Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Libertarians Protesting WTTW For Debate Exclusion

Are the media favoring the two big political parties over others such as the Greens and Libertarians? Mike Labno, an Illinois Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate is not happy with the fact that he was excluded from a debate last week on WLS 890 AM, which included only Mark Kirk (R) and Alexi Giannoulias (D). Now, Labno and other Libertarians are upset with WTTW (Channel 11) and the City Club of Chicago for not including them in upcoming debates. They stage a protest tonight at 6:00 p.m. (Oct. 27) at WTTW studios, 5400 N. St. Louis Avenue, Chicago (see map). Here is Labno's October 27 press release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mike Labno, Libertarian Candidate for US Senate (IL) Responds to Partial Senatorial Debate Organizes Protest of Debate The Mike Labno, Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate and Lex Green, Libertarian candidate for Illinois Governor, as well as Green Party and Independent candidates are being excluded from the WTTW "Chicago Tonight" candidate forums for Senator and Governor, tonight and tomorrow evenings, hosted by the City Club of Chicago. We believe that WTTW, as a public station, is in breach of it's statutory mandate regarding "strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature." [Labno cited the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, as amended] Further, we believe that sponsor of the forums, the City Club of Chicago, is in violation of it's 501(c)(3) non-profit status by funding a forum which "has the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates." [Labno cited the IRS's Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations] We are organizing a demonstration for 6:00 p.m. Wednesday 10/27/10 outside of WTTW studios, 5400 St. Louis Ave. All excluded candidates have been invited to participate. Neither the producers of WTTW's Chicago Tonight or board members of the City Club of Chicago have responded yet to inquiries made by Mike Labno's representatives. Mike Labno is the Libertarian candidate for US Senate. He resides in Oak Brook, IL. He is the only pro-life, pro-second amendment, fiscal and constitutional conservative on the ballot. For more information visit NOTE: In citing the IRS's Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations, I believe Labno was most concerned with this sentence: "Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office." Labno's got a good argument against the City Club. By inviting only the Republican and Democrat candidates to participate in their debates, they are effectively participating in opposition to other such as Libertarians, Greens, etc. It is an intentional act on the part of the City Club and WTTW. Perhaps they feel that having more than two candidates debating would be messy, but running a democratic republic is messy business. A monarchy or dictatorship would be much easier in the way of stage arrangements and ticket sales for an evening of political indoctrination, but we live in a political system that demands that all voices be heard. WTTW and the City Club of Chicago are ignoring those voices, and shunning the ears that long to hear what they have to say. Shame on them.