June 22, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT — Calling it the “next step” in changing the two-party control of presidential debates, 2012 Libertarian presidential candidate Gov.Gary Johnson today noted the filing of a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission ( FEC).
The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, challenges the FEC’s treatment of the private Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) as non-partisan, citing the CPD’s use of polling criteria to effectively limit participation to only the Republican and Democrat candidates. Plaintiffs in the case include the Libertarian Party and the Green Party as well as Level the Playing Field and noted supporter Peter Ackerman.
Johnson is the Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative, a nonprofit organization which is advocating a change in the Presidential debates. Johnson noted that in addition to the FEC lawsuit additional legal complaints will soon be filed to challenge the Commission on Presidential Debate”s control over the Presidential debates.
In a statement released Monday, the former New Mexico Governor said, “The last time a third party or independent candidate was allowed to participate in nationally televised general election presidential debates was 1992. The reason is simple. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which controls the debates, was created by the Republican and Democrat Parties and remains under that two-party control today. This lawsuit against the FEC is an important step toward stripping the veneer off the CPD and treating it as what it really is: A partisan organization that exists to protect the two-party dominance of the political process.
“By opening another ‘front’ in the battle against unfairly limited presidential debates, this recent FEC legal challenge strengthens the soon-to-be-filed second lawsuit being coordinated by the Our America Initiative, and adds credible voices to the growing discontent with the CPD’s persistent exclusion of qualified third party and independent candidates from the nationally-televised debate stage.”