Pancratz a NO SHOW for Debate!
October 7, 2020
The debate scheduled for October 2nd had to be canceled due to the lack of participation by Robert Pancratz. I received the following email from Robert Pancratz. "After careful consideration and counsel from individuals whose judgment I respect, unfortunately I must decline participating in the upcoming debate. I believe the debate was set up with the best of intentions, and I have no reason to question the integrity of the committee members preparing the questions. However, I still have concerns that the event may not be structured to be fair and balanced. Specifically, I have been informed that all the committee members preparing the questions have close ties with my opponent. There are also concerns that the first-come-first-serve nature of the ticketing, under the control of your office, does not facilitate a balanced audience. I sincerely appreciate your efforts, but the process, as it stands, has the inherent potential for a partisan skew against my candidacy and in favor of my opponent." Robert Pancratz
Pancratz personally visited with me before accepting to participate in the debate; I then took numerous phone calls from him, reassuring him of the proposed debate's fairness. He then pulls out at the last minute!
As a publisher, I have to ask myself why? Is he that unprepared? Do his handlers not have confidence in how he will handle the questions? Is he so unprepared to be a county commissioner? Why is he running for this office? Should he withdraw his bid at this time to be a county commissioner?
Since filing as a candidate, Pancratz may have attended one commissioner's meeting for a specific topic. As a candidate or someone thinking about running for a particular office, one should attend, observe, and learn about that office. Pancratz has not done any of these essential items. Again, I come back to my initial question, why?
Pancratz's use of the word "counsel" is primarily referring to Maryrose Beasley, chairman of the Musselshell republican party. Beasley has interfered in local government elections for at least two years. Beasley was instrumental in the vote-counting debacle during the Musselshell County Sheriff's race of 2018. Beasley is the prime culprit in the forced resignation of Republican county commissioner Adam Carlson. Beasley now is using Pancratz as her sock-puppet to remove Nicole Borner as a county commissioner. Beasley wants to be a county commissioner. In that case, she should run straight up and not use surrogates to further her political machinations. If he is elected, will he have to wait for Beasley's OK before voting or supporting an issue before the county commission?
Pancratz's accusation that he made directly to me is that the questions could be given to his opponent in advance. The charge is patently false. The committee is made up of the same individuals that formed the nucleus two years ago. There were no complaints from the community that the debate was biased.
Following is a list of the proposed questions that were under consideration by myself for the debate.
1. Suppose you are elected, and the county should lose Signal Peak Mine due to the on-going "war on coal" in our country. What steps would you take to replace that revenue, which accounts for roughly 37 percent of the county's budget?
2. If elected, how will you deal with any lack of support or representation from our current county attorney?
3. What do you see as a priority for the district that you will be representing?
4. How do you intend to secure transparency for spending district tax dollars?
5. Are you in favor of annual audits?
6. How important does experience become when running for county commissioner?
7. Roads are always an issue in the county. What plans do you have to improve the roads' conditions?
8. What is your opinion of the Constitution?
9. Do you feel there should have been an investigation into the 2015 audit?
10. If elected, what would your three main goals as county commissioner be?
With the format laid out for the debate, there would have only been time for seven or eight questions. I, being the publisher, would have been the final decision maker of the questions asked. Which of these questions would have given any advantage to either candidate?
Pancratz's complaint that the first-come-first-serve nature of the ticketing was unfair. Is there anyone in the community afraid of coming to the newspaper office for any business? I would hope not.
Pancratz is not ready to run a fair campaign. Pancratz is being ill-advised by Beasley. Beasley is using Pancratz as her sock-puppet. Beasley is, in reality, the candidate. Does the community really want Beasley as the de-facto commissioner? Tough but fair questions for the voters.