Perrysburg, OH – In recognition of Constitution Day, Congressman Bob Latta released a statement Monday that celebrates the significance of our Constitution and characterizes the incumbent congressman as “an avid student of history and government.”
However, any true student of American history and government would also celebrate a fundamental tradition in our representative democracy: public debate. Just as our framers embraced the concept of candid, thoughtful debate, Congressman Latta should willingly engage with both his opponents and the public to give voters an opportunity to join policy discussions.
Yet, Congressman Silent Bob Latta has failed to do so, avoiding debates with his opponent, Angela Zimmann, on the issues impacting Northwest Ohio’s newly competitive Fifth U.S. Congressional District.
“Congressman Latta owes the hardworking men and women in the Fifth District chances to hear him – not a congressional staffer or campaign surrogate – explain his record in Congress,” Zimmann said.
To date, Congressman Latta has not attended a public debate or public forum with Zimmann. His absence has been explained away as “scheduling conflicts,” but Latta has not provided any evidence of such conflicts.
Latta also has not accepted Zimmann’s debate challenge, which the congressman received via certified mail nearly 25 days ago.
Meanwhile, Zimmann’s opponent will continue his streak of absences on Tuesday evening, when Zimmann participates in a candidates’ forum sponsored by the Toledo Branch of the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters of Toledo-Lucas County.
Tuesday’s event takes place during a congressional district work period, conveniently providing Congressman Latta time to spend an evening with the public he was elected to serve.
Although Latta has not provided a public explanation for not attending tomorrow’s candidates’ forum, it is likely he would cite another scheduling conflict.
As the campaign season approaches closer to Election Day, Congressman Latta will have even more opportunities to publicly debate with Zimmann. Hopefully, Congressman Latta will not leave voters wondering what his next “scheduling conflict” will be.