DYING TO DEBATE
August 24, 2010
Political candidates often have trouble getting their opponents to debate. When you’re ahead, why debate? At least that’s how the conventional wisdom goes. But in California’s 52nd
Congressional district, two candidates had had enough. To eat anyway! Democrat Ray Lutz and Libertarian Mike Benoit both went on hunger strikes to get Republican Duncan Hunter to debate, which he was refusing to do. Lutz went two weeks, losing 15 pounds and said he would go until Hunter agreed to debate. Did it work? Well, after huge media attention, Hunter gave in and granted one debate, in October. Lutz wanted more, but he wanted to live too, so he gave in and started eating. This past weekend he went back to food, starting with salad and fruit juice, sort of like Gandhi after his fasts. Wherever Hunter goes, there are signs that say, “Hungry for Debate.” Hunter is going to win, given that he’s in a safe Republican district, but Lutz and Benoit really turned up the heat. “Without the hunger strike, I don’t think we would have even this single debate,” said Lutz. No word yet on Benoit, but he’s probably at IN-N-OUT Burger right now making up for lost time.