Several sources have informed me that there is a strong possibility that the Danbury Chamber of Commerce WILL NOT host a mayoral luncheon. Viewed as a long tradition in Danbury, the event has served as a debate setting for candidates seeking the office of mayor.
With residents being forced to shell out cash to see the candidates debate (complete with Boughton stacking the crowd with his cheerleaders at City Hall), personally, I always thought the event is nothing more than a joke. Unfortunately, in recent years, due to Mark Boughton's adamant refusal to attend FREE AND OPEN debates with his opponents, the chamber event served as the only place where you can see the mayoral candidates go head to head with each other.
UPDATE: Democratic mayoral candidate and Danbury DTC chairwoman Lynn Taborsak sent the following letter to Chamber President Steve Bull:
September 26, 2011
Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce
39 West Street
Danbury, CT 06810
I contacted you on Thursday, September 22, to ask you about the Chamber’s plan to sponsor a mayoral debate this year as has been your custom for as long as I can remember. I left my name and phone number with the receptionist who said you were on another phone call at the time.
I have spoken to the three previous Democratic Town Committee chairs – Joe DaSilva Jr., Bernie Gallo and Joe Walkovich – to see if there was any previous election where a Chamber debate was not held because of lack of interest on the part of the local party organizations. No one can recall any requirement that the local party organizations must request that the Chamber sponsor a debate.
Please let me know definitively if a Chamber Mayoral debate will be held and when and where it will take place. I am enclosing a business card with my contact information.