A planned September 8th U.S. Senate debate to be hosted by WOOD-TV has been cancelled after Terri Lynn Land and her campaign staff failed to cooperate in setting it up.
From the Peters campaign:
WOOD-TV is canceling its proposed September 8th U.S. Senate debate because the Land campaign refused to coordinate with organizers. In response, Peters for Michigan Debate Negotiator, Former Lieutenant Governor John Cherry, today requested a meeting with Republican Terri Lynn Land and WOOD-TV to reschedule a debate in Grand Rapids.
Despite saying she would begin debate talks post-primary, Land refuses to discuss a debate schedule and still hasn’t appointed a debate negotiator to work with Cherry. The Peters campaign has accepted all debate invitations its received and is working with organizers in Detroit, Lansing, and Traverse City. Cherry will be working with WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids to reschedule.
Peters has called for a series of five debates but Land has failed to schedule even one. There’s little surprise in this. Her catastrophic encounters with journalists and other members of the media have contributed to the widening gap between her and Peters in the polls. The last thing that the Land campaign wants is for their candidate to have to answer unscripted questions in an uncontrolled environment.
Not dissuaded, Cherry sent the following letter to WOOD-TV requesting that they attempt to reschedule the proposed debate:
On behalf of the Peters for Michigan United States Senate Campaign, I wanted to introduce myself to you, and applaud your invitation and offer to host a debate between Congressman Peters and Secretary Land. The Congressman has appointed me as his representative in any discussions pertaining to debates and their format. He has also informed me that he has officially accepted your invitation. We are disappointed by WOOD-TV’s decision to cancel the debate because of Ms. Land’s refusal to discuss a debate schedule. Therefore, I am requesting a meeting with the station and Ms. Land and her campaign. It is imperative that discussions with Ms. Land and her campaign begin now so we do not miss another deadline. To that end I wish to make myself available to you so that we can accommodate your suggested time schedule.
The people of Michigan are faced with an historic decision this November: For the first time in 20 years, Michigan has an open U.S. Senate seat. Michiganders deserve to hear from both candidates, Gary Peters and Terri Lynn Land, about the issues and their vision for the future of our great state. I believe unvarnished, one to one interactions during a campaign can give voters a chance to hear candidates respond to tough, probing questions and learn more about a candidate’s view.
The United States Senate is commonly referred to as the world’s greatest deliberative body. Michiganders deserve – and expect – their next senator will start day one with debating skills to fight for Michigan among senators from 49 other states. I can think of no better way to demonstrate that one commands the skill and talent to excel in that environment than offering Michigan voters a firsthand glimpse through public debates in forums such as the one you offer.
On behalf of Gary, I wish to again thank you for the invitation to debate in Grand Rapids, and I am disappointed that we are forced to reschedule. I look forward to working with your station as well as Ms. Land’s campaign to coordinate logistics and a debate schedule that gives Michiganders the accessible, robust debates they deserve. This is the right time to have a good, old-fashioned political debate between two candidates seeking to represent the state of Michigan in the U.S. Senate.
While I give Cherry a great deal of credit for patiently trying to make this work, it’s clear that Terri Lynn Land is going to avoid even one debate lest she be exposed for the unqualified, unprepared candidate that she is.
In related news, Progress Michigan posted this satirical video today, one of an ongoing series called “Tuesdays with Terri” in which they use Land’s own words to show the absurdity of her campaign and just how unqualified she is to run for U.S. Senator much less BE a U.S. Senator:
Terri Lynn Land is an insult to the democratic process in Michigan.