Gary Johnson Campaign Awaits a Ruling

Published on September 17, 2013,in Ballot Access News
by Richard Winger

As reported earlier, Gary Johnson and James Gray, the 2012 Libertarian national ticket, sued the Commission on Presidential Debates last year. The CPD rules say that anyone who is on the ballot in states containing a majority of electoral college votes, and who is at 15% in three national polls, may be included in the general election presidential debates.

Last year, several polls were commissioned in which the respondents were asked whether they prefer President Obama, or Gary Johnson. No other candidates were mentioned. The results of all three polls showed Johnson far above 15%. The results of these polls were presented to the Commission on Presidential Debates, but the Commission ignored them and did not invite Johnson or Gray into the debates.

The lawsuit is still alive. On September 4, both sides presented a joint report to U.S. District Court Judge Fernando Olguin, over whether the Johnson campaign is entitled to engage in discovery. The Johnson campaign seeks to learn the manner in which the criteria for debate inclusion were set, a history of any changes in the criteria, and information about communications between the Commission and the major party national committees. Defendants want the case dismissed without having permitted any discovery. Probably the next event in this lawsuit will be a ruling from the Judge over whether discovery may go forward. The case is Johnson v Commission on Presidential Debates, central district of California, 8:12-cv-1600.

10 thoughts on “Gary Johnson Campaign Awaits a Ruling

  1. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Someday when I have too much time on my hands, I’ll check to see which IPR article has the loongest title.

  2. kevin knedler

    In regular business world, if two companies conspired to prevent another from being on the retail shelf or set rules for placement with retailers, some people would go to jail–anti-trust.

  3. Matt Cholko

    Actually, companies routinely set “rules for placement” of their products on retailers’ shelves. They often buy the space.

    As for 2 companies conspiring to prevent another from entering the market, that is generally illegal. But, to my knowledge, it is not criminal, and nobody goes to jail for it.

    I would like LP candidates to be invited to debates. I think they should be invited. But, I doubt it will happen at the POTUS level until an LP candidate has a ton of money that makes it impossible to ignore him/her.

  4. Andy

    “Matt Cholko // Sep 18, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Actually, companies routinely set ‘rules for placement’ of their products on retailers’ shelves. They often buy the space.

    As for 2 companies conspiring to prevent another from entering the market, that is generally illegal. But, to my knowledge, it is not criminal, and nobody goes to jail for it.”

    I do not consider this to be a valid comparison, Matt. We are not talking about “products” on store shelves, we are talking about candidates for public (ie-government) office. These debates also use taxpayer funding. Heck, just look at the amount of police used for security around these debates. Who do you think pays their salaries?

    It is already very difficult to obtain ballot access in enough states to have a chance to win the election. If a candidate can get over this difficult hurdle then they ought to be included in the debates.

    Public debates between candidates are important, and I think that they should be mandatory. Any candidate who refuses to debate the other ballot qualified candidates should be removed from the ballot and any write in votes for them should be thrown out. Refusing to debate is a sign of intellectual cowardice and poor ethics, and this should be grounds for disqualifying a person from holding office.

  5. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    TH @ 8: I agree and I’ll fix it. I actually had a different title which was very long, and someone changed it–which is fine. But “awaits” is better.

  6. paulie

    The Oil Cartel ain’t got nothin’ on the Democrats, Republicans and their enablers.

    For that matter, neither do the Mexican drug cartels.

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