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Government & Politics

Progressive Groups Demand Maloney Debate Biaggi a Second Time

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August 19, 2022

By Barrett Seaman–

Three local progressive groups are calling on Sean Patrick Maloney to participate in a second debate before the August 23rd CD-17 Democratic primary. At week’s end, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), Democracy for America and Sunrise Movement New York sent a joint letter to Rep. Maloney, demanding that he “make yourself available for a public debate hosted by the media.”

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Biaggi and Maloney have had one debate to date: an August 1  livestreamed event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Westchester (LWV). A second debate, to be hosted by Spectrum NY, a local cable channel, was cancelled two weeks ago by the station for logistical and scheduling reasons.

“Making this ask four days out from the election is a desperate, last-minute stunt by Biaggi’s supporters,” Maloney’s campaign said in a formal reply. “The Maloney campaign encourages voters to watch the LWV Forum where Rep. Maloney highlighted his record of results and strong support across the district.”

The letter from the three groups, all of which have endorsed Biaggi, makes clear that the Biaggi campaign feels Maloney has not been sufficiently called to account for past votes against various positions championed by progressives. “Voters have learned that you have taken more than $4 million from Wall Street donors and voted to water-down protections in Dodd-Frank. Additionally, a tape was recently discovered where you were heard bragging about voting against the Affordable Care Act ‘more than anyone’ in the Democratic Party.”

“As a candidate seeking to represent NY-17, you owe New York voters transparency and honesty about your record and should be willing to defend it in an open debate with your opponent,” the letter continues.

After Spectrum bowed out as a potential host for a second debate, News12 was approached, according to a Biaggi staffer. Asked to confirm, News12 had no comment..

The Maloney camp, which appears to be winning the endorsement competition as well as holding a substantial fundraising advantage, feels their candidate performed well in the LWV debate and would welcome a chance to do so again.

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