“Back at Channel 7, our phones have been ringing off the hook,” moderator Dee Sarton told gubernatorial candidates Steve Pankey, A.J. Balukoff and Butch Otter tonight at the opening of KTVB’s gubernatorial debate. “Folks are a little disappointed … their favorite programming in prime time was not on.” She urged the candidates, in their opening comments, to “address the folks … why they should listen to you instead of turning over to prime time TV.”
None took the bait. Pankey closed his statement with this: “May God richly bless channel 7 and may God richly bless the state of Idaho.”
Balukoff cited statistics about Idaho’s schools and economy suffering. “Friends, we can do better,” he said. “I will create an economy where people can afford to support a family. We simply must change and we must do it now. That is why I am running for governor.”
Otter opened with this: “Dee, you promised us no commercials – I just heard a pretty good commercial there.” He urged viewers to “go beyond what you hear tonight and research each of these candidates.” He said he led the state through a tough recession. “We have had a tough time, but we came through it because we worked together,” Otter said.
Then, at the end of his response to the next question – about why people should vote this time around – Balukoff added this comment: “I think you can record and watch ‘The Voice’ later.”
Pankey then took it one step further. “’The Voice’ may be fun and games and it may be great and it may be really entertaining, however your responsibility is to become an informed voter. John Wayne said life is tough and it’s even tougher if you’re stupid. And you need to be an informed voter, that’s all there is to it.”