Friday, 18 June 2021

Kishineff: Seeking a debate with Mike Thompson

I am a congressional candidate, one of four people on the ballot. It is very difficult to get your voice heard when you are an anti-establishment candidate running against a very establishment incumbent.

This paper, and a couple of others, have been very kind about printing a few letters and my press releases. I appreciate it.

Several other papers, including one of the largest papers in the district, seem to be giving me a news blackout.

One way I thought I could bring my ideas to the public would be through a public debate or even a candidate forum.

I have written Mike Thompson several times, including on social media and sending him physical letters to all of his offices. He refuses to even acknowledge my existence.

I've stepped it up and protested (peacefully) at his last four or five town hall meetings with a sign that says, "Debate me, Mike.” I even tried to hand him the letter with my debate challenge. He just pretends I'm not standing there.

So, I contacted the League of Women Voters in Napa, Sonoma and Benicia, and finally got a response, thanks to an editor of a different paper. They said they would host a candidate forum. Success!

But lo and behold, after a few days I got an email from them saying that Mr. Thompson wasn't available on the two days they offered, so they gave up and won't do it, because it’s in their bylaws that all candidates have to be present.

I tried to explain to them that this bylaw allows incumbents the unfair power to silence challengers, but to no avail.

I have been contacting chambers of commerce, Rotary clubs, Lions clubs, Soroptimist clubs, but the answer I keep getting is, "We are nonpartisan and don't like to have political speakers.”

I'm writing this because I want everyone to see how the establishment makes it difficult for challengers.

If I were you, I would be wondering why my congressman is afraid to debate a political newcomer from the Green Party and what is he hiding? Thank you.

Jason Kishineff is a Green Party congressional candidate. He lives in American Canyon, Calif.

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