Thanks to the Travis County Democratic Party for sending along this explanation of the situation concerning public attendance at the debate. The letter is signed by Chris Elliott, chair of the TCDP.

Fellow Democrats:

Amidst all of the excitement about the Clinton/Obama debate in Austin next Thursday, February 21st, at 7:00 p.m., and your understandable frustration and angst about the decision not to offer public tickets, I need to clarify that the Travis County Democratic Party (TCDP) had no role in the planning process. We were not involved in the decision to have nor the planning of the debate, NOR DID WE PLAY ANY PART IN THE DECISION NOT TO OFFER PUBLIC TICKETS TO THE EVENT. The Texas Democratic Party (TDP) is one of the debate sponsors yet as I understand it from statements that they made today, the TDP had no say in the format of the debate, including the decision as to how admittance to the event would be handled. Apparently, this is all being dictated by CNN according to a news report in the Austin American-Statesman. To repeat, neither the Travis County Democratic Party nor the Texas Democratic Party had anything to do with the decision not to offer tickets to the public.

I am sending this message, and emphasizing the part about tickets, in the hope that you may spread this information to folks you talk to that may be contemplating a call to our office (or to TDP’s office) to complain. We have received a huge volume of calls today on this subject, some of which have been less than pleasant for our staff to hear and deal with and which accuse us of all manner of bad behavior. TCDP staff has a lot on their plate right now dealing with the primary election, upcoming precinct conventions and the county convention. Having to field all of these calls is taking their time and concentration off of other important work.

Thank you all for your understanding and assistance with this issue. The TCDP’s goal is to keep everyone informed. Anytime the staff hears of an event for the Presidential candidates they place this information on our online web calendar at:

And all the latest information about the debate will continue to be posted on the front of our website at