Letter to the Editor: Election Season = Debates

I was a bit disappointed the other day, when I read in the Winchester Star, that Sen. Jill H. Vogel is unwilling to debate her Democrat opponent Shaun Broy.  Why Not??  I’d certainly attend the event.  I want to make an informed choice when I pull the lever on Election Day.

Clarke Daily News - Opinion & Editorial

I am a member of a small local TEA Party and we invited Shaun to speak before our group, along with Republicans Randy Minchew & John Whitbeck.  I found Shaun to be a serious, articulate & well meaning candidate.  I liked his support of term limits & the 2nd amendment.  There were issues I did not agree with.  That aside, what is the harm in politicians standing at the podium & providing their constituents with information on their positions.

My disappointment was only exacerbated when I learned that the Virginia Associated Press (AP) Managing Editors and Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association (VCCA) were going to host a debate between George Allen (R) & Tim Kaine (D) in December.  The Primaries aren’t even close to being decided and only these two are debating??  Why isn’t the forum open to Democratic candidate & Marine Corps veteran Courtney Lynch or Julien Modica a health care advocate?  There are several good candidates on the GOP side of the fence.  Jamie Radtke a TEA Party favorite, E. W. Jackson a Christian conservative, Tim Donner a successful businessman and David McCormick a professional Lawyer.

Are we now letting the media pick the “presumptuous” nominees of both the democratic AND republican parties months ahead of the primaries?

The citizens of Virginia deserve to hear all the policy positions that will frame this next election cycle, both 2011 & 2012.  We need candidates and media outlets to help us with open & honest discussion, not predetermined & restrictive information sources.

Ken Rion
TEA Party Member
Berryville VA


  1. Bill Templeton says:

    You raise an interesting set of questions, Mr. Rion. I found the comment from Senator Vogel’s chief of staff illuminating: “We don’t consider Mr. Broy to be a serious candidate.” Really? He’s the nominee of the Democratic party. The assumption must be that (A) they have money from donors like her daddy (Holtzman Gas, and all those Liberty gas stations) and (B) the district is so “red” that any other candidate is just a “token” candidate who doesn’t stand a chance? I’ve been impressed with her efforts in the General Assembly, but this angle surprised me.

    • I too would like to see debates, but Vogels camp may have a point with the “He’s not a serious candidate” thing. If you recall, Mr Broy introduced himself here a few months back as an “independant Green”, until some folks here pointed out to him some of the far left positions of that party. His replies to his decision to run with them were, shall we say, less than steady.

      Then Mr Broy introduced himself with a letter in the Star, saying he was the now the Democratic party nominee. However, in a reply to a poster, he said he was “born and raised a Democrat” and did not intially run as a Dem because he was “unsure of how to get the nomination”.

      Really? We have these things called “telephones” nowadays, where you can press some numbers and call anyone, even the head of the Democratic party in the area.

      If Mr Broy was not aware of a few basic things concerning politics, namely some of the positions of the first party he ran with, and secondly how to obtain the nomination of the second party he’s now running with, then why should anyone have any confidence he can understand the complexities of the issues that face Northern Virginia today?

      I think the country has had enough of politicians that talk a good game but have no clue what they are doing cough………..Obama…………….cough

      • Mr Mister says:

        More than likely she is going to win the election. Still, she acts as though it is in the bag. There are going to be the people who vote for her because they toe the party line. I want to feel I am voting for the candidate that suits my interest. I would like to hear Broy have a chance. There should be at least one debate. She needs to put in the effort.

        I think the country has had enough Unilateral voters that only support one party .

        • Sorry, but I voted for both Warner and Webb last time. Learned my lesson too. Two candidates that campaigned as conservatives and have been nothing but Obama “Yes” votes

      • 1) I never introduced myself as an Independent Green. That was not released in any press release or printed in any newspaper. I was attempting to challenge the incumbent, late in “the game” as an Independent, even though I am a Democrat. I did not believe that the incumbent should be allowed to just waltz back to Richmond with a free pass.

        2. I never said that I was “unsure of how to get the nomination,” as you once again misquoted me… I said that I thought it was too late in the process to secure the Democratic Nomination and it was indeed very close to not happening, as I officially filed just hours before the deadline on the last day to submit all of the documentation.

        3. Trying to marginalize me to the “far left” because I have supported the Independent Green Party’s key platform issues is wrong. If you visit their website anyone can clearly see that you are misleading with your statements. The Independent Green Party of Virginia has three main pillars…

        More Candidates, Less Apathy

        More Trains, Less Traffic

        Fiscally Conservative, Socially Responsible

        I still support those fundamental ideas, which aren’t consistent with how you characterize the organization. How do you get “far left positions” out of these issues? As you pointed out we have things called “telephones” these days, where you can press some numbers and call anyone that could have clarified this information for you. We also have this thing we call the internet and you can visit the Independent Green Party of Virginia’s website by typing in your address bar at the top of your browser the following: http://www.votejoinrun.us

        4. Please stop misquoting me and attempting to portray me as an idiot. This isn’t the first time that you have done so…

        I would be glad to meet with you and/or anyone else that would like to discuss the complexities of the issues that face Northern Virginia today.

        Warmest regards,

        Shaun Broy

  2. Naked Truth says:

    .When he starts beating her in the polls, then she’ll debate him. Vogel needs to act less arrogant. He needs to get his word out more. I would love to see them debate at least once. I read somewhere that Broy wanted six debates. I think all of us voters need to see both canidates address the issues.

    • Don’t forget how Vogel got there in the first place- with an old money funded slash and burn assault on her opponent, Karen Shultz in the eleventh hour. It was some of the lamest trash mailers I have ever seen. The other lasting impression from that election was Vogel’s un-cotillion like descent from her SUV when she arrived for the debate in Berryville. Talk about too much information!

  3. Vogel is a glib speaker and Shultz is not (I supported Shultz with money and time). Shultz also came across as too academic because her answers were truthful and required some elaborastion. Morro had the better ideas and policy suggestions and was a great orator – buy the vast majority of voters fear ideas and love slogans. (No More Car Tax) I supported Russ Potts when he ran as an independent. He was frozen out of debates as well – and he was a well known legislator. I complained bitterly to the debate sponsoring organizations. We are fighting two wars of choice that cost thousands of American lives and $2 billion per month to give Iraq and Afghanistan multi-party democracy. We can’t do it here becauce the two major parties want control – not what would be good for ‘we the people’. We need rigid term limits.

  4. Roscoe Evans says:

    Politicians who refuse to debate their opponents, in my opinion, demean the political process and the voting public, both. Sure, it may be a reasonable tactical decision to not elevate minor or fringe or less popular opposing candidates to positions of apparent equivalence by sharing the stage with them. But an incumbent who refuses debate isn’t just acting smartly or arrogantly, she is presuming an entitlement to office that just does not exist in a democracy, or at least not in my home district. I already had one reason not to favor Ms. Vogel with my vote. This position of hers clinches my decision: Anybody But Vogel. How about that for a campaign slogan, Mr. Broy?

  5. I think there are a lot of folks around here that have a bad taste in their mouth regarding Jill Holtzman-Vogel. I have had the opportunity to hear Mr. Broy speak and agree that he is very articulate. He speaks “common sense” and really connected with the audience.

    I agree with Roscoe… ANYBODY BUT VOGEL! Mr. Broy certainly is the underdog, but I think he may very well surprise a lot of people come Election Day. He is from Clarke County as well, which is a huge PLUS in my book.