Representative David Bates and Ken Eyring, two of the founders of the Southern New Hampshire 9.12 Project regretfully report that Governor Huntsman is backing out of the Windham event that his campaign agreed to four days ago (see attached email confirmation). The Huntsman campaign confirmed that Governor Jon Huntsman will not appear in Windham, NH for a debate with Speaker Newt Gingrich as previously agreed. “I am extremely disappointed with the lack of respect towards all of the people in our community that have worked so hard to prepare for this event.” said Eyring. The Gingrich campaign was still willing to have the debate in Windham. Speaker Gingrich will be at Windham High School on Monday, December 12th at 7pm as planned.
The debate was arranged by the Southern NH 9.12 Project, but without explanation has been moved to St. Anselm’s College in Manchester. “This unexpected, sudden change of venue occurred without our knowledge or approval,” said Representative Bates. According to Ken Eyring, the new Windham High School features a 600+ seat auditorium with an integrated state of the art video and sound system, connected to a full production studio linked to Comcast. This facility has the capability to produce live broadcasts directly from the school. By contrast, according to the Huntsman campaign, St. Anselm’s can accommodate only about 100 people using folding chairs. That capacity is a small fraction of the hundreds of people who have already reserved seats for the debate. “I’m dumbfounded as to what could be the motive behind this decision,” Eyring said.
The Hunstman campaign has made a conciliatory offer to come to Windham for an “after debate meet and greet” at the high school. In response, Bates says; “We are grateful for Speaker Gingrich’s willingness to honor his original promise to our group, and are looking forward to Governor Huntsman explaining in person to our community his reason for not honoring his commitment to hold the debate in Windham.” Eyring added, “Part of the group’s mission is to hold elected officials accountable, and this is all about accountability.” Both Bates and Eyring expressed concern about the questions of integrity this raises.
The Southern New Hampshire 9.12 Project is a non-partisan, community-minded group that is passionate about the need for our government to function within the confines of the Constitution while returning to those principles and values it is based upon. The group meets at the Windham Senior Center on the second Tuesday of each month at 7pm. For more information see www.southernnh912.com or call 603-434-4836.