The campaign of 2020 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen sent out the following newsletter to email subscribers last week. This is the third issue.
by Jennifer Imhoff
The first 2020 presidential debate is tonight, September 29, 2020, at 9:15 EDT. It is no surprise that our candidate, Dr. Jo Jorgensen, is not included. We, the voters, are here, however, and we will be listening.
Earlier this year the Appeals Court refused to hear the lawsuit brought forward by the nonprofit group, Level the Playing Field. Support came from the Libertarian and Green parties to sue the Federal Election Commission after the commission rejected the parties’ objections to the criteria of the Commission on Presidential Debates. The court documents state that, “There is no legal requirement that the commission make it easier for independent candidates to run for president of the United States.”
The commission requires a candidate to obtain a minimum of 15% in five pre-selected national polls. However, it is no coincidence that the polls selected excluded the names of candidates from third parties, even though the Libertarian candidate, Dr. Jo Jorgensen, met ballot access requirements in all 50 states.
More on the Debates:
An interesting history of presidential debates on page 5
A Pre-Debate Q&A with Jo on page 3
Painting the country GOLD
Jo and Spike continue to paint the USA gold with candidate appearances. Please share these events from the Jo Jorgensen Facebook page, and www.jo20.com/events.
Are you planning to host your own debate watch party, sign waving gathering, or other campaign event? Our grassroots team is spreading the message of Liberty across the country by hosting local events! Don’t see one in your neighborhood? Don’t fret! Create your own event right here, and let everyone know where and when they can join you!
Have photos from an event that you want to share with the campaign? You can upload them on the local event page too!
Find your local team!
Visit https://jo20.com/regional-contacts/ to find ways to volunteer near home.
Weekly Volunteer Update
You are invited to join us for our weekly Volunteer Update on Saturdays at 10am PDT, 1pm EDT! Learn about what’s new and opportunities to help the campaign. We hope to see you there!
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 861 6305 5531
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Meeting ID: 861 6305 5531
Lean Mean Meme Machine
Each week we will feature a Dr. Jo Jorgensen or Spike Cohen meme.
Volunteers are testing the efficacy of these memes in the field. Post your favorite to our Facebook Group!
Thanks to Kevin Moore for this submission!
The Presidential Candidate You’ve Been Waiting For
By Les Deffner
The establishment is doing everything to keep Dr. Jo Jorgensen out of the media but she will not be silenced!
Today, September 29th, Dr. Jo Jorgensen is presenting policy as well as her innovative and revolutionary vision for America. Hosted by Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Senior Editor of Reason Magazine, this policy discussion with Dr. Jo will be a direct response to questions submitted by voters around the country.
If you want to watch this event from the comfort of your own home, check out our live-stream! To view our live-streams, visit Dr. Jo’s YouTube channel or her Facebook page.
Here are the rest of the details:
– Date: 9/29
– Time: Start time: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EDT
– Location: Watch online on YouTube or Facebook livestream
The American people are demanding a viable third party candidate. Please support Jo by tuning into the livestream and show Trump and Biden we are sick of the failed two-party system.
No “Wasted” Votes in Maine
by Mark Johnson of Frenchville, ME
Maine is a wonderful place to live: beautiful mountains, lush forests, scenic coastline, friendly people . . . and ranked-choice voting! Libertarians know that the only “wasted vote” is for more of the same, but ranked-choice voting makes the concept of the wasted vote disappear.
In Maine, we now don’t simply vote. We rank order our choices for each elected position. Therefore, those who really are encouraged by Dr. Jo’s message, but are discouraged that they might not get their lesser-of-two-evils choice by voting for Dr. Jo, no longer need to be concerned.
Here’s a quick summary of how this works. There are five candidates on Maine’s presidential election ballot: Biden, de la Fuente, Hawkins, Jorgensen, Trump. Everyone who supports Dr. Jo can “rank” her #1. If my preferred lesser-of-two evils candidate is Biden, I just need to be sure I rank him higher than Trump, or vice versa, and if Hawkins, de la Fuente, and Jorgensen all get eliminated, one by one, by finishing last in each of the first three rounds, my vote would still go to my preferred lesser-of-two-evils candidate.
Let’s look at some scenarios. For these scenarios, let’s assume that 43% of Maine voters favor Jorgensen, but because they’ve been conditioned by a two-party system, only 28% of Maine voters would have voted for her under traditional balloting. In a five-way race under traditional balloting, 43% should be enough to win, but 28% would not be enough. Of the 15% who would not have voted for Jorgensen, let’s say that 80% of those, or 12% of the entire electorate, favor Trump.
The 43% who favor Jorgensen rank her #1.
The other first place rankings are as follows: Trump 27%, Biden 22%, de la Fuente 6%, Hawkins 2%.
Those who ranked Hawkins first all ranked Biden as their second choice.
