Debate Badnarik

Monday, August 30, 2004

Off Topic - Quid Pro Quos

Please indulge me while I thank some friends.

I've never met Michael Badnarik, never even seen him live. A friend described being moved to tears by his speech at the convention in Atlanta so I wandered over to the campaign blog and listened to the audioblogs, and saw a couple video clips there and at some of the supporters sites. Through seeing and watching Mr. Badnarik I became committed not just to a party, but to a candidate. As I saw and heard him more I became active, for the first time in my life. On Saturday I went to and watched their video documentary "An American Revolution" and I was nearly moved to tears. Produced by Walt Thiessen and his crew, he admits it is not Hollywood grade (and he describes the difficulties they encountered on his site) but it is inspiring. The commitment of my vote, my move to activism, all the labor I've spent here has been justified and reaffirmed by watching this video. Want to believe in someone who believes in America and you? Watch this free video. It's available as a slide show or audio only for dial-ups.

I sent a note of appreciation to Walt Thiessen to thank him for making the video and we began a little dialogue. He has promised to use his LibertarianTV contact list as well as his contacts in the Northern Virginia LP to try and rally some more activists for our effort. Thanks Walt. Quid pro quo.

When I was first moved to activism I couldn't find anyone who would assign me to a task. Terrible feeling wanting to do something, anything, and not knowing what to do. So I eventually got hooked up with my friend Christina Tobin working on ballot access against the insidious and evil democrats of Cook County, Illinois. Fighting for Ralph Nader specifically, but you know the importance of ballot access to third parties. We're fortunate Nader can afford to fight, he's helping to tear down walls for all of us. There is a Rock the Vote festival near my home this weekend, and Christina and her Naderite/Greens were invited, she insisted the Libertarians be invited too. We'll be there! Thanks Christina. Quid pro quo.

Without Christina this event may have gone off without our notice. Instead we'll be able to reach out to over 1000 newly registered voters. Wonder how they feel about the debates: )

Gary Feezel


Sunday, August 29, 2004

Sample Letters for Polling Organizations

Aside from the disturbing fact that the head of the Gallup polls is also a consultant to the CPD there are many problems with using polls to determine who gets in the debates. As we all know very few polls have even mentioned Michael Badnarik up to this point of the game. Just like media coverage, being in polls provides the advertising that leads to name recognition, that gets you covered in the media and polls, that leads to name recognition......and around we go. It is our contention that by not covering Michael Badnarik in early presidential polls the major pollsters have demonstrated a bias that should preclude them from participating in the selection of candidates for the debates.

Version 1: This first letter is crafted specifically for Gallup Head/CPD Consultant Frank Newport. E-mail to general contact.

Frank Newport,
Editor in Chief
The Gallup Organization
901 F Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Frank Newport,

As you well know in the next few days the Commission on Presidential Debates will begin to assess national polls as part of their criteria to determine which candidates will be allowed into the first presidential debate. Your dual role of Editor in Chief of Gallup Polls, and consultant to the CPD creates a glaring conflict of interest. Especially since the Gallup organization does not include third party candidates in your polls. This ethical lapse calls into question the impartiality and integrity of every presidential poll conducted by the Gallup organization. Therefore I demand that you recuse yourself and the entire Gallup organization from conducting polls that will be used to qualify participants in the CPD debates.


Version 2: This second letter is obviously for any other polling organization you care to contact. You will of course have to add the contact address, and plug in the organization's name where appropriate before mailing. I will come back an post contact addresses later.

Dear So-and-So,

As you may know in the next few days the Commission on Presidential Debates will begin to assess national polls as part of their criteria to determine which candidates will be allowed into the first presidential debate. Your participation would create a glaring conflict of interest. Especially since the (POLLSTER NAME HERE) organization does not include third party candidates in your polls. This ethical lapse calls into question the impartiality and integrity of every presidential poll conducted by the (POLLSTER NAME HERE) organization. Therefore I demand that you recuse yourself and the entire (POLLSTER NAME HERE) organization from conducting polls that will be used to qualify participants in the CPD debates.


Sample Letters for the CPD

Not that I expect the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to see the light and open the debates just based on our letter writing we still must make the effort. I crafted the following three sample letters specifically for people to copy and paste in e-mails to any and all members of the CPD. Not sure of how to best approach them, other than utter contempt, I wrote each letter in a different style. I plan to send each letter to every board member over the next week or so. You can do the same, select which you like best, or write your own. I welcome critiques so these can be refined or expanded on.

Contact Addresses are on the 8/19/04 post titled "CPD Board Contacts" found below.

NOTE: We ask that if you send a letter via e-mail based on this movement you cc: to We want some way to monitor the volume of contacts made through this movement. Be assured your e-mail address will never be shared with anyone outside this movement.

Letter 1: Ridicule. As long as they mock the politcal process we may as well mock them.

The results of your organizations manipulations of the "debates" over these many years is laughable. America is waking up to the fraud you are perpetrating and tuning out in record numbers. Your mockery of open political debate is a part of the reason that third parties have proliferated and grown in recent years, and I encourage you to continue your ignorant and boorish attempt to control political discourse, as it plays into our hands.

If you do not open your "debates" through realistic criteria to all viable presidential candidates you will only further demonstrate the corrupted nature of your endeavor, and drive more voters to the third parties you are trying to eradicate. The voters of America are fully aware of your ham-handed rigging of the "debates" and the scripted nature of the shallow bipartisan snoozefest you produce.

