INDEPENDENCE, IA — Three weeks after warning the liberal Democrat incumbent Bruce Braley against backtracking from his original proposal for a broadcast network TV debate, U.S. congressional candidate Ben Lange’s campaign today issued an ultimatum to Braley to either agree to a broadcast network TV debate with Lange by Tuesday, August 28th or “answer to Iowans in November why you would not defend your voting record on a platform that can be viewed far and wide across eastern Iowa.”
“Congressman Braley initially agreed to a broadcast network TV debate and all we are asking is for him to live up to his word,” said Lange’s campaign manager Jason Flohrs. “Apparently that is too much to ask of career politicians in Washington these days.”
In late July, the Braley campaign proposed three debates to be broadcast on KCRG-TV9 (9/28), Iowa Public Radio (10/10), and Iowa Public Television (11/1). Lange immediately agreed to Braley’s proposal and sought two additional debates, which Braley declined. Lange insists on all three debates taking place as proposed, including one broadcast network TV debate.
After the initial proposal was offered by Braley and accepted by Lange, KCRG-TV9, a reputable network which provides “the largest audience day and night” in eastern Iowa, informed both campaigns that the network TV debate would need to be modified due to circumstances outside of their control.
KCRG-TV9 subsequently offered to host a broadcast network TV debate on September 30th, but Braley declined, citing a scheduling conflict.
KWWL-7, another reputable network serving nearly two dozen eastern Iowa counties, similarly offered to host a debate on October 20th, but Braley has again declined and refused to reveal any justification for not participating in a KWWL-7 debate in his home county of Black Hawk.
Lange has accepted both offers from both networks and remains open to other dates that work for Braley and the generous network sponsors. Lange has also agreed to a debate on KCRG Channel 9.2 (a local channel), provided Braley sticks to his word for a broadcast network TV debate.
“Based on our negotiations, it has become clear that Congressman Braley simply wants to minimize the number of Iowans who can watch a televised debate,” said Flohrs. “Why else would Braley be willing to advertise on broadcast network TV, but not be willing to debate Ben Lange on the same?”
“Congressman Braley now has a clear choice: Agree to debate your voting record with Ben Lange on broadcast network TV by Tuesday, August 28, at 5:00 p.m., or answer to Iowans in November why you will not defend your voting record on a platform that can be viewed far and wide across eastern Iowa.”
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