Rep. Sherman Is Ducking Debates

In August, my opponent, Rep. Brad Sherman made a public promise to many constituents that he would debate me.  He lied.

For weeks, Mr. Sherman has skipped candidate forums in the district, and ignored requests by my campaign staff to schedule an event: any time, any place.  Most recently, he refused to even respond to a formal proposal that called for the San Fernando Sun newspaper to moderate a debate in the northeast San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.

I was especially looking forward to meeting Mr. Sherman in the northeast Valley because it is an area that he publicly fought to exclude from his district, one he has utterly ignored since it was forced upon him after congressional lines were redrawn in late 2001.

In published reports in the Los Angeles Times from 2001, prominent Democrats chastised Mr. Sherman and implied that his opposition was potentially racially motivated: “[Sherman] has made himself irrelevant,’ said State Sen. Don Perata (D-Alameda), the chairman of the Senate Redistricting Committee.  ‘He would like to have sort of a white-bread district and is having a real hard time understanding that the population of California is changing, particularly in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.’  He called Sherman, ‘as self-serving as anybody I’ve met.’