Corporate Media Exclude Guv cand Stein (G-MA) from Debates

Ian Wilder: I always thought in a Democracy that if you are on the ballot, then you are a candidate.  There are no other numerical requirements then what is in the law.  Since when does the corporate media get to trump the will of the people, and tell candidates if they are considered candidates.  When only some candidates are promoted than it is a corporate campaign contribution to those candidates promoted, not a press-sponsored debate.  I hope the Stein campaign demands the corporate media be forced to report this fake debate as campaign contributions.

Photo of Jill Stein in 2010

Jill Stein

The 9-member Boston media consortium sent a letter to Jill Stein today telling her that they intended to exclude her from their upcoming televised debates, despite her meeting all their non-electoral requirements (see below).  The letter, signed by Jen Peter of the Boston Globe, said that “Jill Stein does not meet the criteria for participation”.

Upon being informed of the letter, Stein responded:

The people of this Commonwealth deserve to hear about how badly the Beacon Hill establishment has failed them under both Democratic and Republican governors.  They deserve to hear from the one candidate who isn’t taking money from the lobbyists or from the favor-seeking CEO’s.  They deserve to hear from the one candidate who is advocating for secure jobs across the Commonwealth – not just low wage casino jobs in three communities – for universal health care, for comprehensive fair tax reform and for ending the wars that consume 10 million Massachusetts federal tax dollars each day.  These badly needed solutions will assuredly be ignored in the debates if we let the three establishment candidates crowd me off the stage.

Stein’s campaign has said that all candidates who qualify for the ballot should be invited to the debates that use the public airways.  Stein collected 16,000 voter signatures (far more than the required 10,000) in order to secure her place on the ballot.

In an August 10 letter the consortium sought to impose three conditions on Stein’s participation, stipulating the size of her campaign staff, the amount of money she has raised, and her standing in public opinion polls.  Although the Stein campaign feels that any such criteria are improper,  the campaign feels that they have substantially met them all. The letter of exclusion came as a surprise to the campaign. Calls by the campaign attempting to determine the exact reason for the exclusion were not returned.

Stein is the only woman running for governor, so her exclusion would offer an all-male lineup to voters.  According to Stein’s campaign manager, Daryl Sprague, the three men who will take the stage are similar on issue after issue, which is a formula for a tedious, bickering debate focused on distractions rather than the substantive issues that should be addressed by the next governor.

Following her appearance in an untelevised August debate sponsored by MassINC and Suffolk University, Stein won widespread praise from many quarters for having made a substantive contribution to the dialogue.  After her recent appearance in a televised debate sponsored by WBZ-TV, Stein’s campaign donations and volunteer recruitment surged forward – indicating strong support springing from the people that had not previously heard about her campaign.   That’s the way democracy should work, according to Stein “Debates should drive polls.  Not vice versa.”

Michael Horan, Green-Rainbow Party co-chair, noted:

At one time or another all the candidates have described themselves as outsiders who want to bring change to  Beacon Hill.  But things like this reveal the truth:  There is only one genuine outsider in this race.  Her name is Jill Stein.  People are resonating to her message and that makes her a threat to business-as-usual.  The only way they can stop her is to prevent her voice from being heard.   I don’t think the people of Massachusetts are going to let that happen.

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