Green Party urges voters to protest “rigged” presidential debate decision

Green Party urges widespread protest by voters against decision by the Commission on Presidential Debates to bar alternative-party nominees

Protest planned at the first debate site on Sept. 26 against “fraud on the American voter”

Greens: CPD violates voters’ right to know about all candidates on the ballot; LWV and news media should host fair, inclusive debates

CPD rules “aren’t meant to block unviable candidates. They’re designed to stop alternative-party candidates from becoming viable.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.Green Party leaders are urging voters across the U.S. to express their anger in response to an announcement from the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on Friday that alternative-party candidates would be barred from the debates.”Voters deserve the right to know about all the candidates who’ll be on the ballot on Election Day. The CPD has violated that right by rigging the debates. Americans should protest loudly and demand that control over the debates be taken away from the CPD,” said Dr. Cecile Lawrence, co-spokesperson for the Green Party’s National Women Caucus and 2010 candidate for U.S. Senator from New York.

Green presidential nominee Jill Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka have published a call for protest and civil disobedience at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island, the site of the first debate on Monday, September 26 ( ).

“The debate rules aren’t meant to block ‘unviable’ candidates. They’re designed to stop alternative-party candidates from becoming viable,” said Julia Willebrand, co-spokesperson for the Green Party’s National Women Caucus and Green candidate for State Senate in New York’s District 31.

“The CPD is not an impartial nonpartisan group. It’s controlled by Democratic and Republican party leaders who want to keep the political field limited to their own parties and nominees. That’s a gross conflict of interest. The CPD shouldn’t be running the debates,” said Ms. Willebrand.

Greens said that any candidate with ballot lines in enough states to win, if enough voters voted for him or her, should be admitted to the debates. Based on this criterion, Dr. Stein and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and their running mates are qualified to participate in the debates.

The Green Party will be on the ballot in 44 states and the District of Columbia, with voters in another three states able to write in Green candidates, in the 2016 election. This number surpasses the previous Green high point in 2000, when nominee Ralph Nader appeared on the ballot in 43 states and the District.

“We invite all those who supported Bernie Sander’s political revolution during the primaries to join our demand for fair and open debates. Without Dr. Stein and Mr. Baraka, many ideas expressed by Mr. Sanders, like Single-Payer health care and restoring the Glass-Steagall Act, will be censored from the debates. No movement can survive if it participates in the silencing of its own agenda,” saidBahram Zandi, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

Talking Points on the Debates

Greens and others are urging the League of Women Voters and the news media to sponsor debates that admit all candidates who are on the ballot in enough states to win.

More: “Jill Stein Continues to Call for Open Debates Despite Commission Decision,” press release from the Stein/Baraka Campaign, Sept. 16,

“TV Networks Should Open Up the Presidential Debates to Third Parties” by Jeff Cohen, Truthout,Aug. 16,

Opinion polls confirm that a super-majority of Americans favors inclusion of alternative-party candidates in the debates. The polls reflect widespread public disapproval for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and dissatisfaction with both of the major parties.

More: “Voters want third-party candidates on debate stage” by David Paleologos, USA Today, Sept. 1,

“Poll: Fear, not excitement, driving Clinton and Trump supporters” by Susan Page, USA Today, Sept. 1,

The CPD decided on an arbitrary 15% threshold in the polls for admission to the debates after witnessing Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Jesse Ventura’s victory in 1998. Mr. Ventura, an independent, was initially dismissed as “not viable” with about 3% in the polls. After he participated in a debate, his poll numbers soared and won the election. In 2000, the CPD imposed the 15% requirement so that Al Gore and George W. Bush wouldn’t have to face Mr. Nader and Pat Buchanan in the debates. (Reform Party candidate H. Ross Perot participated in 1992 with 7%.)

More: “How Presidential ‘Non-Opinion’ Polls Drive Down Third Party Numbers And Facilitate Debate Exclusion” by Sam Husseini, Aug. 19, Huffington Post,

The CPD took over the debates from the League of Women Voters in 1988. The CPD, run by Democratic and Republican party leaders and corporate sponsors, enacted rules to exclude alternative party nominees and independents from the debates, as internal CPD memos show. The LWV has called the debates “a fraud on the American voter.”

More: George Farah’s book “No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates,” summarized at

See also:

Open the Debates!

It is undemocratic to exclude me and Gary Johnson from presidential debates
By Jill Stein, The Guardian, September 6, 2016

Open Up the Debates: Green Party’s Jill Stein Accuses Democrats & GOP of Rigging Debate Rules
Video: interview with Dr. Stein, Democracy Now!, August 18, 2016

Two parties use legitimate means to mask rigged debates
By Rodolfo Cortes Barragan, The Hill, September 18, 2016

Jill Stein Should Be Part of a 4-Way Presidential Debate
By John Nichols, The Nation, August 19, 2016

2016 Elections
Wrap-up of the 2016 Green National Convention:
Jill Stein for President / Ajamu Baraka for Vice President:
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Green Party of Michigan Candidates for 2016

Green Party of Michigan Candidates for 2016 President and Vice-President

Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka;

United States Congress

Ellis Boal; US House District 1;; Matthew Brady; US house District 2;
Jordan Salvi; US House District 4;
Harley Mikkelson; US House District 5;

Maria Green; US House District 8;; John V. McDermott; US House District 9;
Benjamin Nofs; US House District 10;; and

