Let Gravel Speak! Sign the Petition.

In a pre-emptive statement issued on March 16, CNN, WMUR TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader declared their intention to exclude Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Gravel from their tri-sponsored debate on June 3rd. This petition seeks to change that. In the wake of the debate on April 26, Sen. Gravel deserves to be heard. I address this petition to the Publisher of the Union Leader as I feel it will make the most impact there.

Please copy and paste the url below.





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Accepted and invited

Looks like Mike Gravel has now been invited to the debates. Tally one for grassroots efforts!

Here's the response I received from Charles Perkins, one of the event organizers, in response to my email to him on this yesterday.

FROM: Charles Perkins
DATE: Apr 30, 2007 1:51 pm PST
SUBJECT: RE: Please invite Mike Gravel to June 3 New Hampshire Debate

Senator Gravel has been invited and has accepted.

Charles Perkins, executive editor
UnionLeader.com and New Hampshire Union Leader

Wolf Blitzer Announces

aka Dirk Gently

Wolf Blitzer just interviewed Mike Gravel in the situation room, and said the Gravel will attend the CNN sponsored debate in NH on June 5th. (5th?)

Gravel is IN the June 3rd debate!!!

Congrats to all of us who signed the petition, and all of us who called or e-mailed CNN, WMUR-TV, and/or the Union-Leader.

CNN just announced that Mike Gravel will appear at the June 3rd debate in New Hampshire. This is a great opportunity for Senator Gravel to spread his message to a new wave of supporters.

FYI, I am a law student in Boston, and I will be busy with final exams for the next couple of weeks...but I will be in New Hampshire on the weekend of June 3rd, and I look forward to future blogging with ya'll and hopefully meeting (and making) many more Gravel supporters up in N.H. this summer!

Sen. Gravel and the June 3 NH debate

To those who have called or e-mailed the organizers of the June 3 debate in New Hampshire, thank you for your interest in this important forum. Anyone interested in that debate is encouraged to watch CNN this afternoon. Sen. Gravel is scheduled as Wolf Blitzer's guest at 4 p.m. EDT. The "guest list" for the debate is sure to come up.

As noted earlier in an e-mail that was posted here, some of you were unfortunately misinformed: the senator was never banned from the debate and the March 16 statement did not declare an "intention to exclude" him. The senator's appearance on "The Situation Room" today may answer any remaining questions.


Charles Perkins, executive editor

UnionLeader.com and New Hampshire Union Leader





5,117 signatures as of this

5,117 signatures as of this post. We're more than halfway there!

 Signed, dugged it, blogged

 Signed, dugged it, blogged it. And have forwarded this to my friends.

As of this post:

  • Signatures: 4,696
  • Goal: 10,000

  • http://plubius.wordpress.com wants Gravel for President!

    Spread the word. Send the petition to others.

    Exclude Gravel and Kucinich follows. When Kucinich gets excluded, the other 6 will run for the center and thus will end any chance of fresh ideas or substantive debate.

    --Bill Jacobs

    Coordinator, Athens Project (www.athensproject.com)

    petition WMUR to let Mike participate

    Let Mike be heard!  Yes!!!!!

    more more more!

    until recently i did not know anything about this guy - but from what i've heard i'll definitely be keeping my eye on him and supporting him as much as i can. wouldnt it be a nice refresher to have a president speak the truth for once? ahh... i can breathe that fresh air already...

    A Letter You Can Send to the Censors.

    Here's the letter I wrote in case any of you want to copy and paste it into your own emails (change the name of course).  I sent one to Andrea Jones and Jasiukowicz as well.

    Mr. Perkins,

    I am writing you because I have been informed that you are instrumental in the decision making process about which candidates are invited to the New Hampshire Democratic Primary debates on June 3. 

