October 17th, 2012
10:34 AM ET
10 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. canwebeheard

    Imagine how the percentage polls would go if the major media outlets actually covered the other two candidates – they might have a chance at participating with the current rules but no one (figuratively) knows they are running, much less what their platforms are!

    October 17, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Souljacker

    @truth hurts

    Do you realise that Jill Stein is on 85 % of the ballots? That's more than half, and half in itself should qualify for a seat at the debate. The way she has been systematically shut out is shameful. She did the leg work to get on that many ballots, and she deserves a chance to debate the two other candidates.

    The difference is that she doesn't take money from corporations, and she has actual ideas on how to fix the problems in the US. I invite you to listen to NPR, who has been broadcasting their own version of the debates so that the three alternate party candidates can have a say. After last night's fiasco, I unliked Obama and I will be voting for Jill. Lucky me, I'm in a state that has her on the ballot.

    At some point, this nonsense has to end.

    October 17, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Ghette Jones

    At presidental debate in New York Mitt said he believes a way should be made for children born in America to illegal immagrints should have a pathway to citizenship. Umm wait minute ..... being born on American soil make you a citizen has been the law since the founding fathers. Its anchor baby mentality like Mitts coming up with this crap. Its obvious where Mitt really stands with Hispanic/Latino immagrints .After all in your mind do you see European people when I say illegal immagrints ?

    October 17, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. The REAL Truth...

    @Borderless – Candidate to moderator: "Express my version of the truth a little louder."
    Moderator to candidate: "Yes, sir."
    ROTFLMAO – it's such as shame that right wing nuts have to attack, attack and childishly attack when things don't go their way. Fess up chump... Willard was trounced last night. FACT. Get over it.

    October 17, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Voter

    Why are the two other candidates not included in debates?

    I did not know their names before this article. I am pretty sure I represent a lot of voters on that. We want to know our choices. This amounts to suppression of our choice in the election as far as I am concerned.

    ...Imagine the exact same taking place in Russia or Saudi Arabia and what we would saying here about that!

    October 17, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. The REAL Truth...

    @borderless – Willard willing to compromise? That's why he wants to repeal ACA – of which 95% is HIS MA health care plan. The man has no idea what he wants to do. He will say ANYTHING to anyone that will help in his election bid. They didn't label him Mr. Etch-a-sketch or Mitt the Twit for nothing. He's an empty suit wannabe – and as an independent – he's assuredly NOT getting my vote. Tho' I will most likely vote for some of the GOP in my local races.

    October 17, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. juris doc

    unbelievable....is this a democracy that an informed, educated candidate who is legitamately on ballots in ths country is ARRESTED for merely being in the same vacinity as a pres. debate???? ........dispicable.....democracy? IDK.

    October 17, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. Get Real

    Why are the 2 major parties scared to allow some of the other candidates into the debates? Oh yeah, now I remember back in 1992 when (I) candidate H. Ross Peort schooled both Bush(R) and Clinton(D) about the "REAL" problems in America. Wished we had a Perot for this election. Things would have been so different had Perot won in 1992.

    October 17, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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