Third Party Activity in Response to the First Presidential Debate

PRESS RELEASE from Gary Johnson 2012
October 3, 2012
Natalie Dicou

Joe Hunter


Libertarian presidential nominee Gov. Gary Johnson released the following statement in response to tonight's debate:

We didn't see a debate tonight. We saw two slightly differing versions of defending the Republican and Democrat status quo that has given us war after war after war, a $16 trillion debt, and a government that is the answer to everything. 

Nowhere was there a real plan for reducing government, balancing the budget any time in the foreseeable future, or a path that will actually put Americans back to work.

We heard two politicians arguing over which of their plans for government-run health care is less bad. We heard fantasies about balancing the budget while not reducing Medicare costs.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are nibbling around the edges of the nation's problems. We don't have time to nibble — we need to devour them.

Americans deserve real debates and a voice who will actually tell the truth about what it will take to put this great nation back on track.


Libertarian National Committee
October 1, 2012

An Open Letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates

Dear Members of the Commission:

On behalf of the 6% of likely voters nationwide who plan to vote for the Libertarian Presidential Ticket of Governor Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray this November 6th (Polled 9/21 by Princeton Survey Research International),

On behalf of the 2% to 10.6% of likely voters polled in the razor-close Tipping Point States of New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, and Colorado -- who plan to vote for Libertarian Presidential candidate, 2-Term Governor Gary Johnson,

On behalf of the 26,192 individuals (as of 10/1/12) who signed the petition for you to include Libertarian Presidential candidate, Governor Gary Johnson in the Presidential Debates with Democratic Presidential candidate, President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential candidate, Governor Mitt Romney,

 2-Term Governor Gary Johnson is Qualified to be Included in these Presidential Debates

25-Year Superior Court Judge Jim Gray is Qualified to be Included in the Vice-Presidential Debate

Relevant: Libertarian Presidential Candidate Governor Gary Johnson’s votes in one or more of the key Tipping Point States – New Hampshire(4), Virginia(13), North Carolina(15), Florida(29), Ohio(18), Iowa(6), Nevada(6), and Colorado(9) – could shift as many as 100 Electoral Votes this November 6th …and could determine the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election.

Shouldn’t the voters in these 8 Tipping Point states get the opportunity to compare and contrast Libertarian Presidential candidate Governor Gary Johnson against the republican and Democratic Presidential candidates in the nationally-televised Presidential debates – BEFORE they decide who to vote for?

Most Americans need an Electron Microscope to find real differences between most actions and policies of President Obama and Governor Romney.

Excluding Libertarian Presidential candidate Governor Gary Johnson from the Presidential Debates guarantees that real differences don’t get debated. For example:

Federal Spending:
Both Obama and Romney will add $1.2 Trillion more to the federal debt in their first year alone. President Gary Johnson will cut spending in Year One by 43% to balance the budget.

Obama and Romney supported bailouts for banks, corporations, foreign governments and state governments. President Gary Johnson will veto all bailouts.

Medical Insurance:
Obama will preserve, protect and expand Obamacare. Romney will replace it with Romneycare. President Gary Johnson will repeal Obamacare completely and return medical choices to families and doctors.

Foreign Intervention:
Romney and Obama will keep 550,000 U.S. troops stationed in foreign countries and drag on the war in Afghanistan. President Gary Johnson will radically draw down U.S. troops in foreign countries and immediately bring our troops home from Afghanistan.

Drug War:
Obama and Romney will continue the failed Marijuana Prohibition.
President Gary Johnson will end the Prohibition and free the many who suffer from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, migraines, and other serious disease to seek relief from pain and disability.

What if you put on a Presidential Debate and nobody watches? That’s the direction you’re headed by excluding qualified candidates like 2-Term Governor Gary Johnson.

10 million to 20 million fewer Americans will watch your 2012 debates than the 2008 debates – UNLESS you include the other qualified Presidential candidate, Libertarian 2-Term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Why? His viewpoint and proposals are dramatically different from Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. He attracts a different segment of American voters. He brings in new viewers to the debates.

