Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Question for the Democratic Presidential Candidates

Alan Maki has sent this question for consideration to be asked of Democratic Presidential Candidates... it's a good question...

First of all, please allow me to object to your excluding Dennis Kucinich from the debate on January 15 the way African-American school children were denied and excluded from attaining a public education in Parma, Ohio for so long while their parents were denied the right to purchase homes in Parma, Ohio because of the color of their skin for over 100 years after the North won the Civil War.

With that said, please allow Dennis Kucinich to participate in this debate on January 15, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada so all of America can hear his answer, along with the other candidates’ answers, to my question:

What do you intend to do to

end the injustice of some

two-million casino workers

being forced to work in some

four-hundred smoke-filled

casinos strung out across

our country all of whom are

employed at poverty wages

without any rights under

state or federal labor laws in

the Indian Gaming Industry

created under the terms of

“Compacts” negotiated with

so-called “sovereign” Indian

Nations who need the

approval of the Federal and

state governments to operate


I think Las Vegas would be

a great and appropriate

venue to have this question

asked from since many of

these Indian casinos are

managed very profitably by

Station Casinos and the

infamous and illustrious

Fertitta family and their

equally illustrious business


As you know, second-hand smoke in the workplace has become a very important health concern. The majority of casino workers employed in these smoke-filled casinos are women of child-bearing age who the American Cancer Society and the Heart and Lung Association say are placed at greatest risk in such a working environment.

Alan L. Maki

Director of Organizing, Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council


Elected Member, Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (Democratic Party) State Central Committee

Contact info at very bottom

Should we allow the media to pick which candidates we are allowed to see?

NBC Rewrites its Own Rules to Prevent America from Hearing Kucinich

By Kevin Tillman, AlterNet. Posted January 11, 2008.

As a political writer, I have to follow these endless primary-season debates. But when it comes to NBC's Democratic show-down in Vegas next Tuesday, I'll read the transcript and check out the highlights on YouTube, but I won't tune into NBC's live broadcast.

Here's a press release from the Kucinich campaign explaining why:

Less than 44 hours after NBC sent a congratulatory note and an invitation to Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich to participate in the Jan. 15 Democratic Presidential debate in Las Vegas, the network notified the campaign this morning it was changing its announced criteria, rescinding its invitation, and excluding Kucinich from the debate.

NBC Political Director Chuck Todd notified the Kucinich campaign this morning that, although Kucinich had met the qualification criteria publicly announced on December 28, the network was "re-doing" the criteria, excluding Kucinich, and planning to invite only Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and former senator John Edwards.

The criteria announced last month included a fourth-place or better showing in a national poll. The USA/Gallup poll earlier this month showed Kucinich in fourth place among the Democratic contenders.

In an email to the Kucinich campaign at 2:35 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9, Democratic Party debates consultant Jenny Backus wrote:

"Congratulations on another hard-fought contest. Now that New Hampshire is over, we are on to Nevada and our Presidential Debate on Tuesday January 15. This letter serves as an official invitation for your candidate to participate in the Nevada Presidential Debate at Cashman Theatre in downtown Las Vegas. You have met the criteria set by NBC and the Debate."

Todd notified the Kucinich campaign this morning that the network had decided to change the criteria and limit participation in the debate to only three candidates.

Take Action!

(and please forward this email when you are finished)

To complain to NBC News and MSNBC, contact the Today show at:

Also, Weekend Today at:

For good measure, send a copy to this link:

Call NBC Studios in Los Angeles at 818 840 4444.

To leave a voice message on the NBC/MSNBC comment line, call 212-664-4444 (you have to ask for the comment line).

You can also contact the debate moderators to complain -- but be nice, they probably weren't involved in the decision to exclude Dennis Kucinich.

Email to Brian Williams at NBC Nightly News:

Tim Russert at Meet The Press:

NBC invites you to suggest a question for the Jan. 15th Democratic Presidential Debate in Nevada. Ask why they're excluding Dennis Kucinich. (If you get a runtime error, try again two or three times-- a lot of us are complaining, and it may take several tries.)

Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541


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