Exclusion of Alternative Gubernatorial Candidates from Debates Sparks Protest at Dominican University of California.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – Sparked by, what seems to be, the deliberate exclusion of minor California gubernatorial candidates including Laura Wells of the Green Party, and other third party opponents – Chelene Nightingale of the American Independent Party, Dale Ogden, Libertarian and Carlos Alvarez of the Peace and Freedom Party – Wells will lead a protest demanding all-inclusive candidate debates, Tuesday, October 12, 2010, prior to the gubernatorial candidate debate at Dominican University of California, which includes only the Democratic candidate Jerry Brown and Republican challenger Meg Whitman.

Protesters will gather at 4:00 p.m. at the corner of Acacia Avenue and Grand Avenue in San Rafael, before making their way to the so-called “free speech zone” near Angelico Hall, where the debate will be hosted.

Wells, Nightingale and Ogden united on the state capital steps for the first time, Wednesday, October 6, to speak out against the exclusion of minor party candidates from debates and promote awareness of the importance of all-inclusive debates. Alvarez regretfully had transportation issues and was unable to attend the press conference. The rally was covered by the Sacramento Bee.

True to form, The Free and Equal Elections Foundation will sponsor an all-partisan gubernatorial candidate debate, October 28, at California State University, Sacramento. All four minor party candidates have confirmed to participate in the debate, however neither Brown or Whitman have responded to their invitations. Christina Tobin, Libertarian candidate for California secretary of state and Free and Equal’s founder and chair, will moderate the event.

Tobin also is scheduled to moderate a U.S. Senate debate at University of Connecticut, October 20th, and a back-to-back U.S. Senate and gubernatorial debate at Northern Illinois University, October 21st. Free and Equal will stream all three debates live at www.freeandequal.org, and will archive the videos for future access.

Free and Equal recently launched an online petition that calls for all-inclusive debates nationwide and allows candidates, voters and potential voters to easily voice their opinion on the issue.

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