If you think that anything you are organizing and portraying as "debate" will ever be viewed with the historical reverence of the Lincoln - Douglas debates of 1858, or even the Kennedy - Nixon debate of 1960 you are sadly mistaken. Your commission's silly and foolish formatting has only resulted in further diminishing the audience with every "debate" you put on. In fact according to your own website your commission has never come close to drawing the number of people who crowded around the radio to hear such obscure debates as the Dewey - Stassen debates of 1948 (up to 80 million). Keep up the good work of getting the voice and platforms of the democrats and republicans out to fewer and fewer voters with every election cycle, your efforts provide strength and validity to the third parties.


Letter 2: Soul Appeal. Although spirituality is not my strong suit I thought maybe we could reach their human side. Even they must have one.

As the documentation of the Commission on Presidential Debates' blatant bias and defacto bipartisanship, not nonpartisanship, is brought to light and the public's awareness of the Commission's manipulations grows it is time to look within yourself and ask if your complicity and assistance in the hijacking of our political process is good for your soul?

It may come as a surprise to you to learn that you do not speak for everyone, nor do the candidates you promote through the conspiracy you call "candidate selection." It is not up to you individually or the cabal you call a commission to select nor determine who is a viable presidential candidate. That is for the voters to decide. Your chosen mandate is to produce debates between presidential candidates. Your oppression of multitudes of voters with opinions that differ from yours is unconscionable and I am left to wonder how you will be judged in the here after.

As you do ponder your selection of candidates for the presidential debates please determine if your choices are right with your god and your spiritual beliefs. Regardless of your decision you will demonstrate the nature of your character.


Letter 3: Statistical Analysis. I got a little windy one this one but I used every statistic I could dig up to show how their debates have been a dismal failure. Don't worry I am not "wavering" as I wrote in this letter, I will be voting the Libertarian ticket without reservation.

As a wavering voter, I ask you to relinquish the restrictive criteria you require for candidates, so that myself and many other voters can hear the various opinions held by qualified candidates for president. For all the talk of the Commission on Presidential Debates’ desire to educate voters and draw them into the system you have been unable to do so while maintaining your bipartisan stance. The electoral process needs more voices, and in fact demands it. Recent studies show that 35% of registered voters consider themselves independent and as such can’t be adequately represented by the two major parties. This is demonstrated by tuning out the presidential debates in larger numbers every year. In 1980 it is estimated that 60% of the nations households watched the debates, and by 2000 that number dropped to 30%.

Our system, dominated by the two major parties has only attracted half of the people of voting age to even resister to vote, and on election day roughly half of those registered actually come out to vote. Of those that do vote some studies show that only about half of them are actually committed to the candidate they voted for. The other half are voting against a candidate or position. What this boils down to is the fact that 10 to 15% of a nation of 290 million are determining the course of the country, and this can not be healthy for democracy.

I agree that too many candidates on a stage can create too much confusion, and hinder a meaningful debate, but it should be noted that in the 2000 presidential primary debates the republicans had six candidates in their debates. In the 2004 presidential primaries the democrats had nine candidates debate without detriment to their constituents. However I don’t propose that any person who decides to run for president should be allowed to debate but there is certainly a more fair and equitable system than your current process. There are many restrictions and hurdles built into our political process that are very effective in weeding out candidates who do not receive sufficient support of the voting public. Beginning with petitioning for ballot access.

In every state in the country a third party candidate has to gather far more petition signatures than does a democrat or republican. As you may already know a third party usually has to collect at least double, and often five times as many signatures as does the major parties. Then they have to survive the common place challenges to their petitions, which means the third party has to try collecting up to double the minimum number of signatures in order to be placed on the ballot. To collect this volume of signatures a given candidate must have a large and committed group of supporters to begin with in order to be successful.

If a candidate endures long enough to get on state ballots sufficient to potentially win the electoral votes needed to win the election, that should be the deciding factor in their eligibility for the debates. By the time a candidate qualifies for 270 electoral votes it should be demonstration enough that they have the organizational staff, the financial means, and the volunteer and popular support to wage a meaningful presidential campaign. It should follow that they are qualified to represent their supporters in meaningful debate.


Gary Feezel

Sorry for falling behind. Hard to squeeze out the time needed for this and still maintain some semblance of a normal life. Makes reading about Michael Badnarik's daily exploits and his dedication all the more amazing. What's he been campaigning for now, about 2 years straight? Has Bush gone more than 2 months without a week at the ranch in Crawford?

Doug the widely recognized guru of Libertarian blogging, and a teammate here has seemed to have gone techno on his own blog. What gives Doug?

Should be a big posting day for me today as I try to bring together a lot of fragmented ideas and info. Watch for more posts.

Gary Feezel


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Letters To The Editor

While at work today I received a call from the Detroit Free Press and apparently they plan on printing my latest letter to the editor sometime this week.

I've written Libertarian themed letters published in various papers regarding the Patriot Act, the economy and the latest being "What Are They Afraid Of?" which outlines the importance to allow Michael Badnarik & other 3rd Party candidates the right to debate this election year.

I will post the letter once its published here and on my own blog. I've sent several to the Detroit Free Press (I assume its the biggest paper in this state) and its cool that they finally are going to publish one, perhaps to shut me up. Much like Andy in the "Shawshank Redemption", this only motivates me to write 2 letters a day now.

If you haven't yet, please take a few moments out of your day and attempt to get your Pro Badnarik/Pro Debates letters published. Its great free publicity.

Jason Gatties

Not "The" Debate, But "A" Debate is Scheduled

I uncovered this yesterday but kept it under my hat by request of the campaign, now that it's official...

