The Peduto campaign e-mailed a news release on Tuesday noting that
--a week after his initial challenge-- no televised debates have yet been scheduled in the race for mayor. The campaign also released the text of a letter from Councilman Peduto to Mayor Ravenstahl, dated Monday, February 26. In the letter, Peduto invites Ravenstahl to a debate at Sunday's City Democratic Committee meeting, prior to the endorsement vote.
My report on Channel 4 Action News at Six, on February 19th, 2007:
"Mayor Luke Ravenstahl often invokes the name and memory of the late Bob O'Connor."
"But tonight, it's Councilman Bill Peduto who's doing it."
"He wants to have mayoral debates on TV––and plenty of them. Peduto say's it's what Bob O'Connor would do. In fact, looking back to 2005, he says it's what Bob O'Connor did do, as you see in this file video of a debate here in the WTAE studios during the last campaign. With 84 days left before the spring primary, Mayor Ravenstahl's fellow democrat wants eight on-air face offs on the issues."
"Councilman Bill Peduto told me 'Bob and I understood the importance of getting the message out to the people and doing it, not through sound bites, but through standing and debating the issues. And I'm hoping that Luke will join me in having a series of eight televised debates, just like Bob O'Connor and I did.'"
"Mayor Luke Ravenstahl responded, saying 'my initial reaction is, I'd be happy to participate in all the network debates, and be happy to do that. The difference, I would argue now, between myself and that year, is: I'm the mayor now. We have a lot of responsibilities on a day-to-day basis to run the city. But I would be happy to make myself available.'"
"Channel 4 Action News took Peduto up on his call. We've issued offers to both candidates to debate on WTAE-TV. So far, we've heard back from Peduto, who has formally accepted. We're awaiting a formal answer back from the Ravenstahl campaign. Informally, the mayor expressed to me his interest in debating here on WTAE."