Jill Stein will be at the first presidential debate! Well, she’ll be outside, but she’ll be at the building. Her supporters may also force their way inside. Stein’s supporters know that she will have to take bold moves in order to be noticed. That’s why she was arrested for spray painting a bulldozer at the Dakota Pipeline site. (By the way, how could they not expect Native American protestors at something called a “Dakota” Pipeline?)

Now, Stein is hoping to get more attention at Hofstra University.

Jill Stein didn’t get invited to the first presidential debate, but the Green Party candidate is still hoping to cause a stir.

In the hours before Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton take the stage, Stein and her supporters plan to hold a “Let Jill Debate” protest and subsequent “People’s Debate.”

Both events are to be held outside Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, the site of Monday’s debate. When the debate starts at 9 p.m., Stein’s campaign says she will “participate live in the debate on social media.”

Stein didn’t pass the 15 percent national polling threshold to qualify for the debate, and neither did Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson. Johnson’s campaign said he, along with running mate Bill Weld, will be New York City on debate day. The pair plan to watch the debate live and live-tweet from their Twitter accounts.

But it may not be just a demonstration outside. She says, “It is undemocratic to exclude me and Gary Johnson from presidential debates.” They may try to barge in, right onto the stage.

The Green party may try to “escort” candidate Jill Stein into the presidential debates in an attempt to get her onstage, a campaign adviser announced on Wednesday.

Kevin Zeese told the Guardian that Stein, her vice-presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka and 100 of her supporters were willing to risk arrest at the debates, the first of which will be held at New York’s Hofstra University on Monday.

“About 300 people have already signed up to protest, 100 are willing to risk arrest,” Zeese said.

“We hope Jill and Ajamu will not get arrested as we want them to respond in live time to the debate but when you are on the frontlines, things are not always in our control.”

This sounds bizarre, but in 1980, only George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan had qualified for the primary debate. But Reagan didn’t want to go one-on-one with Bush, so he brought all the minor candidates in with him. That’s the famous debate where Reagan said, “I am paying for this microphone!” You’ll notice the people behind him are minor candidates, John Anderson, Howard Baker, Bob Dole, and Phil Crane.

Stein wrote an OpEd about her situation in USA Today.

According to USA TODAY, 76% of voters want four-candidate debates. Voters need to know all their options and see all candidates debating on a wide range of issues. Every candidate who could win a majority of the electoral college should be included.

The Democrats and Republicans should not exclude their competitors. The debate commission is a deception created by the parties to keep competition out. It undermines democracy for two parties to silence their competition. In 1988, the League of Women Voters warned the parties would “perpetrate a fraud on the American voter” and refused to be “an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”

The debates will ignore critical issues. I am the only candidate who does not take corporate donations or have a super PAC and therefore can represent the people. . .

The central issue of our time — the crisis of democracy — will not be discussed. Is this a country dominated by people or corporations? Do people rule or does money?

The two parties represent the interests of corporations and money and should not be able to keep out competition. A country ruled by the people demands open debates.

There are three criteria a candidate must meet to be on the stage.

The Commission on Presidential Debates requires candidates to:

1) Be constitutionally eligible for the presidency;
2) Be on the ballot in enough states to win a theoretical Electoral College majority; and
3) Receive at least 15 percent support in current polling averages.

Both third-party candidates have met the first two criteria. But Johnson, with 8.4 percent in current polling, and Stein, with 3.2 percent, missed the mark on the third.

A recent Morning Consult poll says that about half of the public think that Stein and Gary Johnson should be on the stage.

Gary Johnson is polling below the required threshold to earn a spot on the presidential debate stage with the major party presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But most voters think he should be there anyway.

A new survey by Morning Consult found that 52 percent of voters think the former New Mexico governor and Libertarian nominee should join the Democratic and Republican candidates when they are scheduled to appear together for the first time on Sept. 26.

When asked about Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who has consistently polled lower than Johnson in Morning Consult surveys, 47 percent of voters said she, too, should be allowed to participate.

Other good news for Jill Stein is that she qualified for public campaign funds.

Stein is the only candidate on the November ballot who is relying on public money to help pay campaign bills. In addition to her own fundraising, she has received four federal payments totaling $456,000 under the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, a moribund program whose critics call it the “loser’s fund.”

The federal fund — with $315 million now sitting in reserve — has gone largely untouched in the 2016 race, which still has 103 candidates reporting some level of financial activity, according to the Federal Election Commission.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Why are Clinton and Trump so afraid to allow Stein and Johnson in the debates? I guess they aren’t as confident in their corporate-paid for abilities as they think they are.

    • It has nothing to do with them – the commission on presidential debates has certain requirements for a candidate to be included. And Johnson is close but not quite there – and Stein is polling in low single digits. It may not be fair but thems the rules.

      • But the commission is the lap dog of the major parties–and the criteria are arbitrary. They’re meant to keep minor party candidates to be heard–using the excuse that they haven’t been heard.

        • Look at the Chairmen:
          Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
          Michael McCurry, former press secretary for Bill Clinton’s administration.

      • The “commission on presidential debates” is an agent of the Democratic and Republican parties.

        We used to have debates run by the League of Women Voters, which was genuinely independent and nonpartisan. Several elections back, they gave up in disgust at all the weird demands the parties were making and refused to run debates, saying that the parties were insisting that the debates be rigged.

  2. The rules of the Debate Commission are pretty clear. To participate in a debate a candidate has to be polling at 15%. Neither Johnson nor Stein are close.

    Getting yourself arrested doesn’t generate a lot of positive energy and or confidence for you as PRESIDENT. If either the Liberatarian or Green parties can offer a candidate like for example Ross Perot, then I think more and more of the electorate will listen. As is now neither one generates a whole lot of interest.

    I would have liked to see either or both on the debate stage, however the rules are the rules.

    • The “commission on presidential debates” is an agent of the Democratic and Republican parties. They wrote the rules specifically to exclude minor party candidates!

      We used to have debates run by the League of Women Voters, which was genuinely independent and nonpartisan. Several elections back, they gave up in disgust at all the weird demands the parties were making and refused to run debates, saying that the parties were insisting that the debates be rigged.

      So now we have rigged debates.

  3. From my perspective, the 15% rule is a crock. In the last few weeks I have gotten a lot of calls asking if I favor Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I have asked every single caller the same question – “What about Gary Johnson and Jill Klein?” and the response has been the same each time – “This poll is only about Trump and Clinton”. So, how is anyone supposed to get 15% if the polls aren’t including them as an option.

    • Excellent point. I think being on the ballot in enough states to win 270 electoral votes is valid. The 15% rule was just pulled otta somebody’s butt.

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