Parkinson declines to debate on KVEC
September 22, 2010
KVEC news director King Harris had been attempting to bring the two candidates together for a forum on the San Luis Obispo news/talk station. Cortez, a former Pismo Beach police chief, accepted immediately.
Parkinson, currently a captain with San Luis Police Department, eventually demurred. In an email to KVEC, Parkinson talked about his “tight schedule,” referred to two other debates that would be televised, and said:
“Once these debates are completed I will have done approximately 24 debates/forums as a candidate for Sheriff. As I have told the others, I feel that the 24 debates/forums have provided the voters with excellent opportunities to determine which candidate they would vote for as our next Sheriff. In addition to these two scheduled debates, I have chosen to direct most of the balance of my time in the campaign to other campaign activities such as meeting with voters one-on-one. I find these meetings to be most productive for myself and the voter.”
Cortez and Parkinson are scheduled to appear in mid-October on KSBY. They will also participate in a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters on Sept. 29.
“I think Capt. Parkinson is taking a page from the Sam Blakeslee playbook,” said KVEC talk show host Dave Congalton. “He’s trying to protect his lead and avoid giving any unnecessary opportunity to his opponent. That’s smart, politically. And he probably didn’t want a repeat of what happened last time he was on KVEC.”
In a KVEC interview last May, responding to a question from a caller, Parkinson vehemently denied having had any tax liens placed on his property. News stories later revealed that Parkinson had six liens filed over ten years.