Do the right thing, the good thing, the smart thing:

Invite and include Libertarian Presidential candidate Governor Gary Johnson and Vice-Presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray in the 2012 Debates.

Yours for open debates and elections,                                

Geoffrey J. Neale                                             Carla Howell
Chair, Libertarian Party                                 Executive Director, Libertarian Party
PRESS RELEASE from Gary Johnson 2012

Contact: Natalie Dicou
Joe Hunter


Sept. 21, 2012, Saint Paul, Minn. — Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson's campaign today filed an anti-trust lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California challenging Johnson's exclusion from upcoming debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The Commission announced earlier Friday that invitations to the debates were being extended only to Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

Announcing the campaign's legal action, senior Johnson advisor Ron Nielson said, "There is nothing remotely surprising in the fact that a private organization created by and run by the Republican and Democratic Parties has only invited the Republican and Democratic candidates to their debates. It is a bit more disturbing that the national news media has chosen to play the two-party game, when a full one-third of the American people do not necessarily identify with either of those two parties.

"American voters deserve a real debate between now and Election Day. By excluding Gov. Johnson, the Commission on Presidential Debates has guaranteed that there will be no one on the stage challenging continued wars, calling for a balanced budget now — as opposed to decades down the road, and who has never advocated government-run health care.

"Someone has to stand up and call this what it is: A rigged system designed entirely to protect and perpetuate the two-party duopoly. That someone will be the Johnson campaign. We are today filing a lawsuit in Federal Court charging that the National Commission and the Republican and Democratic Parties, by colluding to exclude duly qualified candidates outside the Republican and Democratic Parties, are in violation of the nation's anti-trust laws.

"It is unfortunate that a successful two-term governor who is already assured of being on the ballot in 47 states and the District of Columbia is forced to turn to the courts to break up a rigged system, but it appears that fairness is not to be found otherwise."

Johnson's running mate and retired California Superior Court Judge Jim Gray, who is also a plaintiff, will argue the motion on the campaign's behalf.

The lawsuit, filed only hours after the Commission's announcement, charges that the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee and an organization they set up, the Commission on Presidential Debates, have conspired together to restrain trade, both in ideas and in commerce. The lawsuit maintains that the Republican and Democratic Parties, through the CPD, indefensibly limits access of other candidates to the marketplace of ideas and the opportunity to be employed in these highest offices in the land, and in so doing are violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890.
The lawsuit seeks an order of the Court enjoining the debates from proceeding unless all candidates who will appear on the ballot in enough states to win in the Electoral College are allowed to participate.

Nielson said the Johnson campaign would likely file additional lawsuits in additional jurisdictions challenging the exclusion of Johnson and Gray from the debates on other grounds.

Prior to 1988, the League of Women Voters sponsored nationally-televised presidential debates. The League withdrew its debate sponsorship after the Republican and Democratic campaigns negotiated an agreement to determine which candidates could participate, who would be panelists, and other details of the debates. The League withdrew its support for the debates because "the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetuate a fraud on the American voter."

"League Refuses to 'Help Perpetuate a Fraud'"


WEB POSTING from Jill Stein for President

The first presidential debate is tonight and we WILL be heard!

For weeks we’ve been demanding free and equal debates. But, despite historic public pressure on the Commission on Presidential Debates to open the event and let all qualified candidates speak, the doors remain closed.

Good thing there are windows.

Join us tonight to make our voices heard by taking advantage of the following windows of opportunity! Join the conversation on any and all of the following channels to help raise awareness and fight the politics of fear!

1. Democracy Now! As Obama and Romney square off in the first Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) debate tonight, Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! will broadcast live from Denver with a special expanded presidential discussion from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Eastern.

Democracy Now! will air the debate, pausing after questions to include equal time responses from Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson. This live broadcast will be available in over 25 million household via Free Speech TV and Link TV, as well online at Democracy Now!’s website.

Tell everyone you know to tune in.

2. #OccupytheCPD! The Commission on Presidential Debates is launching “The Voice Of ___” which will feature livestreaming, feedback, polling, and more on the following platforms:

3.YouTube will be livestreaming all of the debates.

