Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bona Fide

Was listening to the Democracy Now! program today (10/25). The whole show was devoted to Green candiates running for various offices across the nation. Rachel Treichler, running as a Green for Attorney General just across the Lake, in New York, was one of several mentioned. My ears perked up because Rachel and I were students at The Mountain School in Vershire (she gradudated a few years after I did). TMS was a small school, but its grads sure make their mark!

The League of Women Voters of New York withdrew its sponsorship of the three candidate debates because Green candidates were excluded from participation in them. .

Sources from the two stations sponsoring the debates told Metroland, an alternative weekly in Albany, that it was Cuomo’s camp which refused to participate in the debates if Treichler were to be included.

The League also withdrew its sponsorship of a debate between Democratic Senator Hilary Clinton and Republican Challenger John Spencer after Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins was excluded from taking part. In a press release announcing their decision, the League stated that they had determined that the Republican, Democrat and Green candidates were all bona fide contestants and should have all been included in the debates

From the Metroland article:

Treichler had petitioned weeks earlier to be included in the League of Women Voters’ proposed three attorney-general debates. In a letter, she argued her qualifications: ballot access, financial compliance with New York State Board of Elections, voter interest and serious media coverage. The league, in turn, commissioned a Zogby poll in which Treichler polled 17 percent of the vote among independent voters. It was decided that she was a viable candidate.

The whirlwind began for the 55-year-old environmental activist and lawyer when she found out that she would likely face off with Cuomo and Pirro at WXXI in Rochester and at WABC in Manhattan, and Pirro at WCNY in Syracuse. “Oh my goodness, I have to prepare for this great opportunity,” declared Treichler, after learning that she was going to be included in the debates cosponsored by the League of Women Voters. “I was going to be in New York City for several events, but I asked some friends to practice with me. I spent all weekend practicing.”

She was hoping to bring some rational discourse to a race that so far has been mired in personal scandal.

At the last minute, however, Treichler learned that she wasn’t going to be included in any of the debates. Cuomo wasn’t interested, she says, in debating a third-party candidate, and his camp put the pressure on to not include her.

“Apparently, the three candidates couldn’t come to a consensus on who would be at the debate,” says a source within WCNY (who wished to remain anonymous). Unwilling to name Cuomo, the source points out that both Treichler and Pirro were willing to debate each other, adding, “You do the math.” It is the station’s policy to call off a debate if all of the viable candidates are not able to agree on the specifics of the debate. So once Cuomo’s camp made it clear they wouldn’t debate if Treichler was invited, WCNY decided not to host the debate at all.

WXXI and WABC went ahead with their respective debates, however, without Treichler. An employee at WXXI confirms that Cuomo’s camp made it very clear: He would not appear with a Green Party candidate.

Gotta love those Dems - throwin' the same shit they did with Nader and Greens back in 2000 and 2004. We do indeed deserve better, dontcha think?

1 comment:

  1. On the same show they dealt with Republicans providing funds to Green candidates to get them on the ballot with a view to spoiling chances of a Democrat victory. Why is it so hard to get on the ballot in the US?


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