a "realistic chance of winning" is a very deceptive lie...
By: Sarah Jones
while I would not be voting for a Libertarian, I also would
I’m far from a Libertarian, but this is not cool. A federal judge denied Kentucky Senate candidate David Patterson’s request to be included in Monday night’s debate between Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“Level of support” is a viable reason to refuse to include a candidate in a debate, while political views are not. And this makes sense in order to keep a variety of people from basically trolling a political debate. It is necessary to keep the debate down to a certain level of candidates who are viable contenders.
But the question can be asked, is this process serving voters overall? When we exclude candidates based on their lack of support, is this an equivalency of a financial requirement. This is the question raised by the Kentucky Libertarian Party. The Courier Journal reported:
Libertarian Party of Kentucky chairman Ken Moellman said he was not happy with the decision but said the state party does not have enough money to appeal the ruling. Patterson, in a news release, criticized KET for requiring candidates raise a minimum of $100,000 to appear in the debate.
“That means you must be rich or have rich friends to even stand a chance,” Patterson said. “Kentuckians now have their hard-earned tax dollars being used to deprive them of knowing their options when they walk into the ballot box.”
Van Tatenhove said the legitimacy of the $100,000 threshold “is not presently at issue.” But he did note in a footnote that former Kentucky Congressman William Natcher, who died in 1994 and served 44 years in Congress, refused to accept campaign donations, thus making him ineligible to appear on Kentucky Tonight based on the current criteria.
At issue for all voters of any ideology is what we miss when we only get to hear the voices of those with broad financial support broadcasted. Where are the vigorous debates of ideas that our country was built upon? Yes, it behooves us to keep out trolls and nutters, but why do we so rarely hear from the Green Party? The Libertarians get more press because they have a louder voice in elected office and within the Republican Party post Tea Party/Libertarian fusion takeover. But again, that only goes to party condoned Libertarians.
It is ironic that Patterson argued he was being discriminated against, and sought legal remedy to force a public institution (Kentucky Educational Television is a public institution) to stop discriminating against him, as Libertarians usually respond to issues of discrimination with cries of free markets and totally decry public institutions at all. But he did, and as a liberal, I have to say he might have a point:
U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove ruled that Kentucky Educational Television did not exclude David Patterson from the debate solely because of his political views. Patterson argued KET had discriminated against him based on thousands of pages of emails where KET officials discussed tightening the criteria to participate in the debate so as to exclude non-serious candidates.
It is Patterson who says our government needs to stop legislating morality, after all. But now he wants to impose a moral fairness regarding political views no matter how extreme. I’m with him, but I’m just pointing out that this is actually an argument that kills the Libertarian argument against forcing stores to serve African Americans, for example (something Libertarian Sen Rand Paul is against because he opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964, though he acknowledges that it’s okay for public institutions to operate under the scope of government). It’s even more ironic that Patterson would have a better chance of success with his argument with public television than he would with a major network, where Libertarian values like the free market would render him a bad investment with too little demand to justify air time.
Our political process does become stifled and bought when only those who can get the backing of big money can be heard. That automatically forces candidates to the right in terms of being big business puppets, and edges out Libertarians who might actually walk their talk and thus cut off subsidies to Big Oil.
the only voice you are allowed to hear is the establishment voice... the 'system' speaks and only the 'system' speaks !!!
Libertarian doesn't have to be included in Senate candidates' debate on KET, judge rules
BY JACK BRAMMER
Kentucky Tonight hosts the only televised debate between incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes at 8 p.m. Oct. 13 on KET.
The Libertarian candidate in Kentucky's tight U.S. Senate race will not be part of a debate Monday night on Kentucky Educational Television.
U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove denied David Patterson's request to force KET to include him in the hourlong debate between Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Patterson, a Harrodsburg police officer, said Sunday in a news release announcing the judge's ruling that "regular Kentuckians" were the losers as a result of the decision.
Referring to the millions of dollars that Grimes and McConnell have received from special interest groups, Patterson said the ruling "means you must be rich or have rich friends to even stand a chance. Kentuckians now have their hard-earned tax dollars being used to deprive them of knowing their options when they walk into the ballot box."
KET, which receives state funding to operate, said in a release that the ruling "unequivocally finds that no candidate was excluded from Kentucky Tonight because of their viewpoint."
Monday's debate, airing at 8 p.m., will be the only televised side-by-side comparison of the candidates before the Nov. 4 general election.
Neither McConnell's nor the Grimes' campaign had any immediate comment on the court ruling.
Ken Moellman, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Kentucky, said he was not happy with the decision but his party did not have enough money to appeal the ruling.
In his 18-page decision, filed Saturday, Van Tatenhove said KET tried to "do the right thing" in deciding what candidates should be on the show and did not ban Patterson because of his political views. Public broadcasters are not allowed to exclude candidates because of their political views.
Patterson had argued that his First Amendment rights of free speech were being violated.
But, Van Tatenhove said, "The First Amendment is not a rule of quantity at any cost. Voters may actually benefit by a forum or debate that includes only those candidates that have a realistic chance of winning rather than many voices competing for very limited time."
In the most recent Bluegrass Poll conducted by the Lexington Herald-Leader and other media, Patterson had support from 3 percent of voters, compared to 46 percent for Grimes and 44 percent for McConnell.
Patterson also had criticized KET for requiring a candidate's campaign to raise at least $100,000 in order for the candidate to qualify to appear in the debate.
Van Tatenhove said the $100,000 threshold was not at issue. But he noted that the late U.S. Rep. William Natcher of Bowling Green did not accept campaign contributions, a practice that would have disqualified him from appearing on Kentucky Tonight under the network's current rules.
