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Roland Riemers, Grand Forks, Published June 03 2012

Independents blacked out again

The recent Forum Communications poll on the U.S. House race shows the blackout of independent candidates continues to exist no matter how much news organizations self proclaim they give us all the news we need to know.

The Forum admits they left off Libertarian candidate Eric Olsen. How in the world can you have a valid poll when you don’t list all the candidates? If it is just a matter of who can likely win, then maybe candidate Pam Gulleson should also have been left off?

Olsen will probably get at least 3.5 percent of the November vote, but in the year of Ron Paul, Olsen’s vote percentage could be much more. And Olsen’s vote total certainly would be more if third party candidates were not excluded from most news coverage. My own personal observations of running for office as a Libertarian has been that I will get more news coverage the day after the election saying that I lost than I will get the entire time before the election saying I am running.

Nor do I think the media blackout is fair to the voting public. Any voter wishing to vote for candidates who support eliminating the property tax are for real constitutional rights and smaller government are not afraid to support a woman’s right to birth control and abortion and who are not afraid to oppose the Patriot Act should be free to get the news that only Libertarian candidates will give them that voice at the ballot box.