March 14, 2002

Berkowitz Challenges Cauthorn To "Keep It Clean"

Eighteenth District State Senate candidate Rep. Sam Berkowitz (D-Memphis) challenged his Republican opponent, Sen. John Cauthorn (R-Mexico) to a series of public debates to discuss issues of importance to the citizens. This challenge was made because Cauthorn has refused to debate opponents in past campaigns.

"Candidates for public office have a responsibility to educate the public about our positions on key issues," Berkowitz said. "Senator Cauthorn and I have very different viewpoints on many issues, and the best way for the public to make educated comparisons is through a debate format."

In addition to the challenge to hold public debates, Berkowitz also stressed the importance of keeping the campaign positive and focused on the issues. A press release from the Berkowitz for Senate campaign stated "Many citizens have commented about the negative tenor of the January 2001 special election that first elected Cauthorn to the Missouri Senate." Berkowitz stated he would like to see a campaign that doesn't seek to repeat recent history.

"It's easy for slick, big-city political consultants to find an obscure committee vote and create mean-spirited distortions of reality," said Berkowitz. "After the events of last September our citizens have come together as a nation and we need honest campaigns that seek to unite us instead of divide us. I plan on being honest with the people of the 18th District, and I hope Senator Cauthorn will do the same."

The representative indicated he is willing to meet with Senator Cauthorn to discuss the scheduling of the debates and the formats of the proposed events.

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