The October 8, 2004 debate is to feature the second head to head between Bush and Kerry. And, as a sideshow, Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party's 2004 presidential nominee, pledges he'll either enter the debate, or else he'll be going to jail.
"A majority of Americans say that I should be included in the events sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates," says Badnarik, 50, of Austin, Texas. "And the CPD, as a non-profit, has received special treatment from government on the requirement that they be
non-partisan in their activities. Bi-partisan is not non-partisan.
"Unless I am allowed to participate, the debates become a massive campaign contribution to two of the candidates, illegal under the very campaign finance laws those two candidates have passed and signed as Senator and President."
At 8 p.m. on Friday evening, Badnarik, along with the demonstrators expected to assemble in protest against his exclusion, will proceed to the police line erected to keep himself and the other legitimate candidates out during broadcast of the "bi-partisan campaign commercial."
And then he will cross it.
"We'd have preferred to see John Kerry and George Bush stand up like men to debate the issues facing America," says Badnarik's communications director, Stephen Gordon. "However, they have interposed the machinery of government between the American people and the honest debate which must precede any honest election. Now it's up to patriots like Michael Badnarik to force the issue." In Arizona, the Libertarian Party is taking the state university to court to prevent the expenditure of state money on a similar event.
Badnarik has previously debated David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate; Michael Peroutka of the Constitution Party; and Walt Brown of the Socialist Party. Kerry and Bush, as well as Independent Ralph Nader, declined to participate in those debates. Tomorrow morning, he
will proceed from a New York taping with Bill Moyers to St. Louis, ready to take on the Republican and Democratic machines in defense of American democracy.
Voters in 48 states and the District of Columbia will be able to vote for Badnarik on November 2nd. More than 600 Libertarians currently serve in public office across the United States.
The protest will proceed from Northmoor Park on Big Bend Ave., just south of Washington University to the corner of Big Bend and Forsyth, where the police line is expected to be arrayed. Badnarik's crossing onto the Washington University campus will take place at that point,
some time between 8 and 8:15 p.m. Badnarik and Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb plan to cross the police line together.
Quote Thoreau, and intended to apply to the US occupation of Iraq:
"In other words, when ... a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize. What makes this duty the more urgent is the fact that the country so
overrun is not our own, but ours is the invading army." -- Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
Bowyer call in
These debates in Cleveland and St. Louis are being held in cities much like Pittsburgh with swift population decline, corporate welfare, one-party domination.