A proposal by the Open Debate Coalition, to allow the public to submit questions directly to the candidates without media filtering, has been endorsed by the McCain-Palin Campaign. The Obama campaign has not responded.
Last week Broadcasting & Cable reported that both sides of the political spectrum want more Internet-friendly debates. They called upon the campaigns of both presidential candidates to respond to their request, but so far only McCain has responded.
A coalition of groups from both sides of the political spectrum asked the presidential candidates to pledge to hold more Internet-friendly debates, including requiring media companies to release rights to video footage.
That would include ground rules that media companies make debate video freely available for sharing, blogging and posting. . .
"This 'bubble-up' idea is the essence of the Internet as we know it," they wrote. "The best ideas rise to the top, and the wisdom of crowds prevails. We'd propose debate organizers utilize existing bubble-up voting technology and choose Internet questions from the top 25 that bubbled up. We ask you to instruct the Oct. 7 debate planners to use bubble-up technology in this fashion."
Among those signing the letter were craigslist founder Craig Newmark, David Kralik of Newt Gingrich's American Solutions, Eli Pariser of MoveOn.org, Republican strategist Mandy Finn, Arianna Huffington and Josh Silver of Free Press.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Trevor Potter, general counsel of the McCain campaign sent a supportive letter Wednesday to the Open Debate Coalition.
"The McCain-Palin campaign agrees with you that the debates are ultimately for the benefit of the American people...we support your suggestion that the public play a role in selecting the questions to be asked."
"We also believe that Americans--including the campaigns themselves--should be able to 'debate the debates' using all available tools on the Internet and elsewhere, including blogs, web-video services and other means." . . .
Ironic that the GOP campaign, which has taken some PR hits, especially McCain himself, for being allegedly less tech-savvy than the campaign of Barack Obama, would be first to respond and agree with the new openness coalition.
The complete text of the McCain letter can be read here.