Oct 122004
 
Authors: James Baetke

A debate today between state Senator candidates Fort Collins

Mayor Ray Martinez and Bob Bacon was cancelled with both sides

accusing the other of foiling the event.

The debate was cosponsored by The Fort Collins Coloradoan and

was to be held on the CSU campus. Days before the event, Karrin

Anderson, the debate organizer and an assistant professor for the

Department of Speech Communications, ultimately decided to cancel

the event because the parties involved could not reach an

agreement.

Martinez and Bacon are running for the State Senate District 14

seat, along with Libertarian Mark Brophy. This would have been

their first formal debate.

Both Bacon’s and Martinez’s campaigns contend that trouble began

when Brophy tried to enter the debate. Martinez said because Brophy

was not part of the initial agreement to be in the debate, he did

not want to take part in it.

Bacon’s campaign agreed Brophy was not part of the original

agreement but said Bacon had no problem with him joining it.

Gray McGinnis, Bacon’s campaign manager, said the debate falling

apart is because of Martinez’s actions and unwillingness to

debate.

“The debate was canceled because Ray backed out,” McGinnis

said.

Martinez said he did no “backing out.” He said he was not

interested in being the “buffer” in the debate between Bacon and

Brophy. He said Brophy suddenly “jumped in the mix” of things, and

he was not willing to violate the original agreement and debate

plans.

“These two (Bacon and Brophy) need to get in the ring and duke

it out. I am in the center and I am not their punching bag. They

know he is a spoiler with the conservative vote,” Martinez

said.

Martinez said he is open to rescheduling the debate as long as

the parties involved agree on the debate guidelines. He said he was

OK with Brophy joining a debate as long that it is specified in an

agreement.

“We are willing to reschedule the debate (at) CSU,” Martinez

said

McGinnis said the Bacon campaign has attempted to reschedule the

debate twice, but Martinez refused.

“Standing up for what you believe in in politics is important

and I do not understand why Martinez does not see that,” McGinnis

said.

Troy Krenning, Martinez’s campaign manager, said everything was

fine and both sides had a “wonderful platform.” That was until

Brophy stepped in and demanded to be part of the debate, he

said.

Krenning said Bacon’s campaign has “never ever” contacted

Martinez’s campaign to try and reschedule the debate and that

Martinez has “21 days to withstand their firestorm.”

“If Dr. Anderson is going to reschedule the debate, I will clear

my calendar,” Krenning said.

Both sides acknowledged Brophy sent out an e-mail to everyone

involved in the debate, including Anderson, stating he was upset he

could not attend the event because of Martinez’s objection.

Brophy stated it was unfair for him to be excluded from the

event in the e-mail. The e-mail prompted Anderson to call off the

debate.

In a press release sent by McGinnis, titled in bold underline

letters, “Martinez Short Changes CSU Students,” Anderson is quoted

as saying: “Since the event no longer serves the original purpose

of giving the CSU student community access to the major candidates

in a debate format, we have canceled the debate.”

Anderson could not be reached for direct comment.

“Oh, fiddle faddle,” Marinez said. “The real debate is between

Bacon and I.”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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