As you recall from Wednesday, Stacey Campfield asked for $1,000 and expenses to debate Del Shores. Well, now, according to Tom Humphrey, Campfield's got himself an excuse.
Campfield said his request, which came in an exchange of messages with Shores, was simply to request a deposit to guarantee that his travel expenses would be paid.
"I'm not going to pay air fare to Texas and a hotel, then have the guy stiff me," he said, adding the retainer request came when he understood the debate would be in Texas.
Drew Rawlins, executive director of the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance, said he did not believe the ban on extra compensation for legislative duties would apply in this case because a debate in Texas is "probably not part of his legislative duties."
One wonders what happens when Drew Rawlins sees the original exchange?
It's not going to be that hard for Rawlins to stumble across proof Campfield misled him. Del Shores posted his invitation to debate Campfield on Facebook..
And what does Shores say immediately before Campfield brings up his payment?
SENATOR STACEY CAMPFIELD VS. DEL SHORES
HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE BIBLE!
I would like to debate you Senator Stacey Campbell on your turf in your home state Tennessee. I will now announce the challenge publicly.
Topic: Homosexuality and the Bible.
We could charge and give the money to charity. I would choose The Trevor Project, The Matthew Shepard Foundation and Youth First Texas — because with bills like your's gay children are being taught they are less than and NOT God's children. They are killing themselves because of YOU and so-called Christian's like you who perpetuate hate from pulpits and political stands. You can choose something like, oh, Focus On The Family. Or, just pocket it or give it to some rich Republican CEO. [emphasis mine]
Before Campfield asked for the $1,000 plus expenses, he knew Shores was proposing a debate on Campfield's turf, in Tennessee, because it was stated clearly in Shores' initial request. And then, after Campfield asks for money, Shores wants to clarify where in Tennessee the senator is located — and Campfield tells him. So: Not only does Campfield know Shores means to debate him on his own turf, he told Shores exactly where that turf is.
But Campfield went ahead and told Rawlins that the debate was going to be held in Texas. I wonder if Rawlins' opinion on whether this is ethical will differ once he finds out the truth?