by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz
The following is a message for Indiana Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Todd Rokita, regarding the upcoming April 30 U.S. Senate debate.
Hi, Todd. It’s Abdul. You know, the guy you’ve known for 14 years who covered you when you were Secretary of State and as Congressman from the 4th Congressional District. Of course, you remember.
Well, I’m writing this because apparently there’s been an issue between us that needs to be resolved regarding the upcoming April 30 debate, hosted by the very non-partisan the Indiana Debate Commission and moderated by yours truly.
Originally you declined their invitation to participate in the debate. Honestly, I’m not sure why because the reasons kept changing. First, it was you didn’t want to participate in a debate hosted by the “liberal media” and “liberal college professors.” Then the reason given for not participating was that, my friends at WISH-TV notwithstanding, that these debates should either be done by trusted conservatives or Republican organizations. And then that changed because of “political ties” to one of the other campaigns, I lost track after a while. Regardless, I am glad you are participating because I genuinely believe Hoosiers deserve to see all three of the candidates on stage so they can measure them up and make an informed decision.
However, despite your decision to participate, I can tell there is still some tension there as evidenced by your campaign’s most recent headline, “Todd Rokita to Debate Messer, Braun, Shabazz in IDC Debate.” While I’m flattered your staff thinks I would be a great U.S. Senate candidate and worthy opponent, I can assure you I am not on the ballot. The Lovely Mrs. Shabazz vetoed that a long time ago. You, Luke and Mike are on the ballot and that’s who the debate should be between. Getting into a debate with the moderator during the debate doesn’t serve anyone well and takes up valuable time from the candidates. So to avoid that how about we do this?
How about you come on next Saturday’s radio show on WIBC, and you and I can chat (for an hour) and in a very open and very public forum have a Festivus-style airing of grievances. So whatever issue you have with me you can get it out of your system and come April 30, the focus can be on the candidates, not the moderator. My only condition is the only people in the studio will be you and me, your staff can sit in the lobby or I can set them up in another studio to listen. Since the issue is between you and me, the two people in the room should be you and me. If you’re up for that, let me know by Thursday. This way, when we all show up on April 30, any issue you have with me won’t be an issue anymore because whatever that issue was won’t be an issue anymore, n’est–ce pas?
You know how to get ahold of me. I eagerly await your response.
Give my best to Kathy and the boys,
Abdul-Hakim is the editor and publisher of IndyPolitics.Org. He is also an attorney with Lewis and Wilkins LLP, licensed to practice law in Indiana and Illinois.