As promised, Bedwell leaves Conklin alone at forum |

As promised, Bedwell leaves Conklin alone at forum

John HartDistrict 3 Supervisor Bruce Conklin sits alone at a forum Wednesday. Opponent Drew Bedwell didn't attend, saying forum co-sponsor KVMR-FM radio is too "liberal."
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As promised, Drew Bedwell was a no-show for Wednesday night’s Grass Valley election forum sponsored in part by KVMR-FM radio.

The property rights activist vying for Nevada County’s 3rd District supervisor’s seat said last week he wouldn’t participate in forums where “liberal” KVMR was asking the questions.

Instead, Bedwell said he’d attend a “Meet the Conservative Candidates” forum Wednesday night presented by the Young Republicans, a group of political science students from Nevada Union and Bear River high schools.

Bedwell also issued a challenge for a “high noon” showdown with incumbent Bruce Conklin on Oct. 19. Conklin accepted, saying, “I’ve never turned down a challenge to debate, and I’m not about to start now.”

Mike Thornton, public affairs director for KVMR, said the station “deeply regrets the decision by Mr. Bedwell not to participate in this election forum that’s being sponsored jointly by The Union newspaper, KNCO, FCAT and KVMR.”

Thornton said Wednesday night he was disappointed that Bedwell publicly cited KVMR as a reason not to engage in dialogue with Conklin and county citizens.

“In the past, we believe our questions have been fair” for all candidates, he said.

At the forum at Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, Conklin sat alone at a table with two chairs and two microphones and answered questions from an audience of about 40.

The incumbent fielded questions involving affordable housing, traffic, quality of life issues and the impacts of the Measure D initiative.

“Is Natural Heritage 2020 really dead?” asked KNCO representative Jim Kerr.

“Yes, it is dead,” Conklin said. “My opponent has no other issues, so he wants it to be alive.”

Conklin said that by refusing to join the forum, Bedwell shirked his responsibility to inform voters about his stance on the issues.

“This was one of the last opportunities for the voters to hear from both candidates,” Conklin said.

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