Calls on College of Staten Island to Refuse to Host the Closed Debate
BROOKLYN, April 11 2015--James Lane, the Green Party candidate for Congress in the special election to replace a convicted felon, said it was the height of absurdity for NY 1 and the Advance to exclude him from their April 14th televised debate on the grounds that he is not "viable".
"Of my two opponents, one represents the Republicans, which had to find a new candidate when the incumbent was convicted of tax fraud. The other represents the Democrats, whose national leadership has already thrown in the towel," said Lane,
Lane called on the College of Staten Island to refuse to host the debate unless it was open to all candidates on the ballot. "Colleges are supposed to be about open debate, where all sides of the issues are heard. This debate violates the educational mission of the College," said Lane.
Lane pointed out that the United States is the only democracy in the world that is limited to two "major" parties, one center-right and the other far right. The Green Party candidate for Governor, Howie Hawkins, finished 3rd in the 2014 and 2010 elections. The Green Party candidates for President have finished 3rd or 4th in recent elections.
During the recent Gubernatorial election, both Hawkins and the Libertarian Party candidate were able to participate in the one televised debate. A Marist Poll (WSJ/NBC) prior to the debate showed that voters overwhelmingly (78%) want all the candidates on the ballot included in debates. Almost half (45%) of the voters said open debates would determine how they would vote
"Democracy is ill-served when the media conspires with the corporate backers of the two largest parties to limit what the public hears about the candidates and their alternate visions. The air waves are legally owned by the public and should not exclude ballot qualified candidates from their sponsored debates," said Gloria Mattera, co-chair of the New York Green Party.
Lane noted that the domination of Congress by Democrats and Republicans has resulted in it becoming perhaps the most disrespected institution in the country. A 2014 Gallop poll found that just 7% of the voters had confidence in Congress. About seven in 10 Americans (69 percent) say they don't want most members of Congress reelected, according to a PewResearchCenter poll. An additional 36 percent say they don't want their own representative reelected.
A majority of U.S. adults, 58%, say a third U.S. political party is needed because the Republican and Democratic parties "do such a poor job" representing the American people. (Gallup)