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Monday, May 12, 2003


South Carolina II

posted by Editor at Monday, May 12, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Democratic presidential candidates courting voters in South Carolina and other early primary states have been invited to an event that Fox News Channel plans to broadcast live on Jan. 29.

The South Carolina Business and Industry Political Education Committee would sponsor the event. BIPEC sent invitations to the candidates last week but doesn't know yet who will commit to attending while their schedules are jammed with events leading up to the primaries.

The debate would be two days after the New Hampshire primary and five days before presidential selection events in South Carolina and several other states.

On top of that, the groups involved aren't the most hospitable to Democrats, said former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian, who organized the May 3 presidential debate in Columbia.

"I think it will be a debate that nobody comes to," Harpootlian said of the Fox event. "BIPEC is a known Republican front organization, and the debate will be held by a right-wing network."

Tom DeLoach, BIPEC's chief executive officer, denied his group is affiliated with the GOP. "We're a nonpartisan education association," he said.

Marty Ryan, Fox News' political coverage executive producer, also disagreed with Harpootlian's assessment. "I don't buy the premise on either front," he said.

BIPEC has run two Republican debates, DeLoach said, but state and national Democratic Party issues prevented a 2000 Democratic presidential debate.

Campaign officials for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said they had received invitations but had not decided whether to participate. Other campaigns contacted did not immediately respond.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.