Olszewski’s Debate Debacle
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 19th January 2017

September 23, 2014 4:57 pm ET

No stunt double needed, as voters are “smarter than fifth graders”

Source: Olszewski’s Debate Debacle

In the Dundalk Eagle, Ben Boehl wrote an article regarding Del. John Olszewski Jr. calling for a debate. Ben writes, “It is rare for a candidate regarded as a front-runner to seek out debates,” and “Thus, it is a bit of a surprise that Del. John Olszewski Jr. wants to get together with his two opponents in the state Senate race for a debate.”

To that I say balderdash!

The timing of the debate— the day before the council debate—is a major clue as to the stunt that lies behind Mr. Olszewski’s move.

Now, why in the wide world of sports would he want to do that? The Eagle referred to him as a “front-runner.” Does anyone expect this race to be nail bitter? Is it a one-on-one battle? Hardly; it’s divided by three, with two others seeking to unseat Mr. Olszewski.

One person suspicious about the timing of the debate is challenger Scott Collier, who is running as an independent. He sees some unsettling issues in this stunt that cause him some concern.

In two e-mails he sent to me, Scott does not hold back.

“The deck’s been stacked by Olszewski and the Dundalk Eagle…” Scott writes. “Mr. Olszewski felt very comfortable picking the moderator, the time, the place and also taking it upon himself to set the ground rules for the debate.”

Scott notes that this violates the basics for “Debating 101.”

“Unfortunately Johnny Ray Salling quickly committed to most of Jr.’s demands and Jr. took advantage of Johnny Ray’s rush to judgment and ran with it,” Scott says.

Can’t argue with the man, and—although I think Matrazzo is an honest person—the perception of Mr. Olszewski’s stunt may be obvious.

I almost forgot about explaining my assertion of this being a stunt.

Consider this, if I may be so bold. Take the date—the day before the council debate—and consider the source. Most debates are not vetted by the candidate, but rather by community groups or organizations like the League of Women Voters. Throw in the man who Olszewski Jr. backs (Joe DiCara), and what do you have dear voters?


That means that what you have is a concerted plan by Mr. Olszewski Jr. to divert attention away from the council debate that will be held the following night.

As Popeye used to say, “Well blow me down.”

With Mr. Olszewski’s follies falling on 9/24, and the council debate taking place on 9/25, does he really believe that the voters will attend both debates, back to back?

I don’t think so.

However, your humble correspondent is planning on throwing a monkey wrench into (if I’m correct) the Delegate’s stunt. That wrench will be in the form of a videographer, who will tape the entire council debate.

Did I just spoil the stunt? If so, I’m real sorry about that. (Sarcasm is implied.) I can’t help that I want the voters to make a choice based on the better candidate, and I believe that taping the debate will accomplish that.

As for Mr. Salling, he is walking into a trap where he will be used for cannon fodder.

Then again, I will not be surprised if Mr. Collier offers up his own version of a debate that is not covered in the “Debating 101” version.

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