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Coalition for October Debate Alternatives to hold Third Party Presidential candidates debate in Nashville, October 6

CODA press release

9.23.08 Nashville, TN: The Coalition for October Debate Alternatives (CODA) announced today the Presidential Candidate’s Alternative Debate to take place October 6th, in Nashville, Tennessee. The debate is open to all third party candidates for President in the United States as well as the major party nominees. The debate, which is scheduled to take place on the campus of Vanderbilt University on Monday, October 6th will feature several Presidential Candidates who have confirmed attendance including Brad Lyttle of the US Pacifist Party, Charles Jay of the Boston Tea Party, Frank McEnulty of the New American Independence Party and Brian Moore of the Socialist Party. Other candidates who have expressed interest in attending the debate include Gloria LaRiva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party.

The debate, which is being organized by CODA has been in the making for several months and is scheduled to take place on Monday, October 6th at 7:00pm, one day prior to the Presidential Debates which are happening at Belmont University in Nashville on October 7th. CODA says that many of the Presidential candidates have been excluded from attending the Belmont debate.

In a recent release to the press CODA indicated that is was organizing the alternative debate because it believed that voters deserve to hear from all the candidates if they are going to make an informed choice at the ballot box, ” While we want to hear what the major party candidates have to say on issues related to the war, health care, the economy, gas prices, the future direction of the military, civil liberties and the environment, we do not believe that most issues of concern to American voters will be touched by the Democrat-Republican debate. That is why we are organizing an alternative debate so that voters in Nashville, Tennessee and beyond may be informed of all their choices as they participate in America’s electoral process.”

The general public and the media is invited to attend this event, which will begin at 7pm on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The moderator for the event will be Bruce Barry, a professor at the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt.

Chris Lugo, of the Coalition for October Debate Alternatives, said that the Democratic and Republican candidates have also been invited to the event, but have not indicated an interest in attending, “We believe that voters should make a fully informed choice about who they vote for and we do not believe this is possible if they are only hearing from two candidates. We have invited the Barack Obama and John McCain in the interest of fairness, but we are intending to highlight this alternative debate as the most egalitarian possible event by including all the candidates and promoting this as an event to which everyone is invited.”

Presidential Candidate’s Alternative Debate

Vanderbilt University
Monday October 6th

Candidate’s Debate 7:00pm – 9:00pm

for more information contact:

Chris Lugo 615-593-0304

Elizabeth Barger 931-964-2119

Eric Schecter 615-414-4572

Candidate and Moderator:

Bruce Barry (Moderator)

Excerpt: Bruce Barry is Professor of Management and Sociology at Vanderbilt University, where he teaches courses in business ethics, organizational behavior, negotiation, media and politics, and the sociology of media and technology. He writes about business ethics, workplace rights, and public policy issues at the intersection of business and society. His recent book is Speechless: The Erosion of Free Expression in the American Workplace. He has also taught at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Boston Tea Party

Charles Jay for America
1862 S. Scarlet Maple Lane
Elkhart, IN 46514

Excerpt: Charles Jay (born 1960) is the Presidential nominee of the United States Boston Tea Party in the 2008 election. He was the presidential nominee of the Personal Choice Party in the 2004 election. A former member of the U.S. Libertarian Party, he stepped down from the race for the Vice Presidential nomination to the 2004 ballot to run for President under the Personal Choice Party banner. Jay has a B.A. in business from the University of Miami.

Socialist Party USA

Brian Moore for President Committee —
P.O. Box 5742 Spring Hill, Florida 34611
352-686-9936 —

Excerpt: The Socialist Party strives to establish a radical democracy that places people’s lives under their own control — a non-racist, classless, feminist socialist society where working people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically-controlled public agencies; where full employment is realized for everyone who wants to work; where workers have the right to form unions freely, and to strike and engage in other forms of job actions; and where the production of society is used for the benefit of all humanity, not for the private profit of a few.

US Pacifist Party

Brad Lyttle
Tel: 773-324-0654
Fax: 773-324-6426

Excerpt: The United States Pacifist Party (USPP) rejects military force as a means of resolving international disputes. USPP members believe that military force violates the moral principles of the world’s great humanitarian religions and philosophies, and is a “Faustian bargain,” that may achieve short range political objectives, but only at the cost of long-term catastrophe for the human species. They believe that nonviolent resistance, as developed by Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others, and massive economic aid programs to eliminate poverty worldwide, are appropriate and effective ways to resist aggression and tyranny.

