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United States Government Politics

Presidential Candidates Arrested at Debates 1071

h8macs writes "Third party Presidential candidates Michael Badnarik (Libertarian) and David Cobb (Green) were arrested while attempting to enter the presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis."
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Presidential Candidates Arrested at Debates

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  • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:35AM (#10478588)

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... the land of the free. ;-)

    • by WesG ( 589258 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:37AM (#10478597)
      ...and the home of the brave :-)
    • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dlrowcidamon.> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:40AM (#10478615) Homepage
      The Commission on Presidential Debates isn't a governmental entity--it's a private corporation. Why doesn't Badnarik, as a "libertarian", respect their property rights?
      • by squarooticus ( 5092 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:42AM (#10478626) Homepage
        Agreed. As a small-"l" libertarian, I find some of the big-"L" Libertarian Party's tactics and statements to be incredibly kooky, hypocritical, counterproductive, and embarrassing.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:53AM (#10478695)
          It isn't always that simple. Regulation is always a lack of freedom, yet used correctly can actually help the free market. Requiring food manufacturers to be clear on the label about what goes into food helps people make smarter decisions about what they buy, and actually helps keep the free market.

          Libertarians are supposed to be against coercion, and that is all that the CPD exists for. I am glad that Badnarik did what he did.

        • by forDVfreedom ( 820495 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @11:04AM (#10479102)
          You could take any choice in any situation imaginable for which some will revere the choice right, and others will condem it wrong. The fundamental reason for the choice Badnarik and Cobb made is at the heart of what our great country was founded on. IMHO, they were willing to go to jail in order to stand up for Americans' right to know through free speech. As candidates that will be appearing on ballots all over America, don't Americans have the right to see how they will stack up against democrats and republicans that have long been what most have consitered the only choices? I have great admiration for those so strong in their convictions they will continue to try when other methods fail, to make themselves heard and do so in a non violent fashion. Where would civil rights be today if it weren't for Dr. King and others that have stood up for what is protected to us under the Constitution? You don't have to be a 3rd party supporter to appreciate the message Badnarik and Cobb tried to convey last night, even if you don't feel they did it in the most correct manner. The debates are biased, and don't represent many political views that are valid and could be successful if given the chance to be heard. Thank you in advance for your support in allowing 3rd party candidates to the debates.
        • by Selecter ( 677480 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @11:40AM (#10479329)
          Commission on Presidential Debates ( from ) The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is a "private, nonprofit corporation -- [which] represents the interests of the Republican and Democratic parties." The Commission was established in 1987 following the 1986 agreement by the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee "to take over the presidential debates." Previously, "from 1976 to 1984, the presidential debates were sponsored by the League of Women Voters." The Commission [1] The CPD has come under attack from democracy advocates, third parties and independent candidates for the presidency. They claim the CPD is little more than a front for the two dominant parties that allows them to maintain control over debate participants, formats, and moderators. This absolute control over the form also gives them indirect control over the range of issues that may be discussed, excluding many of the most critical issues on which there is either bi-partisan agreement or disinterest in discussion. All the while, the dominant parties maintain plausible deniability for the anti-democratic practices via the CPD. Criticisms of the CPD The commission describes itself as nonpartisan, but it is actually bipartisan: its co-chairmen are Frank Fahrenkopf and Paul Kirk, former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively. Questions concerning third-party participation and debate formats are ultimately resolved behind closed doors among Republican and Democratic negotiators. The commission, posing as an independent sponsor, then enforces these rules, shielding the major-party candidates from public criticism. In 1996, Bob Dole and President Bill Clinton maneuvered to keep Ross Perot from the presidential debates, even though Mr. Perot had received 19% of the popular vote after being allowed into the 1992 debates, posessed almost $30 million in federal matching funds, and a substantial majority of likely voters wanted him included. Open Debates points out that "most board members of the CPD have close ties to multinational corporations. Five are partners of corporate law firms, and collectively, the directors serve on the boards of more than 30 companies, ranging from gambling to pharmaceutical to agricultural to insurance companies. According to Open Debates, Fahrenkopf and Kirk still control the CPD. They don't just profit from corporate America as partners of corporate law firms and directors of corporations. They are also registered lobbyists for transnational corporations. Kirk has collected $120,000 for lobbying on behalf of Hoechst Marion Roussel, a German pharmaceutical company. "As president of the American Gaming Association (AGA), Frank Fahrenkopf is the lead advocate for the nation's $54 billion gambling industry. He earns $800,000 a year lobbying on behalf of 18 corporations directly involved in the hotel/casino industry -- ITT, Hilton -- as well as most of the major investment banking firms -- Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch. The debates are now primarily funded through corporate contributions. Phillip Morris was a sponsor in 1992 and 1996. Anheuser-Busch sponsored debates in its hometown of St. Louis in 1992 and 2000. "When the League of Women Voters ran the debates, things were a bit different. 'One of the big differences between us and the commission was that the commission could easily raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions,' Nancy Neuman, former president of the League of Women Voters told Open Debates. 'They did it very quickly in 1988. Even though I would go to some corporations, I would be lucky to get $5,000. Why? Because under the commission's sponsorship, this is another soft money deal. It is a way to show your support for the parties because, of course, it is a bipartisan commission and a bipartisan contribution. There was nothing in it for corporations when they made a contribution to the League. Not a quid pro quo. That's not the case with the commission.'" In 2000, initiated calls to cease lobbying the CPD to "o
        October 8