    Please invite Sen. Mike Gravel to the televised debate.  Though admittedly his campaign has raised little funds, this likely has much more to do with the lack of media coverage that he has gotten so far rather than a genuine lack of interest in his campaign.  If you will remember, John Edwards was in a similar position in the last presidential primary this early on the campaign trail.  In fact, in the debate televised by MSNBC, Sen. Gravel ranked fourth out of the eight candidates in a poll by the DailyKos.  He received 1,500 votes there in addition to the more than 3,000 people who have signed an online petition asking for his invitation to the debate you are hosting on June 3.  Please take these results as a microcosm of the actual interest in Mike's voice being heard in these debates that are critical to his legitimacy as a candidate.   Please do the right thing by ensuring fair coverage of all candidates rather than attempting to dictate to the American people (or even just the people interested in Democratic Party primary debates) which voices they want to hear through the current policy of exclusion through non-invitation.

    Thank you for your time.  I would be happy to discuss this with you further.
    David Ogles


    definitely let him speak...


    his input is both provocative and experienced.

    Gravel petition update

    As of 7.45pm Eastern Sunday the petition had 1,275 signatures, 10% of it's target. If you have signed, thank you. If not, more information is available at the petition site:


    Of course CNN, WMUR and the Union Leader would NEVER "ban, bar, refuse admission to or otherwise exclude" Sen. Gravel...they just will not invite him. You have to love their semantics.

    Response From The Union Leader

    After Contacting the Union Leader this is the response I got...

    Thank you for your interest in the upcoming New Hampshire debates, but you have been misinformed. Senator Gravel has not been excluded.

    Charles Perkins, executive editor

    UnionLeader.com and New Hampshire Union Leader

    Did we win?!?

    Same response from Union Leader

    I received the exact same response, word for word from Charles Perkins today (4/19). I doubt he typed the exact same response, so it appears he has had enough headache from us to have prepared and saved a response to use. If Gravel doesn't get invited, we'll REALLY give him a headache!

    I haven't received any response from the others yet.

    Not yet...

    I am afraid they are just playing word games with you...

    I too have been in contact with Mr. Perkins, and according to him: Senator Gravel hasn't been "excluded" from participation, it is just that he will not be "invited to participate" until he demonstrates more support.

    Thus, as far as I know, Senator Gravel has not yet been invited to the debate, but if we demonstrate more support, then he will be.

    So, keep spreading the word. Send those e-mails, make those phone calls, and also, get in touch with CNN.

    Thanks to Ari we know that Jim Walton, President of CNN Newsgroup, can be reached directly in his office at 404-878-1720.


    You knew the job was

    You knew the job was thankless when you took it!


    Keep at it Mike!

    The pundits are out of it as much as AWOL-George has been since '73. Both are living in a circle of priviliged status that doesnot empathetically know the trials and hardship of the people who see the other candidates as the resume Stepford Pols.

    Keep speaking out and making the contrast from Palestine to the deflating value of the dollar that is the unspoken security concern that will hit the average Joe like a 9/11 attack.

    CNN debate

    Dear All Mike Gravel supporters,

    Mike should be included in the upcoming debate on CNN. If you want to help, please call Jim Walton, President of CNN Newsgroup, personally in his office at 404-878-1720. If enough people call, which I and many of my friends already have, maybe theyll change their minds. Please post this number as many places as you can so we can get a high call volume.

    Go Gravel!

    Ari Rutenberg



    Great work, Ari!

    I just left a voice mail myself! I told him how excited I was to see Sen. Gravel on MSNBC this past Thursday night, and I went on to let him know that it will be a terrible shame if the Senator's patriotic voice isn't heard at the N.H. debate on June 3rd. Given the fact that Hillary and Obama have already decided to skip the June 3rd debate---that is just an extra reason why there should be plenty of room for Mike Gravel.

    Howard Kurtz at CNN Wonders

    aka Dirk Gently

    On Reliable Sources today, Kurtz asked why "a network would allow" Mike Gravel to take part. Tumulty said it was OK for Kucinich, because he "on the other hand has a coherent world view."

    In addition to the petition, it might be worth contacting Reliable Sources and letting them know how you feel about that. Details on the segment are here.

    Let Gravel Speak

    Being English and living in England I certainly hope Senator Gravel gets massive Media speaking time.

    I only wish we in the UK had ONE politician that would stand up like Senator Gravel.

    I still have Senator Fullbright's 1966 book 'The Arrogance of Power' I often think it could have been written in 2006.

