FROM:   Kim Alexander, CVF President
DATE:   October 3, 2000
RE:   Tonight's Presidential Debate

Hi Folks,

Get your VCRs and popcorn ready, because tonight is the big night -- the first of three Presidential debates between Al Gore and George W. Bush. The debate is taking place tonight in Boston, and begins at 6 p.m. Pacific time.

You can watch tonight's debate live on several channels, including ABC, CBS, C-SPAN, CNN, and PBS. National Public Radio is also carrying the debate, and many local NPR stations will be playing it live on the radio. FYI, Wednesday morning I'll be providing some post-debate commentary on NPR's "Diane Rehm Show" with Norm Ornstein and Tom Mann.

One issue that has clouded this, and previous presidential debates, is the absence of minor party candidates. Though the rules developed for the televised debates typically result in a two-candidate debate format, the rules used to govern online debates are generally more permissive, since the Internet, unlike TV, is limitless in terms of space and time.

One online debate has already begun, and holds much promise for expanding voters' awareness about all the candidates' positions, major and minor party alike. The Web White & Blue Rolling Cyber Debate launched this week, and already the Presidential campaigns of Al Gore, George W. Bush, Pat Buchanan, John Hagelin, Harry Browne, and Howard Phillips are participating in an ongoing, online discussion that will continue through Election Day.

The Web White & Blue Rolling Cyber Debate features daily exchanges among the Presidential campaigns and responses to questions submitted by Internet users. The exchanges can take any form (video, audio, text, web links, etc) and are not limited in length. Each campaign is permitted a rebuttal to their opponents' 'message of the day" and "question of the day" responses.

In addition to the main Web White & Blue site, the Rolling Cyber Debate is being carried on a network made up of 17 of the largest Internet portals and news sites. The Web White & Blue Network reaches more than 85 percent of the U.S. Internet audience, or nearly 70 million Americans.

Web White & Blue 2000 is also home of the State-by-State Directory of Election Information, a project developed by the California Voter Foundation that provides a simple yet powerful directory of election resources available online from state agencies and nonprofit organizations, online at

To visit or learn more about the Rolling Cyber Debate, visit For more information about the televised Presidential debates, visit the Commission on Presidential Debates' web site at

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This page was first published on October 3, 2000 | Last updated on October 3, 2000
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