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August 25, 2010

AARP Postpones Gubernatorial Debate

DSC07278 ** UPDATE: The debate has been rescheduled again, this time to Sept. 26.

The AARP and Vermont Public Television have postponed a gubernatorial debate scheduled for tomorrow night in South Burlington because the result of the Democratic primary isn't settled.

State Senator Peter Shumlin has declared victory, but state Senator Doug Racine, who trails Shumlin by 190 votes, isn't conceding until results become official in two to four days. A recount is still possible.

The debate would have been the first between the Democratic nominee and Republican candidate, Lt. Governor Brian Dubie. It's been rescheduled to Sept. 15 at 7:30 in the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center.

Sorry, independent and minor party candidates, you're still not invited.

From an AARP press release.

Due to uncertainty over the final primary election results and a definitive democratic candidate, the AARP Vermont Governor’s Forum has been postponed.  The new date is September 15 at the DoubleTree Hotel in South Burlington. Those who have already registered to attend will remain on our list and are welcome to attend on Sept. 15.

The open public forum will be moderated by Steve Delaney, formerly of Vermont Public Radio, and broadcast live by Vermont Public Television.  The forum is part of a statewide voter education campaign designed to inform voters on the issues and share candidates’ views on important matters affecting all Vermonters.

It should make all Vermonters angry, that the AARP see fit to tell us which candidates we can see and hear, and which candidates we can't.

Nonprofits should not be taking public money and then playing partisan politics, and silencing the grassroots on behalf of their major corporate contributors. It is unethical. I don't care that AARP can give this a PR spin, and hire a team of lawyers to cover themselves. It ain't right.

It's a matter of free speech, or censorship.

Censorship has no place in Vermont.

Sure, 'Hart to Hart' ran for 111 episodes, but that obviously has not made you a free speech expert.

AARP is a private organization and they can invite or not invite whomever they please. That's not censorship. That's AARP exercising its own freedom of speech.

And no I'm not an 'anti-dentite.'

Please note that the actual date of the rescheduled AARP debate is now Sunday September 26th @ 6:30 p.m.

By the time the results are in the candidates may qualify for social security as well as AARP.
I challenge Mr. Condos and Mr. Gibbs to take a hard look at this election and make recommendations for improvement within the Sec. of State office if they find any needed.

The AARP is sponsoring the debate and certainly has the right to turn it into a private party if they wish. I've been an active supporter of Peter Schumlin and would hope that in the interest of a fair democracy he and the other candidates would refuse to attend such an exclusive debate.

AARP has indicated that they only want to include the "viable" candidates. This confuses me. It seems that it would be more proper and respectful of Vermont voters to include all of the legally qualified candidates and let the people determine who is viable or not.

Actions are louder than words, right? I see this as a litmus test. If the major party candidates agree to participate in a private party knowing that other qualified candidates are being excluded, at least we will learn something about where they each stand on open democracy and a level playing field.

AARP can do whatever they want and the candidates can participate or not, but the reality is that if you crowd the stage with people that don't have a chance in hell of winning, many people will join me in not watching the ensuing debacle/snorefest.

please check out my blurt blog prediction of 23% turnout for primary. actual turnout 23%. I win the free 7 days available at your local market and newstand for the next year.

Mr. Hurley, you say you've been an active support of Peter "Schumlin," but you can't spell his name right? So how long have you been supporting him?

The problem is that you may very well have a leader you need amongst independants. It may very well be time for Vermont to head in a better direction, away from budget cuts and tax increases, increased criminalizing of people who are prohibited by the minimum wage from a liveable wage. The litmus test that aarp provides for limiting the participants is preventing Vermonters from have a fair view and a fair exposure to their choices. By their standards a candidate must have an office and a staff and a telephone. This amounts to economic discrimination, an intelligent and wise person can get to be so without pursuing wealth, enough to hire a staff and rent an office. Still, I could hire someone and have a home office, I have a telephone. The second measure is 5% in the last election. I didn't run. The third is 5% in public opinion polls. I doubt that 5% of Vermont knows my name and what I propose as governor. This is due to direct censorship by the newspapers. BFP wrote on August 15:BFP wrote : “The newspaper has covered the election extensively from the
opening announcements on. All candidates, including the unopposed Republican in
the primary election, were asked to respond to 12 questions 12 weeks in a row. The
answers ran in the Tuesday newspaper and online. ....The editors met with each
candidate individually. The newspaper sponsored a debate. The candidates' records
and position papers were evaluated. We scoured their campaign websites,
connected with them on Facebook and followed them on Twitter. Staffers attended
numerous debates through the state......Vermonters are entitled to an open and
vigorous debate among the gubernatorial candidates leading up to the November
election.” If you are, why haven’t I been included? You will see me on the ballot in
November, and wonder what the heck does she stand for ? I don’t take donations.
This same piece begins: “Our state is in the midst of one of the greatest
economic challenges it has faced in a generation. Vermont's next governor must be a
strong leader who can work with the Legislature to get things done. “ Where did BFP
say that our next governor had to be a party affiliated career politician e.g.
”Progressive” , “Republican”,”or “Democrat”? It just said leader. That I am. I want you
to understand me, understand my proposals completely, comprehend what they will
address and remedy, and give me your vote to get it done. To know me is to love me.
TO know my proposals is love them even more.

To prevent Vermonters from the aid of my platform is more than wrong, it is an obstruction of democracy.

The horse is the media, their responsiblity to fulfill their freedoms of speech is to give full and accurate portrayal of all criticism of standing government, and that which comes in the form of candidates. A host should not host a debate without committing fully to the democratic process and providing a full range of options .
The "cart" is the outcome of elections. The Media, and the hosts are the the horse. Tell them to cover me. Tell them to prove that 5% of Vermont knows my name, and tell them it is their job to project my platform far and wide, you here in Vermont , may need a non-career politician this time. That person just might be me. I happen to think it is- you might agree if you saw enough of me.

It is after all, up to You Vermonters, not the media, not the hosts to decide who they want in that seat. Well, what are you doing right now?

Freedom of speech means to speak, it does not mean the freedom to suppress. Is a woman free to stifle the cries of her child by holding her hand over his nose and mouth ?NO ! Does Goliath's free speech include holding David under a black cloth to keep others from hearing him ? NO! Is water boarding freedom of speech ? NO. Freedom of soeech means to have the freedom to speak, The fact that it has been co-opted by the legal industry and distorted to mean suppression does speak to the state of fascism we have reached. I was hoping that Vermont still has a chance to pull out of the dive, You , out there , you all gotta be the soldiers, your voice and your pens are your swords. Use them.

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