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Democratic congressional hopefuls to debate twice next week


Democrats vying to represent the North Coast in Congress will answer questions at two forums next week, one of them live at Petaluma City Hall on Tuesday and the other streaming online Wednesday by a Petaluma media collaborative.

Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams, Assemblyman Jared Huffman of San Rafael, Petaluma City Councilwoman Tiffany Renee and Marin activist Norman Solomon will participate in the Tuesday night forum at City Hall sponsored by the Sonoma County Young Democrats.

A fifth candidate, San Rafael businesswoman Stacey Lawson, has not confirmed her participation, said Gabe Kearney, chairman of the group.

The five Democrats and Republican Dan Roberts, a prospective candidate, will also appear Wednesday night in a online forum produced by California North Coast Media and Pixel Corps Studios of Petaluma.

A sixth Democrat, prospective candidate William Courtney of Mendocino County, may join the online forum.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s announced retirement created a wide-open race for Congress in a district that runs from Marin County to the Oregon border, excluding Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park.

Woolsey has represented a compact district covering Marin and most of Sonoma County since 1993.

Kearney will moderate the Tuesday forum and pose prepared questions — formulated by the Young Democrats — to the candidates. Some questions submitted on cards by members of the audience also will be included, he said.

The forum is free and open to the public, but seating in the Petaluma City Council chambers is limited to about 100 people.

Only Democratic candidates were invited to participate, said Kearney, a Petaluma councilman, because the forum is part of the Young Democrats’ interview process for endorsing one of the candidates.

The forum will be from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday and will be videotaped by Petaluma Community Access, a local cable television station.

The candidates will gather the following evening for an online forum, starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The debate will open with 90 minutes of prepared questions posed by moderators Jason Davies, a Petaluma technology executive, and Connie Madden, a Petaluma writer, blogger and publicist.

A subsequent 30 minutes will feature questions from a pre-selected studio audience of 20 people and the online audience. The forum, held at Pixel Corps Studios, will not be open to the public.

It will be streamed live online at 6 p.m. at the California North Coast Media web site and will be posted on YouTube shortly after it concludes.

Roberts, a Tiburon securities broker, and Courtney, a Mendocino County physician and inventor, have both announced an intention to join the race for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

The 2012 primary will be an open contest, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the November election.

6 Responses to “Democratic congressional hopefuls to debate twice next week”

  1. Social Dis-Ease says:

    To CNCM: your statement is well taken.
    However it’s not the same as a spontaneous, organic , unrehearsed response. Our local government is controlling the process, from neighborhood associations on up. That’s why the ‘more of the same’ reaction was echoed by some of the citizens.

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  2. CNCM says:

    @ Social Dis-Ease

    To clarify, the forum on October 5th is in a video production studio with limited capacity and it will include members of the media and special guests of the candidates. It’s a video studio and as such it’s simply not a venue that can accommodate more than twenty people, but the intent is to allow anyone to view the event online and have access afterwards via YouTube, PCA, and other outlets. Those viewing the webcast will be able to post questions and rank them online. The questions that get the most votes by the viewing public will have top consideration.

    Regarding the questions for the CNCM/Pixel Corps event, the moderators will be asking questions on a range of issues of relevance but they will be general in nature – allowing the candidates to share their views and policy differences.

    Members of the public will have an opportunity to post questions to our web page in real time during the web cast and vote for the ones they like. The moderators will review this and make their best effort to ensure as many of the top questions as possible are answered in the time allowed.

    If you have suggestions for questions, you can certainly post them to CNCM for consideration before the event.

    Our goal is be as inclusive and interactive as possible while ensuring a positive and, hopefully, insightful opportunity for members of the public to hear from all the declared candidates and we are honored to provide the first forum for the new CA District 2 that will include candidates from both major parties. We’re looking forward to helping voters to learn more about our candidates and appreciate their participation.

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  3. Jim says:

    The debates are funny. All you get are canned responses from power-hungry candidates.

    I can answer all the questions right now. “We need to invest in green technology”, “end dependence on foreign oil”, “reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, “raise taxes on the rich to pay for more police, firemen and teachers”, “invest in our future by spending more money on education”, “raise taxes to fix roads”.

    Did I win the debate?

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  4. Commonsense says:

    I agree with Social, pre-selected questions don’t allow a voter to get any real idea of a candidate at all, and if questions are pre-selected, does that mean the candidates all get the opportunity to pre-prepare their responses?? That’s not a debate, that’s more like one of those reality tv shows..

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  5. Social Dis-Ease says:

    “A subsequent 30 minutes will feature questions from a pre-selected studio audience”…there we go again. How are the people supposed to select if the questions are pre-selected?
    I don’t want faux Democratic process, I want the real thing.
    Pre-selected. THAT’S our problem.

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  6. David says:

    The winner is the one who promises the most “free stuff” to the voters.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

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