In response to refusals by Rob Portman and Lee Fisher to include third-party candidates in their upcoming debates sponsored by the Ohio press, Socialist Party candidate Dan La Botz has filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that by not including all candidates, the eight papers sponsoring the debates have given an illegal campaign contribution to both Fisher and Portman by allowing them unequal airtime with other candidates. La Botz took a time-out from stoking revolution and spoke to Battle ‘10 about his complaint.
“Recent polls showed that about a third of the country is sympathetic to socialism,” La Botz said. “That seems like a voice that should be heard.” La Botz accused the Ohio Press of “colluding” with the Fisher and Portman campaigns, and said that excluding candidates from debates was effectively against the law.
When asked whether he thought his motion was likely to be successful, La Botz said, “I think we win the moral argument by pointing out that this is illegal and what they’re doing is wrong and asking them to do the right thing. I hope the FEC will intervene, but the best situation would be for the Fisher and Portman campaigns to admit they made a mistake.” Neither Fisher and Portman have contacted La Botz, and he said that when their lawyers were confronted with the question, they showed no concern.
“They basically said, ‘See you in court,’” La Botz said.
La Botz also provided Battle ‘10 with a copy of the complaint. Among one of the more amusing notes is Point #14 on page 4, which notes that “Historically, the Socialist Party of America has performed better in Ohio than in most other states. In 1912, for example, Debs won 8.69% of the vote (90,144 votes) in Ohio’s presidential election.”
2010 is 1912 all over again! Speaking of, can someone please tell the country that a vote for Teddy Roosevelt is a vote for Woodrow Wilson?