[Vision2020] Idaho Press Club excludes Independent Candidate

Tim Lohrmann timlohr at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 13 19:02:56 PDT 2006

  BOISE – Former KBCI commentator and independent Congressional candidate Andy Hedden-Nicely has filed a formal complaint with the Idaho Press Club for being excluded from a First District debate Sept. 21 in north Idaho. The debate is organized by the Press Club's Lewis-Clark chapter.
  "This is, unfortunately, typical of what independent candidates face in our calcified political system that always frames the debate as being between the Democrats and the Republicans," said Hedden-Nicely, the founder of the United Party. 
  "We not only have to run against our opponents, we have to scrap for every bit of access to the general debate and to the media.
  "My question is, what about the responsibility the Press Club has to the voting public to let them hear all views. Especially in such an important race as the First District?" Hedden-Nicely said. 
  In response to the Hedden-Nicely campaign's request for inclusion in the north Idaho debate, Kathy Hedberg, president of the Lewis-Clark chapter wrote in an email:
  "Since this is the first time our chapter of the Idaho Press Club has sponsored a debate we decided to limit it to the major party candidates only. I'm sorry we couldn't accommodate you at this time."
  Hedden Nicely said, "If accommodations are a problem they don't need to worry. We'll sleep in our campaign RV, 'Camper One,' and I can bring a folding chair. We've even got our own PA system, so we only need to know the address of the debate."
  In her email, Hedberg also noted that "We are planning a gubernatorial debate in Oct., which also will be limited to the major party candidates."
  Responded Hedden-Nicely: "We're not running for governor. We're in a different race with different dynamics, different personalities and different candidates."
  Hedden-Nicely has already been invited to debates and forums planned by ABC  Channel 6 and KTVB Channel 7 as well as the League of Women Voters/IPTV First District debate broadcast, the last of which is the only debate that will be broadcast statewide and requires independent candidates to provide a detailed dossier about campaign activities, organization and personnel.
  "Why don't we meet the standards of a regional press organization, if we've satisfied the requirements of the only statewide debate that will take place in this race?" Hedden-Nicely, a small businessman who is the former owner and publisher of the Boise Weekly, said.
  Hedden-Nicely faces former Micron corporate lawyer Larry Grant, a Democrat, and state legislator and lawyer Bill Sali, the Republican, in the First District race.

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