Debate Badnarik

Friday, September 24, 2004


Priority Activist Alert 9/25/04

Note: 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.

Contacts:

George Farah
Executive Director, Open Debates and Citizens Debate Commision
529 14th St. NW
Suite 1201
Washington, DC 20045
Ph 202-628-9195
Fax 202-628-9196


Christopher Shaw
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
Ph 301-270-4616
Fax 301-270-4133

Larry Noble
Executive Director, Center for Responsive Politics
1101 14th St., NW
Suite 1030
Washington, DC 20005
Ph 202-857-0044
Fax 202-857-7809

Randall Robinson
Founder, TransAfrica Forum
1426 21st Street, NW, 2nd Floor
Washington DC 20036
Ph 202-223-1960
Fax 202-223-1966

Paul Weyrich
Chairman, Free Congress Foundation
Free Congress Foundation
717 Second Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Ph 202-546-3000
Fax 202-543-5605

Angela "Bay" Buchanan
President, The American Cause
501 Church St. Suite 217
Vienna, VA 22180
Ph 703-255-2632
Fax 703-255-2219

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
Ph 202-546-5007
Fax 202-546-7037
(No e-mail address send to David Klaus att: Pat Choate)

Jon Hanson
Harvard Law Professor
403 Griswold Hall
1525 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Ph 617-496-5207
Fax 617-496-5156

Jamin B. Raskin
American University Law Professor
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
Ph 202-274-4011
Fax N/A


Sample Letter:

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.

Your Name,
City, State


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