All Gubernatorial Candidates to Participate In Nation's Only Statewide Online Debate: Minnesota E-Debate to Run Oct. 9-19

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The first candidate debate in history to be launched on the video sharing service YouTube features the Minnesota Gubernatorial candidates from Monday, October 9th through Thursday, October 19th. Citizens are encouraged to participate directly in the gubernatorial e-debate by logging on to http://www.e-democracy.org/e-debates. The e-debate is co-sponsored by Blandin Foundation and E-Democracy.Org.

Minnesota's strong civic tradition of innovation moves into cyberspace thanks to a new online debate with the gubernatorial candidates, co-sponsored by Blandin Foundation and E-Democracy.Org.

Citizens are encouraged to participate directly in the gubernatorial e-debate by logging on to http://www.e-democracy.org/e-debates.

The 2006 Minnesota Gubernatorial E-Debate is designed to bring substantive, interactive, in-depth public discussions of candidate positions and proposals to all Minnesotans. It will take place online from Monday, October 9th through Thursday, October 19th.

All of Minnesota’s official gubernatorial candidates appearing on the November ballot will be participating in the debate including:

  •     Governor Tim Pawlenty, Republican Party
  •     Attorney General Mike Hatch, DFL Party
  •     Peter Hutchinson, Independence Party
  •     Ken Pentel, Green Party
  •     Leslie Davis, American Party
  •     Walt Brown, Quit Raising Taxes Party

The candidates have agreed to address four major themes and 10 short answer questions over the two week debate period. During the first week, candidates will address two main themes and questions about healthcare and broadband technology.

Voters may participate by submitting text questions and by using the new “Voter Voices” section of E-Democracy’s web site to share their own video, audio, pictures, blog posts, links, and discussion forum messages across popular online services (for example, Flickr.com for photos, YouTube.com for video, blog posts via the Google blog search, etc.) Minnesotans are invited to view an integrated, dynamic presentation of all of this material on a single web page at: http://www.e-democracy.org/voices
E-Democracy’s Board Chair and debate host, Steven Clift, will summarize debate results and responses at a statewide conference, “Next Generation Broadband: Policies, Practices, and People Practices,” to be held in Alexandria, Minnesota, October 18-19th. For more information, or to register for the conference, visit http://www.blandinfoundation.org/bbsummit/index.htm
The E-Debate is made possible through the generous support of the Blandin Foundation and its Broadband Initiative. The Blandin Broadband Initiative is designed to raise awareness about the value of broadband, catalyze broadband use and to encourage public and private investment in rural broadband capacity. It is led by an 18-person strategy board representing private and public sector partners and stakeholders.

Blandin Foundation, Minnesota’s largest rural-based private foundation is located in Grand Rapids, MN. Its mission is to strengthen rural Minnesota communities, especially the Grand Rapids area, through grants, leadership development programs and public policy initiatives.

E-Democracy.Org is a non-profit, non-partisan, volunteer-based project whose mission is to expand participation and build stronger democracies and communities through the power of information and communication technologies and strategies.

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