Ken Lanci Asks to Debate Jackson; Jackson Ignores Request

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Ken Lanci is currently fielding questions at the Cleveland City Club in an event his campaign billed as a mayoral debate with Frank Jackson. It's anything but. Turns out Lanci really wanted the luncheon to be a debate — according to PD's Leila Atassi, Lanci set a 'Frank Jackson' placard on an adjacent empty seat — but it was never going to be.

Via Atassi's report:

Dan Moulthrop, chief executive officer of The City Club, said Monday that an organization called Ohio Communities United simply rented the space for lunch and is selling tickets to the event, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. The first official City Club-sponsored and live-broadcast mayoral debate is scheduled for Sept. 18 at noon, Moulthrop said.

Just a little lunch, with Lanci soliloquizing. It's become, in fact, a mayoral candidate forum, co-hosted by the Ohio Communities United and the African-American Chamber of Commerce. As such, Lanci has been asked quite a bit about racial issues and minority small-businesses, according to the scintillating live tweets of Atassi and WCPN's Nick Castele.

Evidently, when asked about minority hiring and the "color of his (potential) cabinet" Lanci promised that there would be "at least one orange guy" in office.

And that's a zinger for the Bentley-Driving Oompa Loompa. (No matter how hard he tries to spin the Bentley story — look how far I've come from poverty! etc. — it will never be anything but shitty PR).

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It's a big political news day, folks. Check out @ericsandy covering the Kasich/Fitzgerald ethics rumpus here, and be sure to let us know if there's an angle or candidate (municipal, state, whatever) you'd like us to explore for you.

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