Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Camera shy Dave Reichert won't agree to any debates with Suzan DelBene

Dave Reichert, who many political observers consider to be one of the most vulnerable House incumbents, has apparently decided that he simply won't be accepting any offers to debate his Democratic challenger Suzan DelBene.

The Tacoma News Tribune picked up on a press release recently sent out by the state Democratic Party, taking Reichert to task for holding a fundraiser at a undisclosed location with Rudy Guiliani but not making time for voters. The News Tribune managed to get in touch with campaign spokesman Darren Littell, who reporter Lewis Kamb quoted as saying:
"As far as the debates," Littell told me yesterday, "they waited to request anything until very late and Congressman Reichert’s schedule had already filled up."
Somebody should tell Littell that the citizens his boss works for aren't as stupid as he thinks they are. This is definitely one of the most pathetic excuses I've ever heard from any Republican operative, ever. It's beyond lame.

Suzan DelBene's campaign waited all of forty eight hours after Secretary of State Sam Reed had certified the August 17th election to send a debate proposal to Dave Reichert. That was September 9th. Several weeks later, Reichert and his team have done nothing more than acknowledge that they received the letter.

There were fifty two days remaining until the deadline to turn in ballots passed at the time the letter was sent.

Reichert only has to be in the District of Columbia for five days in October. He managed to fit debates into his schedule when he ran against Darcy Burner in 2006 and 2008. But not this year. He just doesn't have the time.

What's different? What gives?

The answer: Reichert has become so lazy that he hasn't even bothered to memorize talking points to explain the votes he's taken in Congress. He's simply unprepared to face the voters.

“Congressman Reichert knows his record of fighting for Wall Street barons and opposing tax breaks for small businesses is indefensible,” said Scott Whiteaker, communications director for Suzan DelBene. “Why else would he refuse to talk about his own record? Voters deserve to see candidates stand side-by-side in an open and direct debate and address the issues they face. Unfortunately, Congressman Reichert doesn’t see it that way.”

Littell or somebody else working for Reichert apparently realized that Littell sounded ridiculous, so five hours after the News Tribune had published the quote above, Littell again went on the record and said something quite different:
"Nothing has changed since yesterday," Littell said. "We’re not ruling out the debates. We’re continuing to work to arrange things to accommodate different requests."
So now they've gone back to stalling. Littell is right about one thing: Nothing has changed. He and Reichert's other handlers can say what they like — and stonewall Team DelBene until the cows come home — but the truth is, the entrenched Republican politician they work for just doesn't want to debate.


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