Wednesday, September 29, 2004
by Debate Badnarik Blog Team
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
by Debate Badnarik Blog Team
Monday, September 27, 2004
Activist Alert for 9/28/04Never say die. We have not given up on getting Michael Badnarik into the CPD debates (no matter how contrived). And we have not given up on getting him into Open Debates. But as time is running short before those debates will be held (or not) we are going to focus on REAL DEBATES. As you probably know (or read about it here) Michael Badnarik will debate Green candidate David Cobb once again on Sept. 30th in Miami. This is the second in a series of REAL DEBATES in which presidential candidates discuss and defend their positions and inform voters on how they would lead this nation.
The REAL DEBATES will be held Thursday, Sept. 30th, at 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Ballroom, 1350 South Dixie Highway in Coral Gables.
We need to spread the word on these REAL DEBATES and generate as much interest and media coverage as we possibly can. If we can create a big enough buzz about these debates OpenDebates.org may be rendered obsolete.
The bundle of e-mail addresses below is for major national media outlets, newswires and radio syndicates, as well as every major newspaper in Florida (names available on request, or they will be posted on our website later). Please send an e-mail to George Farah of Open debates, copy the list of names below and paste it in the "cc" or "bcc" line of your e-mail. Tell them all that you insist on REAL DEBATES and you want the media to cover this event between Badnarik and Cobb.
Get going folks your support up to now has been spectacular. We have a debate scheduled for our candidate now let's make sure the whole country knows about it.
Friday, September 24, 2004
Priority Activist Alert 9/25/04Note: Developments on this issue come quickly. While I was preparing this alert a statement by George Farah of Open Debates and a response by Stephen Gordon were posted on the Badnarik blog. The continuing stalemate makes this alert all the more important, we must turn up the heat on OpenDebates.org. Read on for the details, start the mailings tonight, and remember DO NOT BE OFFENSIVE! We need these debates....
As you may have read on the Badnarik Campaign blog Open Debates has ostensibly excluded Michael Badnarik from their debates. I say ostensibly because we simply are not going to accept that. I spoke a short time ago with Christopher Shaw of Open Debates and he said that while they have not have not altered their position they are in discussions with Stephen Gordon of the Badnarik campaign. I think it is our duty as activists to influence the decision making process. We must reach out to all the members of OpenDebates.org to register our dismay and disappointment at this development. Remember we are trying to win them over to our way of thinking so be polite yet resolute.
The integrity if their own debates is at stake if they alter their own criteria but there are things to be considered before they make their ultimate decision. The poll used was heavily weighted with democrat and republican voters who have much to gain by excluding third party candidates. A media blackout lowers name recognition for third party candidates. Among those who do recognize Michael Badnarik's name he has high approval numbers. The third party candidates who otherwise qualify for these debates represent a broad variety of opinions and would offer vigorous, informative, and compelling debates. It is not likely that Bush and Kerry will attend these debates and Ralph Nader alone on stage does not make a debate.
We must act now! The next debate is scheduled for Tuesday the 28th in Swarthmore, PA.
Below you will find some initial contact information for Open Debates, we will add more as we gather it. You will also find a sample letter to sign your name to and send off. You know what to do.
Executive Director, Open Debates and Citizens Debate Commision
529 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20045
Organizing Director, Open Debates
(See contact info above)
Board of Directors:
John B. Anderson
Chairman, Center for Voting and Democracy
6930 Carroll Ave, Suite 610
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Executive Director, Center for Responsive Politics
1101 14th St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
Founder, TransAfrica Forum
1426 21st Street, NW, 2nd Floor
Washington DC 20036
Chairman, Free Congress Foundation
Free Congress Foundation
717 Second Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Angela "Bay" Buchanan
President, The American Cause
501 Church St. Suite 217
Vienna, VA 22180
Pat Choate Refrain from contacting until new address is found please.
Chairman, Congressional Economic Leadership Institute
201 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., C-6
Washington, D.C. 20002
(No e-mail address send to David Klaus att: Pat Choate)
Harvard Law Professor
403 Griswold Hall
1525 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Jamin B. Raskin
American University Law Professor
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
Dear Open Debates,
As a supporter of Libertarian Candidate Michael Badnarik I ask that you commission a new poll and reconsider your decision to exclude him from your debate.
