Joe Gerth‘s latest piece for the Courier-Journal focuses on the back and forth over debates between U.S. Senate candidates Jack Conway (D) and Rand Paul (R).

In Kentucky’s race for the U.S. Senate, it’s Democrat Jack Conway who appears to be seeking opportunities to appear next to Republican Rand Paul — going so far as using trickery to get on stage with him.

He did it Friday at the Brushy Fork Debates at the Autumn Daze festival in Vine Grove.

Conway didn’t confirm that he would attend until the last minute — too late for Paul to change his plans — which the Conway campaign is convinced Paul would have done if given the chance.

According to the Conway campaign, Paul’s campaign had agreed to talk about debates in July, but before the talks could take place, it put out a news release challenging Conway to a series of forums on turf that appeared friendly to Paul.

Conway responded by accepting three of the debates and then challenged Paul to a series of debates of his own — including an offer to debate on Fox News as Paul suggested.

But in turn, Paul would have to debate on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he canceled an appearance the weekend following the May primary election after coming under fire for his beliefs about the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Paul’s campaign has accused Conway of playing games when it comes to debates, but given the opportunity to refute Conway’s claims on two occasions, it has declined to say anything.