I guess it pays to get out of the house (or off the blog as it were) every once in a while. Earlier today I get an e-mail in response to my posting on Badnarik2004 site in Yahoo! Groups from Donald Meinshausen. He informs me that he has a movement to organize completely independent debates with third party candidates (and Bush and Kerry of course). Apparently this is a top secret operation, because I've been on this project for three weeks now and we've been mentioned on Badnarik's blog, and we've been in touch with the campaign, yet I've never heard about Donald before.

Tonight I'm spying around on the Green website when I come across this....

David Cobb debates During RNC!
David Cobb will be debating Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Michael Badnarik, along with other third-party candidates to be announced. George Bush and John Kerry will have been invited as well-- maybe we'll seem them there!
WHEN: Tuesday August 31st, 7PM WHERE: St. Raphael Church, 502 W.41st St (NYC)

Now I'm not upset, or jealous, but this is the kind of thing we should be shouting from the rafters. This isn't even mentioned on his schedule. As we tout our man for the big debates we should be letting everyone know he's warming up against the other third parties. This is the kind of thing we should exploit to gain exposure. Exposure for the campaign in general, for any debate Mr. Badnarik participates in and for this movement.

Note: After a little research (and much to my embarrassment) I learn that Donald Meinshausen has been with the LP from day one. I should have known, I am humbled.

Please Forgive Me

I feel like a sick freak. I AM a privacy freak. I throw away nothing with my name on it, I shred all my mail, I keep an unlisted phone number, I go out of my way to make sure nobody gets information about me. During the 2000 elections my local State Rep. left an automated campaign message on my answering machine. I called and asked to be removed from their list. The next night another call. I demanded to be taken off their list. The next two nights I got calls from supporters of his. I then called him at his personal office (a lawyer) and gave him a 15 minute rant on the right to privacy. He in turn introduce the do-not-call list in Illinois (certainly not my intent) which a couple friends now call "Gary's Law."

I must confess. To get supporters for this movement I went back to the Badnarik campaign blog and checked all the posting regarding debates. Then I compiled a list of every name who commented favorably on getting Mr. Badnarik into the debate. Some post their own blogs or websites, so I've been visiting each site to try and find e-mail contacts in order to recruit them to this cause. If there was no links posted I've been trying Google to track these folks down. I feel like a one-man echelon.

Yesterday when I posted to Badnarik2004 in yahoo-groups 10 people replied, 5 of you were on my list, so you saved me the effort, and thus the guilt (and born Irish-Catholic do I have guilt).

Am I wrong to do this? Should I leave private people alone? This cause is important enough I feel I should do it but at the same time I feel like I'm peeking in windows. It just doesn't seem Libertarian. Advice please.

Gary Feezel

Poll This

It occurred to me that we should know which polls are being used to decide the fate of third party candidates, just so we can look at their objectivity. Looks like the polls that will be used are a complete secret. I can't find any information about this on CPD's site. Even a word search on "poll" won't tell you who was used in 2000. Then things get worse. It turns out that Frank Newport, Editor-in-Chief, of The Gallup Poll is a consultant to the CPD. Wouldn't that be a conflict of interest? I think that Gallup and Mr. Newport should recuse themselves from providing any polling information to the CPD.

If you go to the Gallup site and word search "Badnarik" you get exactly nothing. How can he poll at 15% if the polls won't even say his name. Their site has political coverage and they've done polls, but only mentioning Bush, Kerry and Nader. So let's take a poll.

The results of 5 national polls are used as one of three criteria which determines who gets into the presidential debates. Should polls be a determining factor in who's voice gets heard by the voting public?

_No way
_No way in hell

Contact addresses coming soon.

Gary Feezel

William, and group,

I understand your fixation, William, on a professional website. I think we need one too. I've not heard from the badnarik campaign lately about it. And I'm willing to venture a guess that they ran into a few bugs in their code.

Here's the thing William. It takes loads of time to make a highly professional site. We are talking months. So even if we started now, and I had 3-4 designers working with me, and we could work on it 24/7, it would take at least 2 months to get something really nice. I think that you may not understand what it takes to get a site of the caliber that we want, up.

And what's the point of it? The point of having the site is to get more people to spread the word, a central place for information, and a place where we can point the media to as a point of reference.

If point one is to mobilize troops, then why would any of us try to delay this if we can do it sooner than getting the site up. If you have an opportunity to start mobilizing the troops now, before the sites up, it would be negligent not to do so.

The rest will keep going. But you must know it is a long hard pull. It will not come quickly. Because of time constraints for this goal it is best to coordinate between hitting the streets, using as much campaign resources as we can, and blogging it on our own.

Please have patience William, and the others. As a Senior LP member, whom I respect, once told me (the gist of it at least), life comes before politics.

I will get back to work now.

Michael Christenson
Vice-Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Southwest Michigan
Cell: (269)591-0931

Get Badnarik into the debates this year! Check out BADNARIK for more details: .

m3talsmith on these forums: (the Badnarik Campaign Forums)
AIM / Yahoo / MSN: m3talsmith / m3talsmith /


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Contact the Competition

They probably won't even acknowledge us but we still need to let the competition know that we are on to them. Be gentle with the third parties, we're all in the same boat. I was going to say hammer Bush and Kerry, but maybe it's better to play the innocent undecided. I think the bidding is up to lifetime tax exemption, a night in the Lincoln bedroom, and two days free use of all Patriot Act authority for any swing voter if you commit to them. I could be wrong about some of this, but I'm sure your vote is worth something to them.

Bush-Cheney '04, Inc.
P.O. Box 10648
Arlington, VA 22210
ph: 703-647-2700
fax: 703-647-2993

John Kerry for President, Inc.
P.O. Box 34640
Washington, DC 20043
ph: 202-712-3000
fax: 202-712-3001

NOTE: Immediately after contacting the Bush or Kerry campaigns please answer your front door, the Secret Service would like to talk to you. Just kidding, a little Patriot Act humor there. Haha, gulp.

