Green Party candidates win some debates, battle exclusion from others

Green Party candidates across the US win some debates, battle exclusion from others

• In Illinois race for the US Senate, Green candidate LeAlan Jones wins a debate from which he was excluded: SC Green Tom Clements challenges Sen. Jim DeMint’s refusal to debate; Calif. Green Laura Wells arrested for entering the gubernatorial debate site

• Video downloads and campaign news:
Green candidates in debates http://www.gp.org/candidates/debates.php
Greens on the campaign trail http://www.gp.org/elections/campaign-trail/index.php
Labor endorsements for Greens http://www.gp.org/candidates/labor-endorsements.php
More candidate videos: http://www.gp.org/candidates/videos.php

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party candidates across the US are shining in some debates — and protesting their exclusion from other debates.

On Tuesday, California Green gubernatorial candidate Laura Wells wasn’t only barred from the debate, she was arrested for trying to enter the debate site to sit in the audience, even though she had a ticket (http://www.laurawells.org/blog.html / http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=359 / video of Ms. Wells’ release: http://qik.com/video/15595155).

“This isn’t only about the right of Green and other alternative party candidates to participate in debates.  It’s about the right of voters to hear from all the candidates whose names will be on the ballot.  It’s about the right of voters to know which candidate best represents their interests,” said Nancy Allen, long-time Green debate activist.  “The use of poll results to include or exclude candidates, based on the likelihood of victory, assumes falsely that the main reason to vote for a candidate is because that candidate might win.”

Greens have accused some sponsors of setting debate rules that effectively allow only Democrats and Republicans, sometimes basing criteria for participation on polls that omit the names of Green and other alternative party candidates.  In New York, Green candidate Julia Willebrand, running for State Comptroller (http://www.juliaforcomptroller.com), was barred from a debate because of criteria that included results of a poll that didn’t list her name.

“If debate sponsors take polls seriously, they should recognize a recent Gallup Poll that showed widespread dissatisfaction with two-party politics (http://www.gallup.com/poll/143051/Americans-Renew-Call-Third-Party.aspx).  When debates are limited to Democrat and Republican, the real winners are the corporations that send them big campaign checks to buy political influence,” Sanda Everette, former co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and videographer at the protest against Ms. Well’s exclusion from the debate.

More news on Greens and debates:

• Tom Clements, Green candidate for the US Senate in South Carolina, has released a series of radio ads challenging incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint (R), whose has refused to debate him (article and ad downloads: http://clementsforsenate.com/?p=641).  Mr. Clements has gained national attention in a race against Sen. DeMint, an extreme rightwing ideologue, and Democrat Alvin Greene, whose campaign has collapsed after embarrassing revelations about his past.  (See “Democrats Step Out for Clements — Quietly” in the Columbia Free Times, Oct. 13-19, http://www.free-times.com/index.php?cat=1992912064017974&ShowArticle_ID=12241210102712618)

• Illinois Green gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney will face the Democratic and Republican opponents Thursday evening, Oct. 14, at WSIU-TV studios in a debate to be aired on PBS-TV and NPR radio stations statewide (http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/political-fix/article_59e00f6a-d711-11df-920d-0017a4a78c22.html).  Greens are protesting Mr. Whitney’s exclusion from debates sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Illinois, to be aired on WLS (ABC 7) on Oct. 20, and the City Club of Chicago, to be aired on WTTW (PBS 11) on Oct. 28.  (See “A Message to Illinois Voters from Rich Whitney” at http://www.gp.org/candidates/debates.php)

• When LeAlan Jones, Illinois Green for US Senate (http://lealanforsenate.org), was excluded from NBC’s Meet The Press debate on Oct. 10, he and Libertarian candidate Mike Labno appeared in a parallel debate answering the same questions on radio station WBEZ (blog and audio downloads: http://blogs.vocalo.org/shudzik/2010/10/the-election-file-kirk-giannoulias-debate-on-nbc-and-the-2-other-candidates-hash-it-out-in-wbezs-studios/39343).  According to political blogger Edward McClelland, “Jones won the debate even though he hadn’t been invited.” (http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Kirk-Giannoulias-debate-Jones-wins-104711379.html)

• Double-header on Monday, Oct. 18: Jesse Johnson (http://jesse4ussenate.org) of the West Virginia Mountain Party (affiliated with the Green Party) will participate in a four-way debate for US Senate candidates (http://www.wvmetronews.com/index.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=39702); New York Green gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins (http://www.howiehawkins.com) will join his opponents in a televised debate at Hofstra University on Long Island (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20101007006884/en/News-12-Newsday-Hofstra-University-Partner-Bring).

• In the first televised debate for a statewide office in Arkansas that includes a Green nominee, Arkansas Green candidate John Gray, running for the US Senate (http://www.johngrayforussenate.com), participated in a four-way debate on Wednesday, Oct. 13 (http://www.ballot-access.org/2010/09/14/arkansas-to-hold-4-candidate-u-s-senate-debate / http://arkansasnews.com/2010/10/13/u-s-senate-candidates-meet-in-four-way-debate/).  See Mr. Gray’s video “Think Outside The Box”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1teP2FG0FOs

• Green-Rainbow Party candidate Jill Stein participates in Massachusetts gubernatorial debates:
More articles, audio links at http://www.jillstein.org
Response to exclusion from a debate sponsored by the Media Consortium: http://www.jillstein.org/content/stein-campaign-response-debate-exclusion

See also:

• The Green Party’s debate page for video clips featuring five Arizona Green candidates in debates sponsored by the Arizona Clean Elections Commission: http://www.gp.org/candidates/debates.php

• “Duane Roberts, Green Party US Senate Candidate Against Carly Fiorina And Barbara Boxer, Assails KPCC For Censoring Him From Debate” by Jill Stewart, LA Weekly blog, Sept. 29, http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/election-2010-1/duane-roberts-senate-furious-k/


Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
• Green candidate database and campaign information: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml
• Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml
• Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
• Green Party ballot access page http://www.gp.org/2008-elections
• Green Party Livestream Channel http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus

Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States (Fall 2010 issue now online)

Dave Schwab

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