In a Democracy Now interview Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh talk to George Farah. He explains how the contract was revealed by Time’s Mark Halperin who managed to get a copy of the contract and that it wasn’t by virtue of the commission operating with transparency.
George Farah was on DN before talking about the Commission on Presidential Debates and how we came to this point in electoral politics.
Mike McCurry, the former press secretary to President Bill Clinton, and a co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates repeatedly denied the very existence of this contract. When confronted the executive director of the commission, Janet Brown, about the existence of a contract that’s dictating the terms of the debates, she said there is no such contract, the commission is not a party to it. Once some of the features of the contract started to come out, the commission said the contract is only about podium heights and temperatures in the auditoriums and whether the candidates can wear risers in their shoes, but denied that there was any substance.
Now that we’re actually seeing the contract, we’re seeing there are extraordinary restrictions preventing there from being more unpredictable questions. We’re seeing the exclusion of all third-party voices according to the candidate selection criteria. And we’re seeing the prohibition on additional debates…