New American Independent Party

Frank McEnulty for President
National Committee
PO Box 691
Los Alamitos, CA 90720-0691

Excerpt: The current tax code is way too complicated and getting more complicated all the time. My opinion is that the country needs to move towards a simpler, taxation structure to not only make it easier for people to pay their taxes, but also to make it easier to determine when people aren’t paying their fair share. At this time, I also do not believe it is necessary to lower or increase taxes. The current level of tax revenues is fair and necessary given the present needs of the country. I do not believe in increasing taxes for two reasons: First, in the long run, increased taxes are often counterproductive to overall revenue. Second, increased taxes only lead to increased government spending and I believe the Federal Government already has plenty of our money to spend.

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  1. Eternaverse Eternaverse October 3, 2008

    Does anyone know if this is this going to be on c-span? If so, when?

  2. Spence Spence September 28, 2008

    I for one, hope Barr attends, even though it’s a snowball’s chance in hell with the asshole he’s been. Perhaps showing up there will destroy him once and for all.

  3. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli Post author | September 28, 2008

    Why do you say possibly Wyoming? What’s the boggle?

    I don’t have the link handy, but I went through a site that lists each state’s write-in vote rules, and there was an ambiguity with Wyoming. You can find the link at one of Sandra Hamilton’s articles at, #4 I think, which we also covered here.

  4. JimDavidson JimDavidson September 28, 2008

    We could, Paulie, and that would be fun. Of course, we have to make the absurd assumption that any votes are counted accurately in any states. But, that’s presumably just as true where Charles is actually on the ballot, especially in Florida which has particularly deserved notoriety in this respect.

    So, let’s do that thing! Alabama for 9, Delaware for 3, Iowa for 7, NH for 4, Rhode Island for 4, Vermont for 3, and Wyoming for 3. (Why do you say possibly Wyoming? What’s the boggle?) So that’s 33 more electoral votes. Putting those with the existing ballot states (47) and the recent write-in registrations (13) brings us to 93 possible electoral votes, which, of course, won’t all go to Charles (if any do, I’d be very pleased, but surprised).

    I note from the USA Today analysis
    that many of these states (Florida, Tennessee, Colorado, Montana, Arizona, NH, Iowa) are battleground states, not yet clearly going to one party or the other for the presidential race. So, the significance of third party candidates increases, given the potential for spoiling.

    And who doesn’t like spoiling things for the major parties?

  5. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli Post author | September 27, 2008

    According to a site that catalogs write-in vote requirements, AL, DE, IA, NH, RI, VT and possibly WY do not require registration for write in candidates. So you can theoretically add them to your total.

  6. JimDavidson JimDavidson September 27, 2008

    Chris, thanks for your help in organising this fine event, and thanks for inviting our party’s candidate, Charles Jay. Charles has official ballot status in Colorado (9 electoral votes), Florida (27), and Tennessee (11). Arizona (10), and Montana (3), where our volunteers have registered Charles as a write-in candidate bring the total to 60, so far. We continue to work on write-in registration in various states.

  7. Chris Lugo Chris Lugo September 26, 2008


    Thanks for sharing your opinions. As an organizer of the debate I agree that it would be more impressive if the more prominent third party candidates would attend, but the fact is that we worked very hard to try to get them to come but they didn’t come.

    Frankly I think the third party candidates should be organizing these events themselves. I am just an ordinary person who thought it was a good idea to have an alternative debate in a city where there was going to be a mainstream debate. Obviously I don’t have the resources available to myself as an individual that someone like Barr or Nader has.

    I think there should be all sorts of alternative debates going on of different sorts. These people are running for office and they deserve to have many opportunities to express their platforms.

    Chris Lugo
    Nashville, Tennessee

  8. JimDavidson JimDavidson September 24, 2008

    It is very amusing to see all these people insist that they know how this debate should be organised. Happily, none of you get to choose who gets invited and who is going to appear. So, watch the debate or don’t, as you please. Pretending that you know better how to organise the event than the hosts of the event is a bit rude.

  9. millerpolitics millerpolitics September 24, 2008

    As you may know, I have hosted several debates for lesser known candidates on the internet including one between McEnulty, Moore and Jay but for a debate that will air on C-Span I agree that there should be stricter rules as to who can attend. No offense to these and other minor candidates, but what is the point of using probably the only third party debate to air on television that is filled with candidates that the overwhelming majority of Americans won’t even see on the ballot?

    The candidates in a C-Span debate should be on enough ballots to theoretically win the electoral college. Those candidates are: Barr, Baldwin, Nader and McKinney.

