I’ve gotten news today that Sheriff Laurie Smith is avoiding answering requests to appear in forums and debates that would put her up against Kevin Jensen in a public venue.
Today, Danielle Pirslin of FOP Lodge 52 posted her blog about how she participated in the San Jose Mayor’s Forum recently and found it “entertaining” and “huge success.” She goes on to note that in this debate season, the only debate that hasn’t happened is a Sheriff’s debate. A debate that isn’t likely to end in a run off race with only two candidates so will be determined in the June 3rd vote. Danielle points out that all invitations have been sent out and responses received… from all but one, Sheriff Laurie Smith. Danielle further hits the nail on the head with this:
When a Candidate refuses to participate or fails to show up at a forum with debates like this, it suggests a disrespect for the voters and is frustrating to those who really care about our city’s future. To have a cynical attitude or a sense of entitlement to the position without a challenge, competition or debate to earn votes from the public is ignorant and demonstrates weakness, not strength. This could even send the message to the public the candidate has something to hide and fears the truth will come out in a debate to expose them.
Debates make no difference in campaigns, especially in races where one candidate is so strong, that to share a stage with their opponent is a waste of time for the electorate and themselves. The marginal candidates relish the attention of being seen as an equal, if only for a short period of time. They also gain a forum to spout their tin-hat grievances, conspiracies and simplistic solutions to complex problems facing society. — Rich Robinson, April 3, 2014, San Jose