Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wiener Waffles on SF Chron Endorsement Forum
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis

(Cross-posted at our campaign site.)

The San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 28th called out Gov. Jerry Brown for long refusing then finally relenting to debate his GOP challenger Neel Kashkari, and issued a few grand pronouncements about democracy and incumbents (

"Face-to-face debates between candidates are central to a healthy democracy. Politicians may want to avoid them - especially incumbents with big leads and hefty war chests - but voters deserve to see a side-by-side comparison between candidates who want to attain or retain key public offices. [...] Voters should be wary of candidates who are reluctant to subject themselves to real scrutiny."

On Monday, we accepted the Chronicle's invitation to participate in an editorial board forum scheduled for Sept. 25th with the District 8 Supervisor and all of his challengers, and we told the paper about a stay-away order that a judge has modified allowing for the incumbent to appear at debates with Michael. The Chronicle didn't keep its promise to provide us with layout and seating details by Tuesday, to present to the judge.

The Bay Area Reporter tonight notes the incumbent's stand on joining the Chronicle's forum (

"Wiener has repeatedly said he will not participate in any forums that include Petrelis. But when asked this week by the B.A.R. if he would skip the Chronicle endorsement meeting should the judge allow Petrelis to attend, Wiener was noncommittal. 'It's too soon to say,' he said. 'The Chronicle is aware of the situation.'"

Yes, we agree with the Supervisor that the paper is aware of the sticky situation and may now be trying to wiggle out of the invitation to us and the editorial board forum, which is why the Chronicle has broken its promise to get back to us yesterday.

Could it be that the Chronicle was ignorant of their favorite Supervisor's adamant refusal to engage in the democratic process of debates with all of his electoral opponents?

Permit us to state we also concur with the paper's contention that voters should be skeptical of politicians unwilling to debate and be scrutinized. It will be very interesting, to say the least, to hear what the Chronicle has to say about the incumbent's reluctance to join a forum with Michael at the table.

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