SAN FRANCISCO - Republican Lt. Governor Ron Nehring today issued the following statement in response to incumbent Gavin Newsom's comments this morning on KQED radio offering increasingly strained justifications to turn down media offers for debate.
"As a challenger four years ago, Gavin Newsom engaged in three debates with the- Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado (R). Now in office and with all of the advantages of incumbency, he's making more excuses. His latest excuse came this morning, claiming debates have become little more than 'one liners.'
"I agree. So let's take a step forward for California democracy with a series of Lincoln-Douglas style debates that break with the more recent tradition and its focus on sound bites and platitudes.
The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 were a series of seven debates, each lasting three hours. The format involved the first speaker opening with a one hour address, followed by a 90 minute response, followed by a 30 minute rebuttal.
"We hear all the time about how the office of Lt. Governor is nearly invisible. What could do more to elevate the prominence of the office than an in-depth debate that threw out the existing rule book and allowed for an exploration of the challenges and opportunities facing California that a Lincoln-Douglas style debate can provide?
KQED radio today hosted a one hour radio forum featuring Gavin Newsom and Ron Nehring. At Newsom's insistence, the two candidates did not appear together, could not challenge each other, and were on the program sequentially rather than concurrently.
There have been six debates thus far in the contest for Secretary of State, and one in the race for Governor.