    But if a third party debate were held like the way I mentioned this year it would likely be between just Baldwin and McKinney since Barr thinks of himself as a better candidate than those two and Nader skipped out on the debate in 2004 among the third party candidates and would likely do that again this year.

  10. Steve LaBianca Steve LaBianca September 24, 2008

    Coming Back to the LP // Sep 24, 2008 at 11:02 am

    The fact is, the C4L should have sponsored a 6 way debate, inviting all candidates who were on the ballot in enough states to win in the EC. Had Dr. Paul sponsored such an event, he could have evolved into a respected statesman. He could have paid for nationwide broadcast and all 6 would have attended.

    Keep dreaming, along with Barr, “Coming Back”.

    If Barr wouldn’t attend Ron Paul’s National Press Club press conference, nor any LP State convention debates, nor any of the “unofficial” LP Convention debates, it is HIGHLY unlikely that Barr would attend this dreamed up debate.

    Barr has stated that he won’t debate Nader, which means he wouldn’t debate any other non-major party candidate either. Again, get it through your heads folks . . . Barr think he belongs in the same league with the Democrats and Republican candidates, and only those candidates!

  11. Coming Back to the LP Coming Back to the LP September 24, 2008

    Many people in the LP seem to intend that the LP remain just a debating society.

    If you aim to be a debating society, then that is what you will be. So, fininshing first or second in a debating event is just fine.

    But, if you want to smash the evil State that is controlling and destroying the lives of innocent Americans and others around the globe, then you have to aim at smashing the evil State.

    It’s time to build a real LIBERTARIAN Party, dedicated to Liberty and to winning. We need to organize, get serious, build a real grassroots party from the bottom up, with help from the top down, recruit and educate, grow, win, recruit, educate, grow and win some more, take control of the state away from the fascist-socialists, smash the damn state, declare victory, set up limits on government to prevent or at least slow its growth in the future, and then go home.

    You hit what you aim at.

  12. WinstonSmith WinstonSmith September 24, 2008

    This debate is a joke. None of the major 3rd party candidates should show up. You can’t have everyone with .000001% of the vote getting into debates. There has to be a threshold somewhere.

    Why would candidates who have actually worked to gain national recognition even think about getting up there with these people? It would do nothing but hurt them.

  13. jre jre September 24, 2008

    In 2004, when Mr. Badnarik could not make it to the third-party debate in Johnson City, Gary Nolan who is a long time activist and who lost the nomination to Micheal in Atlanta, jumped in his car and drove like 8 hours or something just to be there to rep. the Lib. Party. Now that is what I call dedication to your party and the Liberty movement. Was George Bush or John Kerry there….no, but it was still important enough to him to show up and represent what we stand for. That night was really special, because
    eventhough we were outnumbered by about 7-8 other “socialist” style parties we still placed second in the instant runoff voting. There is
    nothing quite as beautiful as getting to have it out with the socialists, in front of a packed crowd and let me tell ya Gary “represented” quite nicely. You can’t join the battle of ideas if you are not on the stage. People who have only watched a debate between the repugs and the dems have never really seen a debate.

  14. Coming Back to the LP Coming Back to the LP September 24, 2008

    Mike Gillis // Sep 24, 2008 at 1:20 am


    Not only Barr should ignore this. Nader, McKinney and Baldwin should skip it too.”

    This is correct, of course, but many posters are so anti-Barr that they choose not to see it.

    This debate is an insult to the candidates and parties that have made the effort to get on the ballot in enough states to be elected. They should not attend.

    The fact is, the C4L should have sponsored a 6 way debate, inviting all candidates who were on the ballot in enough states to win in the EC. Had Dr. Paul sponsored such an event, he could have evolved into a respected statesman. He could have paid for nationwide broadcast and all 6 would have attended.

    But, instead of remaining a neutral, independent voice of reason, Dr. Paul first tried to boost his own importance on the cheap, with his silly press conference. Then he dove straight into the cespool of the Theocratic Muck Party. That stink will never wash off.

    There are hundreds of candidates for President who are on zero ballots. These are the people who will benefit from attending this losers debate. I hope they all go.

    Barr, Nader, McKinney, Baldwin, Obama and McCain would be foolish to attend, as a matter of strategy.

    One exception: Obama could benefit from attending in a last minute surprise. He could show up, be the start of the show, everyone would thank and respect him – because they wouldn’t know what else to do.

    This would not work for any of the other 5 EC majority vote qualified candidates.

