Posted by Mike O on February 14, 2010
I was pretty ambivalent to Mabrie Jackson campaign for State Rep before I got this email related to the Candidate Forum we scheduled; this precluded her for me.
Here was my email:
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 7:54 AM
Subject: Considering putting together a series of State Rep debates
The combined Tea Party groups (Allen, McKinney, North Texas, Collin County, and Frisco) are considering scheduling a series of debates for the State Rep candidates. Naturally, the one everyone is talking about is the 66th being the first. Would you be interested?
We are looking at something in the first half of January. Everyone would be aware of the format ahead of time: currently, we are looking at 5 minutes intro each first, three traditional debate questions randomly drawn from a pool of questions given to the candidates some days in advance, followed by direct questions from the open-invitation audience, emphasizing questions addressed to all candidates. (Emphasis added)
Here is Mabrie’s response (emphasis mine):
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 8:18 AM
I will do one. When you do too many you do not get enough ppl to come and it ends up being just the candidates caps. We had over 10 for city council and it was awful. I would do end of jan or better first of feb because there are a lot of interviews with pacs in jan. Also closer to election more ppl pay attention. Thanks for asking-
Where to begin with this; essentially, none of this is anything I haven’t heard privately from other candidates (and one of the reason I left politics decades ago). But ALWAYS in private, NEVER in recorded form.
First, doing debates (even with small groups) is AWFUL?? Please excuse us; we just want hear those that want to represent us.
Second, and most importantly; you actually admit that the meetings with PACs take precedence over forums before the voters?? (which is EXACTLY how her words can easily be taken, whether intended or not.)
I am no political neophyte, so I know that PACs carry a lot of weight- too much weight on BOTH sides of the aisle. And PACS are not inherently evil; heck, the North Texas Tea Party had to organize as a state PAC , just for paperwork reasons. But to actually write that down- that you’re busy for half a month with PAC meetings- and send it out to a grassroots organizer outside your team?
To me, it shows she is not politically astute and subject to the wrong influences- many outside the district- way too early in the process. The former is not nearly the concern that the latter is.