While it's still unknown, (although unlikely), whether there will be any debates between Governor Blagojevich
and challenger Edwin Eisendrath
, it is a certainty that the one planned by Channel 7 and the League of Women Voters will NOT be going forward
. The debate was cancelled today after the Governor failed to respond to the invitation by the deadline.
"By canceling the debate, what we have done is a great disservice to the citizens of Illinois, because they don't have the opportunity to see Governor Rod Blagojevich and Ed Eisendrath talking about the issues," said Carol Maier, League of Women Voters of Illinois.
The deadline for agreeing to debate on ABC7 the night of March 7 was Tuesday. But Governor Blagojevich never signed on, claiming to be too busy running the state, preparing a budget and trying to get the state legislature to approve a host of new programs.
"We want to do a lot of different things. It takes a lot of work and effort, and my focus is exclusively on my job," said Blagojevich.
Interestingly, I was at a press conference with Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn last Saturday at which he was asked about his thoughts on debates between Blagojevich and Eisendrath. Always the populist, Quinn said that he thought that debates were good for the public, and that every incumbent should participate in at least one debate. I guess he and the Governor can agree to disagree on that one.