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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Democrat scores Republican Irvin for dodging debate

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 9:01 AM

DEBATE CHALLENGE: Zac White issues it.
  • DEBATE CHALLENGE: Zac White issues it.
Zac White of Heber Springs, the Democratic candidate for Senate in District 18, says Republican Sen. Missy Irvin of Mountain View has been dodging a debate with him and independent candidate Paul White for three months. He says she claims she's too busy.

I've asked Senator Irvin why she hasn't been able to find a spare hour to allow voters to hear the candidates side by side.

TOO BUSY: Missy Irvin
  • TOO BUSY: Missy Irvin
The real reason is that she carries a title into the race, is a hard worker who won a solid victory her first time out and believes she'll have no trouble winning re-election. Thus the front-runner strategy. It would be nice to have an opportunity to ask Irvin about the legislative baggage she's carried for the Koch billionaires and other corporate special interests. You might remember she actually brought a staffer from the corporate Republican-controlled American Legislative Exchange Council to testify for one of her bills. Corporations have been fleeing ALEC membership since reporting about its driving influence behind voter ID legislation aimed at disenfranchising minority, black and elderly voters. Irvin also inveighs frequently about the evils of federal health care legislation and the expansion of Medicaid to serve poor people. She seems often to be more concerned about poor doctors' practices and billings, her husband happening to be one.

A word of praise for some other Republicans. There are any number of races in which well-financed corporate Republican candidates are widely expected to win with little difficulty over Democratic opponents, but they've nonetheless willingly joined debates and forums with opponents. A good example is Tom Cotton, Republican 4th District Congressional candidate, who's jousted multiple times with Democrat Gene Jeffress on TV and at forums that included the Green and Libertarian candidates. Anything less is an insult to voters. 2nd District Republican Rep. Tim Griffin, too, has been willing to appear with Democrat Herb Rule.

NEWS RELEASE

(Heber Springs, Ark.) — Today, Heber Springs small business owner and local State Senate District 18 candidate William “Zac” White publically criticized his opponent, State Sen. Missy Irvin, for dodging public debates before the upcoming November election. White said his campaign has spent nearly three months trying to arrange a debate between himself, Irvin and the independent candidate, Paul White, but Sen. Irvin is the only candidate who has repeatedly refused to schedule a date claiming she is “too busy” to talk to voters.

“The people of Arkansas want to look their candidates in the eyes and have them publically state where they stand on the issues before the election. So, why does Sen. Irvin continue to duck and dodge the voters of Arkansas? What does she not want the voters to know?” said Zac White. “As I travel throughout northern Arkansas listening to voters, they tell me they want a good, old-fashioned and fair debate between the candidates; they see candidates debating in other races and ask me why we aren’t. I tell them I will debate Sen. Irvin and Paul White ‘anywhere, anytime’ because I believe a live debate is one the best functions of our great democracy.”

Zac White is running to represent the people of State Senate District 18, which includes nine north-central Arkansas counties: all of Cleburne, Stone and Searcy; south Baxter and Marion; western Fulton and White; east Van Buren; and, northern Faulkner counties.

“The voters of Arkansas deserve better treatment and more respect from their state senator, but Sen. Irvin is apparently ‘too busy’ to talk to voters,” said Zac White. “Sen. Irvin does make time to fundraise with lobbyists, special interest groups and out-of-state organizations on private yachts, but can’t make time to face her own constituents in the district who she is asking for their vote? I think it’s clear who Sen. Irvin stands with — and it’s not middle class, working families in north Arkansas. I’m running for office because the people of my district are tired of being ignored and want a real voice in our state Capitol again.”

Zac White said his campaign has tried since late July to organize a one-hour debate with nonpartisan and objective moderators with all three candidates for Senate District 18, including the independent candidate Robert “Paul” White, who has publically agreed to a debate. However, Zac White said Sen. Irvin’s office has refused to even suggest a date or time and her office recently said the state senator was “too busy” to debate with a full schedule until Election Day.

“I believe in open and honest government and accountability to the people of Arkansas, which is why I pledged not to take any campaign contributions from corporations or lobbyists, unlike Sen. Irvin who continues to do so without hesitation. And, it’s why I support a public, live debate between all the candidates for Senate District 18,” said Zac White. “Sen. Irvin was silent on Ethics Reform. And, now she’s silent on debating, dodging the voters? The people of Arkansas deserve better treatment from their elected officials.”

Zac White has urged people who live in northern Arkansas to contact Sen. Irvin and encourage her to agree to a public debate. Her public campaign e-mail is MissyThomasIrvin@gmail.com and her campaign phone number is 870-269-2703. Letters may also be sent to P.O. Box 106, Mountain View, AR 72560.

For more information about Zac White and his campaign for the state senate, please visit www.WhiteforSenate.com.

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