FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In 2010 the Libertarian Party candidate Mark Vogel participated in the congressional debates and eventually went on to win over 9,000 votes in the general election. Republican Jackie Walorski was ultimately defeated in the race and a number of GOP supporters blamed Vogel for her loss.
But is Jackie Walorski hoping to avoid a repeat of this outcome by dodging public debates with current Libertarian Party candidate Joe Ruiz?
Ruiz said, “Brendan Mullen (D) and I had already accepted two debates prior to Jackie’s press release on Monday. She has apparently declined those debates in exchange for two other debates – one of which I was told I could not participate in and the other which has so far released no official details.”
The reason given for excluding Ruiz from WSBT’s debate was that his fundraising report to the Federal Election Commission was never filed.
Ruiz’s campaign manager Ryan Liedtky said that this is false. “Campaign finance laws call for a report of earned contributions once a candidate raises or spends a sum of $5,000. At the time that we filed we had not crossed that threshold. While the F.E.C. might not reflect what we have earned at this point we are actively fundraising and the claim that we did not file our paperwork is inaccurate and misleading. Also, if I may draw a comparison, Mark Vogel’s 2010 campaign raised a significant amount less than we have raised and he was still included in the debates.”
Joe Ruiz added, “I will be on the ballot this November and the people of District 2 deserve a chance to hear every candidate. All of our donations come from grassroots supporters who give what they can. People donate because they believe in the message and understand that we don’t have a party that will pay our way through this election.”
Ruiz continued. “More importantly, if I’m excluded from the debates we’re essentially telling the voters that it’s all about the money. And I think we’ve all become frustrated with a political system that puts money and power before the American people.”
Ruiz ended with a challenge. “I call on my opponents to speak out in favor of my participation during all of the debates. Make this about ideas – not politics and money. I especially call on Ms. Walorski here. Republicans, like Libertarians, are supposed to believe in free markets and competition. This belief needs to apply to elections as well.”
Libertarian Party Candidate, IN-2