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Boman Qualifies, Stabenow Cancels Libertarian Pushes for Debate

Detroit, MI – United States Senate Candidate Debbie Stabenow backed out of participation in the traditional televised debates three days after Libertarian Scotty Boman qualified to be in them. She cited disagreements with Republican challenger Pete Hoekstra as the reason for the withdrawal in a recent press release. Since 1996 there have been two well-publicized debates between specially qualifying candidates: One on public Television at Grand Valley State University, and one hosted by the Detroit Economic Club.

Libertarian Scotty Boman qualified to be in the debates after a state-wide scientific poll showed he would likely receive 7% of the vote. Polling at 5% or better is the one requirement for participation in the televised debates that has long eluded minor party candidates. In 2008, the host public television station WGVU specifically cited this criterion as cause for not including Boman in the Senatorial debate between Jack Hoogendyk and Carl Levin. Of course, this was a "Catch 22" for the Libertarian since no scientific state-wide, general election poll that year included him as a choice.

The recent poll of nine hundred and seventy likely Michigan voters was conducted on October 5th and 6th by Gravis Marketing -- a national, non-partisan research firm based in Florida. With the Libertarian included as a third option, Democrat Stabenow polled 48.0% to Republican Hoekstra’s 39.3% with Boman favored by 7.0%. The remaining 5.7% were undecided or preferred another candidate. In a previous poll, conducted by public policy polling between February 10th and 12th, Boman, who was then considering a possible bid for the Republican nomination, received 6 % among likely Michigan Republican primary voters.

The press release in which the Gravis Poll results were announced, also quoted Boman as saying, "Now that there is a credible, independent poll showing me above the threshold for participation [in the televised debate]," Boman mused, "it will be interesting to see what kind of creative excuse they will come up with to keep me out this time."

“Well I guess I got my answer;” Boman said, “They are keeping me out by cancelling the event altogether. I don’t know if that was the motive, but it is certainly the result.” Boman remains hopeful that these opponents will have a change of heart,

“Michigan residents are best served by a lively, and thoughtful, exchange of ideas. I am willing to debate with all of my opponents, and have already had that opportunity with Republican Pete Hoekstra and Green Harley Mikkelson in the past. If Hoekstra or Stabenow wish to debate me on WGVU or at a Detroit Economic Club event, without the other being present, I will be pleased to participate.”

Boman is open to other venues too, “I have a standing offer from Liberty Town Hall at the M33 studio in Rose City to participate in such a multi-partisan debate, and the program would be available to stations around the state.”