Progressive Group Hopes To Change The Face Of Debates

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee hopes their “Open Debate” idea catches on.

David Banks, File / AP

A progressive group announced Tuesday morning they’ll be hosting a “first of it’s kind” debate in Massachusetts’ 5th congressional district, where five Democrats are vying to replace the seat now vacated by Sen. Ed Markey.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee says their “Open Debate,” where all questions will be submitted and chosen by the public, could serve as a model in future races and someday (they hope) presidential races.

“Open Debates, where the public submits and votes on the questions, will hopefully be a game changer in our political process. What starts here in Massachusetts will hopefully become the norm for local, state, congressional, and even presidential debates in the future,” said PCCC spokesman Matt Wall.

Adam Green, PCCC’s co-founder, wrote in a blog post that he had hoped to get the open debate concept off the ground during the 2008 election, but “unfortunately, it was sufficiently late in the process that the Commission On Presidential Debates went forward with their debates as planned.”

It’s a crowded Democratic primary for the seat Markey held for 37 years, but since the district swings strongly to the left, it’s unlikely much attention will be paid to the race. According to Politico, state Sen. Katherine Clark and Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian are the two front runners.

The PCCC have been huge advocates for Sen. Elizabeth Warren and raised $1.7 million for her campaign in 2012. They’re quick to note that the 5th district happens to be Warren’s home district as well.

The debate will be held on August 10th at 11 a.m.

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