FEC Upholds Excluding Perot From '96 Debates
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 24) -- On a 5-0 vote, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has rejected Texas billionaire Ross Perot's claim that he was illegally excluded from the 1996 presidential debates.
The commission overruled a report by the FEC's own
general counsel, Lawrence Noble, which concluded the Commission on
President Debates and the campaigns of Bill Clinton and
Bob Dole violated the law by excluding Perot and a fourth candidate, the Natural Law Party's John Hagelin.
FEC commissioners offered no explanation for their decision.
Russell Verney, chairman of the Reform
Party, told The Washington Post the decision showed that "the Republican
and Democratic political appointees on the FEC turned a blind
eye and a deaf ear to justice." Verney said Perot's lawyers would seek a court ruling to reverse the decision.