No debate in AL-05 race for Congress?

I have been trying for a month to facilitate a “Town Hall” forum with Mo  Brooks and Steve Raby. Mo Brooks was in right away and Steve Raby was non-committal and we agreed to set up a lunch to discuss it.

I knew that my support of Mo made a straight up debate untenable. I pitched it to them as a “Town Hall” debate with questions from the audience. WAFF-48 was interested in this concept as well.

Myself, my producer Jason Marks, my promotions director Aaron Hurd and my news superstar Mecca Musick have attempted at different times to make contact with the Raby campaign to move this conversation forward.

I/They (mostly them) failed.

Today, I was informed that Steve Raby turned down a straight up debate that would have been co-hosted by the Rocket City Dems and Right On Huntsville.

These events are disappointing and tell me there will probably not be a debate at all between Mo Brooks and Steve Raby unless the public demands it.

Do you demand to know the positions of candidates before election day?

PSSST… Huntsville Times!

You may want to get in on this.

This looks familiar… very familiar.

We eventually pushed Parker Griffith into some town halls where this fun went down…

Can Steve Raby be nudged in the right direction?

UPDATE: The cat got out of the bag and The Rocket City Dems have changed their tune

Joey Aiello This is not accurate. This was a Rocket City Dems’ decision not to go forward with this event. It was not Raby’s decision, and Rocket City Dems do not speak for him. Rocket City Dems decided not to do this event and instead we are considering to do a joint event with Right on Huntsville about the non-partisan municipal elections. We just thought we would get along better if we did a nonpartisan event. That was the basis of the decision, which was made by the Rocket City Dems.

Do you buy that?

Keep in mind that they are about protecting their brand. They don’t want to anger Raby or institutional Democrats.

I don’t.

I assure the Rocket City Dems’ take is not accurate.

I spoke directly to Joel Jaqubino and was told Raby declined and Joel Jaqubino stands by that.

Joel P. Jaqubino The message communicated to me by the leadership of the Rocket City Dems was that Raby was not interested. That is the truth. I communicated that message to Mo Brooks and the Board of Right On to inform them that the debate would not happen….

I can understand the Rocket City Dems not wanting to come off bad in this and they should not. Raby was not interested and that does not reflect bad on the RCD’s. The leadership of the RCD’s are friends of mine and although I disagree with their politics I respect their involvement in the process.

So just to be clear. The post by Dale is correct. Although maybe stating that Raby was not interested would have been the better choice of words instead of refused it is correct.

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17 Responses

  1. Is Steve Raby so arrogant that he feels the constituents of district AL-05 don’t care and that he can go into the general election without any public debate or town hall? Is Steve Raby so above the fray that he doesn’t even want to even do a town hall type forum and interact and field questions from the public?
    Or is Steve Raby simply scared?

    • Democrats have no idea what Raby stands for because there is zero vetting process on the Democrat side.

      http://theattackmachine.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/69-why-tim-james-is-wrong-the-school-board-is-hiding-and-do-the-democrats-not-have-a-vetting-process/

      I meant to talk about this yesterday, but I didn’t get around to it…

      Brooks wants to talk everything and Raby only wants to talk jobs….

      “I’m probably going to be a boring Congressman,” predicted Raby.

      Raby’s strategy is disingenuous but it really is the only thing he can do.

      He knows if he talks about Democratic politics in 2010 he is sunk.

      Raby, calling himself a conservative Democrat, said he hopes to avoid all partisan battles. A longtime political consultant, Raby instead plans to campaign on three decades of experience behind the scenes, experience he says will enable him to work both sides of the aisle in Congress.

      To that end, Raby wouldn’t say whether or not he would have supported health care reforms. When asked a second time, Raby answered that it “may sound audacious,” but if he had been in Congress he might have had some impact on the health care legislation.

      Does all of this sound familiar?

      Flashpoint covers it as well…

      by Brian

      What does the Democrats’ AL-05 nominee Steve Raby stand for? No one knows and he wasn’t willing to tell the Huntsville Times editorial board.

      Raby wouldn’t say whether or not he would have supported health care reforms.

      When asked if he would support her as Speaker of the House, Raby would only say: “I’m running to be the congressman for the next Congress. What’s happened in the past we have to deal with.”

      And Raby wouldn’t talk about his position on immigration reform.

      Really, if the good folks at the Times wanted to know where Raby stands on important issues that effect our district and our nation then they should have just visited the Issues page on his website. His campaign looks an awful lot like two embarrassingly bad recent campaigns by north Alabama Democrats Laura Hall and Jenny Askins. They both chose to avoid addressing any substantive issues and we see how that worked out for them.

      Furthermore where are the local Democrats at? Why did they let this happen?

  2. Maybe Raby is on a sugar high from the Sugar union PAC money he is receiving. Steve Raby is receiving campaign contributions from the same PAC that is showing the love and showering campaign donations to Charlie Rangel and Nancy Pelosi. Birds of a feather?

  3. I think Raby is just plain, old fashioned scared. I think he’s scared to participate in a classic debate against Mo Brooks. I think he’s scared of a one on one interview with Dale Jackson. I think he’s scared to take questions from the voters of AL-05. If he won’t talk to people prior to the election, how responsive would he be as a congressman?

    • Raby has been on the Dale Jackson Show, and he attends the Candidate get togethers. I saw a number of GOP folks wearing Raby campaign stickers at the last event. Not only that, but the state GOP candidates tended to seek out Raby instead of Morris.

      When I called the Dale Jackson Show on the day that Raby was there, I told them I would vote for Raby in a heartbeat before I’d hold my nose and vote for Bailout Brooks.

      Morris is just another career politician who is inebriated by power.

      Republicans for Raby!!

      http://blog.al.com/breaking/2010/07/alabama_farmers_federation_mak.html

      • Explain Raby’s positions on some issues…

      • I could be mistaken but I believe Raby has attended exactly one candidate get together. [Dale can probably confirm this.] Standing around and making chit-chat with people in a bar is one thing, getting up before a crowd and answering serious questions from that crowd about your positions and specific solutions is quite another. The move by Raby to stay away from any one-on-one debates against Mo Brooks is probably smart one. Raby probably realizes he’d get his clock cleaned. He’s scared – and he should be.

        Raby will buy himself TV time using that money he’s getting from those same PACs that donate to Pelosi and Rangle. Since Raby will not debate Mo Brooks he will have to hide behind a barrage of negative TV ads attacking Mo Brooks. He should talk to Parker Griffith about how well that tactic works.

        • Nah, he has been to 3 of them.

          My frustration stems from repeated attempts to contact his campaign after they assured us they would be open to talking about a debate.

          They ignored us, multiple times.

          • My mistake. Obviously I’m not as close to these candidate get togethers as you Dale. I stand corrected.

            I still think he’s scared to be in a moderated one-on-one debate with Mo Brooks or an open mic town hall style event. Just like when he blatantly avoided answering newspaper reporter questions about how he would have voted on recent congressional legislation, Raby is afraid that the voters of AL-05 might discover his true allegiances and agenda. He knows it will be harder to bob and weave when those same kinds of questions are posed to him before an attentive crowd – so he’s gonna hide.

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