        8:38PM CT

        The first report from St. Louis is in - and presidential candidates Michael Badnarik (Libertarian) and David Cobb (Green Party) were just arrested.

        EMPHASIS: Badnarik was carrying an Order to Show Cause, which he intended to serve the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Earlier today, Libertarians attempted to serve these same papers at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the CPD - but were stopped from approaching the CPD office by security guards.

        Fred C
      • by dafoomie ( 521507 ) <dafoomie@hotm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:53AM (#10478690) Homepage
        Do they have a right to refuse to accept the court documents he was trying to deliver?
        • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dlrowcidamon.> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:07AM (#10478770) Homepage
          Do they have a right to refuse to accept the court documents he was trying to deliver?

          No, if the person being served is aware of the service attempt. However, that person doesn't have to admit a process server onto their property if they don't want to.

          Since in this situation the server (Badnarik in this case) was stopped by security, and the article doesn't suggest that the person being served was anywhere near the scene, then service hasn't performed. Waving a court document doesn't just get you anywhere you want to go.

          If he saw the guy he was serving walking by, and while stopped by security shouted out something to the effect that he was serving process, and the target heard (or should have heard), then the court will generally accept that the person has been served (even if he doesn't accept the documents himself he's officially received notice).
      • by jgannon ( 687662 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:06AM (#10478768) Homepage
        He was at Washington University at the time, trying to get included in a debate at Arizona State University. It wasn't "their" property in any shape or form. The argument he's making is that because the next debate is on public land (at ASU), financed by public funds, he shouldn't be discriminated against. Makes sense to me.
      • It's a "501c3" corporation that styles itself as nonpartisan when it's clearly only BIpartisan in make-up and in bias toward keeping the duopoly firmly in power and keeping politically-incorrect ideas OUT of the heads of the average voter. As long as they're taking the tax-benefits, they're NOT like an ordinary private corporation in the least!

        Issues like the racist, tax-&-spend drugwar are kept out of the debates despite the fact that we have an immense percentage of the US population -- especially bl
      • by Sheepdot ( 211478 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:28AM (#10478885) Journal
        Well, you have to realize that "matching funds" that the Republicans and Democrats get every year for this crap essentially means that there is no way they are a "private corporation", even if they claim they used "private monies" to make it. The fact is, they are subsized by the government. Thus any smaller "joint ventures" are funded by the federal government.

        However, as a presidential candidate under the Libertarian party, I would not have done it. I think it was primarily done for media exposure. And the ploy worked. Doesn't change my opinion of either of the two main candidates, and certainly doesn't change my opinion of the Libertarian and Green party candidates.

