October 17th, 2012
10:34 AM ET
2 years ago

Debate protest lands presidential candidate in jail

(CNN) – Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, was released from jail Wednesday after being arrested while protesting rules barring her from participating in presidential debates.

Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, were arrested near the site of Tuesday's presidential debate, held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The Nassau County Policy Department said Stein and Honkala were charged with disorderly conduct, and subsequently released from jail Tuesday's evening. They will appear in court November 8 to face the disorderly conduct charge.

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A statement from Stein's campaign said the two candidates "are now free from police custody after eight hours handcuffed to a metal chair in a remote police warehouse on Long Island."

The Nassau County police would not comment on Stein's description of her arrest or detainment.

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates stipulates that a candidate must demonstrate "a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate, as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations" in order to participate in the three presidential, and one vice presidential, debates.

The Green Party campaign statement states Stein and Honkala "recently polled 2-3% in four consecutive national polls."

In a video of the arrest distributed by Stein's campaign, a man is shown warning the candidates they risked being "run over by a cop" if they remained where they were. Stein is shown explaining in the clip, "We're here to stand our ground. We're here to stand ground for the American people who have systematically locked out of debates for decades."

Stein and Honkala say their ticket will appear on 85% of ballots in November's election, and have qualified for federal matching funds.

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Filed under: Presidential Debates
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This is a shame that legitimate candidates can't be heard. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson (among others) should have been included in one debate as long as they are registered in at least half the states and have a chance in the electoral college. Otherwise, we are not having a full picture of who is out there.

    October 17, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Steve in PA

    Who are you again?

    October 17, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Geez! They still did not get to debate, AND now they have a record!
    Way to pick your battles.
    LOL!

    October 17, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. ThinkAround

    She went to the extend of being arrested to get noticed.

    I think any legit party should be part of the on-stage debates. Consider a round robin or bracket scenario.

    October 17, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. mary meyers

    Typical nassau county "police" behavior; surprised they had time for this what with hanging out at donut shops and behind Burger King for free food. Too bad we don't have real police on Long Islan...

    October 17, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Borderless

    Crowley did an awful job as moderator.

    October 17, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    You can't do a sit in, and block traffic, without being arrested.

    If that's the only way her party can get any attention, the party has little chance of being noticed.

    October 17, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. dc4sense

    Maybe if people get disgusted enough with the two big parties, we can get some people with better ideas into the mix. I am certainly open to a third party.

    October 17, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. NOTADEMOCRAT

    The Green Party is a threat to Obama's re-election. And therefore not given equal time here on CNN..,

    October 17, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. truth hurts

    These women need to know and learn the rules no matter what the party. We can't have a stage full of 15 people where all but two stand any chance of winning. By the time all would speak, the debate would be over and the two viable candidates would have spoken for a few minutes. They need to direct their energies on building their party to the point it is a legitimate viable choice. Right now the polls say it is not.

    October 17, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. really

    Debates are controlled by the two major parties. They agree on at least one thing. Protecting the duopoly.

    October 17, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. Borderless

    Candidate to moderator: "Express my version of the truth a little louder."
    Moderator to candidate: "Yes, sir."

    October 17, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. brian

    The whole election process is controlled by the two major parties. Long past time for this to end.

    October 17, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. bckerr

    Gray State...enough said.

    October 17, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. Dena

    Shameless headline grabbing maneuver.

    October 17, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. GI Joe

    Candy Crowly did a great job, much to my surprise. She didn't let Bully Mitt walk all over her like he walks all over all other women.

    Most tweets I saw were the hate Mitt has for women. Pure disrespect and hate.

    October 17, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. Junior

    S.B. Stein E.B. NJ:
    There is no sense in having anyone debate other than the Republican and Democratic nominee. I'm no political scholar but I don’t think independent candidates/parties have any say in the electoral college (which is who really elects the president and not the people) so no matter what, they'd never be elected and therefor their position on things is irrelevant and a waste of time that takes away from the people Americans need to get to know.

    October 17, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. AKbearhugger

    This is just sad. Ron Paul was the classic example. He had a ground swell that eclipsed the major two parties in some regions. Yet he was shut out af many debates, and the one he was allowed in to, he was ignored. The two party scenario is not representative of the will of the people. Open it up!

    October 17, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Borderless

    I agree with everyone here who say that our two-party system is a recipe for fail. To often I have to compromise my principles and vote for a candidate because the only other player is a bit worse. In this election, the only motivation I had to even bother voting was that Obama is such a horrible and ineffectual leader that if we don't replace him, we are heading over a fiscal cliff. If he was a stronger leader, if he was more honest, if he was just more accountable, I would feel comfortable voting for him. He shares many of my same views but the harsh reality is that it doesn't matter who is elected, those issues that are important to me won't be acted on in any meaningful way. At the end of the day, I am hoping that Romney's willingness to compromise will avert disaster. So I vote Romney. It's not what I want, but it's better than nothing.

    October 17, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. HUSSEIN OBAMA = HISTORY

    Obama doesn't even know his investemnts are in China.

    More ignorance by the Great Divider.

    October 17, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Thomas

    'Binders full of women' , Now they are in a police file .

    It would be great to have a third party at the debate to stir the pot .

    October 17, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Lee

    I don't understand why people COMPLAIN. If you are unhappy with the two major parties rally up support for the others. Do something! Create viable alternatives (parties) that people WANT to vote for. If you have enough momentum you WILL be on the major networks, people WILL listen.

    In the case of the Green Party 2-3% nationwide support falls way below the mark. That's no one's fault but their own. Complaining about it doesn't change the facts or help.

    October 17, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    @bearhugger, you could probably fit all the Ronbots in the Country in one large stadium. You guys haven't figured yet that having 300 or 400 people out of a couple of hundred thousand in a given district is not a "ground swell" but a mole hill. And now you guys are trying to make the case for his even more Libertarian son for 2016 (regardless of whether Willard wins)! Well, as someone from the state where the Governor claimed to be able to see Russia from her front porch, what can the rest of us expect.

    October 17, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. noneofdabove

    With the monopoly of the two dominant political parties, elections are a sham. Tragically, the best way to protest this insidious control is to abstain from voting, boycotting the elections.

    October 17, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Wade

    The green party. Who knew they were still around?

    October 17, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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