Some of you may not know these names, primarily because the mainstream media has decided not to include them in their stories when referring to gubernatorial candidates in Ohio. Bill Peirce (pronounced "purse") is the Libertarian candidate for Governor, and Bob Fitrakis is the Green party candidate. The Democrats and Republicans of the state would lead you to believe that there are only two choices for Governor, Democrat Ted Strickland, and Republican Ken Blackwell.
The debate format decided among the 2006 Ohio's gubernatorial candidates was outlined by the League of Women Voters — a non-profit organization that is supposed to remain non-partisan as well (arguably, including only major parties could be construed as segregationist, if not partisan in itself) — requires that any candidate who wishes to participate must garner at least 15% in a "recognized" poll. Often, third party candidates are unable to get their names added to those polls, with no recourse other than to create their own "push polls."
Neither candidate is taking the snubbing lying down, and they are gearing up to make it a central issue in the showdown with the major parties in Ohio. Peirce's campaign has recently made the issue a front-burner issue, issuing a "news flash" that claims both Blackwell and Strickland are "afraid" to debate the extremely well-educated economist.
Fitrakis on the other hand has but one plea, loudly visible on his page, "Get Bob on the Stage!" What he means is that he and Peirce may not be allowed to debate, September 20, 2006, at the Cleveland Governor's Debate at noon.
What Ohio needs is more choices, and Fitrakis and Peirce are viable choices. Please let them be heard. News Channel 5 anchor, Ted Henry, will serve as the moderator for the event. Email him here or contact the station directly at their website.
[Roberta Ferguson is an avid supporter of the right to candidate knowledge and the Libertarian party, and this post was not sponsored by either candidate.]