OAI DBA “FairDebates.Com”

SavethedebatesTHE OUR AMERICA INITIATIVE LAUNCHES DBA – FAIRDEBATES.COM

In a press release received by IPR earlier today, The Our America Initiative has announced it has created a new DBA (Doing Business As) subsidiary website, www.fairdebates.com.

“FairDebates is a DBA of Our America Initiative which is a 501(c)(4) political advocacy committee that may receive unlimited donations from both individual and corporate donors. Contributions and gifts to FairDebates are not deductible for Federal income tax purposes. FairDebates, although not a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates, is proud to help finance the lawsuit through its fundraising efforts and to support the plaintiffs and their lawyers in other ways. ©2015 Fair Debates. All Rights Reserved. A project of Our America Initiative.” Source: http://www.fairdebates.com.

The release states:

“June 24, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT — Ramping up the fight to insure that the 2016 general election presidential debates include all qualified candidates, the Our America Initiative has launched a new website, FairDebates.com, to provide up-to-date information about the debates and opportunities to become engaged in the effort.

“The Our America Initiative is a nonprofit advocacy organization that supports civil liberties, economic freedom and smaller government. The organization is coordinating a legal challenge to Republican and Democrat (sic) control of nationally-televised presidential debates. Former New Mexico Governor and 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson serves as Our America’s Honorary Chairman.

“Announcing the launch of the FairDebates.com, Our America senior advisor Ron Nielson said,

“Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans today believe that neither the Republican nor the Democratic party represents them. Yet, the private Commission on Presidential Debates — created by the two major parties — has created rules for participation in their debates that make it virtually impossible for third party or independent candidates to appear on the national debate stage. That is just wrong.  FairDebates.com will serve as a gathering place on the web where concerned Americans, activists, and supporters of fair, inclusive debates can stay informed, learn what they can do, and become active participants in this critical effort to give Americans the opportunity to see and hear all the qualified candidates for President, not just the Republican and Democrat (sic) nominees.”

“The OUR America Initiative is a 501(c)(4) political advocacy committee and may receive unlimited donations from both individual and corporate donors. Contributions and gifts to Our America Initiative are not deductible for Federal income tax purposes.

“Our America Initiative PO Box 1985, Salt Lake City, UT 84114  1-800-662-9601

Contact: Joe Hunter
Media@OurAmericaInitiative.com
(801) 303-7924

### – END of Press Release

The website, www.fairdebates.com, establishes the standard for “qualified” as ” those candidates “on enough state ballots to get elected as the President of the United States by the Electoral College.”

The website states that: “The official-sounding and acting Commission on Presidential Debates is, in reality, a private organization created by the Republican and Democrat (sic) parties and funded by special interests whose goal is to protect the status quo.”

The website lists an address for FairDebates as:

“10 West Broadway Suite 500 Salt Lake City, Utah 84101”

This is identical to the address on the website for Chris Warton, JD.

IPR readers who wish to contribute to (“invest in”) the FairDebates efforts may do so by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover) through Authorizenet, via PayPal, or by Fundly HERE, or by landmail to “Our America Initiative dba Fair Debates, Fair Debates, P.O. Box 1985, Salt Lake City, Utah  84110-1985.  Join the fight for Fair Debates!  Support the excluded 2012 candidates – Jill Stein and Gary Johnson – their campaigns, the Green and the Libertarian parties to fight for Fair Debates for ALL future presidential candidates.  Your donation to help fund the CPD lawsuit could be the single most important contribution you make to our future in the United States of America.”

At the time of this article (5PM EST 24 June 2015) Fundly reported: “$9,841.00 raised from 199 donors with 21 days left.”

IPR readers who wish to sign a petition may do so HERE.  “With the help of concerned individuals like yourself, FairDebates.com which is a DBA of Our America Initiative although not a plaintiff, is proud to help finance the lawsuits and advocacy activities to change the Presidential debates through its fundraising efforts and to support the plaintiffs and their lawyers in other ways.”

The website also urges readers to spread the word by:

“Following us on social media and sharing our posts.  Talk about it. Most Americans still don’t know the presidential debate game is rigged, how it’s rigged or who is rigging it.  Invite your friends here to FairDebates.com to learn more.

