|(April. 18, 2019, 4:37 p.m.) -- This afternoon (April 18), a competitor, LBPost.com, declined LBREPORT.com's offer made over a week earlier to co-host/webcast a candidate forum between the two state Senate runoff candidates that would include candidate interactions. Its response came after LBREPORT.com reported today (April 18) that the Wrigley Association had managed to arrange a candidate forum between the two runoff candidates for May 6 using the group's traditional election candidate format (which doesn't include what we call candidate "verbal intercourse.")
As we have at previous Wrigley Association candidate fora, LBREPORT.com plans to provide extended video/audio coverage of the Wrigley event (in what we call "C-SPAN-style" without comments.)
On April 10, LBREPORT.com offered LBPost.com the opportunity "to jointly conduct a forum that uses the generally accepted 'press conference' style of debates (routinely used in presidential debates) in which the candidates respond to reporters' questions. We favor allowing the candidates flexibility to interact with each other without artificial time constraints." We noted that "[s]ome meaningful exchanges in presidential debates have occurred during the latter." Our offer continued:
We believe the event should be divided into two parts: each candidate's respective votes while in office (an incumbent's record is always relevant in seeking higher office) and pending Sacramento legislation/statewide issues on which they may cast votes. We know the event can be interactive for online views; we believe viewers' questions can be fairly bundled as long as they're plainly asked.
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LBREPORT.com made our offer although mindful that LBPost.com had an in-person opportunity to ask candidate Gonzalez a number of questions it didn't ask during the initial March 26 election cycle that we considered basic, timely and newsworthy. We asked the short questions via a written card submitted at an independently conducted Feb. 27 candidate forum, but Gonzalez wasn't present. We learned later she was part of a city-delegation in Vancouver, B.C. promoting business ties with Canada.
The next day we then offered candidate Gonzalez and her campaign the opportunity to answer the questions in writing but we didn't receive a response.
We then sought to attend two "Meet Lena" campaign events in March but the event-location hosts both informed us at the door that the events were "closed to press." (After one of the events at a Lakewood business, candidate Gonzalez ducked out the back door to an alley while we waited at the front door.)
We added in our April 10 offer to LBPost.com: "We believe it's understandable but unhealthy to let campaigns hand reporters crafted candidate messages while limiting press access to the candidates themselves."
On April 18, LBPost.com's publisher David Sommers emailed us: "Thank you for the email and the offer to partner on a debate for the state Senate runoff. At the time of your request, our own debate planning, invitations to and communications with both campaigns was [sic] already well underway, so the Post will proceed as-is and independently on our planning efforts."
For the record: shortly after dawn on the morning after the March 26 runoff election outcome, LBREPORT.com emailed candidates Gonzalez and Guerrero and offered to host and provide webcast access to a debate between them on terms to be mutually agreed. Candidate Guerrero accepted; candidate Gonzalez's campaign didn't respond; our offer remains open.
LBREPORT.com, now in our 19th year of providing independent news in Long Beach, has no ownership or operational ties to any development or special interests, or stands to benefit from City development decisions or holds an appointed position on any City Hall chosen body or has made any campaign contribution(s) to any candidate on whom we report.
6:15 p.m. Date of February candidate forum corrected to Feb. 27 (not 26.)
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