Radtke Excluded from Senate Debate
The Associated Press came under harsh attack today for excluding tea party-aligned Republican Senatorial candidate Jamie Radtke from Virginia U.S. Senate debate. The event, held this afternoon in Richmond, featured only U.S. Senate candidates George Allen and Timothy M. Kaine. At a tea party protest outside the event, tea partiers carried signs that read: "Liberal media — keep out of our primary process."
Radtke joined the protest, telling The Richmond Times-Dispatch: “You can’t make a decision if you don’t know who the candidates are." What’s going on today epitomizes the frustration that people have with the political process,” she said.
The Associated Press responded by saying that it had established criteria for participation, which included candidates averaging 15 percent or better in published polls and a fundraising total of at least 20 percent of the respective party’s front-runners, Allen and Kaine. Radtke did not meet that criteria.
The criteria for inclusion in the debate was challenged in U.S. District Court last week by Democratic candidate Julien Modica, but the court dismissed the suit.