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Green Party LogoGreen Party to Jon Stewart and his fans: Join us in protesting "rigged" presidential debates

Green Party of the United States

For Immediate Release:
Sunday, August 23, 2015

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator,

Greens respond to petition for Stewart to host the debates in 2016

Videos and news from the Green Party's 2015 Annual National Meeting in St. Louis, Mo., July 23-

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party members have responded to a petition requesting an invitation for Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" to moderate the presidential debates in 2016 with a challenge to Mr. Stewart and his fans to protest the "rigged" debates.

According to the petition's Facebook page, "Jon Stewart: More Than 100,000 People Sign Petition for Comedian to Host a 2016 Presidential Debate. The petition, launched on by a group of fans, asks the Commission on Presidential Debates [CPD] to consider letting the former 'Daily Show' host question candidates during an upcoming debate." (

"We urge Jon Stewart, his fans, and petition signers to help us expose the rigging of the debates by the CPD," said Andrea Mérida, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "The CPD, which is under the control of the Democratic and Republican parties and corporate sponsors, took over the debates in 1988 and manipulated the rules to favor their own candidates. The rules are designed to bar third-party and independent candidates from participating."

The League of Women Voters, which sponsored the debates until 1988, has called two-party control of the debates "a fraud on the American voter."

The Green Party and other alternative parties have demanded that the debates be open to all presidential candidates whose names are on enough state ballots to win the election, if enough voters chose to vote for them. Green and Libertarian nominees would have qualified in 2012 if fair rules were in effect.

Greens insist that elections should be decided by informed voters, not by major-party insiders and corporate sponsors who keep voters in the dark by dictating the terms of the debates, determining who may participate, what issues may be covered, and the format of the debates.

"Many of us in the Green Party are fans of Jon Stewart and we'd enjoy watching him moderate the debates," said David Doonan, Green Mayor of the Village of Greenwich in New York. "But the problem with the debates isn't the lack of a smart and entertaining host. The problem is the CPD and exclusion of qualified candidates. The petition doesn't address the fraud behind the debates. We encourage Mr. Stewart to join us in demanding fair debate sponsorship and fair rules."

Polls show that the American people are unsatisfied with a political field virtually limited to Democrats and Republicans and favor more than two parties. (See Americans Continue to Say a Third Political Party Is Needed," Gallup, Sept. 24, 2014,

In 2012, Green nominee Jill Stein, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, and other alternative party nominees participated in two debates sponsored by the Free & Equal Elections Foundation ( and moderated by broadcaster Larry King and Christina Tobin.

Five candidates have announced their campaigns for the Green Party's presidential nomination in 2016: Darryl Cherney, Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza Curry, William P. Kreml, Kent Mesplay, and Dr. Stein.

See also:

Over 100,000 People Want Jon Stewart to Host a Presidential Debate
By Maya Rhodan, Time, August 20, 2015

Green Party joins lawsuit for inclusion in the presidential debates
Press release: Green Party of the United States, June 23, 2015

Secret Control of the Presidential Debates
Project Censored, May 8, 2010

No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates
Book by George Farah, Seven Stories Press (2004)


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