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News :: Politics
Badnarik and Cobb arrested outside Washington University during "debates"
09 Oct 2004

Last night, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, while two presidential candidates traded sound bites and political rhetoric inside, two other presidential candidates were handcuffed and led off to jail outside. During the presidential debates, Michael Badnarik and David Cobb, presidential candidates for the Libertarian and Green parties, respectively, were arrested for attempting to serve a process order to the head of the Commission on Public Debates (CPD).

The two candidates marched to Washington University from a rally protesting the debate system as it is currently run by the CPD. Self-labeled a "non-partisan organization," the CPD is run by former heads and other members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and Democratic National Committee (DNC). Earlier on the day of his arrest, Badnarik had denounced the CPD for its biased debate criteria. "A majority of Americans say that I should be included in the events sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. And the CPD, as a non-profit, has received special treatment from government on the requirement that they be non-partisan in their activities. Bi-partisan is not non-partisan."

This is not the first occurance of the explicit exclusion of a third-party candidate during a debate. In 2000, then-Green Party candidate Ralph Nader (who is running again this year as an independent candidate) was barred from even watching one of the presidential debates in person, despite the fact that he had a ticket to the event. This morning during an interview on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Nader was asked about the (then unconfirmed) arrest of Badnarik and Cobb. Nader extolled the efforts of these candidates, and he reiterated his position that the debate system needs to be revamped so that third-party candidates could receive fair and equal access to the media. Nader also referenced the Open Debates organization's efforts to muster presidential debate reform.

While news of the arrests has been slowly seeping into the media, the Libertarian Party has been busy. The Arizona Libertarian Party is moving forward with the lawsuit against the CPD and Arizona State University (ASU) for using public resources to host a debate that inequitably favors the Democratic and Republican parties. (In Arizona, the Libertarian Party is recognized as a major party.) And Badnarik is already out of jail, on the campaign trail again, according to his campaign blog, which also promises pictures showing the rally and arrest later today.

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Re: Badnarik and Cobb arrested outside Washington University during "debates"
09 Oct 2004
Not only were these men arrested.

Liberty itself was arrested.

I would expect this kind of behavior in Iraq or China. These men, at least Michael Badnarik is on the ballot in 48 states and in DC.

Are the political elite trying to tell us that we can only vote for the candidates that they approve. This is just not the American way.

If all of our politicians had kahunas like these two men, America would be a better country for us all.

When are we going to stand up and demand change?

I've been leaning towards voting third party this year. Now I know I will. Change must start somewhere.

Michael Badnarik, you have my vote. Congratulations for standing for what you believe.
Re: Badnarik and Cobb arrested outside Washington University during "debates"
10 Oct 2004
Thank you for this well written article, I hadn't heard about this at all. I should point out that though they weren't allowed to debate (which they should be allowed to) Cobb and Badnarik were interviewed on PBS before the debate.
And Travis, if you're going to vote for a third party, at least vote for the environmentalist one rather than the "let's just talk about god alot" party.
Re: Badnarik and Cobb arrested outside Washington University during "debates"
10 Oct 2004
I watched the PBS interview, and although Cobb's demeanor fills me with an urge to throw him across an empty room, I respect their attempt to stay in the public eye.

Unfortunately, not even the major party socialist candidate Al Gore could sue his way into the oval office. This should have been a lesson for smaller parties trying to use such means.

All in all it was educational though.
Re: Badnarik and Cobb arrested outside Washington University during "debates"
10 Oct 2004
Thank You.

I will vote for whomever I see fit. And right now, that's the Libertarians..
11 Oct 2004
When the police arrest Greens and Libertarian Presidental Canidates? Kiss our democracy goodbye!
I can't imagine what this country is going to look like in 10 years!
This country must wake up!
Re: Badnarik and Cobb arrested outside Washington University during "debates"
14 Oct 2004
Hear the event for yourself.


for the historic 27 minute audio in .mp3 format.