Thursday, August 12, 2010

Debate Organizers Seeking Questions

The Highlands Town Hall Debate, which is scheduled in Cookeville next month, has announced that it has begun taking written and video questions from Tennesseans on hometown issues, with an emphasis on economic development, education, and health care. To submit questions, you should visit www.highlandsdebate2010.com. Links on the site will guide you to an easy-to-use submission form for written questions and to the debate's YouTube channel for submission of video questions. Written questions may also be submitted on the debate’s Facebook page.

“We want to see what’s really on the minds of voters,” George Halford, president/chief executive officer of the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and a Highlands partner, said. “We want voters to ask our candidates for governor the tough questions, and we want voters to submit those questions in whatever form they feel most comfortable with.”

In order to be considered for the debate, written questions must be submitted by 4:30 PM Central on Tuesday, September 7. A committee formed by the debate partners will choose which questions will be asked at the debate, which will be broadcast by CBS affiliates statewide from Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville from 7 to 8 pm Central on Tuesday, September 14. Tennesseans that submit the chosen questions will be asked to attend the Highlands Town Hall Debate and to ask their questions live.

Video questions must be submitted by 4:30 PM Central on Friday, September 3. All questions that meet the established guidelines will be displayed on the debate’s YouTube channel. Tennesseans may vote for the videos they want to see during the televised debate by clicking the “Like” button for their favorite videos. Voting will close at 4:30 PM on Thursday, September 9. The top vote-getters will be screened for duplication of subject matter and selected videos will be played at the debate on September 14 for candidate response.

“Videos will be disqualified if they have inappropriate material, personal attacks on the candidates, or are completely off topic,” Halford said. “Other than that, we’re asking voters to express themselves however they see fit. Remember that other people will have to vote for your video in order for it to be shown at the debate, so ask your question in the best, most-creative way you know how.”

The candidates will also be given the opportunity to ask each other questions during the debate.