Dylan Calewarts; US House District 12;; (734) 431-0224 Marcia Squier; US House District 14;

Michigan State Legislature

Dan Finn; State House District 4;
Artelia Marie Leak; State House District 29;
Eric Borregard; State House District 52;
Joseph Stevens; State House District 53;
John Anthony La Pietra; State House District 63;;
Michael Anderson; State House District 70;;, and
Deena Marie Bruderick; State House District 83;
Cliff Yankovich; State House District 86;; and Committee To Elect Cliff Yankovich, 8639 52nd St.,Ada, MI 49301
Wade Roberts; State House District 109;

State-wide Offices

Sherry A Wells; State Board of Education;
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Latham Redding; U of M Board of Regents;
Will Tyler White; MSU Board of Trustees;; Margaret Guttshall; WSU Board of Governors;
Fran Shor; WSU Board of Governors;;;

County and Township Offices

Veda Balla; Genesee County Commission, District 4;
Korie Blyveis; Newberg Twp. Clerk (Cass County);
Celeste Bondie; Emmet County Board, District 4;
Stuart Collis; Ypsilanti Twp. Park Commissioner (Washtenaw County); Tom Mair; Grand Traverse County Board, District 2;

Shauna McNally; Ypsilanti Twp. Park Commissioner (Washtenaw County);; 313-980-5709
Jesse Torres; Holly Twp. Park Commissioner (Oakland County); Wayne Vermilya; Presque Isle County Board, District 1;

Non-partisan, endorsed by GPMI

Eric Siegel; Oakland County Community College Board of Trustees;;

PDF file: 2016-gpmi-slate.pdf

Wrap-up of the 2016 Green National Convention

Jill Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka nominated on Aug. 6 in Houston: links to videos and transcripts of the speeches and other events

CNN town hall with Stein and Baraka: Wednesday, Aug. 17, 9 p.m. ET



WASHINGTON, D.C. — At approximately 3:30 p.m. CT on Aug. 6 during the Green Party’s 2016 national convention, Greens chose Jill Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka to be the party’s presidential and vice-presidential nominees.

Dr. Stein was nominated after receiving a majority of votes in the first round of voting. She received 239.5 out of 293 total votes (81.7%) cast by Green delegates from across the U.S.

The convention took place in Houston, Texas, on the campus of the University of Texas. Dozens of Green candidates from Texas and other states were among the party leaders, delegates, and observers.

Along with the nomination, highlights of the convention included speeches by Julian Assange (via live feed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London), YahNé Ndgo, and Dr. Cornel West on Saturday and events welcoming former supporters of Bernie Sanders. Videos and texts of many of the speeches follow below.

CNN will air a town hall event with Dr. Stein and Mr. Baraka on Wednesday, August 17 at 9:00 p.m. ET, live on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Espanol, and online via CNNgo (

Green Party delegates also voted to confirm the party’s new national platform ( ).

Party members also elected a new steering committee. The new co-chairs are Darlene Elias (from Massachusetts), Darryl! L.C. Moch (District of Columbia), and Chris Blankenhorn (Illinois). Brian Bittner (Maryland) was chosen to be treasurer of the party.

Remaining co-chairs are Andrea Mérida-Cuéllar (Colorado), Sanda Everette (California), Tamar Yager (Virginia), Bahram Zandi (Maryland), and party secretary Jan Martell (North Carolina).

Greens thanked outgoing co-chairs Audrey Clement (Virginia), Charles Ostdiek (Nebraska), Paul Pipkin (Texas), and treasurer Jeff Turner (Hawai’i).

Greens also thanked Tamar Yager (Virginia) and Hillary Aisenstein (Pennsylvania), co-chairs of the party’s Annual National Meeting Committee, for their hard work in organizing the convention.

Videos, speech transcripts, and related links

Jill Stein, acceptance speech
Campaign site:
Meet Jill Stein:

Ajamu Baraka, acceptance speech
Transcript (excerpt):
About Ajamu Baraka:
Web site:

Julian Assange, interviewed by David Cobb
Transcript (excerpt):
Justice for Julian Assange web site:

YahNé Ndgo: keynote speech

Dr. Cornel West: keynote speech

More videos from the convention

Green Party livestream from the convention
Morning speeches:
Afternoon keynote speeches, acceptance speeches:

Post-nomination press conference with Dr. Stein and Mr. Baraka
More press conferences and other videos from the Green National Convention, from Viva Bernie 2016:

Real News Network: interviews with Green Party candidates and leaders, Dr. West

C-SPAN: Dr. Stein’s acceptance speech, introduced by Mr. Baraka

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Video Page
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Green Party of Michigan Nominating Convention – Saturday July 30


Saturday, July 30, 2016, 9 AM to 7 PM
Hannah Community Center
Executive Conference Room, 2nd floor
819 Abbot Rd., East Lansing, MI 48823

Nomination of candidates for:
* U.S. House of Representatives
* MI State Board of Education
* MI Statewide College Boards for UM, MSU & Wayne State U.
* Michigan Senate and Michigan House
* all other applicable state and local offices

Finalizing delegates & voting for GP National Convention
Regular business of the Green Party of Michigan

Sherry A. Wells, Meeting Manager,

If you’re interested in running for public office in the Green Party at a Federal, State or Local level in Michigan’s November General Election, you need to join the Green Party of Michigan Now!

Candidates should contact our elections manager at:
John La Pietra