Official Letter: Dauphin Island Candidates Decline Debate Invitation
5 August 2012
Dear Gene Fox; President, Dauphin Island Chamber of Commerce
We are writing to inform you that we are not participating in the upcoming election debates scheduled for August 9th and August 16th. Gene, over the past week several of us have discussed with you serious concerns we have about the moderation and procedures that you have failed to address in a timely and adequate manner. For example:
• Failure to provide the candidates with a list of questions so we have time to prepare.
• We do not have a clear understanding of how the questions will be submitted, screened, or selected.
• You have failed to provide the ground rules of the debate in writing.
• You refuse to remove yourself as moderator and we feel you would have a difficult time being an impartial and/or neutral moderator given your current Town appointed position (by the current administration) and your relationship with the “front porch committee.”
• You intentionally misrepresented the truth to three different candidates and told them all other candidates have committed to participate in the debate with the exception of one, when the reality is, we the undersigned, have agreed to no such thing.
• You have failed to reach out and discuss participating in the debate with candidates Richard McKean and Bill Hibberts.
• Failed to give us adequate notice.
• Publicized the debate without prior notice.
In closing, we would welcome the opportunity to participate in a fair and impartial debate with all parties treated equally. However, since this is not the case, we respectfully decline.
Virginia H. Shanahan
Thomas “Tank” Howard