Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Censorship In Fairbanks: Alaskan Independence Party U.S. Senate Candidate Bob Bird Excluded From Fairbanks Chamber Of Commerce Forum
On September 17th, 2008, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that Alaskan Independence Party U.S. Senate candidate Bob Bird has been arbitrarily excluded from an October 7th candidate forum hosted by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, and he's pissed.
Bird, who garnered 5.5 percent of the vote in the August primary on the combined A-D-L ballot, said he was included in the chamber’s pre-primary August 12th forum and cites this as a precedent for including him in the October 7th event. In addition, no silly-assed "three-percent" rule has been enforced by other venues; Bird participated in the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the Kenai-Soldotna Chamber, the Anchorage League of Women Voters and the Juneau Chamber of Commerce candidate forums.
In response, Chamber board president Rick Solie claimed that the chamber’s longtime policy is to include only statewide candidates whose party won 3 percent of the vote in the last general election, which in this case was 2006. He said Bird’s inclusion in the pre-primary forum was because of a miscommunication with chamber staff and an invitation was sent to Bird inadvertently. Bird accepted the invitation. Later, it was rescinded by the chamber, but because of the circumstances, the chamber allowed him to participate even though he didn’t meet the chamber’s rule. Solie also said the chamber uses the previous general election as a criteria for inclusion because the higher voter turnout is the best indication of party support.
But Bird's not buying it. “I believe Fairbanks needs to know there are more than two candidates (for U.S. Senate),” Bird said. “The AIP still enjoys official party status with the state Division of Elections. To me, the chamber’s rule seems an arbitrary way to keep me excluded.”
On his official campaign website, Bob Bird gives instructions on how you can help him get the Chamber's decision reversed:
- Call the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce NOW at 907-452-1105 and tell them that Alaskans deserve to know that there is more than just a Republican and Democrat running for the U.S. Senate. Ask for Lisa Cassino at ext. 106. Also try 907-376-6706
- Also, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I also suggest you put Bob Bird's e-mail address in the CC or BCC line of the e-mail, so he will instantly know that you sent an e-mail in support of him. Bird's campaign e-mail is email@example.com
- You can visit http://www.fairbankschamber.org/.
When you call or email, be brief, be polite and be insistent.
When I e-mail them, I will be polite. However, I do NOT intend to be polite on this blog. It is absolutely inconceivable that the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce could exclude a candidate whose party is officially recognized by the state Division of Elections. I can only conclude that the Chamber is deliberately and despicably censoring Bob Bird and trying to make it a keep-away with only the two establishment parties (which, as Pat Buchanan once said, are nothing more than two separate wings of the same bird of prey).
On the same note, I'd like to commend the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce for inviting Bob Bird back to their upcoming forum on October 27th and showing respect for his 5.5 percent showing on August 26th.
Read a recent interview of Bob Bird by MillerPolitics.com HERE.