In his first run for Congress in 2006, Republican Congressional candidate Peter Roskam agreed to three debates with his Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth. The debates demonstrated that the political novice Duckworth could hold her own with seasoned career politician Roskam. It nearly cost him the election he eventually won by a slim 2% margin in a district retiring GOP powerhouse Henry Hyde routinely won with nearly 30% margins.
Roskam debated challenger Jill Merganthaller just twice in 2008 and passed on debating Ben Lowe in 2010, with his margins increasing to 16% and 28% respectively.
Last Tuesday, Leslie Coolidge, Roskam's challenger this year, invited Congressman Roskam to meet with her in a series of town hall style debates citing, "voters deserve to hear our distinctly different views on improving jobs, tax reform, preserving social security and Medicare, energy policy, health care, foreign policy and the environment."
With no response to date, it looks like Congressman Roskam will let his millions of dollars in campaign cash do all his debating for him against another challenger with limited financial resources.
The 700,000 residents of the 6th IL District deserve a free and open airing of these vital issues in this critical election. Since this is important regardless of political party or position on issues, every registered voter in the 6th; Republican, Democrat or independent, should contact Congressman Roskam at his Washington DC or Bloomingdale, IL office and request he debate Leslie Coolidge.
Past elections may be telling Congressman Roskam to avoid any debate which will give the voters the opportunity to compare the candidates straight up, face to face. But democracy and good governance demand that there be no debate about the need to debate.