What do James Diossa and Sheldon Whitehouse share in common?

Nov 27, 2012

Q: What does James Diossa, a rising political star from hardscrabble Central Falls, have in common with one of Rhode Island’s members in Washington, DC’s “Millionaires Club“?

A. They both act like incumbents when it suits their political interests.

That’s probably why Diossa — who got 59 percent of the vote in the first (five-way) stage of CF’s mayoral election — turned down an invitation to debate opponent Joe Moran on WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers.

The official explanation from spokesman Bill Fischer:

“James has already participated in three debates with Colonel Moran,” Fischer told WPRI.com in an email, noting that Diossa and Moran took part in candidate forums prior to the primary. “Given the short window between the primary and the general in the special election, we are respectfully going to decline the invitation.”

Yet Diossa’s spurning of a statewide broadcast appearance seems quite like how Whitehouse limited his debates this year with GOP challenger Barry Hinckley.