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posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 10:37 PM

The COMMISSION on PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES has a powerful hand in choosing who Americans vote for in our presidential elections. They pick who gets to debate. They choose the venue. They choose the format. They choose the moderators. They control the access.

The organization, which is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties, has run each of the presidential debates held since 1988. The Commission's debates are sponsored by private contributions from foundations and corporations.

Who Pulls the Strings of the COMMISSION on PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES? Who are these people and whom do they represent? That’s what we’re going to explore in this thread.


Frank Fahrenkopf, Jr. is a U.S. lawyer and was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1983 to 1989. Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School. Former director of First Republic Bank Corporation of California. Fahrenkopf currently is president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA), the national trade association for the commercial casino industry.

Michael McCurry, is best known as the former press secretary for Bill Clinton's administration. From 1988 to 1990, McCurry served as director of communications for the Democratic National Committee. He is a Washington-based communications consultant and is associated with the firm Public Strategies Washington, Inc. Contributor at The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast . Active within the administration of the United Methodist Church, serving as a lay delegate to the Church General Conference and on various denominational boards.

Co-Chairman Emeritus

Paul G. Kirk, Jr. is an American lawyer and politician who served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 2009 to 2010, having been appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death of Ted Kennedy. From 1985 to 1989, he served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). From 1992 to 2001 Kirk was the chairman of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

Board of Directors

Howard Buffett, eldest son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett. He is, as of 1992, a director of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Howard Buffett has been a Director of The Coca-Cola Company since December 9, 2010. From 1993 to 2004 he was a director of Coca Cola Enterprises, the world's largest Coca Cola Bottler.

John C Danforth, is a former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq. Before becoming the UN Ambassador he was the Attorney General of Missouri and United States Senator from Missouri. Danforth lead the investigation into the FBI's role in the 1993 Waco Siege. Part owner of the St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League.

Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. Governor of Indiana from 2005 to 2013. President of Purdue University. Appointed executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee from 1983 to 1984. President of North American Operations Eli Lilly and Company (Prozac) (1993–97). Served as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 2001-03. In this role he was also a member of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. Co-chairs a Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on NonCommunicable diseases. Board of directors for Indiana Software company Interactive Intelligence (ININ)

Charles Gibson, former United States broadcast television anchor and journalist. Gibson was a host of Good Morning America from 1987 to 2006, and the anchor of World News with Charles Gibson from 2006 to 2009. Gibson is a member of the board of trustees of Princeton University. Co-moderator of a Democratic Party U.S. presidential-campaign debate between candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries.

John Griffen, served as Managing Director of Bankers Trust and G7 Group (The seven major advanced economies as reported by the International Monetary Fund that represent more than 64% of the net global wealth ($263 trillion)). He serves as Director of Allen & Company ( Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, Michael Eisner, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Johnson, Andy Grove, Richard Parsons, Donald Keough) (Allen & Company were underwriters for the Google initial public offering in 2004, adviser of Facebook in its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, adviser to Time Warner in its $80 billion 2015 merger with Charter, advisor to LinkedIn for its merger talks with Microsoft, advisor to Walmart in its $3.3 billion purchase of, advisor to Verizon in its $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo, advisor to AOL in its acquisition by Verizon.

Antonia Hernández, Trustee for the Rockefeller Foundation, President & CEO The California Community Foundation, President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

The Rev. John I. Jenkins, Jesuit President of the University of Notre Dame. Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

edit on Tue Sep 27 2016 by DontTreadOnMe because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 10:37 PM
Jane Harman, is the former U.S. Democratic Representative for California's 36th congressional district. Resigning from Congress in 2011, Harman is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board, the State Department Foreign Affairs Policy Board, the Director of National Intelligence’s Senior Advisory Group, and the Homeland Security Advisory Council. She was a member of the CIA External Advisory Board from 2011-13. Harman is a Trustee of the Aspen Institute and the University of Southern California. Representing the aerospace center of California during her nine terms in Congress, she served on all the major security committees: Armed Services, Intelligence, Homeland Security. In 2009, it was revealed NSA wiretaps reportedly intercepted a phone call between Harman and an agent of the Israeli government, in which Harman allegedly agreed to lobby the Justice Department to reduce or drop criminal charges against two employees of AIPAC in exchange for increased support for Harman's campaign to chair the House Intelligence Committee. Charges were later dropped, against the wishes of the FBI. She received the CIA Agency Seal Medal in 2007, and the CIA Director’s Award and the Director of National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal in 2011. Married to audio pioneer and multi-millionaire Sidney Harman (Harman International Industries), who served as the Undersecretary of the Department of Commerce.

