Mike Thompson Watch


Debating Without Thompson

(October 5, 2010)

With Congress in recess, I thought I'd reproduce a debate notice from Mike Thompson's Republican challenger for Congress, Loren Hanks. This is not meant as an endorsement for Hanks.

This campaign has set up a Candidate Forum on October 8th at the Yountville Community
Center in Yountville, California from 7-8:30 p.m. All candidates were notified,
and our motive was to get a debate EARLY in the voting cycle - after all, absentee
ballots will start going out tomorrow.

Mike Thompson has indicated he will only do two debates - and those are so late
in the voting cycle that most of the mail-in-ballots will have been returned. I
believe his decision is unacceptable and an intentional evasion of the voters -
just as so many incumbents have evaded town halls and open forums since they began
to strong-arm the healthcare bill through the Congress last year, over the objections
of the people.

Many people are surprised to learn that in July, we challenged Mike Thompson to
four debates, and we issued a press release throughout the district at that time.
Unfortunately, they are surprised because it received little or no attention from
a generally disinterested press.

Subscribers to those disinterested local papers have every reason to question their
paper's political acuity in a time when there is a political awakening. TEA parties
are forming throughout the region and there is a direct challenge to an incumbent's
votes that are adding trillions of dollars of debt. Meanwhile, those papers see
fit to slumber on, even when news lands directly on their doorstep - or even more
easily for them, in their electronic inbox.

Many of those same voters are angry that an elected official would display such
arrogance that he would not respond directly to our campaign's outreach in July,
and that he dithered for weeks before finally deeming it worth his time to debate
on October 20th and 28th in Woodland and Eureka, respectively. It is easy to conclude
those actions do not meet the standards of political etiquette that we should hold
our elected representatives to, and that he owes his constituents. His actions
appear to be crafted to avoid open debate in a political environment that is unpleasant
for the incumbent - an environment entirely of his own making by virtue of his economically
ruinous votes.

Please spread the word: There will be a candidate forum on the 8th of October.
I will be there as the Republican nominee. Mike Rodrigues will be there as the
Libertarian nominee. Carol Wolman, the Green Party candidate, responded to us directly
that she will not be attending, and we wrote back immediately that she is still
welcome to attend or to put out campaign materials. We've been advised that Mike
Thompson will be on a three day trip to Humboldt County, but the invitation stands
for him as well. We will have a political discussion, with decorum, with breadth,
and with the direct input of the interested constituents. The political climate
in the 1st District should be the better for it.

As voters, we can do better, and we will. And the press could do better, and it


Loren Hanks



Thompson Watch Main Page

Mike Thompson is the current elected member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 1st Congressional District.