From my e-mail inbox:
A Letter from Mike Gravel also posted on the Huffington Post
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
In the past year, I have attended 11 national Democratic debates of
which two were sponsored by corporate media giant NBC. However,
last week, NBC suddenly conjured up arbitrary polling and
fundraising requirements specifically designed to exclude me. None
of the previous debates I attended held such requirements.
When my staff called NBC directly to find out why I was now barred
from attending, Chuck Todd, NBC news' political director, told us
that there were three criteria we did not meet, namely that I had
not campaigned in New Hampshire and/or Iowa at least 14 times in
the past year, that I was not polling at 5% and that I hadn't
raised $1 million.
It is clear that NBC just wants me out of the race. This was made
evident by the fact that NBC did not even inform me of its
arbitrary criteria before making the decision to stifle my
campaign. NBC's Todd waited until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, to
inform my staff that I was not invited to the Oct. 30 debate at
Drexel University in Philadelphia. That's a fact!
Since I announced my candidacy for the Democratic Nomination for
President of the United States on April 17, 2006, I have certainly
traveled to New Hampshire and Iowa at least 14 times. And,
according to a recent CNN poll, I am tied with Joe Biden, Dennis
Kucinich and Chris Dodd.
NBC claims I haven't raised enough money to qualify. I'm proud of
the fact that I don't collect millions from special interests (or
fugitives like Norman Hsu). The reason why Senator Hillary Clinton
seems to have a fundraising scandal every month is because money
has corrupted our democracy. By stifling my voice on the basis of
fundraising dollars, NBC is reinforcing the power of money over our
national political discussion and our freedom.
But why has NBC suddenly come up with "requirements" designed to
exclude me from the debate?
NBC's decision is proof that our corporate media do not want a
genuine debate over our impending war with Iran. During the last
debate I was the only one to aggressively confront Senator Clinton
over her vote to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist
organization. Had I not brought up the subject, seasoned NBC
commentator Tim Russert, the moderator of the Sept. 26 debate,
would not have even asked about it.
Most Americans still don't appreciate the gravity of that vote and
they don't understand that our government is intentionally raising
roadblocks to diplomacy. Corporate media have once again failed to
investigate how Bush and a compliant congress have set us on the
warpath. Instead the media simply parrots the demonization of
Iranian President Ahmadinejad and the administration's unproven
accusations against Iran. NBC and the other corporate media have
jumped on the war bandwagon and they are determined to shut up
anyone who tries to stop it.
The fact that NBC is owned by General Electric, one of the world's
leading military contractors, is frightening and certainly smacks
of censorship directed at the most outspoken critic of the
influence that the military-industrial complex holds over this
great nation. In the past decade, GE has benefited financially from
the global war on terrorism and currently holds almost $2 billion
in military contracts .
So I ask that anyone, who is as concerned as I am about the power
of the mainstream media and the military-industrial complex, speak
out in support of my campaign today.
A here are 3 powerful things you can do:
1. Sign the online petition to have me included in the debate!
2. Contact NBC and GE and tell them they are wrong for trying to
stifle my campaign! Here are there emails you can copy/paste into
your "TO:" field of your email.
3. Email the DNC at http://www.democrats.org/page
Finally, since the powers that be now require that I raise $1
million in order to participate in the debates, please make a
donation to my campaign.
I will not stop. In fact, this fuels my fire even more.
Unlike my fellow candidates, I am not focused on raising millions of
dollars; I am focused on fixing representative government. Help us
reach that arbitrary threshold for financing and I will continue
to fight for democracy and peace for all of us, not just the
My web site: http://Gravel2008.us
On a personal note, I want to thank the many volunteers who made my
recent swing through Florida such a huge success. I will be
attending the Florida Democratic Party Convention and the United
For Peace And Justice (UFPJ) Southeast Regional Rally & March in
Orlando on Oct. 27. For more information on these events, email
David Nelson-VanDette , Florida State Director.
PPS. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM!
If you live anywhere near Philly, we are planning an event at
University of Pennsylvania on Oct. 30, the night of the debate. If
you live in the area and would like to attend, please contact my
office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Official Mike Gravel 2008 Campaign | P.O. Box 948 | Arlington, VA 22216-0948