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Debates with more debating about debates

Oct 20, 2018 12:33 am
Debating about debates is all the rage in political circles just before the Nov. 6 general election. Andrew Cuomo, the incumbent Democrat, still has not agreed to debate Republican Marc Molinaro, or the three others on the ballot. Former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, running on the Serve America Movement line; Green Party candidate Howard Hawkins; and the Libertarian Party’s Larry Sharpe are also willing to debate. On Oct. 19 Cuomo announced his terms to debate Molinaro, but the Republican called the last-minute offer a "staged fraud" and complained that Cuomo's idea included no television cameras, and would only be broadcast in New York City. In other debate news, on Oct. 19 Republican incumbent John Faso and Democrat Antonio Delgado held the first of four debates before their Congressional election. That came after Faso appeared with the two other candidates -- independent Diane Neal and the Green Party's Steve Greenfield -- Oct. 16 at a forum in Delaware County. Delgado's campaign said they told organizers he could not attend well in advance, but Faso's campaign issued a press release with an attack about Delgado's empty chair at the event. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, meanwhile, is pulling out of her only debate at the last minute. Gillibrand, a Democrat, canceled her debate Oct. 21 in Saratoga with Republican rival Chele Farley on Oct. 19. She says she won't debate because the forum's broadcaster, Spectrum News and NY1, are in a labor dispute with Charter Communications. “I am... deeply committed to the working men and women of the labor community and support the 1,800 members of IBEW who went on strike for fair pay and benefits and I will not cross a de facto picket line scheduled for Sunday. That is why I will withdraw from participating in the Spectrum News/NY1 debate this Sunday unless the workers’ strike of Charter has been resolved.” Her opponent implied that Gillibrand had better things to do then defend her senate seat. “Gillibrand’s refusal to debate and explain her lack of accomplishments during her 12 years in office to the 19 million-plus New Yorkers she’s abandoned during her quest to run for President is unacceptable,” Farley said.