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DeFazio Challenges Robinson To Four Debates

Insists on audience participation and nonpartisan, community group sponsorship

(EUGENE,OR)- U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) today sent a letter to Republican candidate Art Robinson challenging him to meaningful, structured debates sponsored by nonpartisan and highly respected community organizations. DeFazio’s letter insists that Oregon voters be allowed to ask questions of the candidates at the events.

“In 2010 our campaigns agreed to participate in four geographically dispersed debates and forums sponsored by highly respected non-partisan community organizations,” said DeFazio. “Each of those debates and forums covered a wide range of important issues affecting the district and involved meaningful participation from audience members. These debates and forums were agreed upon and acceptable during the 2010 election, they should be acceptable this election as well.”

DeFazio emailed the letter following the results of the primary election.

BACKGROUND

According to unofficial results, Matthew Robinson’s percentage of the primary vote failed to exceed the average Democratic undervote in previous primary elections. According to unofficial results, Matthew Robinson received 9.5% of the Democratic vote. The 4th Congressional District Democratic primary undervote has averaged 10% in the previous four elections.

While Art Robinson ran unopposed, the undervote in the Republican primary for Congress was unusually high. According to unofficial results from six of the seven counties, at least 24.5% of Republicans in the 4th Congressional District did not mark their ballots for Art Robinson

DEFAZIO DEBATE LETTER

Dear Mr. Robinson,

As we enter into what is sure to be a spirited general election season, I wanted to contact you about future debates and candidate forums.

I look forward to the opportunity to expose the vast differences between my views and the views you have held and espoused for decades. Again, the constraints of the congressional schedule will take precedence over political events and events should occur after all Oregon nominating conventions are completed.

Last election our campaigns agreed to participate in four geographically dispersed debates and forums sponsored by highly respected non-partisan community organizations including the Roseburg Chamber of Commerce, Eugene City Club, Coos County League of Women Voters, Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and Corvallis Gazette Times. Each of the 2010 debates and forums covered a wide range of important issues affecting the district and involved meaningful participation from audience members.

These debates and forums were agreed to and acceptable during the 2010 election, they should be acceptable this election as well.

I have sent copies of this letter to a number of nonpartisan organizations with longstanding records for sponsoring highly regarded, well-run and participatory debates. Formats should be determined by sponsor organizations and should be geographically balanced.

Voters deserve a quality, issue-based, and detailed exchange which will help inform their decision in November.

Sincerely,

Peter DeFazio

Posted on May 16, 2012 in Press Releases.

As Independent as Oregon.

Peter DeFazio's common-sense proposals aim to create good-paying jobs, expand access to affordable health care and develop options outside of the for-profit marketplace, restore economic and educational opportunities, hold government accountable and tip the scales of inequality back in favor of hard-working Oregonians.

Meet Peter