The one and only debate of the campaign?

by Chuck Donovan

Last night for the first, and what may turn out to be the only debate of the entire year, incumbent Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, former Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond, and I, debated live on Georgia Public Broadcast (GPB) television.

The debate may be viewed here:  2010 Atlanta Press Club U.S. Senate Debate

The debate was tightly controlled with limited time for answers and rebuttals.  I finished my closing statement with a challenge for the other candidates to meet again following my coming workdays, and offered to debate them at the time and place of their choosing.  The Democratic candidate, Commissioner Thurmond immediately responded positively and his campaign people have been in touch with mine.  Mr. Isakson’s staff has yet to contact us or to state any concrete time or place.

There had been another debate scheduled, and I received an invitation to it.  There was press and television coverage scheduled, and I was gearing up for it.  With only three days to go, we received a call from the Thurmond campaign and found they had not received an invitation.  A little more calling and we found out that Senator Isakson had decided not to attend that debate.  The debate organizers had not even bothered to give us a courtesy call.

With a series of not-so-subtle things that have taken place against my campaign it is difficult to resist the conclusion there is something taking place behind the scenes.  First there was what amounts to a cover up of a GOP affiliate endorsement for me.  Then, repeated whispers of support in my ear from people who feared repercussions should anyone find out.  These were always accompanied with a polite request not to let anyone know.  The best-read paper in the State published front page Sunday articles on the other two candidates, but told me they did not have the “assets” to cover a third candidate.  It is an interesting statement from media in the same week that New York professional journalists covered six gubernatorial candidates including Jimmy “The Rent Is Too Damned High” McMillan.  Finally there is the issue of the incumbent Senator only being able to fit one debate into his schedule.

Don’t the voters deserve more?

Perhaps I should have formed the “The Spending Is Too Damned High” Party.  How about the “The Republicrats and Demosames Have Been In Washington Too Damned Long” Party?  The imagination offers too many possibilities.

I should just have worn the Hawaiian shirt.