Free & Equal Elections Foundation

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Free and Equal Elections Foundation Logo and Tagline

The Free & Equal Elections Foundation (Free & Equal) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization in the United States, the mission of which is to empower American voters through education and advocacy of electoral reforms.[1] Free & Equal was first organized in 1982 as the Foundation for Free Campaigns and Elections, before being formally reorganized in 2008 by Christina Tobin, an American activist and leader in the election reform and voters' rights movement.

Presidential debates[edit]

2008[edit]

During the 2008 presidential election, Free & Equal hosted a presidential debate at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. on October, 23rd, 2008. Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin and independent candidate Ralph Nader participated in a debate moderated by award-winning journalist Chris Hedges. The Free & Equal debate was the only presidential debate featuring independent and third-party candidates held during the 2008 election to be broadcast to a national audience. The debate was broadcast live on C-SPAN2 in prime time.

Free & Equal debates, 2008
Date Host Location Moderators Participants
 P  Participant   N  Non-invitee   A  Absent invitee    Democratic Republican Libertarian Green Constitution Independent
Senator
Barack Obama
of Illinois
Senator
John McCain
of Arizona
Congressman
Bob Barr
of Georgia
Congresswoman
Cynthia McKinney
of Georgia
Pastor
Chuck Baldwin
of Florida
Advocate
Ralph Nader
of Connecticut
1
October 23, 2008
Mayflower Hotel
Washington, D.C.
Chris Hedges
A A A A P P

2012[edit]

Free & Equal's 2012 "Open Presidential Debate" was moderated by Christina Tobin (left) and Larry King (right)

In 2012 Free & Equal sponsored the October 23, 2012 debate among four third party candidates for President of the United States. It featured Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Jill Stein (Green Party), Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) and Rocky Anderson (Justice Party). The debate was moderated by former Larry King Live host Larry King and Christina Tobin. It was televised by RT TV, Al Jazeera English and C-SPAN.[2][3] On November 5, RT TV broadcast the two candidates voted winners of that debate, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, from RT TV’s Washington, DC studio. (The debate was postponed from October 30 because of Hurricane Sandy.)[4]

Free & Equal debates, 2012
Date Host Location Moderator Participants
 P  Participant.   N  Non-invitee.   A  Absent invitee.    Democratic Republican Libertarian Green Constitution Justice
President
Barack Obama
of Illinois
Governor
Mitt Romney
of Massachusetts
Governor
Gary Johnson
of New Mexico
Doctor
Jill Stein
of Massachusetts
Congressman
Virgil Goode
of Virginia
Mayor
Rocky Anderson
of Utah
1
October 23, 2012
Hilton Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Larry King of Ora.TV
A A P P P P
2
November 5, 2012
RT America
Washington, D.C.
Thom Hartmann of RT
N N P P N N

2016[edit]

Free & Equal hosted an open debate along with Student Voices Count at the University of Colorado Boulder's Macky Auditorium on October 25, 2016.[5] Originally, all presidential candidates with ballot access sufficient to represent a majority of electoral votes were invited.[6] in October 2016 Free and Equal extended the invitation to all candidates with ballot lines representing at least fifteen percent of potential voters: the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Constitution, Reform, and Socialism and Liberation parties, as well as independent candidate Evan McMullin.[7] Gary Johnson, who participated in the 2012 debate, had already publicly declined in July 2016 to debate Jill Stein on The Young Turks because of a matter of "just time".[8]

Free & Equal debates, 2016
Date Host Location Moderators Invited participants
 P  Participant.     A  Absent invitee. Democratic Republican Libertarian Green Constitution Reform PSL independent
Secretary
Hillary Clinton
of New York
Businessman
Donald Trump
of New York
Governor
Gary Johnson
of New Mexico
Doctor
Jill Stein
of Massachusetts
Lieutenant
Darrell Castle
of Tennessee
Businessman
Rocky De La Fuente
of California
Activist
Gloria La Riva
of California
Director
Evan McMullin
of Utah
1 October 25, 2016 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, Colorado Ed Asner[9] A A A A P[10][9] P[10][9] P[10][9] A

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About « Free And Equal". Freeandequal.org. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  2. ^ Michael Calderone, Third-Party Debate To Be Broadcast By Al Jazeera English, RT America, But Not Major Cable News Networks, Huffington Post, Posted: 10/19/2012, Updated: 10/23/2012, accessed November 4, 2012
  3. ^ "Presidential Hopefuls Meet in Third Party Debate". PBS NewsHour. October 25, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  4. ^ RT to host final US presidential third-party debate Archived 2012-10-27 at the Wayback Machine., Published: 27 October 2012; Edited: 03 November, 2012.
  5. ^ "United We Stand Fest & Open Presidential Debate University Tour Program Outline". Free and Equal. 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-19. 
  6. ^ Richard Winger (2015-10-06). "Free and Equal Announces Date and Location for General Election Presidential Debate". Ballot-access.org. Ballot Access News. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  7. ^ "Join our United We Stand Festival & People's Presidential Debate! Tues Oct 25th 4pm". freeandequal.org. Free and Equal Elections Foundation. 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  8. ^ No More 2 Party System (Jul 24, 2016). Gary Johnson Declines To Debate Jill Stein As Offered By The Young Turks (video). YouTube. Retrieved October 27, 2016. Well, just time, you know. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Actor Ed Asner set to moderate “free and open” presidential debate in Boulder". freeandequal.org. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c "Ed Asner Challenges Trump and Clinton to Debate". freeandequal.org. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 

External links[edit]