A commenter asks:

Who really wanted this venue in the first place? IF it's a supporter of Stebbins, then this is a rigged situation no matter WHO attempts to run it correctly. And this accusation is based on her history in office.

So pony up on the originator's name and association, it shouldn't be a problem for an honest person to admit they simply wanted to offer a debate.

However, IF it's a Stebbings supporter, I must ask why the pay-to-play as there are places that might be had for free so as to broaden the general public participation.

If its known who wanted this format then, perhaps, the nay sayers will be more trusting and positive.

Um, hello?

I picked the venue. And I'll tell you why I picked the Northwest Center, but I must admit that my reason is quite nefarious: It's the first place I thought of.

Seriously. I thought of it. I called them. It was available. And who is underwriting it? I am.

Who picked the format? David and I did. Why? Because it's different and interesting. Because we want a format where the candidates are challenged a bit, rather than simply reciting talking points. If they don't want the money, they can certainly donate it to charity.

A friend of mine who has a great deal of political experience warned me that there would be all kinds of caterwauling and bitching. He was right. Wow, was he right.

But yes, I picked the venue. You see, there is quite a bit of legwork involved in setting this up. We had to work with the Commissioner of Political Practices on the format. We had to try to get coordinated with the CMR Debate Team, the coach of which is very busy (as are the students). We had to line up the moderator.

So I guess I didn't feel a huge obligation to try to find some venue that someone else might find more appropriate. I picked one, it's available, I booked it. I put my money down in the hope that enough people will show up that I break even.

If most people won't show up and pay $5.00, then I guess I'm out the money.

Now maybe you can tell us who you are?


david said...

Mayor Stebbins has nothing to do with this debate (unless, of course, she decides to participate). She has not been involved in planning it, selecting the site, setting the rules, or any other aspect of it.

This reason for this debate is quite simple: people like me, GeeGuy, and plenty of others want to take a more active role in our local government, and we don’t want to wait around for the Tribune or KRTV to organize a “debate” — and I use quotes around the word because most of what passes for a “debate” (on the state and national level, too) is usually nothing more than bland questions being met with canned responses from the candidates that, while they may reveal where a politican stands on an issue, often reveal very little about how candidates will actually govern and lead.

If you don’t like the idea of the debate - great, then don’t show up! But if you want the opportunity to see the candidates responding to real questions, and interacting with citizens in a more lively forum than a press conference, then come on down!

GeeGuy said...

What he said!

mary jolley said...

"If most people won't show up and pay $5.00, then I guess I'm out the money."

Was that a typo? Is it 15 or 5 bucks?

GeeGuy said...

$5.00 is the admission fee. That is what I am looking to in order to be reimbursed.

Total is $15.00.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any idea who is running for what ???

GFgirl said...

We are 41 days away from the election. Where are the signs? I've seen only one. Why hasn't the media been talking about it to drum up interest and voter participation? Aside from knowing who is running for mayor and a couple of the city commission candidates, I can't remember who the other candidates are much less their position on anything, which is why I am planning to attend.

Anonymous said...

Ditto here, I'm going to the debate because I don't want to leave publication of the candidates' positions to some panty-waisted, mealey-mouthed half-assed reporting by the Trib. Way to go David and Gregg.

Anonymous said...

Five bucks is CHEAP if anybody cares about the direction of Great Falls.....where's the Tribune and TV stations been regarding candidates? Yep, AWOL. There
are seven candidates, so you'd think that the media could focus
on one candidate each for next seven weeks...a simple math problem...