Companies drop sponsorship of 2012 Presidential debates

The Libertarian candidate for President has filed papers asserting that his exclusion from the debates violates The Sherman Antitrust Act. If the debate criteria were narrowed down to candidates who had a technical chance of winning, both Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein should be on stage. In the wake of Johnson’s lawsuit and pressure from nonprofits, some companies have withdrawn their support of the 2012 Presidential debates. (For ways you can help, see bottom of this post.)

(excerpt from) Politico
Philips pulls presidential debate sponsorship
by Dylan Byers 9/30/2012

Philips Electronics has dropped its sponsorship of the 2012 presidential debates, citing a desire not to associate itself with “partisan politics,” POLITICO has learned.

Philips is the third and by far the largest of the original ten sponsors to pull its support, following similar decisions by British advertising firm BBH New York and the YWCA over the last week…

“We respect all points of view and, as a result, want to ensure that Philips doesn’t provide even the slightest appearance of supporting partisan politics. As such, no company funds have been or will be used to support the Commission on Presidential Debates.”

George Farah, the executive director of Open Debates, one of the groups leading the charge for debate reform, celebrated the news.

“This is a triumph for the debate reform movement,” Farah told POLITICO. “These former sponsors no longer want to be affiliated with an anti-democratic commission that defies the wishes of the American people.”…

The seven sponsors still supporting this year’s presidential debates are Anheuser-Busch Companies; The Howard G. Buffet Foundation; Sheldon S. Cohen, Esq.; Crowell & Moring LLP; International Bottled Water Association (IBWA); The Kovler Fund; and Southwest Airlines.

What can you do to help open up the debates?

At Independent Political Report, there is a post with detailed information on who to contact, lobby, and annoy about opening up the debates: here.

The Green Party Presidential campaign has a website and petition about opening up the debates: Occupy The CPD

Presidential Debate Schedule for activists, occupiers, third party candidates, and independents: schedule here.

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