    Good luck Senator Gravel and thank you for speaking out.







    Fellow Brit...

    My sentiments exactly! I just wrote to Ming Campbell as I believe he should be able to speak truth and have an impact here in the UK - many of his policies are good and he wants us out of Iraq . I just think politicians are scared of raw, honest emotion and truth...but it only takes one (like Mike Gravel) to open the floodgates.

    As to George Galloway and Ken Livingstone - I just don't get the same feeling from them - that courageous brilliance of not giving a damn and just going with truth regardless of political consequence. 

     Mike Gravel is inspiring and although the I cannot vote in the US elections - I, like everybody else on the planet, am directly affected by their outcome. I hope that outcome is Mike Gravel, President.


    Tina Louise


    How about

    George Galloway and Ken Livingstone?


    It seems that the news channels always try to keep those that don't fall into the "main stream of ideas" out of the picture.  It happened with Nader during the debates in 2004.

    I for one was very happy to have learned of you during the first debate on MSNBC. 


    Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties
    as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 3690


    Fed-up? Let Them Know---Here’s How:

    The following three individuals were involved with the decision to keep Mike Gravel out of the June 3rd debate in New Hampshire. Let them know that this kind of censorship is outrageous! Tell all three of these individuals that Mike’s patriotic voice ought to be heard on June 3rd! Every e-mail and phone call will make a difference…


    Andrea Jones, ABC News, Washington D.C. (202) 222-6896.

    E-mail: andrea.jones@abc.com

    Alex Jasiukowicz, WMUR-TV. (603) 641-9073.

    E-mail: ajasiukowicz@hearst.com

    Charlie Perkins, Editor of the New Hampshire Union-Leader. (603) 668-4321 x 321.

    E-mail: cperkins@unionleader.com

    We should include Jim Walton

    We should include Jim Walton in this email too.

    Jim Walton, President of CNN Newsgroup. (404) 878-1720.



    PS: I got autoreply from Charlie Perkins

    "Thanks for your interest in the upcoming debates, but you have been misinformed. Senator Gravel has not been banned.

    Charles Perkins, executive editor
    UnionLeader.com and New Hampshire Union Leader

    CNN rather than ABC

    I notice you have ABC News on your list. The debate is sponsored by CNN.


    Only democracy will save us!

    re: CNN rather than ABC

    You are correct, Don. The debate is sponsored by CNN, WMUR-TV, and the Union-Leader.

    I posted the ABC News contact information for Andrea Jones because it was her name that appeared on the February 7th press release that announced the N.H. debate schedule in the first place. It is worth it to point out that WMUR is the ABC affiliate in N.H. So, it would be helpful to contact not just CNN, WMUR, and the Union-Leader, but also ABC. I could not find any individual contact info for CNN--but that would be nice if we can find that...

    Here is the original press release from which I obtained the contact information:


    Bottom line: keep those phone calls and e-mail coming! Let CNN, WMUR, the Union-Leader, and ABC know that Mike Gravel's patriotic voice ought to be heard on June 3rd!

    Power to the People!

    Here's the email I sent:

    I would like to respectfully request that former Senator Mike Gravel be allowed to participate in the New Hampshire debate on June 3rd.  I saw your names and email addresses on a post on the Gravel website (http://www.gravel2008.us/?q=node/640), and I had to give you my 2 cents worth.  At the first Democratic debate in South Carolina, Gravel was passionate, funny, sincere, and truthful, and I believe he carried the debate, though his participation time was severely curtailed.  After that debate, his website has become at least 50 times more active, as many people who saw Gravel for the first time became interested in learning more.  I get the impression that he has been dismissed by the media already primarily because he is running on a shoestring budget and will not be increasing the coffers of television and print media with a mass-advertising campaign, but if money has become the golden ticket of entry into tightly restricted political debates for the elite, with a bribed media  as the gatekeepers, then we are no longer a democratic free society, and New Hampshire needs to change its motto.  Frankly, I agree wholeheartedly with Senator Gravel when he stated "...some of these people frighten me" while referring to the top tier of Democratic candidates, and I think that if Gravel is not allowed to hold them accountable in the political debates, the anti-war pro-truth believers in America across this land will have no one to look towards. I hope you will consider changing your mind and admitting Gravel to your debate, as interest in him has begun to blossom since the first debate.  His lines have even become popular on youtube, for crying out loud.  Anyway, thank you for your consideration, and please keep your minds open to allowing Gravel's participation.
    Jeff Haley
    Fort Dodge, IA

    My email to Andrea Jones, Alex Jasiukowicz, Charlie Perkins.....

