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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democrats to host forum for St. Petersburg District 5 City Council candidates

ST. PETERSBURG -- City Council candidates Steve Kornell, Angela Rouson and Joe Smith have been invited to discuss their platforms Saturday.

The Democrats are all running in District 5, the only council race without an incumbent.

The Pinellas Point Democratic Club will host the event at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the South Branch Library at 2300 Roy Hanna Drive S.

For more information, contact David Clarke, club vice president, at (727) 866-9842 or Ed Helm, president, at (727) 867-5947.

UPDATE: Kornell's camp is worried the forum won't be managed fairly.

Here is the e-mail Steve Lapinski, Kornell's campaign manager, sent to event organizers: 

Hello Dave and Ed,

This email is to confirm that Steve Kornell will be attending the Pinellas Point Democratic Club's forum on Saturday, May 23rd. Steve looks forward to spending time with members of your club.

Nevertheless, it is no secret that one of the candidates, Mr. Smith, is a member of the club hosting the event and the president of the club, Ed Helm, is actively supporting his campaign for city council. In light of this, the Kornell Campaign is requesting that the club finalize a few details so all participants can be certain that the forum is conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner.

First, as of my conversation on Tuesday afternoon with Ed Helm, the moderator of the debate was still unsettled, although Ed suggested that Dave Clarke was likely to be that person. We believe that the moderator should be finalized and the name should be shared with all participants as soon as possible.

Second, Ed suggested that there would be a portion of the debate consisting of "club questions." The Kornell Campaign is requesting that all club questions be submitted to all candidates in advance. We would not want any attendee or participant to wonder whether or not these questions were leaked to Mr. Smith in advance of the forum.

Finally, we would like to encourage the club to finalize all other details of the debate and distribute them to all candidates as soon as possible. Details include length of opening and/or closing statements, sequence of events, rebuttals, etc. Many of these details were unsettled when I spoke with Ed yesterday and no details have been presented to the Kornell Campaign in writing.

We make these suggestions in the interest of having a forum which is fair and useful to all who participate and attend. Please let us know if/when these details are settled. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!


Steve Lapinski

Kornell Campaign Manager


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:53am]


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