2004-10-22 / Front Page

Weiner – Cronin Debate Off The Calendar

A planned October 26 local debate between Congressman Anthony Weiner and his opponent, local resident Jerry Cronin, has been called off by Cronin, who told The Wave that he was too busy due to his involvement with both the funeral of a close relative and the planning for his upcoming wedding.

The debate between the liberal Congressman and his conservative, right-to-life opponent was to be held at the Beach Club. The Wave sought to sponsor the last-minute event to provide voters with access to the candidates and their issues, but Cronin, who was initially enthusiastic about the debate and agreed to be involved, balked after Weiner signed on and he learned of the debate procedures.

Weiner contacted The Wave on October 14 and said that he would take part, “any time, any place.”

Cronin, however, when contacted on September 18, and told of the proposed format for the debate and of the panel that would be asking the questions, seemed less sure of his participation.

“I’ll have to talk to some people and get back to you,” he told Wave Managing Editor Howard Schwach when he was told that the panel would be made up of local specialists in such areas as economic development, health care, community development and transportation and that their questions would focus on how national policy impacts local issues.

On October 19, Schwach contacted Cronin again.

Cronin said that he was “disappointed” with both the format and the panel.

“I was hoping that you would have a Democrat, a Republican, a moderate and a conservative on the panel,” he said. “The Congressman meets with the President and a debate on local issues is not proper.”

Schwach told him “all politics is local” and said that he did not want the debate to turn into a surrogate Bush – Kerry debate.

Cronin then pled prior commitments and backed out.

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