Backed by a strong belief in Mr. Badnarik's debating ability, and bolstered by multiple polls showing that the vast majority of the public wants to see him debate other presidential candidates we began a letter writing campaign over a month ago. Our goal is to get our candidate in any and every presidential debate, and to open the debates to all viable candidates. Now we find we must focus our attention on your organization.
During our campaign we have made literally thousands of contacts and placed dozens of "Letters to the Editor" with the potential of reaching millions of readers. Operating in good faith we included information about your organization and your debates in virtually every contact we made. I don't mean to imply that a return favor is due but for the American people to have truly open debates we must have an organization to produce them and viable candidates to appear in them. We have worked towards that ideal from the start, now we ask that you follow through.
Activist Alert for 9/24/04Forgive the delay in getting an alert posted. Scheduling conflicts kept us from getting it done and at the same time each of us though the other guy was doing it.
Let me say everyone's participation has been inspiring, and it really keeps us going. Finding new contacts, writing new letters, putting together these alerts, and keeping up with the incoming mail can be a time consuming effort. But it is all made worth while when we see so many others who believe in Michael Badnarik, and want to get him in the debates as much as we do.
We are working on contacts and content for a whole new angle that I am sure you will find exciting so stand by for that while we get it ready. I know you'll want to take part in that but in the mean time there is more work to be done. Please take the following actions to help Michael Badnarik win this election.
1) Contribute what ever you can spare to the Badnarik Campaign. Your help here is important, your financial help is crucial!
2) Send a Letter to the Editor to all of your local newspapers
You can find sample letters and leads to help find your local media links at our website. Not brag but I had three different LTE's published in the last week in Chicago area papers. All of the those letters are taken from the samples on the website.
Thanks for your participation,
by Debate Badnarik Blog Team
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Activist Alert for 9/23/04
A rift seems to be developing between the Commission on Presidential Debates and the Bush & Kerry camps. It seems that the CPD is uncomfortable with some of the demands being made by those candidates and apparently the moderators aren't too pleased either. Let's see if we can't drive the wedge a little deeper. Tonight we have a letter to declare Michael Badnarik ready to debate - no holds barred! Try to send this to each and every one of the CPD Board members, and the Bush & Kerry camps as well. Let them know you are out there and paying attention to what they are doing.
This campaign is working. We have reports from several activists of getting Letters to the Editor printed, a lot of replies are being reported, and one live contact with Janet Brown of the CPD has been made. More on that in a future post.
A New sample letter can be found at the bottom of the contact list below. You can find other samples at our website or never hesitate to write your own. Keep those calls and letters going out we're going to make this happen.
Contacts for the Bush & Kerry Campaigns
Bush-Cheney '04, Inc. (General Contact)P.O. Box 10648Arlington, VA 22210ph: 703-647-2700fax: 703-647-2993
John Kerry for President, Inc. (General Contact)P.O. Box 34640Washington, DC 20043ph: 202-712-3000fax: 202-712-3001
Contacts for the CPD Board
Janet H. Brown - Executive Director CPD1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW Suite 445Washington, D.C. 20036Ph 202-872-1020Fax N/A
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. - Co-Chair CPD (R)Hogan & Hartson LLP555 Thirteenth St., NWWashington, D.C. 20004Ph 202-637-6501Fax 202-637-5910(E-mail may not be working, feel free to call or use snail-mail.)
Paul G. Kirk, Jr. - Co-Chair CPD (D)Sullivan & Worcester LLPOne Post Office SquareBoston, MA 02109Ph 617-338-2800Fax 617-338-2880
Howard G. Buffett - Board of Directors CPD (General contact at his private company)Buffett Images407 Southmoreland PlaceDecatur, IL 62521Ph 217-428-7058Fax 217-429-0206orBerkshire Hathaway, Inc. (General contact at his dad's company)1440 Kiewit PlazaOmaha, NE 68131Ph 800-786-6426Fax N/A
Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-WA) - Board of Directors CPD1501 Longworth House Office BuildingWashington, D.C. 20515Ph 202-225-7761Fax 202-225-8673or2737 78th Ave., S.E.Suite 202Mercer Island, WA 98040Ph 206-275-3438Fax 206-275-3437
Antonia Hernandez - Board of Directors CPDPresident, California Community Foundation445 S. Figueroa St.Suite 3400Los Angeles, CA 90071Ph 213-413-4130Fax 213-622-2979
Caroline Kennedy - Board of Directors CPD (General contact JFK Foundation)The Kennedy FoundationColumbia PointBoston, MA 02125Ph 617-514-1550Fax 617-436-3395
Newton N. Minow - Board of Directors CPDSidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP10 S. Dearborn St.Chicago, IL 60603Ph 312-853-7555Fax 312-853-7036
Dorothy S. Ridings - Board of Directors CPD (General contact COF)President, Council on Foundations1828 L Street, NWWashington, D.C. 20036Ph 202-466-6512Fax 202-785-3926
H. Patrick Swygert - Board of Directors CPDPresident, Howard University2400 Sixth St, NWWashington, D.C. 20059Ph 202-806-2500Fax N/A
Dear Commission on Presidential Debates,
Are you becoming frustrated with the rules, conditions, and stipulations being demanded of your organization by the Republican and Democratic Parties?