  15. Steve LaBianca Steve LaBianca September 24, 2008

    All talk of Barr skipping the event because it is not restricted enough, is moot.

    It matters little if the “invited” third party field is narrowed to those with a mathematical chance to win the election or any other criteria.

    Barr will not participate in ANY debate, except the “official” Presidential Debates Commission events, with the “majors”. All of this is a direct result of Barr’s hyper-inflated ego that he is “one of the big boys”. HAHA!!!

    Is there any wonder why Barr didn’t “declare” for the LP nomination until after ALL the LP State conventions were completed (along with their presidential debates and forums)?

    Is there any wonder why Barr (THE ONLY CANDIDATE!) didn’t participate in any of the “unofficial” debates organized for the LP delegates to hear the candidates, individually and together so that they could make an informed decision based upon each of the candidates likenesses and differences?

    Is it any wonder why the Barr campaign is sinking like a rock, floundering, flapping away like a fish out of water, like a kid who has been slapped for being bad?

    Some want to blame Shane Cory, Russ Verney, Richard Viguerie, etc. Certainly these non-libertarians have input into the ineptnerss of this horrible campaign, but as Harry Truman said, “the buck stops here” . . . so the fault lies with Barr himself. He is quite frankly, the worst candidate the LP has ever had, and this is the worst campaign since the Bergland campaign in 1984. (note – the Bergland campaign was underwhelming, but Bergland himself is/was a principled libertarian).

    In the final analysis, Barr is too pig-headed to realize that he is a minor player, who simply “wishes” he was a “big boy”.

    Keep dreaming Bob.

  16. Jimmy Clifton Jimmy Clifton September 24, 2008

    Hopefully C-SPAN II will broadcast this debate.

  17. Catholic Trotskyist Catholic Trotskyist September 24, 2008

    Mike Gillis is being quite hypocritical here. in the long run, 1% of support isn’t really much different than 0.1% support. It’s still not enough to win. Brian Moore, the Pacifist Party person, etc. have much better ideas than Nader, Barr, McKinney and Baldwin.

  18. Mike Gillis Mike Gillis September 24, 2008


    Not only Barr should ignore this. Nader, McKinney and Baldwin should skip it too.

  19. Catholic Trotskyist Catholic Trotskyist September 24, 2008

    Guess what, Mike? Third party candidates are nuts with no support, except for Catholic Trotskyist Party of America candidate Barack H. Obama. Independence Party of New York candidate John S. McCain III, another third party candidate, is a nut but has a lot of support. Ralph Criminal Nader is, for obvious reasons, a criminal. Bob Barr is a nut with barely any support. Cynthia McKinney and Chuck Baldwin are heroic people with not enough support. Brian Moore and the Pacifist Party guy are good people but have no support because even they understand that this is the year of Catholic trotskyism and the Obama movement.

    The Lord is my light and my salvation. Of whom should I be afraid?

  20. AnthonyD AnthonyD September 24, 2008


    That is why Bob Barr should go nowhere near this carnival.

  21. darren darren September 24, 2008

    I agree – this debate actually hurts candidates like Barr, Nader, Baldwin, and McKinney by feeding the popular impression that all third party candidates are cranks with no support. C-SPAN will no doubt air it and anyone watching will have as skewed a perception of their choices as if they watched the CPD debates.

    In past elections there were debates among the “major” third party candidates. Why is it so hard to invite the 6 candidates with a mathematical chance to win?

  22. Mike Gillis Mike Gillis September 24, 2008

    I’m sorry, but there needs to be SOME threshold for participation in a debate, not just ANY candidate for president.

    Some people running are on only ONE ballot like McEnulty and Lyttle, and if I’m reading this right, it would include people on ZERO ballots as well, so Milnes could join in if he could get someone to pay his airfare. And it would include Keyes – who as far as I can tell, hasn’t gotten a single signature for his campaign.

    We should only include serious candidates who’ve clearly made an effort to get on ballots and have some showing of support.

    Even very loose standards would be better than letting someone in. I like the “Majority of the EC” standard, since it’s incredibly hard to get to that level.

    Or if you want it even looser, people on at least ten ballots. That isn’t that hard if you have support to get on a large number of state ballots that require only a check or 1,500 or fewer sigs (CO, FL, MS, WA, VT, IA, AR, LA….etc.)

  23. AnthonyD AnthonyD September 24, 2008

    Well, with that lineup of candidates, there is no way on god’s green earth that Barr should participate, if he was even considering it.

  24. Mike Theodore Mike Theodore September 23, 2008

    There’s been something like this in the works for quite some time now.

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