After the first tally, no one has 50% of the vote, so the candidate with the fewest first-place rankings, Hawkins, is eliminated, and those votes now go to Biden. So we now have: Jorgensen 43%, Trump 27%, Biden 24%, de la Fuente 6%.
Still, no one has 50% of the vote, so de la Fuente is eliminated. Those who ranked him first split their second place votes between Jorgensen and Trump, each receiving 3%. The tally is now Jorgensen 46%, Trump 30%, Biden 24%.
Still, no one has 50% of the note, so Biden is eliminated. Those who ranked him first all ranked Hawkins as their second choice, but Hawkins has been eliminated, so their third-ranked choices are evaluated. Of those, three-fourths chose Trump and the remainder chose Jorgensen, so Trump gets another 18% (three-fourths of 24%) and Jorgensen gets 6%.
Jorgensen now has 52% and Trump has 48%. Jorgensen exceeds 50% and wins!
Only the 28% portion of those who truly favor Jorgensen rank her #1. The rest rank Trump #1.
Keeping the rest of the candidates’ rankings the same, the first tally is now Trump 42%, Jorgensen 28%, Biden 22%, de la Fuente 6%, Hawkins 2%.
All those who ranked Trump and de la Fuente first ranked Jorgensen second. All those who ranked Hawkins first ranked Biden second.
After the first tally, Hawkins is eliminated, and the new totals are Trump 42%, Jorgensen 28%, Biden 24%, de la Fuente 6%.
After the second tally, de la Fuente is eliminated, and with those second place rankings split between Trump and Jorgensen, the new totals are Trump 45%, Jorgensen 31%, Biden 24%.
Biden is now eliminated. Following the rankings above of those who ranked Biden first, Trump gets 18% and Jorgensen gets 6%.
Trump how has 63% and Jorgensen has 37%. Trump exceeds 50% and wins.
While I’ve done my best to provide some simplified scenarios, the process is still complex due to the possible permutations, made even more complex by voters who may only make one or two choices. That said, there are two takeaways that are amazingly simple: Getting voters to rank Jorgensen first and either Biden or Trump second, rather than the other way around, has a profound effect on the final outcome. If the liberty-loving voters of Maine rank Jorgensen, and not the lesser of two evils, as their first choice, she would coast to victory!
An Interesting History of Presidential Debates
By Joey Marra
A new FCC ruling extends “equal time” provisions to presidential debates. As a matter of practicality, this largely necessitates presidential debates be hosted by a neutral third-party.
The nonpartisan League of Women Voters (LWV) steps in to be that neutral party and to ultimately host the first televised presidential debate in nearly twenty years. They go on to host debates through 1984 with the goal of informing the American voter via a nonpartisan platform utilizing lively debate formats and inclusion of third-party and independent candidates.
In opposition to their inclusion of an independent candidate, President Carter declines the LWV’s invitation to the second debate of the year. Despite the lack of appearance by the sitting president, true to its principles, the LWV goes on with the debate, honoring their invitations to Ronald Reagan and independent candidate, John Anderson. Jimmy Carter goes on to lose the election to Ronald Reagan, with Carter’s absence at the debate noted as a major factor in Reagan’s success. The Democratic and Republican parties get their first taste of the influence of the relatively new, neutrally hosted, televised debates. It is also apparent that the presence of an independent candidate is what kept the debate alive, even when a sitting president chose to opt out. Simply declining to participate is not a viable option.
The Democratic and Republican parties begin to work together to remove risk from the LWV’s debates by jointly vetoing nearly 100 panelists proposed by the LWV for the ‘84 debates.
The non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is formed with the intent of taking control of the presidential debates. It is formed by the two heads of the Democratic and Republican parties, chaired by those same two men, and is staffed by members of both parties. At the time, one of the founders stated that the new CPD was not likely to look with favor on including third-party candidates in the debates, while the other stated plainly that the panel should exclude them. Despite its formation, founding members, staffing, and the statements of its founders, the CPD describes itself as “nonpartisan” to this day.
In an attempt to wrangle control from the LWV, the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns meet without the knowledge of the LWV to draft a “memorandum of understanding” outlining their requirements for participation in the 1988 debates. This document removes all control from the LWV. It specifies who would be panelists, who could sit in the audience, removed follow-up questions from the format, and more. It is presented to the LWV as “take it or leave it.” The LWV loudly “leaves it,” stating that “the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.” Upon resignation of the LWV, the months-old D&R-formed CPD steps in to take over the debates as their “nonpartisan” sponsor and host.
Ross Perot, then polling at 7%, is included in the CPD’s debates. After what is largely considered impressive debate performances, Ross Perot goes on to receive 19% of the popular vote on election day. This is considered to be a remarkable achievement and the largest post-debate increase ever seen.
Although in the running again and on the ballot in all 50 states, the CPD does not invite Ross Perot to the 1996 debates.
