At our meeting with Jeb!, FADP director Abe Bonowitz and SueZann Bosler presented Jeb! with a challenge to debate us in public. He laughed off the idea, and later sent the following response. FADP continues to challenge Governor Bush to meet us in public for a full discussion on this important matter of public policy
FADP’s CHALLENGE TO DEBATE
CHALLENGE TO DEBATE
16 July 2002
Dear Governor Bush,
Because of your steadfast support of the death penalty in Florida, in spite of the growing mountain of evidence that, as practiced, the death penalty is a bad public policy, Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP) seeks an airing of our disparate views equally and fairly before the citizens and voters of Florida. To effect same, FADP challenges you to a public debate according to the following guidelines:
DATE and TIME: ANY date between August 12 and September 6, 2002. FADP insists upon debating prior to the September primary elections. This will allow us to fairly exclude any challengers for the office of Governor. We are open to negotiation as to the time of day that the debate will commence.
PLACE: ANY Florida location where suitable facilities are available is fine. FADP will seek a public location, preferably one reasonably central within Florida. FADP suggests that an educational facility would be appropriate.
PARTICIPANTS: YOURSELF and any three people you choose vs. FADP Director Abe Bonowitz and any three people FADP chooses.
FORMAT: The flip of a coin at the start of the event determines which side goes first. The leader of each side (Bush and Bonowitz) makes an opening statement of up to five minutes. Then, one person from each side speaks for up to five minutes, alternating sides until all are done. Then, following the same alternating pattern, Governor Bush and FADP Director Bonowitz may each pose three questions of not more than one minute to the opposing side, with the response being up to three minutes by any member of the opposing side. Finally, in the opposite order of the opening statements, Governor Bush and Director Bonowitz each make a closing statement of up to five minutes.
MODERATOR: FADP is open to negotiation on this point. This person or persons will essentially act as a time keeper.
OBSERVERS: FADP proposes that any members of the media who so desires be invited to observe, record and report upon this event, and that facilities be such as to accommodate same. We further propose that there be at least 100 seats made available to the public at the invitation of YOU and FADP. Each side would receive an equal number of tickets allowing admission to the event.
EXPENSES: FADPwill seek donated facilities. Each side is responsible for any costs incurred by them in participating in this event.
RESPONSE: Please respond as soon as possible, giving at least two weeks advance notice to the date you agree upon. Please respond in writing to Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty at the address on this letterhead. FADP looks forward to a productive exchange of perspective.
Delivered in person on 16 July 2002 by:
Abraham J. Bonowitz & SueZann Bosler
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
GOVERNOR BUSH’S REJECTION
August 7, 2002
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty PMB 335
2603 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hwy
Gainesville, FL 32609
On behalf of Governor Jeb Bush, I would like to thank you for inviting him to participate in a debate.
The Governor greatly appreciates your kindness in extending this invitation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to add this commitment to Governor Bush’s schedule. We hope you will understand the limitations on his schedule and will continue to keep him in mind for future invitations.
Governor Bush extends his very best wishes.
Very respectfully yours,
Tara H. Wainwright
Director of Scheduling
cc: Charles Canady