With a week to go until Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and rival Hillary Clinton face off for their first highly anticipated debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates has formally invited the two candidates to New York.
But some Trump supporters are worried that the so-called “unbiased” commission could end up bending the rules in favor of Clinton.
Turns out, the debate rules commission is filled with Clinton supporters and donors — and lacks a single Trump backer.
That’s according to LifeZette, which reported Saturday that an adviser to Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Kevin Zeese, told them the presence of these donors and insider cronies are evidence of a conspiracy to rig the electoral system against unwanted anti-establishment alternatives like Stein or Trump, who Zeese identified as the “outsider candidate”.
“And the fact that Clinton scooped up all of the contributions made by commission members this year fits with the fact that she has won support not only from her own party but many Establishment figures in the Republican Party, as well,” LifeZette wrote.
Commission board members Antonia Hernandez, Richard Parsons, and Shirley Tilghman have all publicly backed Clinton — Hernadez and Parsons so intensely that they each gave the maximum individual donations permissible by law to her campaign, $2,700. Commission Co-Chairman Michael McCurry donated to the Clinton campaign — which he also did during her U.S. Senate runs. McCurry was the White House press secretary under former President Bill Clinton.
No one among the commission similarly backs Trump; a few members of the committee, such as Co-Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf, have donated to establishment GOP candidates in the past, but none of them have given a single penny to the current Republican candidate.
This total lack of Trump support is alarming for his supporters.
They may have a point.
After all, can a board room filled with feverish Clinton supporters and zero Trump backers really be called nonpartisan?
If not, it’s fair to ask — could their presence be setting up Trump for failure?
The commission, established in 1987, is responsible for setting the terms and rules for the presidential debates, as well as the threshold for which third-party candidates can appear onto the debate stages.
The commission’s recent ruling that moderators for the first debate will be allowed to wear earpieces to communicate with executives garnered controversy, for fear the moderators will be coached by power brokers.
But with less than a week to go before the face-off, if these Clinton backers are indeed setting the table for a Trump ambush like some of his supporters fear, it could be too late to stop them.
— The Horn editorial team