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Governor’s race should include debate

Voters appreciate televised debates, and in the race for the governorship of Texas this fall, we think our incumbent governor ought to debate his Democratic opponent.
Gov. Rick Perry has, at least for the time being, put the brakes on an effort being organized out of Dallas to set up a televised fall debate with Bill White, the former Houston mayor who has been a center of no small amount of negative attention on the topic of only slowly releasing his tax returns to public scrutiny.

That’s the stated reason Perry has refused to commit to the debate. White says he’ll release the returns from years he’s run for or held public office, while Perry has released all of his returns stretching back to his entry into statewide office in 1991.

The argument is sound in the scope of leveling the playing field for a debate, but the legitimacy of that argument in the face of denying the public an opportunity to witness a debate is dicey. Moreover, the fact Perry is an incumbent Republican governor running for re-election in a state that leans largely to the right gives him a decided advantage that would be hard to shake, regardless of if White releases the returns. Perry should not want to be perceived as delaying or avoiding a debate or keeping it out of the headlines of the day for a few more days or weeks, and his actions could certainly be seen in that light.

Ultimately, what we want to see is something that Perry should agree is a fair and reasonable goal — a debate between candidates for public office.

Debates are a powerful tool for judging the aptitude of a political hopeful, and in the race for governor in Texas, it should be a foregone conclusion that public debates will be a part of the election cycle.

Tax returns or no tax returns, we’d like to see this debate happen. We think taxpayers deserve that much, absolutely without question.

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Posted by on Apr 28 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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