Ramping up the fight to ensure that the 2016 general election presidential debates include all qualified candidates, the Our America Initiative has launched a new website, FairDebates.com, to provide up-to-date information about the debates and opportunities to become engaged in the effort.
The Our America Initiative is a nonprofit advocacy organization that supports civil liberties, economic freedom and smaller government. The organization is coordinating a legal challenge to Republican and Democrat control of nationally-televised presidential debates. Former New Mexico Governor and 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson serves as Our America’s Honorary Chairman.
Announcing the launch of the FairDebates.com, Our America senior advisor Ron Nielson said, “Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans today believe that neither the Republican nor the Democratic party represents them. Yet, the private Commission on Presidential Debates — created by the two major parties — has created rules for participation in their debates that make it virtually impossible for third party or independent candidates to appear on the national debate stage. That is just wrong.
“FairDebates.com will serve as a gathering place on the web where concerned Americans, activists, and supporters of fair, inclusive debates can stay informed, learn what they can do, and become active participants in this critical effort to give Americans the opportunity to see and hear all the qualified candidates for President, not just the Republican and Democrat nominees.”
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 asLevel 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.”
The Our America Initiative’s legal team, along with Dr. Jill Stein and key advisors, will host a Google Hangout Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. MT to present a status update and briefing regarding plans to change the Presidential debates.
In addition to Dr. Stein, the 2012 Green Party presidential candidate, the online briefing will include Our America Initiative attorney Rocky Anderson, former Salt Lake City mayor, presidential candidate and respected public interest attorney.
The Green Party and the Libertarian Party have joined together to challenge the Commission on Presidential Debates. The Libertarian and Green party nominees were excluded from CPD-sponsored presidential and vice-presidential debates in 2012, despite appearing on enough states’ presidential ballots to potentially achieve a majority in the Electoral College.
Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate are putting their cards on the table — proposing to simply reauthorize the Patriot Act, including Section 215, with no changes. Section 215 is the provision the NSA and other spy agencies use to justify mass surveillance on American citizens. That section is one of three that expire on June 1.
As noted by The Hill, the ACLU and other civil liberties advocates, including the Our America Initiative, are gearing up to let Congress know that simply extending provisions of a law that is being used to conduct unconstitutional searches into Americans’ personal lives is unacceptable.
If you haven’t already, go to Our America’s Restore the 4th Amendment page and sign the petition to end the government’s mass surveillance. And now is the time to contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives to let your views be known. The Patriot Act should be repealed, or failing that, the onerous provisions set to expire June 1 should NOT be reauthorized without significant changes to restore our fundamental 4th Amendment protections.
Support for Marriage Equality Keeps Increasing
With the U.S. Supreme Court set to hear arguments next week regarding state bans on same-sex marriage, a new poll shows more than 60% of Americans oppose such bans and support requiring states to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.
The Our America Initiative has supported several states’ efforts to overturn gay marriage bans, and as the issue has moved through the courts, Gov. Johnson has joined other leaders and former elected officials in filing briefs urging support for marriage equality.
Our America’s video showing how control of nationally-televised presidential debates by the two “major” political parties limits Americans’ choices has received thousands of views. If you haven’t seen it, take a look — and share with your friends. As the video shows, nowhere in recent presidential debates have there been real discussions of liberty, military interventions, drug policy or meaningful tax reform.
Changing the presidential debates will change America’s political landscape, and your support for Our America’s Debate Challenge will help make that change happen.
Lend Your Support to Our America’s Fight For Liberty
From fighting to repeal or reform the Patriot Act to marriage equality to fair debates, Our America’s purpose is to give voice to the principles of smaller government and greater liberty. You can help. Go to Our America Initiative today, sign up and support our efforts. It’s time to restore liberty as the true American value.
This past weekend thousands enjoyed the Free & Equal sponsored festival, United We Stand. The festival was to promote the idea Americans should have free and equal access to Libertarian Party (LP) and other minor party candidates. The organization was responsible for putting on the popular third party debates moderated by Larry King, during the 2012 presidential election when LP candidate Gary Johnson was excluded from participating with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.