During the morning of September 21, 2016, on the talk news program Binghamton Now on WNBF 1290AM, host Bob Joseph had the Democrat candidate for the New York 22nd congressional race Kim Myers on live. Candidate Myers spoke about the race to-date and the program took calls from listeners to ask questions of the candidate. One of those calls was from political commentator Michael Vasquez – who has the leading coverage of this election race starting in November 2015. [Mr. Vasquez is also president of M V Consulting, Inc and was a 2014 candidate for the NY-22 congressional seat.]
Mr. Vasquez asked a simple and direct question, also proposed by text to WUTQ (who chose not to provide it to the public on-air) earlier on the same day when Myers appeared on Talk of the Town (and asked via Twitter – thus far no response was made to the tweet). That question was why Democrat candidate Kim Myers declined to appear at the 6th AFRTC Candidate Forum held in Vestal, NY. These Forum’s have been on-going since 2010, and it was verified that Kim Myers was invited to the event (several times) over the prior 2 months.
The following is the unedited, complete audio of the live on-air conversation:
It should be noted that in the political commentary review of the AFRTC Vestal NY Candidate Forum, all candidates that declined to attend were called out for denying the public the opportunity to evaluate the credentials and worthiness of those candidates. That included Republican incumbent Debbie Preston, as well as Democrat Kim Myers and Independent Martin Babinec (who was also addressed in the live on-air conversation) as stated in that article,
“The denial of those candidates to appear before the public can be said to be a direct statement on their concern for constituents and potentially performance if elected. To be clear, this is a statement on Martin Babinec, Debbie Preston, and Kim Myers. Each had months of preparation time and awareness. Each represents some of the least interactions with the public in the 2016 NY elections, which many feel is a disservice to the public.”
The question continuing to face candidate Myers is when, if at all, that she will appear before the public – especially in the Southern Tier – to answer questions from the public directly. Based on the stated response on WNBF, the Myers campaign appears to have no interest in such an event. M V Consulting continues to describe such an avoidance of the public and lack of transparency – from ANY candidate – as a disservice to voters.
In addition, as the question of the attendance of Babinec at the Vestal Forum was raised (he did not attend), and the accusation of debate avoidance was leveled by the Babinec campaign, another question faces the public. Why is Babinec distracting the public with the impression that a debate is being avoided (both the Myers and Tenney campaigns state this is factually incorrect) when Martin Babinec declined to respond to 2 months of requests to attend the Candidate Forum in Vestal? How sincere is the Babinec campaign about being transparent with the public on the qualifications and dedication to constituent services of Martin Babinec if no response (as has been verified) was even offered to the invitations extended to the campaign?
While voters will determine who will be the next Representative of the NY 22nd Congressional District in November, without the ability of some candidates to provide full transparency and clear explanation of where they stand on issues important to voters (as opposed to the media), some voters will have to base their vote on guesswork and zombie partisanship.