Galvin's Debate Shenanigans Debase Our Democracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sunday,  October 26, 2014

Danny Factor for Secretary of the Commonwealth

Galvin's Debate Shenanigans Debase Our Democracy, Factor Charges

The unwillingness of 20-year incumbent William Galvin to engage in open political debate with his two challengers makes a mockery of the electoral process says Danny Factor,  candidate for Secretary of State for the Green-Rainbow Party.

"Secretary Galvin has either said 'no' or not responded to every organization that has offered to host a debate or a candidate forum for his race" , said Factor. Among the potential hosts who were rejected, said Factor, are The Lowell Sun, Jim Braude of NECN, and various towns and civic organizations.

"Without being informed directly by the Secretary or his campaign office"  Factor said, "I have heard from unofficial sources that tomorrow, Monday, October 27,the Secretary will make a mid-day public appearance at Malden High School that he wishes to call a 'debate'.  This appearance was hastily arranged with the minimum notice possible, my other opponent only finding out about this on Friday.  The event has been scheduled mid-day on a weekday-- when must people are at work--  which will make the audience as small as possible. I have so far received no official invitation to participate or any information about format, such as how long the event will last, or how long our statements and answers are supposed to be. I am not aware if there will be an in-person audience, television audience, both or neither. I am also not aware of any attempt to ensure that questions will be asked by an independent moderator.  In my opinion, this event does not satisfy the obligation of the Secretary to participate in an authentic debate where questions can be put fairly to all candidates who will be on the ballot. Nevertheless, I will attend the event and will ask the Secretary to participate in a full discussion of the important issues of this race."

"I see the behavior of the Secretary as another troubling indication of the kind of arrogance that afflicts incumbents in a one-party state.  Secretary Galvin seems to feel that he deserves an easy ticket to reelection by simply ducking public discussion, counting upon the media to ignore the race, and letting voters cast their ballots in ignorance of their options.  This is not the way we should be awarding the important public office of Secretary of the Commonwealth."

 "If you're asking voters to give you four more years in office, you owe them the courtesy of appearing in a debate,” said Factor. "Face-to-face debates are the most honest, most revealing way of letting voters understand who is seeking their vote.   Only in a debate do you get to hear all the candidates address the same question.  Only in a debate can you ask a follow-up question when the candidate seems to be dodging the issue."

"In contrast," said Factor, "I am gratified that Republican nominee David D'Arcangelo is firmly in support of inclusive debates and supports my inclusion in tomorrow's Malden event. While David D'Arcangelo and I disagree on many substantive issues, I am thankful that we are both in agreement on the need to conduct our campaigns in a way that supports a healthy democracy, particularly by allowing voters to hear all candidates debate before votes are cast."

An unusual collaboration between Factor and D'Arcangelo emerged months ago when they sent a joint letter to Secretary Bill Galvin requesting that Galvin agree to attend a series of debates involving all three contenders on the ballot. The letter requested that all three candidates engage in debates to “serve the people best by being public and transparent about our vision for the commonwealth.”  The letter was certified as received by the Galvin campaign but months later, Factor has received no response. The text of the letter can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/qaea3o3.\

Two other letters sent by certified mail to Galvin’s home and State House address were sent back to the senders as "refused." More recently, D'Arcangelo and Factor tried in vain to speak to Galvin when he was scheduled to host a forum in Framingham.  Galvin never showed up.  See video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEPPNryr3EU.

Factor noted that "Secretary Galvin holds an office that is responsible for ensuring that voters have the information they need to cast informed votes.  It is especially ironic that he is refusing to take the time to help them understand their options in his own race."

"There are serious questions that must be raised regarding the performance required of the Secretary" Factor said.  "Secretary Galvin has presided over an electoral system in which over 60% of incumbent legislators run unopposed for office. The lack of electoral competition in Massachusetts is a major system failure that robs voters of the ability to hold incumbents accountable.  I am committed to reforms that will reduce the number of unopposed races to less than 5%.  The resulting healthy competition for office will result in greater responsiveness from elected officials and increased voter turnout.  Voters should know that a vote for Secretary Galvin on November 4 is a vote to endorse business-as-usual and the protection of incumbents from competition.  A vote for Danny Factor is a vote for restoring the power of your vote - it's that simple."

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