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Hamilton, Butler County, OH November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

Political Debates

By Rich Stevenson

Candidate for US Representative; District 1

This information is provided by the candidate
"Equal Access to Ballot Qualified Candidates Act"
Debates Without Democracy

There were five candidates on the 2000 ballot for President with enough potential electoral votes to win the Presidency. Those five were not included in the three bipartisan Presidential debates. Only Bush and Gore were in the monopoly bipartisan debates. The so-called debates involved "one corrupt party with two heads debating itself," according to Gore Vidal on "Politically Incorrect" in 2000. Vidal was totally correct. Michael Moore concurred and so did I.

Every boring bipartisan word in those three presidential debates were repeated over and over ad nauseum in every media venue available until the election. The free exposure gained was worth several times more than the 100s of millions of illegal contributor dollars already misguiding voters. Horse race opinion polls, betting on the winner, were pushed in the collective public face to further brainwash voters to think they had only two viable presidential candidates on the ballot. One of the two corrupt bipartisan "chosen ones" became president. America lost an opportunity.

The impression is left that no one else is in the race. The implication is that the only two candidates worth considering are in the debates. The self-fulfilling prophecy that one of the two men in the debates will win is powerfully created. Neither of those Presidential candidates or parties were worthy of leadership in a democratic republic. Of course, a democratic republic is exactly what they do not want. No wonder voters feel powerless and stay away from the polls.

Locally, here in the 2000 election for OH District One US Congress, two of the four ballot qualified Congressional candidates were allowed in only one of several Congressional debates. The comments in the paragraph above apply equally. Democracy is exactly what the two-party bipartisan monopoly does not want. They have all the money needed to win and want to be perceived as having the only candidates on the ballot.

Money closes the door to competition and our political dark ages continue.

Campaign finance reform is a term so overused over the years that it has no meaning. The term must be explained with every use. Getting the flood of money out of campaigns is the necessary first step for clean government reforms. The flood of corrupt bipartisan money has eliminated viable competition in our elections. I am convinced that we have a political monopoly, more appropriately identified as a "dictatorship."

Debates closed to viable candidates and controlled by the bipartisan incumbent dictatorship is a sure sign of political tyranny. We would denounce any other county in the world with politics as undemocratic as our own.

RICH STEVENSON, 2000 Natural Law Party/Reform Party Coalition Candidate for OH District One US Congress (on the ballot as a non-partisan independent in 2010)


Billions of Free Dollars in Media Exposure

The problem is much greater than exclusion from candidate debates. Looking back to 2000 at the media "news" coverage of every nuance of every word and gesture of Bush and Gore on every spare minute of every station, broadcast, public and cable, I am aware of the value in airtime of all that free coverage. Each of those bipartisan candidates spent over $100 million from special interest contributions in their own campaign activities. Far above those substantial amounts, I estimate that the free voluntary airtime from all Radio, TV, and other Media sources dwarfs the $200 million in direct bipartisan campaign contributions. The corporations that own our airwaves, perhaps less than ten, probably provided $1 billion in free Presidential debate airtime to the two major parties. The boring bipartisan Presidential debates were re-shown hundreds of times, perhaps a thousand times or more.

In the year or more before the bipartisan debates, free "news" coverage of the two "major" presidential candidates was daily and constant, which probably provided another $1 billion in free airtime. All of the "minor' candidates combined probably received less than $1 million in free airtime all the way to General Election day. A ratio of at least two thousand to one.

The only thing that changed in 2004 was the amount of bipartisan campaign money spent went up about 50%, and the media stage was freely provided to Bush and Kerry to fill the relentless 24 hour news cycle. The free air time was as much or more than in 2000. Ralph Nader and others were again excluded from the bipartisan Presidential debates. Will anything change for 2010?

We will have our right to hear all ballot qualified candidates equally in every debate and in every media outlet realized in my lifetime. You and I will make it happen. We must. This will be one of my top priorities in congress. The law to have all candidates in every debate will not cost a dime and will be invaluable to our people and to our nation. Equal news coverage for all candidates on all media outlets would likewise not cost media companies any revenue. Indeed, The increase in public interest would probably increase advertising revenues.

A new set of FCC and FEC regulations could guarantee equal participation and news coverage for every ballot qualified Presidential Candidate on all public media news outlets, with substantial penalties set for fines and the actual loss of broadcast licenses and revenue to overcome the power of the media giants. We could have freedom of speech that informs the electors (voters) with equal media time provided for each and every ballot qualified Presidential and Congressional candidate. We could live in the home of the free.

Free Political Ads: The cost of all political advertising allowed on all media outlets lasting less than 30 minutes should be aired at no cost to discourage meaningless "sound bite" ads. I will co-sponsor the needed bill.

New Law: Congress has the Constitutional authority to pass the laws needed. We could pass an "Equal Access to Ballot Qualified Candidates Act." We have no need to tolerate a forced debate diet of corrupt bipartisan special interest political discourse that discourages real debate on the issues of the day.

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