Independent gubernatorial candidate Scott Lively wants the chance to debate his opponents. Unfortunately, two of this year’s debates won’t let him in.
Though the first two debates, held on Sept. 29 and Oct. 7, allowed all five candidates to participate, Oct. 21’s debate, hosted by The Boston Globe and WGBH, only invited Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley. The Oct. 27 debate, hosted by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, NECN, and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, invited independents Evan Falchuk and Jeff McCormick, only to un-invite them a month later. Lively wasn’t invited in the first place.
Falchuk responded to the snub in a statement on his website, saying: “it’s flat-out wrong,’’ and “all of us, as voters, deserve so much more.’’
A spokesperson for the McCormick campaign told the Telegram & Gazette that the rebuff was “outrageous.’’
And now Lively has weighed in — and in true Lively fashion, too.
In an open letter to the Telegram & Gazette and NECN, Lively opened by extolling the virtues of democracy.
“By God’s grace we live in a society where everyone has an equal stake in this precious liberty,’’ he wrote.
“The role of the media is to fully inform the public of all of the relevant information related to the candidates and the issues so that we can decide for ourselves how to vote,’’ Lively continued. “By excluding the three Independent candidates from the October 27th debate, the T&G and NECN have breached their duty to the pubic [sic], and relegated to themselves the role of paternalistic censors. In my view, it is journalistic malfeasance.’’
Lively said that he initially considered suing the outlets, but then decided to “turn the other cheek’’ and instead ask them to reconsider.
If they won’t do it for democracy, Lively concluded, then they should do it for viewers of the debate.
“With all due respect, a Baker/Coakley debate is as boring as dry white toast,’’ Lively said. “The Independents bring real flavor to the table. Please let us in!’’
Say what you want about Scott Lively, but it’s hard to argue with him there.