The only debate between the Texas gubernatorial candidates is scheduled for next Friday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m.

If you haven’t yet figured out which candidate you plan to vote for this will be a chance to find out more to help you decide. More than likely, there will be a question posed to the candidates regarding the Texas death penalty. A major difference in this election and past elections for governor is that in the last two years there have been reports in the media that Texas has probably executed up to three innocent people, Ruben Cantu, Cameron Todd Willingham and Carlos De Luna. The Bexar County District Attorney is conducting an investigation into the Cantu case. So, it will be interesting to hear what the candidates say they will do if elected to make sure that Texas does not execute any more innocent people.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that

“the four candidates — Republican Gov. Rick Perry, Democrat Chris Bell, Republican-turned-independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn and independent Kinky Friedman — gave Belo Corp. exclusivity with a load of limitations.

In Belo markets (Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston), only Belo stations can carry the hourlong debate live. In other markets, TV stations can pluck it off a satellite feed. But here in Austin, only KVUE Channel 24, which is owned by Belo, can carry the debate live. Other stations can use excerpts for their newscasts, but they cannot air the entire debate or stream it on their Web sites.

Why is there exclusivity for a political debate?

“We’re putting on the debate,” says Mike Devlin, station manager for WFAA, the Belo station in Dallas. “I’m spending lots of time on this, we —- the Texas Belo stations and The Dallas Morning News — are putting it on. We’re not going to go through all this time and expense to hand over our work and investment to competitors in the marketplace.”

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