Friday, September 28, 2012

Gary Johnson Polls: Why the CPD Decision to Keep Him Out of the Debates is Illegal

With the entire hubbub surrounding the replacement referees, and the third week of the NFL season ending with a controversial Green Bay Packers loss, you may have missed a major development in the election cycle of 2012.

Last week, I told you that the Gary Johnson campaign had decided to sue the National Commission on Presidential Debates for excluding him from the upcoming debates. Many may dismiss this story out of hand, simply because it’s just a third party trying to get some publicity. But we should not only pay attention to the story itself, but also why the CPD is legally bound to include Gary Johnson.

First, let’s discuss the legality issue.

The CPD was created in 1987 to “ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners.” According to its website, the CPD was granted and operates currently as a 501(c) nonprofit organization. This means that among other perks, the CPD enjoys the ability to conduct business without paying taxes.

But did you know that there are certain political stipulations that come with such a designation? IRS Exemption Requirements — Section 501(c)(3) Organizations state that such organizations may not be an “action organization, i.e., it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.” Furthermore, the IRS says that “the organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests.”

What does that mean? Well, by barring any candidate that appears on enough ballots to win the election, the CPD is participating in “campaign activities against political candidate” — Gary Johnson.

Full article: http://www.policymic … ebates-is-illegal%3E

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