Still Dodging Debates

Reproduced below are two recent letters exchanged by Art Robinson and Peter DeFazio. Art agrees to attend one DeFazio forum for each real debate DeFazio agrees to attend.  DeFazio continues to refuse to participate in any actual one-on-one debates.
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Art Robinson
P.O. Box 1250
Cave Junction, OR 97523

Peter DeFazio
P.O. Box 1316
Springfileld, OR 97477

August 3, 2012

Dear Mr. DeFazio,

I am in receipt of your letter of July 30, in which you refer to five campaign events that you have planned – four forum appearances and one media appearance. I, too, have an event schedule. During the past two months I have participated in 41, including 20 invited events and 21 events sponsored by our campaign.

I have already told you, in very clear terms, the situation regarding your expressed desire that I also participate in your forums. I will be delighted to participate in one such event of yours for every one-on-one, time keeper-controlled real debate that you participate in with me.

So far, you and your campaign have either refused or refused to answer several requests that you have received from organizations in Oregon that have offered to sponsor a real debate between you and me. I have accepted these invitations, subject, of course, to your acceptance.

The second paragraph of your letter (obviously written for publicity purposes) reveals the reason for your reticence to debate directly with your opponent. In a true man-to-man debate, the lies that you have told and publicized about my family and me; about my political policies; and about your own record in government could not be hidden.

In a real debate, you would be required by your opponent to answer for your questionable actions in Washington during the past 25 years and for your remarkable and harmful dishonesty toward an outstanding Oregon family during the past two years. You would have equal time to question me. The audience would hear our direct questions to one another and our answers in fair and open public debate without the involvement of third parties.

I will do one forum with you for each one-on-one debate that you do with me. I will make one joint broadcast appearance with a sponsor of your choice for each such appearance you make with a sponsor of my choice. (Lars Larson offered an appearance by the two of us months ago, but you have, so far, refused his offer.)

If I win the election in November, you will retire from public office. If you win the election, you should retire anyway. The majority of Americans now realize that the big government, big spending, high tax, high regulation, and high debt policies that you and your colleagues have followed have harmed our nation. Throughout our country, politicians who have followed those policies are gradually being removed from office.

In your specific case, my opinion has changed during the past two years. Initially, I concluded that your liberal socialist policies were not good for our nation. For this reason, I opposed you. Your behavior in our contest during the past two years, however, has caused me reluctantly to conclude that you personally lack the basic honesty, ethics, and character necessary to serve in Congress. I do not know whether you have always been this way. You may have changed since you were first elected.

I am now opposed to your policies and your lack of character. Why not stand up in public and debate me one-on-one, man-to-man on these issues, which are now before the voters of Oregon?

Art Robinson
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Congressman Peter DeFazio
P.O. Box 1316
Springfield OR 97477

July 30, 2012

Dear Professor Robinson:

I am in receipt of your vituperative 6-page screed regarding, among numerous other topics, the Fall debate schedule. I have accepted the five invitations to debate. I would note that this is one more than in the 2010 cycle. The addition of a televised debate will give a broad audience the opportunity to understand the dramatic differences in our approach to issues of public policy important to 4th District voters. I urge you to accept the five invitations without further
prevarication or delay.

In your 6-page diatribe and your recently distributed campaign book, you have tried to reconstruct or explain away your long held positions in favor of abolishing public education, ending the Social Security "Ponzi scheme" by attrition and favoring big business and Wall Street with total deregulation and tax loopholes and cuts. I will continue to cite your well-documented extremely radical positions (prior to your Congressional candidacy) in my media and our debates.

Sincerely,

Peter DeFazio