Stephen VanDyke had the right general idea when he posted the following about the Bruce Guthrie campaign in Washington:
I’m getting damned sick of these damned collusive rules that are aimed to keep Libertarians and other third parties off the public’s radar screen.
Mr. Guthrie, if KING-TV keeps you out of the debate, I strongly suggest you buy hundreds of chicken suits and pass them out to some paid supporters for them to just dance around in front of media stations and your opponents’s offices until election day.
If we can’t get fair media coverage running fair and issues-based campaigns, then maybe it’s really time to start acting like revolutionaries and take to the streets in mass protest of this nonsense.
He missed one key point. According to the article he quoted, KING-TV and The Seattle Times are the co-sponsors of the debate. It’s no wonder the Times did a slash-and-trash job on the Libertarian candidate; they are co-conspirators in the project.
As some commenters on VanDyke’s posting have suggested, a lawsuit is within the realm of possibility. They are trying a similar one in Texas right now.:
The Libertarian candidate for Texas governor plans to sue Belo Corp. for excluding him from its televised debate scheduled for Friday, he said on Tuesday.
James Werner said the exclusion amounts to an illegal campaign contribution under the Texas Election Code since Belo is donating free airtime to four of the five candidates on the ballot.
“If Belo goes ahead with this, it is essentially making a huge campaign contribution to my opponents,” he said.
Werner must wait until after the debate happens to file a lawsuit accusing Belo of breaking the law, he said.
Werner and Libertarian Party attorneys sent a letter on Friday to Belo threatening to sue for $4.6 million in damages. On Tuesday, he said the actual lawsuit may ask for more, depending on how much airtime each candidate gets during the debate.
I don’t know Texas election code, but if it is structured similar to federal code, this case could be interesting indeed.
In the meantime, Libertarians aren’t afraid of chicken suits, either. If I ran a competitive media outlet in Washington state (hint hint), I’d be dressing the Times and KING-TV in chicken suits in my headlines tomorrow.