CHRISTIAN COALITION VOTER GUIDE:
CONSTITUTION PARTY NOT ALLOWED
November 1, 2004
Posted 12:57 AM Eastern
According to Michael
Peroutka, Constitution Party candidate for President (search),
The Christian Coalition has refused to list him as a
Presidential candidate in its voter guide, denying millions of
Christians the right to know where he stands on issues and
their right to know there is an alternative to President Bush.
According to his web site, Peroutka's campaign has been
unwavering in support of "America's Godly heritage and the
sanctity of life."
The Peroutka campaign issued a press release which states:
"The Web page of the Christian Coalition of America says that
it is our country's "leading grassroots organization defending
our Godly heritage." This page says the CCA "is dedicated to
equipping and educating God's people" and it points out that
"effective citizen activism begins with knowledge."
Peroutka is on the ballot in enough states to win the required
number of electoral college votes to be President. His
campaign attempted to get answers directly from the Christian
Coalition. In a statement from Peroutka, he said:
"When my Communications Director John Lofton asked CCA
President Roberta Combs why I am not in their voter guide
since I am a strong Christian and conservative Presidential
candidate, she said because in the past her organization had
included only the Republican and Democrat Presidential
candidates. She referred him to Drew McKissick, the man
responsible for the CCA voting guide.
"In a conversation with Mr. McKissick, John Lofton asked him:
"Why does your organization, in its voter guide, list only the
Democrat and Republican Presidential candidates and their
positions on the issues you consider important?" He replied:
"We only include the two major parties and have done this
since the early 1990s."
"But, why? Why only the Democrat and Republican Presidential
candidates? Mr. McKissick: "That's just been the practice for
all Federal races around the country. "But, why not include
Constitution Party Presidential candidate Michael Anthony
Peroutka who is a strong Christian candidate and who has run
an explicitly Christian campaign? Mr. McKissick: "We only
include the major party candidates and have never deviated
from that." He adds that the CCA voter guide "must cover a
wide range of public policy issues. Our focus can't be too
narrow." He says that those Presidential candidates in the
voter guide must have "a reasonable chance" of winning.
"But, why not, in your voter guide, offer Christians a wide
range of Presidential candidates from which to choose? Mr.
Peroutka is on enough state ballots to win enough electoral
votes to be President. Mr. McKissick says they just don't
include "minority party" candidates because if they did they
would have to include them all. When asked what would be wrong
with listing the "minority party" Presidential candidates, Mr.
McKissick says he does not want to argue about this. He
reiterates his defense of rating only the Democrat and
Republican Presidential candidates.
"But, why continue to do this if there is a third party
candidate --- like Michael Anthony Peroutka --- who is a
stronger Christian candidate than the Democrat and Republican
Presidential candidates? Mr. McKissick: "Well, that's a very
subjective thing to say about someone." He says the CCA
doesn't want to be put in the position of defining who is or
is not a stronger Christian because of what might be done to
the CCA by the Federal Election Commission or the Internal
"When pressed, Mr. McKissick said the CCA had "an agreement"
to put Presidential candidates in its voter guide only if they
polled more than 15 percent of the vote. Where did the 15
percent figure come from? He says "it was decided years ago."
By whom? By "someone in the Coalition," he says. But, why 15
percent and not 14 percent or 16 percent? He says: "You've got
to set a line somewhere."
Peroutka's final comment on the matter was, "To be excluded
from the voter guide of the Christian Coalition of America is
unfair to millions of Christians who look to the CCA for an
honest and thorough representation of the available
candidates. Moreover, it is self-contradictory for the CCA to
arbitrarily limit the information it provides voters when the
organization's stated purpose is to educate Christians to the
Several months ago, candidates from other political parties
filed a lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates
(CPD) (search) because they excluded all but President Bush
and John Kerry. While constitutional hawks commend these
parties for fighting back, they all agree that the courts will
continue to dismiss such lawsuits. The CPD is a privately
owned and funded operation and will argue that as such, they
are under no obligation to include any candidates they don't
want to participate.
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