In response to the letter by Marty Fluke (“Middleton campaign owes Faircloth an apology,” The Daily News, Jan. 25), the Clear Lake Tea Party, as one of the sponsors of the District 23 Candidate forum, takes exception to Fluke’s letter.
It is the Faircloth campaign that should apologize for its dismissive treatment of local citizen groups seeking to bring candidates together outside of the incumbent friendly confines of a Chamber of Commerce or Republican Women’s meeting.
The four groups who helped organize the event; the Galveston Island Pachyderm Club, the Clear Lake Tea Party, the SE TX Shark PAC and the Galveston County Tea Party all have a long history of grass roots activism and sponsoring of candidate events at the federal, county and local levels.
This hotly contested state representative race (HD-23,) where Gov. Abbott has endorsed the primary challenger over the incumbent, public interest was high enough to sponsor a forum to allow the public to see the ideological and legislative differences between the two candidates. Faircloth and his team (Lesley Bruemmer) were contacted by the Clear Lake Tea Party as far back as Oct. 2 with potential forum dates. We got no response and continued to engage Faircloth’s staff to pin down a date.
After the first of the year on Jan. 2, we again contacted Bruemmer to offer the representative an opportunity to name the forum moderator in order to allay any suspicion of unfairness.
She responded with “I’ll get with staff at the meeting and see what they say.”
Faircloth’s staff never returned our phone calls or emails. Although Faircloth’s staff remained noncommittal, we had the opportunity to directly ask the representative at a Jan. 5 Clear Creek Republican Women’s meeting. His response was “I’ll see.”
We, nor the other sponsors, ever got a response as to whether he would attend or not. He left us hanging right up to the event.
When the Middleton campaign was contacted, they checked their calendar, accepted all dates and committed to the forum. Mayes Middleton and his campaign have nothing to apologize for. They were not part of the event planning and only honored the commitment made.
If Faircloth had declined our invitation, we would have attempted to accommodate his schedule or change the nature of our event. However, his fear that we would make an issue out of his refusal to meet with his opponent led him to not even give us the courtesy of an answer.
Faircloth’s cherry-picking of which citizens he will speak in front of and those who he will not speaks volumes about the candidate. It is Wayne Faircloth who should apologize to the constituents of House District 23.