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News Flash!

Dateline 7/8/99


Imagine Dr. John Hagelin participating in the nationally televised Presidential debates in October 2000. Imagine his impact on millions of American voters through his eloquent presentation of Natural Law Party principles and programs. Now you can help us make this vision a reality.

As reported in the June 10 Federal Register, the Federal Election Commission recently received an official Petition for Rulemaking urging the Commission to revise its rules about debates. The petition suggests that "objective criteria for inclusion in Presidential and Vice Presidential debates [be] established by the Commission itself, and not [be] left to the discretion of debate staging organizations."

The petition also specifies what these "objective criteria" should be. HAD THESE CRITERIA BEEN APPLIED IN 1996, JOHN HAGELIN WOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THAT YEAR'S PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES.

Copies of the Petition are available for review at (click on "View the Petition" under "June 10, 1999 Notice") or from the FEC's FlashFAX service (dial 202-501-3413 and follow instructions, requesting document #239).

The Commission is currently considering the merits of this petition, and has invited comments from the public through July 12, 1999. PLEASE ACT TODAY!

Please support the establishment of clear, objective criteria by the Federal Election Commission to determine who participates in election debates. Send an e-mail TODAY to:

Rosemary C. Smith
Senior Attorney

(be sure to include your full name, e-mail address, and postal service address). You may also fax your comments to Ms. Smith at 202-219-3923, with a written follow-up comment sent to the Federal Election Commission, 999 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20463.

Some points you may want to include:

  1. This letter is in reference to the Petition for Amendment of 11 CFR Part 110, submitted to the Federal Election Commission by Mary Clare Wohlford, William T. Wohlford, and Martin T. Mortimer.
  2. The American people deserve to be able to hear ideas from ALL qualified candidates. They have the intelligence and common sense to separate good ideas from bad ones. There is no reason to limit debate participation to Republican and Democratic candidates only.
  3. Historically, third parties have made significant contributions to public policy by introducing issues that the major parties often avoid. Participation in debates by third party candidates will only strengthen our election process, not weaken it.
  4. The Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates are the most important events of the election season, giving Americans the chance to see the candidates in action and to compare the candidates' positions on the issues.
  5. The establishment of objective criteria for participation in debates will enable American voters to be fully and fairly informed about ALL candidates who have met these criteria.
  6. The establishment of objective criteria by the FEC would prevent debate-sponsoring organizations controlled by the two major parties from using nonobjective criteria to block third party candidates from participating in debates.
  7. The election of Jesse Ventura showed that Americans are ready to vote third party candidates into office. Therefore, exclusion of qualified third party candidates from debates unfairly influences the outcome of elections in favor of major party candidates.

We thank you in advance for your quick response to this great opportunity to open up the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates in 2000!

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