Press Release – All Candidates for Governor Agree to Nation’s Only Statewide Online Debate

For Immediate Release



GRAND RAPIDS, MN (September 28, 2006) The era of YouTube(TM) and MySpace(TM) meets Minnesota’s strong civic tradition of innovation, thanks to a new online debate with the gubernatorial candidates co-sponsored by Blandin Foundation and E-Democracy.Org.

The Minnesota Gubernatorial E-Debate will take place online from Monday, October 9th through Thursday, October 19th. Minnesotans can participate directly in the gubernatorial campaigns by using the Internet – including video, audio, pictures, and plain texts – to submit questions and share their views with candidates and fellow citizens.

The E-Debate is designed to promote and facilitate substantive, interactive, in-depth public discussions of candidate positions and proposals.

All of Minnesota’s official gubernatorial candidates appearing on the November ballot formally have confirmed their participation 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 E-Debate, along with E-Democracy’s comprehensive non-partisan, comprehensive collection of election links is located online at:

Minnesotans are encouraged to email questions to the candidates via e-mail immediately, or by October 10th for the second round of questions, via:

The candidates have agreed to address four major themes and 10 short answer questions over the two week debate period. Unique to the other debates, a portion of the e-debate will focus on broadband/Internet-related questions.

Along with text responses, candidates have the option to provide their Opening Statement in video via the video sharing service. Candidates also may record their rebuttals into audio podcasts, and also provide links to content related to their answers.

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, for photos, 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:

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, or contact Denise Pfeifer, Minnesota Rural Partners; at , 507-828-5559.

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.

For more information contact:

Steven Clift
E-Debate Host and Board Chair, E-Democracy.Org

Becky LaPlant
Blandin Foundation

4 thoughts on “Press Release – All Candidates for Governor Agree to Nation’s Only Statewide Online Debate”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *