by Max Brantley
Today, it's Democrat Scott Ellington, the Jonesboro prosecutor, challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford to more debates.
Crawford has agreed to participate in one debate, at Arkansas State University, but no debate has been scheduled there yet, so, for now, that one is theoretical. Crawford has flatly declined to appear in a debate with Ellington on AETN, which broadcasts statewide, or at a proposed event in Stuttgart, heart of farm country that hasn't fared so well with Republicans in control of the House. The ASU event would appear on the campus TV station, carried on cable in Jonesboro and Bay. AETN will continue with its debate, featuring Ellington and Green and Libertarian candidates.
Crawford, with an enormous advantage in money, including whatever "independent" money is deemed necessary by GOP fat cats, is loathe to give Ellington any free time, much less where side-by-side comparisons could be made.
Ellington release follows:
Jonesboro-Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington today challenged Congressman Rick Crawford to accept debate invitations in Stuttgart and the televised AETN Debate.
"The issues in this race are too important not to be discussed," said Prosecutor Ellington. "Congressman Crawford needs to quit running away from his record of supporting Paul Ryan's plan to end Medicare as we know it and explain his position to the people of the First Congressional District. I'm ready to discuss the serious issues and problems facing our nation, but Congressman Crawford would rather avoid explaining his votes to turn Medicare into a voucher program, cutting college aid for 10 million students, and why his own Party leadership refuses to produce a 2012 Farm Bill for our hard-working Arkansas farmers. He also needs to step up and explain why he supports privatizing social security. I challenge him to accept these debate invitations so the people can make an educated decision on Election Day."
Congressman Crawford has declined debates in Stuttgart and the only televised debate at AETN in Conway. The AETN Debate is broadcast state-wide and is the only opportunity for every person in the first district to see candidate's side-by-side.