Bob Moore, editor of the Coloradoan, sent an email today notifying the participants, organizers and the venue for a scheduled debate in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, that the event had been called off due to Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey’s unwillingness to agree to stipulated participation guidelines, ducking on the debate by insisting that all the candidates in the race–there are four–be allowed to participate:
“[…]The reason for the cancellation is that Rep. Markey will not agree to our ground rules, particularly that we will only include candidates who have demonstrated 10 percent or more support in opinion polls. That’s the standard 9News is using in their other debates this year, which will result in a two-way Senate debate and a three-way gubernatorial debate. [emphasis added]
[…]Having an hourlong televised debate after voting has begun, and devoting half the time in that debate to candidates who have demonstrated little public support, is not the best way to serve voters, in our opinion.
I’m sorry to have to do this, but it’s become clear in the past couple of days that we weren’t going to make any progress on the ground rules.
Republican Cory Gardner’s spokeswoman Rachel Boxer responded to the cancellation in an email to BATTLE ‘10:
“Debates are an important part of the process and help voters make informed decisions. That’s why it is a shame that this debate is being cancelled because Betsy Markey has dug in her heels and won’t agree to the ground rules set forth by 9News and the Coloradoan.”
The debate had been scheduled for October 16, four days after the November ballots will have begun to be distributed to mail-in voters. Colorado has a high permanent mail-in ballot participation, with 59.5 percent of the state’s voters choosing mail-in balloting.