2020 Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former Libertarian National Committee vice chair Arvin Vohra today posted the following Open Letter addressing the Libertarian Party of Kentucky (LPKY) on his Facebook page. Vohra faults the LPKY for its debate inclusion criteria, which resulted in the exclusion of anti-war activist Adam Kokesh from part five of the LPKY debate this Saturday, despite Kokesh receiving the most votes in the poll after part four of the debate.
An Open Letter to the Libertarian Party of Kentucky:
For decades, we have fought for fair and open debates. We’ve decried rigged debate criteria and exclusion. What I learned today about the upcoming debate on Saturday made me embarrassed to be part of this party.
Adam Kokesh won two qualifying debate rounds in the LPKY debate. He won more qualifying rounds than any other candidate. He was the top vote getter in two debates, the first of which pitted him against almost a dozen other candidates. And yet, that wasn’t enough to get him into the final debate.
In comparison, government school overfunder and medicaid expansion supporter Justin Amash won zero qualifying rounds. He is, of course, welcome in the debate.
The bizarre criteria used by LPKY was raw votes, not winning qualifying rounds. This approach makes no mathematical sense; the raw number of votes is heavily affected by the popularity of others in the debate; a more well known contestant will increase the total number of votes for everyone. For example, if Adam was in a debate against Donald Trump, he would probably get millions of votes, even if he only got 1% of the vote. (For the record, I believe Adam would demolish Trump in a debate). On the other hand, if Adam debated Jacob Hornberger and got 99% of the vote, he would only get a few hundred votes.
To make things even more unfair, the vote windows were radically different in different debates. In the debate that pushed Jim Gray to the finals, people had hours to vote. In the debate in which Adam and I were the top vote getters, people had only minutes.
I didn’t attend the first debate with Judge Jim Gray. And yet, I was able to vote in that debate hours later. Larry Sharpe and others promoted voting for that debate, so that supporters and detractors of Judge Gray both had plenty of opportunity to vote. This drove up vote totals for everyone in that debate.
Compare that to first debate in which Adam and I were the top vote getters. During that debate, I had my cell phone off. After the debate, I turned it back on, hoping to be able to shamelessly vote for myself. But by the time I had turned it on and gotten to the voting page, the polls were already closed.
Whatever the intention, LPKY’s criteria has made things easy for Amash. The debate right now puts him against a fellow government school supporter (Jim Gray) and a professional lunatic (Vermin Supreme). People like Adam Kokesh, who could actually hold Amash to a tough standard, have been kept out by the most singularly bizarre debate qualifying system I’ve ever heard of.
When the principled voluntarists is held to a higher standard, beats those standards, and is then kept out of the final debate, it makes me wonder if the system is rigged. When I see the strangest criteria in history, it makes me a bit more certain.
When the statist supporter of overfunding government schools and expanded medicaid is allowed in the final debate, despite having been in zero qualifying debates, I become absolutely certain of it.
LPKY: Let Adam Debate.
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