        Someone told me the other day my vote on a 3rd party candidate was wasted. Au contraire! It is precisely the 3rd party vote that caused Gore to lose and may very well determine the election this year. How is a vote that *didn't* go to one of the two major candidates a wasted vote when it's precisely the votes they pay attention to the most?
      • by jsebrech ( 525647 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:42AM (#10478961)
        The Commission on Presidential Debates isn't a governmental entity--it's a private corporation. Why doesn't Badnarik, as a "libertarian", respect their property rights?

        They may be a private entity, but they're using public property, namely airwaves and university grounds. So, the assertion that they should be free to regulate who takes part in the debates as they please is fallacious. Public resources equals public responsibility.

        Also, in the wider picture, though technically the legality might be on the side of the CPD, what is the moral thing here? Is it right that third party candidates can not debate the major candidates in ANY venue? Is it right that badnarik and cobb have to get ARRESTED before someone will hear anything about them from the mainstream media? How many americans even know who badnarik and cobb are? This isn't democracy, it's plutocracy, and it's immoral, if not illegal.
      • by blkros ( 304521 ) <> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @11:14AM (#10479159)
        Because it was held on public propoerty using tax dollars. No private property rights were violated at all.
  • by sweeney37 ( 325921 ) * <<mikesweeney> <at> <>> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:35AM (#10478590) Homepage Journal
    As a Badnarik supporter I enjoy the sentiment of what Mr. Badnarik and Mr. Cobb did and agree whole heartedly with them, but I'm not exactly sure how this help's the "radical" third party's persona.

    I realize this is going to get them attention, but is it going to help their cause?

    • Well, He is a candidate. Don't you think he should be in the debates?

      • Well, He is a candidate. Don't you think he should be in the debates?

        Sure, if he can demonstrate beforehand that he and his platform will sway a significant number of voters to at least make him a viable candidate (like Ross Perot did).

        Look, these debates didn't just pop out of thin air. The LP and the GP have had four years to build support for their platforms just for this election, and who knows how long just to build general support (the LP goes back to the 70's doesn't it? Don't know about the GP).
      • Why does it matter who you think should be in the debates? If Badnarik thought he should be in the the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions, does that give him the right to trespass on the property of the recording studio and demand a seat?

        The debates are just a popular TV show, after all.

    • by Pavan_Gupta ( 624567 ) <`pg8p' `at' `'> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:51AM (#10478671)
      I realize this is going to get them attention, but is it going to help their cause?

      How can you even ask that question? Badnarik and Cobb are two candidates with real platforms and real goals, and they deserve to be heard in the same way that President Bush and Senator Kerry are being heard.

      And you're a supporter! How can you possibly say that you support these candidates when you understand that they have no real chance of winning unless they are treated in the same way as our "real party" candidates. Something must be done!

      This is no different than people standing up for their rights during the civil rights movement, and frankly, I believe that they have done something to make a point. If I was there to stand with them, I would've. Something is terribly wrong with our system and they're the Martin Luther King Jrs. of this movement for change.

      So don't tell me you're dissapointed the average american with the IQ of a chimp can't see that there's a reason for this. They're not going to win this time around, so they MUST make changes to the system so they have a real chance of winning the next time around.

      To Badnarik and Cobb, I truly offer you the salute that you, damn well, deserve. Keep up the good work.
      • It seems to me that they're setting their sights too high to start. They should be trying to get their party members elected as senators (for example), or other local/county/state offices.

        • by M. Baranczak ( 726671 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @11:12AM (#10479146)
          Where have you been? Both the Greens and the Libertarians have been heavily involved in local and state races for years. (I believe there are a couple of Greens on my local city council right now.) Badnarik and Cobb aren't stupid - they know perfectly well that each of them has a near-zero chance of winning this one. The point of their campaigns is to build general, long-term support for their parties, and to break down the current duopoly.
      • How can you even ask that question? Badnarik and Cobb are two candidates with real platforms and real goals, and they deserve to be heard in the same way that President Bush and Senator Kerry are being heard.

