CHANNEL 6 PULLS OUT THE RUG – NO CANDIDATE TO CANDIDATE QUESTIONS AT DEBATE

I have been silent for most of this campaign on issues related to media coverage in that I can see how it has come a long way from the years of excluding independent and third party candidates from participation. I can remember all too well the days of being held back without cause or reason.

I cannot remain silent on this issue. I was invited to a Channel 6 debate. Included in the format was a segment that allowed for direct candidate to candidate questioning. I agreed to this format, apparently either devised by the station’s management or in conjunction with the other candidates in that I was not consulted on it.

This morning arrived notice that the format was changed and the direct candidate to candidate questioning was being eliminated.

Now I understand that the station creates its own format, but I am suggesting that there is no valid reason for this move. The station contends it is due to an abundance of questions from viewers. I contend that if the candidates have avoided forums, public appearances, radio debates, and more, why should they be allowed to avoid direct confrontation from their opponents?

The abundance of questions from viewers could be reduced to writing and emailed to candidates after the debate for answers. To use this as an excuse for not having a full debate seems quite lame.

I may be arguing a subtle point, but I think the face to face confrontation is preferable to an audience than a question that will get a standard answer from a scripted candidate.

I feel I must call on the public to call Channel 6 or email the station to tell them that this change in format is denying them the ability to see the candidates act on their feet in response to questions.

Channel 6 describes it as a “minor change” in the format. I do not believe the public agrees.

Candidates have followed each other on the campaign trail and can recite their opponents’ standard answers practically verbatim. There is a need for the candidate to candidate segment to get to the questions that are not being asked.

I urge you to write to Christopher S. Tzianbos, Vice President and General Manager at ABC 6.

His email is: Ctzianabos@abc6.com

The phone number for ABC 6 is 453-8001.

October 26, 2014

The vocal support has been mounting like a beating drum coming closer and closer. Perhaps this space should be utilized to express the philosophical moment that stands behind the working strategy that seems so lifelessly cold.

The timing seems to be just right and I am downright happy, not over-confident, not building up unwarranted hopes – just seeing the impossible shine through into the possible.

Once again, the support has taken shape in amazing ways. Whereas politicians have to accost folks on the street, we are inundated with people coming up to shake hands, take a picture, say a brief word of support, and say they are with us.

Whatever the outcome of the campaign, I feel that we have brought many people to life. It is an exhilarating experience.

Seniors, youth, and every demographic in-between seems ready for the message of being able to fix this state if we can all just learn to apply common sense and work together instead of continuing our divide.

I stand ready to make this remarkable journey with the help of the people. I stand happy to see the people growing in enlightenment and desire to work together.

Strategy aside, it will be what it will be. Fate is fickle, but if this campaign can demonstrate anything, it will serve as an inspiration. For that alone, I am pleased.

I see a path that can bring about a most elusive goal – a government of the people, answerable only to the people. A simple exercise that combines logic with egalitarianism and freedom to create a state that honors its obligations fairly and imposes its burdens equally.

I see the smiling face of a child, knowing that the future has been made brighter. I see a society, proud of its ability to competently care for its members. I see the potential for understanding that working with each other, we can return to a better state.

We have created complex solutions that remain unsustainable. We have all been driven by a government that creates a need for greed. We have been fed full of fear so that we cannot even differentiate what is right from what is wrong. We have been stressed by a society that compels us to labor at the expense of our families. I see an end to this.

I am beginning to believe that others have opened their eyes and can see that my personal vision is not a limited prophesy, but a recognized reality of what should be in place of what is. Eyes long believed to be blinded, have opened to see the potential. We may be at one of our most glorious moments. And you, the readers and supporters, are making it all possible.

My point of today’s writing is that without sharing the vision with others, there is no possible success, but without working to aid all to see, there is no vision.

Perhaps the most telling phrase is one which I am uncertain of origin, but unshaken in its content. It is the simple idea of “If the people lead, the leadership will follow”. We, you and I, are the people. We must take back the individual freedoms we have ceded to government, not violently, but in a manner that restores our human sense of freedom and liberty. We need to demand the change that realigns our life and our governance.

