Wow, I guess I asked for it. In the eyes of Sam Stone, communications director for U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva's challenger, Ruth McClung, I am a blogger and therefore only worthy of getting comments via e-mail. I called Stone to discuss issues he had with our last few posts regarding McClung backing out of a League of Women Voters' debate scheduled for Oct. 18.
I also called about an audio file released today by Grijalva's campaign of a voicemail message left by a McClung campaign worker on Oct. 13 regarding changing the time of the debate from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Stone was just about to explain that Grijalva's campaign team had been unreasonable working with the McClung campaign because of the town hall she had scheduled at the Mission Library that same evening, when he stopped talking and said, "It's simply my policy ... because you’ve demonstrated that you are a blogger and not a journalist, like the Tucson Citizen ... We only give comments in writing to bloggers."
Like any good blogger, I e-mailed Stone the audio file and asked for a comment, and this is his e-mailed reply:
"This phone call was from October 13th, five days before a Town Hall which had been scheduled weeks in advance and for which the Grijalva campaign was notified of our schedule. We attempted to make the debate work, but subsequent to this call another 24 hours passed before we were offered a compromise on the time of the debate. At that point, we decided that we were not willing to cancel our Town Hall on such short notice. Our supporters deserved respect for the work they put in in organizing and promoting our Town Hall which drew over 100 people to the Mission Library. There are serious issues in this campaign, and the fact that the Grijalva camp continues to harp on what is clearly a minor issue shows just how poorly he is fairing in this race."
You can listen to the audio file right here for yourself, or read the transcript after the jump.
"Hi, Pat, This is Christina Cruz with the Ruth McClung campaign. I just wanted to give you a little update to where we're at. We're trying to contact the League of Women Voters. That hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure that'll happen some time today. Anyway, we're good for the 18th. The only thing we're requesting is that the debate start a little bit later than six, five thirty. Six thirty would work for us. We feel very strongly that we need to make sure it's accessible for folks who might be missing this one because they have work or other obligations. As soon as we get that ironed out, then I think we'll be good to go. I wouldn't see that as being a problem. Let's be reasonable. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call back. My number is XXX. Thanks so much."