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Debate lawsuit

Maybe they didn't report on the lawsuit because it's
not really news?  Debates get much more coverage than
they deserve to begin with.  I'm not sure a lawsuit
about who participates is that big of a story.

Jesse Ventura says (correctly) that he would not have
got elected if he wasn't in the debates in 1998.  But
he was at about 20% in the polls at that time.

I think some level of support beyond getting on the
ballot should be the standard -- but the standard
should be set well ahead of time and not adjusted to
keep people in or out.  The Presidential Debate
Commission using a 15% showing in an average of
national polls.  That seems a little high.  I'd go
with 10%.  5% is too low -- with only one third party
candidate, almost anyone would get that level of
support as a none of the above option.

In any case: I think this is a matter that the
stations and the debate sponsors ought to be able to
decided without help from the courts.  I don't think
the equal time provisions apply -- covering a debate
is news coverage.

-- Dan Billings, Bowdoinham, Maine

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