U.S. presidential candidate Mark Everson challenges debate exclusion
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
U.S. Republican Party candidate , former commissioner of the (IRS), filed a complaint on Monday with the (FEC) to challenge his exclusion from Thursday's first Republican Party presidential debate. Everson argues his exclusion violates Title 11 of the in that debate hosts must not "structure the debates to promote or advance one candidate over another", and must "use pre-established objective criteria to determine which candidates may participate in a debate."
Everson served as Commissioner of the IRS from 2003 to 2007, during the Indiana , and worked for the tax consulting firm . He announced his candidacy this past March with a sixteen-page open letter in which he outlined the six pillars of his campaign: amnesty for , reinstatement of the , a promise to serve only a single presidential term, and calls for tax reform, deficit reduction, and corporate responsibility.administration. After his departure, he briefly served as CEO of the , worked in the cabinet of
Fox News claims Everson fails to meet the criteria it established for Thursday's two debates. Only seventeen candidates meet the criteria, which require a candidate "consistently" be included in "recognized" opinion polls. Theevent features the top ten candidates by average polling percentage. The other seven participate in a separate debate just before the prime time event.
In his complaint, Everson urges the FEC to compel Fox News to include him in the second tier debate as the eighth participant.
Everson argues Fox News, in violation of Title 11, "structure[d] the debates to promote or advance one candidate over another" through a July 27 change to its criteria that replaced a pre-existing one percent polling threshold with a threshold admitting those "consistently" included in "recognized" polls. He alleges this was done to ensure the inclusion of the low-polling candidates former New York , , and former Virginia , because Fox News recognizes these candidates as "major players."CEO , former
Furthermore, Everson argues the Fox News criteria are not "objective," as Title 11 requires, because they fail to define the terms "consistently" and "recognized" when referring to polls. He asserts he was included in the Republican Party's online straw poll in May and is the only candidate still listed on that poll who has been excluded from Thursday's debate.
expert , publisher of , says Everson is "completely correct" in his challenge. However, he believes Everson only has a chance of success if he actually files a lawsuit rather than simply complaining to the FEC.
- Mark Everson. "Complaint to the FEC" — August 3, 2015
- Philip Bump. "Can Fox News exclude candidates just because they aren’t mentioned in polls?" — , August 3, 2015
- Leslie Larson. "Long shot 2016 candidate launches campaign with emotional 16-page letter" — , March 5, 2015