“Volunteer to talk to others about FairDebates.com at events or meetings.

“Join the Fair Debates action groups around Facebook for other ideas on how to spread the word.

“Reach beyond social media by:

“Contributing information in the comments section on relative articles around the web. Setting up a google alert for “Commission on Presidential Debates” will help you stay up to date on the most recent articles to comment on.

“Inviting others to visit FairDebates.com to learn more.

“Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Explain how the official Presidential Debates should include all electable candidates, why the polling criteria is unfair, and how they can help compel the CPD to remove the polling criteria. Invite them to visit this website to learn more.

“Write the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  Tell them you want Fair Debates which include all candidates who achieve the ballot access required to mathematically win the Presidential Election.  Explain how this can be achieved by simply removing the bizarre polling criteria that requires candidates to achieve a score in polls that don’t even include their names.  http://www.fec.gov/pages/contact.shtml

“Write the CPD.  Considering that the two parties have been controlling this game via the CPD since the 1980’s, it’s unlikely they’ll change just because you say so, but you could let the CPD know that you’re on to their game and you don’t like it.  They are taking comments here through July 10, 2015:  http://debates.org/feedback-form

“Learn the history of the Presidential Debates and share it with others.  Sometimes people just need to see that something has been going on way too long and then they’ll decide it’s time to get involved.

“Volunteer to talk to others about FairDebates.com at events or meetings.  (The website offers an online form to tell how you would like to help.)

“Distribute information.  You are welcome to download and distribute the self print information  (also this) to help spread the word!”

ED NOTE: Regarding the (sic) notations above, see, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democrat_Party_(epithet)

24 thoughts on “OAI DBA “FairDebates.Com”

  1. Joseph Buchman Post author

    I like their list of things to do to support the effort to have inclusive debates. Links to the CPD and FEC feedback forms, social media, learning the history of the debates, the printable flyers — all good stuff.

  2. Jill Pyeatt

    Good article, Joe! I particularly like your explanation of “sic” at the bottom.

  3. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Jill,

    IMO calling it the “DemocRAT Party” rather than the proper “Democratic Party” just positions the libertarian brand as more TEA party/Republican than the left-leaning Libertarian orientation I come from (radical voluntaryist/anti-war). I also know this is something Joe Hunter has been corrected on in the past, but as he has a Romney for President bumper sticker on his car (or at least did during the 2012 campaign), I’m not surprised. I was pleased however to see Ron quoted using the correct, non-pejorative, term in his statement.

    That said, is this new website/DBA really necessary before this suit can be filed? How much more revision does it need, by how many more cooks in the kitchen (attorneys in the library), and most importantly how much more fundraising before they file it? And what really was wrong with the first version filed back in 2012, then moved to CA? Judge Gray on the Coast to Coast interview that I posted about here mentioned only the need to change the venue back to DC, not to rewrite the entire thing from scratch (which Rocky indicated was needed when I met with him in February (at a public bookstore gathering in SLC where he made some terrific anti-NSA remarks which I transcribed and posted here).

    So is it a careful preparation, efficiently executed; or is it the scam for fundraising for overhead that others have claimed here? Honestly I don’t know. I hope to know. Hope Alicia and others will be ultimately transparent about the process once it no longer is a risk (if it even is) to their “strategy” — if they have one. . . .

    But really, a new DBA?!?! Really?

  4. paulie

    IMO calling it the “DemocRAT Party” rather than the proper “Democratic Party” just positions the libertarian brand as more TEA party/Republican than the left-leaning Libertarian orientation I come from (radical voluntaryist/anti-war). I also know this is something Joe Hunter has been corrected on in the past, but as he has a Romney for President bumper sticker on his car (or at least did during the 2012 campaign), I’m not surprised. I was pleased however to see Ron quoted using the correct, non-pejorative, term in his statement.

    Agreed!

    That said, is this new website/DBA really necessary before this suit can be filed?

    The website is not absolutely necessary for the lawsuit to be filed, but the lawsuit is at least in part a part of a public education campaign and so is the website, so it helps to have the website as an easy reference when the lawsuit is covered.

