Why do we allow the media to be gatekeepers for information about candidates?

PUTNEY — Vermonters are capable of choice; they make excellent choices from many thousands of options daily, and they benefit from their ability to select one from multiple alternatives.

VPR, Vermont PBS, WCAX, VtDigger.org, and all the rest of the debate hosts have no right to keep candidates from competing and no right to keep the people from altering their government by competing for votes in elections.

The aforementioned press outlets say their freedoms of the press allows them to decide who the viable candidates are, to censor the rest from participating in public debates, to arrest them, and to remove them to complete the censorship.

No number of letters has worked, and no amount of concern for democracy appears to work with these press outlets.

Vermonters simply do not get to see how their full line of choices stack up against one another. The comparison is theirs to make, as is their decision. Legally and constitutionally, Vermonters deserve to have the right to make that choice, but they can't make a choice that they don't know they have.

I am a candidate for governor, and I have been denied the right to compete as an equal because I do not do the bidding of big money parties. You can join Chuck Laramie (another independent candidate for governor) and me in a legal action we are initiating to call for these news outlets to repeat the debates of 2018, to allow Vermonters the choice only Vermonters are supposed to make for of our state.

If Vermonters have the right to compare all their choices side by side in open debate, they will make the best choice for the state - and that very well might be someone other than a Democrat or Republican.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates