The second school board candidates forum starts tonight at 8 p.m., televised live from the studios of WGSR Star 39 (DISCLAIMER: I also work there as a master control technician and video producer).
Because of the sheer number of candidates and because it really is a small studio, they are having to "stagger" the candidates throughout the two-hour event. The first four listed on the ballot will get the first half-hour, then the second four in the next half-hour, and so forth, up 'til 10 o'clock. I'm scheduled to be in the 8:30-9 segment and so far as I know the only other candidate who will be able to appear during that time is Lorie Booth McKinney.
Now even though I'm a station employee, I have no idea what questions are going to be asked of me or of any other candidates. Which is the way it should be. During this campaign I've tried my hardest not to have anything like an unfair advantage over anyone else: this absolutely has to be a fair and honest and on-the-level election. And I'll do whatever it takes to keep it that way. Parse that as you will. It may not make much sense to someone reading this who isn't living here but I need to make that statement.
Let me put it this way: I'm more than ready and willing to "pull the trigger" if it comes to that.
Anyway, as with last night I'll make an addendum to this post later tonight after the forum, with some thoughts about what happens. My biggest regret about tonight: I'm going to have to miss Lost for the first time since I really started watching this show... and tonight looks like it's gonna be a hum-dinger of an episode. Oh well: I'll just download it from a file torrent tomorrow morning :-)
EDIT 10:47 PM EST: The final segment just finished a little while ago, between Eric Smith and Steve Smith. I left the station not long after ours finished about 9:20 (and I've totally missed Lost tonight).
I liked the forum last night better, because being in a studio with the lights and the camera and no real audience that you can see does have an impact. But people I know who watched it said I did good. As for the other two in my group: Lorie Booth McKinney did an excellent job and Jon Mason, even though he had just come straight in from work as a paramedic and couldn't have on any dress attire, he was straight on the ball and gave some compelling answers to the questions. One thing that happened was, just like last night, a very vague question got asked during the viewer call-in part and it landed on me first and I had absolutely no idea what exactly the person was asking but I did my best (it was about racial quota and inequalities about... something or nother. I just said that I believe in looking at everyone as equal without regard to race or physical condition). Lorie and Jon thought that was a pretty weird question too: I don't think any of us were able to answer with any real confidence about what it was the caller was asking about. The only real regret about tonight is that I wasn't able to finish my closing statement, because at the last moment something sprang to mind that I just felt compelled to share with the audience about how there are a lot of younger candidates on this ballot and they deserve special consideration because they tend to be the ones who are parents (and in my case the spouse of a teacher in the system). So I wasn't able to give out the campaign website address. But otherwise, I feel pretty good about how I did tonight.
As for the other three segments with the remainder of the candidates... well, I'm going to hold off saying anything right now. Some of them I was very impressed with. Others... I can't help but think they might have done themselves a lot of damage. The better angels of my nature are keeping me from saying anything else about that.
I might be able to have some video up soon of our portion of the debate. Will be working on that...