San Diego – Congressman Brian Bilbray shunned the voters yet again last night when he ducked another candidate forum that had been on the calendar and publicized for weeks. With the arrogant disregard he’s displayed repeatedly during this campaign, he no-showed at a forum before the Ocean Beach Town Council after he confirmed his attendance weeks prior. Bilbray, did send a member of his staff to take video of Scott Peters, however, and after holding up the meeting awaiting Bilbray’s arrival, event organizers were pleased to give the entire time over to candidate Scott Peters.
“Mr. Bilbray has shunned requests to debate and defend his record at public forums repeatedly,” said Peters Communications Director MaryAnne Pintar. “Clearly, he is terrified of having to defend his dismal record on women’s rights and his votes to underfund veteran’s health care.”
Mr. Bilbray did rent a booth at a community fair last weekend, however, presumably to conduct direct voter outreach. Unfortunately, the event was outside of the newly drawn 52nd Congressional District, and after realizing this embarrassing mistake, the Congressman and his staff disassembled the booth and left half way through the day.
During a recent interview with KPBS Radio, which Bilbray agreed to in lieu of a debate, he was asked about his reluctance to debate. His response was, “I have no idea.” A recent column in the San Diego Free Press also took him to task for ducking the forums.
In contrast, the Peters campaign has accepted every debate request; Bilbray has rebuffed requests from Voice of San Diego’s Politifest, the North County Chamber of Commerce, KPBS Radio, and the Green Experts Academy and Sustainability Alliance of Southern California and the Smart Vote Candidate Forum at Temple Emanu-El.