I've attended several of these extravaganzas over the years when I've had trouble sleeping. They've been disasters, with lousy formats and officious moderators who are obviously Tempo cast rejects. Two years ago, one of the moderators actually had a black whistle around her neck and asked goofy questions about state and township roads, which has nothing to do with county government. There was no real debate; candidates could not address each other. The audience was given little white cards for questions, but only softballs were permitted. No heaters. The net result was a snoozefest.
That changed late last year, at the Grave Cellar debate between Pennsylvania state representative Bob Freeman and challenger Ron Shegda. An audience member who didn't like Freeman's answer to a question about diabetes got all worked up, called Bob a "smooth talker like Obama" and a "son of a bitch." He kept getting closer and closer to Freeman until the church sexton began performing an exorcism. Bob was very nearly assaulted, people were screaming and a cleric was ready to knock someone out. Now that was my kind of debate!
This year, the LWV is trying something different. They're soliciting questions from you NOW. You can send them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you prefer, you can post your questions here. I'll forward them to Santa myself.
I've written hundreds of questions over the years and have yet to have a single one posed. I've been told most of them are just too negative. But I came really close at the Grave Cellar debate. My question was on deck, and would have followed the diabetes dude. But I withdrew it, knowing I had been topped. I personally think that Diabetes Dude was a LWV set up.
I doubt he'll make a return appearance, but the Northampton County Bulldog is threatening to come out of his bunker.