Petition to Michael D. McCurry, Mr. Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.
Include the Libertarian Candidates in 2016 Presidential Debates
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are currently the two most unpopular presidential candidates in the histories of the NBC/Wall Street Journal and ABC/Washington Post presidential polls. Half of each candidate’s supporters are negative voters, according to a recent ABC/Post poll. They oppose the other candidate more than they favor their own. Fewer than half strongly support their candidate. For Trump, that means less than 23 percent; and less than 22 percent for Clinton. The alternative perspective means that 56 percent of registered voters prefer not to vote for either candidate. Indeed, in this same ABC/Post poll, “while 51 percent of Americans say they’d be satisfied with a Clinton-Trump race, 44 percent say they’d want a third-party candidate to run.” That means approximately one-half of registered voters feel disenfranchised and want an alternative to both Clinton and Trump. These extremely high negative numbers are important for two reasons. First is the fact that half of registered voters could choose to stay home rather than be forced to vote for a candidate they do not respect. The second is that presidential poll numbers determine which candidates are invited to participate in the presidential debates. If Clinton and Trump are the only candidates on the debate platform, many voters will ignore the debates rather than sit through hours of name-calling and pandering to their respective political bases. Don’t expect any substantive efforts by either candidate to convince undecided voters that they can unite and lead this very diverse country. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) requires that a third-party candidate poll at least 15 percent to be invited to a presidential debate. The CPD will likely demand that this threshold be met, regardless of the extremely high negative numbers for both Clinton and Trump. In addition to the 15 percent threshold, the CPD requires that “candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College.” The Libertarian Candidate, Gary Johnson, is on the ballot in all 50 states. He has been polling in the 10 percent range against “presumptive” nominees Trump and Clinton. Now that all candidates have been selected, polling results will reflect reality, rather than “what if” candidacies. Clinton and Trump together can only be sure of about 50 percent of the vote. That leaves up to 50 percent possible for Johnson. Fifty percent of the votes for Johnson to 25 percent each for Clinton and Trump sounds like a “mathematical chance of winning.” Someone needs to speak for disenfranchised voters at the debates. Someone other than Clinton needs to challenge Trump on his immigration position. Someone other than Trump needs to challenge Clinton on her paternalistic government positions. Someone needs to force Clinton and Trump to tell us how they can unite this country, rather than to continue dividing it. To the disenfranchised voter, do not disengage yourself from this election. Use whatever influence you have to persuade the Commission on Presidential Debates to include three candidates in each debate this year; not just two.
Petition to Democratic Presidential Candidates
Debate Criminal Justice Reform
During the first two Republican debates, none of the candidates discussed criminal justice in a meaningful way. This is unacceptable. On Tuesday, CNN will host the first Democratic primary debate of 2015. Lets make sure the candidates discuss this paramount issue. More than two million people are behind bars in the United States --close to 1 out of every 100 Americans. At a time when highways are crumbling and schoolchildren go without books, America spends $80 billion every year on the incarceration industry – an expense that has a devastating impact on individuals, communities, and society as a whole.How our next President plans to handle this crisis and get us out of this mess is something we all need to know. That’s exactly what primary debates are for. Please sign our petition requesting the candidates discuss their plans for criminal justice reform.There are so many important questions that could be asked: What would you do to shrink our bloated prison system? How would you reform mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders? How would you eliminate barriers that prevent formerly incarcerated people from successfully reentering society?Democratic and Republican candidates have agreed that reform is needed. But it is critical that we know exactly what they would do to take on the incarceration industry in America.Join us in convincing Presidential candidates to discuss their plans to reform our broken justice system.
Petition to Mike McCurry, Janet Brown, Frank Fahrenkopf, Commission on Presidential Debates
It's Time for a Woman Moderator: Equality in the 2012 Presidential Debates!
(Note: To sign a second petition calling on the Romney and Obama campaigns to support the call for a woman presidential debate moderator, please go here: http://www.change.org/petitions/obama-and-romney-support-the-call-for-a-woman-to-moderate-a-presidential-debate) This is an exciting time to be a young woman interested in politics. Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin’s presidential and vice presidential campaigns put women in the spotlight in the political realm in 2008, finally providing a way for girls across our nation to envision themselves in these positions of power. We already know that no women will be on stage at this year's presidential debates, but what about in the moderator's chair? We were shocked to find out that it has been 20 years since a woman last moderated a presidential debate. Moderators are chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is made up of three women out of seventeen commissioners. 20 years is way too long: we're encouraging the Commission to name at least one woman to moderate one of the three upcoming presidential debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Presidential debate moderators have a lot power when it comes to helping the American public to better understand candidates. Being a moderator is a tough job; the moderator must keep debate flowing, make sure candidates stay focused on relevant topics, and maintain an unbiased stance. Men are no more capable of performing these tasks than women -- but for the last two decades, only men have been given the job. Women and men will never be truly equal in our country until they’re one and the same in positions of power and both visible in politics. We need to take immediate action in order to move towards this change. There is no reason why a woman shouldn’t have a chance to show what she’s capable of by moderating debates in the upcoming election. Tell the Commission on Presidential Debates to have a woman moderate one of the debates now.