        All Cobb and Badnarik did was to further convince the average American that they are nuts. They need to start convincing the average American that they are legitimate candidates with legitimate platforms. The problem is that both the candidates and people like you don't realize that this was not he
      • by Tony Shepps ( 333 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:34AM (#10478922) Homepage
        I have worked extensively with LP candidates who WERE included in debates, at local and state levels. I have been an advisor to four different campaigns included in state-level debates over a period of a decade. And I can tell you that actually being included the debate has almost no effect in vote totals whatsoever. In the last case I saw, a repeat statewide candidate was included in MANY debates (the D saw it as being to his advantage, so he negotiated it)... and saw his vote total actually go down. Not some doof... a polished speaker with a legitimate "look" who was even a possible candidate for LP veep at one point.

        Sorry to disappoint you but it is important to understand that being in the debate is nowhere close to being a "breakthrough event". Just like all the other pet theories of possible breakthroughs. They've been tried. The problem is more difficult and less conspiracy-oriented than you think.

    • by CreatureComfort ( 741652 ) * on Saturday October 09, 2004 @11:07AM (#10479119)

      "No publicity is bad publicity" ~~ P.T. Barnum

  • by Mike Farooki ( 85314 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:39AM (#10478605)
    Would a conviction automatically preclude Badnarik and Cobb from holding the office of President?
    • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:40AM (#10478616) Homepage Journal
      Nope, while not having a record is a requirement for a lot of federal jobs, it's not one for president. Look at Bush, he got arrested for DUI and they still let him be president.
    • by Mike Farooki ( 85314 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:46AM (#10478646)
      According to Yahoo! []:
      Article II, Section I of the Constitution offers the following three requirements for becoming president of the United States:

      * The candidate must be at least 35 years old.
      * The candidate must be a natural-born U.S. citizen.
      * The candidate must have resided in the U.S. for at least 14 years at the time of the election.

      Those are the only stipulations -- the Constitution doesn't mention anything about rap sheets. So technically you could preside in the White House after doing a stint in the Big House.
      • by identity0 ( 77976 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @02:03PM (#10480088) Journal
        In fact, Eugene Debs, a Socialist Party candidate, once ran for president while incarcerated in a federal prison - and recieved nearly a million votes! From wikipedia [] -

        "On June 16, 1918 he made an anti-war speech in Canton, Ohio, protesting World War I, and was arrested under the Espionage Act of 1917. He was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison and disenfranchised for life. While in prison in Atlanta, he ran for President. On December 25, 1921 President Warren G. Harding released Debs from prison, commuting his sentence to time served.

        In the 1920 election, while in jail, he received 913,664 votes, the most ever for a Socialist Party presidential candidate in the U.S. He was also a leader of the Industrial Workers of the World during this period."

        Can you imagine a political prisoner on a 3rd-party ticket recieving a million votes today? Too bad the American public doesn't have that much balls anymore.
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:40AM (#10478609) Homepage Journal
    Can't be having any kind of democracy here in the US.

    Oh, sure, we'll peddle it on Afaghanistand and Iraq and nudge Iran to shape up, but the hell if we'll tolerate anything of that sort here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:42AM (#10478629)
    When presidential candidates are arrested for trying to attend a presidential debate.

    I can think of no sadder statement of our times than that. I now have absolutely no hope for our democratic system.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:43AM (#10478638)
    They shouldn't be surprised that they weren't let in.

    What is sad though is that the status quo is a two party (and they are pretty much as bad as each other when it comes down to it) system in the US, and the complete lack of will to even consider that there are other parties.

    A two party democratic system where both parties have corporate needs and their own interests at heart really isn't democracy is it? I mean, even the Russian Communist era had elections, you could choose Communist A or B ... maybe even a C.
  • by UnCivil Liberty ( 786163 ) * on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:45AM (#10478641)
    Badnarik was trying to serve the Commission on Presidential Debates with an order to show cause (located here [] from an Arizona judge. Members of the LP attempted to serve the CPD earlier in the day at their Washington D.C. headquarters and were met with security guards.

