News Release: McClintock Campaign Misrepresents Withdrawal from Planned CD-4 Debate with Challenger Jessica Morse


Truckee, CA – Sierra Business Council (SBC) is disappointed to announce that the debate scheduled between CA D-4 Rep. Tom McClintock and challenger Jessica Morse has been cancelled due to the McClintock campaign’s decision to “cease all discussions around the event”. We regret that Congressman McClintock’s campaign has misrepresented these events to the public via social media.

The McClintock and Morse campaigns were sent an invitation to a public debate hosted by SBC and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association (NLTRA) on July 30th, 2018, with the intention of offering the Tahoe-Truckee region a chance to hear from their congressional candidates on issues ranging from wildfire prevention and natural resource conservation to economic revitalization and workforce development. Both parties responded in affirmation and the process set forth in selecting a date and determining the debate format.

Following the initial confirmation of the debate, communication efforts with the McClintock campaign slowed. SBC moved forward with identifying available venues that could hold the hundreds of constituents expected to turn out to hear from their candidates, but failed in garnering a response from the McClintock campaign regarding suggested dates.

As co-hosts, SBC made sure the debate format proposed was completely non-partisan and balanced, was offered to and eventually accepted by both parties, and included an independent third party moderator and independent panel of journalists to ask questions. At the request of Mr. McClintock the format did not include questions from the floor. As recently as Friday September 7th Mr. Jon Huey, Congressman McClintock’s campaign manager, was continuing to approve changes to the format of the debate and confirmed their participation.

On Monday morning, September 10th, immediately following an email to SBC President Steve Frisch, the McClintock campaign announced via Twitter that due to a “lack of candor by the host”, Congressman McClintock would be withdrawing from the debate.

The explanation offered states that Mr. Frisch withheld information regarding his individual endorsement of Morse. In fact Mr. Frisch clearly informed Mr. McClintock’s campaign manager of his personal endorsement of and support for Ms. Morse in his initial phone call with Mr. Huey to discuss the details of the event on July 31st, 2018.

In short, the McClintock campaign characterization of the candor of Mr. Frisch and their characterization of the events leading up to their cancellation of the event are patently false. It is disappointing that the McClintock campaign would misrepresent what happened.

SBC is disappointed that the McClintock campaign was not more forthcoming regarding any concerns about individual political leanings within the organization and disheartened that the campaign would falsely accuse Frisch and the organization of maltreatment and use it as a reason to back out of a debate.

We are also saddened that the constituents of the Tahoe-Truckee area and all of CA D-4 will be denied the opportunity to hear from their opposing congressional candidates on the issues that matter most to them. We would have assumed that any candidate would welcome the opportunity for a fair and open debate; unfortunately this candidate appears simply not interested.

This release was written in response to publicly made claims and is not an endorsement of any political candidate.