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As I See It

Political candidates need to provide answers, not just commercials



Generally speaking, we would like to hear less from the politicians, not more. But that isn’t necessarily true on the campaign trail. It is important that we have a chance to get to know those candidates running for public office. How else can we make a decision at the ballot box? That is why it is unfortunate that there may not be a debate between the two candidates running to replace Ron Kind as the Congressman for Wisconsin’s Third District.  Brad Pfaff has challenged his opponent, Derrick Van Orden to three debates, one in each of the largest cities in the district: La Crosse, Eau Claire and Stevens Point. So far not a single debate has been scheduled, despite efforts from UW La Crosse and other groups that typically arrange such debates. Instead of accepting the challenge to debate, Van Orden has simply issued a snarky statement about Pfaff being a career politician. Political debates can be important to helping educate the electorate. They are typically broadcast on radio and television throughout the district. The candidates are forced to answer tough questions, often ones they don’t want to have to answer. How they respond can be telling to how they would act if elected. Otherwise all we’re left with to judge a candidate is their carefully crafted campaign ads, their slick messaging and their soft lighting. We need to hear from them directly. Without someone choosing their words for them.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. Chip DeNure

    September 14, 2022 at 5:24 am

    Apparently Van Orden’s polling has told him he has a huge lead. Why debate if you have a huge lead.

    • Sue Schultz

      September 20, 2022 at 2:08 pm

      he must have something to hide or maybe he cannot speak to the issuses.

  2. Martha Linville

    September 14, 2022 at 8:50 am

    I always figure people that don’t want to debate are afraid their ideas are so out of tune with the people they want to “serve” they know that no one will vote for them. I automatically reject them because I don’t like people that won’t answer honest questions. Same with people that do not respond to honest question sets which ask them to share their views on certain subjects. If you approve of what you want to do in a district, why are you afraid (or too arrogant) to say it?

  3. nick

    September 14, 2022 at 9:28 am

    You are correct in that they need to debate. The problem I have with that is that the questioner brings her/his biases into it and one gets away with a easy questions and followups and the other gets hammered
    It will not happen but let me ask the questions; I do not like either of them; do not like either party and at 74 am not in the mood to put up with any candidate’s bullshit.
    We need serious people who fully understand the problems and have the intestinal fortitude to bucks their party. One instance, Biden is at war twitch oil and gas and China is furiously building coal plants to fuel their industries. So much for climate change

    • Chip DeNure

      September 14, 2022 at 11:31 am

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think most gullible ‘greenies’ believe if the US does away with fossil fuels, the planet will be saved.They assume that Russia, China, and India will follow suit, which, of course, is a mighty big assumption.

  4. Charlene Joyce

    September 14, 2022 at 10:33 am

    How about debating where Ron Kind lost instead of where the Democratic strongholds are? I don’t necessarily agree with ALL the policies of either candidate, but our current representative, Ron Kind, has been lying for years about representing the people of this state and country, and doing only what the democratic party wanted him to do for it. It’s time we put in a candidate who will represent ALL the people of this district, not just the urban areas. It’s obvious we need someone who is one of us, not just someone who has only been in politics for life. Mr. Van Orden is an obvious choice.

  5. Sue Schultz

    September 20, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    If you do not like either candidate, start a write in campaign.

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