Here are the formal requirements for being on stage this Thursday set by the Wilmington Chapter of Hadassah and the Jewish Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Delaware:
Only viable candidates for the included offices will be invited to participate in the Forum. To be viable, a candidate must meet the following criteria:a. Candidates must meet all requirements of the state election laws to be on the Delaware ballot, including having won the primary of their party, if applicable
b. Candidates must have made a public announcement of candidacy
c. Candidates must be able to show evidence that a formal campaign is being waged.
d. Candidates must demonstrate voter interest and support. In particular, one of the following is required:
i. The candidate’s party received at least 10% of the popular vote in either of the last two general elections, or
ii. By the filing deadline, the candidate’s party has registered voters totaling at least 5% of the total number of registered voters in Delaware, or
iii. A candidate must poll at least 10% of the vote as shown in an independent poll.
e. In determining eligibility for inclusion, the burden of proof is on the candidate. Hadassah and the JCRC may require the candidate to provide information to show that s/he meets the criteria at least 2 weeks before the scheduled forum.
I used to believe that Delaware was a politically inclusive state, because ballot access here is so much easier to obtain than it is in neighboring states like Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
But the reality is that Delaware politicians--both Democrat and Republican--have consciously created a "separate but equal" mentality for cordoning off all other parties from any meaningful political participation. According to the Jewish Federation of Delaware's rules, for example, if they were doing a debate in the 7th State Senate District, where there is only a Libertarian challenging the sitting Democrat, they would automatically exclude James Christina and announce that since there was only one viable candidate, there would be no debate.
Our local "progressives" have, sadly, decided to prefer the safety of their own hold on power to the principles of free speech and free political access.
It is particularly unfortunate to see the Jewish Federation of Delaware deciding that minority political views should never be given a public forum.