Patterson argued that KET had discriminated against him, pointing to emails in which KET officials discussed ways to change the debate criteria to exclude non-serious candidates.
But Van Tatenhove noted other KET emails in which officials tried to be fair to all and follow the law.
"Maybe the language of these electronic conversations was at times unartful. Maybe the private thoughts of KET executives, now made public, have the feel of prejudging viewpoints," Van Tatenhove said.
"But it cannot be said that these conversations, many early in a process that included careful consultation with legal counsel, constitute viewpoint discrimination."
KET executive director Shae Hopkins said, "We believe that all journalists have the right to decide for themselves who to interview and what issues to cover.
"In service to our viewers, KET will forever be committed to presenting a diverse array of viewpoints, fairly and objectively."
There also are three write-in candidates on the ballot for the Nov. 4 race, none of whom was invited to take part in the debate.
Jack Brammer: (502) 227-1198. Twitter: . Blog:
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Oligarchy Wins, Kentucky Loses, Libertarian Candidate Says of Being Excluded from Senate Debate
Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes will face each other in a televised debate on Monday evening.
It will be face to face on KET between the Republican McConnell and the Democrat Grimes.
Absent will be the third candidate seeking the office: Libertarian David Patterson. A judge ruled against Patterson's emergency injunction filed by the Libertarian Party of Kentucky and the campaign. Patterson's campaign said that an open records request revealed that KET "continually shifted criteria for inclusion" in the debate, to ensure that the Libertarian would not be part of it.
“I'm running the best campaign that I can. I don't have $50M worth of out-of-state special interest money. My campaign has always been about regular Kentuckians, and that's who has lost today," Patter said in a statement on Sunday. "KET has testified under oath that their mission and values statements don't apply to the decisions they make. They intend to apply a financial threshold to all future criteria. That means you must be rich or have rich friends to even stand a chance. Kentuckians now have their hard-earned tax dollars being used to deprive them of knowing their options when they walk into the ballot box.”
“It is extremely disappointing that the court has said state entities can re-write the rules in the middle of the game," said Libertarian Party of Kentucky Chairman Ken Moellman. "KET testified under oath that Grimes and McConnell were invited without any criteria, while David Patterson was scrutinized under an ever-increasing set of criteria. This isn't even about Libertarians, it's everyone who's not part of the Old Parties. The First Amendment now only applies to the 'chosen ones'. Welcome to the illusion of choice. Welcome to the oligarchy.”
“The battle for Liberty in Kentucky is far from over," said Libertarian Party State Vice Chair Dave Capano. "While this ruling is disappointing, it just adds fuel to the fire that brings more Kentuckians to our cause. This verdict is just more proof as to just how our system works and why we will continue to be the change the country is looking for.”
McConnell and Grimes will face each other at 8 p.m. on KET.
Kentucky Libertarian Loses Debate Lawsuit
On Saturday, October 11, David Patterson, the Libertarian nominee for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, lost his lawsuit to gain entry into a debate sponsored by Kentucky Educational Television, which is a state agency. U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that the government may sponsor candidate debates limited to candidates “with a realistic chance of winning”. The decision is Libertarian National Committee v Holiday, e.d., 3:14cv-63.
The decision is contrary to the U.S. Supreme Court precedent Arkansas Educational Television v Forbes, 523 U.S. 666 (1998), which said that when government sponsors a candidate debate, it may not exclude candidates with a bona fide campaign. The Forbes case involved a candidate who “generated no appreciable public interest…the voters lacked interest in his candidacy…he had little, if any, financial support, failing to report campaign finances to the FEC…there was no campaign headquarters other than his house.” Patterson’s campaign has been far more vigorous than the Forbes campaign, and Patterson has been at 5% in recent polls.
Judge Van Tatenhove said that as long as there is no evidence that the government failed to invite a candidate because of his or her political views, then it is constitutional to exclude that candidate. He said, “Voters may actually benefit by a forum or debate that includes only those candidates that have a realistic chance of winning rather than many voices competing for very limited time.” This sentence is deceptive, because there are only three candidates on the ballot in the U.S. Senate election this year, not “many voices.” The decision also says, “Kentuckians will have the benefit of hearing the views of the two major candidates. And, no doubt, the positions of less-established candidates will also be heard this election season, albeit without the mandate of a government-funded forum. Nothing about this circumstance weakens the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
Early in the year, Kentucky Educational TV said a candidate would be invited if he or she met any one of these four conditions: (1) had made pubilc position statements on political issues; (2) maintained an active website; (3) had raised at least $10,000; (4) received 5% in a poll. Later in the year, the criteria were changed to require that a candidate must have raised at least $100,000 and must be at 10% in a poll.
It may be that it is socially useful for debates to be held that only include the two candidates with a chance to win, but if so, private organizations can host such debates. It is not the function of government to host debates that exclude any candidate with a significant campaign.
The modern political party system in the U.S. is a two-party system dominated by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. These two parties have won every United States presidential election since 1852 and have controlled the United States Congress to some extent since at least 1856.
in truth, they control everything... Everything!
visit wikipedia for a list of approximately 33 "major" and "minor" political parties in The United States of America...
the Threat From a Two-Party System
Polls show that a majority of Americans say that both the Republicans and Democrats are doing such a poor job representing the people that a new, third party is needed.
I’ve repeatedly warned that there is a scripted, psuedo-war between Dems and Repubs, liberals and conservatives which is in reality a false divide-and-conquer dog-and-pony show created by the powers that be to keep the American people divided and distracted. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.
In fact, the Founding Fathers warned us about the threat from a two party system.
John Adams said:
There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
George Washington agreed, saying in his farewell presidential speech:
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.