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Third-party Candidates Visit Columbia U. This Weekend

This story was written by Mary Kohlmann, Columbia Daily Spectator

One independent and two third-party U.S. presidential candidates will debate at Columbia University Sunday evening at an event sponsored by the Columbia Political Union.

Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party, Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, and Ralph Nader, who is running independently, will convene in the International Affairs Building to defend their platforms. The debate will be moderated by activist and journalist Amy Goodman, who visited Columbia for a talk in April.

A couple weeks ago, we started talking to people in the Nader campaign, and it progressed from there, CPU Communications Director Lauren Salz, BC 11, said. Salz is also executive director of the CU Republicans.

Although CPU invited all eligible candidates for the presidency, Senators Barack Obama, (D-Ill.), CC 83, and John McCain (R-Ariz.) have not made plans to attend.

Both men visited Columbia on Sept. 11 to participate in a community service forum that some criticized for its relative dearth of student tickets.

Well have more tickets than for ServiceNation, and it will be an actual debate, Salz said of Sundays anticipated event.

Organizers said they are attempting to reserve as many tickets as possible for those affiliated with Columbia. Still, no specific numbers are available yet.

According to Salz, CPU designed the event to offer students an additional first-hand glimpse at political discourseand at the gaps in the political spectrum that give rise to third parties.

There is a reason theyre running, Salz said. These issues arent being talked about.

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