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Archive for Friday, May 11, 2007

Panel considers sites for presidential debates

May 11, 2007

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— If there were any doubts about the warp speed of the 2008 race, consider this: The Commission on Presidential Debates is visiting some of the 19 possible sites for next year's debates.

Officials from the commission Thursday visited the University of Central Arkansas, looking over its Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall and surrounding campus to see if it could host one of three tentatively scheduled presidential debates or the one debate between vice presidential candidates.

The nonpartisan commission plans to announce its four sites in October. No dates have been set for the debates.

A 10-page list from the commission sets out its demands: 1,300 telephone lines, 3,000 hotel rooms within 30 minutes of the event, working room for 3,000 reporters, security and ample parking room for 50 satellite trucks and others.

In its packet to prospective sites, the commission also tells hosts to expect spending $1.35 million in preparing and putting on the event.

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