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I Challenge Bill Richardson to a Debate

The Madrid campaign refused to participate in televised debates prior to early voting because of campaign strategy. They just don’t think it is in their candidate’s best interest to be seen by a wide audience in what all agree is one of the most competitive races in the country.

Governor Bill Richardson decided not to debate because… well… because he just didn’t feel like it. According to every poll, Bill Richardson is leading John Dendahl by a large margin. Bill Richardson has millions upon millions in his campaign coffers and Dendahl doesn’t even have tens of thousands.

Richardson not debating Dendahl is an affront to the political process, and it is an insult to all New Mexicans. I only hope that all living former Governors of the State of New Mexico stand up for the Democratic process and stand up for New Mexicans, by publicly letting Bill Richardson know that it is not okay to unilaterally decide to shut out New Mexicans.

I can’t imagine any New Mexican not being offended by the statement made by Richardson campaign manager, Amanda Cooper:

“The governor debating at the U.N. or with a world leader for the release of a hostage is different from somebody who had made it clear that his intent is negative attacks that bring down the state,” said Richardson campaign manager Amanda Cooper.

Maybe someone should remind Ms. Cooper exactly what is going on lately at the U.N. Does she really think that John Dendahl could do worse than Hugo Chavez’s recent speech at the U.N. And which “world leader” is Bill Richardson known to have debated in order to secure the release of a hostage. The last I checked Richardson had “negotiated” with a few of the world’s most despised dictators – none of whom any sane person would mistake as a world leader.

Oh and one more thing, since when is an attack on Bill Richardson considered an attack on the State of New Mexico. Last I checked, they WERE NOT one in the same. I mean is it just me, or does that statement seem like something that you would expect to come out of the mouth of a spokesperson for Fidel Castro, “A negative attack on Castro is a negative attack on Cuba.”

All this begs the question, who will Bill Richardson debate about the issues facing New Mexico? I know, how about me?

What do you say Richardson?

Just you and me.


I couldn’t possibly take away points from you in the election because I’m not on the ballot. Plus, I’ve got a proven track record of debating in a televised forum without resorting to personal attacks that bring down the state of New Mexico.

So, how about it?

You could come on The Line and debate me. You can bring all the notes you need. I won’t even have a paper and a pen. We can let Gene Grant moderate, and I’ll even let you pick the topics – education, economic development, tax policy, national security, immigration. You get to pick your poison.

So, how about it Governor? Will you debate one of your constituents, or are we just not worth your time?

Update: One veteran reporter is so offended by Richardson’s refusal to debate that he launched a blog. I really hope more of the media are inspired to speak out. I’m also waiting to see which of our elected politicians have the backbone to call Richardson to task.