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The debates ...
Tonight at 11 p.m., Channel 7 had both Romney and O'Brien stating that the other candidates should be in the debates. O'Brien added that many more debates should be set up. This was very interesting and a good strategy on their parts. In 2000, both Bush and Gore ignored the any discussion of the other candidates and that alienated and infuriated even more people involved in the Nader/Buchanan efforts. In the O'Brien/Romney race, it is similarly coming down to the wire and both of them will need every vote they can get. Better to be nice now, than be a pisser and lose the race by a slim margin.
A few other things:
Green Rainbow Party candidate Jill Stein had been polling as high as 7.3 percent in polling done by Suffolk University and Channel 7.
Libertarian Carla Howell reached about 3.5 percent in August, and four percent in the Boston Globe over the weekend. Howell recieved six percent in 1998 as the party's candidate for Auditor and almost 13 percent vs. TedK in 2000.
Howell reportedly has invitations and letters from WPI, Tuesday's debate sponsor, telling her that she was in the debate!
Stein was invited to an environmental debate sponsored by the Kennedy School and was UNinvited after NECN agreed to air the debate! Imagine, the Green candidate not being allowed to participate in an environmental debate!
Ralph Nader received 6.5 percent here in Massachusetts, gaining "major political party status" for the Greens.
The state requires any political designation to reach at least three percent in a previous election in order to receive major political party status. Currently, that's Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, and Republicans. So technically, all the major party candidates should be allowed in the debate.
Barbara Johnson, who is running as an independent, has a harder case to make but I personally think she should be allowed in the debate.
The Stein/Johnson legal strategy of suing and challenging the media consortium challenge as violating state law by providing free air time - and therefore advertising, without allowing the other candidates in the debate, was also tried by Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Dean Cook in 1998, but the court ruled against the challenge.
Strangely, Joe Scaicca, political director for the Boston Herald thinks Howell should be in the debate but won't allow her in the third debate, sponsored by the Herald/Channel 7!
The case made the idiots sponsoring the first debate was that they didn't have the technical logistics to handle more than two candidates. This is just a bunch of hogwash. For over a year, debates were held all over the state between five Democratic [later four] candidates for Governor. In 1998, there were 10 Democrats running for Congress in the 8th Congressional District and all the television stations managed to handle that many candidates.
As an aside, I ran as an independent in that race and I was kept out of all the television debates - as were the lone Republican and Socialist candidates. I spoke to all the television stations, pleading for inclusion, but they refused and later, refused to sponsor or air any four way debates between all of the final election candidates. So, I am a tad partial to including all the candidates who make the ballot.
Lastly, WB56's "Keller at Large" and WGBH's "Greater Boston" aired quickie interviews with all of us kept out of the congressional debates in the final leg of the campaign.