    Dear Andrea, Alex, & Charlie,
    In contrast to the trend of declining quality of political candidate "debates" in recent years, former Sen. Mike Gravel elevated the standards in the April 26 first Democratic candidate presidential debate.
    In so doing, he inspired many voters, both long-standing Democrats, as well as those, like me, who have turned to the Democratic Party because our views are no longer welcome in the extremist-dominated pro-war GOP.
    Because of Sen. Gravel's extraordinary performance, I am now supporting his bid, as are many others, Democrats, independents, as well as disillusioned former Republicans.
    And Sen. Gravel's campaign web site is attracting approxinately 5000% (50 times) more traffic as a result of his spectacular performance in the first debate.
    His presence vastly improves the debate, stimulates honest discussion of vital issues by all the other candidates as well.
    He should be invited to the June 3 New Hampshire debate.
    While over 60% of the American people desire an end to US involvement in Iraq, the extreme right wing has succeeded in shifting the topic of debate far to the right by attempting to marginalize & eliminate from the airways candidates such as Sen. Gravel despite the overwhelming opposition of the American people to current policy.
    Please do not allow pro-war extremists to determine the topics of debate, by eliminating strong articulate voice of Mike Gravel.
    Invite Sen. Gravel to the June 3 New Hampshire debate.
    The Democratic debate, & America will benefit from his inclusion.

    Right on!

    Awesome--that is an excellent e-mail. Let's get Mike in that debate!!!

    Submit Comments Directly to WMUR TV


    Go here & let WMUR that Senator Gravel must be included in the debates they are co-hosting .



    Submit Comments Directly to New Hampshire Union Leader


    Go here & tell The New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper that Senator Gravel must be included in the debates they are co-hosting.


    I did just that and recieved this reply:

    Thank you for your interest in the upcoming debate, but you have been
    misinformed. The organizers have not refused to allow Sen. Gravel to

    Charles Perkins, executive editor
    UnionLeader.com and New Hampshire Union Leader

    Submit Commnets Directly To CNN Web Site


    Go here to the CNN comment form & tell CNN that Senator Gravel must be heard from.


    Tim Thigpen

    Letter to the Boston Globe

    To the Editor:

    On April 25th you published a story about how Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are the only candidates who will not be participating in the New Hampshire Democratic debate on June 3rd. (“Clinton, Obama only Dems not pledged for N.H. debate”) However, there is a third candidate who also won’t be there—not because of “scheduling conflicts”—but due to media censorship. His name is Mike Gravel.

    Gravel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and served in the United States Army from 1951 until 1954. As a United States Senator from the state of Alaska in 1971, Gravel was responsible for making public an extensive volume of the Pentagon Papers, and he also conducted a five-month-long filibuster that successfully prevented the continuation of the military draft.

    This past week, Gravel appeared in a debate along with all of the other Democratic presidential candidates in South Carolina. However, earlier this year the sponsors of the N.H. debate (WMUR-TV, the Union-Leader newspaper, and CNN) announced that Gravel would not be invited to participate in June. Given his many patriotic contributions to our country, it is outrageous that Mr. Gravel's voice will not be heard. With the general election more than a year and a half away, this sort of media censorship does a terrible disservice to our democratic process.

