It's been a mind-blowing 24 days since the League of Women Voters requested Mayor Mark Boughton to participate in a NON-PARTISAN FREE and OPEN debate with Democratic mayoral candidate Gary Goncalves.
While using a recycled excuse from 2007, Boughton is using another well-known tactic from his political playbook...stubbornness.
In light of the last honest man's dodging, Goncavles issued the following press release:
Day 24 since the League of Women Voters issued their invitation on September 10, 2009 to Mayor Boughton and I to attend their debate to be held on either October 20th or 22nd, free of charge, at the Portuguese Cultural Center.
STATUS: NO ACCEPTANCE BY THE MAYOR AS YET.
As a Danbury resident and taxpayer who was born, raised and educated in Danbury, I consider the Mayor’s initial response and the fact that he has not accepted even after the News Times editorial, totally unacceptable. It is a display of arrogance and power by the Mayor to the voters and taxpayers of Danbury who have a right to hear the opposing views of the candidates in an open and no-cost forum. It further reflects the fact that the Mayor is not the same candidate who took office eight years ago when people believed his slogan of “People over Politics”.
The excuses offered by the Mayor were a flagrant slight to the League of Women voters, a storied organization whose trademark is all about fair play in our Democracy, and to the Portuguese Cultural Center, who has offered their facilities to the voters of Danbury free of charge for the debate.
Perhaps the Mayor was afraid to defend his performance as follows:
- eight straight years of tax increases coupled with the long term debt acquired by significant expenditures;
- recent News Times articles reporting the failing grades for some of our schools and the sharp increase in poverty levels in Danbury;
- the continued deterioration of our quality of life in the City, accentuated by a decrease in city services and choking traffic congestion;
- or perhaps the other behind the scenes issues well kept from public scrutiny, such as the lawsuit brought against the city by civil service job applicants who claim to have been passed over illegally in the questionable practices involved in that specific Civil Service exam cycle.
I'll meet the Mayor anywhere, anytime, in any forum, and I'll meet him as often as he'd like. It's a genuine offer, and one I hope he'll accept.
Are we going to have a repeat of 2007 when Boughton was no where to be found during the early days of the Pauline Basso/Joel Urice/Mary Teicholtz racist email scandal (a.k.a. when the ran away while the mainstream media was at his doorstep)?
...and for the record (or before Boughton attempts to make this excuse).
- The Chamber OF commerence luncheon IS NOT a FREE and OPEN mayoral debate.
It's a 45 dollar a plate luncheon that held during the middle of the day in the middle on a weekday...hardly the appropriate time for a MAJORITY of the public to attend (yet along afford). The debate is also done by an organization that does not have the same standing as the League of Women Voters.
What's needed here is LEADERSHIP and not the type of arrogance that's becoming too typical when it comes to the last honest man and the local Republican Party.
For this to even be a issue in this mayoral campaign is ridiculous. We're talking about a simple FREE and OPEN debate.
Democratic Town Committee chairman weighs in on Boughton avoiding FREE and OPEN debates
News-Times to Boughton: Stop waffling on FREE and OPEN debates
Avoiding free and open debates is nothing new for Boughton
Goncalves blasts Boughton over not agreeing to open debates