Delco not in ‘Jeop­ardy’ of any faux de­bates

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - NEWS - Jo­dine May­berry Colum­nist

Did any­body see the de­bate be­tween Gov. Tom Wolf and his op­po­nent Scott Wag­ner at the Penn­syl­va­nia Cham­ber of Com­merce din­ner two weeks ago? That was one strange de­bate.

It was re­ally a de­bate be­tween “Jeop­ardy!” host Alex Tre­bek and Wag­ner, with Wolf weigh­ing in very, very in­fre­quently and Tre­bek de­liv­er­ing mini-lec­tures from time to time.

His lit­tle homily on Catholic pri­ests was par­tic­u­larly odd, and some say of­fen­sive. I re­ally have no idea how he got on that sub­ject since he had no ques­tion to ask about it.

He could have asked the can­di­dates their po­si­tion on the bill cur­rently go­ing through the state Leg­is­la­ture to give sex­ual as­sault vic­tims a two-year win­dow to bring civil suits against those who al­legedly mo­lested them decades ago, but he didn’t.

In­stead Tre­bek in­formed us that he was in a Catholic board­ing school for three years in his early teens and “there was no sex­ual mis­be­hav­ior.”

Teenaged boys are smart and talk among them­selves and “we would have known,” he said.

“So I be­lieve there are Catholic pri­ests out there who are able to min­is­ter to their con­gre­ga­tions with­out prey­ing – P.R.E.Y., not P.R.A.Y. – on young peo­ple.

“It doesn’t only hap­pen in the Catholic Church, it hap­pens in col­lege sports, it hap­pens in show busi­ness, so enough of that,” Tre­bek said with a dis­mis­sive wave turn­ing back to the can­di­dates.

OK, thanks, Alex. It’s nice to know your views on that and that you can spell and de­fine pray/prey both ways.

But it cleared up ab­so­lutely noth­ing about where the can­di­dates stand on that is­sue.

Tre­bek an­nounced at the be­gin­ning that it wasn’t go­ing to be a tra­di­tional de­bate, with each side hav­ing 90 se­conds to state their po­si­tions on var­i­ous is­sues, but it was go­ing to be done his way, as a civil con­ver­sa­tion.

And, he said, it wasn’t go­ing to be about him.

Alas, as the de­bate wore on, it was clear the event was all about him and his ex­ten­sive knowl­edge of Penn­syl­va­nia pol­i­tics, thanks I’m sure to his “Jeop­ardy!” writ­ers.

It was damned civil be­tween Wolf and Wag­ner, since Wolf seemed in­tent on po­litely lis­ten­ing to both sides – Tre­bek and Wag­ner.

One of the few times he did com­ment on an is­sue, the pen­sion cri­sis, he ob­served that there is a “bi­par­ti­san ef­fort” un­der­way to re­solve it. So very civil.

Wolf looked like a con­tented man, a man who knows the polls have con­sis­tently shown him to have a dou­ble-digit lead over Wag­ner in a statewide con­test with 800,000 more reg­is­tered Democrats and no other de­bates where he might stick his foot in his mouth.

No­body can force Wolf and Wag­ner to have a real de­bate but as a pub­lic ser­vice, I wanted to let you all know that there are some lo­cal de­bates com­ing up, cour­tesy of the non­par­ti­san Radnor and Cen­tral Delaware County Leagues of Women Vot­ers.

Here is the sched­ule so far: PA House Dis­trict 168 Chris Quinn (R), in­cum­bent, and Kristin Seale (D) Oct. 14, 3 p.m.

Penn State Brandy­wine Au­di­to­rium

25 Years­ley Mill Road, Mid­dle­town

PA House Dis­trict 165: Alex Charl­ton (R), in­cum­bent and Jen­nifer O’Mara (D)

Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m. Con­nolly Cen­ter Cinema Vil­lanova Univer­sity

26th State Sen­a­to­rial Dis­trict:

Tom McGar­rigle, (R), in­cum­bent and Tim Kear­ney (D)

Oct. 24, 7 p.m. Spring­field Town­ship Build­ing

50 Pow­ell Road, Spring­field PA House Dis­trict 166: Gre­gory Vi­tali (D), in­cum­bent, vs. Balt­hazar Ru­bio (R)

Mon, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. Radnor Town­ship Mu­nic­i­pal Build­ing

301 Iven Ave., Radnor

5th U.S Con­gres­sional Dis­trict Open Seat:

Mary Gay Scan­lon (D) and Pearl Kim (R)

Oct. 25, 7 p.m. Delaware County Com­mu­nity Col­lege

Aca­demic Build­ing Au­di­to­rium

901 S. Me­dia Line Road, Me­dia

Kim and Scan­lon are also run­ning in a spe­cial elec­tion for the old 7th Dis­trict and vot­ers will vote in that elec­tion on Nov. 6 at the same time they are vot­ing in the new Dis­trict 5 elec­tion.

The win­ner of the spe­cial elec­tion will be sworn in the next day and serve for two months un­til the be­gin­ning of Jan­uary, re­ally more like three weeks since the House will take De­cem­ber off.

These will be good old­fash­ioned de­bates with ques­tions sub­mit­ted by the au­di­ence and each side hav­ing a given amount of time to state their po­si­tions.

The League does not tol­er­ate in­ci­vil­ity or demon­stra­tions for or against any can­di­date dur­ing the de­bates.

They will be video­taped and posted on Youtube and some will be livestreamed on its Face­book pages.

The League, un­like Tre­bek, gets noth­ing out of these de­bates ex­cept the sat­is­fac­tion of ful­fill­ing its mis­sion to ed­u­cate vot­ers and en­cour­age vot­ing.

So whomever you sup­port or op­pose, come out and watch the can­di­dates go head to head. This is likely your only chance be­fore the elec­tion.

(Dis­claimer: I am a mem­ber of the League of Women Vot­ers, but don’t hold that against them.)

Jo­dine May­berry is a re­tired ed­i­tor, long­time journalist and Delaware County res­i­dent. Her col­umn ap­pears ev­ery Fri­day. You can reach her at jodine­may­berry@ com­


A scene from the very odd de­bate be­tween Demo­cratic Gov. Tom Wolf, left, and GOP chal­lenger Scott Wag­ner.

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