OPEN LETTER FROM STEVE BEREN TO JIM MCDERMOTT: "LET'S HAVE A SERIES OF BROADCAST DEBATES!"
May 3, 2008
Dear Congressman McDermott,
The voters of the 7th congressional district - the people of the Seattle/King County area – deserve a debate on key issues facing our district, our state, and our nation. The voters need, and deserve, a bipartisan dialogue and debate, not a one-sided monologue offering only one point of view. I challenge you to a series of broadcast debates this summer and fall. Do you accept my challenge?
The 2008 elections, both on the presidential and congressional level, offer clear alternatives on the important issues facing the people of this nation. There is a historic opportunity to have a broad-ranging national debate and discussion on the economy, foreign policy, taxes, spending, trade policy, immigration, energy policy, and the future of our nation. Sharply contrasting policies will be debated by Senator John McCain and whoever eventually wins the Democratic presidential nomination. Likewise, on the congressional level, you and I offer very different views on the key issues facing the voters of Seattle and King County.
During the 2006 campaign, you and I debated three times. We debated at community meetings sponsored by the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce and the Maple Leaf Community Council, and we debated before 1,200 people at the Korean American Voters Alliance. However, none of these debates were broadcast on radio or television.
Certainly, you and I will again debate at such community events and conferences. But I believe the voters of the 7th congressional district deserve more, and that’s why I am challenging you to a series of broadcast debates.
At least one of our debates should be an hour long radio broadcast on one of the major local radio stations. You choose the moderator – Dave Ross, or Ken Schram, or whoever you prefer. This debate could cover issues such as foreign policy and immigration – the voters of the 7th congressional district deserve such a debate.
Another of our debates should be a substantive 90-minute event, televised on KIRO or KING or KOMO. You pick the moderator, you choose the format, and you choose the TV station. The voters of Seattle and King County would benefit from viewing this debate, which could cover subjects such as taxes, energy policy, and the economy.
Finally, one of the debates could be held before a live audience, with questions and answers from a diverse group of citizens, and broadcast over the internet (e.g., YouTube). The event could be sponsored by one of the local newspapers or a community organization. You choose the sponsor; you choose the time and place.
The above ideas are my suggestions, and of course I am open to other formats and venues. My goal is for you and me to have a series of broadcast debates, substantive in character and beneficial to the voters. I look forward to your acceptance of this challenge, and to our campaign staffs meeting soon to arrange the details. The people of the 7th congressional district deserve no less.
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