A Gubernatorial Debate was held at Reynolds Plantation this week sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. It was billed as a chamber board meeting, which the chamber says are always closed to the media.
But editors from several Georgia newspapers were critical of the candidates for attending the closed event with about 200 Georgia business leaders.
Jim Healy, editor of the Statesboro Herald , says if candidates campaign on transparency in government they should not attend any more closed debates.
"Any Private Group can close anything they want. It’s not an issue of can they do it, of course they can, but should they? And it also speaks to our larger concern with the candidates, that they agreed to do it," Healy says.
The Stateboro Herald is one of 12 newspapers in Georgia banding together to cover statewide races this year.
Other papers in the group include the Atlanta Journal Constituion, Athens Banner Herald, Augusta Chronicle, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Gainesville Times, Georgia Times-Union, Macon Telegraph, Rome News Tribune, Savannah Morning News and the Valdosta Daily Times.