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Johnson Files Suit Against Democrat, GOP Monopoly

September 26, 2012 by  

Johnson Files Suit Against Democrat, GOP Monopoly

Former New Mexico Governor and Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, determined to get a place on the stage during the upcoming Presidential debates, has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the Democratic and Republican parties.

Johnson’s campaign contends that the parties are working in collusion, despite his having satisfied the requirements to be included in debates, to block third-party presence at the events. The Commission on Presidential Debates and the Johnson campaign disagree on polling results.

The Libertarian candidate’s campaign alleges that the Commission on Presidential Debates, the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee have conspired in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to limit competition, thereby causing material injury to the American electorate and the Johnson campaign.

“Someone has to stand up and call this what it is—a rigged system designed entirely to protect and perpetuate the two-party duopoly,” said Johnson spokesman Ron Nielson in a press release. “That someone will be the Johnson campaign.”

In the suit, the plaintiffs argue that because the Presidency is a salaried position, pursuit of the position can be treated as commerce. The pertinent portion of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act is stated in the suit as follows:

Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

In agreeing to these rules to exclude the plaintiff from participating in the debates, the defendants are conspiring and contracting to restrain the plaintiffs from participating in the electoral process.

The suit is unlikely to gain much traction. Some pundits have described it as an unprecedented move for a third-party candidate, but it could increase Johnson’s visibility to voters who are still disenchanted with the Mitt Romney/Barack Obama choice they face in November.

Johnson, in a recent interview, described his appeal to those voters: “The majority of Americans are fiscally responsible and socially accepting. I’m in that category of people – I think I’m representative of the majority of people in this country.

“Yet these people are let down by the two-party system. You’ve got Democrats that are supposed to be good on civil liberties but haven’t been so good of late, and Republicans who are supposed to be good on dollars and cents but I’m not sure they have ever really been good at that. Combine them both, and arguably that’s me.”

In 2000, third-party candidates Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan both sued in an attempt to be included in the debates; both were unsuccessful. The last third-party candidate to share the stage with the Republican and Democratic candidates during a Presidential debate was Ross Perot in 1992. Perot went on to win 18.9 percent of the popular vote on Election Day.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Harold Olsen

    On the Libertarian website is a petition to allow Gary Johnson to participate in the debates. I’m an Independent but I have signed this petition. I feel he should be allowed to participate and get his message heard. According to that website, there are 5 Republican states that he will win. I think that no matter what your party affiliation is, you should sign this petition, if for no other reason, out of fairness.

    • Whit

      What are the republicans and democrats afraid of if a third party candidate or more be included in the debates?

      I’ve also signed the petition. If you would like to sign, follow this link:


      • NotDemopublican

        I just tried to go to the petition and unfortunately the site hosting the petition has exceeded its badwidth allotment. Someone needs to get more data transfer capacity quickly or many other people like me will shrug and go oh well, must be a 2-bit campaign and really not worth my effort.

      • Smoovious Laxness


        Site is back up and taking signatures it looks like

        – Smoov

    • Vigilant

      Attacking the two party system via such a court suit is indeed a visibility-garnering exercise on Johnson’s part, albeit a costly way to gain publicity.

      Using the Sherman Anti-Trust Act may be a stretch. Perhaps a more appropriate venue would have been citing the Equal Employment Opportunity legislation, since, as they say, the presidency is a salaried position.

      • Vigilant


        “According to presidential debate rules, a candidate must be constitutionally eligible, have ballot access in enough states to achieve majority of the electoral college in the election and maintain at least 15 percent in national polls conducted by five polling firms. Johnson has everything, including ballot access to 47 states, except the polling numbers.

        “Most polls have Johnson averaging in the single digits, but many argue that he is also being excluded from the surveys. It is known that he is not listed as an option in many polls and when a respondent selects someone other than Obama or Romney they are put down as “undecided” or “other.”

