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    Saturday, December 02, 2023

    CPTV shouldn’t muzzle Blacker

    It is disappointing that the League of Women Voters of Connecticut is co-signing Connecticut Public’s decision to exclude Green Party of Connecticut candidate Kevin Blacker from participating in this year’s 2nd Congressional District debate, based solely on CT Public’s “pay-to-play” policy.

    Excluding a candidate for financial reasons is not only unjust, it is a disservice to the electorate. Just last month in her online blog post Debate Reluctance is a Bad Sign for Democracy, LWVCT executive director Laura Smits decried the increase in debate cancellations. How can Smits bemoan those who decline to debate while simultaneously hosting a debate where willing and qualified candidates are barred from participating?

    As a Green candidate, Kevin Blacker is restricted from accepting campaign contributions from corporations, PACs, or labor unions. Blacker has even taken this a step further by refusing to accept any campaign contributions, choosing instead to run an entirely self-funded campaign. Should his decision to maintain financial independence really disqualify him from sharing his platform with the public?

    Kevin Blacker should be allowed to debate. If CT Public will not concede, then LWVCT should withdraw their sponsorship of the debate.

    Brian Gay

    East Hampton

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