Green Party vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala has been touring Kentucky this week to draw attention to issues that are not being discussed in the campaign as well as speak out against the debate at Centre College.
Several demonstrations were held before the debate in Danville, Ky. on Thursday, including rallies to draw attention to access while others addressed issues of poverty and austerity measures. The Presidential Debate Commission barred Honkala and other third party candidates from participating alongside Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan.
The commissions rules dictate that in order for third party candidates to be included they must poll at least 15 percent among registered voters.
Honkala says the commission is the problem and should include more perspectives so that all Americans can have their views represented.
“I was outraged when I found out that myself and (running mate) Dr. Jill Stein have not been allowed into the debates, especially because we worked really hard to get on the ballot in about 38 states and 85 percent is eligible to vote for us,” she says.
Democracy Now hosted a third party candidate forum Friday following the debate between Biden and Ryan, featuring Honkala and Justice Party vice presidential nominee Luis Rodriguez.
Other third party candidates running for president this year include former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is running as a libertarian and Constitutional Party candidate Virgil Goode. But candidates outside the two-party system have had trouble being included in the debates since Texas billionaire Ross Perot was in 1992.
Honkala says keeping candidates out means important discussions on the banking system, homelessness and the use of aerial drones were missed at yesterday’s debate.
“But how can even develop the political will if our elected leaders totally stay away from talking about homelessness or poverty altogether in our country? And then in terms of foreign policy all that both Biden and Ryan talked about last night was who is meaner, and leaner and tougher,” she says.
Honkala is scheduled to be in Louisville Friday for a meet and greet in the Old Louisville neighborhood.
The Green Party ticket will appear on the presidential ballot in Kentucky this fall.