NY-20: Murphy vs. Gibson Round One

Rep. Scott Murphy (D) and challenger Chris Gibson (R) faced off last night in Glens Falls.  My story on the news page focuses on the issues — healthcare, stimulus spending, etc.

But much of the punditry deals with the fact that the session, hosted by the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, wasn’t open to the public.

WNYT’s story — titled “Candidates face off, public not invited” — quotes a number of disgruntled voters, irritated that they weren’t allowed inside to listen.

In the Times-Union, Jimmy Vielkind notes that the auditorium where the debate took place was only “partially filled.”

Gibson has been pushing Murphy to hold a series of debates across the 20th district.  Murphy hasn’t committed yet to more public sessions.

One bit of context here is that Democrats across the country have worked aggressively to avoid the kind of townhall rage that entangled them and created so many hostile headlines last summer.

Politico reports this week that much of that virulence appears to have subsided, as tea party activists hunker down to the work of electing candidates.

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2 Comments on “NY-20: Murphy vs. Gibson Round One”

  1. Brian says:

    “much of the punditry deals with the fact that the session, hosted by the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, wasn’t open to the public.”

    As well it should. As much as I trust NCPR’s reporting, I’d still rather hear the candidates’ words directly rather than through a filter… or at least have the choice to do so. That the auditorium was only “partially filled” undermines the ARCC’s contention that the reason it was closed to the public is that there wasn’t enough room for both its members and the general public.

    And although I think the rage expressed during last summer’s town hall meeting was completely hysterical, largely irrational and not nearly as “spontaneous” as they pretended (like most of the Tea Party rage), that’s not an acceptable reason for candidates to hide from their potential future employers. I’d accept it if Murphy were saying it’s only August and people don’t pay attention to elections until the fall, you can’t avoid the public forever.

  2. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Isn’t it possible that it was the Chamber of Commerce that wanted to have an exclusive debate?

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