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Debates Censor Real Issues, Greens Name Top 12

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, October 14, 2004


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders and candidates charged that the presidential debates, limited to the candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry, have effectively censored numerous issues important to Americans.

"This is what Green presidential nominee David Cobb was protesting when he was arrested for trying to enter the second presidential debate," said Gray Newman, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "When the Commission on Presidential Debates limited the participants to Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry and barred third party candidates, it forced major issues into tiny Democratic vs. Republican pigeon holes."

"Voters deserve to learn about all the candidates on the ballot, and they deserve to hear a wide range of political opinion and options for U.S. policy -- not just those sanctioned by the two establishment parties and their corporate benefactors," Newman added.

Mr. Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik were arrested on October 1 after attempting to enter the Washington University auditorium in St. Louis where the second presidential debate took place.

Greens listed the top twelve issues censored from the Bush-Kerry debates:

(1) When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, it violated international laws against "preemptive" and "preventive" war (enacted after Hitler used these excuses to justify invading Czechoslovakia, Poland, and France); and violated the U.S. Constitution's limit on the deployment of armed forces to immediate protection of U.S. borders (Article I, Section 8), and requirement that the U.S. adhere to international treaties (Article VI).

(2) When Sen. John Kerry and a majority of Congress voted in October, 2002 to surrender Congress's power to declare war over to President Bush, they violated the constitutional separation of powers (Article I, Section 8) and set the scenario for President Bush's abuse of power when he ordered the invasion of Iraq.

(3) When the Bush Administration deceived the American people about the need to invade Iraq (Mr. Bush's January 28, 2003 State of the Union address; Secretary of State Powell's address to the U.N. on February 5, 2003), it was already known that Saddam Hussein probably didn't possess WMDs, there was no plausible link between Saddam and the 9/11 attacks, allegations over aluminum rods and nuclear weapons materials from Africa were fraudulent, and Iraq's own neighbors claimed Saddam had no capacity to invade other nations.

(4) When Iraq administrator Bremer decreed in 2003 that Iraqi business could be owned up to 100% by foreign companies, the resulting mass loss of jobs and small business drove thousands of Iraqis to join the anti-U.S. insurgency. Bremer's mandate violated international laws against pillage; the Bush Administration's reckless plan to use Iraq as a lab experiment for its corporate-friendly 'free-trade' ideology placed U.S. troops in Iraq at great risk.

(5) Whether Mr. Kerry or Mr. Bush wins, it will probably be necessary to institute a draft in order to maintain the occupation of Iraq.

(6) The USA Patriot Act violates numerous rights afforded by the U.S. Constitution, especially freedom of speech, freedom from search and seizure without a warrant, and guarantee of due process. Whether Mr. Kerry or Mr. Bush is elected, if another terrorist attack occurs there are already plans to extend the USA Patriot Act even further, effectively nullifying the Constitution.

(7) If we intend to avert catastrophic global climate change, the U.S. must rejoin the Kyoto agreement, strengthen and adhere to its provisions, and make conversion to nonfossil and nonnuclear energy the great project of the 21st century. (Mr. Bush withdrew the U.S. from Kyoto, Mr. Kerry is silent about rejoining the accord.)

(8) Republicans and Democrats have abandoned working people, while coddling CEOs and major shareholders with a $137 billion tax break package for corporations. Neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Kerry mentioned a national guarantee of livable wages, repeal of Taft-Hartley limits on workplace organizing, or the Million Worker March, planned for October 17 in Washington, D.C. .

(9) Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry rejected "government-run" coverage, but Congress's General Accounting Office has determined that the only health care reform that will save money is single-payer national health insurance. Under single-payer, all Americans would be guaranteed quality treatment and medicine regardless of income, employment, age, or prior medical condition, and patients will enjoy choice of physician. Middle and lower income Americans will pay far less for single-payer coverage than they do now for private coverage through profit-driven HMOs and insurance firms.

(10) The 'War on Drugs' has not only failed to stem drug abuse, it has resulted in the highest number ever of Americans incarcerated (over 5.6 million have served time, the highest percentage in the world) -- especially young people, poor people, African Americans, and Latinos.

(11) Thanks to the 1996 Telecommunications Act and other deregulation measures, fewer and fewer corporations own more and more of the media and regulate our news and entertainment. Democrats who voted for the Telecommunications Act have only themselves to blame for the Sinclair Broadcast Group's plan to air an anti-Kerry documentary on 62 TV stations.

(12) At-large winner-take-all elections have allowed two parties corrupted by corporate lobby money to dominate our political system. We can restore our democracy through various reforms: Instant Runoff Voting, Proportional Representation, "clean election" options that enable candidates to run without taking corporate money, free time for candidates on our publicly owned airwaves, and auditable paper ballots. More information on election reforms:


The Green Party of the United States See... 1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404 Washington, DC 20009. 202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN Fax 202-319-7193

Cobb/LaMarche 2004


2004 Green candidates and elections


~ END ~

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