AETN debates set next week: Mark Martin will dodge it | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, October 11, 2014

AETN debates set next week: Mark Martin will dodge it

Posted By on Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 10:38 AM

click to enlarge WHERE'S MARK MARTIN: AETN schedule lists the Republiican incumbent as a no-show for secretary of state debate.
  • WHERE'S MARK MARTIN: AETN schedule lists the Republiican incumbent as a no-show for secretary of state debate.
You can go to the AETN website to get the rundown of times for its lineup of TV debates next week in races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor, lt. governor, attorney general and secretary of state.

Some will be broadcast live. Others will be taped, but "live streamed" on the web.

The key U.S. Senate debate will be streamed at 2 p.m. Monday — U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, Libertarian Nathan LaFrance and Green Party candidate Mark Swaney.

Major candidates are lined up for all the other races, EXCEPT ONE.

The website today still says the following about the debate in the race for secretary of state:

Event Name Secretary of State Debate - Taping/Livestream
Start Date 15th Oct 2014 10:00am
Description Secretary of state, with candidates Jacob Holloway (L) and Susan Inman (D), taping Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. in the University of Central Arkansas Reynolds Performance Hall. Incumbent Mark Martin (R) has not yet confirmed his participation.

I some days ago sent notes to Martin, his campaign manager Jason Cline (formerly of the Koch organization) and several office employees about his failure to respond to the debate invitation. I have received no response from anyone. Perhaps another member of the media will have better luck.

I'd love a photo of Mark Martin in action. He keeps such a low profile he has no profile at all. He faces a competent election law expert in Democratic opponent Susan Inman (who also, unlike Martin, has a pleasant personality and is readily available to reporters).

Mark Martin owes the voters of Arkansas an appearance in public — AETN or otherwise — to explain why he's better qualified for the job than Inman. His failure to adequately inform the public about the new voter ID law would be a good place for him to begin.

Where's Mark Martin? Anybody know? What's he afraid of? Maybe he's helping his wife in her campaign for mayor of Prairie Grove. Is she also running a stealth campaign that relies on a familiar name and not much else?

UPDATE: I heard from AETN this morning. A spokesman confirms Mark Martin alone among major candidates will not be participating in the debate.

He declined due to a scheduling conflict.

I've asked Martin's office what conflict arose that prevented his participation. I'm still awaiting a response to earlier requests for any evidence — photos, e-mail, official notes — that he actually exists.

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