Tag Archives: Debate

An Open Letter to The Insurance Billionaires Behind Props 32 & 33

No On 32 and 33

In an open letter today, the California Nurses Association and Consumer Watchdog challenged the billionaire financiers of Propositions 32 and 33 to a public, televised debate.

Will Charles Munger Jr. and George Joseph defend the measures attacking working people that they’ve spent $39 million promoting? Or will they continue to hide in the shadows behind their PR flacks and deceptive TV advertising?


October 24, 2012

Mr. Charles Munger Jr. and Mr. George Joseph:

Gentlemen, the California Nurses Association and Consumer Watchdog invite you, the primary financial sponsors of Propositions 32 and 33, to join us for a public debate on the merits and adverse consequences of these measures and the impact they will have on all Californians.

We call for a debate that would be hosted by a journalist of mutual agreement in a televised forum at your earliest convenience.

There’s more…

To date, Californians have heard a great deal about the reputed benefits of Propositions 32 and 33, but only from one-­‐sided political ads that hardly provide a fair or complete picture.

As the biggest financial contributors to these initiatives, for which you have already contributed a combined $39 million, your silence on these measures, which will have far-­‐reaching effects on all Californians, does a great disservice to the public.

If the initiatives you have so lavishly financed really will achieve the promises you claim in your advertisements, you should welcome the opportunity to stand up in public and defend them. We call on you to do so now.

As you no doubt know, our organizations sharply disagree with both the content of these initiatives, and the misleading way in which you have promoted them.

Proposition 32 is a misleading measure which claims to be legitimate campaign finance reform, but has been exposed as anything but that by virtually every newspaper in California. It would exempt corporate interests, shadowy super PACS, and the super wealthy like both of you while silencing the voices of nurses, consumer advocates, and others who would challenge your views.

Proposition 33 reverses a 24-­‐year-­‐old consumer protection that prohibits auto insurance companies from charging drivers more for car insurance just because they didn’t drive previously or otherwise had a break in coverage. Opposed by Consumers Union, Consumer Watchdog and nearly every newspaper editorial board in California, Proposition 33 allows insurance companies to penalize good drivers who did nothing wrong other than not drive and not buy insurance. Nonetheless television advertising running statewide falsely claims Proposition 33 “rewards responsible consumers.”

We know that more and more Californians are appalled at the specter of billionaires and multi-­‐millionaires corrupting our political process and would like to hear answers from those spending so much in this campaign. First and foremost, they would ask: Are the $22.9 million and $16.4 million checks you have written for Propositions 32 and 33, respectively, aimed at anything more than buying the vote for personal and political gain?

It’s time for you to step out of the shadows. The voters deserve to see and hear from the people responsible for Props 32 and 33, rather than the same old sound bites from the deceptive advertising your millions pay for.

Voters need to look you in the eye to gauge your sincerity, and judge your motives. The voters being bombarded with your advertising spin now deserve no less.

We look forward to hearing from you.


DeAnn McEwen, RN

Co-­‐president, California Nurses Association

Jamie Court

President, Consumer Watchdog

“Hunger Strike” Debate to Air on TV

Ray Lutz for Congress 2010


Media Contact: Christine Cullinan

619-447-3246 / [email protected]


“Hunger Strike” Debate to Air on TV

Where: Cox Cable Channel 23 (Channel 18 in North County)

When : 9 p.m., Monday, October 25, 2010

Also available at: http://www.copswiki.org/Common…

Produced by Citizens’ Oversight Projects (COPS)

San Diego County, Calif. (Oct 22, 2010) –  The “Hunger Strike Debate” can be seen in the San Diego County area on Cox cable television, channel 23 (channel 18 in north areas of the county) at 9:00 pm on Monday, October 25, 2010. The debate features Michael Benoit (L), incumbent Duncan D. Hunter (R), and Ray Lutz (D). The show is presented on the Public Access Channel and produced by Citizens’ Oversight Projects.

The debate was sponsored by the East County Chamber of Commerce and held at the Cuyamaca College on October 15, 2010. Steve Hamann, Editor of The East County Herald moderated.

Lutz and Benoit conducted an eleven-day hunger strike to coerce reluctant Hunter to agree to a debate. The hunger strike garnered national attention including articles in Politico, Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, the L.A. Times, The Atlantic and numerous other regional publications, and proved to be too much to withstand any further display of reluctance by the Hunter campaign.