October 25, 2014

Today was a weird feel in that the public was way too responsive. There was a positive vibe just about everywhere we went on the campaign trail. It is starting to build in a way that is different. I have been in several statewide races and have not seen such support in such a large volume.

The locations for support are in areas that have traditionally not broken well for us in the past. This is creating an odd situation and one that I am not sure where it is going.

I need to seriously consider how to mount the final approach in that the areas that are the toughest in bringing support are now really within reach.

I am hoping for reaching critical mass at just the right moment. I have not been so hopeful as to the potential success in a campaign.

We are still at just over $35 in campaign expenses and we are polling about 10 percent of the electorate. Think about it at 350,000 or so voters, it equates to roughly one tenth of one cent per vote. And that is at 10% of the voters.

We are living up to our expectations. We are heading into the final stretch and enjoying the great support of a positive campaign staff. We are well positioned and if we can continue, we just may catch the established campaigns off guard.

October 23, 2014

The days are getting longer and longer. The final push is always the most difficult and there is so little time to think and write.

The oddness is in the air, but it hasn’t grown to a critical mass. It may, and this is the last push. The strategy is to keep the roll moving and make the biggest effort in the last few days. The scheduled debates are late and that is a potential advantage.

The debates are roughly five days before the election. This is great for a campaign that has no money. The supporters are fired up and truly ready to go. They have been giving of themselves to the greatest levels. This encourages more supporters. It is building.

The plan without money is to peak three days before the election. In doing this, the money factor can be stymied in that it would be too late to make any television or radio buy. The market has been all bought up in terms of support stuff and the shelves are empty.

There are few points that are in our advantage. The polling data has shown that there is a great potential for movement in our race since there is a great deal of unknowns. The opponents have a small percentage and as such, people have pretty much made up their minds.

The wasted vote campaign is somewhat telltale in that it usually crops up when there is a real concern over desertion. The idea of publicizing the wasted vote argument is largely to keep the ranks together. This is a fear tactic and is usually applied when there is a reason.

The silver lining in today’s polling data was that the poll showed a increase, albeit slight, in our numbers. Typically, the Brown polls are not overly reliable and as such, I am not encouraged by the increase itself. I remember in 94 when I was polling around 3% and ended up closer to 10% at the polls.

Third parties and independents suffer from the outside strategy. People who identify with you and who will vote for you may not publicly speak it. You can never tell with third party and independent voters because their very nature is either a complete introvert or a complete extrovert. The people in the middle rarely test the bars.

The better news from the poll was that a good portion of the sample came from Providence in that they were also polling the Mayor’s race. The support in the poll is coming from an urban area where we are traditionally weak. I personally was heartened by it.

There is a need to compress to critical mass over the next week. It will either happen or not, but there is a real positive feel. The email and the requests have been increasing exponentially. The website presence is growing. Even the number of people beeping their horns without prompting has been at a level I have not experienced in the past.

There are small battles being waged, but that might have to be increased. I need to have a bit more time to write, but I am finding that the unexpected upsurge has made this more and more difficult. That being the case, these entries will grow more and more sporadic, but I will attempt to make them concise and pointed.

The time is for action and not for thought.

October 21, 2014

Tonight was the big debate that never was. The format of the debate was too sterile in that it really didn’t provide for interaction between the candidates on real ideas. At time I felt like I was supervising a school yard spat. The he said, she said was tedious.

I do not know if this was by design or an error in planning. It seemed that from the onset the stage was set for two children and a step child that had been added but not clearly welcomed.

This is all said because it demonstrates the point that inclusion can be a false hope for a third party or independent candidate. It appears “inclusive” and yet somehow minimizes the role of the ‘extra’ candidate. Having been left out of the debate format discussions, I was without objection.

