Will John Campbell chicken out of debating his rivals tonight?

It’s nice to see that, in general, “safe” Orange County incumbents and highly-favored Republicans have stopped doing “what they’ve been doing for years” – which was to avoid giving their challengers extra attention or getting asked difficult questions by simply refusing to debate.  Maybe this is a result of a more informed and demanding citizenry! Just in recent weeks:

  • Democratic incumbent Loretta Sanchez has agreed to debate challenger Van Tran.  I know a lot of us feel Ceci Iglesias should be in that debate as well, but that was KOCE’s call.  And now I don’t have to feel like a hypocrite when I rail on safe Republican incumbents for shunning debates like Loretta used to.
  • Don Wagner, who had been behaving as though his campaign for the 70th Assembly District was a done deal when he barely won his GOP primary in his majority-GOP district, has finally agreed to debate his two opponents, OJ friends Democrat Melissa Fox and Libertarian Debbie Tharp.  It”ll be very late in the month, after many ballots have already been mailed in, but we’ll try to make up for that here by giving that debate a lot of publicity and coverage.
  • After months of hemming, hawing, and negotiating over a fair “neutral space,” Allan Mansoor a few weeks ago debated Phu Nguyen, up in the “Little Arabia” district of Anaheim far out of their district.  I understand it was pretty good, and I’ll put up some clips of it in the next few days as I get them.
  • Hella-safe Republican incumbent assemblyman Jim Silva debated his smart-as-nails opponent Roz Freeman the other day at Coastline;  and I understand she trounced the nice but tongue-tied and out-of-touch Silva, in the eyes of the student audience.
  • Ken Arnold has still been trying to nail down Crazy Dana Rohrabacher; but Dana’s the only OC Congressperson who’s never ducked a debate in the past, so hopefully it’s just a matter of time.

This encouraging trend leaves one notable hold-out, one “safe” OC Congressman who stubbornly ignores all invitations to debate – the do-nothing birther and used car salesman John Campbell. We’re still hoping he shows up to tonight’s debate at UCI with Democrat Beth Krom and Libertarian Mike Binckley, but for over a month he’s been stonewalling everybody, neither accepting nor refusing this invitation.  And we happen to KNOW he’s not doing anything else.

[Campbell doing what he does best – nothing.]

Loving to see himself as a bold member of some “resistance,” he insults democracy and his constituents by hiding from us, not even giving the courtesy of a refusal or excuse.  This is par for the course for one of Congress’ laziest members who’s missed hundreds of votes – including an important one on a jobs bill in order to attend a car show in Florida.  The other day he showed up to a Register forum with other OC Congresscritters – and alone among them, showed up late, didn’t say much, and skulked off early.

[at the Register forum]

No doubt Campbell realizes he is ill-equipped to argue policy and ideas with razor-sharp Beth Krom (or justify his wasteful warmongering to true Libertarian Binkley.)  But scariest of all must be justifying his record in Congress so far:  all the missed votes; the oh-so-silly obsession with President Obama’s birth certificate;  the spectacle of a supposedly small-government “libertarian” voting for Cash For Clunkers just because it benefits him personally as a car salesman;  his bringing ABSOLUTELY NO money back to his district;  his utter refusal to vote for any sort of veterans’ benefits because “Veterans Do Fraud;”  and his stated desire to “phase out Medicare.”

And yet maybe I’m over-reacting, maybe he WILL show up tonight and explain all of that.  We hope he does.  Here are tonight’s details, from the Krom campaign:

Dear Vern,

Tonight (Wednesday) is the one and only debate between the congressional candidates and we need a strong showing as it will be televised. It will take place at UCI and we hope you’ll attend and encourage everyone you know to be there as well.

Here are the details:

Date: Wednesday, October 13th (tonight)

Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Location: Crystal Cove Auditorium at UCI Student Center

Seating is limited – plan to arrive early to ensure you have a seat!

With only 22 days until the election and early voting already taking place via vote-by-mail ballots, we’re in the final stretch of our campaign and need to connect with as many voters as possible.

This is a great opportunity to hear directly from the candidates and show your support for Beth. Audience participants will be allowed to submit questions. We know that the Tea Party will be in attendance and want to ensure our side is also well represented.

This debate will illustrate the stark differences between the candidates and help motivate voters to turn out on Election Day in support of Beth.

This can be a “game-changing” election for Orange County, and YOU can be in the audience supporting Beth at this important debate.

Thank you for everything you are doing to help us win and I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday! tonight!

Well, tonight we’ll know – is this the true face of John Campbell?  Cream of Chicken?

Update 6:50 pm, just heard from the debate.

Change all above questions to statements.

Campbell stood us up with no explanation.

He is a chickenshit who needs to be defeated.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.