Coalition calls for sweeping changes in future presidential debates


The bi-partisan group of online activists pushing to liberate debate footage from copyright restriction, and more broadly to remold presidential debates for a new age, says it will involve itself in other debates in the off-years, and gear up for 2012.

The conservative activist Grover Norquist is also joining the group, he said last night.

“I’m happy to join the Open Debate Coalition in calling for dismantling the Commission or fundamentally reforming it so it is accountable to one constituency only: the public,” he said in an email. “And, if the Commission wants to show any bit of responsiveness this year, they’ll make sure that debate footage is put in the public domain so people can put clips on YouTube and otherwise share key moments without being deemed copyright lawbreakers.”

The group’s organizer, Larry Lessig, laid out the group’s plans in a memo that one member passed on, after the jump.

“2008 should be the last year that the Commission on Presidential Debates exists as we know it,” he wrote. “All of us can help make clear that, in the future, voters must ‘own’ the debates–and we demand debates that are democratic, transparent, and accountable to the public.”

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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