There was another option besides President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney at the Presidential debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday, but local police promptly led long-shot Green Party candidate Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, away in cuffs when the two tried to enter the venue.
Stein and Honkala will appear on 85 percent of ballots on Election Day, and poll around 2-3 percent in a handful of recent national polls. The two women were arrested by local police when they tried to enter the grounds of Hofstra University, in Hempstead, N.Y., where the debate was scheduled to take place. They were later released from police custody.
A press release from the Stein campaign explains:
Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala walked with supporters toward the Hofstra campus at 2:00pm EST [Tuesday]. There they were met by three ranks of police officers in uniform and plainclothes. At this point, the Green Party candidates held an impromptu press conference in which Dr. Stein called the CPD debate a “mockumentary,” saying that, “We are here to bring the courage of those excluded from our politics to this mock debate, this mockery of democracy.”
Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala then turned and began walking onto the debate grounds, at which point the rank of police officers physically stopped them and pushed them back. The two women sat down and the police arrested them, saying that Stein and Honkala would be charged with “obstructing traffic,” a charge Jill Stein for President staffer and lawyer Alex Howard called “bogus” in that there was no through-traffic visible at any time during the incident.
While Stein and Honkala presumably did not actually expect to be allowed to enter the debate, the duo was protesting the Democrat and Republican elites’ control over the Commission on Presidential debates (CPD). The CPD has gone to great lengths to ensure that no third party candidates would share the stage at any debate with Obama and Romney despite vocal protests and even a lawsuit from Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
Stein makes a convincing case as she is being arrested in the video below:
Stein is a human health and environmental advocate who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1973 and from Harvard Medical School in 1979. For the past 25 years Honkala has been a leading advocate for poor and homeless in America.