Monday, October 11, 2004

Bi-partisan is not non-partisan

(update in comments)

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.

Ground Zero:

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.


benzado said...

I didn't hear about this. What happened? I mean, I didn't see him in the debate, so did he go to jail?

Mark Rauterkus said...

Yes. He went to jail.

Two presidential candidates - Michael Badnarik and David Cobb - were arrested tonight. Papers were served to stop the third Bush - Kerry debate today. Neither of these stories (short of the aforementioned AP wire) were covered by the mainstream media.

The story is at

Mark Rauterkus said...

Highlights... snips from the candidate's site:


11:04PM CT

Jon Airheart and Fred Collins just called. They are at the city jail mentioned above. Jon stated, “What I will now tell you shows the absolute ineptitude of government. They don’t even know, and won’t know for three to four hours, whether he [Badnarik] is in this particular jail.”

Fred Collins said, “He [Badnarik] should have picked a better city in which to be arrested.”

The question which remains is whether Mr. Badnarik is in the city or the county jail.

12:04AM CT

Fred Collins just called on Jon Airheart’s cell phone, as Fred’s battery is ganz tot. He reports, “The county jail says they don’t have him and the city jail says they don’t have him.”

Where is Michael? Perhaps at Gitmo already?

12:33AM CT

Local police responded to the incidents by delivering two additional busloads of officers in riot gear to the University’s event site.

12:43AM CT

Jon reports that Mr. Badnarik said the whole process would have taken a lot less time but there was a lot of commotion on campus. They arrested five students who “literally just accidentally crossed over into the ‘no-longer-a-free-speech-zone’ and they nearly were nearly taken out by snipers. According to the report, it was just five kids trying to go back to their dorms. After expressing outrage over the way the students were treated, Badnarik stated that this slowed his processing dramatically.

Anonymous said...

Dear Badnarik supporter,

A few days ago, I asked you to help us fight the media blackout by contributing towards our goal of $53,200 for the next Badnarik for President commercial buy. Thanks to your generosity, we have already passed the critical halfway mark.

A lot of exciting things have happened since then. To begin, the media blackout continues. Michael Badnarik has now participated in three presidential debates and Richard Campagna has participated in one vice presidential debate. The main stream media knew of these debates and refused to cover them.

Libertarians filed a complaint against Arizona State University and the Commission on Presidential Debates to stop the final Bush ˆ Kerry debate. While a few cameras were present, this clearly did not receive the amount of national media attention it deserved. The main stream media knew, in advance, and refused to cover the story.

Friday, we attempted to serve an Order to Show Cause to the Commission on Presidential Debates at their D.C. headquarters. The CPD did everything within their power to avoid process service. Again, America‚s major media outlets did not carry the story.

Later that evening, Michael Badnarik personally attempted to serve the papers to the CPD during the staged Bush ˆ Kerry debate in St. Louis ˆ AND WAS ARRESTED IN THE PROCESS. The mainstream press did know of this in advance, but refused to cover it.

Clearly, the Badnarik campaign has earned the attention of the media. That Michael is not being covered by the mainstream press can only have one explanation now: Bush and Kerry are in bed with Fox, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and many major newspapers.

In order to combat the media blackout, the Badnarik campaign has employed a strategy of concurrently hitting the major media from three sides:

1) Engage in activities which are difficult for the media to ignore. This is a win ˆ win proposition for us. Either they cover us, or they expose their bias. Gallup recently reported that less than half of Americans express confidence in the media's ability to report news stories accurately and fairly. With their continued lack of coverage of third party presidential activities, we expect this number to decline even more.

2) Provide an alternative media outlet for those people who really want to know „what‚s really happening. Our Internet traffic has been soaring ever since Michael won the Libertarian nomination. Ralph Nader has not been able to even compete on the same playing field as us with respect to site traffic. We just had to upgrade our host and servers (thanks to our excellent web team, this was accomplished without any downtime or major problems). Just yesterday, we had 105,551 unique site visitors who viewed 324,758 pages for a total of 2,770,933 hits ˆ which used 52.61 gigabytes of bandwidth. Considering that recent Badnarik Internet activities sparked a flurry of activity from other major websites (such as other blogs, Fark and Slashdot) around the world, millions of people are aware that Badnarik was arrested ˆ and that the mainstream media chose to ignore this fact.

3) Produce and air television commercials. In addition to the commercials we have already run, we have a new one in final production, and another one in the works. How many times these new commercials will air is up to you. We are placing every possible dime into running television commercials which will play in homes throughout the country. Additionally, we are now looking at a national media buy for one of the new commercials.

