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Zak Carter Puts out the Call to Start Organizing Alternative Party Debates for 2016 … Now

Zak Carter, an organizer of third party presidential debates in 2012, is still riled up about the Democrat and Republican duopoly and wants to do something about it in 2016 — starting today. Irregular Times received this organizing call just a few days ago, and to help find anyone who might be interested in what he has to say, we’re glad to share Zak’s message. Is it too early to go about nominating candidates for the 2016 elections? Of course. Is it too early to start building the organization to help amplify alternative party voices? Definitely not.

Zak’s call:

Greetings, I hope this will be of interest to you.

As I believe you know Free and Equal Elections Foundation hosted the 2012 “3rd Party” Presidential debates that were moderated by Larry King and Thom Hartmann and viewed by an estimated 20 million people. I’ve left Free & Equal, but I have even bigger plans moving forward. I believe that with laying the groundwork down now, we can create debates that are viewed by far more than 20 million people and really compete on a national stage.

4 Point plan to give the 3rd Parties a media platform to fairly compete in 2016 and let alternative voices and ideas be heard.

1 – Hosting the debates in LA and NYC. While I got lucky with helping to bring Larry King in to moderate the Chicago debate, I wasn’t so lucky in DC. While Thom Hartmann is well known, he’s not nearly as big as the names who were interested in moderating the 2nd debate had we been in LA or NYC. Larry King generated incredible amounts of press for that debate, and I plan on bringing in more names the entire country knows and cameras can’t help but follow to moderate the debates in 2016. (Both Jon Stewart and Phil Donahue were interested if we had been in NYC, as were Ricki Lake and Martin Sheen had we been in LA.)

2 – Two tiers of sponsors. Our second tier sponsors will expand on the 57 media and organization sponsors F&E had for the 2012 debates. These sponsors paid nothing, but reported on the debates and helped spread word of them. The first tier sponsors will be the real game changer in 2016 – organizations and companies that will sponsor us financially, enabling us to then take that money to the networks to run promotional ads in addition to broadcasting our debates. RT America, The Real News Network, Al Jazeera, Free Speech TV,, Link TV and CSPAN all broadcast the 2012 debates, and I’m going to work hard to get at least one of the major networks to join that list in 2016. (As well as Ben Swann’s soon to launch EMP News Network)

3 – In the summer of 2012 a handful of Gary Johnson supporters were able to get through to 2 companies and 1 organization (Phillips, BBH New York and the YWCA) that had been sponsors of the Commission on Presidential Debates and educate them about their debates being closed. I was late on the ball in trying to bring them on as sponsors of the debates in 2012, but I plan on really promoting this approach in 2016 to starve the CPD of their sponsorship dollars, and doing all we can to welcome these companies and orgs on as sponsors of the open debates. If we can get just one of these companies to sponsor them, it will create an opportunity for a national news story.

4 – At least 10 debates. We’ll start the 2016 debates in the early summer, and space them out so that the last one takes place right before the CPD’s start. Just 2 debates close to election day is too little too late. Last year viewers could vote online for their favorites, and I plan on expanding that to voting via text message, with one candidate going home after every debate until 2 are left at the last debate. The plan is to create demand for the candidates to be included in the CPD’s events. If they don’t allow them to their debate, the American people will become very aware of the fraud, and we’ll publicly invite the D/R candidates to our platform while we continue hosting debates with our two remaining candidates on the same nights the CPD’s are held to include the VP’s. We’ll ignore them just as they’ve ignored us. We also plan for reality TV shows that showcase each of the candidates before the first debate airs.

The media project I’m helping with now – – and the work I do with a reality TV show producer, are with an eye on creating relationships with people in other organizations and media outlets that will help with the 2016 plan.

I am currently looking for organizations that would be interested in forming a coalition to help make these debates happen, and if you know of anyone with an organization who might consider joining with – – – – the organizations that are already aboard, feel very free to pass this along! I really think we can shake things up!

To get in touch with Zak and join the effort, write to

2 thoughts on “Zak Carter Puts out the Call to Start Organizing Alternative Party Debates for 2016 … Now”

  1. Bill says:

    Alternative debates designed to draw substantial audiences for third-party/independent candidates is a fine idea…we need more and different voices in political discourse, speaking of alternatives to the same old corporatist duopolistic Party line. But much more is needed if this effort is to be more than just a feel-good kumbiya hug-fest. We also need viable candidates with viable organizations behind them. The major third-party candidates in 2012 were for the most part fine, well-meaning, intelligent people, but not one of them had an ice cube’s chance in hell of actually winning office, and the organizations behind them were sad jokes — just little kids playing dress-up. More of the same will get us nowhere.

    On its surface, Americans Elect was a great idea, promising to address precisely this problem. Alas, below the surface it proved to be nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a cynical bid to bend Americans’ yearning for responsible politics to the will of billionaire plutocrats. What is needed is (dare I say it?) a real ‘Americans Elect’ … a seriously well-funded effort to empower third-party/independent candidates to win elections. Creating this would, I think, require the beneficence of some wealthy sugar-daddies who, like AE’s Chief Wolf, Peter Ackerman, are willing to pump tens of millions of dollars into the effort but who, unlike Ackerman, have sufficient faith in the electorate and the political process to sit back and let democracy take its course without manipulation and skullduggery. Yeah, I know…that ain’t gonna happen. But I can dream, can’t I? Alternatively, the thing could be done on the strength of about a million independents each kicking in about $50.

    The time is now. The Republican Party will soon fracture into two parties…the American Taliban Loon Party and the Same Old Corporatists, giving the appearance that conservatives have third-party options when in fact all they’ll have is a choice between Crazy and Cynical. Ackerman and his clubhouse chums, like Mike Bloomberg, will re-group under cover of darkness to throw tens of millions at ‘acceptable’ independents (viz Angus King), creating a similar illusion for Democrats (a choice between Cowards and Corporate Minions). Nothing new there either. Pete Peterson’s flying monkeys will continue to (ineffectively) raise mirage organizations touting a mythical ‘centrist’ approach to kicking granny out into the snow. By 2016 we’re going to have five or six high-profile ‘parties’ in this country, all vying to be the most cynical. We desperately need a real alternative…one mature enough to be a relatively ‘big tent’ (allowing well-meaning people of various persuasions to have different opinions and different priorities).

    And I have no idea how we get there.

  2. Stephen Kent Gray says:

    Related, but NBC has listed the political demographics.

    Bleeding Hearts
    Gospel Left

    Minivan Moderates
    MBA Middle
    Pickup Populists
    #Whatever Man

    Righteous Right
    Talk Radio Heads

    The Democratic and Green parties represent the first two groups.
    The Republican and Constitution parties represent the last two.

    The four middle groups are complex and need to be looked into more. V depth. Thy are the demographics meaningful to AE and LP for growth.

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