Sheridan Calls Calvert’s Refusal to Debate Indefensible – September 22, 2014

For Immediate Release                                                        Contact:  Cindy Petersen

September 22, 2014                                                                                          951-471-2520

Tim Sheridan, the Democratic candidate for California’s 42nd Congressional District, today called 20-year incumbent Congressman Ken Calvert’s excuse for refusing to debate indefensible and an attempt to avoid facing the voters and having to explain the positions and actions he has taken over his 20 plus years in Congress.

The issue arose after the Lake Elsinore Citizens Committee formally invited Mr. Calvert and Mr. Sheridan to debate on October 10 at the Lake Elsinore Women’s Club.  In a letter to the Lake Elsinore Citizens Committee, Mr. Calvert reportedly said that he would not debate Mr. Sheridan because he felt that he was being “attacked throughout the campaign.”

“When a 20-year incumbent member of Congress refuses to stand with his opponent and engage in a debate so that the voters of the district can fairly and objectively judge those seeking to represent them in Washington, DC,” Sheridan said, “it’s time to send a new member of Congress to Washington.”

“It is absurd to think that a long term member of Congress would refuse to debate because he does not want to have his positions and actions scrutinized,” Sheridan added. “If Mr. Calvert believes that questioning his positions and actions is an attack, then one can only assume that Mr. Calvert knows that he will be unable to defend his record. This election is about what Mr. Calvert has done and not done in the 20-plus years he has been in Congress.”

“Moreover, Mr. Calvert should believe it worthwhile for voters to hear how we intend to address Riverside County’s traffic and unemployment concerns, which are among the worst in the nation, and how we will address issues relating to Social Security, Medicare, veterans, jobs, education, the cost of student loans, our environment and the many other challenges we face. Whether Mr. Calvert and I agree or disagree on these and other issues, there is no doubt that voters in our community would like to know our plans when one of us gets to Washington.”

Throughout the campaign, Mr. Sheridan has criticized Mr. Calvert for not protecting Social Security and Medicare for seniors, noting that the Alliance for Retired Americans reports that Mr. Calvert’s lifetime score is just 7% on senior issues out of a possible score of 100%. The Alliance has endorsed Mr. Sheridan.

Mr. Sheridan has also raised questions about Mr. Calvert’s handling of veteran’s issues, noting that the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Mr. Calvert a grade of “C” in its most recent Congressional Report Card. “A representative from a district with as many veterans as California’s 42nd should be earning nothing less than an ‘A’,” Sheridan said.

Mr. Sheridan has also called into question Mr. Calvert’s commitment to clean water and clean air noting that, as Chair of a House appropriation subcommittee on the environment, Mr. Calvert has focused on cutting funds from the EPA. “In an area of the country where water is such a precious resource,” Sheridan said, “Mr. Calvert’s continued attempt to reduce the ability of the EPA to keep our water clean is completely without merit. Mr. Calvert should explain to the voters in California’s 42nd District why he believes that the EPA should not do everything in its power to keep our water and air clean. When I’m in Congress, I will do everything I can to ensure that our children and grandchildren grow up in a clean environment in Southern California.”

Mr. Sheridan has also criticized Mr. Calvert for spending some $30,000 of campaign money at resorts in Northern California’s Napa Valley. “What possible need could Mr. Calvert have for spending such an excessive amount of campaign money in the Napa Valley as opposed to spending time in the district talking to voters?,” Sheridan asserted. “Mr. Calvert had a long summer recess from Congress. He should have held town hall meetings around the district – he didn’t. When I’m elected to Congress, the voters can be assured that I will be in the District when I’m not in Washington talking to and meeting with voters – just as I have done throughout this campaign.”

Mr. Sheridan has also made note that Mr. Calvert supported the government shutdown last year that cost the economy some 24 billion dollars.

“The bottom line is this,” Sheridan said, “Congress is broken and Mr. Calvert is a long term member of the broken Congress. If we are going to take steps to fix the Congress, we need to send a new representative to Washington. I will be that representative. Equally importantly, as I have told all the voters that I have talked to over the past year, I will constantly be in the District, attending public events and holding town hall meetings – where I will be happy to stand and answer questions from people who might otherwise disagree with me.”


For .pdf version, click here: Press release Sep 22 Campaign2014-Calvert’s decision not to debate