Has it become frustrating to deal with two candidates that apparently don't want a "real" debate, but heavily scripted pre-planned game show?
Then please consider allowing Michael Badnarik the Libertarian candidate for president into your presidential debates. In addition to being on the ballot in more states than any other third party candidate, being a part of the best organized alternative political party in the United States, running alongside hundreds of other libertarian candidates from coast to coast, and being the only true small government choice for president this election he would require NO SPECIAL CONDITIONS to participate.
Please let me repeat that and make this statement even clearer. Michael Badnarik would NOT insist on or require any specials rules, stipulations, or conditions before agreeing to participate in your debates. Michael Badnarik is a political candidate that desires to participate in the debate as an honest citizen, candidate, and human being that simply wants to share and defend his positions on the issues facing this nation and world. His sole desire is to present his honest opinions, feelings, and desires with the nation and the other candidates.
Unlike the other political parties that are wrangling with your organization over a wide range of demanded rules and specifications for the debate...
Michael Badnarik is not scared to be asked any question.
Michael Badnarik is not scared to comment on any topic that might come up.
Michael Badnarik is not scared of any other candidate that might be participating.
Because Michael Badnarik does not fear having to tell the truth about any issue, and is willing to do so frankly and in a moments notice!
The other candidates apparently don't feel safe or competent without a long list of rules being followed in the hope that they will not be pushed out of their "comfort zone".
Michael Badnarik understands in a debate there should be no such thing as such a "comfort zone" and that the voters of this nation deserve a real debate where there should be no such stipulations that transform a much needed passionate debate into a scripted meaningless talk.
If you would like to have a fresh voice and a new burst of energy added to the debates then please invite Michael Badnarik to participate. The Republicans and Democrats are asking for many proposed new rules and stipulations for YOUR debates. Why not in response change one of YOUR rules and allow Michael Badnarik to participate and give them a clear message that you desire this years debate to be truly meaningful, and YOU are in charge of the event.
If the Republicans and Democrats are trying to push your organization around then please consider giving them a surprise, and the citizens of this nation the opportunity to hear from the most refreshing and courageous candidate Michael Badnarik.
Sincerely,YOUR NAME,CITY, STATE
By the way if you haven't noticed the campaign's new site is up tonight! Check it out.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Activist Alert for 9/22/04Since the republicrats have announced thier full schedule for psuedo-debates today we will reach out to James A. Baker and Vernon Jordan, the negotiators for the Bush and Kerry campaigns respectively. We have also compiled a large list of e-mail addresses for some nationally syndicated writers and a few TV news outlets. Send your e-mails To: Baker & Jordan and cc: the list of reporters below. It may be a long shot but maybe one of the reporters will contact the negotiators or vise-versa.
James A. Baker III
Baker Institute for Public Policy
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251
Vernon E. Jordan Jr.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Robert S. Strauss Building
1333 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Copy the following list and paste it in CC:
Here's a sample letter you can copy and paste to our selected group. Feel free to re-write it or write your own or use one of the sample letters posted on our website.
To Whom It May Concern,
The announcement of President Bush and Senator Kerry's negotiated appearances at three debates is encouraging but falls short of the electorate's expectations. The scripted nature and intentional exclusion of third party candidates limits the ability of the voting public to make informed decisions on election day.
We are calling for Bush and Kerry to embrace true open debates as proposed by the non-partisan Citizens Debate Commission. The CDC's concept of debates would offer a better exchange of ideas, provide more practical guidelines for accepting third party candidates, and is endorsed by many freedom loving Americans.
