Bedford League of Women Voters Candidates’ Forum cancelled

Press release from theLeague of Women Voters of Bedford, received on Saturday, October 20, 2012:

The Bedford LWV regrets that it must cancel its candidate forum on October 23 due to Friday’s cancellation of an earlier acceptance by Walter Zenkin, candidate for State Representative, 21st Middlesex.  In addition, Sandi Martinez, candidate for State Senator, 3rd Middlesex,  has not confirmed that she will participate.

Without their participation, the LWV can not provide voters with the opportunity to hear the positions of both candidates for the 21st Middlesex State Representative and the 3rd Middlesex State Senate.  Participation of all candidates is fundamental to our objective of providing voters with the information to inform their decisions at the ballot box.

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization.

The Citizen offers these video links to debates held in Burlington, Chelmsford and Lowell to help our readers discern more about candidates for the Massachusetts legislature:

3rd Middlesex Senate District

Michael Barrett (D) and Sandi Martinez (R) spoke separately on Chelmsford Community Access Television. Click to view their interview on Politically Incorrect with Carmen Christiano. They also spoke with editor Jim Campanini in the offices of The Lowell Sun. The debate is in two parts, both of them begin with a YouTube advertisement: Click to view Part 1 then click to view Part 2 , or click here to read The Lowell Sun’s article about the debate.

21st Middlesex Represenative District

Ken Gordon (D) and Walter Zenkin (R) appeared on Burlington Community Access Television. Click to view their Burlington interview. They also spoke with managing editor Tom Zuppa in the offices of  The Lowell Sun. Click here to view their Lowell debate or here to read The Sun’s story about the debate.

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Adam Senesi (Zenkin Campaign Manager)
October 22, 2012 7:50 pm

Following careful consideration, the Walter Zenkin campaign has decided not to participate in the Bedford League of Women Voters Candidates’ Night. We agreed to participate in this event on October 8th and were in the process of working with the LWV on details for the event. Subsequently, we learned that the debate’s organizer we had been working with is in fact the wife of our opponent’s campaign treasurer. While we believe the LWV to be a noble institution with a rich history rooted in the woman’s suffrage movement, this is a brazen conflict of interest. This type of behavior exemplifies all that our campaign is against in Massachusetts state politics; a culture of one-party rule and insider deals that have characterized Beacon Hill for the last several years. It is our belief that the organizer should have recused herself from her role due to a conflict of interest, or at the very least, disclosed her relation to our opponent’s campaign. When confronted on this matter the organizer continued to act evasively. Based on our experience in dealing with the event’s organizer, we determined that this event would do little to present interested voters with the genuine discourse they deserve. We have enjoyed genuine discussion on the issues with Ken Gordon’s campaign throughout several engaging debates and forums over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, this won’t be one of them. To participate in such an event would only dignify bad behavior and cheapen the League’s good name.