The Des Moines Register hosted the final Democratic presidential debate this Thursday. The criteria to establish which participants were invited to the debate was as follows:
- Candidates must have filed an FEC Form F-2 “Statement of Candidacy” with the Federal Election Commission, and
- Candidates must have publicly announced an intention to run for the nomination of the Republican or the Democratic Party for President of the United States, and
- Candidates must have had a campaign office inside the State of Iowa as of October 1, 2007, and
- Candidates must have employed at least one paid campaign staff representative to perform full-time campaign duties in the State of Iowa on behalf of the candidate since at least October 1, 2007, and
- Candidates must have had at least a 1% support showing in the Des Moines Register’s October, 2007 Iowa Poll.
The Register excluded Dennis Kucinich from the process (due to #3), claiming he did not have a campaign office in the state. Kucinich’s Iowa field director works from his home instead of a rented real estate storefront, which they believe is the reason for the distinction.
The Kucinich campaign issued the following statement:
“The Iowa caucuses have been portrayed as having national implications, and if the Register has decided to use hair-splitting technicalities to exclude the leading voice of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, then the entire process is suspect.”