Approximately 200 people attended the debate and the video is about 82 minutes in length.

Michael Benoit and Ray Lutz conducted a series of debates in other areas of the county, including Alpine, Poway, Lakeside, and Kearny Mesa, but Hunter declined to appear at those events. Videos of other debates are also available at




Where: Cuyamaca College Communication Arts Theatre, Room B-117

Rancho San Diego; 900 Rancho San Diego Pkwy

When : 7p.m. – 9p.m., Saturday, October 15

Ray Lutz for Congress 2010


Media Contact: Brennan Purtzer, Media Director

619-447-3246 / [email protected]


San Diego County, Calif. (Oct 2, 2010) –

Congressman Duncan Duane Hunter has said he will finally step up to

debate his eager general election opponents on October 15, at a East

County Chamber of Commerce debate. The congressman refused to debate

his opponents until Democratic Candidate Raymond Lutz and Libertarian

Candidate Michael Benoit staged an 11-day “Hunger Strike for Democracy

back in August.”

On the morning of August 19, just hours after Lutz appeared on CNN to

discuss the hunger strike, a representative from Congressman Hunter’s

campaign hand delivered a debate acceptance notice to the Lutz office.

Though Lutz ended his hunger strike, which garnered him national

attention and a forthcoming article in The Nation magazine, his

“insurgent” campaign tactics have persisted. He has led marches,

protest and demonstrations, and founded a non-partisan national

organization, Debate For Democracy, to advocate for congressional

debates in every district.

And despite the lack of cooperation from the Hunter campaign, Lutz and

Benoit have continued their campaign to reach out to voters across the

expansive 52nd congressional district. They have already held debates

(inviting Congressman Hunter to each of them) in the communities of

Alpine, Ramona and Lakeside/Santee. They have upcoming debates

scheduled for Poway, Clairemont Mesa and Borrego Springs, though the

congressman has not confirmed attendance for any of these events.

“Hunter’s reluctance to debate represents a disturbing trend,” Ray

Lutz said. Earlier this month, Republican Congressman Darrell Issa

(CA-49) backed out of a commitment he made earlier this summer to

debate his Democratic Challenger Howard Katz.

However, not all debate trends are negative. While Hunter has made it

clear that he is not interested in allowing the voters of his district

to pose questions about his record and ideas, Republican

Representative Brian Bilbray (CA-51) has gone out of his way to

request more debates from his counterpart, Democratic Challenger

Francine Busby.

The October 15 debate, which will be moderated by a television anchor

and broadcast locally, is expected to be well attended. Audience

members will be encouraged to ask challenging questions, especially

with recent allegations of immorality in light of the Boehner Sex

scandal and controversial earmark requests.

Where: Cuyamaca College Communication Arts Theatre, Room B-117

Rancho San Diego; 900 Rancho San Diego Pkwy

When : 7p.m. – 9p.m., Saturday, October 15

Ref: www.debatefordemocracy.org

For media inquiries, contact Brennan Purtzer, media coordinator, at 619.447.3246

Carl Wood Invites Incumbent Paul Cook to Debate Series for 65th Assembly District

CHERRY VALLEY –  65th Assembly District Democratic challenger Carl Wood has invited Republican incumbent Paul Cook to a series of debates.  In a personal letter Wood declared it “our duty” as candidates “to make every effort to inform voters about our candidacies.”  In an election year where voters are said to be hostile toward incumbents Wood’s invitation includes his assurance that he will make “every accommodation” for Cook in order to make these debates happen.  

Wood’s campaign manager, Michael Kreizenbeck, hopes Cook will agree to the debates.  “A debate that discusses issues like jobs, home foreclosures and the substantial needs of veterans is certain to hurt Cook’s chances of reelection, but I don’t see how Cook can run from this opportunity to explain himself directly to voters,” Kreizenbeck said.


CA-02: Cocky, or Cowardly? Why Won’t Wally Debate? ACTION!

Where's Wally John's

Where’s Wally, and why won’t he debate his opponent?

What can you do with a candidate who refuses to commit to a debate? Such is the case with 24 year incumbent Wally Herger.  First he refused to debate his primary opponent, Tea Party favorite Pete Stiglich.  Now he refuses to commit to a debate with his Democratic opponent, Jim Reed.  Why?

Is Herger so cocky about winning yet another term that he can’t be bothered with a debate?  Is he too cowardly to debate his trial lawyer opponent?  You make the call.

