Sam Stone, media relations for Ruth McClung for Congress, sent us this message tonight to explain away the whole debate confusion:
The proposed debate on the 18th conflicted with a scheduled Town Hall at the Mission Library from 6:15 to 7:45PM Monday. We had previously canceled a similar event on short notice to accommodate Mr. Grijalva's schedule in order to facilitate a radio debate in Yuma. We also rearranged our schedule and agreed to all his demands for the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce debate this past Wed.
The upcoming Town Hall has been supported by volunteer phone calls, lit drops, has been mentioned in media appearances, etc. In trying to arrange the first debate, we had suggested several available dates to Mr. Grijalva. His camp refused those dates citing similar conflicts. While we respect Mr. Grijalva's scheduling needs, his campaign has not demonstrated similar respect for ours.
Also, it's not entirely accurate to say that we "pulled out" of a debate whose details and format (time of day, moderator, question format, etc.) were never finalized.