Fox 9 News picked up the story as well.
Barkley Calls for Six Debates with Senate Rivals
Independence Party Candidate Rejects Scaled-Down Debate Proposal
For Immediate Release
Contact: Christopher Truscott
PLYMOUTH—Fresh off his primary election victory, Independence Party Senate candidate Dean Barkley called on Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and DFLer Al Franken to participate in six debates over the course of the fall campaign.
Last week Coleman said four debates—instead of the traditional six—would be sufficient. While Franken's campaign seemed to agree, Barkley said voters deserve as many opportunities as possible to see and hear the candidates talk about the important issues in an "unscripted, unedited" fashion.
"Minnesotans expect to see their candidates debate the issues and defend their ideas candidly," Barkley said. "Voters don't get that from 30-second, focus-group tested TV commercials."
Franken, Coleman, Barkley and former IP Senate candidate Stephen Williams participated in the FarmFest forum last month in Redwood County.
"With the exception of Norm and Al firing spitballs at each other, I thought that was a pretty good event," Barkley said. "There's no reason we shouldn't have at least six more of these unless the other candidates are so afraid of their respective records that they don't want to face tough questions from citizens and journalists."
Barkley said he's open to debates of any format and in any town between now and Election Day.
"Ultimately, Norm and Al will have to make up their own minds on debating, but I won't decline any invitations," he said.
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Barkley, 58, served as the director of the Minnesota Office of Strategic and Long Range Planning under Gov. Jesse Ventura. In November 2002, Ventura appointed Barkley to fill the final two months of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone's term.
The former governor said recently that Barkley is "measured minute by minute … the most effective U.S. senator in Minnesota history."
More information is available online at www.senatorbarkley.com.