Last week, District 4 Rep. Tom McClintock backed out of a debate with challenger Jessica Morse in the Lake Tahoe area to be hosted by the Lake Tahoe Resort Association and Sierra Business Council (SBC).
The McClintock campaign announced via twitter Sept. 10 that McClintock would be withdrawing from the debate “due to a lack of candor by the host,” offering the explanation that SBC president Steve Frisch allegedly neglected to disclose his endorsement and donations for the Morse campaign.
“We would’ve liked to have debated in Tahoe, but we felt the organizers should’ve disclosed that,” McClintock campaign consultant and spokesman Chris Baker told the Enterprise Tuesday.
The SBC responded in a statement Sept. 11, “As co-hosts, SBC made sure the debate format proposed was completely non-partisan and balanced, was offered to and eventually accepted by both parties, and included an independent third party moderator and independent panel of journalists to ask questions … Mr. Frisch clearly informed Mr. McClintock’s campaign manager of his personal endorsement of and support for Ms. Morse in his initial phone call with Mr. Huey to discuss the details of the event on July 31, 2018.”
Both campaigns have agreed to a debate to be hosted by KQED in Sacramento in early October which will give voters a chance to call in live and ask the candidates questions.
The Morse campaign has also recently accepted a debate invitation to be hosted by the Granite Bay High School Debate Club, according to Morse’s deputy campaign manager, Makaiah Mohler.
The Mariposa Gazette Debate is still slotted for Sept. 23, and the Morse campaign is working to make the debate televised and/or streamable via Facebook, Mohler said.
The Enterprise will provide updates on Morse and McClintock’s debate schedule as more information is made available.