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Larry King Moderates Third-Party Debate Tuesday

Join the Napa viewing party as presidential candidates Jill Stein (Green Party), Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Virgil Goode (Constitution Party), and Rocky Anderson (Justice Party) debate in Chicago at 5:55 p.m. with Larry King moderating.

After three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate between the Democratic incumbents and their Republican challengers, the third-party candidates are finally getting their national forum.

Tuesday at 5:55 p.m. (Pacific time), a televised debate among four third-party candidates will be moderated by longtime talk-show host Larry King.

Presidential nominees Jill Stein (Green Party), Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Virgil Goode (Constitution Party), and Rocky Anderson (Justice Party) will participate.

Twitter users are encouraged to use the hashtag #AskEmThisLarry to propose debate questions for King to pose to the third-party candidates.

The last third-party candidate to face Democratic and Republican nominees in a televised debate was independent Ross Perot in 1992.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, which sponsors debates between the major-party candidates (including this year's forums with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney), requires that a candidate be averaging at least 15 percent in national polls to be included.

Third-party candidates complain that's a hurdle that's almost impossible to clear before voters have a chance to hear their views.

"This commission exists for the principal purpose of protecting and strengthening the two parties," George Farah of Open Debates, a group that advocates changing the debate system, told NPR.

Stein was arrested outside this year's second presidential debate at Hofstra University after she attempted to enter the debate, calling it a "mockery of democracy," according to the Huffington Post. Johnson filed a lawsuit against the Commission in September, arguing that he'd been unfairly excluded from debating.

The debate at the Hilton Chicago is sponsored by the nonprofit Free & Equal Elections and will be telecast on the CSPAN channel, Al Jazeera and LINK TV and streamed at www.freeandequal.org/live and cspan.org, according to Free and Equal.

In Napa, a viewing party is scheduled at Slack Collective Art Studios and Gallery on West Street, around the corner from 964 Pearl Street and across from the skate park.

Are third-party candidates relevant in this year's presidential election? Would you vote for one? Tell us in the comments.

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Alex Shantz October 23, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Thank you so much for giving attention to this debate! Many people don't realize that there are MORE choices on the ballot than the two corporate candidates. This will be a great opportunity to hear a REAL debate on the issues.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Alex, thanks largely to your perseverance on the issue here in Napa, I believe that many Patch sites throughout northern California will be running a version of this article today.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Quick question, Alex: Your listing on the Napa Valley Patch calendar says the viewing party is at 7 p.m., but the debate will be over by then. Do you need me to update the listing?
Mark Mathews October 24, 2012 at 01:00 AM
What, No Rosanne Barr !?!
Kevin October 24, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I urge all Libs and Dems to vote Third Party. Make your vote mean something this time...

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