Thursday, August 7, 2008

Candidates have 'immaculate conversation'

We have some interesting political races on the Aug. 26 primary ballot. With just days left before early voting starts, the Bradenton Herald's editorial board has been holding election forums this week in conjunction with Manatee Educational TV and the University of South Florida's Institute for Public Policy and Leadership:

Candidates vying for three Manatee County Commission seats:
On Monday night, Republican candidates for District 5, Donna Hayes (incumbent), Bob Henderson and Benwayne Morrison; and for District 7, Joe McClash (incumbent) and Greg Witham, squared off.

On Wednesday, Republican candidates for District 3, Jane von Hahmann (incumbent) and John Chappie were up for debate.

And tonight, candidates for District 1 gather: Amy Stein (incumbent), Larry Bustle and Felicia Tappan are squaring off. Watch for reporter Nick Azzara's coverage in Friday's editions.

Nonpartisan candidates for 12th Judicial Circuit judge, Connie Mederos-Jacobs and Gilbert Smith Jr.; and 12th District public defender, Larry Eger, Ron Filipkowski and Adam Tebrugge, took the stage Wednesday night.

The moderators have been David Klement, director of the USF institute; Bonnie Greenball, the institute's associate director; and Chris Wille, editorial page editor of the Herald.

As longtime Herald readers know, David was editorial page editor here for years before "retiring" last year and starting his new gig. So he's been doing these debates for a long time.

Well, I got an e-mail missile from him today that I had to share with you. It's probably one of the best-written e-mails I've received in a while -- and he knew he was right! It was our "oops" -- we failed to give credit to our co-sponsors in the coverage on public defender and judicial circuit judge forums (we've added that here online).

So, with David's permission, enjoy:

Good morning, Joan,

We know about the Immaculate Conception. We’ve heard of the Immaculate Reception. Today we have the Immaculate Conversation. Two political debates of some significance that just occurred in a vacuum. No setting, no sponsor, no audience – just these candidates got together somewhere and made political statements and a reporter happened to overhear them.

Obviously, the reference is to the Judge and PD debates we co-sponsored last night at County Bldg. It’s not for ego or even corporate reasons I mention it – just basic 5W’s. Seems relevant whether it was sponsored by a neighborhood association or the area’s top local newspaper and only state university.

Just sayin…,

Your faithful reader

David E. Klement
Director, Institute for Public Policy and Leadership
University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee

Subtle, don't you think?
That's our David!


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