    The official Badnarik/Campagna 04 website has a page that is being continuously updated with news as it comes in, it appears that Badnarik is now out of jail and resting. The page is located here [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:46AM (#10478652)
    We just had our election today and little Johnny Howard is back for a 4th term as Prime Minister.
  • by Gadzinka ( 256729 ) <> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:50AM (#10478669) Journal
    So, it is better version of democracy, you get to chose between the candidates that really matter. They were preselected for your convenience earlier. No, you can't know who selected them[1].

    Excuse me, haven't I seen this before...? Ah, yes, in the (non-existant today) People Republic of Poland. The political system then was called "Socialist Democracy" or "Dictature of Proletariat".

    Well, have fun in the "Land of the Free" -- been there, done that, can't say I liked it much.


    [1] vide the case of the list of Republican Convention attendees
  • by ictyl ( 52141 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @09:59AM (#10478722) Homepage
    The big question in my mind is why the Gallup folks hadn't picked these Badnarik and Cobb to be among the "undecided voters" in the audience. After all, they have clearly not decided to support "either" of the "two" candidates running for president.
  • by Cryofan ( 194126 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:01AM (#10478735) Journal
    I think it appropriate that they be called political prisoners. They fit the definition.

    And if America does have political prisoners, then we are not quite the paragon of propriety and human rights we hold ourselves out to be. It's high time we American start to acknowledge this fact.

    • Right. Like they would have been allowed to pass the security guards with impunity if they were only members of one of the bigger parties. Claiming that these guys were imprisoned because of their political opinions is the height of stupidity -- the people who arrested them almost certainly didn't even know who they were.

      Incidentally, I was thinking of voting for Badnarik before this. Not a chance, now. What an idiot.

  • by Cryofan ( 194126 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:04AM (#10478758) Journal
    Badnarik, Cobb, Peroutka, and Nader all debated on PBS's NOW with Bill Moyers last night. The transcript of these debates should be on the NOW website somewhere here:
    http://www.pb ml
  • by IwannaCoke ( 140329 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:15AM (#10478809) Homepage
    Of course they got arrested.

    If you would read the article, it clearly states that they pushed their way through a police barricade. Presidential candidates are still US citizens just like everyone else, and as such, they are subject to the laws of the land.

    What do you expect will happen if you push through a barricade? The police are going to welcome you in with open arms? This isn't a videogame where one gets an award for navigating a bunch of obstacles.

    They knew exactly what they were doing and fully expected to get in trouble.
    • by jeif1k ( 809151 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @11:29AM (#10479248)
      If you would read the article, it clearly states that they pushed their way through a police barricade. Presidential candidates are still US citizens just like everyone else, and as such, they are subject to the laws of the land. [...] They knew exactly what they were doing and fully expected to get in trouble.

      And your point is what? The people who got killed by police in Tiananmen, or East Germany, or the Soviet Union also violated the laws of their lands. They also knew what was might happen to them. Should they have just blindly accepted what their governments did and how they were exluded from the political process? What about African-Americans--should they just have continued to be quiet?
  • by t35t0r ( 751958 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:16AM (#10478820)
    Only two parties are allowed to voice publicly their opinion?
    • by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:25AM (#10478867) Homepage
      And when the two parties have practically the same opinion?! Let's face it, both parties only nominate moderates, i.e., middle of the road candiates. They both believe that what's good for corporate America is good for America. They both believe in a strong US military. Neither will affect any real change.

      This reminds me of a quote someone said about choice in America. I'll do my best not to screw it up. It went something like, "In America you can walk down a supermarket isle in any city and find hundreds of different breakfast cereals, all made out of the exact same ingredients."

      • by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @11:14AM (#10479166) Homepage Journal
        And when the two parties have practically the same opinion?! Let's face it, both parties only nominate moderates, i.e., middle of the road candiates. They both believe that what's good for corporate America is good for America. They both believe in a strong US military. Neither will affect any real change.

