Walters: Gibbs vs. Smith in the Thrilla in Montpilya | Off Message

Walters: Gibbs vs. Smith in the Thrilla in Montpilya


Jason Gibbs, left, and Shap Smith - DIANE SULLIVAN
  • Diane Sullivan
  • Jason Gibbs, left, and Shap Smith
Update, 4:27 p.m.: Dave Gram has confirmed that Shap Smith and Jason Gibbs will debate at the Statehouse. The matchup is set for Friday morning at 9, and will air live on WDEV Radio. Get your popcorn ready!

A Twitter battle erupted Wednesday morning between former House speaker Shap Smith and Jason Gibbs, Gov. Phil Scott's chief of staff. The dispute, over the governor's school funding plan, may end in a broadcast debate between the two as soon as Friday morning.

It began with a tweet from Smith, outlining his problems with the Scott plan.

That drew a quick response from Gibbs:

WDEV's Dave Gram quickly stepped up, offering an hour of his daily 9 a.m.-to-11 a.m. call-in program on Friday. Smith agreed; at last word, Gibbs was still checking his schedule.

Smith declined further comment until the debate is scheduled. In an email, Gibbs remarked, "I’m confident the dialogue will show that the plan is sound ... Having someone with Shap’s experience and political pedigree test the proposal in the public square will be very helpful."

On Fridays during the legislative session, Gram broadcasts from a small lounge area outside the Statehouse cafeteria. If the debate actually comes off, it might attract a sizable in-person audience in addition to WDEV listeners. It would be aired live and would be available via WDEV's livestream service.