Monday, October 11, 2010

Congressional debates: What makes Ganley run?

SHOULDN'T SOMEBODY take auto dealer Tom Ganley aside and whisper to him that he is supposed to be a Republican congressional candidate and not a passenger in one of his cruise-controlled demos with a new car warranty? As we have noted more than once, he has rejected invitations to debate his Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, for the flimsiest of excuses - this from a financially powerful operative who boasts that even as a political rookie in his late 60s, he will turn Congress around as a hard-nosed businessman with no seniority.

The Beacon Journal took note of his evasiveness Sunday. His campaign manager strung out the Akron Press Club for more than a month before agreeing to no more than a solo flight at a club luncheon on Oct. 26. That was sort of an undeserved reward for his adamant refusal to face Sutton on the dais. (She agreed to debate but accepted a luncheon slot on Oct. 20 - alone, of course.)

The Cleveland City Club, the state's prestigious political forum, was not as accommodating to Ganley's rules for a walk on the red carpet. It invited the candidates to debate, but when Ganley refused, it simply said something that sounded like, "Too bad, Tom - Betty Sutton will have the audience all to herself when she appears on Oct. 22." As it should be.

Apparently at a loss for even a mildly lucid explanation on where Ganley is these days, his communications director, Meghan Snyder, told the BJ:

"Tom is ready to debate Betty Sutton, if we can do so in a situation where the only thing on the agenda is the issues. We will not grant her the opportunity to continue to lie about him in a public forum." Good grief, Ms. Snyder. Who decides the issues? And what better way to counter those "lies" than in a public forum with your rival?

On the other hand when a candidate is prepared to spend millions in unchallenged TV ads, he might just as well be campaigning from an isolated pad back in the parts department.


Anonymous said...

If it is true that polling puts Ganley ahead, I would believe that nary a peep will be heard from Tom Ganley until after he is sworn in as a congressman.

Anonymous said...

A number of GOP candidates are copping out when it comes to debates. I'd be having second thoughts if the candidate I supported didn't have the stones to face his or her opponent.

Grumpy Abe said...

Whose polls have you seen?

Anonymous said...

Older polling, but both showing Ganley ahead of the incumbent. Not a good strategic place to start a campaign for an incumbent. With money to spare, Ganley can just spend and spend his way to victory without a debate. The DCCC is strapped for cash this cycle because of having to go deeper into into the coffers because of races like this one. Safe districts that have suddenly turned competitive due to wealthy candidates and/or a poor political climate for incumbent democrats.

The Wall Street Journal recently had an article claiming this years election could be like that of 1894 not 1994. In that election, 100-plus seats went to the Republicans.