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AARP Excludes Libertarian Waters from its Debate To Be Shown On Taxpayer-Subsidized PBS!

AARP, an organization I get a birthday letter from every year since I turned 50 (No dinosaur jokes here!) and it gets the same response (circular file) since they supported Obamacare, is sponsoring a debate between the US Senate candidates.  But they effectively rigged the rules to exclude anyone but the major parties:

The People’s Debate is Virginia’s oldest and most widely broadcast statewide, televised debate. The 2018 event will take place at 7 p.m. on October 2 in the studio of WCVE-TV (Virginia Public Television), in collaboration with media partner WTVR-CBS6. The media partners will distribute the debate to broadcasters statewide in order to make the forum available to voters across Virginia.

Other candidates who, within 45 days of the event, meet eligibility criteria including a minimum of 15 percent voter support in at least one statistically valid poll conducted by news media or another independent organization (free of ties to a political party or candidate), will also be invited to participate.

45 days is an eternity in politics.  It is unrealistic.  (By the way, it is this Sunday – August 19)  it is exclusionary.  What if Waters is at fifteen or even 10% on October 1?  Or 20%?

This is particularly egregious because PBS, a taxpayer-subsidized (Unconstitutionally of course) entity, is the host (media partner) of the debate.

So I urge you to politely but firmly let James Dau, the AARP Virginia State Director know:  jdau [at] that it is not right to exclude the LIbertarian Matt Waters and try these talking points and make up your own, too.

  • If it is the People’s Debate – but at least 14,000 people have already been excluded:  The over 14 thousand voters who signed Waters’ petition.
  • It is inappropriate for a taxpayer-subsidized entity (called a “media partner”) to be a part of a debate that is this exclusionary.
  • Shouldn’t voters hear from all who made the ballot?
  • Having Waters in the debate will force the other two candidates to behave themselves and stick to issues.
  • If AARP wants to make the system more democratic, it needs to include all serious candidates that have made the ballot.  5% is acceptable limit.  (Waters is at 5% right now!)
  • Waters is the only native Virginian in the race!  (Not the strongest argument, I know!  But true:  Kaine is a native of Minnesota and so is Stewart.)

I have emailed Dau already and I know my friend Corey Fauconier has too.  If thousands send in emails, it could matter.  Remember, be nice.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

2 Responses to “AARP Excludes Libertarian Waters from its Debate To Be Shown On Taxpayer-Subsidized PBS!”

  1. Camille Carson Wheeling says:

    Mr. Sanders:

    YOUR Libertarians voted in the Republican Primary for #Liberty Rising Candidate Nick Freitas for US Senate.

    If these folks want to be included in the debates they should run their candidate Nick Freitas on the Libertarian Ticket. Get him on the ballot as a Libertarian, fund raise for him as a 3rd Party candidate, grow your Libertarian base and be accepted.

    We are fed up with these Cato Institute Trojan Horses infiltrating the Republican Party. Freezing them out of the debates forces them to make these tough decisions about their viability.

    Send Nick Freitas and his #Liberty Rising RINOs back to the libertarian sandbox.

    • Thank you Camille for coming by but I disagree. Seems RINOS are everywhere (Am I in Africa? 🙂 ) but I would say Del. Freitas is not a RINO. I think Stewart cannot win. He will lose by a wide margin. So let’s find a victory – 10% for Matt Waters. This is not about Trump. I generally support the President (although I wish he’d remember the office when he tweets) especially in foreign/trade policy. I would encourage you to watch the polls and see: Stewart has no chance; Waters can get 10% percent. Open up Virginia politics. Thanks again for coming by.



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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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