AMY GOODMAN: George, let’s begin with you. Last night, the contract between the campaigns was released for this debate. Talk about it. How long is it? What did you learn? How significant is it?
GEORGE FARAH: This is a 21-page contract that was negotiated by the Republican and Democratic parties, by the Obama campaign and the Romney campaign, and it dictates the terms of the presidential debates that we’re seeing this election season. This contract was not made public in 2008. It was made public in three prior election seasons only because we got copies from whistleblowers. So this is a fantastic primary document to see just how much the Republican and Democratic campaigns manipulate the process.
Why will we not see a third party candidate debating Romney and Obama during the 2012 presidential campaign? Because the debates are run by a private corporation composed of Democrats and Republicans called the Committee for Presidential Debates, who impose onerous requirements on third party candidates in order to lock them out of the discussion. This effort includes secret agreements with candidates on the structure of the debates, such as what issues may be addressed. Up until 1988 the League of Women Voters sponsored US presidential debates. With the creation of the CPD the LWV withdrew their support, stating that allowing the CPD control of the debates would constitute “a fraud on the American people.”
Who funds this non-profit corporation?
In 2004, the Commission took in over $4.1 million, more than 93 percent of which came from just six contributors. On the donor list provided to the Center for Public Integrity, the Commission blanked out the names of all six.