The Association of State Green Parties

For immediate release
Wednesday, September 6, 2000

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Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator

Protests begin against Nader's exclusion from the debates

WASHINGTON, D.C. - While Vice President Al Gore and Gov. George W. Bush squabble over the time, place, and sponsorship of the presidentialdebates, many voters, including Green Party members and supporters of Green candidate Ralph Nader and other third party candidates, have begun to organize protests of the exclusion of Mr. Nader and other national candidates.  Protesters will challenge the legitimacy of the Commission on Public Debates (CPD), which is run by the Democratic and Republican Parties andwhich organizes the debates, setting rules that
shut out candidates from outside the two majorparties.

Organizers expect the debate protests to grow in momentum and size as the first debate approaches, on October 3 in Boston. A series of protest rallies in front of the CPD's Washington, D.C. office (1200 New Hampshire Avenue NW) will commence on Thursday, September 7 at noon, and will continue every Thursday throughout September to highlight the illegitimate and anti-democratic nature of the CPD. The protests have been called by The Open Debate Society, a committee organized by members of the Maryland Green Party, the D.C. Statehood Green Party, the Alliance for Democracy, the Washington Action Group, and others who see the Commission's policy as an assault on the democratic right of voters to be informed about the candidates whose names they'll see on most or all ballots across the U.S.

Demonstrations are also planned for Albany, New York (in front of Gore campaign headquarters) and Fort Collins, Colorado (in front of CPD funder Anheuser-Busch), on Saturday, September 9.

According to recent NBC polls, 64% of Americans want to see Ralph Nader in the presidential debates.  Over 60,000 people have signed an on-line petition ( demanding Mr. Nader's inclusion. Nader pulled a rubber chicken out of his pocket on a recent TV talk show to emphasize his opponents' unwillingness to debate him. The CPD itself is an affront to American democratic values that stress the right of voters to know about candidates.  According to The New York Times ("Democrats and Republicans Form Panel to Hold Presidential Debates," February 19, 1987), Democratic Party chair and CPD co-founder Paul Kirk said "he personally believed the panel should exclude third-party candidates from the debates."  The CPD was created and is controlled by the Democratic and Republican Parties, with funding from corporations like Anheuser-Busch and Phillip Morris, in order to control every detail of the debates.

Citing the CPD's anti-democratic control, the League of Women Voters pulled out of sponsoring
the debates in 1988, saying, "We have no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American people."

More information:

* On the CPD's policy:,

* Association of State Green Parties:

* Green Party Platform:

* Nader 2000 Campaign:

* Alliance for Democracy:

The Association of State Green Parties
PO Box 18452, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 232-0335

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