Democrat Larry LaRocco has been calling on Republican Jim Risch to commit to participating in the traditional debate sponsored by the Idaho Press Club, League of Women Voters and Idaho Public TV that will be broadcast live statewide in October. Now, Risch has given his answer, in a letter to Elinor Chehey of the League of Women Voters:
Dear Ms. Chehey:
The Jim Risch for U. S. Senate Campaign received your letter of July 16, 2008, regarding the debate you are sponsoring for U. S. Senate candidates.
We receive many requests to do candidate debates and forums. We have chosen your debate in years past. This year, however, we have chosen a debate on October 21, sponsored by KTVB and other entities, and another debate sponsored by the Lewiston Morning Tribune.
Thank you for your invitation.
Very truly yours,
Ryan White, Risch for U. S. Senate Committee.
Full disclosure here: I’m the president of the Idaho Press Club, one of the three longtime sponsors of the traditional live debates. But this year, the sponsorship has expanded, with the Associated Press, Idaho Statesman, Boise State Radio, KIVI-TV and more co-sponsoring the high-profile series of debates known as “The Idaho Debates.” Oddly, Risch is ceding that statewide airtime to his opponents, who also are planning a series of live debates around the state in October in which he’s expressed little interest.