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Allison Kilkenny Headshot

Meet Your Debate Sponsors!

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That's right -- from the people who wiretap your phones and are praying for a government bailout comes the TOTALLY fair and nonpartisan vice presidential debate!

Of course, this isn't your League of Women Voters, tired, outdated debate! This baby is organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates, the group run by Paul Kirk (D), who has lobbied on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry, and Frank Fahrenkopf (R), the nation's leading gambling lobbyist.

But since Kirk is a Democrat and Fahrenkopf is a Republican, the Commission HAS to be nonpartisan, right? Well, it is, unless of course you're a candidate representing Independents, or the Green party, or you're poor, or anti-corporation. Then you can't get into the debates to save your life.

A lot of fuss has been raised over the impartiality of tonight's moderator, Gwen Ifill. Yet, no one is examining the larger bias of tonight's debates toward the interest of corporations. Ifill may have reflected certain biases toward the Obama camp in the past, but the ENTIRE debates are being run by an organization funded by corporations like Anheuser-Busch.

Where is the outrage over this bias toward corporations? Where is the outrage that the previously unbiased League of Women Voters was ousted in favor of the Commission on Presidential Debates that effectively hijacked the democratic process in favor of cronyism and corporate cash?

Joe and Sarah have agreed to answer questions with responses no longer than two minutes to prevent embarrassing gaffes. Many similar agreements are hashed out between the parties pre-debate, behind closed doors. No one really knows what the Democratic-Republican debate contract looks like because the contract is not available to the public.

While these arrangements surely benefit the parties, they harm the American people, who aren't likely to receive much information during the short two-minute window. Two minutes is enough time to repeat a stump speech, or deliver a sample audience-tested zinger, but it's hardly adequate time to explain economic or foreign relations platforms.

Since AT&T is one of the sponsors, what is the likelihood that topics like FISA and telecom immunity will be breached? Because Wachovia is other other sponsor, will Gwen ask about the failure of the Free Market and Deregulation? Surely, no moderator in their right mind will bring up the corporate sponsorship of our elections during a debate SPONSORED by the very corporations that are taking over America.

Sounds like some good, old-fashioned aggressive moderating to me!