Libertarians Protest Unfair “Granite State Debates”: Last Night & Thursday Night

Libertarians Protest Unfair Debates Outside St. Anselm College Yesterday

Libertarians Protest Unfair Debates Outside St. Anselm College Yesterday

As of 2016’s election, the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire has gained full ballot access as a major party on par with the Democrats and Republicans. This is a big deal as it means we no longer have to jump through ridiculous ballot access hoops like petition gathering to get candidates on the ballot here. This has resulted in more Libertarian candidates appearing on the ballot here in Keene than Republican candidates. If the LPNH’s gubernatorial candidate, Jilletta Jarvis, can receive at least 4% of the vote this year, the party’s major ballot access status will continue for the next two years.

Sadly, the two largest mainstream media entities are working to help stop Jarvis from getting her ideas exposure in their debates they are hosting this week. WMUR-TV and the Union Leader are putting on the “Granite State Debates” and have set the rules to where only the Republican and Democrat candidates will qualify. To get in to their debate, a candidate must have received 12% in a recent poll and have raised over $25,000. Ironically, Darryl W Perry told me that both organizations have opined in favor of getting money out of politics, but when it’s a metric they can use to exclude the Libertarians, they apparently support money in politics.

NH-2 Congressional Libertarian Candidate Justin O’Donnell

The idea that such rules are in any way necessary is totally ridiculous. There are only three ballot qualified candidates for governor. It’s not like they’d need eleven podiums on the stage. They could have kept it fair and allowed in all ballot-qualified candidates, but they stacked the deck against the Libertarian campaigns.   It’s pretty clear the exclusion was done on purpose, likely to appease the other two parties’ candidates, who as we saw recently may refuse to attend if the Libertarian is invited.

It wasn’t just the race for governor. Last night they held their debate for NH’s 2nd congressional district and excluded Libertarian Justin O’Donnell. In an interview with Free Keene, O’Donnell said this on the matter:

Radio and TV broadcasters are given free access to use public airwaves worth more than half a trillion dollars in exchange for a requirement that such broadcasters “serve the public interest” and provide a fair and unbalanced reporting of the news to inform the American people. By hosting a facade of a debate, and failing to include all the options who have qualified to be on the ballot, these broadcast organizations are negligent in their duty to inform the people.

Tomorrow, Libertarians will gather to protest starting at 5pm, two hours before the beginning of the gubernatorial debate at St Anselm College. They will be standing near the college’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics at 100 Saint Anslem Drive in Manchester. LP gubernatorial candidate Jilletta Jarvis will be present. Last night the turnout was approximately a dozen activists – hopefully we’ll have as much or more tomorrow night! The fake “debate” begins at 7pm Eastern.  Here is a facebook event for the protest.

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  1. While I was unfortunately unable to attend due to prior obligations I’m proud to be able to say my partner was in attendance at the protest and it’s a shame that Democrats and Republicans can’t back up there arguments with rational logical arguments. I guess they fear the libertarian so much as to refuse debates with them. Maybe they should fear us. We’re going to overtake and demolish the state as it stands. Unlike the republicans and democrats who think short term libertarians are in it for the long term. We’ll be patient and as more and more libertarians move to New Hampshire we’ll restore the liberties and freedoms lost to the other two parties over the past few hundred years. There will eventually be a last bastion of hope be come through peaceful means or violent acts of self defense en mass.

  2. So what is this protest really going to accomplish? Libertarians are the red headed step children of the political world. It won’t do you any good.

  3. But Jacks, debates are celebrated because they’re supposed to allow political candidates the opportunity to argue public policy from their perspective viewpoints. It’s pretty obvious, pookums, that WMUR and the Union Leader are barring LPNH candidates from their forum in hopes of affecting the outcome of the elections. That’s pretty deceitful of those guys, don’t you think?

  4. It would be interesting to start or maybe buy a major news outlet in NH. I hear they are going for pennies on the dollar right now. Good time to get in!

  5. Anybody have the info on who to call or email to protest this anti-democratic exclusion of Libertarian candidates from debates? The organizations that do this, and the candidates and media outlets who collaborate, need to feel the heat that what they are doing is not fair and not cool and they need to stop.

  6. Ian writes, “…both organizations have opined in favor of getting money out of politics, but when it’s a metric they can use to exclude the Libertarians, they apparently support money in politics.”

    Exactly! It feels rather serendipitous to read this, as I just today made virtually the same point to a radio reporter who I got to interview me after pointing out her station’s biased presentation about a local bond measure which they said had “no organized opposition” (i.e. no campaign spending a lot of money).

    It’s a point of hypocrisy of many in the political establishment as well as many in the media, which deserves to have more light shone on it.

  7. You could probably use Google to locate phone numbers for the media outlets.

  8. kk – Better Startpage or DuckDuckGo or another more privacy-respecting search engine.

  9. Justin is a racist sexist pile of dog shit

  10. Hitching the Free State wagon to the GOP isn’t looking like such a good strategy now, is it?

Care to comment?