BOISE, IDAHO — KTVB aired a story on Tuesday night revealing how disappointed Idahoans are in Senator Risch for declining the network’s decision to cancel a debate that would feature U.S. Senate nominee Paulette Jordan.
U.S. Senate nominee Paulette Jordan already had urged KTVB to move forward with its pre-scheduled October 13 debate despite Republican Senator Jim Risch’s refusal to participate. In the network’s story (linked here), a viewer complained:
“Your decision not to proceed with a debate between Senator Risch and Paulette Jordan is an insult to the citizens of Idaho. … His refusal to debate denies the electorate the opportunity to hold him accountable for his actions representing Idaho. … KTVB has the responsibility to not afford a politician seeking office with an advantage. Your failing to proceed with this debate gives the impression of deferring to an incumbent at the expense of a legitimate opponent in Ms. Jordan. You are tipping the balance in favor of Senator Risch. That is not the acceptable role of the press during this especially crucial moment in the history of this nation.”
A second viewer said:
“I believe journalism has a responsibility to drum up that engagement. … Don’t be complicit here KTVB. Empower everyone’s voice.”
In a statement, Jordan said:
“Tonight in Salt Lake City, plexiglass will be on the stage protecting one of the two candidates in the official vice presidential debate because that’s how critical debates are to our democratic process. The Commission on Presidential Debates is going to unprecedented lengths to eliminate risk of exposure to COVID for those who must be in the room. But Senator Risch is backing out of a debate because he doesn’t think it’s a good place to ‘publish his views.’ It’s totally unacceptable, and KTVB needs to adjust this situation and work toward a solution so that we can have a debate — with Senator Risch present or not.”
For Senator Risch, who professes to care about civil language, the lack of respect to voters in Idaho is stunning.
We’re still wondering: Does Senator Risch even have a campaign?
Last time there was a vacancy on the Supreme Court, Senator Risch told McClatchy, “The U.S. Supreme Court is very, very political, just like Congress is, just like the president of the United States,” and he added that a U.S. Supreme Court justice is an “architect of the culture of our country.” [LINK: McClatchyDC.com, by Rob Hotakainen, 4/13/16]
Voters of this state deserve to hear directly from Senator Risch about what he meant and whether he stands by this incendiary assertion.
- When Risch last ran for re-election, he told the state’s biggest paper: “I really like this job. Governor will wear you down. You can’t do that job permanently. This you can do ad infinitum,” which may explain why he fell asleep in impeachment hearings last year and is not up for doing the real work Idahoans deserve.
- Senator Risch is taking his constituents for granted and not respecting the democratic process, and it’s taking a massive toll on Idahoans.
Paulette Jordan’s message is “People First Policy,” emphasizing health care, economic recovery, stewardship of land, and increased federal fiscal discipline and accountability. She is endorsed by the Idaho Statesman, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List. More information about Jordan’s campaign for the U.S. Senate can be found at her website www.pauletteforsenate.com