The citizens of this great nation are entitled to more honest debates that will leave them better informed as to the positions of all viable presidential candidates. To learn more about the CDC debates visit http://www.citizensdebate.org/ , to learn more about open debates and the problems with the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates visit opendebates.org , and to find out about the ongoing grassroots effort to get Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik into the debates visit http://debatebadnarik.blogspot.com/.
As always we ask that you also submit letters to your local Letters to the Editor and your local media's political writers and TV reporters. Don't forget too to spread the word about debatebadnarik.blogspot.com and encourage others to join the effort. Together we CAN get Michael Badnarik into the debates. Thank you for participating.
Monday, September 20, 2004
by Debate Badnarik Blog Team
by Debate Badnarik Blog Team
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Activist Alert for 9/20/04For today's alert we have a couple new letters that were submitted by fellow activists. They are tailored to the board members of the CPD, the group we need to get through to most. So select one of the "All New CPD Letters" or one of the originals and send it to as many board members as you have time for. I can't stress enough the importance of getting newspaper letters and articles published or even getting your local TV to do reports so we'll keep working those lines. If you have written your own letters and want to submit them for others to use we could use some fresh material. Please submit your letters here. Everyone's participation has been great and we have just over a week to see if it will pay off.
1) Contact the CPD Board Members
2) Letters to the Editor
3) Lean on your local political reporters (Newspaper and TV)
Sample letters and contact addresses can be found at our website. the letters are posted under "Highlights" and the contacts are in the links to the left of the page.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Activist Alert for 9/19/04Let's reach out to the some of the past sponsors of the debates and let them know that it's wrong to support those that would subvert the political process. Corporations can get uncomfortable when you call them out on their political involvement, and we should make them squirm. Of course you should also check your local papers. Find out who writes stories or columns on political issues, and who the political editors are. We need to pressure them to expose the sham of the debates and to promote OpenDebates.org. Finally help us spread the word about this effort to outside blogs, chatrooms, or other forums you participate in, even non-Libertarians who believe we need to open the debates can help. We're doing great so far, but we can always use help.
1. Contact debate sponsors AARP, Anheuser-Busch, and/or the Century Foundation.
2. Write your local political writers, pressure them to write about open debates.
3. Use other blogs, discussion forums, and mailing lists to help us find more activists. We need voices to get Michael Badnarik into the debates!
Don't forget the Lights of Liberty Award for getting three or more LTE's published, and don't be afraid to follow up with the newspapers you write to and push them to write your letters. Sample letters and contact addresses can be found at our website. the letters are posted under "Highlights" and the contacts are in the links to the left of the page.
Lights of Liberty AwardWhile working to get Michael Badnarik into the debates keep the Lights of Liberty Award in mind. This award is granted by the Advocates for Self Government, the same folks who bring you "The World's Smallest Political Quiz" online. To win the award you need to get three "Letters to the Editor" published in one year that include the word Libertarian. You also qualify if you work three shifts in an OPH booth, or give three Libertarian themed speeches to non-Libertarian groups. Once you reach these goals you will receive a certificate, recognition from your local, state, and the national parties, a free subscription to The Libertarian Communicator magazine, and other fabulous prizes.
All this just for promoting something you already believe in! Check out the details here if you want and start sending out those letters to get the "Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik" into the debates. (Hint, hint)
Friday, September 17, 2004
by Debate Badnarik Blog Team
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Activist Alert for 9/17/04We need to keep pounding the media, weaken their resolve to keep the media blackout going. Send a new Letter to the Editor every day until you're published. Everyone should develop their own contact list for your local media and keep that handy, you can get leads at our website . For today's featured outreach we're going to hit the debate hosts. The first CPD debate will be 9/30/04 at the University of Miami. Interestingly the president there is Donna Shalala. You may recall she was the HHS Secretary during the Clinton regime.
1. Contact the debate hosts, particularly Donna Shalala at UM
2. Send a "Letter to the Editor" to all your local papers
3. Write to the Political Editor of your local TV, Radio, and Newspapers demanding they cover this inequity, and mention OpenDebates.org as a legitimate debate option.
Sample letters and contact addresses can be found at our new website. the letters are posted under "Highlights" and the contacts are in the links to the left of the page. If you cc:DBcontactmade@yahoo.comit will help us keep track of the volume of contacts made. Let's get our candidate into the debates.
Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the BartenderOne of our fellow activists, Mr. X mentioned that he has been unable to reach Janet Brown of the CPD by phone and it made me wonder what kind of responses other folks have been getting.