    How much more revision does it need, by how many more cooks in the kitchen (attorneys in the library),

    Dunno. They want to get it right, but I understand your point.

    and most importantly how much more fundraising before they file it?

    As of about two months ago the answer was that they were about a third of the way towards a goal of 850k. If “a few weeks” means within the next couple of months, I am guessing that the goal has been revised downwards. It’s also possible, but less likely, that there was a massive infusion of funds in the meantime.

    And what really was wrong with the first version filed back in 2012, then moved to CA?

    A question better asked of the attorneys.

    Judge Gray on the Coast to Coast interview that I posted about here mentioned only the need to change the venue back to DC, not to rewrite the entire thing from scratch (which Rocky indicated was needed when I met with him in February (at a public bookstore gathering in SLC where he made some terrific anti-NSA remarks which I transcribed and posted here).

    Perhaps they discovered other issues with it subsequent to the venue issue.

    So is it a careful preparation, efficiently executed; or is it the scam for fundraising for overhead that others have claimed here?

    Anything is possible, but I haven’t seen any actual evidence of a scam, only conjecture. It would seem to be a strange scam indeed, if Ron is in fact continuously losing money/subsidizing it as he has told me. I don’t have factual evidence that this is true or false, but it rings true based on what I have seen of OAI fundraising.

    Hope Alicia and others will be ultimately transparent about the process once it no longer is a risk

    Me too.

    But really, a new DBA?!?! Really?

    Why is that a big deal, or even an issue at all?

  5. Jill Pyeatt

    I’d like to know how long this new dba plan has been going on. Was it possibly in response to another group filing a lawsuit before they did? I also am not sure why they really needed another name.

  6. paulie

    It’s a good name for a website. It has redirected to a subpage on the OAI website for quite a while, but the new site is much bigger and better.

  7. langa

    Personally, I support using as many pejorative terms as possible for both the Rats and the Cons!

  8. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Ianga,

    Personally I support a Libertarian Party that is distinct from the Republicans. Trashing only Democrats, along the lines of Barr/Root; or the TEA Party or having had only current Republicans as our former candidates is doing a lot of damage (Johnson, Gray, Barr, Root, Ron Paul . . . ). Where are the former Libertarians who are not Democrats? Leaves the Libertarians branded as just a bunch of Republicans with a gay niece and a kid who smokes pot. . . .

  9. langa

    Personally I support a Libertarian Party that is distinct from the Republicans.

    We should be totally distinct from both major parties. Otherwise, we just perpetuate the Establishment lie that there are meaningful differences between them, and therefore we implicitly encourage people to accept the “lesser of two evils” mentality.

  10. Joi

    That is so weird to me that “democrat” vs “democratic” is some kind of insult or something libertarians do. I grew up in a “democrat” leaning town where people called themselves “Democrats and Republicans” and am even a left-leaning libertarian — yet I have never heard anything about this bizarre adnoun dilemma!

    Roundabout the subject of LP candidates – does anyone appreciate that our party’s Presidential primaries aren’t publicly funded? We save the public millions of dollars by funding our own party business. The other two parties let their voters cast ballots for a bunch of candidates who have been pre-popularized by skewed polls making them think they really wanted to nominate the “one who can win”.

    I participated in the Republican primary in hopes of electing Ron Paul and stood in line with a bunch of voters who were voting for Romney “because he could win”. So I asked some of those people to convince me to vote for Romney based on some other reason … and they couldn’t do it. I re-registered Libertarian the day after I voted in the Republican-ic primary.

    Our elections are manipulated from popular polls to primaries to the general election. Can we all at least agree that fair debates would be a great thing for the American public to see instead of picking at what could amount to a typo made by the web designer?

  11. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Joi,

    It’s not a typo by a web designer. It is a consistent intentional use by their media guru, a long-standing Republican. I’d rather not have Republican loyalists working on Libertarian candidates’ campaigns, nor do I want a Libertarian Party that is branded as/seen as some branch of the Republicans (aka the Wayne Root/Bob Barr/Rand Paul version). Does that help?

  12. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Joi,

    Great to have OAI’s media release specialist here! Welcome!

    How utterly consistent of you, 3+ “years of typos” in Joe Hunter’s pro-republicans, anti-democrats “libertarian” press releases! Wow.

