Another update on third party Presidential debate proposals

The following press release was sent to IPR from Free and Equal

Free & Equal Elections Coalition
230 E. Ohio St., Ste. 212
Chicago, IL 60611

Attn: Politics Editors, Campaign 2008 Editors, National Editor

Third Party Presidential Debate to Take Place on Thursday, October 23rd

Contact: Christina Tobin, 312-320-4101

The Independent/Third Party Presidential Debate to have been held in New York at Columbia University on Sunday Oct. 19th has been rescheduled, and will occur on Thursday evening at 9pm EST, October 23 in Washington DC.

All six candidates who qualified for enough state ballot lines to be eligible to win the presidency on November 4th are invited.

An update on confirmed candidates, location in Washington DC, debate format, and other details will be made available at a press conference in Washington DC on Tuesday, October 21 at 10am EST on the ground floor of the National Press Club building.

# # #

Inquiries may be directed to Christina Tobin @ (312) 320-4101, or by e-mail to

Christopher Thrasher called IPR to say that his split with Free and Equal was amicable and he hopes to work with them again in the future.

Trevor Lyman’s has 9608 people have pledged to donate October 19th, 2008, and Cynthia McKinney is still the only confirmed participant.

22 thoughts on “Another update on third party Presidential debate proposals

  1. AnthonyD

    Barr should have the same strategy as before: if McKinney (u.s. government killed 5,000 black men after Katrina) and/or Baldwin (9/11 troofer sympathies) appear, then Barr should be nowhere near that debate. You only get labeled kook by association in that scenario.

    The only 3rd party debate he should consider is heads-up vs. Nader.

  2. paulie cannoli Post author

    Despite what you say about Barr’s views, I think Baldwin and McKinney should nevertheless debate him.

    Incidentally, Nader has at least some 9/11 truth sympathies, and I wouldn’t rule out Barr.

    I asked him once, and roughly speaking, his answer was “some of my friends believe the official government story, and some of my friends believe it was an inside job. I believe my friends are correct.”

  3. sunshinebatman

    Barr was one of the leading “Waco truth” guys in Congress, and flirted with “Oklahoma City truth” to the extent of appearing at a conference sponsored by state Rep. Charles Key, a leading OKBOMB truth figure.

  4. AnthonyD

    I guess there is a joke somewhere in your post, paulie. In any event, my point was that Barr should turn down any debate that includes those two kooks. There is a difference between the two major parties colluding to keep out other candidates, and any particular candidate voluntarily choosing to opt out of a debate. I wouldn’t expect Obama and/or McCain to have to appear in a debate with any crazy people either.

    And for sunshinebatman, no one disputes that the government was involved in what happened at Waco, including the government itself. On the other hand, only loons buy into the troofer movement.

  5. Steve

    I think Barr would be somewhat hypocritical if he wanted to be in the debates with McCain but can’t be seen with Cynthia McKinney.

    Both McCain and McKinney are of questionable sanity.
    Both have a history of violent outbursts directed at their fellow government officials.
    Both believe bizarre theories about 9/11 (“inside job” vs. “they hate us for our freedom”).

  6. Austrian Economist


    With all due respect and candor, you’re giving Barr more credit than that weasel could ever deserve.

    Barr is either afraid of his own shadow, or his ugly ‘lester mustache. He didn’t debate his fellow nominees until he had to at the LP convention, and he sure as hell hasn’t led the charge for enriching our political dialogue since.

    He can either pussyfoot around this event, just as he did the Third Party press conference a few weeks back… OR he can grow a pair and actually debate. For the Libertarians he hoodwinked, for people interested in more voices & choices, and for someone other than himself and his laughably self-centered campaign.

    You say McCain and McKinney are of questionable sanity; I say Barr is of a questionable soul, if any.

    I welcome him to pleasantly surprise me. Or, I simply refer to exhibit A:

    PS – how cool would it be if McCain took part in this debate, a maverick-y move to prevent what could end up being an Obama landslide? Whatever the ultimate motivations, it would draw mega media, and that’s what we want. So we shall see.

  7. Hugh Jass

    “I asked him once, and roughly speaking, his answer was “some of my friends believe the official government story, and some of my friends believe it was an inside job. I believe my friends are correct.””

    Asked who, Nader or Barr?

  8. Mike Gillis

    I don’t think Nader believes in the inside job. He skirts the question if people ask him, but he’s referred to Al Qaeda as “the attackers” before.

    He’s called for a better investigation, but unlike the Truthers, he doesn’t seem to believe in inside job.

  9. darolew

    Is this debate actually happening or is this another hollow press release?

    “…a leading OKBOMB truth figure…”

    That’s a terrible abbreviation.

  10. Hugh Jass


    If that is the case, then why has the Barr campaign not signed the 9-11 truth pledge? Also, why did he not participate in the debate sponsered by 9-11 truth during the convention?

