UPDATE @ 1706 Central Time
We received another call from Christopher Thrasher, quoted in the story below. There will not be a debate at Columbia University, and he is no longer with Free and Equal. He will be releasing a statement and providing details later.
An NY Times article quoted at
Free and Equal indicates that
Ralph Nader, who is on the ballot in 45 states as an independent candidate, has indicated he will show up (at the Free and Equal debate).
AMY GOODMAN: Super rally on Wall Street at noon. And will you also be at the debate on Sunday night, third-party debate at Columbia University?
RALPH NADER: Well, I just heard about it after you told me about it last night, and-Amy, and I’ve got to look at the schedule and see.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, if-
CYNTHIA McKINNEY: I’m with Trevor-I’m with Trevor Lyman at the thirdpartyticket.com from 7:00 to 9:00 on October 19th.
AMY GOODMAN: And we’ll put information on our website, because supposedly I will be moderating this debate if it does happen, and we’ll let our viewers and listeners know.
Click here to contact Chuck Baldwin
Click here to contact Bob Barr
Cynthia McKinney – CONFIRMED
Click here to contact Ralph Nader
A few weeks ago, we at BreakTheMatrix.com and ThirdPartyTicket.com invited every presidential candidate having a mathematical chance of winning the 2008 election to participate in an online debate to be streamed via BreakTheMatrix.com. Soon after our offer to the candidates, we were approached by Christina Tobin of FreeAndEqual.org, and asked to try to expand the debate to a live event so that more media could cover the debate. More media coverage means more reach to the American public, which is good for the candidates, their supporters and the country. We gladly accepted the challenge and began to work with FreeAndEqual.org to that end.
Despite our efforts, we encountered a number of challenges. Most of the candidates had packed schedules and availability conflicts, especially when limited in choice by venue availability. About one week ago, we at BreakTheMatrix.com decided that due to the scheduling difficulties, we would serve the community best by offering an online debate as per our original intent, while Christina Tobin and FreeAndEqual.org continued to pursue the live event.
Today the candidates have two options available to them. The live debate event scheduled in New York City on Oct 19th at 8pm EST at Columbia University, or the online event to be streamed via BreakTheMatrix.com/ThirdPartyTicket.com on the same date from 7pm to 9pm EST. At this moment, the only candidate who is confirmed (for the web event) is Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party. To be fair, the Chuck Baldwin campaign had made a commitment to attend the live debate when the date of the 17th was considered (the date was changed due to the 19th due to venue availability), and Ralph Nader sent out to his email list to try to build momentum for the debates. These candidates have made attempts to work together, and they should be commended for their efforts.
It is our understanding that the event of the 19th may still happen in New York, and we will be sure to keep you updated if it does. If that event does not happen, and if no other candidates can make the online debate we are offering on the 19th, we at BreakTheMatrix.com/ThirdPartyTicket.com are offering a standing web cam debate to all candidates on any day from here until the November 4th election. We are asking all candidates to submit to us the dates they are available and in turn we will offer the candidates a debate on a day they are all available. The online debate format offers the candidates a great deal of flexibility, and is a viable solution to the current scheduling conflicts. All that is required of them is a web camera, a phone, a computer with an internet connection and about 2 hours of time on any given evening. We are committed to making this debate happen, and hope the third party candidates will continue to work with us.
On a closing note, we would like to thank Christina Tobin and all those who work with her at FreeAndEqual.org. No matter the outcome of the NYC event, they have been persistent in organizing this event, and we appreciate their efforts.
Ballot Access News says
Nader seems to have concluded that he will only debate with Barr (except, obviously, he would also debate with the two major party candidates).
In the comments, Richard Winger provides the following explanation
Nader debated in 1996, once, with Harry Browne, John Hagelin, and Howard Phillips. He seems to have concluded from that experience that he won’t debate presidential candidates with a lesser campaign, any more. And he didn’t in 2000, and he didn’t in 2004. In 2004 there was a Badnarik-Cobb-Peroutka debate, but Nader wouldn’t participate in that.
In the meantime, Bob Barr blog says
Addressing the New York Times article from today and reiterating what Andrew Davis has already said, no one speaking from or on behalf of the campaign has has told any media outlet that Bob would not participate in this debate.
Our original focus, as Bob told Reason magazine a two months ago, was to get in the debates with Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama. Obviously that didn’t work out and our options expanded.
We are open to the idea of a third party debate if Bob’s schedule permits and it is organized properly with details laid out clearly to the campaign more than a few days before the debate is supposed to take place.
IPR spoke with Christopher Thrasher of Free and Equal. He related the following (going by my notes, please pardon and correct any mistake):
1. Free and Equal did not say which candidates would attend its debate. The confusion came in because when you go to
and go to news
What is there is actually an article from the NY Times, not a press release from Free and Equal.
Thrasher said that in fact, Free and Equal had learned that Nader was “likely” to attend their event and that McKinney “would be” attending it from the NY Times (that is, from the article posted on their site).
It appears that in the case of McKinney, the NY Times reporter may have been confused, and that she was in fact referring to the ThirdParty Ticket debate, which is the one her website says she will be at.
2. According to Thrasher, national Green Party members reported being told by McKinney staff that other candidates (including Barr) had confirmed that they would be in the Third Party Ticket online debate.
3. Chuck Baldwin will not be available for either debate, but is interested in being in a debate in the future.
4. Amy Goodman will not be available to moderate, but may be available at a future time.
5. High level negotiations are under way between the Nader and Barr campaigns for a debate.
6. Thrasher said that Trevor Lyman lost interest in the Third Party Ticket debate; however, ThirdPartyTicket.com still lists Lyman as the contact (see bottom of page), and the site is still being regularly updated.
7. Thrasher said that Free and Equal would like to do more than one debate, as well as a VP debate or debates.