PRESS RELEASES from Free and Equal Elections Coalition (FREE)

Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin Confirmed for Presidential Debate!
Free and Equal Elections
230 E. Ohio Street, Ste. 212 Chicago, IL 60611
phone 1.312.320.4101 fax 1.866.309.7803

Contact: Christina M. Tobin
Phone: (312) 320-4101


Attn: Politics Editors, Campaign 2008 Editors, National Editors

Third Party Presidential Debate to Take Place on Thursday, October 23rd

Contact: Christina Tobin, 312-320-4101

This morning, Christina Tobin, Director of Free and Equal, announced an  Independent/Third Party Presidential Debate, which will take place on Thursday evening at 9:00pm EST on October 23 in Washington DC at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel.

All six candidates who qualified for enough state ballot lines to be eligible to win the presidency on November 4th have been invited.

To date, two candidates have confirmed participation: Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader, and Constitution Party Presidential Candidate Chuck Baldwin, who have been endorsed by Congressman Ron Paul.

The debate will last for 90 minutes, and follow the below format:

-No opening statements

-There will be six of the following question and answer series: The  moderator will pose a question. Each candidate will be permitted 90 seconds to respond. The candidates' preliminary answers will be followed by a 5-minute "discussion" period, during which the moderator will be  permitted unlimited follow-up questions and the candidates would be encouraged to engage one another in actual debate. This will last about 60 minutes.

-After the above six question-and-answer series, each candidate will be permitted to ask a single question of one or more of the other candidates, with each candidate permitted 90 seconds to respond. This will last about 10 minutes.

-After this, submitted questions from the audience will be selected and presented by the moderator. This will last for about 10 minutes.

-Each candidate will be permitted a 2-minute closing statement.

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Oct. 15, 2008


The Free and Equal Elections Coalition (FREE) and the Columbia Political Union are pleased to announce that a Presidential debate will be held this coming Sunday, October 19th, 2008, on the campus of Columbia University.

ALL SIX of the Presidential candidates who appear on enough state ballots to acquire the 270 Electoral Votes needed to become President are invited. They are as follows (listed in alphabetical order by affiliation):

Constitution Party Candidate: Chuck Baldwin
Democratic Party Candidate: Barack Obama
Green Party Candidate: Cynthia McKinney
Independent Candidate: Ralph Nader
Libertarian Party Candidate: Bob Barr
Republican Party Can John McCain

The Columbia Political Union will present the debate from 8:00pm to 10:00pm in the Altschul Auditorium, located at 417 International Affairs Building. The debate will be moderated by Pacifica Radio's Amy Goodman, the host of "Democracy Now!". CSPAN will cover the debate, and live radio broadcasts are expected.

"The Columbia Political Union is committed to energizing political discourse on Columbia's campus," said Allon Brann, Columbia Political Union Publisher. "As a non-partisan organization, we work to provide students with opportunities to encounter and engage with political ideas across a wide ideological spectrum, and on a wide range of issues."

"It is with these goals in mind that we have organized this Presidential Debate: to give all candidates-- either within or outside of the political "mainstream"-- the opportunity to speak directly to students about their goals on the issues they deem critical for this country."

"We have invited all eligible candidates, and it is our sincere hope that all will participate, to ensure the substance and rigor of the dialogue which we believe is crucial at this time."

Certified letters officially inviting each candidate have been sent to the respective campaigns.

The Free and Equal Elections Coalition and the Columbia Political Union await the response from the candidates. All candidates' supporters are encouraged to contact the Presidential campaigns and urge them to attend.

The Columbia Political Union seeks to enhance involvement in the political process, domestic and international, and draw every member of the campus community into an ongoing discussion of political ideas.

FREE is a coalition of political parties, independent citizens and civic organizations formed to promote free and equal elections in the United States.

Disclaimer: This event is sponsored by the Columbia Political Union, an independent, non-partisan student group. Columbia University does not support or oppose candidates for political office. Any opinions expressed related to this event are not the views of the University.