  11. paulie cannoli Post author

    Quite clearly, Barr does not want to be pinned down on anything about 9/11. He believes any public hint of doubt for the official story – even calling for a new investigation – would cause some of the people he is trying to reach not to take him seriously. That does not mean he is personally close minded on the issue.

  12. Deran

    I think Nader takess more of a “blowback” view of sept 11; the attack was blowback from the US role in the Middle East, and having helped the mujahedin drive out the Soviets, then left Afghanistan to fall under the control of the Taliban and their al-Qaeda comrades.

  13. paulie cannoli Post author

    He’s pro-investigation, so clearly he questions the validity of the 9/11 omission report. Beyond that, I don’t know what his views are.

    McKinney is probably the best on that particular issue, followed by Baldwin, but I wouldn’t completely count out Nader or even Barr.

    Obamaccaination, on the other hand – yes.

  14. AnthonyD

    Austrian Economist,

    I think you overestimate the amount of political savvy it takes to know that you don’t appear in debates with the likes of McKinney (u.s. government killed 5K black men after katrina) and Baldwin (9/11 troofer sympathies). It doesnt take a Winston Churchill to know that including those two dectracts from whatever legitimacy a 3rd party debate would have.

    There is very good and very elementary political reasons why Barr has indicated the only 3rd party debate he would participate in would be 1-on-1 vs. Nader. They are the only two candidates with even a tiny morsel of political legitimacy among the general electorate. Baldwin never had any, McKinney flushed hers down the toilet with her looney comments and “hip-hop” vice presidential selection, whatever the heck that means.

  15. paulie cannoli Post author

    posted at BAN

    Should Minor Party & Independent Presidential Candidates “Debate Down”? Lessons of 1948
    October 19th, 2008

    Minor party and independent presidential candidates are generally kept out of debates with their major party opponents. Generally, minor party and independent presidential candidates do get a chance to debate each other, but many such candidates seem afraid to “debate down”, i.e., debate with some of their opponents who have smaller campaigns.

    “Debating down” paid off handsomely for Norman Thomas in 1948, however. The 1948 Republican presidential primary process had a radio debate between Thomas Dewey and Harold Stassen, on May 17, 1948, just before the Oregon Republican presidential primary. That was the first presidential candidates’ debate in U.S. history. It stimulated calls for a general election debate. Henry Wallace, a former vice-president of the U.S., and the Progressive Party nominee in 1948, challenged Harry Truman and Thomas Dewey to a general election debate. Truman and Dewey refused. Then Norman Thomas, Socialist Party presidential candidate in 1948, challenged Wallace to a debate. Wallace refused. Then Edward Teichert, the Socialist Labor Party presidential candidate, challenged Thomas to a debate. Thomas accepted, but said that the Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate, Farrell Dobbs, should also be invited. Teichert then refused, so Thomas and Dobbs had the nation’s first-ever general election presidential debate.

    Thomas helped himself considerably by participating. The debate was in New York city, and attracted media attention in New York. At the November 1944 election, Thomas had only polled 10,553 votes in New York state, whereas the 1944 showing for the Socialist Labor presidential candidate in New York had been 14,352. But at the 1948 election within New York state, the results were: Thomas 40,879; Teichert (the Socialist Labor candidate) 2,729; Dobbs (the Socialist Workers candidate) 2,675. Thomas gained enormous respect for being principled enough to debate other presidential candidates who had smaller campaigns.

  16. Austrian Economist

    Anthony D,

    You’re going to have to qualify what “legitimacy” Barr ever had or brings to the table. Aside from the novelty of being the first member of Congress to be the Libertarian presidential nominee, he’s a prissy brat that is better suited as an injury-hotline attorney. Has he ever done anything remotely decent? Oooooooooo, getting sunset clauses on the Patriot Act. Wow, good one, Babbarr. You’ve really got guts. How’s that GOP seat for 2010 looking? (I heard that stuff being tossed around as early as the LP convention, by the way.)

    And I’ve got to ask, Anthony–are you some lame white guy that doesn’t understand hip hop? McKinney may be kooky, but that factor is irrelevant. Oh, and whatever one may say about Baldwin–who got Ron Paul’s endorsement?

    Hey, Barr–who’s the bitch now? Answer: YOU. How about debating for once and stop talking a big game unless you’ll back up. How laughable is it gonna be when Baldwin gets more votes than you? Answer: VERY.

    Let me repeat: Barr is a weaselly coward. Russ Verney is a cold bastard. And Shane Cory is a pea brained, hotheaded hick goon. The rest of Barr’s operation is pretty much inept or useless.

  17. darolew

    “And I’ve got to ask, Anthony–are you some lame white guy that doesn’t understand hip hop? McKinney may be kooky, but that factor is irrelevant.” (Emphasis added.)

    I laughed at the irony.

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