California GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Respond to Tweets During Debate

270 pack Brandman University for gubernatorial Twitter debate

IRVINE, Calif. (October 28, 2009) – At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009, 270 business and community leaders, Brandman and Chapman University professors and staff, political bloggers and members of the media attended a California GOP gubernatorial debate between Tom Campbell and Steve Poizner at Brandman University located in Irvine, Calif. Brandman University issued the debate invitation to Republican candidates via Twitter back in August with Campbell and Poizner quickly tweeting their acceptance (Meg Whitman declined). Four of the 12 questions candidates addressed at the Oct. 28th debate were selected from more than 90 questions posed to the candidates via Twitter. All questions for candidates were to be submitted via Twitter using the hashtag #cadebate. See all questions.

The tweeted questions candidates responded to included:

  • What do you see as the biggest challenges in our state's tax system and what changes do you propose to overcome them?
  • Should marijuana be legalized and taxed, thus generating billions of dollars in tax revenue?
  • As governor, what do you propose to do to halt illegal migration from other countries into California and secure our state?
  • The California infrastructure is in shambles. What types of public works projects, if any, would be your top priorities?

The October 28th debate at Brandman University was believed to be the first political debate between California’s gubernatorial candidates organized via Twitter.

“By making innovative use of social media platforms like Twitter, we are able to engage more people in the issues and provide accessibility to candidates from anywhere at anytime,” said Dr. Fred Smoller, Director of the Masters in Public Administration program at Brandman University.

While candidates responded to both Twitter questions and questions posed by panelists Dr. Michael Moodian, Assistant Professor of Social Science at Brandman University and Dan Walters of The Sacramento Bee, audience members tweeted their reactions to candidates statements while bloggers spread their opinions in real-time.

Poizner commented that it was his daughter’s 18th birthday that same night and publicly thanked her for teaching him how to tweet. “There is no doubt that we need to grow the Republican party and by engaging new and young voters through social media outlets like Twitter is an excellent start,” added Poizner.

Campbell applauded Brandman University for execution of a well-structured and innovative debate. “Brandman has really raised the bar for other educational institutions. Their forward-thinking and media savvy have helped to spread my message and my vision for California’s future to a larger base of voters,” said Campbell.

Ed Arnold, co-host of KOCE’s “Real Orange” moderated the debate while KOCE-TV broadcast the debate live. View a video put together by Steve Poizner’s team on how Twitter is changing political campaigns.


About Brandman University
Brandman University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. As part of the Chapman University System, Brandman blends a legacy of academic excellence with innovative curriculum and strong support services designed for students with busy schedules. The university offers 50+ undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs across its schools of arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and health. Brandman serves 12,000 students annually with programs available online and at 26 campuses throughout California and Washington. The university’s online programs consistently rank among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.