that Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie
has been called up to active military service to help out with the hurricane response, his Democratic challenger has nevertheless begun setting up some "conversations" to help voters choose between them.
Tom Costello wrote Dubie
Friday, only to learn Saturday he had been deployed for a few days. Costello suggested the two appear in five conversations around the state, once each week leading up to the election. Costello didn't call them debates.
"I would like to work with you to develop a "Thursday Night Live" that is mutually convenient, insures process impartiality, and is likely to achieve a meaningful discussion about the future of Vermont."
Costello took the liberty of setting two of these meetings up already. One will be at Castleton
State College on Oct. 2. Another would be at Southern Vermont College in Bennington
on Oct. 9. Costello proposes the final three be held in Burlington, St. Johnsbury
Susie Hudson, Dubie's
campaign manager, said that while five debates seemed like a reasonable number, the Republican incumbent has already agreed to four other debates. She noted that the two Costello went ahead and arranged are for times and dates when Dubie
Hudson noted that several of the debates Dubie
has said he would attend would have larger audiences than the two events Costello has set up. One of the debates she's speaking about would be televised and the other two would be broadcast over radio.
My suggestion: mark your calendars in pencil when it comes to debates announced by one candidate. Use a pen only if a sponsor makes the announcement -- because there always is debate over political debates.
-- Nancy Remsen