My favorite so far is from debate sponsor Anheuser-Busch who wrote in part..."Although we are sponsors of the debates, Anheuser-Busch has had no role in determining any aspect of how the debates will take place". Hence the title of this post. At least they read the letter I sent. I got an interesting one from the Kerry campaign. In thier response they spelled my name wrong, which tells me a real human read it and prepared the response, but of course the bulk of their letter was standard campaign form letter and a plea for money. I get plenty responses of the "we'll get back to you" variety, which can be expected.
Anyone have any good war stories from your efforts? How about successes? Share them in comments or through e-mail. Keep up the good work everyone.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Activist Alert for 9/16/04We have contact information for many people involved in putting on the debates and we should lean on all of them eventually. However as Jeff Frazee of the Badnarik campaign pointed out our best chance of success will be to have the Bush and Kerry camps feel broad public pressure to debate Michael Badnarik. So for today we need everyone to do the following:
1.Contact the Bush & Kerry campaigns
Sample letters and contact addresses can be found at our new website. the letters are posted under "Highlights" and the contacts are in the links to the left of the page. If you cc:DBcontactmade@yahoo.com it will help us keep track of the volume of contacts made. Let's get our candidate into the debates.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Website is now upOur new website is now up and running. It should be much easier to use than scrolling up and down this blog. Jump over there and send a couple e-mails to the Commission on Presidential Debates. We need to pressure them to let Michael Badnarik occupy his rightful place on the stage with Bush and Kerry. Be sure to also write to your local Letters to the Editor to make others aware of this injustice.
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Better Things To ComeI have more letters and more contacts waiting in the wings. It's all become too cumbersome and unwieldy to put up on a blog so I've spent this day creating a crude yet effective website. I hope to have it launched late tomorrow and then I hope folks will join in.
Mine this blog, make all the contacts you can, it can only help. Otherwise please stand by.
Monday, September 06, 2004
Contacts and Sample Letters for the CompetitionContact:
Bush-Cheney '04, Inc. (General Contact)
P.O. Box 10648
Arlington, VA 22210
John Kerry for President, Inc. (General Contact)
P.O. Box 34640
Washington, DC 20043
NOTE: With all e-mails please cc: DBcontactmade@yahoo.com You can't "cc:" us from the Kerry site. Please send us an e-mail with "Kerry" in the subject line.
Dear President Bush (or Senator Kerry),
As an independent voter I write to both challenge and implore you to demand that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) ease their restrictive criteria, and allow viable third party candidates into the debates.
Before you claim you have no control over the CPD let's admit that argument holds no water. As we all know the CPD is chaired and directed by highly influential members of your own party. Additionally ample evidence and history shows that as a major party candidate you hold major sway over the production and content of the debates through you negotiations with the CPD and your major party opponent.
Statements made by the CPD prove that their intent is to strengthen the two party system which is to the detriment of democracy. What is best for the major two parties is not necessarily what is best for the country. Studies show that as much as 35% of all voters declare themselves as independent. Which would indicate that you and your major party opponent can not and do not adequately represent a sizable portion of the population.
If your presidency would be so right for the country, if your positions are so wise, and your leadership so true you would have nothing to fear from honest and open debates with all viable candidates. Indeed free and open debate is the fuel that democracy thrives upon. Again I challenge and implore you to demand that candidates such as Libertarian Michael Badnarik be allowed into the debates.
YOUR CITY, STATE
Thank you for participating.
Contacts and Sample Letters to the EditorContacts:
"LTE" e-mail addresses for top 100 newspapers in the country.
Media website list state by state for your local papers.
Thanks to ElectionReform.org for the above contacts.
NOTE: With all e-mails please cc: DBcontactmade@yahoo.com if you can't "cc" us please send an e-mail with "LTE" in the subject line.
Sample Letter 1 - Compliments of Y. Kelly of Texas
The presidential debates are almost here. I ask for reader support to open these debates to include all electable presidential candidates. This year a very high percentage of voters (20%+ according to the Cato Institute) are disenfranchised and unhappy with the two-party candidates. Hence, the public is best served by having a true, unbiased picture of the alternate choices by seeing ALL candidates in this forum.
