The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan organization, partnered up with RNN to bring you a series of debates leading up to the November 7th general election. One of the most important would have been between Republican Sue Kelly of New York’s 19th District and her Democratic Challenger John Hall (set for Tuesday, October 17, 2006).
John Hall accepted. Sue Kelly, under fire in recent weeks for her connection with the ever-growing Congressional page scandal, did not.
Kelly failed to even respond to the League of Voters or RNN TV. Today, she fled cameras when we attempted to ask her about a number of issues including the page scandal.
When the league’s deadline past last Thursday, RNN took the unusual step of agreeing to provide both candidates the time, regardless of sponsorship. In a letter to Kelly, our news director Don Dudley, said the following. “We believe it is in the best interest of the voters in the 19th Congressional District that your views and positions on the important issues facing your constituents be heard.” We also said, “Your absence will be represented by an empty chair.”
Well, tonight, we press ahead. We are not allowing Representative Kelly to stifle debate by snubbing the League’s invitation and staying as far away from the press, and you the voter, as possible.
So, as promised, John Hall is here, and so is the empty chair.
Related: “Kelly Neglects League of Women Voters Debate”