The Association of State Green Parties
For immediate release
Wednesday, September 6, 2000
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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
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 (http://green.votenader.org/cgi-bin/petition-sigs.cgi) 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
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