Melvin recently told the Weekly he would not debate his Democratic contender, Cheryl Cage, before the 2010 election because he is too busy. But in a statement on his website, the freshman Senator wrote, “One of the ways we are educating the voters is by participating in a number of debates with Ms. Cage, and those public appearances and comparisons will be very helpful.”
The problem is, the “debates” he is referring to are not quite debates.
For example, he tweeted about a recent candidate forum in Oro Valley, saying it, “had candidates for many offices, including mine, debating one another.”
But it wasn’t a debate, according to forum organizer Conny Culver, a former Oro Valley council member.
“In a debate the candidates have a chance to go back and forth with each other,” she said. “We were never trying to be a debate.”
When asked about his use of the word at the Oro Valley candidate forum, Melvin said, “I consider this to be in the league of a debate.”
His competitor disagrees. “Forums are not debates. (At the Oro Valley forum) we had 12 minutes, we had two questions and there was no rebuttal.”
“It’s incredibly disingenuous,” she said. “I think he’s trying to make it look like we have had some debates… and to have this kind of constant disingenuous approach from him is disappointing and I think it’s disrespectful to the voters.”