23 Dec

Petition to The Democratic National Committee, MORE DEBATES


Sign my petition to the DNC: Demand more debates with Sanders, Clinton, and O’Malley

The O’Leary,
Saturday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate was striking. It was all about substance and logic — in sharp contrast to Republican debates that have been all name-calling and posturing.

It was the kind of debate that could have really gotten voters excited about the Democratic Party. But because of when it was scheduled, almost nobody saw it.

The Saturday night before Christmas vacation isn’t exactly prime time for television watching. In fact, only 6.71 million saw the debate — that’s by far the lowest rating for any debate televised this cycle for either the Democrats or the Republicans.

And the bad scheduling looks like it is just going to keep getting worse. The next Democratic debate will be Sunday, January 17 — on a three-day holiday weekend, scheduled at the same time as a major NFL playoff game.

The Democratic National Committee seems to have gone out of its way to make sure that America misses these debates. That’s a shame.

If Democrats are going to win the White House in November, they need to be making their case to the American people NOW — and the debates are one of their best opportunities to do so.

The DNC is running out of time to schedule additional debates. Will you join me and Democracy for America — and sign my petition to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC asking for more weeknight, prime time Democratic debates so America can learn more about our candidates?

By scheduling debates at times few people are likely to watch, the DNC isn’t just making it harder for Bernie to challenge Hillary. It’s also allowing the Republicans to dominate the news and fill the airwaves with their right-wing rants and big lies.

The Republican National Committee has scheduled twice as many debates as the DNC, and all of them are occurring during weekdays in prime time. As a result, the GOP candidates are getting significantly more media attention than the Democratic candidates — giving them more opportunity to shape the agenda for the general election in the press and the minds of millions of potential voters.

All three of our Democratic candidates are talking about things that matter to working families — issues like raising wages, expanding paid family leave and making college debt-free. But because of the DNC’s poor scheduling, nobody is hearing their message. And that’s bad politics.

I found it extremely refreshing to see three presidential candidates discussing important policy differences on Saturday without stooping to bigotry. I have to believe that the rest of America would feel the same way — if they were given the opportunity to actually watch.

We don’t just need more debates. We need more debates that are scheduled when Americans are actually home and able to watch them. Please join me and DFA and sign my petition asking Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC to give us more weeknight, prime time debates now.

Many thanks, and best wishes for the new year.

Robert Reich
Former Secretary of Labor

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