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Nov 16, 2011

Johnson responds to debate exclusion.

For most of the current campaign Gary Johnson has been excluded from nearly all debates. The ploy used by the media is to claim that he has not achieved the necessary percentage of the vote to be included as a credible candidate. To make sure that he does not get he required percentage, they exclude him from the polls.

Recent news from the campaign indicates that he is becoming irate with this treatment. This is now borne out by the news that he is taking legal action, filing complaints with the FEC and FCC over the matter:


The Presidential campaign of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is filing complaints with both the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protest Johnson’s exclusion from Saturday’s Republican debate in South Carolina.

Citing prohibitions against corporate contributions, the campaign’s FEC complaint makes the argument that, by arbitrarily choosing who benefited from valuable air time during the broadcast debate and excluding others, CBS was “directly and significantly supporting those candidates it favors, and advocating the nomination of one of their favorites and opposing the nomination of Complainant, whom CBS evidently disfavors.”

Similarly, in a complaint filed with the FCC, the Johnson campaign asserts that “The public owns the airways over which CBS broadcasts, and the public deserves to be free from bias- favoring some candidates over others- as well as illegal support of certain presidential candidates on national network television.”

In a statement, Johnson senior campaign advisor Ron Nielson said, “As this campaign progresses, it is clear that nationally televised debates are having a tremendous impact. Candidates are moving up and down in the polls with every debate, fundraising is impacted dramatically, and Republican voters obviously remain undecided. When one looks at the inconsistent and arbitrary criteria networks such as CBS have used to decide who gets to be on the stage for the debates, it is apparent that decisions are being made in board rooms that are having the effect of ‘preselecting’ candidates.

“That is just wrong. We owe it to our supporters and to the process to take this basic unfairness and clear bias to those agencies whose job it is to insure that the power of the airwaves is not being misused in an arbitrary manner in the Republican nominating process.”
The gist of the complaint is that:
By excluding viable candidates like Complainant, who has been included by cable networks in their debates CBS is directly and significantly supporting those candidates it favors, and advocating the nomination of one of their favorites and opposing the nomination of Complainant, whom CBS evidently disfavors. In so doing, CBS is making an illegal corporate in-kind contribution to those favored candidates. The value of this contribution vastly exceeds the contribution limit that applies to any category of lawful donor.
Essentially the networks are attempting to pick winners in this contest. Johnson is an exceptional candidate with all the credibility that comes from being a two-term governor with an exceptionally successful record. It appears from the coverage of the campaign that the networks wish to end up with a Romney Vs Obama election and a guy like Johnson who has economic sense, as well as being sensible on social issues is not on their agenda.

The full details can be found here.


  1. Romney vs Obama? Jeez, McCain vs Obama, Cameron vs Brown, Gillard vs Abbott, why does the choice always have to be between two almost equally unpalatable alternatives?

  2. The exclusion of candidates not representing the status quo has been the norm in the UK for at least the last three general elections, hustings, national and local TV, national and local Radio, national and local press. All are in it up to their necks which really should be in a noose.

  3. Americans have a massive advantage over the rest of us in that they have open primaries rather than whoever the party chooses for us. The press and the Political establishment there are doing their best to negate this advantage by attempting to shut down anyone likely to make waves.

    If Johnson were to gain traction he shake the system up and probably reshape the whole political scene in the same way as Goldwater did in 64. Unlike Goldwater, Johnson would have a damn good chance of winning.

    After all, Goldwater won in 1980 for Reagan.

  4. The Montana GOP has figured out a way to take the rank and file voters out of the loop in our state's primary election. In February, they have a "special" primary, in which only 1,100 specially-selected party faithful statewide are allowed to vote. Then, in June, us peasants may vote, after the party candidate has already long since been selected.

    They do have "public meetings" before the Feb. vote. We went to ours in '08. Three or four people spoke up for Ron Paul, one for Romney, and one Romney person who endorsed no one but gave an well-thought-out and impassioned speech against McCain.

    Then the small unit of establishment-picked party faithful went behind the curtain to vote and lo and behold John McCain swept our county with more votes than all the other candidates combined. Go figure.

    The GOP caught a lot of flak over that, especially in the newspaper editorials (my letter to state GOP headquarters went unanswered), but the furor eventually died down and the Party Machine kept the whole crooked mess in place.

    Mission accomplished. The people's input negated.

  5. I have noticed the political establishment making changes in various states to preserve the status quo and prevent any pesky new ideas from disturbing their peace. I wasn't aware that Montana was part of this.

    The establishment in securing their own future is shooting the party in the foot. As you can see from the comment above, I am a big fan of Goldwater who failed dismally but in reality had little chance of success in the political environment of the time.

    Had it not been for the influx of new ideas he brought to the table it is extremely doubtful that Reagan would have changed from being a liberal, never mind lead a Republican resurgence.