SUOZZI FORMALLY CHALLENGES SPITZER TO SERIES OF DEBATES

Tom Suozzi for Governor

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 25, 2006 CONTACT: Kim Devlin(516)510-3001

SUOZZI FORMALLY CHALLENGES SPITZER TO SERIES OF DEBATES
"New Yorkers deserve a competition for Governor, not a coronation"
NEW YORK, NY - Standing outside the campaign offices of Eliot Spitzer, Democratic candidate for Governor Tom Suozzi today called on his opponent to agree to a series of regular, issue-based debates, to be held across the State.
Suozzi issued his challenge in the form of a hand-delivered letter, proposing the two candidates hold two debates a month between the beginning of May and the Democratic primary in September.
"I am going to be on the ballot come September, so the only outstanding question here is whether Eliot Spitzer respects the voters of New York enough and trusts his abilities enough to engage in real debates," Suozzi said.
"So far, my opponent is acting more like a king than a sheriff. He doesn't want a competition, he wants a coronation. That's not healthy for our party or for our state. In fact, that's just how Albany became a mess in the first place, by avoiding competitive elections and insulating leaders from real accountability.
"The bottom line: No one is entitled to be governor of this great state - they should have to earn it. And that's exactly why I am proposing a series of substantive debates across the state, so voters can look past the hype and the headlines and take full measure of us as leaders."
A copy of the letter Suozzi delivered to Eliot Spitzer is attached.

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April 25, 2006
Dear Attorney General Spitzer:
I am writing to challenge you to debate me twice a month from now until the Democratic primary on September 12.
Despite your best efforts to deprive New Yorkers from making an informed choice for Governor, I will be on the ballot on September 12th. Let me state unequivocally: New Yorkers will have the opportunity to vote for Tom Suozzi in the Democratic primary for Governor.
That being the case, I believe that you and I have an obligation to New York's Democratic voters to share with them our records and our visions for the future of New York. New York's Democrats deserve the opportunity to evaluate which of us is best equipped to solve the serious problems confronting our State: out-of-control property taxes, low-performing schools, a struggling economy, a lack of affordable housing and, not least of all, a deeply dysfunctional State government.
It is in that spirit that I propose a series of substantive, issue-driven debates, to be held throughout the campaign. Along the same lines, I also propose that we hold these debates in every region of our State, so that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to participate in the discussion that that our Party and our State so desperately need.
You are an experienced prosecutor, public speaker and a long-time elected official. I cannot imagine any reason for you not to debate me, other than the typical, tired strategy most front-runners follow to avoid exposing themselves to the scrutiny and risks of multiple substantive public debates.
If you are really serious about reforming New York and putting democracy back into the Democratic Party, the best thing you can do is reject this cynical brand of politics-as-usual and let the voters decide for themselves. I am ready. Are you?
Sincerely,
Tom Suozzi
Nassau County Executive

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