The CPD establishes a rule that, in order to be included in the debates, a candidate must achieve an average of 15% in five national polls. Although sounding somewhat reasonable on the surface, there are major criticisms of this rule: (1) The CPD alone chooses which polls will be used each election cycle. (2) The polls are routinely chosen only after they have published their polling results. (3) Nearly all polls used do not mention the names of any candidates other than those of the Democratic and Republican parties. That is, in order to meet the CPD’s criteria, a third-party candidate must average 15% in polls where their name is not even mentioned and where the CPD already knows the results.
1996 – 2020
Despite multiple candidates appearing on the ballots in all 50 states, no third-party nor independent candidates are invited to a CPD debate. Ross Perot’s appearance in 1992 is the last.
Multiple lawsuits are brought against the CPD for various reasons including violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act, violation of Federal Antitrust Laws, and challenges to its non-profit status. Thus far, none of these lawsuits have been successful.
We’ve been cheated. For over three decades, the Democratic and Republican parties have effectively worked together to limit the choices of the American voter while failing to work together in Congress on issues such as the national debt, our nation’s security, and much more. They are showing us where their priorities lie.
Not only are they actively silencing the voices of viable candidates and stifling the competition of ideas that benefits us all regardless of political affiliation, they also continue to perpetuate the lie that voting outside of their chosen candidates is a “wasted vote.” This implies that prioritizing your values and supporting a candidate that you feel could better help the nation is somehow a waste. Just like the curated debates, this is simply another dishonest campaign tool with the goal of concentrating attention and support where actively funnel it. Those of us disappointed and disenfranchised by the Democrats and Republicans make up the VAST MAJORITY of voters – mathematically, the two parties simply can’t beat the numbers, so instead they deceive and mislead. Or, as the LWV warned us decades ago, they knowingly “perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.”
Thirty years later, it’s the same as it ever was. Despite the majority of Americans routinely expressing the need for more party options, despite more and more Americans not identifying as either Republican or Democrat, despite being on the ballot in all 50 states, and despite the majority of Americans agreeing with 60-70% of her platform, Libertarian candidate Dr. Jo Jorgensen is not named in any of the five polls chosen by the CPD for debate inclusion and has not been invited to the CPD’s 2020 presidential debates.
YOU can do the work, though. YOU don’t have to approach this election wearing the blinders that the old parties have handed you. Research Dr. Jorgensen. Read her platform. Watch her videos. See if her ideas resonate with you; then talk to your friends and family and let them know that there is a better way. We all deserve better. Demand better. Be part of the growing momentum that ultimately rids us of the ever-worsening status quo and leads us to better candidates, better choices, and better lives.
Learn more at:
What Is A Media Monitor?
by Chelsea K. Meckel, M.A.
Over the past few years the Libertarian Party has had more than its fair share of gaffes, and it seems like when those happen it is one of the few times the media decides to unite and put us in the spotlight. In 2016, journalists from the Washington Times to the BBC in the United Kingdom covered Gary Johnson’s famous “What’s Aleppo?” moment. Thankfully, we Libertarians are capable of learning from our mistakes, and the Media Monitoring Team with the Jo Jorgensen for United States President is busy monitoring both Dr. Jorgensen’s presence in the media, as well as working hard to keep her up-to-date with any current events both here in America, and around the world.
The Media Monitoring team is broken down into two parts. First, there is a group of volunteers working hard to keep up with Dr. Jorgensen’s presence in the media. Above all, campaigns are acts of communication, and the first step in any successful communication attempt is to understand your audience. On this team, members of the audience go through and pull quotes, videos, and audio they think help present Dr. Jorgensen in a favorable light. These are then used in promotional materials by the campaign. Understanding that not all communication is good communication, this team also checks for possible faux pas where Dr. Jorgensen could have possibly used better communication strategies to reach her audience.
The other part of the Media Monitoring team focuses on keeping Dr. Jorgensen up-to-date with current events. Candidates are busy, and do not always have the time in their busy schedule to read through dozens of news articles to see what is happening in both America and around the world. That is where this team comes in. Every day volunteers review a variety of newspapers to see what the people from both sides of the political divide find important. This way, Dr. Jorgensen is prepared to address these needs in her constituency on the campaign trail.
With the Media Monitoring on the lookout, hopefully Dr. Jorgensen can be not only an excellent representation of the Libertarian Party, but hopefully by keeping her up-to-date on current events, we can avoid another “What’s Aleppo?” moment and have one of the most informed candidates on the stage to present to the American people. Since Libertarians are one of the lesser known political parties, even though we have achieved ballot access for Dr. Jorgensen in all 50 states, we seem to be held to higher standards than the other candidates from the major parties. We have got to do more to win people’s votes. Therefore, it is important to present an informed, intelligent candidate, with excellent communication skills to head our ticket.