Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) and his Democratic challenger, Brad Schneider of Deerfield, are scheduled to debate each other four times next month in advance of the Nov. 6 general election but for now they are debating about the debates.
The only time Schneider and Dold will meet face to face within the boundaries of the 10th Congressional District is at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Lake Forest High School. The forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Lake Forest, Deerfield and Highland Park as well as Patch.
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Also that day, they will appear together at 10:30 a.m. on WLS Television under the sponsorship of the League of Women Voters of Illinois. Dold and Schneider will meet on Fox News Chicago at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 21 and at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 on Channel 11’s Chicago Tonight.
As soon as Schneider’s campaign released the schedule Sept. 13, the Dold campaign complained Schneider was avoiding a number of additional possibilities to debate Dold both in the 10th District and elsewhere.
"It's disappointing that our opponent would refuse so many opportunities to engage Congressman Dold in live dialogue," Dold campaign spokesperson John McGovern said in a release. "Congressman Dold is anxious to contrast his record in Congress with his opponent's agenda."
According to McGovern, Schneider has elected not to take advantage of opportunities to discuss the issues with Dold in forums sponsored by AARP, To Protect Our Heritage, Stevenson High School, the League of Women Voters of "Round Lake, Northbrook Community Synagogue, the North Shore Chamber of Commerce and the Lake County Chamber of Commerce.
Schneider spokesperson Staci McCabe told Patch the campaign received the North Chicago invitation today. She did not indicate whether Schneider would or would not appear. She was also critical of Dold’s refusal to participate in what she terms the area’s best attended debate.
“It's disappointing that Dold, who missed the largest forum held within the district two years ago to be on the Sean Hannity show, again declined to attend this year's largest forum," McCabe said. She was referring to the candidate forum Oct. 15 at Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim (BJBE) in Deerfield sponsored by 24 Jewish organizations.
According to McGovern, Dold declined the BJBE debate because of an inability to come to an agreement with the organizers on format. He made it clear Dold had agreed to seven others and Schneider turned down or not yet accepted invitations.
"The Dold campaign declined only one forum (BJBE) and that was due to not being able to come to an agreement with the organizers on an acceptable format for the event,” McGovern said to Patch today. “Brad Schneider even ducked an AARP debate which has traditionally been a well attended debate for seniors in the 10th District."