Kucinich suggests tonight's Democratic debate unfair, files FCC charges versus ABC

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Dennis Kucinich, member of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-Ohio).

Late Friday, the "Kucinich for President" campaign filed an emergency complaint with the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC). They suggest tonight's ABC Democratic debate broadcast is "violating [ABC's] obligation to operate in the public interest", by barring Dennis Kucinich.

His campaign stressed that while his "opponents share very similar policy platforms", Kucinich has unique ideas on major issues. Excluding him "is contrary to 'the public interest to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of issues of public importance'."

Filed by campaign Legal Counsel Donald J. McTigue, a scan of the complete complaint is available online as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file.

Among the main points of Kucinich's submission are that he has hundreds of campaign volunteers, as well as a significant paid staff roster, received significant financial contributions from New Hampshire (the state to have the first primary in the country every presidential election), has won in online polls by Democracy for America, the Virginia State Democratic Party, Independent Voters, and Progressive Democrats of America and the Nation, and even winning an ABC News poll asking "who won the Democratic presidential primary debate on August 19, 2007."

Kucinich did not contest the inclusion rules when they were announced, ABC spokesperson Cathie Levine said. As she hadn't seen the FCC filing at the time, she did not comment further to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Recently Kucinich was excluded from Des Moines Register debate, yet was actor and activist Sean Penn's personal pick for President.

Democrat Mike Gravel and Republican Duncan Hunter were also barred from the broadcast, which starts at 7 pm EST tonight.