Wednesday, 27 September 2017 22:26

BREAKING: New Orleans Mayor's Race: Charbonnet suddenly opts out from Voice PAC forum Featured

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charbonnet5:26 PM...One of the leading candidates for New Orleans Mayor has suddenly decided to pull out of the forum tonight being held at Loyola University organized by a new Super Pac led by New Orleans business person and personality Sidney Torres.

 In an email blast to media, Desiree Charbonnet has withdrawn her participation claiming respected journalists have withdrawn their own participation.

In an email sent to the Charbonnet campaign, spokesperson Victoria Coulon said "Travers Mackel (WDSU) and Sabrina Wilson (WVUE) withdrew over ethical concerns".   I then requested more information over the ethical concerns.  She responded with, "What I’ve been told is that both reporters and their respective news directors had an issue with Sidney Torres being one of the panelists." 

Update: Here is a statement posted on Torrest Facebook page: 7:40 PM

Desiree Charbonnet decided to snub the voters of New Orleans this evening making the excuse that she was not addressing the people of New Orleans in a live televised debate because of a change in 2 panelists. What Ms. Charbonnet failed to say in her statement regarding her decision not to attend is that the panelists were replaced with two prominent New Orleans journalists, one of whom earned a Pulitzer Prize and another who led New Orleans' number one television news operation for almost a decade. Furthermore leading up to Ms. Charbonnet's last minute cancellation, members of her campaign team were aggressively lobbying other campaigns to withdraw from our debate so there would be no opportunity for you to learn the candidates' positions on critical issues. Her decision is disappointing but mostly alarming. The next mayor of New Orleans will face tough challenges, if a candidate can't face tough questions why should we believe they can handle a tough assignment ahead?

Here is the press release initially send out by the Charbonnet campaign::

 The last-minute withdrawal of respected New Orleans journalists from participation in the Voice PAC forum, and other mainstream outlets’ refusal to participate, has raised such serious concerns as to the nature of the event that Desiree Charbonnet has withdrawn her participation as well. 
Charbonnet issued the following statement about her decision. “This is not the League of Women Voters sponsoring this event. It’s a PAC, so it’s already suspect. I have attended dozens and dozens of forums sponsored by revered civic and political organizations. I originally agreed to participate in this forum in large part because of the respected journalists listed as panelists. Their last-minute decision not to participate in the forum raises serious doubts and questions. If they are not participating, I'm not participating.”
Included below is a list of the numerous forums Charbonnet has participated in and the organizations sponsoring the events.
Independent Women’s Organization Forum 
AFL-CIO Interview 
New Orleans Firefighters Interview 
Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee Interview
New Orleans Coalition Forum 
Music and Cultural Policy Forum
Greater New Orleans Republicans Interview 
Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights Forum 
Forum for Equality Interview
Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee Forum
Forward New Orleans Interview
Alliance for Good Government Forum
Greater New Orleans Inc. Interview
Baptist Pastors Conference Forum
Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Alliance Forum
Regular Democratic Organization Interview
Urban Conservancy Forum 
Algiers Neighborhood President’s Forum
GNO Homelessness Forum
Lakeview Civic Improvement Association Forum
Gambit Weekly Interview
Times Picayune Interview
New Orleans Tribune Interview 
Louisiana Weekly Interview
Preservation Resource Center Forum
Lake Area Neighborhood Mayoral Forum
Crimefighters Interview 
New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Interview
Voters East of the Industrial Canal 
Hospitality Industry Candidate Forum
African American Women of Power Forum 
United Teachers of New Orleans Interview 
Greater New Orleans Homebuilders Association Interview
New Orleans Apartment Association Interview
Black Organization of Police Interview 
Fraternal Organization of Police Interview 
New Orleans East Leadership Interview  
Louisiana Independent Federation of Electors Interview
Independent Democratic Electors Association Interview
Community Organization of Urban Politics Interview 
Treme TIPS Interview
Algiers Political Action Committee
Grade Level Reading Forum (Tonight)
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