On second thought, I really don't think it is neccesary to contact other third party candidates regarding debates. They all want the same thing we do. Unless of course you have connections with an activist group affiliated with them that will pitch in with us. Regardless here are the campaign addresses.

Cobb-LaMarche '04 (Green Party)
P.O. Box 693
Eureka, CA 95502
ph: 646-619-1149
fax: 212-400-7200

Nader for President 2004 (Independent/Reform)
P.O. Box 18002
Washington, D.C. 20036
ph: 202-265-4000
fax: N/A

Peroutka 2004 (Constitution)
8028 Rithcie Highway, Suite 303
Pasadena, MD 21122
ph: 877-627-2004
fax: 410-766-8592

Gary Feezel

Is anybody goin' to San Antoine?

Or Phoenix, Arizona?

Just some random humor. How much money are we workin' with here? I got five bucks.

If I had some money I'd pay some yahoo to slap us up a slick blog like this or this here...

or use this....

with plans of migrating to after the election win or lose.

or maybe

and make a commercial venture out of it. Plan on making it THE destination portal for all things debate. Maybe have Bill Gates debating Arnold Scwarzenegger and all kinds of debates going on. Make it as common as Google. Someday take the thing public with an IPO stock offering. Make it part of American colloquiallism for people to say, "Did you hear So-and-So was debating old What's-his-name over at The Debate Blog?" It could be bigger than Hardblogger who by the way hides their blog traffic stats from the people and refuses to allow reader comments. We may be bigger than Hardblogger right now for all we know. Could start running ads from candidates who want to challenge other candidates to a blog debate. Might start getting millions of viewers per day. Tired. Also need a "Read More--->" link maker function like we got at MB blog so a lot of this drivel could be hidden back on page two.



Report by Doug Kenline

Greetings all team members of the Debate Badnarik blog. It is a noble undertaking indeed. Blogging software is the key. Should we use Blogger, or WordPress, or B2 Evo, or something else?

The debates will move into the blogsphere before we know it. If I ran the campaign I'd set up a video blog like the Microsoft Channel 9 blog and have Michael Badnarik do a 5 minute video once every day. Impromptu. Speaking from the heart. Lighting the fires of Liberty.

But I don't run the campaign. And time is running out. I think we should run like the wind up until the election and also have a long term objective in mind for after the election. We will accomplish much between now and November 2. Let's not let that effort be in vain regardless of the outcome.

Amrageddon may come tomorrow and it might be 5, 10, 15, 20, or 30, or 50 years or 100 years down the road. It may never come. I guess none of us know for sure.

So my attitude is to play with a positive mental attitude and play to win every day. In the world that I know, this requires many hours of work at my chosen field of profession. Much time, energy, and effort to win in the game of life that I know.

Now on the grand scale we have things like Presidential elections. And yes, I believe that if Michael Badnarik were to win the election that this would be a better world. And I believe that it could happen.

So that's my two cents worth from a tired man who owes the IRS $95,000 and just got home from a twelve hour day on the telephone turning up broadband circuits for Sprint after recently having my paycheck garnished.

God Bless America.

Doug Kenline


Does anyone have a Grassroots Campaign Meter?

As I said in the very beginning of this effort we may never win this but it will not be for lack of trying. So as long as we are going to try, shouldn't we have some way of tracking what we tried? I am almost affraid to know the results, affraid to learn that campaign was too small, or our work was too ineffective. But we should know shouldn't we, as part of a learning process or for historical perspective?

My question to you is how can we keep track of the product of this campaign? We could write something into every letter, or try to get feedback from every contact, or have every participant report back exactly what contacts they made. What do you folks think? What can we do to this end? Is it worth bothering with, and how do we collect the information?

Of course seeing Michael Badnarik on that stage with Bush and Kerry (and anyone else) would tell me we did slightly more than we needed to, so then I wouldn't care about what it was that worked. If we can't get him in the debates we'll need to refine the effort.


A Report by Gary Feezel

This particular movement began with the impassioned postings of several supporters of Michael Badnarik on his campaign blog. The idea of opening the presidential debates to more voices is not exclusive to Badnarik supporters, and certainly not new to the political scene. Many people have worked for years to open debates, and we have the distinct advantage of being able to use all of their combined experience and research to increase our odds of success. And this year, with the increasing influence of the internet in the political process (think blogs, campaign sites, etc) and the actions of others (lawsuits against the CPD) we have a unique opportunity to make this happen.

I am relatively new to political activism, and have never put together a movement before so I admit I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants on this. However by reading literally hundreds of pages of plans, ideas, experiences, and background on past and current efforts by others, a plan of action began to come together for us. We will have to make a pest of ourselves. We will have to demand, plea, appeal, and harass where appropriate to make our voices heard.

What I am planning is to bombard everyone connected with both CPD and CDC debates, including producers, sponsors, hosts, presenters, moderators and the candidates themselves. Additionally we will reach out to all forms of media, and like-minded groups with e-mail, snail-mail, press releases, letters to the editor, and phone calls, basically any and every form of communication will be used. I would hope to get everyone who joins us to make a minimum of 10 contacts each. We will make it easy for everyone to participate by providing an easy to use list of contacts, and sample letters tailored to the intended recipient.

In addition to the contact addresses already posted to this blog the mother-lode of activist contacts is at Sample letters will be posted here soon.