The Republican and Democratic candidates typically refuse to debate with third party candidates, citing their own arbitrary standards for exclusion. They own the system, make the rules and act like a ruling establishment who knows best about what choices YOU the voter should be ALLOWED. But, it is WE THE PEOPLE who own the system and if we don't own the debates, we don't own our votes. An open date could be fiery! It might actually increase public interest in the election. People might be empowered to see that their vote matters. Contrast that to what you've fallen asleep to in the past.......Republican and Democratic "pet" journalists, asking pre-scripted, softball questions, complete with rehearsed answers. Is that how they keep their seats on Air Force One at your expense?
Here's a simple, quick way to assert your right to hear ALL the candidates and ALL the facts. Go to http://opendebates.org/yourrole/petition/ and sign the petition NOW. Call the Kerry and Bush campaigns on their toll free numbers and tell them it is not acceptable to exclude third-party candidates who are on the ballot in enough states to be electable. Call their bluff. Don't leave it to someone else. It's your vote. Make it count.
Sample Letter 2 - Compliments of T. Blanton of Virginia
Americans are being deprived of meaningful political discourse because Bush and Kerry are too much alike. Besides being Skull and Bones frat brothers, they are both big government establishment politicians. Bush and Kerry share a fondness for the same sort of policies. Kerry did not oppose Bush's Iraq War, Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, or Prescription Drug Benefit Plan. The debates will be little more than a showcase for the rhetorical performances of Bush and Kerry. Of course, they will present a plethora of promises and programs to be paid for by us. Voters are short-changed when debate is reduced to partisan platitudes. Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik (www.badnarik.org) will not be at the debates. Despite achieving ballot access in most states and a Rasmussen poll showing 68% in favor of including Badnarik in the debates, he will be excluded. Are the Bonesmen afraid of Badnarik?
Sample Letter 3 - Contributed by J. Spinks of New Mexico
Currently the qualification to compete in the debates is 15% of the national vote. I would submit that any candidate that is placed on the ballot for 2/3rds of the States should be allowed to debate. This is a guideline given by the U.S. Constitution to pass an amendment. Why then can't a candidate be qualified to debate under the same requirements?
I submit the current requirement is simply a number picked out of the air, to further restrict the Democratic process of election. If more than 7 candidates run who then gets their voice heard better than the others? Simple math: 7X15=105%. Does this mean that 1 candidate of the 7 gets the boot? Lets hope its a major party candidate.
NOTE: We are in need of more sample letters if you wish to contribute letters to be posted here e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for participating,
Contacts and Sample Letter for SponsorsContact:
Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (General Contact)
One Busch Place
St. Louis, MO 63118
Sandra E. Ulsh, President (General Contact)
Ford Motor Company Fund
One American Road
P.O. Box 1899
Dearborn, MI 48126
AARP (General Contact)
601 E Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20049
NOTE: With all e-mails please cc: DBcontactmade@yahoo.com
Dear Debate Sponsor,
I am writing regarding your past sponsorship of the presidential debates, an endeavor that could be and should be both noble and honorable. However as more Americans become aware of the blatant biases and obvious bi-partisanship of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) the wisdom of your organization's sponsorship comes into question.
Statements made by the co-chairs of the CPD, republican Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. and democrat Paul G. Kirk, Jr. make it clear that they intend to exclude third parties and control political discourse. This manipulation of such an important part of our political process is an affront to democracy and your organization's support of the CPD is therefore troubling.
Recently the CPD's tax exempt status has been challenged and a federal judge has ordered the FEC to investigate the CPD for violations of election law. You need to look within your organization and within yourself and ask if the CPD's debates are really something with which you want to be associated. Political scandals could adversely affect your corporation and it's marketing strategies.
I ask that you decline to sponsor the CPD debates as you have in the past and join the many voices demanding open debates for viable third party candidates such as Michael Badnarik of the Libertarian Party.
Thank you for participating,
Sample Letter for Gallup PollContact:
Frank Newport, (General Contact)
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.
NOTE: With all e-mails please cc: DBcontactmade@yahoo.com
Thank you for participating,
Contacts and Sample Letters for CPDContact:
Janet H. Brown - Executive Director CPD
1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW Suite 445
Washington, D.C. 20036
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. - Co-Chair CPD (R)
Hogan & Hartson LLP
555 Thirteenth St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(Can only be reached by e-mail through Warren Gorrell. Follow the links.)
Paul G. Kirk, Jr. - Co-Chair CPD (D)
Sullivan & Worcester LLP
One Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109
NOTE: With all e-mails please cc: DBcontactmade@yahoo.com
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 not 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.
END OF DAY 1 ACTION
Thank you for participating,