State Senator Mike Parry may be earning media with his show trial hearing tomorrow at the state capitol tomorrow, but he's not risking any bad press that might emerge after a real debate with primary opponent Allen Quist.
Parry is fleeing faster from a real debate than the rest of the US House running away from Quist ally Michele Bachmann.
Mark Fischenich's got the goods in Parry declines debate:
Unless state Sen. Mike Parry reverses his decision — and quickly — there will be no traditional debate prior to the Aug. 14 primary election that will decide whether Parry or former state Rep. Allen Quist will be Congressman Tim Walz’s Republican challenger in November.
. . .the choice also plays into Quist’s on-going claim that Parry is too frightened to debate and that Republican voters should be nervous about Parry’s potential performance against Walz if he is the GOP candidate this fall.
Campaign manager Ben Golnik--who seems to be doing a lot of the talking for Mike Parry these days--says it ain't so, since Quist & Parry will meet at Farmfest, on Almanac and KSTP’s “At Issue."
Fischenich notes why these aren't exactly what Debate Minnesota--and most Minnesotans--have in mind when they think of debates:
Those events, however, are substantially different than the traditional-style debate sponsored by Debate Minnesota. The organization’s debates last 90 minutes, allow candidates to respond to their opponent’s answers and are modeled after the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates.
By contrast, “Almanac” gave Quist and Parry less than nine minutes in what was essentially a joint interview a week before the April 21 Republican endorsing convention in Mankato. KSTP’s “At Issue” runs for 28 minutes on Sunday mornings.
The FarmFest political forum in rural Redwood Falls will last more than an hour but isn’t portrayed as a debate by sponsors. Questions are largely focused on agricultural issues and the format doesn’t include rebuttals. FarmFest also combines candidates from three or more congressional districts in a single forum.
And neither At Issue nor Almanac put the candidates in front of Mankato's debate audience: large, enthusiastic audiences:
The organization, led by prominent former political leaders from both major parties, has often picked Mankato to host congressional, gubernatorial and U.S. Senate debates — partly because of partnerships with local colleges and partly because the Mankato debates have consistently drawn large crowds.
Go read the whole article. One would think from reading Golnik's remarks that Allen Quist wasn't also doing parades, and walking in parades somehow make Parry exceptional as a political candidate.
Cartoon: Allen Quist, by Ken Avidor. Quist doesn't fear the crowds at debates.
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