Just a day after Attorney General Jerry Brown announced he was forming an exploratory committee for a possible gubernatorial run, declared Democratic candidate Gavin Newsom challenged Brown to 11 debates in every media market in the state.
"Our state is in need of real reform -- we have a broken system that must be fixed," Newsom said in the news release. "And now that there are two candidates for governor, we owe the Democratic voters of California an opportunity to compare our visions and platforms side-by-side."
Newsom suggested ground rules in the debate invitation, which his campaign faxed to Brown, the news release said. That included suggesting that 10 of the debates focus on one topic each, with the 11th dealing with a range of topics.
Among other suggestions, according to the press release:
• 90 minutes in length • Opening and closing statements • Moderated, town hall-style debates with direct audience participation • Segments with moderator questions, public questions, and candidate-to-candidate questions • An opportunity for candidates to respond directly to any assertions made about their record
Brown adviser Steven Glazer just sent out this response:
"September 30, 2009
Dear Mayor Newsom-
Thank you for your kind invitation to Attorney General Brown to hold 11 debates prior to the June Primary for Governor.
As you may know, Attorney General Brown is not a declared candidate for Governor. While he has processed the paperwork to create an exploratory committee for that office, he is currently focused on doing his job as Attorney General -- protecting consumers and prosecuting criminals.
If Attorney General Brown decides to declare his candidacy for Governor, I'm sure he would support the notion of holding debates under terms to be mutually agreed upon by the candidates.
Thank you again for writing.