The Debate About Debates: Should Candidates Be Compelled to Participate?
New York City requires any candidate who accepts public funding for citywide office to participate in debates," said Kati Phillips, a spokeswoman for California Common Cause. They've spent three years trying to develop a similar model in Los Angeles. "We are one vote away from requiring all city council and citywide candidates to participate in a debate or town hall to qualify for public financing," Phillips said. "Previously the law had a loophole — candidates just had to agree to a debate, not actually show up!"