The World-Herald and KMTV are hosting a debate for U.S. Senate and refused to invite the Libertarian candidate, Jim Schultz.

As a Libertarian candidate for Governor in Iowa, I am appalled by the communication sent out by KMTV regarding the exclusion of Mr. Schultz.  One of the reasons provided by KMTV is that Mr. Schultz doesn’t have a chance at winning.  How could he if he is kept out of debates and media coverage?

KMTV also appears to be ignorant of the role of minor parties in our country and how they have won in the past. There are a couple of ways that minor parties can win. The first is obviously to replace a major party. The second is to do well enough that the major parties steal their ideas to gain their supporters. Both ways have largely influenced this country.

The Republican Party started out as a minor anti-slavery party and eventually replaced the Whig Party. The Socialists were perhaps the second most successful third party behind the Republicans. The Socialist Party didn’t win a lot of elections, but by running candidates and winning several local offices, many of their ideas were adopted including the income tax, the 40-hour work week, and women’s suffrage. And who can forget what the Prohibition Party helped prohibit?

Four years ago, Libertarians in Iowa also had issues not being included in the debates.  In 2014, my friend, Dr. Doug Butzier was kept out of the U.S. Senate debates and media coverage until he passed away a few weeks before the election when his plane crashed after a campaign event.  Surprisingly, his death made the front-page headlines of papers and TV stations that ignored him just days before.

This past year a lot has changed in Iowa.  I have debated Fred Hubbell, the Democrat nominee for Governor, three times.  In fact, public television in Iowa hosted a Libertarian Primary debate and the Des Moines Register made an endorsement in the Libertarian Primary for Governor.  The results have been good for media organizations that have covered us.  The people are excited to hear something new.

While the World-Herald and KMTV are free to use any debate criteria they wish, they should be ashamed of themselves for their exclusionary and discriminatory practices that harm our representative government and their role to keep people uninformed of their choices in the general election.

Jake Porter is the 2018 Libertarian nominee for Iowa Governor

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