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Why You Need To Pay Attention To Gary Johnson’s Lawsuit To Fix Presidenial Elections In America

Gary Johnson has released an ad for his “Our America Initiative,” which is asking for crowd-sourced donations to his lawsuit to sue the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a private organization created by both the Democratic and Republican Parties which controls access to the Presidential debates.

The Issue

The Democratic and Republican parties have secured a monopoly on access to Presidential Debates by working with institutionalized media to create a system that blocks candidates from other parties from entering the debates.  Eric W. Dolan summed up the details during the 2012 debates:

The debate rules specify that to be included, candidates must receive at least 15 percent in a major poll. Most major polls do not even list [third party candidates] as an option. Televised presidential debates date back to 1960, and have been a regular event since the 1976 election. Originally administered by the League of Women Voters, they’ve been jointly organized by the Democratic and Republican parties through the Commission on Presidential Debates—a group the two parties jointly formed—since 1987.

In other words, the CPD has created a shell game.  In order to have access to the Presidential Debates, you need at least 15% approval rating in a major national poll.  But most major national polls do not list third party candidates as an option, making it de facto impossible for most third party candidates to enter the debates.

What The Lawsuit Would Achieve

Gary Johnson’s lawsuit would ask the court to order the CPD to allow any candidate access to the Presidential Debates who is listed in enough states to garner at least 50% of the electoral college votes.  This requirement would give third party candidates access to the debates, while ensuring that only serious candidates were allowed in.

Why It Matters

Access to the debates is not simply a token gift to third parties to make them feel better.  As recent lawsuits over campaign finance laws indicate (i.e. Citizens United McCutcheon), access to mass media is a very big deal.  When third parties are denied access to the debates, large swathes of voters are not given an opportunity to compare the ideas of the candidates in real time.  

The forum of the Presidential Debate itself also grants an air of legitimacy to the candidates.  Candidates who are denied access to the debates are both literally and figuratively shoved into the unwilling role of “outsiders,” which makes many voters afraid to commit to them for fear of wasting their vote.  The CPD and institutionalized media have thus created a system that effectively prevents third party candidates from achieving legitimacy in America’s 2-party system.

If Gary Johnson’s lawsuit is successful, third party candidates would have real access to the Presidential Debates, and would have an opportunity to bring their message to the largest national media platform during election season.  Third party candidates would finally have an opportunity to bring their message to a national media platform which has historically been denied to them, and in the process, be given an opportunity to change voter’s minds at the time when it matters most.

Pictures taken between September 2010 and November this year show how Vittoria, the daughter of Italian MEP Licia Ronzulli, has grown up since her mother began bringing her to sessions of the European parliament as a baby. Ronzulli, a member of Silvio Berlusconi’s Popolo della Libertà party, has said that bringing her daughter to the parliament was a maternal act, not a political one

Photograph: Vincent Kessler and Jean-Marc Loos/Reuters(via Eyewitness: European parliament, Strasbourg)














I have bronchitis. Thanks to the ACA, I was able to get medicine for $0. #ThanksObama


that came from taxes I paid.

Well, let my know how much I owe you and I’ll drop a few pennies in the mail. War comes from taxes you paid, and I personally dislike the amount I pay going for that… Maybe we should check “yes” or “no” on our 1040 forms this year for allocation of tax dollars.

I’m sorry you think I’m lying, but I’m not. I qualified for the Medicaid expansion under the ACA, which is partially funded through taxpayer revenue. I don’t think the IRS mailed you a letter saying, “Nah nah nah nah naaaaaaah! This year’s tax dollars went to pay for medicine for poor people mwahahaha!” Who knows? Maybe YOUR portion of tax dollars went to a Hellfire missile that took out a village in Afghanistan. Ooh, how exciting for you!

Comfort yourself with that thought as I use my inhaler, which I would not have been able to afford without the ACA.

what the fuck is wrong with Americans who aren’t on board with free healthcare. I’m Canadian and I don’t care that I pay extra taxes so a little boy in Alberta can have open heart surgery, or an elderly man in Nova Scotia can get the heart medication he desperately needs. It’s called taking care of your people. I’m glad I pay so that people can have a good quality of life. It’s called being a decent fucking human being.

This ↑

It’s not paying extra for people in need that bothers us. It’s paying extra for all those that take advantage. People we see having kids just for the sake of getting money and assistance from the government. People with three kids, never had a job in their lives, free babysitters, and who spend their days selling drugs and buying $500 worth of government food stamps on pop and junk food to have a party. People that only take and never help fund the assistance that gets handed to them. I work two jobs for over 65 hours a week with no kids and no debt, but I still can barely afford rent and food. I do not qualify for assistance and watching other people that don’t even try to help themselves is why I am angry with our government assistance and healthcare programs.

Well, if you’re watching people defraud the system, why aren’t you doing anything about it? They’re the people making it difficult for those who need help to get help.

Here’s some helpful links:

Not unless these are just anecdotes you’ve seen online and heard about your mother’s best friend’s cousin’s hairdresser’s son’s girlfriend… Then you’re just spreading ignorant classism and that’s just rude.

Or instead of being mad at the mythical welfare kings and queens, be mad at the people who’ve rigged the system in such a manner that you’re working 65+ hours plus a week and not getting by. I guarantee it’s not the people subsisting on measly SNAP allotments. Also, if you Google a little, you’ll find the incidents of abuse much lower in these social programs than in other government programs.

Gawd people spout off some stupid shit. I would bet my house that next to no one is sitting around popping out kids to get on government assistance. It pays out so little, there is no way someone would willingly exist like that. Besides the fact that you can’t fucking buy pop or junk food with food stamps or WIC. Why does America hate poor people SO MUCH? It’s just sick. That’s our “Christian” nation for you.

Yeah, even if fraud were rampant, I’d still want my limited tax dollars to go to the social safety net on the off chance that it catches someone who desperately needs it.

But it’s not rampant, and this argument is basically: “I’d love to snatch food from hungry kids’ mouths because I think their mothers are drug addled trollops and their fathers are living it up on SNAP. Therefore, if the parents are shit, the children (who have no choice in the matter) must be punished to the fullest extent my selfishness will allow.”

If you see people living the high life on welfare (which I guarantee is not happening) and you’re so damn resentful, why don’t you quit your job and go on assistance too? Maybe because deep down, you fucking KNOW it’s not happening and it’s much easier to demonize poor people instead of challenging the social conditions that allow intergenerational poverty to thrive.

As much as I do agree with y’all, I can vouch that people do in fact have children just to be/get more welfare.

How are you vouching for this? Citation needed. And do y’all not understand benefits are capped beyond a certain point? So if you think you can pop babies out willy-nilly to get benefits, ACTUALLY LOOK UP YOUR STATE’S LAWS.

Also, what does it say about us as a society, that if this were true, that it would mean people are so desperate that they’ll put themselves through the burdens of pregnancy, childbirth, and child rearing for an increase that’s often less than $100 per month? How tragic is that? They’re betting the increase will be more than additional cost of another mouth to feed.

So if you can vouch for this, where’s your citation and what are you doing about it? That’s technically fraud, and if you’re not reporting it, you’re complicit in it.

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