From an MPBN release:
Three days after withdrawing from Maine Public Broadcasting's May 27th GOP gubernatorial debate, Republican candidate Bruce Poliquin says he will now participate.
Poliquin withdrew citing personal reasons, but a campaign spokesman contacted MPBN on Wedesday indicating that his schedule had been cleared, and that Poliquin would like to take part in the program.
The debate will be broadcast live on Thursday May 27th, from 8-9 PM, and will be hosted by Jennifer Rooks. The program will be simulcast on MPBN radio, television, and online at www.mpbn.net. It will be re-broadcast the following night at 8:30, Sunday, May 30 at 4pm, and Sunday June 6 at 9am. The debate -- along with all MPBN's Your Vote 2010 programs -- will be archived online at www.mpbn.net.
Bruce Poliquin will not be part of the MPBN Republican primary debate this Thursday due to "personal reasons," according to a post on MPBN political reporter A.J. Higgins' Capitol Connection Facebook page.
When asked, Poliquin campaign manager Brian Phillips declined to say what the candidate would be doing instead
"Campaigns generally don't discuss scheduling decisions," said Phillips by email "That said, it was a tough decision to miss this opportunity. We're confident that our campaign schedule is making good use of Bruce's time and reaching out effectively to voters."
The Poliquin campaign's weekly schedule, distributed by the Maine GOP, shows no public events on either Thursday, May 27th or Friday, May 28th.
The cancellation comes a few days after Higgins referred to Poliquin as a "skunk at the picnic" in an online column due to his estrangement from the other Republican candidates.
In an interesting preview of how they might go after each of the Republican candidates should they win the nomination, the Maine Democratic Party today released a list of proposed questions ahead of the GOP debate on Friday that go straight to their individual weaknesses.
You have decried the size of Government, yet you have spent almost your entire adult career on government payroll. How do you justify this apparent contradiction?
On the radio show The Watchman, you said you were in favor of rolling back the Maine Human Rights Act which received voter support in 2005. Is this true or was it simply a talking point for a conservative audience?
After living full time only 6 years in Maine, in Cumberland Foreside; how can you understand the struggles that Mainers across the state are facing?
You have called Welfare "economic slavery", do you stand by this assertion or do you think it might be offensive hyperbole?
You have consistently voted to raise taxes, even on Social Security benefits. How can your campaign platform decry high taxes?
It is public knowledge that while you were at the helm of American Skiing Company the business was overleveraged and required a bailout from an investment firm, yet in your recent TV ad you film yourself in front of the mountain and tout it as a success. How do you explain this inconsistency?
Your experience is from your time as a Wall Street banker during the largest economic decline in 80 years, yet you campaign on fiscal responsibility. How do you reconcile this inconsistency?
Video of last night's debate (via):
I'll let all the others talk about (hey, Kaplan's back!) the recent US Senate debates. I'd like to focus on the much more entertaining second district congressional debate between Congressman Mike Michaud and cantankerous Spanish-American War veteran John Frary.
The debate itself was thoroughly enjoyable to watch (assuming you didn't try to watch it on TV), mostly because both candidates seemed to be having a lot of fun.
Here are some highlights of Frary's enthusiastic rantings:
On a more serious note, the part of the debate I found most interesting was Mike Michaud's dance on abortion. Debate moderator Jennifer Rooks also took note and discussed it on MaineWatch the next day. Here's the clip:
Update: Frary's former employer, the Kennebec Journal, has no love for the professor, but he has gained some support from north of the border. Some writers for the Calgary-based libertarian publication Western Standard are big fans.
Some highlights from Wednesday's in-studio debate:
Update: Here's the full debate.
The last question of yesterday's US Senate debate was emailed in by "Jesse in Orono," who asked the candidates whether they believed Maine is better off than it was eight years ago. You can see their responses here at the 56:30 mark.
That sounded like something a guy I know named Jesse who lives in Orono might ask, and after a brief email exchange, he confirmed he was the origin of the question and sent along his thoughts about the candidates' responses.
I thought Susan Collins pretty much brushed my question off. The economic and energy crises certainly don't make things any better in Maine, but they're relatively recent developments that came as the result, not the cause, of our situation as whole. I thought her talk about partisan rancor was a platitude at best; it in no way addresses the policies that got us where we are or the ones that will take us into the future, and sounds hollow to me coming from a figure who has a record of siding with her party on so many key issues.
Tom Allen, I felt, did a better job of answering the question. Both candidates acknowledged that we certainly aren't better off today than we were in 2000, but Allen discussed some of the decisions that got us where we are and how he, unlike his opponent, opposed them. He also spoke of our need for change, which I appreciated; it is a topic oft-discussed in the Presidential Race, but the next President won't be able to effectively enact real change without a Congress that is ready to do the same.
Take this with a grain of salt. Jesse, a Democrat, says he's "not an undecided voter by any means."
New fundraising numbers show both Allen and Collins raised about a million dollars in the third quarter. Collins, however has $3.34 million cash on hand, almost twice Allen's $1.67 million. Neither campaign has to rely solely on their own fundraising, with the DSCC backing Allen and NFIB and other groups running ads for Collins.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will be campaigning with Allen later this week. I'm sure the Allen camp considers that a fitting partnership as they attempt to duplicate Whitehouse's success in knocking off a popular northeastern Republican.
The debate today was the most interesting of the exchanges I've seen so far. I'll have some more on that soon.
The Press Herald/WMTW US Senate debate will be streamed live at www.wmtw.com starting at noon.