Of Debates, Jokes, and Hucksters

Over at the Election Law Center,  J. Christian Adams writes: “I learned over the weekend that Hans von Spakovsky and John Fund have offered to debate law professor Rick Hasen, anytime, anyplace about the allegations in their books.  The pair have offered to appear at particular events where Hasen will appear to rebut the allegations in Hasens’ book. So far, Hasen has refused to debate them about book contents.”  Then there was this follow-up: “Speaking of von Spakovsky and other blogs, I am told that Rick Hasen still hasn’t accepted von Spakovsky and John Fund’s offer to debate voter fraud at any of his already scheduled events. Will keep you posted.”

This is absolutely hilarious.  I’ve never been approached by von Spakovsky or Fund to debate them about their book.  (I was recently on Airtalk debating Hans on the subject of voter purges, a show on which von Spakovsky again made false claims.)  It should not surprise me that people who lie shamelessly, shamelessly, shamelessly about voter fraud would also lie about being willing to debate them.  Perhaps they’ve tried to approach me indirectly through others.  I have not heard from Hans since I tried to get him to give me a copy of the 1984 grand jury report which he refused to do.  (Before that he’d write me to pitch me items to link on ELB.)  I can’t remember the last time I heard from Fund.

I don’t mind a debate with people with whom I disagree.  I’ve debated Brad Smith, Jim Bopp, and Floyd Abrams about campaign finance issues.  We disagree strongly on the issues, but I can always trust them to tell the truth and not misrepresent facts.  They are honorable people and we can have an honest, if spirited, disagreement. (I’ll be debating Brad next at Northern Illinois University in a few weeks–details on that to come.)

But I’m genuinely ambivalent about debating members of the Fraudulent Fraud Squad who misrepresent the truth. It is important to air these issues before the election. But giving them a forum with me to spew their lies would elevate their hucksterism.

Readers, what do you think?  You can comment on the new Reader’s Forum I’ve opened up over at The Voting Wars website.

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