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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PRC Candidate Bill McCamley Responds to Opponent's Refusal to Debate

BillMcCamley120x160 BenHall
Bill McCamley, Ben Hall

Why doesn't Ben Hall, the GOP candidate for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) in District 5, want to publicly debate the issues with Bill McCamley, the Democratic candidate for the job? What is he afraid of?

On August 9th, Bill McCamley invited Ben Hall to a series of debates across Southwest New Mexico. In his letter (which can be read here), McCamley stated, “the opportunity to communicate directly with possible constituents in a thoughtful, meaningful, and detailed manner should be something we should seek with open arms.”

Sounds reasonable to me, but apparently Hall would prefer to avoid any public interaction with McCamley so voters are denied an opportunity to compare and contrast the candidates and their positions on the issues, up close and personal. Mr. Hall responded to McCamley's letter by refusing the debate invitation in a letter that can be seen here. The letter is well worth a read as it speaks volumes about Hall's difficulties with coherent communication -- which just might be a major reason he doesn't want to debate McCamley.

Hall's Failure to Communicate
In his response letter, Hall stated that, “The purpose of out two party system in this country is to allow voters at least two points of view before they elect some one to a political office, just because two opposing candidates do not interact with one another along the campaign trail that does not lead to the degradation of trust between the public and elected officials [sic].” He also stated, “I can interact with the public and inform them of my background, knowledge of issues and my experience thru my web site, e-mail and the many forms of media that are available [sic].”

Despite what he says, Mr. Hall doesn't seem very diligent about talking to the media about his views either. Michael Johnson, Editor of the Alamogordo Daily News, in a response on his blog said, “McCamley has visited with me personally -- in my office -- three times and talked with my reporters several more times at various events. Hall has not contacted me or any of my editorial staff at the Daily News -- not even through the many forms of aforementioned media he cites to McCamley.” (Full blog post can be seen here).

“It’s a shame that Mr. Hall is refusing to interact with me. A series of debates would have educated the public both about the PRC and where we stand on its issues," McCamley said in response. “If he won’t engage with me during the campaign, what does that say about his ability to be effective in Santa Fe where there is a constant need to communicate and converse in order to protect the public? I stand ready to discuss creating accountability and trust at the PRC with him should he change his mind.”

McCamley: Proactive and Engaged
A lot is at stake in the November election and McCamley has been proactively following the issues and speaking out about his views. As a serious candidate should.

For instance, PNM is proposing to raise rates on communities within PRC District 5 by more than 20%. McCamley has pointed out that he has attended 7 of 8 public meetings PNM has had within the District since June to talk about these issues (“Rate Hike Dominates PNM Forum,” Ruidoso News, July 15 2010. “McCamley Runs for PRC 5 Seat, Shares Little Known Facts,” Alamogordo Daily News, Aug 7, 2010. “PNM Executive: Rate Hike is Necessary,” Silver City Sun-News, August 26, 2010). 

McCamley says he has also attended every electric co-op annual meeting, met with mayors and fire chiefs in Silver City, Lordsburg, Deming, Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Ruidoso, Truth or Consequences, Socorro, Belen and Los Lunas, and has participated in candidate forums in Rio Communities, Cliff and Santa Teresa. According to McCamley, he has driven over 10,000 miles since the beginning of June talking with constituents across the 5th District. 

Hall: Hiding Out
In stark contrast, it appears that Ben Hall has been dedicated to hiding out from the public, keeping his positions to himself and -- most of all -- staying as far away as he can from Bill McCamley. Shame on Mr. Hall for denying voters the opportunities they deserve to compare the candidates and ask probing questions on their views. 

I guess Hall thinks he can get away with putting up a ton of campaign signs and fooling voters with bumper-sticker platitudes and still win. Let's make sure he's dead wrong on those counts. Make sure your friends, colleagues, neighbors and family members in the 5th PRC District know the score on Ben Hall and his stubborn refusal to debate the issues.

August 31, 2010 at 11:55 AM in 2010 NM PRC Races | Permalink


Please people don't let Ben Hall win this election. He's a crackpot and a crook. He would make those other crackpots on the PRC look sane. Vote for McCamley and give the only good PRC guy Jason Marks someone he can work with!

Posted by: Cruces | Aug 31, 2010 2:47:52 PM