Gov: Thumbs down on Lincoln/Douglas style debates

According to the Governor yesterday, he's turning down the debates against Billion... And those other two guys. From the Rapid City Journal:
Speaking to reporters after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at his campaign office at 1331 West Main St., Rounds said it was too late in the campaign to begin scheduling a series of weekly debates between him and Billion, as suggested in a Sunday Journal editorial. Rounds said he is already committed to seven or eight "debates or forums," sponsored or hosted mainly by television stations and public-interest groups.

Balancing his duties as governor against his responsibilities in the campaign wouldn't leave time for other scheduled appearances with Billion, he said. The governor also said it would be wrong to limit the debates to only the major party candidates, as the Journal editorial suggested.

Tom Gerber, 81, of Sturgis, is running for governor as a Libertarian and Steven Willis, 51, of Sioux Falls, is running as a candidate for the Constitution Party.

Although Rounds couldn't name either candidate Tuesday, he said each plays an important role in the campaign and should not be excluded from public debates. Because the two candidates have low name recognition and are considered unlikely to win more than a few percentage points of the vote shouldn't matter, Rounds said.

"When I started as a candidate two years ago, my name recognition was less than 5 percent," he said.
Read it all here.

When the person you're trying to beat can't name who you are, it sounds like a name ID problem. Ouch.


Anonymous said…
I think those debates would have been a good thing for our state. It would have been nice to bring that forum to the people.

I'm disappointed.
Anonymous said…
Is anyone suprised that Rounds wouldn't want to debate.
First question.
"Governor, name 3 things you've accomplished."

Rounds -
"ahhhhhhhh.....I've given most of my family jobs. Does that count?"
Anonymous said…
Very disappointed that Rounds won't debate, however not suprised. If I was him, with his record,I would refuse also.
Anonymous said…
Oh comeon 9:46. Rounds has accomplished a lot that he set out to do. New governor's mansion, new state airplane, 800 new state employees that Rounds requested, $20+ million in annual tax increases that Rounds requested(he wanted more, but the legislature wouldn't give him all the tax increases he wanted), and fought off repeal of the open fields doctrine. Employing lots of people in his family too.

Rounds has lots of accomplishments he should be talking about. Give the guy some credit.
Anonymous said…
As noted by the other commenters, Rounds is afraid of his record because it is so bad. If he were to participate, the voters may realize he is an idiot. I would like to hear the proposed debates because it would let me know a little about Billion. I want to know if he is too liberal for my vote, as I certainly will not be voting for Rounds--he's also too liberal.
Anonymous said…
You first few posters obviously don't read very clearly. Governor Rounds obviously isn't trying to avoid debating Billion - he said that he already has several debates scheduled. Mike is the Governor - he doesn't have the luxury of being able to campaign full time - I doubt he has time to accept every debate that is offered.

I also think it's funny to say the Mike couldn't name three accomplishments. What about creating over 10k new jobs? Or starting the SD certified beef program? Or the health insurance risk pool? Or the research centers at the universities? What about helping to save Ellsworth? What about the midlevel lab at Homestake? I guess you must mean, he doesn't have any accomplishments other than that.

Some of you people really amaze me. You're like ostriches - you keep your heads in the sand so you can decry Gov. Rounds simply because you are a Democrat and feel obligated. It's a shame that partisan politics are so important to you - otherwise you could at least recognize the successes Mike has had.
Aaron Lorenzen said…
Way to go you spineless jelly fish Rounds. Way to stand behind something. This man is a joke, the only leadership he has is leading the door closed to his back room government deals. Can we have Kirby on the ballot?
Anonymous said…
In reply to the comment about giving Rounds family members jobs.
1. check the number of Rounds that worked for the state before Mike Rounds was Governor and the number after, I think they are the same or maybe less.
2. When you have 40 relatives that live in Pierre, you are bound to have a few work for the state.
Anonymous said…
Anon 2:22 I am eagerly waiting to hear how Rounds "created" 10K new jobs. The only ones we know he created are the 800+ in state government. If Rounds lays claim to any jobs created in the private sector he better explain why he's responsible.

Ditto for the SD Certified Beef Program. Beyond a name, Rounds better explain any tangible results the program has generated. Nobody's surprised if he created new programs.

The risk pool: that's something for a few hundred people anyway.

Saving Ellsworth: Let's not overstate the governor's role. That is a federal issue and our congressional delegation really delivered. Rounds didn't get in the way, but he didn't make it happen either.

The midlevel lab at Homestake: What lab? Maybe in the future, but SD was sitting on that goldmine regardless of who was governor.

Research Centers at Universities: SD is last in the nation in this regard. (Ditto on teacher pay). Congrats Rounds!
Anonymous said…
Where do I start? 10K new jobs? Those aren't NET new jobs---how many jobs did we loose in SD? Don't confuse new jobs with NET jobs in the past 4 years. I'm sure Jack can figure that out. Number of Rounds on the state payroll---that number hasn't changed much. However the number of the Governor's friends kids, wives, cousins, etc that number has increased. The "DO" hire list is long and now many departments are stuck with these people that aren't qualifed to do the work they were hired for and yet are getting paid. Many of those AREN'T in Pierre, Rapid, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Brookings, Vermillion just to name a few that have someone playing at a computer takiing up space. All because they were on the list of "DO HIRE" and almost every dept in state govt. has them. All he has had to do for the Lab is sign the papers that the AG approved for him to sign. That deal was done when Janklow was in office. Janklow did the heavy lifting with Barrick, Mike just showed up at the closing and signed the papers. Certified Beef---Gabriel did most of that and there are still some problems but nothing that can't be worked out. NOW can they figure out a way to MARKET it outside our borders other than on a web site? As for Billion campaigning full time--have you paid any attention to where Mike is showing up these days---its a wonder he has time to stop for a change of clothes in that fancy new house. If you are having a baby shower---invite the guy cause he'll come. There isn't a concert, ribbon cutting, or coffee clache he has missed lately. This guy is leaderless and had NO ideas of his own. If he didn't go to a Midwest gov conference to get some ideas or National Gov conference he wouldn't have any. Any idea that is controversial in the past 3.5 years never sees the light of day. I'm a republican but it is damn hard to be one today in South Dakota between his leadership, or lack of, the legislature not taking the reigns, leaderless school boards across SD, and our 2 largest towns with Mayors that seem to continually step in it. How long is that line to change my registration?
Anonymous said…
Rounds is afraid, plain and simple.

What is his schedule really filled with being Governor? Remember him flying around the state for basketball games at state expense. Give me a break!

What ten thousand new jobs? Name the jobs Rounds is responsible for.

Ask most rancher about the Governor's certified beef program. It is a joke. Gabriel does not have the support of the ranchers. These guys have accomplished nothing but writing weekly dribble for the small town newspapers.

Yes, he has spent an enormous amount of money prospectively for a new university one hour away from two of the state's largest universities. Taking money away from one hundred year institutions. At least Janklow understood we already had too many universities.

Ellsworth. Give me a f***ing break!

Homestake. Counting someone else's chickens before they've hatched.

I am a republican and am disgusted with the utter lack of leadership and ability of the GOP in Pierre, but I'm not ready to vote for Billion, yet. The only thing I know is I am not voting for Rounds.

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