|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
Thursday, October 1, 1998
Washington, D.C. – The Reform Party has officially endorsed legislation introduced by U. S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) to open participation in presidential debates to all qualified candidates. "I want to commend the Reform Party for embracing my bill to ensure that the American people have the opportunity to make a fully informed and educated decision when voting for President," said Traficant.
At the Reform Party's second annual national convention last weekend in Atlanta, Georgia the delegates voted to approve a resolution endorsing and supporting Traficant's bill, H.R. 4310. The resolution was introduced by Reform Party members Mary Clare Wohlford of Pulaski, Virginia and Dale Barlow of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
H.R. 4310 amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require organizations staging a presidential debate to invite all candidates that meet all Constitutional requirements for being President, have qualified for the ballot in enough states such that the candidate has a mathematical chance of receiving the minimum number of electoral votes necessary for election, and are eligible for matching payments from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. The bill was introduced last July.
"Staging organizations should not be given the subjective authority to bar a qualified candidate from participation in a presidential debate simply because a subjective judgement has been made that the candidate does not have a reasonable chance of winning the election," asserted Traficant. "A presidential election isn't just a contest between individual candidates. It's a contest between different ideas, policies and ideologies. At a time when our country is facing many complex problems, the American people should have the opportunity to be exposed to as many ideas, policies and proposals as possible in a presidential election campaign. H.R. 4310 will ensure that this happens," added Traficant.2009