Candidates sue station for debate exclusion


Four aspirants for the Texas Democratic gubernatorial nomination were kept out of a statewide televised debate, and they are now suing North Texas Public Broadcasting’s noncommercial KERA-TV Dallas-Fort Worth for $400M.

According to a report from Belo Corporation’s CBS KHOU-TV Houston, the foursome — Alma Ludivina Aguado, Star Locke, Felix Alvarado and Clement Glen, failed to meet baseline criteria for inclusion, which included an active campaign and at least a 6% showing in a credible non-partisan poll.

The snubbed candidates are arguing that their First Amendment rights are being violated, among many other things and say that the damages actually exceed the $400M they are seeking.

NTPB is not expecting anything to come of the action. In a statement, it said, “We are disappointed that these candidates have chosen to ignore years of judicial precedents upholding our right to use viewpoint neutral criteria in selecting candidates to participate in the Texas Debates. We are confident in our debate policy, and we will seek the speedy dismissal of this complaint as we have successfully with others in the past.”