4. Tweet! Use the following hashtags to join the conversation:

5.Facebook Live will be interviewing a variety of people, but your comments anywhere on Facebook during this pivotal time will be important!

Key Messages

Say what you will to rebut the flawed policies of the Obama White House and the Romney campaign, but please try to mention Jill Stein’s Green New Deal. Green New Deal. Green New Deal. The more people see that phrase, the more they’ll wonder what it is, and the better chance we have at forcing it into the political discourse!

Beyond that key phrase, here are some other messages relevant to tonight’s debate on domestic policy:


Foreclosure Crisis

Tax Reform

Health Care Reform

Student Loans

Financial Regulatory Reform

Finally, check out and share Campaign Manager Ben Manski’s video report from the ground in Denver! These are the next steps in winning free and equal debates.

PRESS RELEASE from Green Party of the United States

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator

Green Party prepares for Oct. 3 protests over Green nominee Jill Stein's exclusion from the presidential debates

Dr. Stein on Democracy Now! broadcast live from Denver during the first Obama-Romney debate

Rigged Debates = Rigged Elections, say Greens

WASHINGTON, DC -- Greens across the US are demanding an invitation for Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein ( to the presidential debates, in advance of the first debate on Wednesday, October 3, in Denver.

Dr. Stein's plans for October 3 include an appearance on Democracy Now!'s Live Debate Talkback, hosted by Amy Goodman, live from Denver during the Obama-Romney debate (

Below is a list of events in Denver and links related to the first debate and Dr. Stein's exclusion, including a march on the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).

Green Party leaders and activists have insisted that the debates must include every candidate who is on enough ballots to win the White House and who has demonstrated a minimal level of support -- either 1% of the vote in a credible national poll or qualification for federal matching funds or both. Jill Stein and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson meet all of these criteria. (See 'Occupy the CPD!',

Greens have called the CPD, which controls the debates, an attempt to rig elections. The CPD, owned and run by the Democratic and Republican parties and the two parties' corporate funders, determines criteria for participation and has decided that only Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will be allowed in front of the microphones. 

The CPD took over the debates in the early 1990s to limit the stage to their own candidates and to make sure that no challenging questions get asked. The League of Women Voters, which sponsored the debates before the CPD took over, has called this situation "a fraud on the American voter."


Wednesday, Oct. 3, 5:30 pm MST: Occupy the Debates! Occupy Denver, Green presidential candidate Jill Stein, Green vice-presidential candidate Cheri Honkala, and supporters will join an Occupy Denver march on the Commission on Presidential Debates. McWilliams Park at E. Yale Avenue and S. Steele Street in Denver. More information:

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 7 pm MST (9 pm EST, 6 pm PST): Democracy Now!'s Live Debate Talkback with Jill Stein, former Salt Lake City Mayor and 2012 presidential candidate Rocky Anderson, and host Amy Goodman. The live program will begin at 6:30 pm, and Jill Stein will join the show at 7 pm. Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman Street in Denver. More information:

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 9:30 pm MST: Occupy the Debates! AFTERRALLY with Jill Stein, Cheri Honkala and musical entertainment. Stein-Honkala campaign manager Ben Manski will host a post-debate rally with live music and rousing speeches from the candidates. Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street in Denver. More information:


"Chickens picket Romney HQ in leadup to Denver debates protests" (" organizer and U.S. Uncut founder Carl Gibson presented a Romney staffer with 'The World's Biggest Chicken Award'. Romney last faced Jill Stein in a 2002 gubernatorial debate which Massachusetts media later declared Dr. Stein the winner.")

Occupy the CPD!

"Open the Debates: Demand inclusion of Jill Stein and Gary Johnson!"
By Scott McLarty, FireDogLake (blog), September 20, 2012

"In a First, Debates Give Presidential Candidates the Topics Ahead Of Time"
By Elizabeth Flock, US News & World Report, September 21, 2012

Video: Jill Stein speaks and answers questions from viewers on climate change during a Digital Town Hall broadcast on the Green Party's Livestream Channel on Sept. 30, hosted by "No Impact Man" Colin Beavan, Green candidate for the US House in Brooklyn, NY.