“‘I’ve enjoyed our conversations on the campaign trail, and believe you to be an honest and passionate advocate for your beliefs and points of view,” Andal wrote in a letter to McNerney today. “We can certainly disagree without becoming disagreeable. Together, we can elevate the issues and bring a new sense of relevancy and truthfulness to the electoral process – so the voters have the full and unfettered information they need to make informed decisions.”
Andal put no conditions on the format or sponsorship other than that they must be open to the public and the news media. He suggests they begin after the August congressional recess.
It sounds similar to the series of townhalls across America presumed GOP presidential nominee John McCain has proposed to host with his Democratic Party counterpart and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
No word yet on whether McNerney will agree to it.
Read more for the full letter from Andal to McNerney:
June 4, 2008
Congressman Jerry McNemey McNemey for Congress Committee P.O. Box 12022 Pleasanton, CA 94588
Let’s give voters in the 11th Congressional District more than sound bites this election and show them democracy the way it was meant to work.
I’m proposing a series of spirited debates in every city in this district between now and election day, giving voters the opportunity to see and hear us as we really are – in our own words, unvarnished and unfiltered. Rather than sound bites and carefully controlled appearances, I’m proposing real debates in which you and I draw a clear distinction between our two very different visions for America.
Making this a reality will require much organizing and, especially, our willingness to talk straight to the voters in an open forum. For this reason, I’m offering no preconditions. You can choose the sponsors, format, moderators and dates. I only ask that the debates be open to the public and the local news media to ensure maximum exposure, and that they take place throughout the district.
I’ve enjoyed our conversations on the campaign trail, and believe you to be an honest and passionate advocate for your beliefs and points of view. We can certainly disagree without becoming disagreeable. Together, we can elevate the issues and bring a new sense of relevancy and truthfulness to the electoral process – so the voters have the full and unfettered information they need to make informed decisions.
To get this started, I’m sending copies of this letter to local chambers of commerce and district newspapers, encouraging them to host and organize debates in their communities. I promise that as the invitations arrive, I will do everything possible to confirm my attendance. I ask you to do the same. I believe we are already on track to debate at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton.
For your convenience, I suggest we begin our debate series during the congressional recess in August. Please contact me directly if you would like to discuss this further at 209-956-4341.
I look forward to your reply – along with a spirited campaign and a vigorous discussion of the issues.