The horse trading starts in Minnesota’s 1st

The candidates in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District are debating over debates.

DFL Rep. Tim Walz sent a letter to his opponents this morning requesting 3 debates be held between now and the November election. The Walz campaign also wants any candidate on the ballot to participate in the debate.

“Engaging in civil, lively debate is one of our democracy’s greatest traditions,” said Richard Carlbom, Tim Walz for U.S. Congress Campaign Manager. “We are looking forward to participating in these debates with Representative Demmer, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Johnson and to the opportunity to share with the voters of southern Minnesota a clear vision for our future.”

In an e-mail to the respective campaigns of Representative Randy Demmer, Steve Wilson and Lars Johnson, Carlbom proposed three, ninety minute debates. One debate would be in Rochester on jobs and the economy. Another would be in Mankato on veterans and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The third would be a television debate at a to be determined location.

The request prompted a counter offer from Republican Randy Demmer’s campaign manager, Jason Flohrs. He wants a total of eight more debates for a total of 11 debates.

Your proposal for three debates is a good start, though limiting a debate to one topic only does not offer voters adequate opportunity to learn more about our very different approaches to solving the problems facing our nation. Make no mistake, voters across this district want to hear answers regarding the lack of job creation, slowing economic recovery, and out-of-control deficit spending. To go to Mankato (as you suggest) and duck the concerns that voters have on those issues would be a disservice to those attending.

So, we’re pleased to accept the three you’ve offered, plus five more across the First District in Rochester, Mankato, Worthington, Winona, and Owatonna. We would also request participation in the KSTP/League of Women Voters debate, a joint appearance on the Almanac public affairs program, and a joint appearance at the Rochester Chamber of Commerce debate – an event that Congressman Walz has participated in all his previous campaigns.

Let the horse trading begin!

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