Literally make the call.  Help us Contact Wally Herger and demand a debate before it’s too late.  Ask Wally why he won’t debate Jim Reed on October 6th.

Herger has refused to debate Jim Reed four times.  He refused to debate twice in August when he was on recess from Congress.  He refused to debate in September when he was on recess. When Herger’s spokesperson vaguely promised a debate in October, Jim Reed and the Chico League of Women Voters quickly set up a debate venue for October 6th, well before absentee ballots would be returned….but again, Wally refused.

Even Herger’s primary opponent, Tea Party favorite Pete Stiglich, is growing annoyed with Herger’s stalling tactics.  Stiglich’s campaign also tried mightily to wrest a debate from Herger’s campaign .  Herger strung him along until the last minute, and then conveniently fell back on the rationale that he would not debate fellow Republicans.  

Said Stiglich in a recent editorial supporting the Democrat’s repeated calls for debates:

I realize I run the risk of being accused of jumping onto the Reed bandwagon by supporting his call for debates. Trust me, nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, I’ve jumped upon the growing bandwagon of everyday folks demanding accountability, honesty and a healthy command of the facts from all those who seek or hold elected office.

Candidates should welcome the opportunity to engage in rigorous political debate. In fact, they should pursue it. What better opportunity to showcase one’s command of the facts and leadership on the many critical issues facing America today?

Dare I say, let the debates begin.

Now there’s a Tea Partier I can whole-heartedly agree with.

What last-minute excuse will Herger have for refusing to debate Jim Reed?

And, more importantly, how can we, the voters, make Herger accountable?

congressional district 2

You may think this doesn’t matter to you if you don’t live in California’s Second District, but this election does affect you.


Because Herger believes he will be the next Chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee if he is elected.  

Because Herger has circulated a petition in the House of Representatives to Repeal and Replace Health Care Reform, even though doing so would add $455 billion dollars to the deficit, according to a letter by Mike Crapo of the Congressional Budget Office.

Contact Wally Herger and demand a debate before it’s too late!

Debate Jim Reed on October 6th.

email: [email protected]

Washington D.C. office:  (202) 225-3076  fax: (202) 226-0852  

Chico, CA Office:        (530) 893-8363  fax: (530) 893-8619

Redding,CA Office:       (530) 223-5898 fax: (530) 223-5897


Jim Reed, the Democratic Candidate for Congress in CA-02, needs your help.  Jim has been flying his Cessna all over the large and diverse Second District, showing he’s willing to engageall voters in the district. He’s ready for a rousing debate– don’t let Wally weasel his way out of it!

Call Herger’s office, or make a donation to Jim Reed’s campaign now!

Jim Reed has been endorsed by Ruby’s List: A Rogue Network of Progressive Organizers.

contribute-button-Act Blue

Hunger Strike candidate Lutz to confront Congressman Hunter


Ray Lutz for Congress 2010


Media Contact: Brennan Purtzer, Media Director

619-447-3246 / [email protected]

Hunger Strike candidate Lutz to confront Congressman Hunter

San Diego County, Calif. (Sept 7, 2010) –

Congressional Candidate Ray Lutz, who last month fasted 11 days to

earn a debate with Rep. Duncan Duane Hunter, will confront the

congressman again today at a Cajon Valley Republican Businesses

Women’s event.

During their last exchange, at an Aug. 20 “Politics in Paradise”

candidates forum, presented by the East County Chamber of Commerce,

Congressman Hunter promised (on a televised segment) to respond to a

letter Lutz hand-delivered to him. He also promised that he had

scheduled several public town hall forums, and invited Lutz to attend

and make comment at them.

To date, there has been no response, and no public town halls have

been scheduled or taken place.

The legislative recess ends this week.

Candidate Lutz will confront Rep. Hunter on these broken promises

prior to today’s event, and he invites to media to witness this


Where: Downtown Cafe Patio, 182 E. Main Street, El Cajon

When : 5:00p.m.

For more information on Ray Lutz for Congress, visit: www.VoteRayLutz.com

For media inquiries, contact Brennan Purtzer, media coordinator, at 619.447.3246

Senator Boxer. Carly Fiorina. Smackdown.

The Senate debate will be streamed live at 7 PM on ktvu.com, as well as on the real tv in the Bay area on Channel 2. See the flip for full details on where to watch/listen to the debate.

