UPDATE–Culp, Inslee Debate Back on, Likely for October 7
We had earlier reported that GOP Governor's Candidate Loren Culp and his campaign had made a non-negotiable stand on having him and Inslee in the same room for a debate, most likely October 7. That stand apparently made the debate null and void.
Inslee had wanted to originally do it from his home, then the Washington State Debate Commission (WSDC) had proposed they do it from adjoining rooms at the TVW Olympia Studios.
Neither plan was acceptable to Culp, and the debate appeared to be off. The reason Inslee wanted his part from his home was, according to him, being COVID social distancing responsible. But critics say the real reason was so he could be 'insulated' from the spotlight, and his handlers could prompt him and supply him with information (ala Joe Biden) from just off camera.
Inslee's campaign consistently balked at the idea of having them on stage, even socially distanced, for the debate, despite Inslee staging numerous public in person meetings the last 3 weeks over wildfires and COVID issues.
However, we've learned Wednesday that Culp has made a concession, deciding the debate itself is more important than logistics. The two will apparently debate from adjoining rooms, but no electronic devices or staff will be allowed. Each candidate, alone in their room, perhaps with paper notes.
Here's what MyNorthwest.com had issued late Tuesday evening about the issue:
"The Loren Culp campaign made a concession and says the debate will now likely occur on October 7. Culp confirms to the Jason Rantz Show that he will debate Jay Inslee in separate studios, but neither staff nor electronic devices can be allowed in the rooms with the candidates. Culp tells me he’s not pleased with the Washington State Debate Coalition, as they completely ignored the campaign’s position while forwarding a scenario that made Inslee happy. The Coalition has not yet announced the deal."
It appears that putting Inslee in an isolated room would still produce the kind of one to one results Culp and the GOP are looking for. Without his science, data, handlers and others to help him, he will have to rely on his own record to debate issues with Culp.
Media critics are already saying Culp has taken the high road, and recognized the importance of a debate for the public, while Inslee has been behaving like a petulant child in insisting on getting 'his way.'
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