Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Camera-shy Reynolds may skip debate

Organizers of a debate planned Wednesday night between State Sen. Tom Reynolds and his Dem challenger, Jim Sullivan, report:
After agreeing weeks ago to participate in a candidate forum on August 23, State Senator Tom Reynolds threatened Tuesday to boycott the event if video cameras would be allowed.

Senator Reynolds and Democratic challenger James Sullivan have both confirmed their attendance at a forum scheduled for Wednesday, August 23 at 7 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church West (13001 West North Avenue, Brookfield). Reynolds sent a written agreement on July 14. The forum is being sponsored by congregations belonging to the SOPHIA and MICAH organizations.

Becky Steffes, an event organizer, said "I couldn't believe he was coming up with this at the last minute. This is a public event. Part of the reason for a candidate forum is that we want people to go on the record with their views. If there is something he is ashamed to have on tape, he shouldn't say it."

Mark Doremus, SOPHIA President said the event will proceed with or without Reynolds' participation. "We've invited people in good faith. There will be a chair for Mr. Reynolds, and an opportunity for him to speak to potential voters. If he does not fulfill his promise to participate, it will be his choice."
Reynolds, you may recall, stopped someone from taping a town meeting he was holding with constituents in his district in June. Reynolds has a good reason to be camera-shy.

He much prefers to let his brain trust, Bob Dohnal and J.J. Blonien, write poison pen letters for other people to sign, making charges they know are false and then pretending they had nothing to do with it. That has backfired badly, and the brewing scandal may be just one more reason Reynolds doesn't want to be filmed.

WisPolitics reports Reynolds has chickened out.

UPDATE: Crazy like a fox? The Spice Boys write about Reynolds' shyness today, but he refused to flatly say he won't attend. Is this a ploy to get all of the people with cameras to stay home, so he can show up at the last minute in a camera-free zone?


At 4:04 PM, Blogger Owen said...

Reminds me of that story about Riley ducking the forum with Plale...

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Xoff said...

Except, of course, that it is the accuser, rather than the accused, who is afraid to show up at this one.

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Scott said...

The WisPolitics article says that Sullivan will still be attending the event. He ought to get up on stage and debate an empty podium.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger badgervan said...

Sullivan's staff should prepare large posterboard quotes from the wingnut on his various positions. Then Sullivan could debate each quote/position, having someone flip the boards as they proceeded. The quotes would have to be large enough to be picked up easily by cameras.

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Dave Diamond said...

Hey Owen, nice job with the equivalence argument. Now do you want to try a real defense of Reynolds, on his own merits?

At 10:44 PM, Blogger George Roberts said...

On Milwaukee Rising, in regard to Blonien's statement that he is only an unpaid consultant to Reynolds' campaign, Anonymous clarifies that both men are splitting fine hairs:

Well, that's interesting.

Blonien is still formally on Reynolds' taxpayer-funded office staff. He's listed a a full-time, benefitted employee. He's reportedly "working from home" on a full-time basis, a cushy perk that virtually no other legislative staffperson in state service enjoys.

Legislative staff are required to provide written pre-notification of their intent to take vacation to work on campaign efforts, if those efforts fall during the regularly-scheduled workday. I wonder if Blonien is doing that?

Is it that Blonien is not getting paid by the Reynolds campaign because he is getting paid instead by the taxpayers, by way of the Reynolds legislative office? Just asking.

1:27 PM


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