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A story about nuclear safety January 27, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Nuclear Power.

Once upon a time . . ., just kidding. Once, working for an unnamed publication I was assigned a story which consisted of coverage of a political debate. I gladly accepted the assignment, my interest in politics being what it is. And since it has a passing connection to nuclear safety I will relate it here.

The debate pitted candidates for the 70th District State
Representatitives seat against one another. Incumbent, appointee Robert Pritchard squared off against the comparitively meek but good intentioned Bob Brown. The race went off last fall amidst the pomp and pageantry of the presidential election. The stage was set, the media was in place along with the script of token questions about cliche issues. The Battle of the Bobs was about to begin.

The night wore on. The men bantered back and forth about medical malpractice insurance rates and how they chased doctors from Illinois. They argued about campaign financing and who took what money from which alcohol and tobacco distributors. A perfectly “legal” business Pritchard reminded the crowd. It became boring after, about, the second question.

Finally, the debate ended. Audience members stretched their legs, probably more out of boredom than anything, the debate hadn’t lasted more than 45 minutes but it had seemed like an eternity to me and, apparantly, most of the crowd gathered to watch these two men talk to each other. Both candidates stayed for awhile after they finished debating and mingled with the audience and the media.

Time for some questions, I thought.

I figured I could get two or three with each candidate and Pritchard’s press liason had assured me some time to ask questions. While the incumbent mingled with random attendees (maybe, maybe not so random), I hunted down challenger Bob Brown.

Brown is an amiable fellow. He bought me a Pepsi at the DeKalb County Democrats Election Day party, which I also covered for the unnamed publication.

I asked him a question about malpractice, he stumbled through his pre


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