Subject:    Protests begin today against the Debates Commission
Date:                     Wed, 6 Sep 2000 17:33:11 -0700 (PDT)
From:                    DC Statehood Green News  

DC Statehood Green Party

Thursday, September 7, 2000

Scott McLarty, 202-518-5624

Angry voters to protest the Commission on Presidential Debates every Thursday, demand access for Nader and other third party candidates; Protests advertised in The New York Times

*** WHERE: In front of the office of the Commission on Presidential Debates, 1200 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

*** WHEN: Thursday, September 7, noon to 1 pm, continuing every Thursday (September 14, 21, 28) at noon.

WASHINGTON, D.C. A series of demonstrations, beginning on Thursday, September 7 and continuing every Thursday in September at noon, will take place in front of the Washington, D.C. office of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).

Voters from D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and elsewhere will protest the exclusion of Ralph Nader and other third party candidates from the presidential debates.

The protest is advertised on the Wednesday, September 5 op-ed page of The New York Times, in an advertisement placed by

The protests have been called by The Open Debate Society, a committee organized by members of the Maryland Green Party, the D.C. Statehood Green Party, the Alliance for Democracy, the Washington Action Group, and others who see the Commission's policy as an assault on the democratic right of voters to know about candidates whose names they'll see on most or all state ballots.

The Open Debate Society calls the CPD an insult to American values of democracy, fair elections, and the right to be informed.  Open Debate Society members have called the CPD an illegitimate body, compromised by the fact that it's controlled by the Democratic and Republican Parties, who have a political interest in excluding third party candidates, and funded by large corporations like Anheuser-Busch and Phillip Morris.

If Green Party candidate Ralph Nader participates in the debates, one result will be higher ratings for the TV networks carrying the debates, as more viewers tune in to watch a dramatic, issue-based confrontation.

In 1996, the early October debate between Clinton and Dole drew a third fewer viewers than the 1992 debate that included Clinton, Bush, and Perot, according to Nielsen Media Research figures (AP report, October 8, 1996).

According to recent NBC polls, 64% of Americans want to see Ralph Nader in the presidential debates.  Over 55,000 people have signed an on-line petition ( demanding Mr. Nader s inclusion.

Mr. Nader expresses the political views of millions of Americans who deserve to hear a presidential candidate debate on their behalf with other candidates.

For more information...

"           On the CPD's policy:

"           The D.C. Statehood Green Party:

"           The Maryland Green Party:

"           Alliance for Democracy: