Faced With a Lawsuit, Debate Commission Loses One-Third of Its Board Members

The Commission on Presidential Debates, or CPD, has been under fire for its policies for several years now. For the past 24 years, the CPD has excluded anyone but the Republican and Democratic nominees from participating in the three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate in September and October before the election.

An important lawsuit, Level the Playing Field, et al. v. Federal Election Commission, goes before a federal judge on Jan. 5. That suit seeks to accomplish what the CPD has refused to do on its own: change the rules to stop systematically preventing independent candidates from debating – and becoming president.

[Ed note: the Green Party of the United States is a plaintiff in this lawsuit.]

Meanwhile, it seems no coincidence that the CPD itself is disintegrating. Here’s what has happened:

  • On April 16, 2014, the CPD elected six new directors. Three of them have recently resigned: Leon Panetta, the former congressman and director of the CIA; Mitch Daniels, the former governor of Indiana; and Shirley Tilghman, a biologist who is the president emerita of Princeton University.
  • After the 2014 board elections but before these three resignations – two other directors were named to the board: Jim Lehrer, the former PBS nightly news anchor, and Bob Schieffer, former CBS “Face the Nation” anchor. Schieffer dropped off within months.
  • A fifth director, Sen. Alan Simpson, also left the board over the past year.
  • A sixth director, Mike McCurry, a Democratic lobbyist who once served as press secretary to President Bill Clinton, stepped down as co-chair in the past few weeks. McCurry had been one of the board’s staunchest supporters, along with Frank Fahrenkopf, the ex-chairman of the Republican National Committee. McCurry was replaced as co-chair by Dorothy Ridings, a former newspaper publisher who left her post as president of the League of Women Voters 30 years ago.
  • The final departee was former President Bill Clinton, who, with former President Jimmy Carter, was one of the CPD’s two living honorary co-chairmen.

So, to sum up: The CPD has lost one-third of its board members in the past year.

The question is why, and the CPD itself is not forthcoming…

Read the full article here: http://ivn.us/2016/12/21/debate-commission-loses-one-third-board-members/

Posted in Uncategorized.