Republican congressional candidate Phil Krinkie insists he’s not walking back his pledge to buck candidate forums that aren’t free and open to all.
But it’s clear that pledge has at least undergone a makeover after Krinkie announced he’ll be at a fundraiser and candidate forum in St. Cloud Jan. 25.
Krinkie and fellow Republicans Tom Emmer and Rhonda Sivarajah are running to succeed Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. Bachmann, R-Stillwater, isn’t seeking a fifth term.
Blogger Michael Brodkorb, the former Minnesota GOP vice chair and Senate GOP communications chief, first reported on Krinkie’s plan to attend the Jan. 25 event.
Attendees will pay $35 to enter, organizers say. Emmer and Sivarajah also are expected to be at the forum, which is at 6:30 p.m. at St. Cloud Country Club.
Brodkorb framed Krinkie’s attendance as a reversal of the pledge he made last month, in which he vowed not to attend any candidate forum or debate that isn’t free and open to the public.
But Krinkie responds that he’s not backtracking because the forum will be live-streamed on the Web.
Krinkie says he’d prefer anyone be allowed to attend the forum in person. But he says this is a compromise he can accept.
“It’s not a reversal of my position. My position is: ‘free and open discussion,’” Krinkie said. “Live-streaming isn’t the best solution. But at least it’s a solution.
“My goal is that Republicans across this state are not viewed as pay-to-play.”
To watch the event live, log on to sd14republicans.org — the website for the event’s sponsor, Senate District 14 Republicans.
A live-stream video feed also will be embedded at the Facebook page for Senate District 14 Republicans. That’s according to Kevin Arnold, an organizer of the event and chair of the Benton County Republicans.