Wednesday letters: Democrats’ debate schedule leaves foul taste
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On Aug. 6, the Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida), announced the presidential primary debate schedule. She brought news that there would be only six Democratic debates, with just four of them occurring before the earliest states make their votes for the nominee.
By the time the Democratic Party has its first debate on October 13, the Republicans will have already had three, keeping America’s attention on them the whole time. If the DNC wants to prevent having a huge disadvantage in coverage and exposure, they would be better served to allow more debates.
In the 2008 election cycle, while the DNC still hosted only six debates, news organizations were allowed to host their own. Networks such as MSNBC, CNN, NPR, and others hosted a total of 26 debates. In contrast, this cycle’s Democratic candidates must abide by a new exclusivity clause that bans them from taking part in any unsanctioned debate.
This could cost the Democratic Party the next presidential election. While Donald Trump increasingly becomes a household name and a serious contender, Hillary Clinton’s leading primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, remains unknown by a large percentage of the American population.
Wasserman Schultz continues to refuse to compromise on the debate schedule, despite protests at the Iowa State Fair and Martin O’Malley’s DNC summer meeting speech in which he called out the “rigged” debate schedule. Democrats need to make their voice heard by letting the DNC know that they will not stand for the new limited debate schedule.
Ryan Sullivan, Lake View
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Tom Minnerick, Elgin
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