For a second time, Providence Mayoral Candidate Jorge Elorza has frustrated a racially and ethnically diverse panel of inner city local media intent on interviewing the Mayoral Candidates on behalf of their audiences and communities.
Local Community Newspaper "Impacto Hispano" invited ethnic news outlets to participate in their editorial board interview process and gave each panelist who attended an equal vote in the paper's endorsement process.
The interviews were to be conducted in English. Impacto Hispano Newspaper publishes local and community news in Spanish and English.
"Elorza was the first to schedule and then cancelled within an hour with a promise to reschedule" said Bob Cooper, a co-publisher of the Spanish/English paper and facilitator for these interviews. "Most of the panelists were undecided, so newspaper board member Maria Alvarado (Guatemalan American Association/Central American Association of Rhode Island) got in touch with Jorge Elorza directly and ultimately his campaign rescheduled us. Two days later, with two hours until the interview the Elorza Campaign cancelled again."
"We worked hard to make this panel a true cross section of inner city media and communities," said co-publisher Vivian Moreno. "This effort presented a tremendous challenge to schedule our panelists and the venue for all three candidates. Scheduling Dan Harrop for instance proved impossible even though his schedule was pretty liberal. We just couldn't get enough panelists, the venue availability and the schedule he suggested to coordinate and make this happen before deadline."
Unlike a debate, an editorial interview or review focuses on one candidate without interruption from a timekeeper, another candidate or from a moderator. Candidates must answer and explain conflicting answers, questionable facts or lame answers. A candidate can take as long as he needs to answer fully and completely, and can return to a previous question to elaborate his answer further if he deems it necessary.
Panelists in attendance for interviews included Peter Wells, The Providence American Newspaper; Arthur Johnson, Teen Connect/NightVision/No More Murder organizations; Maria Alvarado, Guatemalan American Association of RI/Central American Festival; Sal Calozzo, Veterans Radio Network; Dan Bidondi, Infowars/Truthradio Show; Joy Weng, Epoch Times Newspaper (Chinese Newspaper); Kevin Aherne, WBOB News Director; Jim Vincent, NAACP/Jim Vincent Show; Rochelle Lee, Teacher/Administrator/Inner city expert; Vivian Moreno, Impacto Hispano co-publisher and President of the Puerto Rican Cultural Festival & Parade; Jordan Bishop, Producer of a local Public Access Show; Bob Cooper, Impacto Hispano co-Publisher and reporter for Impacto Hispano Newspaper/SuperMax News Network; Pat Conley, RI Heritage Hall of Fame/inner city real estate expert; Jamie Lee Cores, Student Reporter for Impacto Hispano Newspaper; Jason Bidondi, SuperMax News Network.
The panel, not the candidate were moderated by the actor, musician and legendary Rhode Island author of political satire and commentary, Rudy Cheeks.
The Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci interview was done on Saturday, and Cianci scheduled and appeared as promised. His interview can be heard at http://www.impactohispano.com/provmayoral2014 along with photos of the panelists.
An onlooker at the Cianci interview noted afterwards, "This is the most racially and ethnically diverse editorial group of local media and community I could possibly imagine."
The endorsement vote will be taken by email this evening and will include material posted online by the campaigns as well as the Cianci interview.