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Tue Aug 11, 2015, 04:14 PM

MSNBC.com Notes O'Malley Slamming Dubious Legality of Democrat Debate Ground Rules.

While Chris Matthews's Hardball program thus far has failed to cover Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley's critiques of the DNC's debate schedule and its ground rules, the Lean Forward network's website today has a front page article, "Martin O’Malley raises legal questions with Democratic debate plan" addressing the controversy.

Network scribe Alex Seitz-Wald reports (emphases quoted mine):

In an escalation of Martin O’Malley’s war on the Democratic National Committee over the party’s primary debate process, an attorney for his presidential campaign is saying the DNC’s plan may run afoul of federal election rules.

In a memo shared with msnbc, O’Malley attorney Joe Sandler, who formerly served as the DNC’s general counsel, calls the DNC’s debate plan “entirely unprecedented” and “legally problematic.”

[...]

Of particular concern to O’Malley is the DNC’s exclusivity requirement, which would punish candidates and debate sponsors who participate in unsanctioned debates by barring them from participating in remaining official events. The DNC’s goal was to limit the unwieldy sprawl of the last Democratic primary in 2008, when the number of debates mushroomed to about two dozen.

Of particular concern to O’Malley is the DNC’s exclusivity requirement, which would punish candidates and debate sponsors who participate in unsanctioned debates by barring them from participating in remaining official events. The DNC’s goal was to limit the unwieldy sprawl of the last Democratic primary in 2008, when the number of debates mushroomed to about two dozen.

But O’Malley’s attorney says that exclusivity clause is “legally unenforceable.”

“Under Federal Election Commission rules, the format and structure of each debate must be controlled exclusively by the debate sponsor, not by any party or candidate committee,” Sandler wrote in the memo. >>>

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/ken-shepherd/2015/08/11/msnbccom-notes-omalley-slamming-dubious-legality-democrat-debate

'Sorry' if this is dupe; just got here, but too damn good to NOT be waved around!!!

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Reply MSNBC.com Notes O'Malley Slamming Dubious Legality of Democrat Debate Ground Rules. (Original post)
elleng Aug 2015 OP
FSogol Aug 2015 #1
elleng Aug 2015 #2
FSogol Aug 2015 #3
elleng Aug 2015 #4
Raine1967 Aug 2015 #5
elleng Aug 2015 #6

Response to elleng (Original post)

Tue Aug 11, 2015, 08:31 PM

1. Wonder if they'll have to settle and add a debate in Sept?

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Response to FSogol (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 11, 2015, 08:46 PM

2. 'Settling' this should include 'encouraging,'

or at least not prohibiting everyone's participation in debates sponsored by someones else, like LWV, NAACP, etc.

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 11, 2015, 08:50 PM

3. I want a NEA debate. n/t

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Response to FSogol (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 11, 2015, 10:13 PM

4. Yes, would be good to get focus there.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Aug 12, 2015, 03:02 PM

5. Here's the WaPo story:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/11/omalley-lawyer-alleges-legal-problems-with-dnc-debate-plan/

I think they make a really good point.

This is interesting:

Holly Shulman, the DNC’s national press secretary, said the DNC and the media outlets have agreed to the participation criteria, and she repeated the party’s view that “six debates will give plenty of opportunity to be seen side by side.”

Sandler, however, argues that such an arrangement is “legally problematic” because none of the debate sponsors can be bound by the DNC or other debate sponsors.

O’Malley, who is trailing both Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the polls, clearly has an incentive to share a stage with them as often as possible. During his campaigns for governor, O’Malley proved an able debater, and as a presidential hopeful, he is eager for more attention.


IS the DNC making demands of ALL media or are we talking about a few cable/TV outlets?

This does appear problematic. I hope the DNC has a change of heart.

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 12, 2015, 03:29 PM

6. Thanks for emphasizing this, Raine.

Don't know about DNC's 'heart,' but hope they/it changes it's 'mind' for whatever reason.

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