Jill Stein Filed Injunction Against Comm’n on Prez Debates
From Jill Stein’s website:
Last week Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein was arrested, along with VP candidate Cheri Honkala, attempting to get into the presidential debates in Hempstead, New York. This week her fight continues with a lawsuit filed today [October 22] against the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), claiming that the CPD, Democratic National Committee, and Republican National Committee, together with the Federal Election Commission and Lynn University, had deprived her of her constitutional rights to due process, equal protection, and free speech, as well as her statutorily protected civil rights.
According to the lawsuit pleadings, “Dr. Jill Stein is not only equal under the law to the two “major party” candidates, she is better, because she became a viable contender for the Presidency while being discriminated against by the defendants at every turn.”
“Our constitution is supposed to protect us against manipulations of democracy of the kind scheduled tonight, and I hope the court will act now to stop this farce, but either way, we will keep up the fight, and one of these days American elections and our debates will be reclaimed by the American people,” said Stein.
Kathleen Kirwin filed the emergency complaint on behalf of Dr. Stein. The injunction request was denied and the event occurred with only the Republican and the Democratic candidates.
Last Thursday Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party filed a court challenge to the CPD “debates” in Washington, D.C. Both lawsuits were sponsored by a Libertarian member with the two largest independent parties, Greens and Libertarians, working in tandem against the bullying corporate parties.
Isn’t it nice to see at least our marginalized third parties working together bipartisanly I’m thinking!
Over 14,000 have signed a statement calling on the CPD to change its criteria and let in third parties. Repeated public calls for opening the CPD debates over the years, months and weeks have been ignored by that CORPORATION!
The first 2012 third party presidential debate did occur online thanks to “Free & Equal”, a truly non-partisan (non-partisan unlike the restrictively bipartisan CPD) civic organization. It was hosted by Larry King on Tuesday, October 23, at the Chicago Hilton. The debaters included Dr. Jill Stein (Green Party), Gov. Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) and Rocky Anderson (Justice Party).
SHAMEFULLY, NO MAJOR OR CABLE NETWORKS IN THE U.S. AIRED THIS DEBATE. It was ... wait for it ... brought to us, the American citizens, via television by Al Jazeera and Russia Today.
Statement by Ben Manski, campaign manager for Jill Stein:
“It shouldn’t be the case that the only TV networks bringing this debate to the American people are based in countries whose political systems are even less democratic than our own. The failure of CNN, MSNBC, and others to broadcast the debate only adds to the global perception that the United States doesn’t live up to the democratic standards it professes.”
Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, will appear on 85% of ballots on Election Day and have recently polled 2-3% of voters in four consecutive national polls.
Dr. Stein of all the election candidates has qualified for federal public financing. You would think being granted federal funding, our taxpayer dollars, makes her serious enough of a NATIONAL candidate to have the opportunity to be seen by the voters at least along with the other two legacy party candidates, who are getting tremendous media focus already. A national television forum before the election is necessary for the voters to familiarize themselves with her and her platform!
The Commission on Presidential Debates calls itself a non-partisan entity but it is really a puppet organization for the Democrats and the Republicans and their big funding corporations. It is set up to exclude any parties that might challenge the governing power brokers. It is set up to block legitimate qualifying candidates to share their platforms and meet their potential voters. MILLIONS of voters!
A third party candidate being blocked from the national debates loses out on potentially connecting with MILLIONS of voters. The first debate was viewed by approximately 60 million viewers. The third party candidates are forced to be dependent for broad name recognition on advertising campaigns. Unfortunately, extensive advertising is prohibitively expensive for the third party candidates who are not selling out their platforms to accommodate corporate donors. Quite the catch-22.
Corporate media has thoroughly iced out third party candidates from their commentary, pretending they do not exist, that they do not represent millions of citizens. Dr. Stein's being arrested and cuffed to a chair for eight hours in a Long Island temporary detention facility over a week ago after an act of civil disobedience didn't evoke a peep from corporate media! (What if Obama or Romney had been cuffed to a chair like that for eight hours? Eight seconds? WHAT A DOUBLE STANDARD!) Sadly, thanks to big corporate media and the CPD, many voters will see the names of Stein and Honkala and the other candidates who may be listed on their ballots and ask themselves, "Who the hell are these people?"
MONEY SHOULD NOT EQUAL SPEECH, but in Post-Morality America (as David Brooks calls it) it assuredly does!
Here is the injunction in full. To summarize, Dr. Stein’s complaint alleges that the CPD and the FEC denied her and other defendants their rights to due process, equal protection, and free speech.
Also on Jill Stein’s statement:
“The debates must include every candidate who is on enough ballots to win the White House and who has demonstrated a minimal level of support -- meaning either 1% of the vote in a credible national poll, or qualification for federal matching funds, or both,” ... In 2012, the Green and Libertarian party candidates both meet all of these criteria and are both contenders for the presidency…These debates belong to the people, not the politicians or Wall Street.”
Here is a link to the third party debate hosted by Larry King (good for Larry!) on October 23rd. It's really a refreshing watch, presidential candidates passionately addressing relevant issues such as a failing economy, climate change, marijuana, military spending, Patriot Act, student debt, war, unemployment, drones, detention, the specter of war with Iran, etc.
The next third party presidential debate will be on October 30 at 9pm EST at the aforementioned link or through live streaming via http://freeandequal.org/live. More information at: http://action.freeandequal.org/debate-rsvp/.
THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!