        It would be more accurate to say both parties only nominate conservatives, in the truest sense of the word. That is, those who seek to maintain the status quo rather than seeking change.

        Politically they aren't really all that moderate. By global standards both candidates are "right leaning" or "fiscally and socially conservative", or "conservative and authoritarian" depending on which (somewhat arbitrary) labelling scheme you wish to use. They appear moderate because they're in the middle of the views that get presented to the US public - which is to say, the views held by the Republican and Democrat party. The views of other parties, which represent a large part of the rest of the politcal spectrum are simply not heard.

  • by zogger ( 617870 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:17AM (#10478822) Homepage Journal
    ..but here's some relevant inmformation again about this particular case in arizona:

    Arizona LP files suit to stop state funding of presidential debate

    Arizona Libertarians have filed a lawsuit that could stop Arizona State University from sponsoring the third presidential debate between George Bush and Sen. John Kerry, scheduled for Oct. 13. The lawsuit maintains that by spending up to $2 million to sponsor the event in Tempe, the university is making an illegal campaign contribution to the Republican and Democratic parties.

    "It's a clear case of misusing state funds," said David Euchner, attorney for the Arizona Libertarian Party (AZLP).

    "Arizona recognizes three political parties," Euchner continued. "A debate which included all three of those parties would be a legitimate expenditure on education and public information. A debate including only two of the three candidates is a partisan campaign commercial -- and an illegal donation to partisan political associations."

    AZLP Vice Chair Barry Hess agreed: "It is so outrageous because the Republicans and the Democrats clearly violate their own Finance Reform Act, which in this case operates against all parties except the Republicans and the Democrats."

    The AZLP and its treasurer, Warren Severin, are listed as plaintiffs in the suit, which seeks an injunction or restraining order against the use of state funds for the debate.

    "Additionally, this use of these particular funds is in clear violation of the Arizona Constitution," Hess added.

    The Arizona Constitution prohibits making grants or donations to any individual, association, or corporation.

    Libertarians also claim that if special privileges are granted to Bush and Kerry, Arizona Libertarians will have been denied their 14th Amendment equal protection guarantee. The university and the Commission for Presidential Debates were named as defendants in the suit.

    Representatives of the AZLP and of Libertarian Michael Badnarik's presidential campaign conducted a joint press conference after filing the complaint with the Maricopa County Superior Court.

    "They have absolutely no right to use our tax dollars for what is effectively a very expensive television commercial for Bush and Kerry," Hess told reporters.

    --which is what it was, an expensive televison commercial for the Democratic and Republican parties, partially paid for with public monies at a public venue, not all "private" money at a "private" venue. They seem to have a pretty good case,at least under AZ law, and obviously they are being stalled until after the election.
  • by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:41AM (#10478953)
    If they hadn't been arrested, no one would have known they were there.

    These turkeys got exactly what they wanted.

    And, since when is a candidate's partisan website a legitimate news source?

    But, then, since when does /. care about legitimate news?

  • by Heymoe ( 774463 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:49AM (#10478997)
    The local press in St. Louis covered the antics of these candidates. One of them was having a hard time getting arrested. He kept throwing himself into the riot shields of the police and bouncing off. Then another serious candidate who looked like Santa Claus, but dressed only in tan shorts ranted and raved to reporters about the eeeeevil police removing his campaign banner that was leaning against the security fence. He was not arrested. When even the mainstream media depicts the actions of your candidate alongside those of eccentrics, maybe it's a problem with the actions of your candidate that are the problem and not a conspiracy of the media, police, and voters. But then again, I could be part of the conspiracy, too...
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:55AM (#10479037) Journal

    LWV has hosted these for years. They dropped it this year due to the total facade that this is. If they were smart, they would hold 2 of them with Nadar, the Libertarians, and the Greens as well as leave it open to both Republicans and Democrats. IOW, rather than just the top 2, it should be open to the top 5. If the other 2 decide not to show up, well, just leave 2 open podiums there.

