Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - Biss, Kennedy slam *** Pritzker to skip a Downstate debate, which will be carried statewide
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*** UPDATED x2 - Biss, Kennedy slam *** Pritzker to skip a Downstate debate, which will be carried statewide

Wednesday, Dec 6, 2017

* Press release…

Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Chris Kennedy, announced today that he has accepted four televised debates and one non-televised debate ahead of the March 20, 2018 Democratic Primary. As he originally proposed, three debates will be in the Chicago market and two will be outside the Chicago market. Most of the debates will be accessible statewide through online streaming or through broadcast TV.

    Jan. 23, 2018 — NBC Chicago/Telemundo
    Feb. 21, 2018 — State Journal-Register/WMAY-AM (Springfield-Decatur-Champaign)
    March 2, 2018 — ABC 7 Chicago/Univision/League of Women Voters
    March 5, 2018 — WCIA-TV (Springfield-Decatur-Champaign)
    March 14, 2017 — WTTW-TV (Chicago)

“Democratic primary voters deserve numerous debates to hear directly from the candidates,” Kennedy said. “I hope my primary opponents join me in accepting these debates so voters can hear our plans for the future.”

The Kennedy campaign also committed to two all-candidate gubernatorial forums, including:

    Jan. 30, 2018 — Daily Herald Media Group/Southern Illinois University
    March 1, 2018 — WBEZ-FM/POLITICO/University of Chicago

Pritzker just sent out his own press release (click here) and he agreed to all the above except one: The March 5th WCIA TV debate. I haven’t yet heard from the Biss campaign.

…Adding… Biss’ campaign says the candidate is “looking forward to being at any debate, anywhere at any time.”

…Adding More… WCIA TV, I’m told, has debate carry agreements with WBBM, KMOV (St. Louis) and stations in Rockford, Quad Cities, Peoria-Bloomington, Carbondale and two Indiana border cities. This is, in other words, a statewide debate.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Press release…

Response from Rebecca Evans, Chris Kennedy’s spokeswoman:

In September, Chris Kennedy publicly committed to doing a series of televised debates leading up to the March 20, 2018 primary so that voters throughout Illinois have access to where we stand on issues that are critical to bringing opportunity back to Illinois. Our opponents all agreed.

Given the diversity and geography of our state, it’s important for voters to have access to televised debates. The fact that JB Pritzker has not committed to a single televised debate outside of the Chicago market, tells us where he stands in his commitment to Illinois voters. He has no problem spending millions of dollars on TV time so he can speak to voters in soundbites, but it appears as though he’s dodging an opportunity to have a robust conversation about issues that affect downstate voters.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Biss spokesman…



…Adding… I’m told that the Daily Herald is partnering with a southern Illinois TV station and may air the forum on other stations.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    JB has blocked off the week of March 5 to remove fixtures in another Gold Coast property


  2. - Real - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:08 pm:

    Pritzker will still attend the downstate debate in February so I don’t understand the issue.


  3. - A guy - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:09 pm:

    Hard to imagine Biss won’t be early for every single one. It’s his best earned media opportunity. He is the most gifted debater in the group. By more than a little.


  4. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    I hope the Kennedy campaign remembered to send the press release to Kennedy to increase the likelihood he’ll show up.


  5. - Real - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    All of the televised debates are statewide due to social media and the internet.


  6. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    Why aren’t they holding a debate in the Metro East or further south?


  7. - Highland Il - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    === Why aren’t they holding a debate in the Metro East or further south?===

    Because there aren’t that many Democrats that far south, and with the exception of Daiber none of the candidates are from there.


  8. - SaulGoodman - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    There is incredible irony in Chris Kennedy complaining about others (Pritzker) not showing up to debates/forums.

    Kennedy skipped a ton of early forums.

    Pritzker is now skipping a ton of current forums.

    It ain’t hard to show up. And Pritzker doesn’t even the excuse to things getting in the way of call time/fundraising.


  9. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    Seems like grasping at straws for Kennedy and Biss. But I guess you try to make hay out of anything you can get.


  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===in the Metro East or further south? ===

    Daily Herald forum is in Carbondale area.


  11. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    Silly people. The reason Pritzker cant make that debate is because it conflicts with a character reference testimony for Blago.


  12. - Dome Gnome - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    It’s not the first time Pritzker will have skipped a debate that was important to voters. Sometimes he doesn’t even bother sending a proxy, when the others do. Tired of self-funding billionaires yet?


  13. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 1:00 pm:

    Rich, Thanks.


  14. - Anon and on - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 1:00 pm:

    There aren’t that many Democrats in the Metro East area? They may be a different breed of Dems than those in Chicago, but they are certainly there.


  15. - LilLebowskiUrbanAchiever - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    JB is currently in hiding, and it’s pretty obvious why. The drip drip of legitimate oppo is becoming a flood.

    My guess is he doesn’t want to do that debate because they don’t like Mark Maxwell’s excellent reporting. Despite the fact that it has hit all candidates (and Rauner).

    Rauner is a mess, but don’t forget that he’s an incredibly capable campaigner. JB and his team have really thin skin. That’s not a good look when when they are trying to convince people that they are best suited to take on Bruce Rauner. Rauner and Ken Griffin are going to do anything they can to beat the Democrat. It’s becoming more and more concerning that we are leaving the future of this state, which is dependent on beating Rauner, to a supremely flawed candidate.


  16. - Perrid - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 3:22 pm:

    Going to 4 out of 5 doesn’t sound like he’s blowing off southern IL or anything like his opponents are trying to turn it into, but I’d be interested in what he is doing that day.


  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    –Jan. 30, 2018 — Daily Herald Media Group/Southern Illinois University–

    That’s an interesting pairing. Wonder how that happened? Did Lee Enterprises not want to get involved?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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