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Cynthia McKinney Skips Debate For A Second Time

From the DNC’s Associated Press:

John Coyne, left, and Hank Johnson debate in Atlanta, Friday, July 7, 2006.

McKinney is a debate no-show, again

ERRIN HAINES

Sat, Jul. 08, 2006

ATLANTA – U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney let an empty podium speak for her again Saturday as the congresswoman skipped the second of two televised debates in the race for the 4th Congressional District.

Organizers of the debate, held at the WSB-TV studio in Midtown and aired live, said they received no response from McKinney’s campaign about whether she would attend, despite numerous attempts to contact her to confirm. Still, media panelists opened the hourlong debate with three McKinney-related questions before quizzing candidates John Coyne III and Hank Johnson, Jr., about issues including the Iraq war, education, health care and immigration.

Coyne said McKinney is only concerned about her core constituents and has not fulfilled her duties as a member of Congress, but instead has served as a distraction.

"Washington has gotten to the point where it doesn’t want to do business with her anymore," Coyne said.

Both candidates were quick to contrast McKinney’s style to their own, vowing to be consensus builders who would avoid controversy and taking advantage of her absence. On his Web site, Johnson points out McKinney’s vacant spot at a debate held Friday sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club. Organizers of that debate said McKinney never answered their invitation, either.

"I am now poised to go to Congress and do something positive for the 4th Congressional District," Johnson said, citing his years of service as a lawyer, magistrate judge and former DeKalb County commissioner.

When asked about McKinney’s continuing popularity in her district, Coyne and Johnson said the district has changed, through reapportionment and changing demographics. Johnson – seen as her main challenger in the July 18 Democratic primary – said his campaign has seen a surge in recent weeks, proof that McKinney’s constituents are ready for change.

"Conspiracy theories are no longer attractive to the people of the 4th," he said.

McKinney appears to enjoy wide support in her predominantly Democratic district, which includes a small portion of Gwinnett County and most of DeKalb County. Her base is said to be in South DeKalb, home to the second-richest black population in the country.

Supporters seemed unfazed by a March scuffle with a Capitol Hill policeman with whom McKinney argued when he did not recognize her as she entered a House office building in Washington. The incident led to a grand jury investigation, but she wasn’t indicted.

McKinney did not immediately return calls seeking comment Saturday afternoon. On her congressional Web site, she listed Saturday as the date for one of her District Days, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The WSB-TV debate was scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Atlanta Press Club debate will air on Monday, July 10, on Georgia Public Broadcasting.

I guess Ms. McKinney has more important things to be doing than campaigning. She knows she’s from a safe district.

After all, she gerrymandered it herself.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, July 9th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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