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    Saturday, November 26, 2022

    Blacker shouldn’t be shut out of debates

    The majority of Americans are cynical about politics. Too insider. Too baroque. Too scripted.

    Who can blame them? It is debate season, but there is scant debate. Republicans fear questions about Donald Trump’s enduring influence and the Green Party’s candidate for House of Representatives Kevin Blacker is barred from debates.

    The League of Women Voters says Blacker is not eligible for their debates because he does not accept donations. According to the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets database, Blacker’s competitors have millions. Incumbent Joe Courtney raised $1,262,701. His three largest donors are General Dynamics, Cross Sound Ferry, and the Seafarers International Union. Republican Mike France has a $514,266 war chest.

    Money talks pretty loud for the Red and Blue candidates. How could they hear anyone else?

    Blacker can hear clearly. He does not let money speak. In his advocacy and activism at the State Pier, he is trying to push back against the over-sized influence of those big donors to the Republicans and Democrats. In this political moment defined by cynicism and vitriol and ever deeper dividing lines, that is a rare and beautiful thing. Candidate forum organizers should be bending over backwards to accommodate that, not shutting it out.

    Frida Berrigan

    New London

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