    Mike Gravel will define the debate

    In a couple of weeks I celebrate my 74th birthday. Watching Mike's participation in that debate gave me a new lease on life. I haven't had as much fun since a handful of us were successfull in placing the new and then "subversive" Libertarian Party on the Ohio ballot in time for the 1980 elections. Mike's platform positions reflect precisely my views today. GO MIKE!!!  With time on my hands, I oversee a couple of delightful web sites, both of which intend to support Mike Gravel for President: The Big Eye -- http://bigeye.com and NewsWatch -- http://newswatch.org

    I earned an honorable discharge as an enlisted man from the US Navy to accept a direct appointment from Navy Secretary Dan Kimball as a commissioned Midshipman and government subsidized college education. Following some education, in protest over the "forgotten" Korean War (a "dress-rehersal" for Vietnam) I resigned my commission and went to work to pay for the balance of my college education myself. A decade later, like Mike, I was an outspoken protester of the Vietnam debacle where the idiocy of the War Party of those days resulted in the deaths of 58,000 young Americans and 3 MILLION civilians, mostly poor peasants -- all for no good reason. Iraq is very much deja vu for me.  

     I believe in national defense; not globalization and democratization, modern euphemisms for imperialism (which is as old as empire). Mike's comment on the corporations now determining our culture is particulary prescient and brings to mind Morris Berman's excellent new book, "Dark Ages America". Unfortunately, neither Mike nor anyone else is going to turn this around. However, a Gravel presidency might go a long way toward creating some balance and restoring the admiration in which our nation has been held, until recently, by a majority of the world's community of peoples (who understand the nature of government, in general, from living under ones that have been, until the neocon coup, more corrupt than ours). Such a sea-change is critical, if only from the standpoint of self-preservation.

    Good luck, Mike, and keep up the great battle! I am with you 100%.

    Damn straight!

    I agree with every word you said, especially the "new lease on life" part.  Boy, was I in despair.

    And it's brisk to hear the enthusiasm coming from someone your age, sir, because so many of our "tribal elders" like Gore Vidal, George Carlin, and the lately deceased Kurt Vonnegut seem to have thrown their hands up in utter despair after decades of fighting the good fight.  When I hear them give up hope, it makes it hard for me to keep mine.

     Thanks for the Berman reference.  I read his "Twilight of American Culture" and LOVED it and so will be sure to read "Dark Ages America."  To some, it's pessimism.  To me, it's realism.

    Regarding New Hampshire....

    As a relative of family who spent their last 30 years of life living in Keene New Hampshire.... I spent many summers up in that incredibly beautiful town / state... and my uncles must be rolling in thier graves looking down and seeing that the "New Hampshire Union Leader' is playing cencorship games.

     What has become of the state who's motto is
    'Live Free or Die'?

    I haven't been so enthused over a Candidate since Ross Perot nailed Papa Bush and Bubba back in '92.... Greg, New York.
    Facts: Richardson as energy secretary was sent on a mission to Saudi Arabia in 1999 to ask them to

    I Want Mike to be Seen and Heard!

    I demand CNN include Mike Gravel to be included in any and ALL Debates that include any other candidate running on the Democratic Ticket!

    I haven't been so enthused over a Candidate since Ross Perot nailed Papa Bush and Bubba back in '92.... Greg, New York.

    Sign it, Sign it, Sign it!!!

    "Let the People Decide"!!!

    Ever complained about the sorry state of public debate? Sign!

    Senator Gravel was off my radar before the April 26 debate, but not any more.

    Just consider these crucial national security - and world stability - concepts that no one would be talking about without Senator Gravel in the debate.

    • Senator Gravel pointed out the danger in citing "everything on the table" with Iran.  Indeed, America would violate its signature on the Non-Proliferation Treaty to use nukes against a country that did not have them.  (Rumsfeld, of course, made the same grave error regarding Iraq.)
    • Senator Gravel also pointed out the danger in the President's citing the "Axis of Evil".  Indeed, attacking the legitimacy of foreign leaders violates well-known non-proliferation guidelines.  (In fact, it's closely related to one of the three elements that statistically predict suicide bombing - 1) perceived intranigence of the other party, 2) occupation and 3) differing religion.  See Pape, Dying to Win)

    Beginning most powerfully in 2002, this Administration took a very explicit turn towards a perilous American double-standard.  While smugly performing what they perceive as their election-mandated pitch to oppose the war, Democrats' watered down campaigns are failing to provide the thought leadership America despirately needs to immunize itself from fear-mongering if there is another terrorist incident in the US.

    Senator Gravel must be a part of our Presidential debates!