“We have a chicken suit and we may have someone wear it to stand in for Duncan Hunter in debates.” – Ray Lutz, Democratic candidate, 52nd Congressional District
You Tube violates 1st Amendment, removes debate videos of Hunter in 2008
September 17, 2010 (Ramona) – The Ramona Forum will host a 52nd Congressional District candidates debate on Wednesday, September 22 at 6 p.m. in the Sizzler banquet room, 344 Main Street in Ramona. Democrat Ray Lutz and Libertarian Michael Benoit will appear, but incumbent Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter has declined, according to event organizers. Now his opponents are turning up the heat.
Lutz and Benoit held a hunger strike earlier this month seeking to persuade Hunter to participate in a series of debates in September, before 60% of San Diego’s voters who vote by mail receive their absentee ballots in early October. The strike drew national medial coverage on CNN, but Hunter refused to budget. Hunter has insisted his legislative schedule does not permit that. But other San Diego representatives have returned repeatedly to their district in September; Rep. Filner has made numerous local appearances, for example. Hunter himself appeared at a Chamber of Commerce event in East County where only incumbent office-holders were invited.
Hunter has stated that he will debate Lutz at one event in mid-October. But the challengers contend that is too late.
Now his opponents are turning up the heat. A flyer advertising Wednesday’s debate has a photo of Hunter with “Declined” stamped across his face in red letters.
“We have a chicken suit and we may have someone wear it to stand in for Duncan Hunter in debates,” Lutz told East County Magazine.
In 2008, Hunter debated his opponents on radio and in person at a debate sponsored by the East County Chamber of Commerce at Cuyamaca College. East County Magazine videotaped that debate with permission of the Chamber and the College, and ECM owns the copyright.
Now YouTube has mysteriously removed our videos of the debate and has failed to respond to our emails demanding an explanation and that the videos be reposted immediately, since removal violates First Amendment freedom of the press rights. Hunter’s two opponents have also asked that YouTube (owned by Google) restore the videos.