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There have been many invitations to participate in debates and forums coming through our office. The public certainly deserves to hear from each of the candidates. Unfortunately, we’re receiving multiple reports that each time we confirm, the governor cancels. It seems that Rick Perry has learned, over the years, that in order to protect his incumbent status he must be in total control of who he is on stage with and holds the media hostage to his demands.
University of Houston students planned a huge Texas gubernatorial forum. Sixteen Republican and non partisan conservative organizations came together to host the event. They rented the theatre and called the media. Production took months. They called Rick Perry’s office to make sure they scheduled it on a day when he could attend. In the end, after months of planning and selling tickets to cover the cost, Perry would not show. The students and other groups had to return ticket money in disappointment.
In early November, the Texas Press Association scheduled a gubernatorial debate in Galveston. “We thought it would be great for the city of Galveston to have the publicity surrounding such an event,” stated Ed Sterling of the Association. The city would have benefited economically and since the devastation of Hurricane Ike they have undergone a tremendous amount of hardship. The invitations were sent and Rick Perry and Kay Bailey were confirmed. Debra Medina was confirmed and two days later we were told the event was canceled as the demands of Rick Perry were not being met. The sponsor had invited all the candidates.
KERA, a public broadcasting station in Dallas, is publicizing that Rick Perry and Kay Bailey will be debating on January 14th. During an interview earlier in the year, they had assured us that Debra would be included as she had already met the criteria of the station. “When I called on November 19th, Shelley Kofler, News Director for KERA let me know that Debra is not invited to debate at this time, even though we meet their criteria,” said Penny Langford Freeman, Medina’s campaign manager. “There are demands by the other candidates, even to where the mic and the seating is placed. So much cost goes into the production that we can’t risk having the two front runner candidates canceling.” Kofler stated.
This is how fat cat incumbents perpetuate their political career: holding the media hostage to their demands thus preventing open and transparent debate by all the candidates.
“I have been a grass roots activist for a long time. I have seen this type of thing go on and voters deserve to know about it. Governor Perry has taken on the attitude of arrogant aristocracy. This sort of behavior is why the public trust in our elected officials is at an all time low and the word “politician” has become synonymous with “cheat and liar,” said challenger Debra Medina.
“We know that it is not against the law for Rick Perry to cancel but the arrogant demands that he be allowed to dictate who else is on stage is a tragic abuse of power that ultimately harms the very public he is sworn to serve,” Medina added.
Why does Rick Perry have so little respect for the voters and the rule of law? Why doesn’t he want to have healthy debate with all of the candidates? “I will tell you why” said Langford Freeman, “Not only is he arrogant. He does not want you to hear what is really going on in this state and he knows that Debra Medina is dedicated to telling the truth.”
The Debra Medina campaign will press on all fronts to insure that the people are given the opportunity to hear from all the candidates. “If Rick Perry wants what is best for Texas, he will stop these aristocratic power plays and show up to debate ALL candidates. Texans deserve to hear that debate,” said Medina.
“We are demanding that he come down off of his royal high horse and talk to the people who pay his salary,” Langford Freeman said.