By Brian Irving | Raleigh Libertarian Examiner
The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters
is perpetrating a fraud by sponsoring a N.C. gubernatorial debate that excludes one party’s candidate while supporting candidates from the other two parties, a state Libertarian Party
“I strongly believe that an organization which donates money to partisan groups such as the N.C. House Democratic Committee, the N.C. Republican Senate Committee, the Republican House Majority Fund, the Committee to Elect Republican Women and the Senate Democratic Caucus should not be hosting debates,” Jason Melehani wrote in a letter to the NCAB.
Melehani, a member of the state Libertarian
Party executive committee, said that the NCAB Political Action Committee donated to these groups in 2008, the same year it sponsored debates that excluded the then Libertarian candidate for governor Dr. Mike Munger.
In 2010, the NCAB PAC also gave to the Republican Senate Committee and the Senate Democratic Caucus.
He said that the NCAB was also doing a disservice to the people of North Carolina by excluding Libertarian candidate Barbara Howe
. “Political debates represent an opportunity for candidates to engage in a substantive discussion of issues affecting North Carolina,” he said. “By limiting the participants and the ideas in the debate to only those of the Democrats and Republicans you are doing a tremendous disservice to the people of North Carolina.”
He noted that Howe has polled as high as 9 percent in polls, yet has been excluded from the debates because the NCAB says their threshold for inclusion is 10 percent.
With extremely restrictive ballot access laws in North Carolina and only three political parties officially recognized by the state, Melehani said it makes no sense to exclude one party. He called on the NCAB to either invite Howe to the debates or recuse itself from being a sponsor because of their conflict of interest.