Libertarian Party National HQ: An Open Letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates

From the front page of and email blast:

Press Release

For Immediate Release
Monday, October 1, 2012

An Open Letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates

Dear Members of the Commission:

On behalf of the 6% of likely voters nationwide who plan to vote for the Libertarian Presidential Ticket of Governor Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray this November 6th (Polled 9/21 by Princeton Survey Research International),

On behalf of the 2% to 10.6% of likely voters polled in the razor-close Tipping Point States of New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, and Colorado — who plan to vote for Libertarian Presidential candidate, 2-Term Governor Gary Johnson,

On behalf of the 26,192 individuals (as of 10/1/12) who signed the petition for you to include Libertarian Presidential candidate, Governor Gary Johnson in the Presidential Debates with Democratic Presidential candidate, President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential candidate, Governor Mitt Romney,

 2-Term Governor Gary Johnson is Qualified to be Included in these Presidential Debates

  • Successful entrepreneur, business executive and leader who created 1,000 private sector jobs.
  • Two-term governor. Re-elected by voters of New Mexico. Neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama has been re-elected.
  • Has 8 years chief executive experience in government — as much as Mitt Romney and Barack Obama combined.
  • As governor, he vetoed over 750 unnecessary bills – more than all other governors combined. Only two vetoes were overridden. This saved taxpayers billions of dollars.
  • Is already on the ballot in 48 states plus D.C. and is challenging the last two states for ballot access in federal court.

25-Year Superior Court Judge Jim Gray is Qualified to be Included in the Vice-Presidential Debate

  • Juris Doctor, USC
  • Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica
  • JAG Defense Attorney in the US Navy
  • 25-year California Superior Court Judge
  • Champions the cause of legalizing marijuana, re-classifying it the same as wine and beer                                                                                                                     

Relevant: Libertarian Presidential Candidate Governor Gary Johnson’s votes in one or more of the key Tipping Point States – New Hampshire(4), Virginia(13), North Carolina(15), Florida(29), Ohio(18), Iowa(6), Nevada(6), and Colorado(9) – could shift as many as 100 Electoral Votes this November 6th …and could determine the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election.

Shouldn’t the voters in these 8 Tipping Point states get the opportunity to compare and contrast Libertarian Presidential candidate Governor Gary Johnson against the republican and Democratic Presidential candidates in the nationally-televised Presidential debates – BEFORE they decide who to vote for?

Most Americans need an Electron Microscope to find real differences between most actions and policies of President Obama and Governor Romney.

Excluding Libertarian Presidential candidate Governor Gary Johnson from the Presidential Debates guarantees that real differences don’t get debated. For example:

Federal Spending:
Both Obama and Romney will add $1.2 Trillion more to the federal debt in their first year alone. President Gary Johnson will cut spending in Year One by 43% to balance the budget.

Obama and Romney supported bailouts for banks, corporations, foreign governments and state governments. President Gary Johnson will veto all bailouts.

Medical Insurance:
Obama will preserve, protect and expand Obamacare. Romney will replace it with Romneycare. President Gary Johnson will repeal Obamacare completely and return medical choices to families and doctors.

Foreign Intervention:
Romney and Obama will keep 550,000 U.S. troops stationed in foreign countries and drag on the war in Afghanistan. President Gary Johnson will radically draw down U.S. troops in foreign countries and immediately bring our troops home from Afghanistan.

Drug War:
Obama and Romney will continue the failed Marijuana Prohibition.
President Gary Johnson will end the Prohibition and free the many who suffer from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, migraines, and other serious disease to seek relief from pain and disability.

What if you put on a Presidential Debate and nobody watches? That’s the direction you’re headed by excluding qualified candidates like 2-Term Governor Gary Johnson.

10 million to 20 million fewer Americans will watch your 2012 debates than the 2008 debates – UNLESS you include the other qualified Presidential candidate, Libertarian 2-Term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Why? His viewpoint and proposals are dramatically different from Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. He attracts a different segment of American voters. He brings in new viewers to the debates.

Do the right thing, the good thing, the smart thing:

Invite and include Libertarian Presidential candidate Governor Gary Johnson and Vice-Presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray in the 2012 Debates.

Yours for open debates and elections,

Geoffrey J. Neale                                             Carla Howell
Chair, Libertarian Party                                 Executive Director, Libertarian Party


26 thoughts on “Libertarian Party National HQ: An Open Letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates

  1. Richie

    Is there any chance of the court case being decided by Wednesday? I think I already know the answer, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to throw the question out there.

  2. paulie Post author

    Practically speaking, no.

    There are several other debates scheduled, so it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility an injunction could come down before they are all done.

  3. NewFederalist

    About as much chance as the courts putting Johnson on the ballot in Michigan and Oklahoma!

  4. paulie Post author

    There’s a new question in the Michigan case

    On October 1, the Michigan Secretary of State filed this brief in Gelineau v Ruth Johnson, the Libertarian Party ballot access case. The brief asserts in the beginning that the idea that straight-ticket votes for the Libertarian Party should be counted for the party’s presidential elector candidates is completely unprecedented, but makes no further arguments against the idea. One can observe that Michigan’s action, barring a presidential candidate of one party from the ballot in the basis that he or she had run in the presidential primary of another party, is also completely unprecedented and has never before happened in any state in U.S. history.

