News from Kucinch Website
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Kucinich for President campaign late today filed an emergency complaint with the Federal Communications Commission claiming that the ABC television network “is violating its obligation to operate in the public interest” by excluding Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich from tomorrow night’s scheduled debate in Manchester, NH. Further, the complaint charges, the televised event “is not a true presidential primary debate without including all credible candidates, but instead is effectively an endorsement of the candidates selected by ABC.” The filing also notes that ABC “is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walt Disney, Co., whose executives have contributed heavily to other Democratic presidential primary candidates, including Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, former Senator John Edwards, and Governor Bill Richardson.”
And, the filing points out, Kucinich “is the only Democratic presidential candidate who has qualified for Federal matching funds who is being excluded by ABC.” (Full FCC complaint.)
“Although ABC would prefer to only report on easily described and well-known candidates, the proper enforcement of the Federal Communications Act ensures America’s voters that they will have the ability to vote for candidates with varied and new ideas and policies,” says the complaint. “ABC should not be the first primary.”
Kucinich urged that ABC reverse its decision rather than face possible FCC action.
Among the so-called “criteria” established by ABC for inclusion in Saturday night’s debate is a fourth-place or better showing in Thursday’s Iowa caucuses. Kucinich effectively by-passed the Iowa caucuses because the state Democratic Party and other political and institutional interests there excluded him from two earlier debates and from Party-sponsored functions. Instead, the Kucinich campaign has focused heavily on New Hampshire.
To underscore Kucinich’s standing as both a “credible” and “qualified” candidate, the emergency complaint notes that he has campaign offices in Keene, Dover, Manchester, and Concord, paid staff, hundreds of campaign volunteers, and significant financial contributions from residents of New Hampshire. “In addition, Complainant Kucinich has been the winner in national online polls conducted by Democracy for America (receiving almost 50,000 votes while the closest competitor only received 38,000), Virginia State Democratic Party (receiving 30% of the Democratic vote while the closest competitor received 27%), Independent Voters (75% of the Democratic vote out of 80,000 online voters), as well as polls by Progressive Democrats of America and the Nation. In an ABC News poll, Complainant Kucinich received the most support from 42,487 voters (garnering 35% of the vote to 22% for the next closest candidate) who were asked who won the Democratic presidential primary debate on August 19, 2007.”
Also, Kucinich’s “opponents share very similar policy platforms” while Kucinich offers very different positions on issues such as the war in Iraq and health care reform. His exclusion from the debate, therefore, “is contrary to ‘the public interest to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of issues of public importance’.” ABC’s “arbitrary and capricious decision “causes irreparable harm to the public interest by robbing the voters of the opportunity to hear his policy platform, including his pro-peace initiatives,” says the complaint.
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