    Right now, we have parties controlling who just showed that they are in total control. Worse, there really is little difference between them. Kerry has done as much as possible to say that he is for the iraqi war, but that he is different than bush. Likewise, he is for the patriot acts, but did not like how they were applied. hummm. Yeah, that is different.

  • by !ramirez ( 106823 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:57AM (#10479049)
    This is merely pointing out that they're following their own rules, at least, concerning presidential candidates and debates... not hard to follow them if you get to make them up, I suppose.

    CPD Announces Application Of Non-Partisan Candidate Selection Criteria For October 13, 2004 Debate

    October 6, 2004

    The non-partisan, non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates ("CPD") announced today that it has applied its Non-Partisan Candidate Selection Criteria for 2004 General Election Debate participation to determine eligibility to participate in the presidential debate to take place at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona on October 13, 2004.

    Pursuant to the criteria, which were publicly announced on September 24, 2003, those candidates qualify for debate participation who (1) are constitutionally eligible to hold the office of President of the United States; (2) have achieved ballot access in a sufficient number of states to win a theoretical Electoral College majority in the general election; and (3) have demonstrated a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate, as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations' most recent publicly-reported results.

    The Board of Directors of the CPD convened today to apply the criteria with the assistance of the Editor-In-Chief of the Gallup Polling Organization, Dr. Frank Newport. Of the declared candidates, President George W. Bush and Senator John F. Kerry were found to have satisfied all three criteria. Accordingly, President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry qualify to participate in the October 13 presidential debate. No other candidates satisfied the criteria for inclusion in the October 13 debate.

    The candidates who have qualified to participate today previously have committed to participate in the debates sponsored by the CPD.

    As previously announced, President Bush and Senator Kerry will participate on October 8 in a town meeting-style debate sponsored by the CPD. That debate will take place on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • by starseeker ( 141897 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @11:03AM (#10479091) Homepage
    Clearly the goal for Badnarik and Cobb was to get headlines, but here's an interesting exercise.

    Go to, and look at the coverage of the presidental debates. See any mention of this incident? Thought not.

    Now, try a "Search" for Michael Badnarik. When I tried it I didn't get a SINGLE HIT for his name. Not one. Not even a "here's a full list of candidates including the minor ones" page. Can someone confirm this isn't just some local quirk on my browser?

    (Side note - headline at cnn says debates were an even match. CNN's own poll gives it to Kerry by something like 75% to 25%. It was funny enough to warrant a screenshot of the poll results and the headline together. Apparantly CNN's viewers must be more Democratic than they would like :-)
  • by Gannoc ( 210256 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @11:03AM (#10479096)
    The candidates engaged in an act of civil disobedience, which in my opinion was justified. I applaud the fact that they were willing to experience the discomfort of being arrested in protest of the restrictive two party system.

    However, the fact they were arrested isn't an indicator of a fascist government conspiracy. The area was restricted for security, and they crossed a police barricade.

    There have been many frightening things done to people in this country post 9/11 in the name of security, but this wasn't one of them.
  • Why is it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shanek ( 153868 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @11:23AM (#10479215) Homepage
    ...that we can choose Miss America from 50 contestants, but we just can't handle six legitimate candidates for President (who are on the ballot in enough states to win a majority of the Electoral College) in a debate?

    Especially since we seem to be able to handle six Democrats in a primary debate...
  • National Public Radio has an audio link on this page gDate=8-Oct-2004 [] ("Campaign Security Screening Crowds for Doubters) in which citizens were denied entrance to appearances by President Bush. In several of the cases people wearing Kerry t-shirts were told they could not enter because the "secret service" had "flagged" them. One man, who tried to vouch for his companions, was removed because he had also been flagged simply because he was with them. One woman was refused entry to a venue because she had a t-shirt over her arm (not wearing it) advocating abortion rights. Several of the people were threatened with arrest by the Secret Service. There was at least one arrest at a location by local police who said they were acting at the behest of the "White House" while the Mayor claimed that they were acting on a request by the Secret Service.

