Anyway, here is the piece by John Starkey:
The University of Delaware and Delaware First Media have sent out invitations for planned October 16-17 debates in Newark ahead of the Nov. 6 general elections. Invited are this year’s U.S. House and Senate candidates, and the candidates for Lt. Gov and Governor.
But some candidates are crying foul over the eligibility requirements for those debates, which may leave some third-party candidates on the sidelines. Those requirements – eligible candidates must meet one – include being part of a major party or having polling from an “experienced” firm that shows at least 10 percent support. Full eligibility criteria are listed at the bottom of this post.
“To be invited, I’d have to raise $125,500 from 2,511 different donors, have already received 40,000 votes in a previous election, or pay thousands for a poll proving at least 10% of Delaware voters already support me,” said Scott Gesty, who is running for Delaware’s sole U.S. House seat as a Libertarian candidate.
James Bradford, campaign manager for U.S. Senate candidate Alex Pires, also called the requirements overly burdensome, though Pires’ campaign did pay Utah-based Quantel Research more than $9,000 to conduct polling before Pires formally entered the race. “We’re concerned that the criteria for this debate is designed to keep candidates like us out of the debate,” Bradford said.
The University of Delaware and DFM will host U.S. House and Senate debates beginning at 7 p.m. on Oct. 16 at UD’s Mitchell Hall, which was the setting for the 2010 Coons-O’Donnell debate moderated by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Lt. Gov and gubernatorial candidates will debate at the same time on Oct. 17. Nancy Karibjanian, co-founder of DFM News, will moderate the debates, which will each last 60 minutes and include questions from students.
UD and DFM are standing behind the debate criteria, which they are based on well-established national guidelines, and are particularly stringent because the debate comes just a few weeks before the Nov. 6 vote.