        Has Ron Paul, as a Republican, siphoned votes away from Johnson? Would the combined votes have exceeded 15%? We’ll never know the answer to that last question.

      • ChristyK

        Although I do think that Ron Paul was better than Gary Johnson and that Gary Johnson has a couple of policy stances that I disagree with, I would really like Gary Johnson in the debates. Just as Ron Paul helped shape the Republican primary and to keep the other candidates honest, I think Gary Johnson (even if he can’t win) would help shape the general election debates. He would help bring up topics that the 2 establishment candidates don’t want to touch. It would be good for the american people and good for the nation to have a real debate that discusses real issues.

  • Elected4Life

    Again the Elite dictate’s who is elected and if they fail or their stooge awakens and turns, there’s always assassination.

  • brett

    good for him. i hope that he is successful. it is important for us to have a true democracy, with more than a two party view.

    • Vicki

      Why do you want a “true democracy”? Do you have a death wish? If 50%+1 can be convinced to take your property or even life then they will and your heirs will have no legal recourse.

      There is a reason that democracy is called Tyranny of the Majority.

      • AZ-Ike

        It doesn’t take 50%+1 anymore. Now all it takes is an Obama Executive Order.

  • Doc Sarvis

    Who is his running mate?

    • momo

      Jim Gray.

  • Roger

    and he filed this suit where? with a court that is part of the government leviathan!! let us know how that worked out for ya.!

  • Anne

    If this guy steals votes from Romney and we end up with 4 more yrs of Obama, America is done for. I liked Perot and voted for him, but it was a wasted vote and that’s how Clinton got in. We can’t afford ANY more Obama years!

    • Realist

      A vote for Johnson would be a vote for Johnson. If Romney is not appealing enough to the public to gain a super majority, then he has failed in his campaign and does not deserve to be the next president. Gary Johnson, like Ron Paul, represents a return to liberty and a responsible form of governing and budgeting. He would stop the useless wars and secure our borders. I also believe that he would return sanity to business and he would contribute to the return of manufacturing and prosperity back to our land. Obama and Romney has never mentioned any of these rather they will perpetuate the NDAA and the oppression of our people.

  • Anne

    Actually, maybe this Johnson guy is in cahoots with Obama to dilute votes.

    • Realist

      Actually, Anne, maybe Romney does not appeal to enough conservatives to be a person who supports and defends their true value system. He certainly has not promised anything to me that had any true meaning of progress or getting this country our of this financial, jobless, and invaded status. Pretty much the same as who is squatting at the house of the people today.

  • Steve


    Exactly, He should follow Wayne Allen Root and make an anouncement to support Romney. There is too much at stake here to allow 4 more years.

  • Honestly

    And Perot also gave the election to Clinton.

    • Vicki

      People who voted for Bush (the elder) gave the election to Clinton. It’s simple math.

  • aidan

    You are very naive if you think Obama and Romney are really much different

    • Smoovious Laxness

      …similarly naive if anyone thinks that Johnson is only drawing votes from the GOP. I believe (unable to cite sources at this time) that he is actually drawing more votes away from the Democrats.

      – Smoov

      • Realist

        I concur! There will be an equal pull from both sides because pollsters overestimate the appeal of both candidates and underestimate the will of the American people.

    • Realist

      On this forum, it shows..What is it about liberty turns a conservative or liberal off?

  • LC

    Regardless for whom you vote for this cycle, all should back this law suit in a attempt to show that the people believe in fair and equal exposure of all qualifying candidates. If we now or ever want to put an end to the plutocracy and tyranical reign brought on by the elites and their established puppets, we need to show our support for this constitutional right of representation.

  • http://na Mike in NE

    I did vote for Perot and held my head high and will vote for two time Governor Gary Johnson, again holding my head high. romney/obama? No flippin’ difference. True that my vote for Perot did not mean much in the grand scheme of things, I’m ok with that, just as I will be with my vote for Gary Johnson. It’s that two sides of the same coin thing,ya know? The PTB gave me the illusion of choice and they can kiss my A$$.

