21.10.04

MARGINALIZING THE DISSENTING VOICES? The Illinois League of Women Voters will present a debate between Senatorial candidates Barack Obama and Alan Keyes, to air on WLS-TV, Chicago's channel 7 and on several other television and radio stations. Libertarian candidate Jerry Kohn, a member of the Illinois Association of School Economics Teachers, was expecting to participate earlier this week, but he has since circulated an email (I received it by virtue of my membership in the Association) noting that he has been disinvited. The fine print in the League's debate announcement (also in the current Google cached version) suggests that he, and Green Party candidate Albert Franzen, did not qualify.
Representatives of all of the campaigns met with the League and ABC 7 in September to discuss the date, format, and participation guidelines for the debate. At that time, the candidates' representatives agreed, in writing, to the League's Candidate Participation Policy. This policy included a requirement of demonstrated voter interest "as evidenced by receipt to ten percent (10%) of support in one or more statewide nonpartisan public opinion polls conducted not more than thirty days prior to the election (October 3, 2004) and at least five days prior to the debate." Mr. Keyes and Mr. Obama have met the requirements set out by the policy and will participate in the Thursday debate.
Mr Kohn is claiming that Ambassador Keyes favored his and Mr Franzen's participation. As Drudge would write, Developing ....

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