September 14, 2012
CBF: Cancellation of Debates is a Loss for Voters
Citizens need views of all candidates on "Farming and Protecting the Environment" and other issues
(EASTON, MD)—Alan Girard, Director of the Eastern Shore Office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), issued this statement upon learning this week that U.S. Representative Andrew Harris (R-MD) has decided to pull out of all debates this election season, including one co-sponsored by CBF:
"We are disappointed voters won't hear the views of candidates for Congress on "Farming and Protecting the Environment," the topic of a scheduled debate we had planned with the Maryland Farm Bureau and the Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Salisbury University. Dr. Harris had agreed to participate in the Sept. 24 debate, but this week told us he is withdrawing from this and all other scheduled debates.
"Without Dr. Harris' participation, and uncertainty about other candidates' participation, staging a debate seems unproductive, and we are announcing the cancellation of the debate which was to be held at Salisbury University. We apologize to voters who planned to attend.
"We are pleased, however, that Dr. Harris has agreed to announce a schedule of public town meetings around the 1st District at which citizens can pose questions to the Congressman. We hope the Congressman will make that schedule available as soon as possible so voters can plan ahead. We also hope other candidates will offer some forum for voters to learn and question their positions on important issues.
"CBF is in the midst of an active campaign on the Eastern Shore to educate voters about the benefits of state and local efforts to clean up polluted creeks, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, and also to inform voters about attempts by the House of Representatives to derail these efforts. This campaign will continue at full strength."