Party Protests Exclusion of Our Candidate from Portland City Club Debate

Steven ReynoldsThe Portland City Club has refused to allow any minor party candidates to participate in its January 6 noontime "debate" for candidates running to replace David Wu in Congress.

The minor party candidates are Steven Reynolds of the Oregon Progressive Party and James Foster of the Libertarian Party of Oregon.

These candidates present views that are far different from the Democrat or the Republican.  See the Table of Issues on this page.  But the Portland City Club believes that their views should not be shared with its members or the public by means of the broadcast of Friday's noontime program.

Progressive Party members, including Steven Reynolds, protested this decision outside the City Club's meeting at the Governor Hotel on December 17.  Here is a KBOO Interview with Steven Reynolds outside the hotel.
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The Club's website claims to be guided by principles, including to "seek alternative perspectives and new understanding, engage in respectful and generative discourse, and welcome the diverse voices of our community."  Excluding the viewpoints of the Progressive and Libertarian parties is the opposite of this principle.  They also claim to "consistently address our community’s most relevant issues in a timely manner through balanced, non-agenda driven programming."  Allowing only the Democrat and Republican to speak is not balanced.  They also claim to "to attract and utilize all resources – human, financial, material and influential – in a manner that continually generates increased capability in the community."  But when it comes time to increase the capability of qualified candidates to run for public office, forget about it.

The Club's Friday Forum is one of the few ways candidates have to communicate with large numbers of voters without needing to spend huge amounts of money.  It appears that millions of dollars of "national" money is pouring into the Democratic and Republican campaigns.  Instead of assisting alternative viewpoints, the City Club will turn over its Forum exclusively to the big-money candidates.

"Steven Reynolds is a veteran with the courage to run for Congress without the backing of big money," said Progressive Party official David Hess.  "He graduated from West Point, served in the Middle East, and then had to retire from the Army due to an injury.  He is running for progressive values, human rights, and ending the corporate welfare state and the big money stranglehold on the political process.  How exactly does that make him not qualified to debate?"

The League of Women Voters recently conducted a Televised Debate that included both minor party candidates on a equal basis with the major party nominees.  The debate showed that the minor party candidates are more than able to compete with the major party candidates on the basis of ideas and eloquence.

Steven Reynolds' websites are http://truth2012.org/ and http://www.facebook.com/voteprogressive

Steven is a 33-year old former officer in the United States Army.  He enlisted in 1997 and served in Kuwait (Operation Desert Fox).  He was then selected for admission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air and Missile Defense Command.  Injuries and surgeries led to his honorable disability separation from the Army in 2004.

Since then, he has followed his values of service and compassion through volunteering and activism. He continues to pursue a life of service dedicated to his country and fellow veterans.

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