Free & Equal Begins Work on an Alternate Presidential Debate

Free & Equal and its founder, Christina Tobin, organized the only 2008 presidential debate in which every candidate who was on the ballot in states containing a majority of the electoral vote was invited, and in which some of those invited candidates did participate. That debate took place, but only Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin participated. Free and Equal also sponsored a 2008 vice-presidential debate, in which the Matt Gonzalez, Wayne Allyn Root, and Darrell Castle participated.

Free & Equal is working for a 2012 presidential debate, to be held in Chicago on Tuesday, October 23, the day after the last Commission on Presidential Debates event is held. Again, candidates who are, or may possibly, be on the ballot in states containing a majority of the electoral vote are invited. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are definitely on the ballot in states containing a majority of the electoral vote, and Virgil Goode may be, if his petition in Nebraska is approved, and his petition in New Hampshire is approved, and if Kansas election officials let the Reform Party place him on the ballot, and if the Independent Party of Delaware nominates him.


Free & Equal Begins Work on an Alternate Presidential Debate — 15 Comments

  1. While fully supporting an alternative debate, and an organization actually responsible to the public as a replacement to the Commission on Presidential Debates, I do not believe we should let the Commission’s feet off the fire.

    They are obstinate, recalcitrant, and possibly incorrigible, but they are also vulnerable.

    Now is the time to turn UP the heat on the Commission, and one of the best ways to do so is to send your US Senators an approximation of the letter at

    and include a copy of this graph:

    The letter is absolutely true – the Commission refused to give me its mailing address, and threatened to have me arrested if I dared come by their offices again asking for it.

    The story is told humorously at, but every word is true, with the exception of artistic license.

    Three cheers to the new debates!

    Let’s bury the old ones under their own rubble!

  2. Mr. Winger, do you know how likely the Independent Party of Delaware is to nominate Mr. Goode? They nominated Nader in 08.

  3. All candidates on enough ballots to hypothetically win an Electoral College majority should qualify for all debates. No questions asked. If the candidates wish to hold more private debates, with their own rules and stuff, fine. But there’s a 1st Amendment here people. People get to choose who they want to win.

    Oh, and another thing, I think voters should be able to vote for and vote against many candidates as they want to.

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  5. Good. But, I fear, too little too late. Stein and Johnson (either of whom is infinitely preferable to Obramney) should get their campaigns together to multiply their impact by organizing a series of debates, at least once a week, all across the country.

  6. Unfortunately with no media attention these debates will probably go completely unnoticed and only be seen on C-SPAN. I hope i’m wrong though.

  7. For a group called “FAIR” it would be fair if they included Rocky Anderson and Stewart Alexander in this too along with Jill, Gary and Virgil. Regardless of the ballot access thing they are still valid candidates who deserve a right to be heard in the same manner.. its not like any of the 5 are going to win the election it’s about voices.

  8. @11… How about Jack Fellure of the Prohibition Party? Just where do you draw the line?

  9. Richard:

    Also, do you know what happened in Arkansas? That would be 6 more Electoral Votes for Goode to contest and help cover if one of the other 3 states ends up missing the ballot.

  10. #13: Who is Gary Anderson? You’re combining Gary Johnson and Rocky Anderson, I think.

    And frankly, I’d be very amused by a Johnson-Fellure debate.

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