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Green Party LogoGreen Party, 2012 Green presidential nominees are among the plaintiffs in the "Our America Initiative" law suit against the Commission on Presidential Debates

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Contacts:
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org

The law suit aims to end private control over presidential debates by the Democratic and Republican parties

Video: "Commission on Presidential Debates -- Time to Change" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gD4TQLyMDw


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party leaders expressed strong support for the "Our America Initiative" law suit (http://www.fairdebates.com) against the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). The Green Party and Libertarian Party are among several plaintiffs in the suit.

The law suit would end private control over presidential debates by the Democratic and Republican parties, which took over the debates from the League of Women Voters in 1987 in order to exclude other parties' candidates and independents and to manipulate the format of the debates for their own benefit. The CPD is a private firm founded by the two parties.

Other plaintiffs in the law suit include the Green Party's 2012 national nominees, Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala, and the presidential and vice-presidential nominees from the Libertarian Party (http://www.jill2016.com/presidential_debates).

"The CPD is funded by corporations that have an interest in restricting the presidential debates to the nominees of political parties that are awash in corporate contributions and influence. Fair debates would include all presidential candidates who are on enough state ballots to win, if enough people voted for them," said Audrey Clement, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

"Greens urge the major media to recognize that the CPD debates represent an attempt to limit voters' choice of candidates and restrict the range of discussion about important issues. We encourage the media to host inclusive debates outside of the CPD's control. Americans deserve the right to learn about all the candidates who'll be on the ballot, and to vote for a candidate who best represents their interests and ideals without being told that only two candidates are legitimate," said Ms. Clement.

In 2012, the Free and Equal Elections Foundation (https://www.freeandequal.org) sponsored a debate on October 23, 2012 featuring four alternative-party presidential candidates: Dr. Stein (Green Party), Gov. Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Virgil Goode (Constitution Party), and Rocky Anderson (Justice Party). The debate was moderated by Larry King and Christina Tobin and aired on RT TV, Al-Jazeera, and C-SPAN.

"Apologists for the status quo like to say that there's something natural and inevitable about a political system limited to two parties. In reality, Democratic and Republican politicians have rigged elections with anti-democratic state laws that privilege their own candidates and obstruct other parties. The takeover of the presidential debates by the CPD shows the same bipartisan collusion," said Karen Young, co-chair of the Green Party.

"It's time to end this exercise in blatant corruption. Any 'natural' tendency of our winner-take-all at-large elections towards a two-party political field can be corrected with reforms like Instant Runoff Voting and Proportional Representation," said Ms. Young.

Green Party leaders noted that the best ideas and reforms in U.S. history have come from alternative parties, and said that an independent progressive leadership is imperative in a century in which the two "war-and-Wall-Street parties" are leading America in dangerous directions.

"The legacy of third parties in the U.S. includes abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, the eight-hour workday, workers’ benefits, public schools, unemployment compensation, the minimum wage, child labor laws, direct election of senators, and programs like Social Security and Medicare. All of these were introduced by third parties and adopted later by one or both of the major parties. The near-disappearance of third parties on the left in the second half of the 20th century is one of the great unmentioned reasons for the triumph of the right wing in both major parties." ("Hillary Won't Save Us, Neither Will Bernie or Liz," by Scott McLarty, OpEdNews.com, April 13, http://tinyurl.com/koo89n2)

See also:

Green Party joins the Our America Initiative to sue Commission on Presidential Debates
http://www.gp.org/current-news/1345-our-america-initiative-will-sue-commission-on-presidential-debates

Our America Initiative
https://www.ouramericainitiative.com

Secret Control of the Presidential Debates
Project Censored: The News That Didn't Make The News
http://www.projectcensored.org/20-secret-control-of-the-presidential-debates


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