DeWine Debate Watch: Day 4
September 1, 2022
Columbus, OH — As debate season starts to ramp up in the closing weeks and days of the election cycle, Mike DeWine has continued to duck committing to debates across Ohio with Mayor Nan Whaley, even as the Mayor has already publicly agreed and challenged DeWine to a number of debates. DeWine also dodged a debate with his primary opponents earlier this year, signaling that he is scared to defend his record to Ohioans, especially since he’s debated political opponents in the past. It’s ‘DeWine Debate Watch’ Day 4, reminding Ohioans that DeWine won’t even try to make his case to them as he seeks re-election to the highest statewide executive office.
“Mike DeWine clearly knows his record over the last four years of selling out working families in favor of the wealthy and well-connected is not going to be popular with Ohio voters. If DeWine can’t even muster the political courage to tell Ohioans why they should re-elect him, he doesn’t deserve the job and should be held publicly accountable for his cowardice,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson Matt Keyes.
Ohioans deserve answers from DeWine on a number of key issues, including his promise to ‘go as far as we can’ to rip away reproductive rights, his broken promise to ‘do something’ to combat gun violence in Ohio, his connections to the largest public corruption scandal in state history and his role in the failed redistricting process that produced GOP-gerrymandered maps and cost Ohioans millions of dollars.
Read more from Ohio Capital Journal here and below:
Ohio Capital Journal Commentary: Healthy Public Debate is The Essence of Democracy
September 1, 2022
- [I]n America, we obviously have a Constitutional Republic — a form of representative democracy — where the people vote for their representatives to public office theoretically in service of constituents and their interests.
- In either or any form, healthy, robust debate is critical to the functioning of small-d democracy.
- Those who would presume to be the embodied representation of the interests, needs, and desires of millions of people owe it to voters to subject themselves to the intellectual rigors of honest debate.
- The independent Ohio Debate Commission announced earlier this week that it has scheduled debates for Ohio’s 2022 General Election. This election will decide representation for the interests, needs, and desires of more than 11.7 million Ohioans, and includes every statewide executive office including governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and auditor; as well as Ohio Supreme Court races for the chief justice and two other justice seats; and Ohio’s next U.S. Senator.
- But thus far, only the Democratic candidates have agreed to participate. While Democrats Tim Ryan, running for Senate; Nan Whaley, running for governor; and Jennifer Brunner, running for chief justice, have all signed on, Ohio voters have gotten no such commitment from Republicans J.D. Vance, Gov. Mike DeWine, or Sharon Kennedy.
- DeWine, meanwhile, has done just about everything to say he doesn’t want to directly debate Whaley, without explicitly saying he doesn’t want to directly debate Whaley.
- My estimation is that DeWine doesn’t want to directly debate Whaley because he and his campaign feel the governor has little to gain but much to possibly lose by open public intellectual challenge to his record when it comes to, say, access to abortion, Ohio’s FirstEnergy Corp. political bribery scandal, or his participation in the unconstitutional gerrymandering of state legislative and congressional districts.
- Insofar as they may want to avoid talking about their positions and records on issues that do not poll well for them, presumably they are confident in their own arguments on the issues and that their ideas on, say, immigration, the economy, inflation, or gun laws may be persuasive for many.
- Nevertheless, they do not want to stand up and make their cases to the public in an independent, statewide public forum of tête à tête with their opponents.
- Healthy public debate is the essence of democracy. The free exchange of ideas is a touchstone of a free and open society.
- To cower before that challenge on the rostrum of the American Pynx is an open intellectual insult to the more than 11.7 million people they seek to represent.