San Diego – In a hugely embarrassing turn of events for Brian Bilbray today, his campaign was caught in a silly attempt to deceive the voters and the media.
After issuing a news release accusing Scott Peters of “ducking” a morning debate on talk radio that was orchestrated by Bilbray, the Peters campaign produced an e-mail exchange between the show’s host and the campaign in which the host acknowledges that neither he nor his staff ever contacted Peters to schedule the debate. The Bilbray campaign was aware of these facts, yet attempted to lay blame on the Peters campaign regardless.
“This would be laughable, if it weren’t so incredibly wrong,” said Peters’ spokeswoman, MaryAnne Pintar. “There are so many serious issues to discuss, and Brian Bilbray wants to play games with the truth. No wonder this has been the most unproductive Congress in history.”
The Peters campaign has accepted every debate request that has been made of them. Brian Bilbray, in contrast, has rebuffed nearly every invitation, including Voice of San Diego Politifest, the North County Chamber of Commerce, KPBS Radio, and the Green Experts Academy and The Sustainability Alliance of Southern California.
The full exchange between Pintar and radio talk show host Mike Slater is below:
From: Michael Slater
Hey MaryAnne, here is the E-mail of our producer Anna:email@example.com
On Sep 27, 2012, at 7:59 AM, Michael Slater wrote:
MaryAnne, I am so sorry. I heard you just talked to Anna.
The Bilbray team came to us to schedule a debate. I asked them to pick a date, and I assumed (absolutely my fault) that they were working with your team for the debate. I'm very sorry for the confusion.
I've attached our producer Anna Myatt to this E-mail. I hope we can schedule a debate as soon as possible!
Thanks MaryAnne. Sorry again for the drama
(I'm sure you don't need any more of it this busy time of year!)
Mike > > >
On Sep 27, 2012, at 6:54 AM, MaryAnne wrote: > >>
Mike -- >> >>
I just saw a tweet from 760 announcing that Scott Peters would be facing off with Brian Bilbray on your show this morning. While I know the Bilbray campaign suggested a debate on your show in a news release a few weeks back, we have never been contacted by you or your producer to schedule this. >> >>
Unlike Mr. Bilbray, we have welcomed every opportunity to debate face to face to address issues important to the voters. Mr. Bilbray has ducked several. We would be happy to come on your show as we have in the past at a date and time that works for both of us. However, the courtesy of an invitation would be appreciated. >> >>
Scott has another commitment this morning but I look forward to hearing from you with an explanation about this morning's announcement. >> >>
Sincerely, >> >>
MaryAnne Pintar >>
Communications Director >>
Scott Peters for Congress
Additionally, Michael Slater issued the following statement today:
On August 21, the Bilbray campaign approached me to host a debate on the radio between Congressman Bilbray and Scott Peters. I of course agreed to host.
This morning at 7:00, the day and time of the scheduled debate, I received an E-mail from the Peters campaign saying they were never officially invited to debate on the air. I never reached out to the Peters campaign because I assumed the campaigns were coordinating the debate schedules and appearances together. I take full responsibility for not confirming with both campaigns.
I hope we can find a time as soon as possible where the Congressman and Councilman can come on the air for an honest discussion of the issues San Diegans care about the most.
For more information, go to www.scottpeters.com.