Thursday, May 27, 2004

Campaign Debates to be Rigged Again

WHILE gaining open political debates is a tough struggle, a step along the way would be for Ralph Nader, the Libertarian, and the Green candidates to hold debates, pressuring CSPAN, NPR and major networks to carry them.

FORT LAUDERDALE SUN-SENTINEL - In dictatorships, it's common for political insiders to hinder or even silence non-establishment challengers. To do that in America, which supposedly champions open elections, is outrageous and intolerable. But that is just what the Commission on Presidential Debates has done.

OPEN DEBATES - Six weeks before the 1998 gubernatorial election in Minnesota, The Star Tribune pegged Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura at 10 percent in the polls. Three debates later, on October 20, he was at 21 percent. Remarkably, Ventura's cash-strapped campaign had not yet aired a single television advertisement. On Election Day, Ventura captured 37 percent of the vote and became the governor of Minnesota. Governor Ventura explained his astounding victory, "I was allowed to debate. I proved that you could go from 10 percent to 37 percent and win if you're allowed to debate. Rest assured these two parties don't want to ever see that happen again."



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