Dear Mr. Skelton,
This is to remind you that we are booked for open-door candidate forums on four Fridays in October. I know I'm looking forward to visiting with the voters and I know you are, too. Our campaign is in the process of reserving locations and setting times. For your schedule planning, each will be at mid-afternoon on a Friday, with the first Hartzler-Skelton open forum on Friday, October 8, and on each Friday thereafter. Additional information was in my letter of August 11. We will let you know the times and addresses.
I have made one change in the Hartzler-Skelton forums, caused by your refusal to appear at forums sponsored by the Jefferson City News-Tribune and Bott Radio Network. Our October forums will be sponsored directly by me. You have my word that you will be treated fairly, that we will divide all time equally, and that I will not seek any advantage for our campaign's position as host.
Also, the October 15 Hartzler-Skelton Forum will be in El Dorado Springs under sponsorship of the Spring City Revitalization Group. The organization has agreed to host the forum with or without you, thereby depriving the veto power you used to block a public town meeting forum in Jefferson City, saying, "you can't make it."
If you had not hidden from media-sponsored forums, of course, other community newspapers and radio stations would have come forward. But, sad to say, it appears your purpose was to avoid any setting where the voters could question you directly about your liberal Pelosi voting record and positions, hear each of us make our case, compare the two of us, and decide which of us they want representing their views and values in the U.S. House.
If you wish to suggest other settings for forums or debates, please contact us after you have committed to our October forums, or publicly refused.
In all candor, Congressman, people believe that you are hiding from me and, far more importantly, hiding from the people who pay your salary. Your unwillingness to meet the public is reminiscent of your avoidance in August 2009, when I was doing open-door community meetings on health care. You were only making limited appearances around the district without open-door town meetings, and your Jefferson City office was being picketed by seniors who demanded that you come out of hiding and answer their questions.
You have been running for and occupying various elected offices and drawing paychecks from taxpayers since 1957, which was before I was born. People refer to you as a lifetime career politician. Nobody forced you to vote with Pelosi 95 percent of the time. That was your decision. It's time to look your employers in the eye, square your shoulders, and tell them why. No one forced you to vote for the disastrous failure of trying to deficit-spend and borrow America's way to new jobs. This was your decision. Time to explain yourself. It's why we have elections.
I look forward to seeing you at the Hartzler-Skelton Forums in October!