Hat tip to the Hankster for this action alert:
ACTION ALERT: Tell the FEC to demand a fair debate process!
Ron Paul excluded from Fox Debate/ Dennis Kucinich excluded from ABC debate
ABC News and FOX News are trying to narrow the field of presidential candidates Americans get to hear just as the first votes are being cast. Here's the story:
First, FOX News has invited the Republican candidates to participate in a forum on Sunday, January 6, 2 days before the New Hampshire primary. But they have excluded Ron Paul, who has been climbing in the polls, and has raised $19 million in the last three months -- more money than any other Republican candidate in the quarter. And he received 10% of the vote in Iowa!
Congressman Paul is the only Republican who has come out strongly against the Iraq war, and who has challenged many of George Bush's positions. The fundraising and poll numbers show Paul's positions are resonating with the American people. FOX has not released its criteria for including candidates in the forum, so we are left to infer the reasons behind their decision.
Second, ABC News and WMUR-TV are sponsoring Republican and Democratic debates on Saturday, January 5. This week they issued criteria for participation: a candidate has to either 1) place in the top 4 in Iowa; 2) poll at 5% in NH, or 3) poll at 5% nationally.
ABC is arbitrarily deciding who the American people hear from. Given the Iowa results, and that Dodd and Biden have dropped out of the race, this criteria only excludes Dennis Kucinich.
By law, the debate sponsors are supposed to issue pre-existing objective criteria for who gets to participate in the debates. FOX News has issued no criteria at all. ABC only issued their criteria on Tuesday, January 1, for a debate taking place on January 5.
It seems the criteria is being used to shape the results of the election.
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Where is the FEC? It is the agency charged with enforcing the limited fairness protections that have been enacted in our election laws. Send the FEC General Counsel's office a letter or call to urge her to take action! The NH debates are critical, as they are just days before the first votes are cast in the nation. The FEC should demand that FOX and ABC include all ballot-qualified candidates in the debates.
FEC Contact info:
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20436