Now that we have the mainstream media boxed in on three sides, we may have the opportunity to slam the lid on them this Tuesday. At 9AM, a hearing will be conducted in the case of the Arizona Libertarian Party v. the CPD and ASU. This is an attempt to shut down the Bush ˆ Kerry debate, scheduled for Wednesday.

We have no way of predicting the outcome of this hearing. If the Bush ˆ Kerry debate is shut down, rescheduled for a different time at a different location, or if Michael Badnarik is included in the debate THERE WILL BE NO WAY THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA WILL BE ABLE TO IGNORE US ANYMORE!


Please visit frequently to obtain the latest news from the campaign trail. We need each and every one of you to take information from our site and spread it around the Internet. Please visit as many sites as you can, and provide comments, post quotes and paste links back to our website.

Then start contacting national media outlets in ways which are difficult to ignore. The time for nicely worded E-mails requesting they cover Badnarik is about over. They know exactly who he is and how to contact him. As you are aware, most of them are rebuffing our attempts to be covered on their programs. Start calling programs and mention the word Badnarik as soon as you get on the air.


Help us meet our goal of raising $53,200 for our next commercial buy by clicking on the donate now button. While they may not cover us in the news, we can still play our commercials during the news.


Obviously, please make sure that you vote on Election Day. And try to persuade as many of your friends and family members to cast their vote for freedom by pulling the lever for Michael. If you will not be near your polling place, please ensure that you obtain your absentee ballot in advance.


We are considering a national media buy. This means that we will be running television commercials in every household in the United States, if you really want us to.

We are also considering initiating additional legal challenges to the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, and various ballot access statutes. The level of legal activity in which we will be able to be engaged depends entirely on you.

During our last online fundraising drive, when we reached our target, Lady Liberty's fire lit up - and yet you continued to contribute, causing her flames to burn higher and higher.

This time, we need to light the fires of Liberty so high they can be seen all across this great land. And every dollar you contribute in excess of our goal sends the Badnarik campaign staff a message - that you wish for us to purchase nationwide television commercials and that you wish for us to be able to initiate additional legal challenges to the current electoral system.

With 23 days remaining until the election, your immediate donation will never be more critical than it is right now.

When you click the Donate Today button or visit, we can override the media blackout, as they cannot legally refuse to run our commercials.

After you click the Donate Today button or visit, please consider adding a few more dollars to your contribution to help us fight our legal challenges.

Then tell us you want to see Badnarik commercials airing nationwide by digging even deeper into your pockets. Remember, a contribution total which exceeds $53,200 is your message to the Badnarik campaign, and to the world, that you wish to fight the media blackout by running Libertarian commercials nationwide.

Thanks to you, we are lighting the fires of liberty, one commercial buy at a time!

In liberty,

Stephen P. Gordon
Communications Director, Badnarik/Campagna 2004
Paid for by Badnarik/Campagna 04

Contributions or gifts to Badnarik for President are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year.

Badnarik/Campagna 04, Suite 100, 6633 Highway 290 East, Austin, TX 78723, U.S.A.

Anonymous said...

Dear Open Debates supporters,

This week the press has, in many ways, adopted Open Debates' critique of the presidential debates. With the Memorandum of Understanding public for the first time in sixteen years, the candidates and the CPD are being held accountable for the sanitized and exclusionary pseudo-debates that they have designed. This is a very important step forward in the displacement of the CPD with the nonpartisan Citizens' Debate Commission.

We hope many of you have had an opportunity to see Executive Director George Farah on Now with Bill Moyers, Nightline, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, Lou Dobbs, Fox and Friends and the other shows he has been on this week. Please check our homepage for regularly updated times and dates for George's upcoming television appearances:

Tonight and tomorrow, George is scheduled to be on the following shows:
-MSNBC Countdown, Sept. 30, 6pm
-CBS Evening News, Sept. 30, 6:30pm
-CNN American Morning, Oct. 1, 8am
-CNNfn Financial News, Oct 1, 9:40am
-MSNBC Deborah Norville, Oct. 1, 9pm
-ABC 20/20, Oct. 1, 10pm

The in-depth Now with Bill Moyers segment titled "Rigging the Debates" is
now available online!

Today, the Washington Post's David Broder published an insightful column titled "Open Up the Debates":

Contributions, however small or large, are welcome to help us spread the
message in these next crucial weeks. Contributors who contribute $200 or more will receive a signed hardcover copy of "No Debate."

We're clearly moving ahead, and our successes have been a direct result of your support. Thank you!

-- The Open Debates Team