrifying as the thought of the Lyndon LaRouche people doing the same.

  4. Conspiracy? And I’m “jumping to conclusions”? :)

    I didn’t understand what she meant by that “token” business, and figured it meant something to Republicans. Based on your comment, Greg, I assume not. :) These folks are really setting themselves up in opposition to Republicans. That’s gonna be a tough way to get the Republican nomination.

  5. NotAndySere, your source/proof for your claim that Hurt originally agreed to the Friday debate is an anti-Hurt site; I’d have to see something independent and non-partisan corroborating that Hurt ever agreed to that date.

    Personally, I’m hoping that all these folks can cannibalize one another.

  6. It would be a stretch to assume the Feda speaks for anyone other than herself. Hurt’s excuse is legitimate and convenient at the same time.” …six lesser dwarves basically want to have their debates in the parking lot in front of Perriello’s office while everybody burns a Muslim in effigy”. Guilt by association with some extreme hyperbole, Waldo? That’s very unlike you. Why not let those who have spoken, speak for themselves and not assume that’s what everyone else thinks?

  7. “Tough questions” assume intellectual curiosity, or at least a quest for greater understanding. This is not the way of Tea Baggers.

  8. debates, debates. It is along time before they decide who will run against Tom in November. There will be time for Robert to be in a debate. There is a new group of people in Richmond in 2010 and That should come 1st and Robert sees that. I give him 4 stars for that.

    On the candidates running for the nomination I know nothing about any of them except Robert. I saw Verga when he was in Danville on Saturday. I was not impressed. He downed Robert for Supporting Mark Warner when he was Governor. Oh Mr. Verga. There were lots of Republicans that supported Mark Warner when he was Governor. Mark was a very good Governor. He did not speak of any of the others running for the nomination. I guess since he was in Roberts back yard that is why he downed him.

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