It’s Good To Live In A Two-Daily Town (Debate-Rigging Edition)

Saturday Boston Herald headline:

Stein fights for debate spot

Seems the Boston Media Consortium – comprising the Boston Globe, WCVB, WHDH, NECN, WGBH (TV and radio) and WBUR – has established a set of criteria for participation in its two scheduled Massachusetts gubernatorial debates (September 21 and October 26) that Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein has not met.

From the Herald report:

In a letter to Stein, the consortium said the candidates can take part in the debates only if they have raised at least $100,000 between Jan. 1 and Oct. 1 and fetched 5 percent in a poll done by a recognized media organization or academic institution. They also must have a campaign headquarters with at least three paid staffers and daily communications with nonpartisan media outlets.

Unfortunately, the Herald piece fails to give the reader any specifics about where Stein either qualifies or falls short.

(The hardworking staff has long held that the Herald is a lively index to the Boston Globe, and this is no exception.)

Saturday Globe story:

Stein has met some of [the criteria]. She has a campaign headquarters and at least three paid staff members, according to campaign finance records. She also registered above the 5 percent polling threshold in a May Suffolk University/7 News poll, though more recent surveys have shown her below that level.

But Stein has fallen short of the final threshold, a requirement that she raise $100,000 between Jan. 1 and Oct. 1. Her campaign manager, Daryl Sprague, said she has raised more than $70,000, and has picked up her pace since Tuesday’s televised debate on WBZ, in which she was included.

Two things:

1) If a candidate for statewide office can get to 5% in polls without raising $100,000, that alone should get her into the debates.

2) The first Boston Media Consortium debate is September 21 but the fundraising deadline is October 1? What if you hit six figures on September 29? Do you get to call for a do-over?

[Campaign Outsider Exclusive Sidebar®: The hardworking staff participated in the 2002 incarnation of the Boston Media Consortium, which wrestled with three minor-party candidates in the gubernatorial race – Stein, Libertarian Carla Howell, and Independent Barbara Johnson. The consortium wanted no part of that trio, and jury-rigged the criteria to keep them out. (By the end, you had to bring a food taster to the consortium meetings.) But Mitt Romney (R-Big Love) wanted them in for reasons that quickly became apparent. So they were in.]

But now, Stein isn’t.

Old friend and longtime technical adviser Dan Kennedy has it right at Media Nation: Jill Stein is a credible candidate and deserves to be in the debates. At least now.

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2 Responses to It’s Good To Live In A Two-Daily Town (Debate-Rigging Edition)

  1. These are the people trying to be the gatekeepers of our democratic process — setting an October 1st deadline for inclusion into their September 21st debate, and then using that to un-invite the ballot-qualified Stein.

    The notion that these private/public media institutions would set a $100,000 fundraising bar for inclusion into these critically important debates is one of the most vile, anti-democratic sentiments that they have made plain. I thank them for being so clear about our pay-to-play political system, and I recommend that anyone who would like to change that system try to plug in at DemocracyDays.com.

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