Having not received a response to my request for clarification of the confidentiality requirements for this evening's event, I must decline the invitation to participate. I apologize for the late notice, but I was not aware until last night that there were any restrictions on writing or posting about what will be discussed during the forum.
As a candidate for public office, I am not comfortable with participating in any kind of private or confidential debate, discussion, or forum with my opponent or any representative of his campaign. Issues that matter to the residents of my state house district should be discussed publicly, and in my view it is not appropriate to describe a private event that includes multiple candidates or their representatives as as a "forum" or "town hall." I understand that events such as tonight's forum may not be open to the public because of capacity restrictions, membership requirements or security considerations, but my participation will not be helpful to the voters in my district or to my campaign if the topics discussed during the forum and the candidates' positions on those issues cannot be discussed publicly after the event.
I am sure that tonight's discussion will be very interesting, but I am sorry that I cannot attend given my (rough, perhaps incomplete) understanding of the rules for confidentiality.