    • ChristyK

      We need people willing to vote for a 3rd party. The only reason that a 3rd party can’t win is that people keep saying that a 3rd party can’t win and therefore vote for someone they don’t like just to get the other guy out. If enough people vote for 3rd party to make it significant, then maybe others will join in voting 3rd party at the next election. Eventually we can hopefully make one or both of the major parties go the way of the Whigs.

      • Vicki

        Yep. This constant voting for the lessor of 2 evils has gotten us just one thing.


        Time for a real change. Vote Principle. Vote Libertarian. (Since Dr. Paul has removed himself from the race.)

      • LC

        LOVE that reasoning!!! Wish more thought the way you do ChristyK.

      • Realist

        ChristyK! You may be onto something….This year, there are enough Republicans, Democrats, and libertarians to force a change on the political landscape and cause a willful revolution with their vote and actually win without a shot ever fired. Only problem is, President Johnson would have to wear body armor and a helmet throughout his two terms. I was a Paul supporter but I will change over to Johnson because he is the only logical choice left for true liberty and reform. BTW, I am voting against all incumbents..they are corrupt now and they need to go! (lobbyist contact)

  • Rick

    I still can’t find when the parties took over the primary process. There was a time when, if six people filed for an office, the voters could choose their preferred candidate from the entire list. I none received 50% plus 1 vote, a run-off was held for the top two vote getters. I’ll bet neither of the current Presidential candidates would be on the ballot if we still used this system.

  • Rocketman

    I wish Johnson all the luck in the world at getting in the debate, but realistically it isn’t going to happen. The way to do it is to start a 50 state debate tour with the Constitution and Green party presidential candidates, speaking in auditoriums where the LOCAL AND REGIONAL news media can question them bypassing the major news media. But it’s way too late to start that now. That would build up public support for him and the others to be in the televised debates. With either a democrat or republican judge deciding on this case his chances are slim and none and slim just left town.

    • Realist

      Well, we still have you tube!

  • michaeljbeglinjr

    His suit will go nowhere, which is a shame. The democrats and republicans are definitely keeping any others from playing. Our system is rigged.

  • The Raging Libertarian

    Good to see the Dems and GOP so petrified of GJ that they will stop at nothing to prevent the public from learning they have a better choice.

    • Realist

      They aren’t really petrified of GJ! They are putrified of the other two. Hopefully their eyes are open enough to make a wise and workable choice to save this nation.




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  • Chief Boring

    Gary Johnson etal. are starting too late to have any effect other than re-electing the resident idiot. We CANNOT AFFORD THAT! Perot got Clinton elected. Ralph Nader had no effect in any election he entered, as his ideas were useless. We will be electing electors to vote for the candidates they represent. Johnson will only be a spoiler, no matter how good his ideas may be. He cannot syphon enough votes to throw the election into the House of Representatives. Imagine the chaos that would engender! If the people had wanted Libertarian ideas, they would have selected Ron Paul as the Republican candidate. I am very glad that Congressman Paul did not follow the destructive path Mr. Johnson is trying. Senator Paul, who I’m sure supports his father, has endorsed Romney. Mr. Johnson should do the same, or withdraw this time and begin work for the next time around. To succeed, the Libertarians, or any other party, must build from the ground up to gain any success. Please vote for Romney, or we are lost, as giving Obama more time will be a disaster! His administration is actively trying to reduce the military vote, as he knows they will vote against him. Mr. Johnson should not add to that distraction. PLEASE !!!

    • Smoovious Laxness

      Not gonna happen…

      The Dem/Rep candidates are Progressive vs Progressive… again…

      We don’t vote for Progressives anymore.

      If you guys were serious about wanting our votes, you should have done something about it sooner. Too little, too late, now.

      – Smoov


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