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Mitch Perry Report for 9.3.15 – The DNC’s nondebate strategy

There’s excitement in some quarters this week as it now appears that Carly Fiorina will appear in the second Republican Presidential debate taking place in 13 days in Los Angeles (Okay, Simi Valley, officially).

Meanwhile, we’re still more than five weeks away before the first Democratic Presidential debate. And why is that?

While some may say that the reason Martin O’Malley is making such an issue out of the paucity of announced forums that might help him climb about 2 percent in the polls, the fact is that the ascendant Bernie Sanders also wants to participate in more debates. In fact, according to an NPR station in Vermont, “the Sanders campaign is considering a plan to set up their own debates with some of the Republican candidates.”

The first Democratic presidential debate doesn’t take place until Oct. 13. Then there’s only one debate per month scheduled in November, December and January. And that one in December in Manchester, New Hampshire, is on the Saturday night before Christmas, one of the biggest nights of the year for people not to be at their homes watching TV.

What the hell is going on here?

O’Malley thinks it’s being set up to make it as easy as possible for front-runner Hillary Clinton to ease her way to the nomination. To give the benefit of the doubt to DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, what other reason is there for allowing the Republicans to hog the attention of TV viewers? True, Donald Trump‘s presence in the campaign contributed mightily to Fox News getting one of the biggest ratings in the history of cable news at their first debate in Cleveland last month. But there are other interesting figures such as Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, et al who also have the public’s interest. The GOP race is a more interesting show right now.

Isn’t it DWS’s gig to gin up interest in the Democratic campaign (along with winning as many elections as possible?) Sanders is the story so far nationally, but good luck if you’re in Florida at getting a chance to see him anytime soon in the flesh. So far Bernie’s tour has kept him in New Hampshire, Iowa and the West Coast. A nationally televised debate could help his numbers in other states, and possibly give O’Malley an opportunity to breakthrough as well. You know, make it an interesting race.

When Barack Obama broke on through against Clinton in 2007-2008, the DNC held 19 official debates.

But the official Democratic Party establishment doesn’t want that, apparently, in 2015-2016.

Why not?

In other news …

Will the Jeb Bush offensive against Donald Trump continue for a third straight day? Wednesday Bush attacked The Donald again for his progressive stances in the past, this time on his website.

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Although his criticism wasn’t as pointed as the comments coming from Blaise Ingoglia or Ron DeSantis, David Jolly thinks Patrick Murphy blew it with his vote supporting the U.S.-Iran nuclear trade deal.

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It’s come close in the past few years, but a proposal to allow for a needle-exchange pilot program for the Miami-Dade area is being proposed again for the 2016 legislative session by Plantation House Democrat Katie Edwards.

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Tampa area House Democrat Ed Narain told a crowd of child care employees that he’ll be fighting to pass legislation to pay them $15 an hour. However, he acknowledges that won’t be easy in the Florida Legislature.

• • •

CD 13 Democrat Eric Lynn is collecting more endorsements in the race to succeed David Jolly in Congress next year. At what point does it start to matter to Charlie Crist?

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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