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Johnson, Stein face off Monday in Free & Equal presidential debate

Nov. 4, 2012

Editor’s Note: Watch the debate here: http://freeandequal.org/live/

The Free & Equal presidential debate between Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, originally scheduled for Oct. 30 but postponed due to Superstorm Sandy, is now set for 9-10:30 p.m. EST Monday at the RT America Studios in Washington, D.C.

Johnson and Stein were the top two vote-getters following a four-candidate Free & Equal debate Oct. 23 in Chicago. That debate, moderated by longtime media personality Larry King, also featured Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson.

Monday’s debate will feature correspondent coverage as well, which will begin at 8 p.m. Participants include commentator and best-selling author Thom Hartmann; Sam Seder, comedian and radio host; Amber Lyon, Emmy-Award winning investigative journalist; Maytha Alhassan, journalist, writer, editor and University of Southern California Provost Ph.D. Fellow in American Studies and Ethnicity; and Matt Welch, editor-in-chief of Reason Magazine.

The debate was originally scheduled to focus on foreign policy issues, but Free & Equal’s Zak Carter told The Punditty Project in a telephone interview Friday that “the parameters have expanded, and the debate is going to be more across-the-board now.”

Johnson, a former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico (1995-2003), originally sought the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He was all but shut out of the debates due ever-shifting inclusion criteria, even though he polled higher than former Godfather’s Pizza executive Herman Cain and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum early in the process.

Johnson made the switch to Libertarian in late 2011 and secured the party’s nomination on the first ballot at the party’s Las Vegas convention in May. He chose former Orange County Superior Court Judge Jim Gray as his running mate. Johnson believes in submitting a balanced budget his first year in office, ending the war in Afghanistan as soon as possible, legalizing marijuana, marriage equality for same-sex couples, abolishing the IRS and instituting a consumption tax in its place. More information about Johnson can be found at his website.

Stein, an M.D. and environmental health advocate in Lexington, Mass., is a champion of what she calls the Green New Deal. The four-point program focuses on an economic bill of rights, a green transition, real financial reform and a functioning democracy. Stein’s vice presidential running mate is Cheri Honkala, an advocate for the poor and homeless and Philadelphia Weekly’s 1997 “Woman of the Year.” Stein also supports ending the war in Afghanistan, legalizing marijuana and marriage equality. Her campaign website is here.

RT America is sponsoring the debate, which can be viewed on some dish and cable TV systems across the United States. It is also streaming the debate live on its YouTube channel. Free and Equal is urging viewers and potential viewers to contact media outlets and request coverage of the event.

Facebook Miscellanea

As of Nov. 3, Johnson had 337,101 Facebook likes to Stein’s 85,361. By contrast, President Obama had 31,711,591 Facebook likes and GOP nominee Mitt Romney had 11,808,376 likes on the popular social networking site.

Free & Equal had 19,361 Facebook likes, easily besting the Commission on Presidential Debates, which does not have its own Facebook page but has just 117 likes as an “interest.”

And while we’re at it, Allvoices has 19,603 likes.

According to its website, Free & Equal is “dedicated to an open and transparent election process that gives power back to the individual voter. What sets Free & Equal apart is our ability to reach both the Left and the Right and ensuring all voices are heard in our democratic process. Free & Equal believes that all ballot candidates should have the opportunity to participate in debates.”

If you like writing about US politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.

SOURCES AND RESOURCES:

Where to watch the debate on TV and Dish: http://rt.com/usa/where-to-watch/

If you agree with Gary Johnson (or Jill Stein), vote accordingly, Allvoices.com, Oct. 31, 2012

Punditty Predicts: Romney will get more votes, but Obama will get re-elected, Allvoices.com, Nov. 2, 2012

freeandequal.org

http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/

http://www.jillstein.org/

http://freeandequal.org/updates/free-and-equal-elections-foundation-announces-political-correspondents-and-media-for-november-5-presidential-debate/

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/10/the-commission-on-presidential-debates-misses-the-internet-boat-again/263147/

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