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Green Party: McKinney deserves place in 9/12/08 New Orleans Prez Debate

• Green Party leaders cite McKinney’s advocacy of the rights of Katrina survivors and criticism of government response to the disaster, saying she will speak for displaced and excluded people of New Orleans if invited to the debate

• Green Party seeks an end to presidential debates limited by arbitrary criteria to the two corporate party candidates; pollsters’ omission of McKinney amounts to manipulation of the presidential race and censorship of the McKinney-Clemente campaign

Green Party leaders called for the organizers of the September 18 presidential debate in New Orleans to admit other candidates along with the Democratic and Republican nominees, including Green nominee Cynthia McKinney.  www.votetruth08.com

The debate sponsors, Google and You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p6Iwu4xMaY), require a 15% showing in three national polls to determine which candidates may participate in the debate.

“Cynthia McKinney deserves a place in the New Orleans debate.  Any presidential candidate who has qualified for enough ballot lines to achieve the necessary electoral votes to win to be elected — regardless of poll numbers — has earned a place in the debates.  The 15% threshold is being used to exclude all candidates outside of the corporate party nominees, John McCain and Barack Obama,” said Cliff Thornton, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

“Ms. McKinney is more than just the candidate of a viable and growing party.  She has played a special role in the movement to help survivors of the 2005 hurricane disaster in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region.  No other presidential candidate can talk about the needs of those who’ve been displaced or otherwise affected by Katrina the way Ms. McKinney can.  Their concerns will be missing from the debate if Cynthia McKinney isn’t invited,” added Mr. Thornton.

Cynthia McKinney will appear on enough state ballots for an Electoral College victory, should she win in all these states.  For the same reason, Greens also support the inclusion of independent candidate Ralph Nader, Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr, and Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin in the New Orleans debate.

Green Party leaders said that, since pollsters are generally omitting Ms. McKinney in their research, the poll numbers are showing dishonest and manipulated results, with the McKinney-Clemente campaign effectively censored from major media coverage of the race.

“Voters deserve to know about all the names they’ll see on the ballot on Election Day, and to know which candidate best represents one’s interests and ideals.  It’s time to end debates limited to candidates approved by sponsoring corporations and pollsters,” said Green Party co-chair Sanda Everette.

Greens are appealing to New Orleans area community organizations as well as women’s, student, and human rights groups to join the demand for Cynthia McKinney’s inclusion in the New Orleans debate.

Greens note that Ms. McKinney, a member of the US House (Dem-Ga.) at the time of the hurricane, has been intimately involved in the post-Katrina survivors’ issues, and that she:

  • Joined the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, despite the Democratic Party leadership’s call for Democratic members to boycott the committee. http://katrina.house.gov/index.htm
  • Led a congressional delegation to the site of the devastation, arranged for survivors to testify before the Commission, and inserted a 75-page supplement in the Final Report of the Katrina Commission exposing many problems not otherwise addressed.
  • Introduced the first legislation concerning the clean-up toxicity in the region and restoring the homes of displaced residents. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:h4197ih.txt
  • Tracked hundreds of bills and worked closely with other members of Congress on drafting combined legislation that addressed many survivor issues.
  • Led a march across the bridge to Gretna, Louisiana, with people displaced by Katrina who had been refused passage during the hurricane; introduced a bill to deny funding to the Gretna police department because of its role in turning away thousands of hurricane survivors, mostly African Americans, at the Crescent City Connection bridge.  Ms. McKinney was the only member of Congress to join the November 7, 2005 march. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:h4209ih.txt.pdf http://www.saveourwetlands.org/blockbridge.html
  • Continues to works actively with the Reconstruction Party, a local political party in New Orleans, and in support of displaced residents’ right of return and other survivor issues. http://www.cwsworkshop.org/katrinareader/node/525

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