KSFY Rebuts Billion claims that Rounds ducked the KSFY debate.
A couple of days ago, Jack Billion had put out a press release making the claim that Governor Rounds was less than eager to debate him:
Governor Mike Rounds made a decision last night to duck out of the Nov. 2 gubernatorial debate on KSFY, only minutes after a dismal debate performance on South Dakota Public Broadcasting.Somehow, I doubted it was the case. And lo and behold, KSFY themselves came out and shot Jack's claims out of the sky. KSFY issued the following note to everyone involved with the ill fated KSFY debate that Billion was saying was scuttled by Governor Rounds. Nothing like someone mischaracterizing events to get the media to put their foot down and clear everything up:
The announcement from KSFY that Rounds ducked out the Nov. 2 debate arrived 40 minutes after Rounds’ weak showing against Billion on the South Dakota Public Broadcasting debate Thursday evening. On Sept. 25, KSFY had announced that all of the candidates for governor, including Rounds had confirmed their commitments to participate in the debate. A couple weeks later, Rounds’ staff told KSFY that a staff member “had made a mistake” with the Nov. 2 date, yet the date was accepted by the Rounds’ organization. Last night, KSFY announced Rounds’ decision to duck out.
“Mike Rounds has decided he can’t defend his record of poor leadership for the last four years,” Billion said. “He has little to show for four years in office, so his natural reaction is to hide from accountability and reality.”
Thank you for your concerns and comments over the Augustana/League of Women Voters/KSFY debate. To clear up any misconceptions caused by erroneous press releases, the debate was not cancelled due to the lack of participation of one candidate but the failure of the candidates to agree on a date and time for a forum. Mike Rounds asked for alternate date, Jack Billion rejected that date and proposed other options that Rounds rejected and so forth and so on.So, Billion accused Rounds of ducking out of a debate THAT BILLION HIMSELF REJECTED A DATE ON. But, instead of just saying "we couldn't work out a date" Billion decided to take the low road and turn it into an accusation.
After two weeks of working with the campaigns to find common ground the three sponsoring partners in the debate decided it was counterproductive to continue trying to find a date that worked for all candidates. The League of Women voters has a very specific list of criteria to meet for their sponsorship requirements including one that states no one candidate can be put at an advantage or disadvantage because of the debate. Representatives from all three sponsoring organizations agreed that was the case here and it would be all or nothing and the decision was made to call off the event.
We, like you are disappointed the debate will not happen.