Contact: Brian Evans, 630-217-7561
The following is an open letter from Kelda Roys to the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association:
Wisconsin Broadcasters Association:
Madison, WI 5370
Dear Ms. Vetterkind:
Thank you for hosting a debate among Democratic gubernatorial candidates. In this critical election year, voters deserve to be informed about their options. That said, I strongly object to limiting the number of candidates in the debate, especially using the arbitrary, inaccurate, and undemocratic criteria put forward by WBA.
This primary is among ten candidates, not four. Denying over half the candidates a voice in what will likely be one of the only televised debates deprives Wisconsinites of information that may help them cast their ballots on August 14. It is the role and responsibility of Wisconsin voters to select our Democratic nominee for governor, not the WBA. Democracy works best when we all get involved.
It would be unconscionable to choose which candidates to invite by coin flip, and using a single poll is no different. As you have no doubt seen, Charles Franklin of Marquette University has disavowed the use of their poll in your candidate selection, and it is not hard to see why. Marquette’s last Democratic gubernatorial poll had a margin of error of +/- 7.1%. Virtually all the candidates were within the margin of error — meaning that, if Marquette had immediately repeated their last poll, it is quite possible that candidate rankings would be entirely different. In addition, using money as a criterion is a perfect representation of everything that is wrong with our politics and why so many people believe the process is slanted in favor of the wealthy and special interests.
We are confident that my campaign will qualify for inclusion in the debate, but given the flawed criteria you are using to decide who is included in your debate, I cannot in good conscience commit to attending. I would like the opportunity to be heard on the debate stage with all of the Democratic candidates – not those selected by fiat. I appreciate the efforts of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association to organize a debate, which serves an important public purpose. In keeping with that purpose, I strongly encourage you to change your criteria so that the debate you propose can truly inform the voters of Wisconsin of the full range of choices on August 14.
Kelda Helen Roys