Letter: Do your homework

How many people know that a private corporation, the Committee for Presidential Debates (CPD), composed of Republicans and Democrats, decides who gets to debate? The CPD is headed by Mike McCurry (Bill Clinton’s Press Secretary) and Frank Fahrenkopf (ex-chair of the Republican party). Obama and Romney signed a contract with the CPD that prevents them from debating any third-party candidate. The CPD decides on the formats and the topics and denied the existence of such a contract — until it was leaked to the press. When confronted with the lie by Mark Halpern of Time Magazine, the CPD was still evasive in responding saying it just dealt with podium position, room temperature, shoe risers, etc.

The mainstream media did not report that Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate running for president, was arrested and handcuffed to a chair for 8 hours to keep her from attending the Hofstra debate.

When you expose yourself to the ideas of a third-party candidate, you get a perspective not influenced by corporate lobbyists. Suddenly, you see how similar are the views of Romney and Obama. You realize their answers to questions are vacuous and evasive. But the newspapers never mention Stein, Anderson, Johnson and Goode, even though Jill is from Massachusetts, has been to western Massachusetts to support labor and environment groups in their work and is on 85 percent of ballots nationally. It apparently isn’t news that two certified candidates whose Green and Libertarian parties, having fulfilled the qualifications to debate, are excluded from the debate process. We would be crying foul if this were going on in another country. It is how a dictatorship operates, not a democracy. Do your homework and vote your values.

LYNN WALDRON

Greenfield

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