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Civil discourse on controversial topics may be out of style in Washington, D.C., but it’s exactly what organizers of the Capitol Debate series strive for here in the islands.

On Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the state Capitol Auditorium, the series tackles the question of whether the state should allow Honolulu to further extend its general excise tax surcharge to bail out the city’s over-budget rail project.

Pod Squad host Chad Blair is joined by Debate Hawaii President Ian Ross and HPU debate team captain Christoper Marrow to talk about the event, which will be carried live on Civil Beat’s Facebook page.

The efforts of debaters from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Willamette University in Salem, Oregon; the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University will be adjudicated by a panel of legislators, aides, community leaders and journalists.

Debate Hawaii President Ian Ross, left, and Hawaii Pacific University debate team captain Christopher Morrow, right, along with a cardboard cutout of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who won’t be among the debaters Friday but is clearly on record supporting a tax extension to pay for the rail project. Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Disclaimer: Chris Morrow does not speak on behalf of HPU.

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