Thursday August 30, 2012

The decision of WBEC's Larry Kratka to cut off any discussion of campaign contributions should it arise when he moderates tonight's 1st Congressional District debate is indefensible, and certainly invited candidate Bill Shein of Alford to observe that Springfield Congressman Richard Neal has purchased campaign ads on the station. This pre-censorship makes WBEC look terrible and we hope Mr. Kratka reconsiders.

This is the only Berkshire debate among Democratic candidates Representative Neal, Mr. Shein and Pittsfield's Andrea Nuciforo Jr., and coming a week before the primary that will decide the election it is an important one. No subject should be declared off limits, in particular one that is at the core of Mr. Shein's campaign as this one is. Mr. Kratka, news director at Berkshire News Network, ostensibly wants to avoid finger-pointing on the part of the candidates but finger-pointing is part of the debate process. The decision creates the impression that WBEC is protecting Mr. Neal, who has been on the defensive on the issue of campaign contributions.

Money is rotting the core of our political system. So let's talk about it along with other issues tonight on WBEC.