Yesterday, Dr. Alieta Eck’s campaign Tom Roberts put out a statement with the headline Lonegan Refuses To Debate.
(Somerset, NJ) – Today, Eck for Senate learned that Steve Lonegan has refused a debate organized by the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, which would have matched him against Dr. Alieta Eck on Saturday, July 27th.
“That Steve Lonegan doesn’t want to debate Dr. Eck should probably come as no surprise. Mr. Lonegan has run for office many times and can identify some problems facing Americans, but without solutions he would just join the ranks of those already in DC who are watching our nation’s economic decline. In contrast, Dr. Eck has outlined proven, workable solutions to provide health care and reduce spending. The contrast in a debate would not have been favorable for Mr. Lonegan. We still welcome any future opportunity to debate,” according to Campaign Manager Thomas Roberts.
That sounded like a sound political strategy on Lonegan’s part to me, given that Eck had only 9% name recognition and support from only 5% of registered voters in the last Quinnipiac poll. For the last week or so, Lonegan has been ignoring Eck and running a general election type campaign, focusing on Newark Mayor Cory Booker and this week, the mad scientist, “millions will die if we don’t tax carbon and make energy completely unaffordable,” Congressman Rush Holt.
But I’m not Lonegan’s strategist.
Lonegan campaign spokesman Jon Meadows said, “Mayor Lonegan never does League of Women Voters debates. They’re a liberal organization that supports ObamaCare and a host of other causes that Steve is opposed to. We’re surprised that Eck would want to participate with that liberal organization.”
“We’re more than willing to debate,” Meadows said, “tell Eck’s campaign manager to check with his scheduler. We have a News12 debate scheduled for July 31st and we haven’t heard if Dr, Eck is going to show up.”
So I did.
“That’s not a debate, its a roundtable,” Roberts said of the News 12 appearance, “and we’ve long been confirmed there. Anyone at News12 will confirm that.
Regarding the League of Women Voters, Roberts said, “Dr. Eck has tremendous respect for the non-partisan League of Women Voters and their mission. Further, she doesn’t require an ideological litmus test of the groups who would like to meet with her. I’m not sure what questions Mr. Lonegan was afraid might be asked, but now he has voters in New Jersey curious.”
Meadows also noted that Lonegan and Eck are both scheduled to appear at the Polish Republican Club in Wallington on Friday.