Debates must go on despite GOP Chairman’s admonition

Former Republican legislator reiterates the importance of debates for civic participation
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Salt Lake City — A series of non-partisan, legislative debates has come under fire after an e-mail exchange from Republican party leadership was leaked to the political news site UtahPolicy.com.

In the exchange, Utah GOP Chairman James Evans discouraged his Republican candidates from participating in a series of debates organized by the John R. Park Debate Society, KCPW and the ABU Education Fund, the 501(c)(3) affiliate of Alliance for a Better UTAH.

David Irvine, board member of Alliance for a Better UTAH, has released the following statement on behalf of Better UTAH and its affiliate, ABU Education Fund:

“This strikes me as a cheap way to avoid a real debate. Any candidate who has a problem appearing at a highly legitimate forum to engage in a serious way on vital public topics — with neutral rules and a neutral moderator–has no business pretending to be an advocate and a competitor in the free marketplace of ideas. Voters deserve to see and hear a real, person-to-person exchange. We need more Lincoln-Douglas-style debates, not less. The Republican Chair is doing GOP candidates a huge disservice.”

The Utah Policy article can be found here: http://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/3241-republican-chair-calls-proposed-debates-a-set-up

Isaac Holyoak
Communications Director, Alliance for a Better UTAH
801.664.9751 | isaac@betterutah.org

ABU Education Fund | www.abueducationfund.org
ABU Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing a strong, educational voice by creating resources that advance civic engagement and good governance.

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