Branstad accepts “debate” invites in DSM, Burlington, Sioux City

Republican Terry Branstad — seeking his sixth term as governor in 2014 — has agreed to appear in three televised forums before November’s election.  I waited an hour, but no word yet from Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jack Hatch as to whether he intends to appear at these forums, too.  The Hatch campaign has accepted the three forums Branstad has agreed to, along with six more and called Branstad “peculiar” for accepting debate invites without checking with the person he intends to debate. Read the Branstad campaign statement & the Hatch campaign statement below:

Branstad Accepts Three Debate Invitations
Debates located in Des Moines, Burlington, Sioux City
(URBANDALE, Iowa) – The Branstad-Reynolds campaign today announced that it will again participate in three general election debates, accepting invitations in Des Moines, Burlington and Sioux City to debate his general election opponent, Jack Hatch.
“Televised debates are the best way for voters across Iowa to have a chance to assess their choice in November, and the choice couldn’t be more clear in this election,” said Branstad-Reynolds campaign manager Jake Ketzner. “Voters can choose between a proven manager and leader like Gov. Branstad who has reduced taxes, balanced the budget and lowered unemployment by 30%, or a liberal Des Moines politician who has vowed to raise taxes, grow the size of government and take us back in time to the disastrous Chet Culver Era.”

The debates accepted by the Branstad-Reynolds campaign are as follows:
IPTV State Fair Debate
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Taping at 4 p.m., airing later that evening
Penningroth Media Center, Iowa State Fairgrounds
Des Moines, IA
Topics: All

Greater Burlington Partnership with The Hawk Eye and KWQC TV-6
Saturday, September 20, 2014
7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Edward Stone Middle School
Burlington, IA
Topics: Economic Prosperity and Job Creation

The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce with the Sioux City Journal, KTIV TV-4 and KSCJ Radio
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Orpheum Theater
Sioux City, IA
Topics: All


DES MOINES – Following a peculiar news release in which the Branstad/Reynolds campaign accepted invitations to debate Sen. Jack Hatch without consulting the Hatch campaign or any representative, Hatch manager Grant Woodard Tuesday said his campaign will be accepting nine media sponsored independent debates this fall, which will include the three accepted by the Branstad/Reynolds campaign.
“This is a great moment for Iowans interested in transparency and accountability,” Woodard said. “The two major party candidates will move across the state together in a series of nine public debates in settings reflecting the state’s different regions and in different formats based on the ways Iowans receive information.”
“Often the campaigns will meet to discuss the number, timing and formats of debates, but the Branstad/Reynolds campaign has decided to negotiate through the media, and we’re happy to do that,” Woodard said.
The Hatch campaign agreed to debates sponsored by statewide Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, a multi-sponsor Sioux City debate and a newspaper-sponsored debate in Burlington.
Woodard said the Hatch campaign also accepts six other debates that will fill in the gaps left by the Branstad proposal.  Those include but are not limited to: a debate in the state’s second largest media market of Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, a statewide radio debate, a joint online appearance, a debate focused on rural issues, a debate focusing on job creation, a debate hosted by one of the state’s three universities and a debate between the candidates for Lt. Governor.
“We welcome the Governor’s acceptance of nine gubernatorial debates and are eager to give Iowans the chance to learn more about the candidates,” Woodard said.  

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.