61 votes

The lawsuit comes after the PDC’s failure to respond to the following letter from Johnson last month:

The lawsuit comes after the PDC’s failure to respond to the following letter from Johnson last month:

Dear [Commission Member]

I am writing to request that the national Commission on Presidential Debates reconsider your current – and exclusionary – requirements for participation in this Fall’s all-important Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates.

I am well aware of the history and genesis of the Commission, including the reality that it was created largely by the respective national leadership of the Democrat and Republican Parties. While I respect and understand the intention to provide a reasonable and theoretically nonpartisan structure for the presidential debate process, I would suggest that the Commission’s founding, organization and policies are heavily skewed toward limiting the debates to the two so-called major parties.

That is unfortunate, and frankly, out of touch with the electorate. You rely very heavily on polling data to determine who may participate in your debates, yet your use of criteria that are clearly designed to limit participation to the Republican and the Democrat nominee ignore the fact that many credible polls indicate that a full one-third of the electorate do not clearly identify with either of those parties. Rather, they are independents whose voting choices are not determined by party affiliation.

That one-third of the voters, as well as independent-thinking Republicans and Democrats, deserve an opportunity to see and hear a credible “third party” candidate. I understand that there are a great many “third party” candidates, and that a line must be drawn somewhere. However, the simple reality of our Electoral College system draws that line in a very straightforward and fair way – a reality that is reflected in your existing criteria. If a candidate is not on the ballot in a sufficient number of states to be elected by the Electoral College, it is perfectly logical to not include that candidate in a national debate. If, on other hand, a candidate IS on the ballot in enough states to be elected, there is no logic by which that candidate should be excluded.

Nowhere in the Constitution or in law is it written that our President must be a Democrat or a Republican. However, it IS written that a candidate must receive a majority of the votes – or at least 50% – cast by electors, and that any candidate who does so, and otherwise meets the Constitution’s requirements, may be President.

As the Libertarian Party’s nominees for Vice-President and President, Judge Jim Gray and I have already qualified to be on the ballot in more than enough states to obtain a majority in the Electoral College, and we are the only candidates other than the Republican and Democrat nominees to have done so, or who are likely to do so. In fact, we fully intend and expect to be on the ballots of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

However, the Commission has chosen to impose yet another requirement for participation: 15% in selected public opinion polls. Unlike your other requirements, this polling performance criterion is entirely arbitrary and based, frankly, on nothing other than an apparent attempt to limit participation to the Democrat and the Republican.

Requiring a certain level of approval in the polls has nothing to do with fitness to serve, experience or credibility as a potential President. Rather, it has everything to do with the hundreds of millions of dollars available to and spent by the two major party candidates, the self-fulfilling bias of the news media against the viability of third party candidates, and an ill-founded belief that past dominance of the Republican and Democrat Parties should somehow be a template for the future.

In all due respect, it is not the proper role of a non-elected, private and tax-exempt organization to narrow the voters’ choices to only the two major party candidates – which is the net effect of your arbitrary polling requirement. To the contrary, debates are the one element of modern campaigns and elections that should be immune to unfair advantages based upon funding and party structure. Yet, it is clear that the Commission’s criteria have both the intent and the effect of limiting voters’ choices to the candidates of the two major parties who, in fact, created the Commission in the first place.

Eliminating the arbitrary polling requirement would align the Commission and its procedure for deciding who may participate in the critical debates with fairness and true nonpartisanship, which was the purported intent behind the Commission’s creation. As of right now, eliminating that requirement would not disrupt the process or make it unmanageable. Rather, it would simply allow the participation of a two-term governor who has more executive experience than Messrs. Obama and Romney combined, who has garnered sufficiently broad support to be on the ballot in more than enough states to achieve a majority in the Electoral College, and who, without the help of party resources and special interests, has attracted enough financial support to qualify for presidential campaign matching funds.

I urge and request you to remove the partisanship from the debates, and allow the voters an opportunity to hear from all of the qualified candidates – not just those who happen to be a Democrat or a Republican.

Thank you.

Governor Gary Johnson

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Whoever you support...

Whoever you support, getting Gary Johnson into this debate should be not only a hope, but a goal. These debates should focus on issues, and with just Obama and Romney in them, they will not.


I am not a Johnson supporter, I agree with your premise. Eventually, I'd like to see NO parties...just people running on their beliefs...

O.P.O.G.G. - Fighting the attempted devolution of the rEVOLution
Ron Paul 2012...and beyond


My thoughts exactly.

Another alternative...

If in the end GJ is excluded, Why not include GJ in a virtual debate... answer the same questions and post on youtube to make it go viral...

There are Many Bobs...I'm the Maine Bob!

I had hoped Ron would do that

at some point.

a fine letter.

GJ made the case. I think the lawsuit on anti-trade grounds is quite brilliant. I would also go after the PDC through the IRS. As a tax-exempt entity they must be operating for the public good. I bet the PDC debate criteria are a direct violation of their own incorporating by-laws.



http://www.debates.org/ email link, plus call your local,state and national media, apply pressure and expose.

Ron Paul 2016

Not a GJ supporter but, I sure hope he gets an attorney

whose name isn't Frederick Ewing (or Richard Gilbert).

If he does make it into the debates, I just wonder how many seconds of question and answer time he will get.

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox

((((G' Morning Nonna))))))

Yes it would behoove Gary to get a "Good" Lawyer...certainly not the one his "operatives" foisted upon us through the influence of Judge Gray.....Really?...some might say.

But I gotta give Gary credit for this action.

They will probably let him in (to the debates)...but as we've already witnessed:
How many seconds will he have?...89?...2,012?

And how biased will be the questions put to him...and the other guys.

...as if we've never seen this before..LOL!

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

Is Judge Gray arguing the case?

Who is the attorney representing this case?

bump bump bump

I am organizing Gary Johnson Must Debate Money Bomb to get him some funds to fight the crooks.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Colorado 9 news watch the next few days

just called fox 31 denver and left a message and emailed ben swann links and emailed colorado 9 and called they have been alerted to romney corruption/ ben swann videos, the lying,cheating and stealing by romney,rnc,gop est in tampa and colorado. feel free to email or call all colorado news stations alert them to the romney criminal enterprise and send as many links and info you can to expose the state conventions and tampa. Romney will not win colorado.

We must have a media bomb of info in all the swing states and especially friendly gary johnson states.

Please consider taking a second to call your local and state media stations and if you live in colorado start with 9news. ps i also mentioned the gj lawsuit and to cover it.

We must expose the corrupt romney and show the media that that the corruption is real illegal and unethical!!!!!

Ron Paul 2016

Set up a new topic for

Set up a new topic for this... I'll thumb it up.

Won't get much attention in a comment section.
(post new topic link in a reply if you do)

C_T_CZ's picture


Outstanding stuff! Let's hope it does not fall on deaf ears!

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Writing in "Ron Paul"

Hmmm, maybe I won't write in Ron Paul, and give this fella a vote. Still not a republican or democratic person shall be one of my other choices in congressional, state, local, community contests.

Ever write a nice letter to a theif?

Dont work. But I do understand it paves the way for the law suit. The old saying money talks, bs walks. It fits the bankgangster political machine that controls the media and both parties.


Awesome letter. I hope that

Awesome letter. I hope that was included with the complaint in the lawsuit.