We have 30-plus days to the first CPD debate, and I think we are progressing well. This blog is plenty sufficient for the time being, to provide communication and running commentary as we've been doing. A website wouldn't do us any good without content, and that is coming together now. I have come to believe that an intense, sustained two week period of pressure will serve us best. The media and the public's attention span can only be held for that long anyhow. Besides when we fire up we will need every moment of our own time to orchestrate this effort.

If we use the rest of this week to build our core group and gather more content, hopefully we'll be ready to move onto the Badnarik campaign site(or that they'll be ready for us) by next Monday, then we go into action. An all out two week campaign as mentioned earlier puts us in mid September which leaves plenty of time for Mr. Badnarik to re-arrange his schedule and get the plane tickets to Miami : )


Monday, August 23, 2004

Letter to the Editor Campaign

If you don't have a contact list already for all the newspapers in your region (letters to the editor in particular) please develope one ASAP. I can see this as a crucial phase of this movement. Smaller newspapers especially seem to be starved for content, and we can reach out to other open debate minded individuals there if we can get our url printed in LTE's.

I write a letter about once a week that I send to 8 papers in my area. One went out last night and one paper called today, it will run in the next week. That will be 4 published in 5 weeks! As my published letters aren't debate related I will post them to my own blog. Feel free to copy and/or edit them and sign your name for submission to your local papers.

If your paper has a political writer or editor get their address too, we will appeal to them to write on open debates.


Debate Sponsor E-mail Contacts

Like some board members of the CPD, direct contact addresses of debate sponsors can be hard to pin down. Especially given that the sponsors are generally giant corporations or well funded foundations, finding the right contact can be difficult at best

It is interesting that some CPD board members have current and/or past connections to debate sponsors. Newton Minow once studied debates produced by the CPD for the 20th Century Fund (now the Century Foundation), in which he concluded everything was rosey. He was named to the Board of the CPD shortly afterward.

These are the sponsors for the 2000 debates since the 2004 sponsors have not been announced as of yet. We must discourage these groups from involving themselves in this fraud called debates again.

The Marjorie Kovler Fund, chaired by Peter B. Kovler, also chair of the Center for National Policy, general contact there is Kevin Lawler (attention Peter B. Kovler)

Anheuser-Busch (general contact)

The Century Foundation (formerly the 20th Century Fund) President, Richard C. Leone (may not work), alternate, Program Officer, Thad Hall

Ford Motor Company Fund, President, Sandra E. Ulsh (general contact)

The Ford Foundation (general contact)

AARP (formerly American Assoc. of Retired Persons) (general contact)

The Knight Foundation (general contact)

US Airways (Consumer Affairs)

3Com (general contact)

Above are the "General Debate Sponsors", the "Internet Sponsors" will be posted later.

Gary L. Feezel

Report From Doug Kenline

Well I see from an email that Gary Feezel is back. I like working here on the blog better than via email. Blogs are a more powerful means of communication and allow anybody to participate. Blogs build up historical record. Blogs can be referred back to with permalinks. Blogs are better than email.

Doug Kenline


Friday, August 20, 2004

Gividen: Next Jesse Ventura?

Kenn Gividen may be the next Jesse Ventura. Never mind what the pundits say.

Gividen, the Libertarian candidate for governor of Indiana, points to the former governor of Minnesota as evidence that a third party candidate can beat the odds.

Read here.

Posted by Doug Kenline.


Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe

"One of the OSCE's closest partners is the United Nations. Co-operation (editor's note: it is not just for style that they said, 'Co-operation' instead of 'cooperation.') was initiated in 1992, when the participating States declared the OSCE (at that time CSCE) to be "a regional arrangement in the sense of Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations".

Why is this important? Because this is the OSCE that is coming to the US to monitor our Presidential Elections this November per the invitation of our US State Department.

Via Jim Capo.

Posted by Doug Kenline.


Pot-smoking gubernatorial candidates include Republican and Democrat, but not Libertarian

Kenn Gividen, Libertarian candidate for governor, says there is much that sets him aside from his well-heeled contenders.

"I'm the only candidate who opposes property taxation, the new terrain I-69 and advocates education reform," he notes. But there is another issue that places the Libertarian in a class by himself: Gividen claims he has never smoked marijuana.

Read here.

Posted by Doug Kenline.


Report From Doug Kenline

Thanks for blogging everybody. Now I'm thinking about this domain name.

Our mission could be to bring the debate into the blogosphere. Challenge candidates to debate Libertarian candidates from all over the country. Set up debates here in the blogosphere.

Develop blogs for every Libertarian candidate in the country and eventually a blog for every member of the Libertarian Party.

We would all be linked together by our blogrolls and we could all easily learn about debates that were going on in the Libertarian blogosphere and tune into them with a front row seat at our convenience. No charge.

Doug Kenline


Report From Jason Gatties

I hope everyone is having a nice Friday. I just wanted to hop in here quickly to let everyone know that we (and when I say we, I mean my are working on the first set of educational flyers to pass around town, themed around our "Open Debate" goal. It will include various links and info on how people can get involved.

These flyers will be available for download at within the next few days. I think she is going to put them up in 3 formats for download, so you'll have a choice.

In an unrelated manner, Doug mentioned the script on and my wife really appreciated the kind words. The news script we use is actually a custom php news posting script my wife created. If you ever have a need for some sort of custom script, email her at and she might be able to help you out.

Take care and keep fighting the good fight.


Thursday, August 19, 2004

CPD Board Contacts

The following is the contact addresses for chairs and board members of the Commission on Presidential Debates. I'll leave it to you guys as to where and how to best use it. Many of these people are fairly well insulated, in that no direct e-mail addresses can be found. In those cases I have noted who the closest contacts are. Snail mail addresses will be forwarded later.

