The Piedmont Civic Association (PCA) Candidate Forum on Nov. 29 was to be an informational event to give candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to Piedmont voters and allow voters to hear their positions on issues and pose questions. The forum was canceled because of false rumors that caused candidates to drop out.
Rumor: League of Women Voters objected to the forum. Fact: The League responded positively to the idea of a PCA forum. Although the president declined to co-sponsor the PCA event because of a planned LWV forum in January, an email to PCA confirmed the League had no objection to other candidate forums.
Rumor: PCA forum moderator, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Andrew Cheng, had endorsed a Piedmont candidate. Fact: Judge Cheng had not and could not endorse any candidate because of his position as a judicial officer. PCA chose Judge Cheng as moderator because of his qualifications, objectivity and neutrality as a Judge.
Rumor: The Forum would not be neutral. Fact: The City granted PCA use of the Council chambers and agreed to have KCOM broadcast the forum because it would be completely neutral, open to all candidates, free of any editorializing or endorsement of any candidate. PCA does not endorse candidates. The forum’s format was provided to all candidates and is posted on the website: www.piedmontcivic.org.
Rumor: Only 1 candidate planned to participate. Fact: 3 candidates responded enthusiastically to the Forum invitation. One questioned participating in both PCA and League’s forums. Three did not respond immediately. Suddenly, the tide turned.
PCA regrets the lost opportunity for voters to hear from candidates early in the election process. They now must wait until January, after absentee voting has begun and endorsements made.
Piedmont Civic Association www.piedmontcivic.org
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