This letter is in reply to the
letter published March 27 in the Lincoln Courier from Lincoln
mayoral candidate Jan Tabor.
Even though CITV5 is not a news
station, but rather a features station, we feel that it is in the
public's interest to learn about our candidates, their
qualifications and their platforms. For both the primary and general
elections, CITV5 hosts a "candidates speak out" in which each
candidate is allowed the same time for a one-on-one interview with
Jim Ash. Each candidate listed on the official ballot receives the
same lengthy letter, describing the procedures, rules and
regulations, time requirements, location with directions and the
address, and three phone numbers by which to respond. We also film,
edit and air debates or forums for each election.
For the primary election, we hosted
a "candidates speak out," open to all Lincoln mayoral candidates as
listed on the official ballot; we filmed the Lincoln College/U.S.A.
class forum, open to all Lincoln mayoral candidates, and the Lincoln
Courier forum, open to all Lincoln mayoral candidates. Also during
the primary election was the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of
Commerce forum, open to all Lincoln mayoral candidates.
According to the speakers at all
three of these forums, candidate Jan Tabor politely declined to
participate. For our primary "candidates speak out," candidate Jan
Tabor did not respond.
For the general election, we were
surprised to note that no other organization was hosting a Lincoln
mayoral debate, even though there were three candidates bidding for
the Lincoln mayor position. Therefore, we decided to host a debate
for the Lincoln mayoral race, at our studio (which, along with the
courthouse and city hall, is the only other location we can
broadcast live), as well as offer the general election "candidates
speak out." Identical letters to all three candidates listed on the
official ballot were sent. We received prompt responses from two of
the candidates and no response from candidate Jan Tabor. Our general
election "candidates speak out," still airing at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Tuesday through Friday on cable CITV5 and at www.citv5.com with 24/7
streaming video, features only the two candidates that responded. We
also sent two lengthy letters to all three Lincoln mayoral
candidates for our debate. Two of the three candidates promptly
confirmed their attendance.
[to top of second column in this letter]
Not hearing from candidate Jan
Tabor, I personally tried to find a phone number for Ms. Tabor,
which is an unlisted number, and e-mailed her as well, with no
response. Candidate Jan Tabor responded on Monday, March 21,
confirming her attendance. I specifically detailed the directions
again and confirmed the time to be present as well.
On the evening of the debate, our
studio, located behind Insight, was open at 5 p.m. with our sign
posted on the doorway. At 6:30 p.m., the door was physically open,
and the producer, the commentator, the videographer, the timer and
myself, all with individual cars in the parking lot, were present.
At 6:45 p.m., two of the three mayoral candidates were present, also
with cars in the parking lot. Still, we left the door physically
open, waiting for the third candidate.
As the program neared airtime, I
personally walked outside to the parking lot and to the front of
Insight, looking for the third candidate. No car, other than the
seven cars already accounted for, was in the parking lot. When the
program began, we were forced to proceed with the two candidates.
Although three phone numbers were
given in our letter, and the Courier's coverage of this debate
listed Insight's fax number (which we manned because of the paper's
incorrect information), no phone call was received at any number
(isn't caller ID wonderful!).
Commentator Jim Ash replied on the
air that "Jan Tabor was unable to attend."
We have filmed hundreds of
individuals for our programs, including state senators, professional
athletes and grade school teams, just to name a few, with many of
them not from Lincoln, and everyone was able to find our studio. The
public has the ultimate right to decide, as all of you have that
opportunity on April 5.
(Posted March 30, 2005)
Concluding note: Tabor has accepted an invitation from CITV and
will appear on open forum this evening (Wednesday, March 30) at
You can also see the other
candidates' taped debate on the CITV5 streaming video. Go to
Click here to send a note to the editor about this letter.