There are a number of major issues to be discussed, but expect to hear a lot of questions about the economy, jobs, and perhaps a word or two about the environment. Any thoughts?  

August 31st, 2010 by Ian

Tomorrow night at 7 p.m. PDT, Senator Boxer will debate Carly Fiorina, and we hope you’ll join us by tuning in and watching live. Here’s where you’ll be able to see the debate:

On TV:

Bakersfield                                     KGET

Chico                                             KRVU

Eureka                                           KEMY

Fresno                                           KMPH

Los Angeles                                   KTTV

Palm Springs                                 KMIR

Sacramento                                   KCRA

Salinas                                           KSBW

San Diego                                      KGTV

San Francisco                               KTVU, KICU            

Santa Barbara                               KCOY

C-SPAN TV National Coverage

C-SPAN Radio National Coverage

On Radio:

San Francisco (Radio)                  KQED-FM

California (Public Radio)               NPR

San Francisco (Public TV)            KTEH

Streamed live on KTVU.com, with links to SFGATE.com and KQED.org

Hunger Strike Day 8: Fasting Candidates to confront Hunter at Friday event


Ray Lutz for Congress 2010


Media Contact: Brennan Purtzer, Media Director

619-447-3246 / [email protected]


Hunger Strike Day 8: Fasting Candidates to confront Hunter at Friday event

Candidates Lutz and Benoit lead demonstrations outside

“Politics in Paradise event”

San Diego County, Calif. (August 20, 2010) – Congressional Candidates Ray Lutz (Democratic) and Michael Benoit (Libertarian) will lead demonstrations at a candidate’s forum tonight featuring Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, whom they are seeking to debate.

The two candidates have been fasting for 8 days, in effort to pressure Hunter to agree to a series of debates with them. Just yesterday, Hunter’s campaign delivered an acceptance letter Lutz’s office, agreeing to participate in one debate, scheduled for October 15.

Lutz and Benoit have continued their fasting, citing the fact that 65 percent of voters in June’s primary election cast absentee ballots, with a high portion of them being returned within the first few days of receiving them. The vote-by-mail ballots will be distributed on October 4.

Tonight’s rally will take place outside the Cuyamaca College Water Conservation Garden, between 5:30-6 p.m. Inside the event, Lutz will attempt to confront Hunter to change the date of the debate and to add at least three more debates prior to the distribution of vote-by-mail ballots.

For more information on Ray Lutz for Congress, visit: www.VoteRayLutz.com

For media inquiries, contact Brennan Purtzer, media coordinator, at 619.447.3246

Hunger Strike Day 7: Congressman Hunter succumbs to hunger strike pressure, delivers debate accepta


Ray Lutz for Congress 2010


Media Contact: Brennan Purtzer, Media Director

619-447-3246 / [email protected]


Hunger Strike Day 7: Congressman Hunter succumbs to hunger strike pressure, delivers debate acceptance letter

Hunter’s limited debate acceptance still inadequate, says Lutz; strike to continue

San Diego County, Calif. (August 19, 2010) – At 10:45 a.m. on Thursday morning, Hunter for Congress representative Wes Schermann hand-delivered a letter acknowledging acceptance of an Oct. 15 congressional debate invitation to Lutz for Congress’s Main Street office in El Cajon.

Mr. Schermann and the letter were warmly received by Lutz Campaign Manager Brennan Purtzer.

“We appreciate receiving a response from the Hunter Campaign, but 58 percent of the electorate voted absentee in the primary – many of these voters turning them in on the first day,” Lutz said. “Since absentee ballots are being distributed on Oct. 4, we scheduled our proposed debate series for August and September so it would not conflict with the legislative calendar.”

The Hunter letter, arriving 72 days after Lutz won the California Democratic primary election in June, is the first communication Hunter’s group has had with the Lutz campaign. It arrived only hours after Lutz was featured on a nationally televised live interview on CNN, and 17 days after Hunter’s office received its first debate request from the Lutz campaign.

“This action shows that Hunter is feeling the pressure from the public about avoiding the debates,” said Ray Lutz, Hunter’s Democratic challenger to represent California’s 52nd district. “Without the hunger strike, I doubt they would respond at all.”

Lutz continued, “It’s a step in the right direction. I hope Hunter can make it to the debate. This is what happened in my campaign for the 77th State Assembly District in 2008. My opponent backed out at the last minute, forcing the debate to be canceled, and it was too late to set one up at that point.”

