Limited Taxation & Government
Post Office Box 408    Peabody, Massachusetts   01960     (617) 248-0022
E-Mail:       Web-page:

CLT&G Update
Tuesday, October 6, 1998

We already have campaign finance reform, and we're going to be offered more of it with Question 2 on the November ballot.

So how do the political elitists justify that a candidate who jumped through their hoops and hurdles and made it onto the statewide ballot -- something many of the "established, major party" wannabee candidates (like my friend Karen MacNutt) were unable to accomplish -- was denied his place in last night's debate?

How dare these elitists deny his participation?

How can they possibly rationalize confining us voters to the two candidates of their choice?

Well, if nobody knows there's a third choice they won't vote for them, and if they don't vote for them then it's not worth including them in these or especially future debates!

These elitists would do George Orwell proud.

Is there anyone out there who still believes in "democracy" -- still thinks we need even more of this "campaign finance reform," still believes in free and fair elections and that the voters really make the decisions?

More "campaign finance reform"? Why bother until at least the corrupt rules we've already got even begin to permit us fair and honest elections?

Chip Ford --

The Boston Globe
Tuesday, October 6, 1998
Metro | Region

Protest from outside;
Libertarian candidate says his exclusion violates campaign law

By Jill Zuckman
Globe Staff

LOWELL -- Libertarian Party candidate for governor Dean Cook last night said the gubernatorial debate sponsored by a Boston media consortium amounted to an illegal "in-kind" contribution to the two major candidates.

Cook, whose request to participate in the debate series was rejected, said he plans to ask the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance to rule whether the debates violate laws on campaign contributions.

The political debates are sponsored by a consortium made up of representatives from the Globe, the Herald, and major television stations.

Cook cited state law that he said defines "in-kind" contributions as any donation of services provided at a discount or rebate not available to other candidates for the same office and to the public. The law, he said, specifically mentions broadcasters that give time to candidates. Broadcast time given free to candidates is considered a contribution unless "time of the same duration and the same market value or the same amount of space is made available to all other qualified candidates ..."

Cook said that by providing a platform for only two of the three eligible candidates - Acting Governor Paul Cellucci and Attorney General Scott Harshbarger - the debate was in violation of campaign finance laws.

"They can't claim to be merely reporting on a campaign event when they participate in the decision of whom to invite," Cook said.

Cook, and his running mate Elias Israel, gathered enough signatures to appear on the November ballot, even though there are only about 7,000 registered Libertarians in the state.

Globe political editor Doug Bailey last night said the decision to exclude the Libertarians was a "news judgment," based on the small number of registered party members and the fact the party does not receive regular daily coverage.

"Including Mr. Cook would have benefited a small number of his supporters while taking time away from a large number of people who want to see and hear the two major candidates," Bailey said.

A small contingent of Libertarians protested outside the Lowell Auditorium last night.

Return to Updates page