Grow up and get over it. There are times when the forum is not equal, and it was probably an error on my part to expect it to be in the first place. My tactical error here in that I really thought there would be a better conceived battlefield if for little else than the excitement of a real debate.

Being an invited guest, I was not inclined to be rude in demanding time, but it did not pass without notice. I was put in a position to either strenuously object and seem like the “brutish wildman”, living up to the stereotypic independent candidate or to sit by patiently and be sidelined. I chose the later in that it is my preferred style.

My reasoning is that in terms of being clearly allowed minimal participation, there is a fine line. If the public recognizes the farce, then it is fine in that everyone recognizes the bias. If, however, the minimization was not so evident, then they win and I lose. My gut tells me that it was clear, but that is just my gut.

The opponents were given an engaged battle between themselves but there was no real vulnerable position exposed for me to attack. I will have to wait my opportunity, but tonight was lost to the inability to directly engage the opponent.

I will have to wait to have a direct, one on one confrontation. Stalemated situations seem so empty.

SASSE’S EDUCATION BILL OF RIGHTS – POSED BY GOLOCALPROV.COM

 

1. If elected, would you consider supporting this bill of rights? 

2.  If not, which portions do you disagree with, and why?  

Education Bill of Rights Proposal:

  1. The right to be taught by effective teachers. Effective teachers are trained and certified in the subject matter being taught. They are knowledgeable about their discipline, use state the art teaching strategies, and respect and respond to student inputs.

The teacher me says “yes”, but the attorney me says this statement is too vague. Training and certification in subject matter is a long standing requirement, and so I question as to whether this is a concern. Of course, I would agree that teachers should be knowledgeable about their discipline, but I am unsure as to agreement with the idea of “state of the art” teaching strategies. Who determines them? What are they? Does this negate teaching by the Socratic method? Should teachers, who are certified in their fields, not be free to employ teaching methods that they deem proper? Should student input about not wanting to do homework encourage teachers to not assign any because they are respecting student input? I think I am in agreement as to having effective teachers, but I am not at all sure as to what is being considered in this statement.

  1. The right not to be taught by teachers who, after due process evaluation, fail to meet standards established by state and local education officials.

Again, the statement is vague. I agree that children should not be taught by ineffective teachers, but the statement suggests some due process evaluation which is unexplained. Further, I am lost as to what “standards established” could be used and whether they would be adopted without educator input. I could support this if it were clarified.

  1. The right to appropriate academic materials and resources. This would include materials necessary to support all instructional programs, access to computers and the internet, and modern facilities to support rigorous science, technology and mathematics instruction.

Yes, I fully agree with this statement.

  1. The right to safe, clean and environmental-friendly school facilities.

This is an obvious yes.

  1. The right to emotionally supportive schools that do not tolerate harassment, discrimination or abuse.

Harassment, discrimination or abuse should not be tolerated anywhere at anytime. As to “emotionally supportive schools” I am once again left wondering what exactly does this mean.

  1. The right to attend a school where funding is based on student need with the goal of providing access to adequate educational opportunities.

I believe that education and its funding is the responsibility of the General Assembly. Further, I believe that providing access to education is a fundamental right of the Rhode Island Constitution. With that in mind, I believe that students have a right to excellent educational opportunities and not just “adequate” ones.

As to the issue of funding based on student need, this does not fully flesh out the issue. Student need could be infinite in scope, and as such, I cannot agree with the statement.

  1. The right to a pathway out of a failing school. This requires the availability of options to attend schools that best enhance a student’s opportunity for academic achievement.

Yes, I believe that there are various methods of achieving this and I am supportive of such ideas in concept. I could support them in practice, where fully described.

  1. The right to a fair, accurate and transparent assessment system that measures student performance and need. The assessment system should include multiple measures for students to demonstrate their competencies and clearly state what students are expected to know and accomplish.

Yes, I agree with this statement.

  1. The right of parents to current and reliable information about their child’s progress and performance.

Yes, I agree with this statement.

 

Robert J. Healey, Jr.

October 10, 2014