  5. NewFederalist

    I think it allows Libertarian presidential electors to be voted for but I still see nothing that puts the names of Gary Johnson and Jim Gray on the ballot.

  6. MN Indy

    If Johnson does not appear in any of the debates, this will mark twenty years since a third party candidate has been in them. Twenty years.

  7. Steve M

    Is there time to start and publicize a facebook page which asks everyone to turn off their television and radio for the debate time period.

    Black Out The Debates? Spread it by twitter and facebook likes?

  8. Tom Blanton

    Boy, I’ll bet that the Republicans and Democrats of the Presidential Debate Commission that have read this LP letter suddenly realized what a mistake they have made by not inviting Gary Johnson to the debates. They probably feel really bad about this.

    I’m sure the fact that no other candidates besides Obama and Romney were invited to the debates by these Republicans and Democrats was merely an oversight. It is very unlikely that there is any sort of conspiracy to prevent third party candidates from participating in the greatest democracy that has ever existed. After all, this is America – the greatest nation to ever exist since the beginning of time and the source of everything that is good in the world.

    As I write this, the Commission is probably looking at stage layouts and extra podiums to accomodate additional candidates in future debates. Of course, it is too late to include Johnson or others in the 2012 debates. But, in 2016 or 2020 it might happen if there are any qualified third party candidates.

    Remember, the LP must always work within the system because the system is good and it is fair.

    Well, I better go now and take some more of those meds Capozzi gave me. I’m starting to feel the twinges of radicalism arising in me.

  9. Steve M

    I really think (very dangerous) that a total media blackout is called for. Not just the stations covering the debate but all corporate media stations and web sites.

  10. Robert Capozzi

    TB, yes, after you down the meds, perhaps you would be so kind as to lay out your outside-the-system strategy. Does it involve V for Vendetta masks?;-)

  11. Robert Capozzi

    TB, seems kinda constraining…maybe we need to cut back on the dosage. I want you to think freely, and if you come up with an plausible outside-the-system plan, I am all ears.

    It does, however, seem indicated that you not just dream of a stateless Blantonia with no way to get there from here. I want you to be success, to individuate to your heart’s content.

  12. Tom Blanton

    Ah ha, RC, I’ve developed a new secret plan that cannot fail. It is a plan that has eluded all the planners as they planned their plans to plan. My plan is simple, inexpensive, easily understood and even more easily executed.

    The mother of all master plans is as follows:

    There, you have it. The complete plan.

  13. Jose C.

    I am throwing this out there. What do you think? What if a letter had been written and authored by the Chairs of the Libertarian, Green, and Constitution parties and that letter had been sent to the Commission on Presidential Debates. Would that have a bigger inpact?

  14. paulie Post author

    Some technical issues with that. Green Party has “co-chairs” and very little national organization – for any serious purpose their national organization is a few volunteers and separately the presidential campaign, and they have some strong state and local parties. Constitution Party has missed the objective criterion (enough state ballots to win) just barely, so including them this year would present additional issues. I’m not sure how reachable their new national chair is. Given that things are happening quickly now there may not be time to coordinate some of these kinds of things as I would like to see happen more ideally.

  15. paulie Post author

    It might be nice to see some coordination between Johnson and Stein.

    However, this letter did make it possible to make some points about Johnson particularly, such as his executive experience as Governor.

    Also, you may consider that the letter had organizational objectives above and beyond its prima facie purpose.

  16. Zapper

    @16 Yes, a single letter from three excluded parties would have a bigger impact … It would result in a greater amount of laughing and cheering from the cabal leaders at the CPD as its crumpled remains swish into the nearest circular outbox.

    … Only external pressure from a variety of sources can bring the worldwide movement for greater freedom and democracy home to the US, so we can have our “American Spring.”

  17. Zapper

    Of course, as the movement to target sponsors gets the known list pared down, you can be sure that the CPD is seeking new sponsors whose names will suddenly appear in this fall’s debates

  18. Tom Blanton

    These are the only sponsors listed for 2012 at the CPD’s website:

    Anheuser-Busch Companies
    The Howard G. Buffet Foundation (Warren’s boy)
    Sheldon S. Cohen, Esq.
    Crowell & Moring LLP (lawyers)
    International Bottled Water Association (IBWA)
    The Kovler Fund
    Southwest Airlines

    Let the boycotts begin – I’m sure all these sponsors are trmbling in fear of what hell third party activists will unleash upon them

  19. paulie Post author

    Given that there were three more than that a week ago, I’d say you should not be too sarcastic when you say that.

  20. Tom Blanton

    Maybe activists could mount angry protests in the front yards of CPD Co-Chairmen Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. (who works in McLean, VA) and Michael D. McCurry (who works in DC).

  21. paulie Post author

    Not a bad idea.

    Are their front yards in the kind of places the public can get access to protest? Or do they live in gated communities or something like that?

  22. Tom Blanton

    I think the Co-Chairmen live in secret underground bunkers in the backyard of the White House, but I’m not sure.

    As far as boycotting debate sponsors goes, most of the sponsors don’t rely on ordinary consumers to stay in business. Then there are always the lobbying firms and defense contractors that we can only dream about boycotting.

    I’ve been boycotting Anheuser-Busch and Southwest Airlines for years anyway. I don’t fly anywhere and I don’t drink beer.

    If Fahrenkopf and McCurry own houses in the NOVA/DC area, it should be easy enough to find their addresses in the local land records.

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