Libertarians, religious leaders criticize two-party debate, push Gary Johnson

Categories: News, Politics

gary johnson thumb.jpeg
Gary Johnson.
As Mitt Romney and Barack Obama prepare to attack each other head-on at the first presidential debate tonight, a group of Libertarians in Colorado -- and others dissatisfied with the two-party system -- are attacking the Commission on Presidential Debates for excluding third parties. A local Libertarian candidate for state representative has helped organize some push-back against the debates, even gathering support from religious leaders.

Morton Brooks, who is running as a Libertarian for a state representative position in the sixth district, has been drumming up support with help from the local Libertarian Party and others to demand that the commission stop excluding third parties -- especially leaders like Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate, who, in his view, has innovative ideas that neither Obama nor Romney has proposed.

"We don't have freedom in this country if ideas are being suppressed," Brooks says. "To me personally, I look at it as a two-party dictatorship. They are like two competing businesses, and each one has 50 percent of the business."

Morton Brooks image 1.jpg
Courtesy of Morton Brooks
Morton Brooks
When we interviewed Johnson during a visit to Denver in June, he told us that if he was given a chance to participate in the national debates, he felt confident he would take a significant number of votes away from both Obama and Romney -- maybe even enough to win.

Today, representatives from the Libertarian Party in Colorado will be on site at the University of Denver to promote Johnson, says Jeff Orrok, the state party chair.

"If you're a candidate that can get on enough ballots in enough have a chance of getting 270 electoral votes," Orrok says. "That in and of itself is enough of a hurdle that should qualify you for the debates, flat-out."

In fact, Johnson and his running mate have filed a lawsuit in California (it's on view below) against the Commission on Presidential Debates and the Republican and Democratic national committees. It argues that the exclusion of the third party from the televised debates constitutes a violation of United States anti-trust laws. The suit reads, in part:

Plaintiffs thus bring this action to prevent injury to themselves and to the American electorate and to foster competition in the marketplace of both ideas and of those seeking to provide services to the nation in the two highest offices of the land.
Brooks considered filing a similar lawsuit locally, but decided he didn't have enough time. He did, however, inspire two religious leaders to urge its members to consider including third parties.

Brian Field, a rabbi with Judaism Your Way, a Denver-based Jewish outreach nonprofit, wrote in a letter dated August 24. It's on view below, but here's an excerpt:

At a time in our nation's history when paralyzing gridlock between the two major parties is becoming the norm, it would seem that the way to provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners would be to include additional perspectives beyond the two established parties. I urge you to change your candidate selection criteria so that the national presidential debates offer a broader spectrum of ideas to the voters of our country. The health of our democracy is at stake.
Continue for more about the debate protests.

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FACE IT , a vote not for the Pres , FAVORS ROMNEY !!!

One is left to chose between the lesser of evils .

Hasn't it always been like this ? I'm only 43 & remember

Carter in office to be replaced by Bush . Oooops ! I meant Reagan....

I sported an OZZY for Pres t-shirt til I started seeing a girl from South High ,

( I went to East . ) , & she was OVER-ANAL about the impossibility of the

original voice of Sabbath becoming Pres because of where he was born .


Indeed we need to hear more from other independent minded people. The independents amongst us are increasing and we need to hear other third party opinions such as the ones from the Libertarians, Greens, and the Constitutionalists. Gary Johnson, in my opinion, is the most qualified candidate amongst all the ones running for president. His track record in New Mexico, if repeated, can set new standards in American History. By the way, thanks for the coverage. Journalism in politics is not welcomed these days...


Obamney fear an honest politician like Gary Johnson.


We would wipe the floor up with these two no talent ass clowns.


If this third party platform would organize and stop exuding superiority- the country might just benefit.



 do you know how many stupid people there are? the worst candidate would win every time if we had a popular vote, the problem isnt the electoral college, its the people running the electoral college



 @Juan_Leg Don't be ignorant, Juan. The Electoral college prevents a the tyranny of a pure democracy. Americans don't all live in the same state, or in the same city. A purely popular vote would hand all the power to a few metropolises and exclude everyone else, to the detriment of our Republic.


The Framers of our Constitution were incredibly intelligent and astute on political theory and science.

michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @reza_edu Thanks for weighing in, Reza. We're going to make your post an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.



I get it now .

I lean' fully corrected .

You do realize I was NOT serious about OZZY .

It was a concert t-shirt is all .

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