Monday, August 09, 2010
Dem PRC Candidate Bill McCamley Challenges Opponent to Series of 10 Debates
Democrat Bill McCamley, a candidate for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) in District 5, sent a letter (see below) this morning to his Republican opponent, Ben L. Hall, challenging him to engage in a series of 10 candidate forums across the District during August and September. McCamley was critical of a lack of adequate interaction with voters in the current campaign environment, and urged Hall to join him in engaging in in-depth public discussions about the kind of complex issues with which the PRC regularly deals.
Because both he and Hall are publicly funded candidates with limited budgets, McCamley views the forums as an excellent opportunity to communicate directly with possible constituents instead of relying on expensive ads or shallow, bumper-sticker sloganeering.
McCamley suggested that Chambers of Commerce, the League of Women Voters or other neutral organizations be asked to partner with the candidates to set up and run the forums so they will be fair, orderly and policy-oriented.
It will be interesting to see how Hall responds to McCamley's challenge. Republican candidates have seemed more than a little reticent this year to engage in the kind of live, detailed discussions about proposals and policies that happen at public forums. For instance, Dem gubernatorial candidate Diane Denish has proposed 8 debates with her GOP opponent Susana Martinez, as well as 2 debates between the candidates for lieutenant governor. So far, the Martinez camp has agreed to only one debate, hosted by APS and scheduled for August 19.
See McCamley's letter to Hall below the break:
One of the problems with our current campaign environment is the lack of interaction voters have with candidates for office. Too many times people have to rely on sound bites that they get from short TV/Radio ads, limited mailers, or signs as their sole source of information about a candidate. This is one of the things that has led to the degradation of trust between elected officials and the people that they represent.
While a discussion about issues is important for any political position, it is even more so for the Public Regulation Commission. The breadth and depth of the issues that the PRC deals with, and their impact on the everyday lives of New Mexicans, means that it is vital for people to have a chance to interact with us in an environment that will allow them to truly ascertain certain things about us. These include:
- Backgrounds and experiences
- Our knowledge of the issues involved in this office
- Proactive measures we would take in fields that the PRC is responsible for
- Questions that we would ask regulated interests and other parties when cases are brought before us
- Our overall thought process involving these issues
- How the PRC should improve its ethical standing
Furthermore, since we are both participating in this election as publicly financed candidates with limited budgets for traditional campaign strategies, the opportunity to communicate directly with possible constituents in a thoughtful, meaningful, and detailed manner should be something we should seek with open arms.
Therefore I am inviting you to join me in a series of forums across the PRC’s 5th District during the months of August and September. This district encompasses all or a major part of 10 counties (plus one precinct in Torrance County). I propose that we request that the Chambers of Commerce, League of Women Voters, or other neutral organizations partner with us in setting up these forums in each of the following communities:
- Belen or Los Lunas
- Truth or Consequences
- Las Cruces
- Silver City
It has been a number of years since anyone has participated in a comprehensive series of debates like this would be, and hopefully it would set a precedent for candidates in other races.
I look forward to your response to this offer.
Democratic Candidate for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, District 5
To see our previous posts on 2010 PRC races, visit our archive.
Just wish McCamley would go out and get a real job that pays real money. I think he thinks his job is running for office all the time.
Posted by: Workin It | Aug 9, 2010 3:57:05 PM
The above comment is nonsensical.
McCamley has my vote.
Posted by: qofdisks | Aug 10, 2010 7:59:47 AM
Isn't it wierd how we treat elected officials in this country? We want wonderful service, but we don't want to pay them, and they better not get anything for themselves. Oh, and they usually need to raise lots of money for their camapaigns. And experience in governing isn't considered good preparation for a job in government.
Posted by: Michelle Meaders | Aug 10, 2010 8:40:26 AM
On candidate debates: since when is the Chamber of Commerce a neutral party? They have weighed in on and funded many candidates and issues. But if we know their slant, we can take it into consideration, and perhaps have a co-sponsor with a different agenda. The trick is who provides the questions, and who is in the audience.
Posted by: Michelle Meaders | Aug 10, 2010 8:45:11 AM
A fine idea. The PRC has quite an impact on our lives. Voters should have the opportunity to hear from the candidates.
If the debate is held in Los Lunas, I'll be there if I'm in town.
Posted by: Patricia | Aug 28, 2010 8:07:26 PM