Independent and third-party candidates always have a tough time getting major-party candidates to let them join in their reindeer games. Just ask Peter Diamondstone, who's due in court Sept. 11 on charges related to his efforts to play in the debate game in Waitsfield last month.
Here's a creative approach from independent gubernatorial candidate Sam Young:
"Sam Young, an independent gubernatorial candidate from West Glover, has
issued a challenge to all of his opponents to play ball. In the spirit of
non-partisan politics, Young has invited all of the gubernatorial candidates,
their staffs, and supporters to join the Northeast Kingdom for a game of
mixed-teams softball. The game is scheduled for Sunday, August 24th at 2 p.m. in
West Glover. The game will be played at the home-field of Dennis and Peggy
Gibson, owners of NEK Balsam.
"Following the softball game, the candidates will take part in a
Question and Answer session at Parker Pie of West Glover, beginning at 6 p.m.
This part of the event will be moderated by Bethany Dunbar of the Barton
Chronicle. Questions will be collected from Vermont voters via e-mail to the
Chronicle and earlier in the day at the softball game."
It almost sounds too quaint for the other candidates to turn down.
Young says Anthony Pollina and Tony O'Connor have RSVP'd in the affirmative. Gaye Symington will be in Denver with the Dems and Jim Douglas' people have not returned several phone calls.
Douglas campaign manager Dennise Casey says she was in touch relatively immediately with Young's people about the idea. While they're not sure yet if Douglas is available for a few pop flies, the staff wants in, Casey said.
Young acknowledges that he spoke too soon about the Douglas campaign lack of contact.
- Terri Hallenbeck