    Not the main point here, but good job creating the distraction. Get a style guide if you think the sics were inappropriate.

    Meanwhile, as you are an insider/employee — is there a lawsuit about to be filed, and how much more time and money is OAI, FairDebates, etc going to take first? Judge Gray said there would be refunds to donors if the suit is not filed. Is that true?

  13. paulie

    How about the DemoRATS and the RepubliCONS?

    Suggests that we are “Republicans who really mean it,” i.e. the Republicans are running a “con” in not really living up to their stated ideals. Of course, this is only partially true on some of the issues, and no less true of the Democrats. If I want to pejoratively refer to Republicans, “RepubliKlan” comes to mind. Although the larger waves of the KKK were Democrats, nowadays the southern conservatism – still racist, but in a more subtle way now – of which the KKK was the leading edge has gone over to the Republican Party, and has come to be increasingly dominant within that party on a national level.

    LibertarIANS? What is an IAN anyway? Oh, wait . . . AYNs!!!

    I’ve heard lots of pejoratives for Libertarian over the years: losertarian, loonytarian, libertaryan, etc, etc. Some people confuse us with everythig from (“progressive”) liberals to libertines to librarians to Liberians. Lots of people confuse us with what the Tea Party has turned into. There are still some people who think we have something to do with Lyndon Larouche.

    Personally, I support using as many pejorative terms as possible for both the Rats and the Cons!

    Depends on when and where. I wouldn’t recommend doing so in a press release.

    Personally I support a Libertarian Party that is distinct from the Republicans.

    We should be totally distinct from both major parties.

    I agree. I don’t think anyone has suggested, nor is there any danger of, us being anything less than distinct from Democrats, but there are frequent attempts to blur the line between (l)ibertarians and conservatives/Republicans by too many people.

    That is so weird to me that “democrat” vs “democratic” is some kind of insult or something libertarians do. I grew up in a “democrat” leaning town where people called themselves “Democrats and Republicans” and am even a left-leaning libertarian — yet I have never heard anything about this bizarre adnoun dilemma!

    People are Democrats, the party is Democratic. “Democrat Party” in an official release is just a bit shy of using a term like Republiklan Party in one, but it does send a signal that we prefer Republicans. I wouldn’t fault you for not having heard that before, but now you have.

    Roundabout the subject of LP candidates – does anyone appreciate that our party’s Presidential primaries aren’t publicly funded?

    Yes!

    Our elections are manipulated from popular polls to primaries to the general election. Can we all at least agree that fair debates would be a great thing for the American public to see instead of picking at what could amount to a typo made by the web designer?

    I would hope so. But please don’t read too much into IPR comment section nitpicking; it’s something that is frequently done here. I’m more impressed that Joe, who had a bitter falling out with Ron quite a while back and usually has little if anything good to say about anything Ron is associated with these days, actually said

    I like their list of things to do to support the effort to have inclusive debates. Links to the CPD and FEC feedback forms, social media, learning the history of the debates, the printable flyers — all good stuff.

    It was one of those things that make me smile, like when Joe Wendt sent out an email urging people to register to vote Libertarian in Florida 🙂

    Great to have OAI’s media release specialist here! Welcome!

    How utterly consistent of you, 3+ “years of typos” in Joe Hunter’s pro-republicans, anti-democrats “libertarian” press releases! Wow.

    Not the main point here, but good job creating the distraction. Get a style guide if you think the sics were inappropriate.

    Meanwhile, as you are an insider/employee — is there a lawsuit about to be filed, and how much more time and money is OAI, FairDebates, etc going to take first? Judge Gray said there would be refunds to donors if the suit is not filed. Is that true?

    Joe, perhaps you are mistaking who Joi is. Joi is a web designer, social media/graphics person, and (as far as I know) volunteer, not an employee. Joi is not Joe Hunter, if that’s what you were thinking.

  14. Joi

    Joseph Buchman,

    Slow down – you jump to conclusions so quickly you’re making me worry about your ability to be a fair journalist.

    I’m not an insider, I’m a supporter; and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this project because the notion of fair debates means a lot to me. I asked for the chance to help develop this website so I could demonstrate to others what I learned last time around.

