Green Party Candidate Barred from “Forum”

Bob Kozak, the Green Party candidate for Congress in Maryland’s Sixth District, was booted from a community forum because he didn’t appear on the primary ballot. Sounds like the organizer was dead set on giving the Democrat a free audience under the guise of it being a “forum” to meet the candidates…

From the Frederick News-Post...

Green Party congressional candidate Bob Kozak is complaining of political bias after being banned from participating in a forum for seniors at the Crestwood Village retirement community last week.

According to Mr. Kozak, when he arrived, organizer Chris Tyree said that as Mr. Kozak had not run in the primary and so was not on an elections board list, he could not participate.

Mr. Kozak said Frederick County Sheriff’s deputies were called to escort him and campaign staff off the Crestwood premises.

“What advice would Martin Luther King Jr. have given Mr. Tyree about the importance of hearing from all the candidates on the issues, even from the minority candidate?” Mr. Kozak said.

Kozak campaign treasurer Joanne Ivancic had confirmed with Crestwood clubhouse staff that the Green candidate would attend prior to the event, according to a press release.

Mr. Kozak and Mr. Tyree could not be reached for comment.

U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, the seven-term Republican incumbent, was not at the forum. His absence, and the ban on Mr. Kozak, left the floor to Democratic challenger Andrew Duck.

Mr. Duck witnessed the exchange between Mr. Tyree and Mr. Kozak without interfering. Mr. Kozak said Mr. Duck’s noninvolvement was “even more chilling” than Mr. Tyree’s refusal to let the Green candidate participate.

A press release sent later that night by the Kozak campaign said Mr. Duck, “who claims to have fought for Democracy in Iraq, stood by without a single word.”

“He did not confirm to Mr. Tyree that Bob Kozak was indeed a candidate. He did not urge Mr. Tyree, on the basis of apparently new information, to permit all the candidates for the office to speak to the assembled voters,” the statement says.

The event was Mr. Tyree’s, Mr. Duck said, and beyond his control as a candidate.

“That’s all I can say is, it was not my choice, it was not my decision, it was not my event, and Mr. Tyree was pretty adamant about how he wanted to run things,” Mr. Duck said. “I was a guest so I respected what Mr. Tyree wanted.”

Mr. Duck was unaware sheriff’s deputies had been called, he said. But he had some choice words on Mr. Bartlett’s absence. The forum was repeatedly delayed to allow the congressman time to arrive.

“It shows that Mr. Bartlett is missing in action in much of the same way that he has been missing in terms of standing up for us down in Washington,” Mr. Duck said.

Mr. Kozak, Mr. Duck and Mr. Bartlett have been invited to appear in a televised forum for Adelphia Cable Channel 10, scheduled to be taped Wednesday and broadcast throughout the week.

3 Responses to “Green Party Candidate Barred from “Forum””

  1. Doug Craig Says:

    In 2002 I ran for state house in Ga. as a Libertarian we had to go door to door and collect 2000 signatures to get on the ballot.I fiqured it cost us about $4000.00 extra to get on the ballot. I told our guys who were excited about getting on the ballot that if we become a threat they will come up with new ways to keep us off the ballot or ouy the debates.This is just a new way to keep third parties down.

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