Lutz says he won’t end his strike, which has garnered national media attention, including an interview with Kyra Phillips on CNN on Thursday morning. During Lutz’s interview, he made the point that media outlets and voters alike were still confusing Duncan L. Hunter and Duncan D. Hunter. To accentuate Lutz’s point, CNN mistakenly aired footage of Duncan Hunter Sr. while he made this remark.

“This is exactly why the voters everywhere in the district need to see this guy debate – they still don’t know who they’re voting for – he even uses nearly the same graphics on his signs that his father did,” Lutz said. “If he only appears in one debate, that will obviously reduce his exposure to the voters and hide the truth: that he just isn’t his father.”

The debate Hunter has agreed to attend is to take place October 15 at Cuyamaca College, and is sponsored by the East County Chamber of Commerce, of which Hunter is a member.

Lutz asserts that the voters need to see at least three debates before the vote-by-mail ballots are distributed. “Hunter needs to agree to an honest series of debates before I’ll agree to pick up my fork again.”

For more information on Ray Lutz for Congress, visit: www.VoteRayLutz.com

For media inquiries, contact Brennan Purtzer, media coordinator, at 619.447.3246

Hunger Strike Day 5 : Candidate Lutz’s Hunger Strike Joined by Libertarian Candidate

Ray Lutz for Congress 2010


Media Contact: Brennan Purtzer, Media Director 619-447-3246 / [email protected]


Hunger Strike Day 5: Candidate Lutz’s hunger strike joined by Libertarian candidate

Lutz campaign now accepting donations for San Diego Food Bank

San Diego County, Calif. (August 17, 2010) – At an El Cajon rally on Monday, Congressional Candidate Ray Lutz announced that he had been joined in his hunger strike by Libertarian Candidate Michael Benoit, both fasting until incumbent Rep. Duncan Duane Hunter agrees to debate them.

“I’m amazed at the overwhelming amount of support I’m getting from people across this country,” Democratic Congressional Candidate Raymond Lutz said. “I’m not starving alone and that’s nice.”

Over the weekend, more than 28 people pledged to go at least a day without food in support of Lutz’s cause, including Libertarian Candidate for California’s 52nd Congressional seat, Michael Benoit, who joined Lutz’s “Hunger strike for accountability.”

“I welcome the solidarity offered by Mr. Benoit, who is a very nice person,” Lutz said, before welcoming Benoit on stage to make a statement at the rally in El Cajon’s Promenade Park.

In a speech before dozens of supporters, Lutz and Benoit vowed to continue their strikes until the Hunter campaign agrees to debate them.

“Until he agrees to come before the voters, he can expect that I will be holding press conferences every week to talk about each of the issues that aren’t being debated,” Lutz said. “Jobs, and energy policy, and of course, the issue that’s been on my mind a lot lately – hunger. We’ve had 10.8 million meals served by the San Diego Food Bank in the last year – that’s a lot of hungry people.”

Lutz announced that from now through the end of the campaign, his office would be accepting and forwarding food donations to the San Diego Food Bank.

Lutz ended his press conference by publicly announcing a revised tentative schedule of five debates, planned during the congressional recess, throughout the massive 52nd congressional district.

“I could never imagine a candidate who has been in combat but is slow to engage in debate about the important issues affecting his constituents.” He added, “These problems are effecting his constituents today, and what has he done to help them? He hasn’t yet enacted any legislation at all, and his latest effort was a bill about getting cigarettes to soldiers.” Lutz said, “We need to debate this now, while he is on his legislative break – not in October, after most of the mail-in ballots have already been sent in.”

Lutz, 52, said he had already lost 14 pounds by his fifth day of fasting.

Revised Debate Schedule:

Raymond Lutz and Michael Benoit jointly invite Rep. Duncan Duane Hunter to participate in the following debates, tentatively scheduled for:

WED – AUG 25, 6:30pm Viejas tribal Facilities Viejas

MON – AUG 30, 6:30pm Grossmont College El Cajon (La Mesa Area)

THUR- SEPT 2, 6:30pm El Capitan High School Lakeside

MON – SEPT 6, 6:30pm Serra High School Tierrasanta

THUR- SEPT 9, 6:30pm Granite Hills High School El Cajon

For more information on Ray Lutz for Congress, visit:http://www.VoteRayLutz.com

For media inquiries, contact Brennan Purtzer, media coordinator, at 619.447.3246