Jim Lehrer, is a former American journalist and novelist, and is the former executive editor and a former news anchor for the PBS NewsHour on PBS. United States Marine Corps veteran. Nicknamed the "Dean of Moderators", Lehrer has moderated 12 presidential candidate debates, including the first presidential debate between senators Barack Obama and John McCain on September 26, 2008.

Newton Norman Minow, is an American attorney and former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Minow is currently the Honorary Consul General of Singapore in Chicago. He is Senior Counsel in the Chicago headquartered law firm of Sidley Austin LLP. Daughter is Dean of Harvard Law School.

Richard Dean Parsons, is a former chairman of Citigroup and the former Chairman and CEO of Time Warner. Parsons is now a member of the economic advisory team for President Barack Obama. President George W. Bush selected Parsons to co-chair a commission on Social Security. Parsons also worked on the transition team for Michael Bloomberg, who was elected Mayor of New York City in 2001. In 2006, Parsons was selected to co-chair the transition team for Eliot Spitzer.

Dorothy S. Ridings, is president and chief executive officer of the Council on Foundations, a national association of some 2,000 foundations and corporations. Ridings served as president of the League of Women Voters of the United States from 1982 through 1986. Trustee of the Ford Foundation and a director of the Benton Foundation.

Olympia Snowe, is an American politician who was a Republican United States Senator from Maine from 1995 to 2013. Snowe announced that she would not seek reelection in November 2012, and retired when her third term ended. Snowe has been on the Board of Directors for the investment counsel firm T. Rowe Price since 2013.

Shirley M. Tilghman, was the 19th President of Princeton University. Fellow, the Royal Society of London. Officer of the Order of Canada. Trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Google Investor Relations Board of Directors. Member of the Board of the Brookhaven Science Associates, the organization that manages Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York.

Executive Director

Janet H. Brown, This was a tough one. Who is Janet H. Brown? Very few people seem to know. Which would be fine, if she weren’t one of the most powerful people in politics. See link for "more info" on Brown

Janet H Brown

edit on Tue Sep 27 2016 by DontTreadOnMe because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 10:38 PM
We rarely get an inside view of how the Commission actually works. Here is an example from the showtime channel documentary on Ralph Nader entitled: "An Unreasonable Man".

In the year 2000, Ralph Nader was running for President and had an invitation from FOX News to attend the presidential debates taking place in Boston, Massachusetts. As Nader attempted to enter the debates with his official invitation, the Commission on Presidential Debates had the state police threaten to arrest Nader with trespassing if he entered the grounds where the debate was taking place.

So step right up, step right up, Hurry Hurry Hurry! Ladies and gentlemen, the (literal) sideshow is about to begin!

When you watch the debates Monday, please pay no attention to those behind the curtain!

edit on 9/25/2016 by METACOMET because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 07:04 AM
Excellent research!

It's great to find threads like this in the midst of all the "The other guy is crap" threads.

posted on Sep, 27 2016 @ 10:11 PM
A big Thank You to the Moderators for re-evaluating the deletion of this thread and allowing it back to the forums for discussion. The more people understand how this Committee works, the better we can understand our broken election system and who controls it.

posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 06:34 PM
can we have a redo with our government?

posted on Sep, 28 2016 @ 06:57 PM
a reply to: METACOMET
Wow great work!
I vaguely remember the Ralph Nader thing seeing as that was the first election I could vote in and I was an ardent Green Party Ralph Nader cheerleader.
Now look at me...
2016 and supporting Trump.
The years have not been kind that's for sure.

posted on Sep, 29 2016 @ 11:17 AM
a reply to: JAY1980

The Commission was set up to kill a 3rd party. That is evidently one of their main purposes. The Commission was founded because of the traction that Ross Perot was able to gain. That was unacceptable to TPTB.

posted on Dec, 16 2019 @ 11:31 AM
Trump Trashes 'Very Biased' Debate Commission, Hints At Alternatives For 2020

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