While most of Virginia’s political theater Thursday was supposedly playing out in Fairfax between Mark Warner and Jim Gilmore, an interesting sub-plot to the 2008 Virginia campaign also took place in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.
The dust-up surrounds Monday’s debate at “high noon” at the Virginia Club in downtown Norfolk.
According to the Drake campaign, there was an understanding that media would be allowed to cover the event. However, they claim that Nye was refusing to debate if the media would be there.
Early yesterday afternoon, Corry Bliss, Drake’s campaign manager issued this scathing indictment of Glenn Nye:
“What does Glenn Nye have to hide? Is he trying to hide his true positions from the voters? Congresswoman Drake supports allowing, and in fact encourages, print and television media to attend all debates. There should be no “secret debates” and Nye’s insistence on banning media from debates is baffling. Inexplicably, for weeks now Glenn Nye’s campaign has threatened to withdraw from the Virginia Club debate if journalists and video recordings are allowed. I guess Glenn missed this lesson at Georgetown, but Congressional debates are to be open to the media. Period. If Glenn Nye is afraid to debate Thelma Drake on the record he should not be running for Congress.”
Something happened though in three hours because later in the afternoon another press release arrived from the Drake camp, this one striking a different tone:
“In a surprising turn of events, Glenn Nye has yet again changed his mind. He will now attend Monday’s debate, but only if the press is invited- a remarkable position considering he spent the past several weeks threatening to not show up if the press was invited. Stay tuned for further developments.”
The Nye campaign is incredulous to these charges.
Nye campaign manager Rick Fromberg said that Glenn Nye has always been looking towards a fair and open debate about the issues.
“We’ll be there, as long as the press is invited,” said Fromberg, referencing a letter sent to the Virginia Club earlier this week.
Clearly, as the campaign gets closer and closer to Election Day, the respective campaigns are communicating less and less.