by Jack Minor –
The House District 50 race took an interesting turn last week when claims surfaced that Democratic Dave Young’s campaign has taken a position that members of the clergy should not be allowed to moderate political debates.
During Wednesday’s debate local resident, Gunter Hess, asked a question that appeared to stun many in the audience.
“I was very perturbed when I found out that the man I was told last week would be the moderator, Pastor Steven Grant, was told at the last minute he would not be allowed to moderate the debate,” Hess said. “I’m trying to find out how that happened. This man is a very straightforward, ethical man and I’d like to know how that decision was made.”
Grant is the Pastor of Destiny Christian Center in Greeley and had been scheduled to moderate the debate for the past couple of weeks.
However, the debate was moderated by Theresa Myers, who was on the editorial board of the Greeley Tribune at the time.
The editorial board has come out in support of same-sex marriage and also recently criticized Colorado Secretary of State, Scott Gessler, for looking into allegations of voter fraud, saying it “wasn’t an issue.”
Myers gave the candidates the option to answer the question or not and Young claimed his campaign did not know that Grant was scheduled to be the moderator until the day before the debate.
“My understanding is there was a conversation between the two of us and we both agreed to change the moderator. It was a mutual agreement.”
Carlson offered up a different version of events.
“Kelley called me and said, ‘we’re not comfortable with having Pastor Grant as the moderator because he cannot be impartial.’ He said can I call him and talk to him? Of course, I gave him Grant’s phone number,” Carlson said. “Meck called back saying he had talked to Steve and he’s not comfortable moderating the debate and we’re not comfortable, can we change?”
I said, “If you’ve talked to Steve and you’re not comfortable then sure, we can have a different moderator. Then I found out Grant had not been contacted by Young’s campaign, so I think it was a little unfair how this happened.”
Kelley Meck, Young’s campaign manager, simply said, “That’s Skip’s impression of the conversation.” He went on to say the main issue was that the campaign did not have a say in choosing him.
Grant backed up Carlson’s version of events saying Meck had left a voice message on Tuesday evening asking him to call back, but left no details. The morning of the debate, Grant discovered the message and called Meck.
“When I called him, he told me there were people he had talked with who were uncomfortable with having a member of the clergy moderate a debate. He also said there was a conflict of interest because Carlson had suggested I moderate the debate.”
Grant went on to say the idea that a member of the clergy, who ministers to people from every demographic and every walk of life could not be impartial, is ludicrous.
“The campaign’s attitude shows utter contempt for the First Amendment. They deify journalists as being objective and impartial compared to clergy who work with all types of people. The right to freedom of religion is clearly listed before the freedom of the press showing what the founders considered to be more important.”
Carlson said if he had known that Meck had not talked to Grant first, he would have never agreed to change moderators.
“This just shows again that the Democrats hate God. At the convention over half voted three times to keep God out of the platform and now they don’t want clergy moderating a debate,” Grant stated.