    The Secret Service denies arresting people simply because they are wearing Kerry t-shirts but admit that they would question anyone who was being removed from a venue by security people. While it is lawful for a private function to deny entry to people on whatever grounds they choose, for a Presidential appearance which has been paid for by the taxpayers, it is unlawful (and un-American) to deny any citizen entry for simply wearing a t-shirt that indicates opposition to that President.
  • by 2TecTom ( 311314 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @01:23PM (#10479880) Homepage Journal
    I expect the actions of scoundrels to be immoral and unethical. However, what really bothers me is the callous complacency and self-interest of the electorate.

    Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its Faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other. ~ Benjamin Franklin
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:26PM (#10481014)
    Ah, more adventures in St. Louis....

    In 1992 Andre Marrou was the Libertarian Presidential candidate. The CPD told Marrou that he wouldn't be allowed into the debates unless the Libertarian party was on the ballot in all 50 states.

    The Libertarians worked overtime to get on the ballot in all 50 states. Not an easy task when many states intentionally block alternate parties.

    In 1992, the Presidential debates were held at Washington University ( Since Marrou had been on the ballot for several months at that time, we were looking forward to an interesting debate for once.

    Days before the debate, Marrou was told that he would not be allowed in the debate because they had changed their rules and they were only going to allow participants that had a reasonable chance of winning (like Ross Perot). Of course that is a completely self-fullfilling prophecy. At that time I had heard that the CPD was a private corporation and I found it interesting that the major stumbling block was that it was controlled by Rebublicans and Democrats with no FEC (Federal Election Commission) oversight. This from an bureacratic FEC that will fine or bring you up on charges if you file the wrong paperwork or speak out against the candidates after a certain designated time period.

    Of course the Libertarian party members were outraged that they would be stifled after working so long and hard to get on the ballot. We're talking about basic democratic rights here. Since the presidential debates would be held on campus and there were a number of open public forums at the University at the time, we decided to hold a peaceful march down a sidewalk completely away from the debate stage.

    We did the typical 60's things -- printed up posters, had little slogans. We were completely non-violent. Most of us had our kids in tow.

    After we started walking and doing our little slogans (like "We Thought This Was A Democracy"), somehow mysteriously, the onlookers in the crowd separated from the marchers. I had a bad feeling about this.

    One of the Libertarians, a gentle giant of a programmer, was acting as photographer. When the crowd moved aside, he went with them and took pictures of the march. Suddenly there was some yelling. One of the police who had been milling around the area walked toward our photographer and suddenly attacked him, yelling "We know what your trying to do!" This cop was followed by another two.

    Anyway, Libertarians having a large geek contingent, were armed with CamCorders. When the cops attacked the photographer, I and others began yelling, "Get it on video". At least three separate people got this entire exchange on video. The cops proceeded to beat the photographer, eventually doing nerve damage to his arms. All the while the photographer was yelling "I'm not resisting arrest". They arrested him and hauled him off to jail in St. Louis City.

    Strangely, Washington University is in St. Louis County. All three cops were from the City and out of their jurisdiction. After throwing the photographer in the St. Louis City jail for essentially taking pictures, they failed to book him. Thus began the beginning of my disillusion with the entire US judicial and democratic system.

    Then it gets stranger. Back at Wash U, strange military dudes in black camo with German Shepards surrounded the us and our children. Using MP5 submachine guns they hearded about 50 of the Libertarians behind a fenced baseball backstop about 10 yards from the sidewalk where most people were going to the debates.

    Incredibly and symbolically nearly all of St. Louis' TV crews and reporters from the St. Louis Post walked right past us, didn't turn on a TV camera, didn't ask us for an interview. Bill McClellan, Reporter, man of the people, walk right by without the slighest slowdown in his gait. Not the slightest bit of curiosity. I'm not talking about coverage of the Libertarian party, I'm talking about 50 citizens with children in tow held at with
  • by Randym ( 25779 ) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:11PM (#10481301)
    And here is the Cobb take on this event:

    David Cobb arrested attempting to debate [].

    By the way, it appears that Cobb was the first one in -- Badnarik came in a minute later.

Trap full -- please empty.