Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gary Johnson, Excluded From Debate, Filed Suit

Editor's Note: Like I said - if you are not "one of them" - you don't get to play...

The New American
October 22, 2012

Gary Johnson, Excluded From Debate, Filed Suit
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson filed suit last Friday in federal court in Washington, D.C., claiming that he meets the criteria set by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) for inclusion in tonight's presidential debate.
Johnson’s campaign argues that he has earned “more than 40 percent of the vote in head-to-head polls against President Barack Obama.”

The CPD is a joint venture of the two major political parties, created in 1987 to establish the rules for the management of presidential debates.

In a statement posted on the campaign’s website, Johnson campaign attorney Alicia Dearn makes the case for Johnson’s inclusion in Monday’s event, the final debate between the two major-party candidates scheduled before Election Day.

“The CPD requirements say Johnson ‘must register support of at least 15 percent of the vote in five recent polls,’” Dearn said. “Nowhere does it say those polls must include three candidates. Indeed, the polls used by the CPD to exclude Johnson test only two candidates even though Gov. Johnson is on the ballot in 48 states. We argue that Gov. Johnson has met the specific and narrow criteria laid out by the CPD.

“Included in the two-party ‘deal’ struck by the Republicans and Democrats are the criteria by which candidates are invited to participate. As a two-term governor who is on more than enough states’ ballots to be elected in the Electoral College, the decision to exclude Gov. Johnson can only be based upon the CPD’s self-determined polling criterion — using polls that are ‘head-to-head’ surveys between Romney and Obama.”

Although it is unlikely that the two major political parties would allow their own creation to be used to challenge their electoral hegemony, perhaps the rules they established could be used to that end in an unbiased court of law.

According to the guidelines set out on the official CPD website:
Those candidates qualify for debate participation who (1) are constitutionally eligible to hold the office of President of the United States; (2) have achieved ballot access in a sufficient number of states to win a theoretical Electoral College majority in the general election; and (3) have demonstrated a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate, as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations' most recent publicly-reported results.
There is no argument that Governor Johnson meets the first criterion. The same, ironically, cannot be said about Barack Obama, however. There are serious unanswered questions regarding President Obama’s constitutional qualifications to be president, specifically the requirement in Article II of the Constitution that a president be a “natural born citizen” of the United States. Even assuming Obama was born in Hawaii, the fact remains that his father was not an American citizen.

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