Lincoln and Douglas got by with seven in 1858.  Will Malloy and Lamont do 17 in 2010?

Dan Malloy, the endorsed Democratic candidate for governor, proposed today that he and his primary challenger, Ned Lamont, hold debates in every city and town with a daily newspaper.

Malloy said he and Lamont – for different reasons – do not have to spend hours locked away raising money. So, why not debate?

“I’m prepared to go to every community that has a daily newspaper and without precondition, without knowing what the standards would be, to enter into a debate about issues,” Malloy said.

Malloy said he will be making the proposal to Lamont today.

The Lamont campaign’s initial reaction was to treat the proposal as posturing.

“At least John McCain had the common courtesy to send a letter to the Obama campaign before he tried this exact same tactic in 2008,” said Justine Sessions, a spokeswoman for Lamont.

The proposal gave Malloy another opportunity to remind the press and public that his candidacy is publicly financing, freeing him for more direct voter contact. Lamont has no money worries, either.

He is financing his campaign with contributions and his personal wealth.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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