It seems to me that candidates who focus incessantly on manufactured issues about their opponent also choose to avoid discussing their own record and affiliations. We see that in other campaigns up and down the ballot, but we have a striking example of this deflection technique right here in the 7th Middlesex House District (Ashland and part of Framingham).
The non-partisan Framingham Coalition/Community Connections, which annually sponsors Candidates Nights, is hosting such a forum for State Rep. Tom Sannicandro and Republican challenger Jon Fetherston. Voters are invited to meet the candidates in person and hear their views, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Wilson Elementary School. Access Framingham coverage is planned.
On the other hand, supporters and donors from Fetherston’s campaign have broadcast in numerous outlets about debate invitations to which they claim Rep. Sannicandro has not responded. They even announced one debate, including that MetroWest Daily News Opinion Editor Rick Holmes was the moderator. Holmes is a supporter of the debate process who is willing, on principle, to moderate any legitimate forum to which all parties have agreed. This particular notice, however, was made public before Rep. Sannicandro received an invitation to participate.
There have been repeated notices from Fetherston supporters complaining that Sannicandro has not responded or declined. Two debates that the Fetherston campaign continues to cite were being sponsored by organizations run by local Republicans and by Fetherston donors.
Letters to the editor by Terry Hendrix to the Metrowest Daily News and Framingham Patch on the debate never identify Mr. Hendrix as Fetherston’s Campaign Treasurer.
Let’s stop pretending that this debate issue is a genuine point of discussion. The sponsors of a debate cannot be considered non-partisan while actively supporting one of the candidates with their time and their money.
Speaking only for myself, but an elected member of the
Framingham Democratic Town Committee and
Massachusetts Democratic State Committee