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Pioneer Press
Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The Citizens' Debate Commission has picked Northfield's Carleton College to host one of its five proposed presidential debates.

So far, neither President Bush nor Sen. John Kerry has accepted the Citizens' Debate Commission's proposal.

"We begin exerting pressure today," said George Farah, director of the commission.

Members of the Citizens' Commission believe democracy has not been well served by recent presidential debates, sponsored by the Commission of Presidential Debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates has sponsored all the presidential debates since 1988.

Those debates have been "just a series of memorized sound bites," Farah said.

Sarah Maxwell, Carleton's director of media relations, said it would be great if it happened but they're not counting on it yet.

"It's certainly not a sure thing," Maxwell said. The last time Carleton hosted an event of such magnitude was in 2000 when President Clinton spoke at commencement. The school had just six weeks to plan and execute that visit, Maxwell said.