He knew nothing about it until his office received a telephone call late Monday afternoon. His office tried calling back, but there was no answer. Yesterday, he learned that Muhlenberg's Republicans had actually rented the space, not exactly an impartial group.
Ott has previously complained that Cunningham ignored three requests to participate in this debate. I tried calling Ott twice last night, but he was unable to immediately return my call. Obviously, there's been some sort of mix up. What I did get was a statement from Cunningham campaign manager Dan Kelly.
"I read inaccurate criticisms today of County Executive Cunningham for not attending last night’s Republican meeting.
"I understand that this is Scrappleface’s first run for office (if we don’t count his run for President of the United States last year) and I can see why he may be confused. But, if you are seeking an executive position you need to have a basic understanding of how to bring people together to discuss an issue – a necessary requirement of leadership.
"The County Executive received no letter of invitation, no request for a meeting date or phone call in advance from any group sponsoring a 'debate' last night. But, that’s because there was no debate – and Team Scrapple didn’t want Cunningham there.
"But, hey, we realize that debate challenges are an age old political stunt employed by challengers. And, last night was just a group of friends and supporters getting together for a night of scrapple and rhetoric.
"In regard to real forums and debates, County Executive Cunningham has received and accepted three invitations from legitimate organizations hosting forums or debates: the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Allentown Neighborhood 7CW Association and the Catasauqua Borough Business Association.
"Don believes that three forums are generous to discuss issues with someone who has yet to tell the voters what he does for a living, if he’s currently employed or why he’s qualified to manage the largest government in the Lehigh Valley.
"And, hey, it’s actually three more forums than Scrappleface got to participate in during his run for President of the United States last year."