State Rep Candidates Debate Debates
Candidates for state representative in eastern Somerville and Cambridge have been debating when, where and how to hold debates.
Just when, where and how was still up for grabs as of Friday evening.
In a series of emails among the candidates, which were also addressed to members of the local media, Connolly, who's running a "no money" campaign—supporters can visit his website and pledge $0.0 to his effort—challenged Toomey and Vasconcelos to five debates throughout the month of October. He suggested the debates be held in different parts of the district, which encompasses eastern Somerville and eastern Cambridge.
Toomey, in turn, suggested the candidates hold one unmoderated televised debate, a no-holds-barred affair in which the candidates could pose questions to each other.
Connolly, in response, said his original proposal of five debates would "have allowed for the greatest number of people to be directly engaged in the debate this fall." He said one debate would be the "bare minimum" and would lead to the perception that Toomey was "running out the clock" until the election.
Connolly suggested a compromise in which the candidates would debate three times: once in Cambridge, once in Somerville and once on television.
To which Toomey suggested two televised debates in front of live audiences, one to be held in Cambridge, one to be held in Somerville. He said, "I do insist, though, that any debates we hold are televised, live-streamed, rerun and posted on the web. After all, we are trying to reach as many residents as possible."
Vaconcelos, responding Friday afternoon to the other two candidates, suggested two live debates, one in each city. "We should not be hiding in a small studio somewhere in Somerville or Cambridge. I want the public to be able to interact with the candidates," he wrote.
Vasconcelos also wrote, "I am worried that a single unmoderated debate will turn into a very long, unstructured/awkward, bore fest. I truly believe that we can get more people to view the debate if we hold a moderated debate in a large-capacity auditorium or function/banquet hall."
Later Friday evening, Connolly wrote, "I am pleased to agree to meet with you for two debates, with one in Somerville, and one in Cambridge." He suggested they be televised and that at least one of the debates be moderated, and he concluded, "I trust that our campaigns will be able to work out the final details in the coming days."
As of Friday evening, those details were not yet determined, but it's fair to say that if the debate about the debates is any indication, the actual debates will be fun to watch.