    The lawsuit will be filed in July, just as the website states. The more money Americans are willing to invest in this fight, the better the chances of success. The funds will be used to support the lawsuit and the public awareness campaign – which is just as important since, as I’m sure you’ve noticed – all the other groups who are talking about changing the debates are avoiding the topic of candidate suppression. There would be no reason for anyone to ask for a refund – in fact, it’s a great time to increase one’s investment in this historical fight because the public campaign is taking off. People do care, they do want to know more, and there are so many more people we need to reach who aren’t on social media or the web. In fact, the audience who counts most on the debates to make their voting decisions is the older audience who is less likely to be found on the internet.

    I worked way too hard to get my candidate in the debates last election and I learned firsthand how badly the game is rigged. I wrote too many letters and spent far too much time trying to be “the news that wasn’t in the news” to give up this fight after all that.

    It’s not rocket science. It’s basic math. Stein & Johnson were excluded from 4/5 of the polls that were used to determine debate inclusion. No name in poll = no score = no participation. And even if more of the general election polls did start including the third party candidate names more often, they would still be handicapped next to the “scores” and name recognition the D and R candidates acquire going through their primaries.

    Eliminating the polling criteria is the fair, sensible thing to do. Any candidate who manages to achieve the ballot access to be mathematically able to win the election doesn’t need another hurdle.

  15. Joseph Buchman Post author

    “Joe, perhaps you are mistaking who Joi is. Joi is a web designer, social media/graphics person, and (as far as I know) volunteer, not an employee. Joi is not Joe Hunter, if that’s what you were thinking.”

    No, just thinking this is an error that goes back for years, and is not a recent “typo.” That there is, or might be, or we might want to be vigilant for a bias toward bashing one of the two major parties more than the other — you know bashing the one with no former LP POTUS candidates while protecting the one with Rand, Ted, and Ron, and former LINOs like Wayne and Bob and . . . we’ll see
    .

  16. Joi

    Joe,

    It’s becoming really embarrassing that I made this mistake – but I had no idea this was a major deal. I do now, and I’ve corrected it wherever I made the typos. I am not a Libertarian that came from the right and I was oblivious to this “insult”; but now I know and I will be more careful in all my references in the future. Thank you for alerting me to the problem.

    If you pay any attention to the national LP facebook page you would see the LP is being criticized for bashing the right and celebrating successes on the left. It’s difficult being in the middle of a political war zone. Personally, I think statists come in all colors and I’ll call out anyone who’s violating the ZAP – even if it’s someone on my own “team” – so I don’t think I can be accused of any bias.

  17. Andy Craig

    The whole Democrat/Democratic thing is absolutely idiotic, and only politically-informed hyper-partisans (like the fine folks who hang out on IPR 😉 ) are really even aware of it. It flies straight over the heads of the general public, and as such isn’t something to be too terribly worried about. I definitely wouldn’t feel the need to add a [sic] after it in a press release, particularly when it’s not known if it was used deliberately or not.

    It’s nice to be strictly grammatical, where Democratic is the adjective and Democrat is the noun, but only Republicans could make up an insult that isn’t really an insult, and get the Democrats to start hating it and throwing a fit about it just because the Republicans all started using it. There’s something poetic about it, if it wasn’t so damned stupid. There are lots of parties out there whose names take the form of [Noun] Party, and before it became a supposed slight there are plenty of historical examples of Democrats using the form “Democrat Party”

    And yes, some Democrats will absolutely rage out on anybody they see using the phrase “Democrat Party.” Which just shows me they’re as gullible for being manipulated by Rush Limbaugh as his fans are.

  18. Andy Craig

    [sic] in a quote should only be used to clarify possible ambiguity. Not to make an editorial comment.

  19. paulie

    It’s becoming really embarrassing that I made this mistake – but I had no idea this was a major deal.

    It shouldn’t be too embarrassing. We all make mistakes all the time and this is not the sort of thing everyone knows.

    If you pay any attention to the national LP facebook page you would see the LP is being criticized for bashing the right and celebrating successes on the left.

    That may be because the paid ads to bring more likes to the page are targeted at tea party / conservative groups. I’ve asked before who is in charge of making the decision about who those ads are targeted at and have not received a response as far as I know.

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