Statement from the McWherter for Governor Campaign, Aug. 11, 2010:
Haslam Campaign Backs Out of Public Appearances, Blows Off Voters and Civic Organizations
Nashville, TN – Mike McWherter, Jackson Businessman and Democratic Nominee for Governor, has agreed to 15 joint candidate forums to date for the general election. In a cowardly move, the Haslam campaign is backing out on joint appearances across the state, limiting the opportunity for Tennessee voters to compare the candidates side-by-side.
Rather than discussing the issues, the Haslam campaign is muzzling its candidate by sending notifications to organizations across the state expressing their disinterest in having one-on-one discussions with the democratic nominee. These groups range from universities to civic organizations to advocates for the elderly.
“No one group is more important than the other and now is not the time for any candidate to avoid debating the issues one-on-one in front of interested Tennesseans.” said Mike McWherter. “Tennessee voters want and deserve to see their candidates in these neutral venues so they can make an informed decision about who should be the next Governor. If he is not willing to stand up to me, how can Tennesseans trust him to stand up for their best interests?”
Below is a list of joint appearances the McWherter Campaign has agreed to participate in to date:
· 8/23 Dyer County Chamber of Commerce Forum — Dyersburg
· 8/31 NISC / NCOA Forum at TFA / TASC — Nashville
· 8/31 First Lady’s Student Town Hall — Nashville
· 9/14 Cool Springs Chamber Mayoral Forum — Cool Springs
· 9/14 Highlands / NewsChannel 5 Debate — Cookeville
· 9/16 Aging Forum sponsored by 50Forward and TN AARP — Nashville
· 9/16 Alumni of Leadership Nashville Forum — Nashville
· 9/23 Governor’s Conference on Tourism Forum — Gatlinburg
· 10/7 TN Bar Association Health Law Forum — Nashville
· 10/7 UT / WBIR Debate — Knoxville
· 10/9 WREG Debate — Memphis
· 10/11 Belmont / WSMV Debate — Nashville
· 10/12 University of Memphis Debate — Memphis
· 10/14 Young Professional of Chattanooga Forum — Chattanooga
· 10/18 TN Economic Council on Women Forum – Nashville
Below is an e-mail from Haslam Campaign staffer Katie Argo declining two public appearance requests in the Nashville Area.
“I hope that this email finds you well. Thank you for your follow up, and for your congratulations for Mayor Haslam becoming the Republican nominee. We are looking forward to and are pushing steadily towards November. As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t able to confirm Mayor Haslam’s attendance due to the date being so far out and before the primary. It has been decided that we have accepted three joint appearances with Mr. McWherter, in the form of three different televised debates that will run state wide (one in the West, Middle, and East). Because of this, we are choosing to limit Mayor Haslam’s joint appearances with Mr. McWherter to those three televised debates. We would love for Mayor Haslam to be able to speak to the Leadership Nashville Organization members, as well as the Senior issues focused groups that you mentioned below, however, it can’t be the in forum of a Forum and/or Debate. We have already had multiple joint appearances with Mr. McWherter and would like to focus more on what Mayor Haslam’s thoughts, plans, etc., are , for the future of our state. I hope that you understand where we are coming from. If you would like to schedule a time for Mayor Haslam to speak to yall’s group, please let me know and I can most certainly aide in that. Should you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me.”
About Mike McWherter
Mike McWherter, the only candidate in the race who is not a career politician, is a successful small business owner in West Tennessee. A native of Northwest Tennessee, he now lives in Jackson with his wife Mary Jane and their children Walker and Bess. The McWherter for Governor campaign can be found online at www.mikemcwherter.com.