Johnson, Gambatese may square off in debate
Campaigns trying to reach compromise on moderator choice
BY CHRIS GAETANO
SOUTH BRUNSWICK - Disagree-ment over who should serve as moderator has stalled a debate for the Democratic mayoral primary, though as the election draws near, Debra Johnson's campaign has begun making overtures toward a compromise.
Johnson, the former mayor, has repeatedly called upon current Mayor and Democratic rival Frank Gambatese to debate her.
Dan Frankel, Gambatese's campaign manager, has repeatedly rejected these challenges because the Johnson campaign said that it would like the Junior State of America (JSA) to moderate the debate. Frankel said that while the mayor would not be completely opposed to a debate, it would have to be moderated by the League of Women Voters.
The League of Women Voters began as an organization that sought to secure the vote for women. Afterwards, it became a nonpartisan political organization devoted to encouraging people to participate in government through education and advocacy.
The Junior State of America is a national organization organized and run exclusively by students that attempts to promote political awareness through activities such as debates and simulations. South Brunswick High School student Julia Kaplan is the current governor of the JSA's Mid-Atlantic region.
"I think the mayor has been very clear. He said that if he was going to participate in a debate, it would have to be run by the League of Women Voters. They've been facilitating the debates in town all the time and they do it in a very professional manner," said Frankel.
In response, the Johnson campaign said it would be willing to entertain a debate where the moderation responsibilities would be evenly distributed between the league and the JSA, though the Gambatese campaign did not respond to this offer.
According to Johnson, there are many reasons why she would have preferred the JSA moderate the debate. One is that she saw the youth organization moderate a school board debate before and was impressed with the group's professionalism. Another is that it would be a good experience for the students. Finally, Johnson said she would have liked to have a local connection, pointing out that the league is based out of Princeton.
"We chose JSA because it's a group made of our kids. They're neutral; they don't know me any better than they know Frank, and it's a great experience for them," said Johnson.
According to Johnson, at this point, with the June 6 primary looming, they're willing to even have the League of Women Voters moderate the debate as Gambatese asked if it means getting it going.
"I think it's unfortunate to disappoint the kids like that. It's a great opportunity for them, it's even-handed for us and it's based in town, but whatever. We're prepared to work with anything at this point," said Johnson.
My name is Yvonne Chu and I'm the Granada Hills Charter HS JSA Chapter Activities Coordinator. I'd like to invite YOU and YOUR CHAPTER to the GHCHS Mini-Con which will be next Saturday, March 4th.
The theme is "Education of the Nation"! There will be free food, and Senator Richard Alarcon tentatively will be speaking. Most importantly, it's going to be a lot of fun.
GHCHS Mini-Con - "Education of the Nation"
Date: March 4th, 2006
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Place: Granada Hills Charter HS
10535 Zelzah Ave.
Granada Hills CA 91344
Cost: $5 Admission
We'll also be selling pizza and soda/water for $1 each.
If you or anyone from your chapter would like to debate or moderate, please sign up by contacting me through e-mail at email@example.com.
I really hope that you all come to the mini-con! Please invite all members from your chapter to come, even if you are unable to attend.
If you have any questions about the mini-con, please don't hesitate to contact me.
( List of debates/thought talks/activitiesCollapse )
Since nobody's really talked about Mid Atlantic State ppl in JSA (are there even MAS JSA people here from other chapters cuz I've never seen them on LJ)...
....WHO'S READY FOR FALL STATE!
I'm actually really excited, in spite of the fact we're now in Cherry Hill instead of Philly, but still, it'll be a lot of fun.
i got the debate list and it seems like it's really interesting and that makes me even happier!
Glad to see that the national website is all psyched-up for Spring State 2005!
(Sorry, I know I'm the first person to ever bring this up.)
Passed to ECOSOC
1. Would you like to moderate my caucus?
2. Could you infringe on my national sovereignty?
3. I would like to ethnically cleanse you
4. Point of inquiry- Is there a judicially appointed reflective material in your pocket? Because i see me in your pants.
5. A woman is like a debate: First she's for, then she's against. By the end she'll always go 'to the point'.
6. I'll give you right of search and seizure.
7. I'll extend your speaking time any day of the week.
8. Point of order- but you are really hot.
9. You really extend my speaking time.
10. I would like the right to reply to how hot you are.
11. Recognizing that outfit looks good on you
a. Asserts that it will look better on my hotel room floor
12. Lets form a sub committee to discuss your disputed territories
13. I want 2/3rds of your majority
14. Come to my committee and I’ll show you Djibouti
15. You owe me a point of personal privilege