Is Tewksbury Patch Sponsoring a State Rep. Debate?

A few readers have asked if Tewksbury Patch is planning to hosta debate between State Rep. Jim Miceli and challenger Doug Sears.

Question: Does Tewksbury Patch plan to hold a debate in the state representative race between Jim Miceli and Doug Sears? These debates are a good way for people to learn about the candidates, their positions and their personalities outside of quotes and soundbites in the news. (Editor's note: Different versions of this same question came from three readers.)

Answer: Wow, for the first time I don't have to ask anyone else for an answer to a "You Ask ... Patch Answers." I can just do it myself.

The short answer is  -- hopefully.

As our readers know, Tewksbury Patch views hosting debates as our responsibility in providing voters with as much information possible to make informed decisions come election time.

With that in mind, we made arrangements with Town Manager Richard Montuori to use Town Hall on Oct 11 for a State Representative Debate between State Rep. Jim Miceli and Selectman Doug Sears.

With a location secured, invitations were sent to both candidates, as well as to Warren Carey, who is serving as Miceli's campaign manager. The format was to be simple. I would moderate. Questions would come from myself, from readers and the candidates would have the chance to ask questions of each other.

Though I had not reached out to Joe Dermody yet, the goal was to broadcast the debate live on Tewksbury Public Access and tape delay in Wilmington.

Sears responded with an acceptance to the invitation.

I received a phone call a day later from Jim Miceli declining the invitation as presented. He emphasized he was anxious to debate but wanted to do so under his terms. He pointed out that Carey was organizing "something" for candidates at the high school but I pointed out that had nothing to do with our planned debate.

Miceli said he wouldn't agree to anything until he and Carey could sit down with Sears and myself to negotiate terms of the debate, including date, format and place.

I agreed and sent out another email to Carey and to Don Ordway, who is serving as Sears' campaign manager. The email sought possible dates for a meeting between the two camps and Patch.

As of Sept. 29 at 11 a.m., Ordway has responded by phone but I have yet to hear from Carey by phone or email regarding possible dates for this meeting.

So, as things stand now, no debate is set. However, it the goal of Tewksbury Patch to schedule this 1-on-1 debate as soon as possible. The voters of Tewksbury and Wilmington deserve it. Hopefully, politics and gamesmanship will not stand in the way.

Mary September 30, 2012 at 12:41 AM
I definitely agree with you Denise about Mr. Sears turning a debate into a circus.
Walter White September 30, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Jim Miceli for sainthood!
Bob September 30, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Mary, then why is he ducking a debate from an impartial organization like the Patch? This isn't FNC or ABC. Seems like Jim is like Tierney and wants to control the message and questions. What happened to open government? He does work for us after all.
Douglas W. Sears September 30, 2012 at 04:23 PM
As a candidate, I want to debate my opponent any time. You deserve the opportunity to know where I stand. My opponent is transparent about his fear of giving the public these opportunities to come to know why I would be the better Representative at this time for Tewksbury and Wilmington. You know Jim – and Warren! They want to control process from format thru debate to outcome. Why give me any opportunities to be examined and liked by the people? His commentators here echo his fear. My opponent by local legend is the fiercest donkey on Beacon Hill -- why would anyone think he can't handle himself on a level playing field? Today's SUN (p.10) announces my opponent as I will debate on Oct. 17 in Tewksbury, "time and site to be determined." (Stay tuned: is my opponent now going to get Warren to back him out of this one?) [ Note: Oct. 18th is my RALLY at 6:-9:00 PM at the Tewksbury CC -- to which you all are invited]! In Wilmington, Town Crier, with Steve Bjork, will moderate debate tobe live on WCTV on October 23rd. Fair play calls for a debate in BOTH towns -- not just in Tewksbury where the voting majority lives -- especially as Verizon no longer maintains the link so subscribers can access cable programs of both towns . The roadblocks thrown in the way of these debates are representative of why the voters need to RETIRE ONE PARTY RULE. Warren and Jim -- the "olde ways" gotta go! Don’t agree? Then, let's debate!
Marc DiFruscia September 30, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Yes please debate.


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