Co-Chair, Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. partner in the Washington, D.C. law office of Hogan and Hartson LLP. Office contact is Warren Gorrell (attention Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.)

Co-Chair, Paul G Kirk, Jr. partner in the Washington, D.C. law office of Sullivan & Worcester.

Board Member, Howard Buffett (son of billionaire Warren), general Berkshire Hathaway e-mail (attention Howard Buffett)

Board Member, Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (R, WA), at her campaign webpage

Board Member, Antonia Hernandez, California Community Foundation President & CEO

Board Member, Caroline Kennedy, daughter of JFK, President of the Kennedy Foundation, at their general contact (attention Caroline Kennedy)

Board Member, Newton Minow, also Board Member, Chicago law office of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP

Board Member, Dorothy Ridings, Past President of LWV, current Council on Foundations President & CEO, at their general contact (attention Dorothy Ridings)

Board Member, H. Patrick Swygert, also President of Howard University

Executive Director, Janet H. Brown, (the only direct contact I've found for the CPD)

Presidents, Ford, Carter, and Clinton are "Honorary Co-Chairs" I'm certain we would never be heard by them, so I didn't seek contacts. Corporate sponsors for the debates coming next. I will post a letter describing what we are confronting on the Debate Badnarik blog immediately.

Gary Feezel


Report From Doug Kenline

Ok team, I think we're doing great. I added Gary Feezel to the list of team bloggers but I don't know your blog address Gary. Post it here and I'll make a link to it out of your name in the left hand column.

I like using the blog to communicate better than email for many reasons. I say we do all of our conversatin' here at the blog.

Blogger software seems to be acting screwy. Takes forever to get the dern thing to publish.

MoveableType is leading the field I believe in blogging software but they charge for it. I'm more in tune with using free opensource software like b2evolution or WordPress. There is a learning curve with any of them. I'd just as soon become better at opensource. It's the best in my opinion.

Also we need to decide on a domain name if we want to host our own blog. I say we use this one.

Or maybe we should go with something that will still be good AFTER the election, maybe something like this.

What is happening today with the blogs may be the biggest story of them all. I'm thinking maybe we should think long term. Of course, getting Michael Badnarik into the debates is the main focus right now.

I'm thinking of Howard Dean who continues to be a presence in the blogosphere even after he lost the nomination verses Aaron Russo who has torn down his blog and completely and totally disappeared since losing the nomination.

Is this a two minute blog that will disappear after November 2, or is this a lifetime blog that will continue to grow forever and eventually guarantee that nobody is ever left out of any debate ever again?

This from Instapundit ( 150,000 readers per day )...

To me, that's a bigger deal than the underlying issue or even, in some ways, the election itself. Elections come and go, politicians come and go, and pretty much all of them turn out to be disappointments one way or another. But the "Fourth Estate" is a big part of the unelected Permanent Government that in many ways does more to run the country than the politicians. And it's unravelling before our very eyes, which I think is the biggest story of the election so far.

Read here.

Doug Kenline

UPDATE: I like this template that Jason Gatties did. Needs date and time stamps for every post on front page and also reader comments on front page. I can't tell what kind of blogging software he's using if any.


A Like-minded Group, Debate This!

I found another group fighting for open debates, looks like they've been at it since the 2000 election cycle. DebateThis! has tons of pertinent information on their site. They also have a petition aimed at TV Networks . I tried to sign that petition last night but it wasn't working. I have emailed them about it, maybe someone else could give it a try. I also asked them how we can work together.

Full day of work today, then I'm off to help Scott Bludorn, for IL State Rep tonight. I probably won't have time to go through e-mail today, back at it Friday night. Until then.......Blog On!

Be Free,
Gary Feezel


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

History of the presidential debates

I wanted to cover a little of the more recent history of presidential debates, and how the Commission on Presidential Debates came to be. Just so everyone can understand what we are up against and at risk of sounding overly self-important, or too melodramatic, how crucial the effort to open debates is to democracy.

Since the dawning of the TV age, starting with the infamous Nixon-Kennedy debates in 1960 the debates were sponsored by the major TV networks ABC, CBS and NBC. Beginning in 1976 the presidential debates were organized by the League of Women Voters (LWV), who also conducted the debates in 1980 and again in 1984. While the LWV claimed to be non-partisan they did take a public stand on issues important to them and rated candidates according to their support of the LWV's positions. This created a less than perfect situation since they were biased for or against the candidates the were presenting. In 1987 the writing was on the wall for the LWV's sponsorship as the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was created by republican and democrat henchmen. A tersely worded October, 1988 press release by the LWV says it all:

"The League of Women Voters is withdrawing its sponsorship of the presidential debates . . . because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates' organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public."

What the LWV was alluding with their claim of "hoodwinking" is the fact that while the CPD claims to be non-partisan it was co-chaired by Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. and Paul G. Kirk, Jr. The head of the Republican National Committee and the head of the Democrat National Committee, respectively, at the time of the CPD's creation. These two gentlemen co-chair the CPD, and remain active in their parties politics to this day. The remaining members of the CPD's board of directors reads like a who's who of party politicians and political insiders.

In interviews that are quite telling of the co-chairs intents Mr. Fahrenkopf once stated the CPD "was not likely to look with favor on including third party candidates in the debates" and Mr. Kirk went even further admitting he "personally believed the panel should exclude third party candidates from the debates."

There you have it utter contempt not just for those with hopes of getting our third party candidates in the debates, but contempt for democracy and the entire political process. Please join us in this effort. Only through the action and voices of many will we restore honesty and openness to the presidential debates.

Thank you to FreezerBox, I lifted the LWV quote from their page at . And thanks to Open Debates, the quotes from Mr. Fahrenkopf and Mr. Kirk, and many more can be found at .

