by Andrew Malcolm
Jan. 14, 2008
A judge in Nevada has just ordered MSNBC to include Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Tuesday’s Democratic Party presidential debate in Las Vegas or he will cancel the forum.Senior Clark County District Court Judge Charles Thompson vowed to issue an injunction halting the nationally televised debate if MSNBC failed to comply. Kucinich had filed a lawsuit seeking to be included just this morning.
The judge ruled it was a matter of fairness and Nevada voters would benefit from hearing from more than just Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama. Kucinich had been invited to participate in the 6 p.m. Pacific debate Tuesday, but that invitation was rescinded last week following the results of the New Hampshire primary and Iowa caucuses that showed Kucinich trailing badly.
Kucinich received the news in an Associated Press story handed to him during a telephone interview with Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business channel. Kucinich read the news item out loud: “It says ‘A Nevada judge said Monday that Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich must be included in Tuesday’s candidates’ debate in Nevada’. Holy smokes! I just found out. I have to get off the phone now. I have to make plans to go to Nevada.”So set up a fourth podium.
Kucinich sues NBC over Nevada debate
by Andrew Malcolm
Jan. 14, 2008
Rep. Dennis Kucinich has just sued NBC-TV in Las Vegas over his exclusion from the MSNBC debate among top Demcoratic candidates in Nevada tomorrow.According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Kucinich filed his lawsuit moments ago seeking a temporary restraining order allowing him to participate in the nationally-televised debate among Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama. A copy of the lawsuit is available here.
As reported here over the weekend, Kucinich was originally informed that he was invited. But that invitation was later rescinded, prompting an outraged press release about giant corporate powers controlling voters’ access to all candidates.
Kucinich’s lawsuit claims, “Kucinich is a credible and serious candidate in Nevada, where he is actively and vigorously campaigning and has statewide headquarters in Las Vegas.” The suit could threaten tomorrow evening’s debate.
It comes just days before the hotly-contested Nevada caucuses that has drawn all the Democratic candidates, seeking votes and endorsements. A District Court hearing was scheduled for this afternoon.
Kucinich’s exclusion from Tuesday’s debate is the latest of several. The perennial president candidate from Cleveland was also barred from participating in the ABC-TV-Facebook debate in New Hampshire and the Des Moines Register debate in Iowa.
Also Fox News excluded Republican Rep. Ron Paul from its GOP debate just before last week’s New Hampshire primary, even though it did include Rudy Giuliani, whom Paul had beaten in Iowa, and Fred Thompson, who wasn’t campaigning in New Hampshire and was trailing Paul in polls there. Paul was also in Nevada today campaigning.
Updated: Jan 14, 2008 8:55 PM
Kucinich OK’d for debate, appeal planned
3 minutes ago
LAS VEGAS – NBC News said Monday it will appeal a judge’s ruling rather than include Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich in a candidates’ debate in Nevada.
“We disagree with the judge’s decision and are filing an appeal,” said a statement provided by Jeremy Gaines, a vice president for MSNBC, sponsor of Tuesday night’s debate. Gaines said the parent network would seek an immediate hearing before the Nevada Supreme Court.
Hours earlier, Senior Clark County District Court Judge Charles Thompson ruled that Kucinich, an Ohio congressman, must be allowed to participate. If he is excluded, Thompson said he would issue an injunction to stop the televised debate.
Kucinich’s lawyer had argued that MSNBC at first invited him to participate, then last week reversed course and told him he could not.
A lawyer for the network said MSNBC decided to go with the top three candidates after the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.
Thompson called it a matter of fairness and said Nevada voters will benefit by hearing from more than just top contenders Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
The cable network and the Democratic Party have promoted the debate as a chance for the candidates to be questioned about issues from Nevada’s minority communities. Tim Russert and Brian Williams are the scheduled moderators.
Kucinich learned of the judge’s decision when he was handed a note during an interview with Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto.
“Holy smokes! I just found out. I have to get off the phone now. I have to make plans to go to Nevada,” Kucinich said.
Note: I’ve had trouble viewing this video but it has not been removed. Why it doesn’t work, I have no idea. Try clicking “refresh” to see if that helps. ~ Lo
Updated: Jan. 15, 2008 12:43 AM CT
Judge Rules Dennis Kucinich must be in Las Vegas Debate
A Las Vegas judge has ruled that Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich must be included in the Tuesday night presidential debate in Las Vegas.
Kucinich filed a lawsuit against NBC. He said he was initially invited to be in the nationally televised debate but the offer was later rescinded. Base on the earlier invitation, Judge Charles Thompson ruled in Kucinich’s favor saying if he isn’t included, he will issue an injunction stopping the debate.
The judge met with lawyers from both sides Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. and indicated that he would sign a formal order at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The attorneys for NBC claim the state court has no jurisdiction in this matter, and they have decided to appeal the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court.
Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as well as John Edwards are the only three candidates invited to the debate.
Updated: Jan. 15, 2008 1:47 PM CT
NBC appeals Kucinich ruling
By Brian Eckhouse · January 15, 2008 · 10:59 AM
Las Vegas Sun
NBC this morning appealed a District Court judge¹s decision Monday to force the network to include presidential long-shot Dennis Kucinich in tonight’s Democratic debate.
The network appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court, which presumably will decide the matter before the 6 p.m. Debate.
“When parties seek emergency relief, it is not uncommon for this court to rule within hours,” said Brandee Mooneyhan, an assistant court clerk.
Updated: Jan. 15, 2008 2:47 PM CT
Appeal filed in Kucinich debate lawsuit
Nevada Supreme Court Gets Appeal in Kucinich Debate Dispute
Jan 15, 2008 15:02 EST
The Nevada Supreme Court was considering an appeal Tuesday from NBC Universal Inc. to overturn a judge’s decision that Dennis Kucinich must be included in a debate of the Democratic presidential candidates on MSNBC.
The network argued that a Clark County District Court judge lacked jurisdiction to order the cable TV news network to include the Ohio congressman or pull the plug on broadcasting the debate Tuesday night with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
“Mr. Kucinich’s claim … undermines the wide journalistic freedoms enjoyed by news organizations under the First Amendment,” Las Vegas lawyer Donald Campbell said in a filing submitted to Nevada’s high court, which hears all state appeals.
The state Supreme Court made no immediate ruling, and no hearing was immediately scheduled, a court clerk said.
Meanwhile, Kucinich hailed the lower court judge’s order before boarding a flight from Cleveland to Nevada to await the results of the legal showdown.
“I can just say, ‘Thank God’ for that judge, and hopefully his ruling will be sustained,” the Ohio congressman told reporters.
Jeremy Gaines, a spokesman for MSNBC, said the cable network also was awaiting a decision from the court. He declined further comment.
Updated: Jan. 15, 2008 8:43 PM CT
Nevada Supreme Court says MSNBC can bar Kucinich from candidate debate
By Ken Ritter
January 15, 2008
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.