Looks like a Libertarian made the bar to debate while a Green didn’t.
Although he collected the requisite number of signatures to appear on the ballot in the Nov. 7 election, Richard Duffee, the Green Party candidate for the 4th Congressional District, is not been invited to participate in the League of Women Voters’ debates.
The other candidates in the race Republican incumbent Christopher Shays, Democrat Diane Farrell and Libertarian Phil Maymin will take part in the debates, which are scheduled on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at Norwalk Community College and on Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Clune Performing Arts Center of Wilton High School.
In an e-mail to the Norwalk Citizen-News on Monday, Duffee said he’d been notified that he was not invited because he “had not shown sufficient evidence of broad voter support or of broad financial support.”
I’ll skip the usual Green talking points (imagine hippies and druids and John Lennon’s voice) to get to the candidates’ reactions to this news:
Neither Shays nor Farrell could be reached for comment before press time, but on Wednesday, Jan Spiegel, a spokeswoman for Farrell’s campaign, said Farrell believes “it is up to the organizers of the debate to set the rules.” Similarly, Michael Sohn, Shays’ campaign manager, said, “It was left up to the debate organizers to choose which candidates they wanted to [participate].”
Also on Wednesday, Maymin said he had no comment about Duffee’s exclusion. “I would debate any of my opponents any time if there was enough public support and an impartial moderator,” he said.
Okay, fair enough. But, I dunno. Not that I’d ever vote for a Green, but I think we ought to let them stand in a debate. We need clearer, fairer ballot access rules in general, and we need to stand with the Green Party on this one… well, insofar as they want inclusion into the debates too. Publically-funded elections can shag off.