Gary Feezel


Blog Design

I think our website should be designed as a blog. Think blog. Better than website. Website on steroids. Blog. Better than email. Email on steroids. Blog. Think blog.

necc is a nice looking blog.....

bloghouse will design a blog for us...........

i say we use the domain name of

i think bloghouse did this one.........

And of course Jason Gatties' wife did this one.

looks real nice.......

tqhosting will host blog for $8/month...

Posted by Doug Kenline.


New Help

Anyone interested in helping post in the comments below please.

I would like name, email, and some form of im please, along with what you're willing to do. Someone will contact you asap.

Michael Christenson


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Let the Movement Begin

We need to clearly define why we are undertaking this effort. Everyone on board with this movement so far is a dedicated believer in, and promoter of Michael Badanrik, Libertarian Candidate for President. And as such we want to see him debate the democrat and republican candidates. But our goal goes beyond that, we have all stated that any viable third party candidate should be allowed in the debates, and that can only be good for democracy and our country.

As it stands now the major party candidates are only looking at debates held by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). A serious and austere sounding organization that was conceived and created with the purpose of keeping third parties out of the debates.

The only other organization prepared to undertake the daunting task of putting on debates during this election cycle would be the group called Open Debates . As there are no guarantees that even they would allow Michael Badnarik, or any other third party candidate currently in the race in their debates there has been some concern about our supporting them. But at this point there is no other option since it would be impossible to put together the funding and make the many arrangements needed to run debates worthy of a presidential campaign in the short time before the election in November.

Therefore we need to put the heat on the CPD, with the longshot hope of them actually allowing third parties into debates they may put on, and at the same time build support for the more likely eventuality of getting the major parties to commit to Open Debates, and being accepted there.

Gary Feezel


First of all its great to see people so dedicated to this cause. We got some great news earlier today in Michigan when we found out that Michael Badnarik & Richard Campagna will appear on the ballots this November. So I guess you can say I feel even more passionate about getting Badnarik on TV debating Kerry & Bush.

Having an online blog & website is an awesome step in the right direction, however, lets not forget what got the Libertarian Party to where it stands today.

In addition to getting as much information out there as possible online, we must also take to the streets and do some grassroots type activism. We need to make "Open Debates" themed flyers to spread around town. We need to continue writing letters to the local media demanding that Michael Badnarik be allowed to debate. We need to talk to friends and co workers to educate them on Libertarian values and why it is important for the American public to actually have a choice this upcoming election. The only way this election will ever be considered "fair and just" is to allow candidates such as Badnarik the opportunity to address the American public in a nationally televised debate.

Keep up the internet activism because its perhaps the most powerful tool our generation has ever seen, but lets not forget what got us to where we are today.

I'm going to kick start the internet campaign tonight. I am a master promoter and visitors will arrive to check out what we are all about here.

Jason Gatties


How's that for prominent?! by Michael Christenson

I believe I have restored everything to it's natural state now. We have the comments back, the prominent link to Badnarik's site and blog, and thanks to the LP site we have a very prominent picture of badnarik on top!

Now back to work; there's never an end to it. But something worth having is worth the effort put into it. So we have a heck of a lot more effort to pour out here, to achieve what we all desire; freedom before we grow old and die; and of course Badnarik in office, more realistic debates, et cetera.




Hello Team!

From William Hand

It is exciting to know that we are getting more people on board and are really starting to get on the ball! I have a feeling that we are going to accomplish some great things, and of course get Michael Badnarik into the debates!

First of all, welcome Jason Gatties! It is great to have you and your wife on board!

Well, it looks like we are going with the name BADNARIK! (For goodness sakes, I can't remember exactly what that acronym stands for, after several hours at work my mind is mush) That issue is settled! :-)

Secondly, it looks like Michael is going to work on a website template for us! That is great, because we need to get this ball rolling as quickly as possible because the debates are not far away! And we need to have something to show the campaign so we can all get accounts with their blog. Here are a few ideas about the site...

1) Lets make sure the site has a huge direct link to the Badnarik Blog. This needs to be in a direct and obvioius place, because in addition to our website we will be posting announcments, activism alerts, and so fourth on their blog. We need a really cool graphic for people to click on to take them to the blog.

2) We need an area (and/or with a seperate page) for who we are or a statement of principles, information on how to contact the debates commission, a frequently asked questions list, press releases, who is Michael Badnarik, and so fourth! Also, I believe that we need a graphic or a map stressing the fact that he is on the ballot NATIONWIDE will be important to get our point across.. maybe... "He's Bad.. He's Nation wide.. He's Michael Badnarik!"

3) The site needs to be super-duper professional. It needs to be something that will attract many people and be on the level with that of Bush and Kerry's site. Of course it does not have to be quite as complex with as many different pages, tabs, and so fourth. But it needs to make people think, "Whoa, why have I not heard of THIS canidate?"

Immediately after we have a website template then we can all work together on filling out the information that needs to be on it. Once it is completed then we need to have a representitive email the Badnarik campaign and ask for accounts to their Blog for our team (or perhaps one BADNARIK account).

Again, I urge all of you to put as much time and effort into this as possible. I understand we are all busy with many other things, but having Liberty in this nation once again is critical. Because if Bush or Kerry is allowed to take charge of our already overgrown and bloated government for another four years we are going to end up with a *police state* in 2008 and we probably won't ever have an election again.

