SAN DIEGO, October 25, 2012 – The third party candidate debate on October 23 sponsored by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation turned out to be such a big a hit, the Foundation decided an encore was in order.
Breaking news: The debate has been moved to Monday, November 5, at 9 p.m. Eastern due to Hurricane Sandy. Read our update here.
Chicago-based nonprofit Foundation asked viewers of the first debate to choose which two candidates would advance to the final debate on Tuesday, October 30 via instant runoff voting online. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson all participated in the first debate.
Late Thursday, the Free and Equal Elections Foundation announced that Johnson and Stein won the vote to advance to the final Presidential debate. The second debate will take place at the RT America. RT America will open its studio and offer a live, neutral feed via satellite to interested media. The moderator will be announced on Monday, October 29.
The final vote total announced by the Foundation:
Gary Johnson: 26,187 first votes plus 1,962 runoff votes = 28,149
Jill Stein: 15,013 first votes plus 292 runoff votes = 15,305
Rocky Anderson: 3,938 votes plus 444 runoff votes = 4,382
Virgil Goode: 2,698 votes plus no runoff votes = 2,698
The debate will focus on international issues and foreign policy. It will be broadcast live at www.freeandequal.org/live and other media outlets to be announced. The Foundation hopes to have C-SPAN air the debate live as it did on October 23.
The first debate was refreshing, lively, and charmingly disorganized. When moderator Larry King blew right through the promised opening statements to start with a question, it didn’t ruffle the candidates a bit. The discussion covered topics far too incendiary for the Republican and Democratic nominee, including the war on terror, immigration, legalizing marijuana, higher education funding, and gay rights.
For voters and news media unfamiliar with the third party candidates, they got to see and hear for themselves that they aren’t threatening, radical kooks with horns growing from their heads. Three of the four candidates in the October 23 debate have served in significant elected positions (governor, congressman, mayor of a major city); the fourth made a serious run for governor.
The tone of most mainstream news media coverage expressed amazement at the sincere interest among many voters nationwide of all political views in the third party candidates and in alternative choices for their vote. Reviews of the candidates’ performances and moderator Larry King have been largely positive, if slightly condescending about the longshot nature of these campaigns.
Why shouldn’t the coverage be positive? All four candidates in the debate are educated and thoughtful, passionate about their views and willing to express them openly and honestly without regard to polling and carefully massaged messaging created by campaign strategists. They also proved that good people can disagree without being disagreeable, focusing on explaining their own views instead of attacking each other.
In the first debate, all candidates except Goode supported legalization of marijuana to one extent or another; Stein proposed a “Green New Deal” that she said would eliminate unemployment by creating jobs in the clean-energy sector; and Goode said he would place a moratorium on immigration until the U.S. unemployment rate reaches five percent. Goode said the United States “should stop trying to be the overseer of the world,” and Johnson said he would cut defense spending by 43 percent and Stein said she would outlaw drone strikes.
Communities at Washington Times will hold a live chat for this encore Third Party Presidential Debate between Governor Gary Johnson and Dr. Jill Stein on Tuesday, October 30, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. The first third party debate chat drew our largest audience and liveliest participation of any political chat all campaign season.
Date: Tuesday, October 30
Time: 9 -10:30 p.m. Eastern
Coverage: Live streaming online on www.freeandequal.org/live and http://www.youtube.com/RussiaToday; additional coverage TBA
Place: Washington, D.C.; RT America studios http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/
Topic: International issues / foreign policy
Moderator: To be announced Monday, October 30
Format: 90 minutes long, questions from the moderator to the candidates plus questions submitted by voters via social media; hashtag TBA.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at WashingtonTimes.com” when quoting from or linking to this story.
Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.