25 September, 2006

Sounds Of Silence Greet Two Democratic Congressional Hopefuls



John Hall and Kirstin Gillibrand have a few things in common.

Both are Democrats running for Congress from upstate New York.

Both are relative political novices running against entrenched incumbent Republicans.

Both have been trying to get their entrenched incumbent Republican opponents to debate.

Both are hearing nothing from the other side about a debate.

Both are growing impatient.

John Hall's campaign has been sending press releases nearly every day, trying to coax a debate with his Republican opponent in the 19th District, Rep. Sue Kelly.

Each day those press releases highlight a differenct topic Hall would like to debate with Kelly.

So far, no debate is scheduled and only six weeks remain until election day.

So, today I'm going to let John Hall have his say, or at least a platform to make his case.

Hall's call for debates started last week.

The initial challenge was followed up two days later with Hall calling for a debate on the war in Iraq.

Then came Hall's criticism of what he considers the shortcomings of the Medicare prescription drug plan for seniors.

Today it was a call for a debate to discuss national security and the administration's perceived shortcomings on that issue.

So far the Kelly campaign has not responded to Hall, or anyone else, about the prospect of debating her opponent.

Kelly's working with about a million more dollars than Hall, so, for what it's worth, here's a little free daylight for Hall's proposals and his criticism of Kelly.

Kelly, meanwhile, is running two radio ads, one of which portrays Hall as a tax-raiser. The blog on her campaign Web site also takes stab at portraying Hall as a flip-flopper, or at least a hedger, on the question of impeachment of President Bush (something I wasn't aware was on the table).

GILLIBRAND HECKLED

Today in Albany, Gillibrand, the Democrat running against Rep. John Sweeney in the 20th District, was heckled as she attended an event to show her opposition to the privatization of Social Security.

Capitol Confidential reports the heckling was an attempt to get Gillibrand to release her tax filings.

Meanwhile Sweeeney, according to the Plattsburgh-based Press Republican newspaper, has been named among the twentiest most-corrupt members of Congress by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

According to the newspaper, the group is criticizing Sweeney for his role in the Congressional Winter Challenge controversy, putting his wife on the campaign payroll and his "cozy" relationship with a trade group representing the boating industry.

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