But the commission has been known to waive certain requirements, and its choice of Oxford, Miss., as a presidential debate site has produced particular bitterness in New Orleans. Oxford has about 700 hotel rooms, compared with 24,000 in New Orleans. Commission officials said that the hotel requirements were more a guideline than a rule, and that Oxford, home of the University of Mississippi has been interested in holding a debate since 2004. Mr. Fahrenkopf said politics had nothing to do with Oxford’s selection.If you have time, read that whole article. It's a study in cowardly obfuscation by these self-serving airheads. From what I hear from sources very close to the situation, the real villains are Janet Brown (ridiculously biased toward small college towns) and the Republicans (whom we embarrass by our very existence).
How great to have debates in college towns, which are booming these days, and where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average!!
Ms. Brown presides over a bunch of goons whose job (as Tim pointed out in a great comment here at WCNO) is to exclude anybody but the Republican and Democratic candidates from the debates. Check this link for the way they treated Ralph Nader in 2000 for even daring to be present on a campus where a debate was taking place. (Yes, that's a Green Party press release. If you think it's biased or wrong somehow, I dare you to find anything there that's not factually correct.) Also, in the same article, here's a nice description of the Commission, headed as it is by lobbyists for gambling and drugs:
Now, Ashley has a very interesting post that indicates the handicap that our city continues to carry with Mayor Nagin (you know, when he's actually in town). However, you know as well as I do that if the leadership of the Commission actually wanted a debate in NOLA, they would've found a way. That's what leaders do. They find a way. Spineless yellow bellies do things the way Dubya and the Commission on Presidential Debates do it. They find a way . . . to run and hide.
The Commission on Presidential Debates was formed in 1987 to replace the non-partisan League of Women Voters, which included independent candidate John Anderson in the first 1980 presidential debate and prohibited the major party candidates from selecting the debate panelists in 1984. Frank Fahrenkopf, then chairman of the Republican National Committee and now the leading lobbyist for the gambling industry, and Paul Kirk, then chairman of the Democratic National Committee and now a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry, created The Commission on Presidential Debates.
Financed by Anheuser-Busch, Philip Morris and other multinational corporations, the Commission on Presidential Debates has excluded popular third-party candidates, most of whom are critical of the Big Business agenda.
Although he received $29 million in public funds, captured 19 percent of the popular vote in the previous 1992 election, and 76 percent of eligible voters wanted him included, Ross Perot was excluded by the two parties from the 1996 presidential debates. Both Pat Buchanan, who collected over $12 million in federal matching funds, and Ralph Nader, who attracted the largest paid audiences during his campaign appearances, were excluded from the 2000 presidential debates, although in a national poll, 64 percent of eligible voters wanted them included.