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Archive for Thursday, September 28, 2000

Candidates agree to five debates

Kline, Moore ignore Douglas County in joint appearances

September 28, 2000

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There will be no face-off in Douglas County between the candidates in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District race.

Earlier this week, incumbent Democrat Dennis Moore said he was agreeing to meet challenger Phill Kline in five debates or forums between Oct. 14 and Nov. 1.

At least three of those debates will be open to the public, and one of them will be taped for television.

Since the August primary, Kline has sought eight debates with Moore. Kline already had agreed to appear on the dates and locations Moore has agreed to, said John Kerr, Kline's campaign manager.

Kline has been critical of the congressman for not agreeing sooner to meet him head-on.

"We'll debate him any time, any place," Kerr said.

Moore has to put his duties in Washington first, said Moore campaign manager Kim Hall. She denied Moore has been ducking Kline.

"Of course he's going to say that," Hall said of Kline. "He's the challenger."

In July, Douglas County aging and senior citizen organizations began working with the American Association of Retired People to schedule a forum for Kline and Moore. Two dates Oct. 25 or 26 were agreed to by Kline but nothing was decided by Moore, said George Kinard, of the Douglas County Senior Citizens Center.

"He never said he wouldn't do it, he just never made a commitment," said Kinard, who was working closely with the AARP to organize the Douglas County forum.

Efforts concerning the forum ended earlier this month, Kinard said. Local agencies didn't want to wait until the last minute to try to put something together, he said.

The AARP is sponsoring a debate with Moore and Kline in Johnson County on Oct. 14.

Even the five appearances Moore has agreed to are contingent on his congressional schedule, Hall said. Congress is scheduled to adjourn Oct. 6 but congressional observers say it is possible the House may be in session much longer.

If that happens Hall doesn't think it will hurt Moore's campaign efforts.

"I believe the people in his district know what he's doing concerning education, prescription drug plans and business issues," Hall said. "Congressman Moore comes back every weekend and he visits the people in his district all the time."

The debate schedule, the group(s) organizing it and where it will be:

10 a.m. Oct. 14; AARP; Shawnee Mission South High School.

8:15 p.m. Oct. 17; Kansas City, Kan., Chamber of Commerce; Kansas City, Kan., Community College Performing Arts Center. Open to the public.

7 p.m. Oct. 18; League of Women Voters, Kansas City Star and KCPT Channel 19 public television; Johnson County Community College's Carlsen Center. Open to the public. KCPT will air the debate at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 and 1 p.m. Oct. 22.

Noon Oct. 19; Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Overland Park and Olathe chambers of commerce; Ritz Charles, 9000 W. 137th St., Overland Park. Open to the public but there is a charge of $20 per person.

Noon Nov. 1; Johnson County Bar Assn.; Ritz Charles.

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