The key to getting a victory this election is getting Badnarik some major media attension and I can't think of anything better than getting him into the debates! Three sessions of debating Bush and Kerry on live TV would boost him like crazy. You see, most people don't even know Libertarians exist, some people know Libertarians exist but don't know hardly anything about the party, and those that do know about the party have not heard enough to be conviced to support us. If we could get votes from all these three groups then we can WIN THIS ELECTION!

We are going to have to get a lot done in a short ammount of time, but we can get this accomplished. Erase all doubt from your mind IMMEDIATELY this very moment. We will get him into the debates, and we are going to utilize every single legal, lawful, and peaceful method to get it accomplished! We will not give up, we will not surrender, and we will not turn back!

It is time for the era of BADNARIK.

William Hand


Jason Gatties Here

My name is Jason Gatties, the new chairman of the Libertarian Party of Southwestern Michigan. Thanks to Michael for getting me involved in this. You must be patient as I catch up to speed.

As Michael stated, my wife is a web designer, so could help out with graphics. She's currently working on the LP of SW Michigan website (to be launched soon) and she designed my blog site, which can be seen at

If you need anything, feel free to contact me via email, AIM (jgatties) or during the day I can be reached at my office, phone number 269-927-6837.

I look forward to working with you all.

Jason Gatties


Let's Begin

Gary Feezel here. I'm knew to blogging, so I'll probably need some guidence to get going. Can we post links on the left or right sides here, or just paste them in comments? As I said by e-mail I've got a bunch, and it would be best if I annotated them, as some are not direct e-mail addresses but lead to the given persons office or assistant. A little help and we can get under way.

Doug if I knew you were going to post that to Badnarik's blog I would have made it better suited for public consumption, although it set off a lot of posts, and I see willing new recruits too.

I'll be refining my notes, and watching here and my e-mail for more from you guys.

Be Free


Regarding Blog Banner Design

Thank you very much Michael Christenson. Good work. I'm about to crash out for the night. Hopefully some other team members will have found this by the morning and will stop by and do a little practice blogging with the team to help get us going.

Doug Kenline


Ok I just took my code out so the banner should be back to normal. I'm still searching for an alternative. I'm not sure though why the Title is hacked in two.


Comment By Doug Kenline

code is at username and password as this blog.......thanks........

i was thinking maybe we could all make a h3 size headline to every post that we make to make the blog easier to scan through and look for headlines......

maybe if no relevant headline just use "Comment By Your Name" like i just did here....just an idea to make it easier to scan through the readers like headlines......just like newspaper readers......gotta have headlines to make it easier for reader to scan through the news...........also need reader comments back......

doug kenline



Could you post the haloscan comments code here; or email it to me. I will try putting it back.

MichaeL Christenson


Re: We should get together and coordinate this.

that's what we got the blog for now.....take it away....keep up the good work and thanks a million.........needs reader comments......i like haloscan.....already have haloscan account set up with same username and password as this blog.......

doug kenline


Re: Thank you doug, btw, for thinking of using blogspot for our home on the web, and for getting it setup.

thank you michael for jumping in and taking the bull by the horns.....we need all the help we can get.....thank you very much......and thank you william hand for the great idea..........

need to get the reader comments back......i like haloscan comments better than blogger comments...i had haloscan reader comments on here.....where did they go?

doug kenline


I'll replace all that stuff now. That's part of the problem with 2 of us editing the template at the same time. We should get together and coordinate this.

Michael Christenson


i had reader comments on here but they appear to be gone....the title bar seems to be messed up.....i can still see the blogger navigation bar.....i had my name linked to my blog but that is now gone....i had a michael badnarik sidebar banner at the top of the left hand column, that is now gone.....i had a link to the badnarik blog and the badnarik website....that is now gone.......tired now.......let's keep at it and see what we can do.......thanks everybody at team debate badnarik blog.........

doug kenline


I will be working on this site constantly, and you will see a more professional page soon. Thank you doug, btw, for thinking of using blogspot for our home on the web, and for getting it setup.

Ok, site needs. We need a banner desperately. If anyone has any ideas email them to the list. I think that we need to make a thread on the exco board for general discussion, and link to it from the left column of this site. Also it would be good to get an email list going.

Anyways, keep all that in mind. Post here with your ideas. I'm going to start that forum right now.

Michael Christenson


Ok, I've been busy coding for the last hour or so. I've written some code to hide the blogger banner; so no need to write them. Also I've made my name hyperlinked with my email and homepage. If anyone else wants the same done just say so in the comments.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Let's get going on this project.

Michael Christenson


it appears that Michael Christenson has been here although i don't see any commentary from him........the comments seem to have disappeared.....gotta have reader comments.......what's up with that?.....also the link to my blog is gone from the left hand column........yo William Hand.....whatcha think about the new blog idea?...........standing by for commentary from Michael Christenson at this time...........

Doug Kenline


Greetings Debate Badnarik Blog Team Members

I have made this blog as a place for us to brainstorm our idea of setting up a blog devoted to getting Michael Badnarik into the debates.

I have sent the username and password of this blog to you via email.

Go here to sign in to the blogger control panel. Or click on the "I Power Blogger" button at the bottom of the left hand column.

Use the unsername and password that I sent you by email.

Post any questions you have about using the blog here.

Post your ideas here. We can build up the blogroll and links section and add pictures of all bloggers or whatever we want to to. We may even decide to use some other blogging software and move the blog to some other domain name.

We can get rid of the Blogger Navigation Bar at the top of the blog by sending a request to blogger support to have them do that for us I believe. Go here to ask the Blogger people to remove the nav bar from the top of our blog.

My idea is to move off of the email discussion and begin to work the project here on this blog and keep pushing things forward from here.

Please leave comments and suggestions and be sure to sign your name at the end of your post so we all know who you are.

Doug Kenline