Published on Saturday, September 16, 2000 in the Boston Globe
Nader Rally To Protest Debates
Campaign Books Boston's Fleet Center

BOSTON - Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader has booked the FleetCenter for a political rally to be held two days before the scheduled presidential debate at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

The focus of the rally will be the ''closed-door'' nature of the debate, according to Green Party officials. The Oct. 3 debate at UMass includes only Republican candidate George W. Bush and Democratic candidate Al Gore.

Nader should be allowed to participate in the televised face-off, said Green Party organizer Annette Ramos, who expects about 13,000 people to attend the rally.

The Commission on Presidential Debates has said that only candidates with the support of at least 15 percent of the electorate in polls would be allowed to debate.

Nader and Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan have both registered in the single digits in national polls and would probably be barred from the debates.

Nader had filed a federal lawsuit claiming that corporate sponsorship of presidential debates is illegal because it amounts to corporate contributions to political campaigns, which are illegal.

AT&T, Anheuser-Busch, and Sun Microsystems are among companies making tax-deductible contributions to the nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates.

US District Court Judge Patti Saris ruled that the debates are nonpartisan and encourage people to vote, and thus meet an exception to rules prohibiting such contributions in federal elections.

Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company