ELEC met this afternoon to talk about a request by NJN to move one of the scheduled debates to ensure participation from the Governor:
New Jersey Network lost a bid to move the first gubernatorial debate from October 1 to October 22 after a New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission vote was deadlocked 2-2 along party lines.
About an hour after ELEC’s meeting concluded, Gov. Jon Corzine’s campaign indicated that it would be willing to participate in both of the commission’s debates regardless of the date.
“The Corzine campaign reiterates its position that the public is better served having the two gubernatorial debates later in October,” said Corzine spokesman Sean Darcy. “Our position notwithstanding, we are prepared to participate in both ELEC sanctioned debates regardless of whether or not the NJN debate is rescheduled for October 22nd.”
I guess the scheduling conflict wasn’t that bad for the Governor. Both Christie and Daggett had taken issue with the attempt to move the debate. While not moving the date, ELEC did make a change in debate format:
Elections officials also agreed to scrap a 15-minute debate segment in which the candidates question each other and instead take questions from viewers.
ELEC also made news regarding newspaper endorsements today:
The seven newspapers owned by the Newhouse family’s Advance Publications and the two owned by the Borg family’s North Jersey Media Group must hold off on endorsements of candidates for governor until after a candidate debate co-sponsored by the Star-Ledger and The Record, according to the head of the commission that regulates New Jersey campaigns.
Sponsors of the debate agreed to withhold endorsements of gubernatorial candidates until after the debate when they applied in July.
“It is our opinion that the prohibition would apply to the other papers and media outlets,” Jeff Brindle, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, told PolitickerNJ.com today.
The six daily newspapers operated by Gannett New Jersey, as well as the Philadelphia Inquirer, which are co-sponsoring a second gubernatorial debate sanctioned by ELEC, must wait until after their debate before endorsing a candidate for governor.
So in summary, the Debate will be October 1 in all likelihood, with all 3 candidates not asking each other questions, but taking them from viewers and the newspapers will have to wait to make decisions until after all the debates are done.