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Pro-marijuana Texas governor candidate excluded from public TV debates

Kathie GlassA taxpayer-funded television station has opted to exclude one of the candidates for Texas governor. That candidate also happens to be the only one fully supportive of legalizing marijuana.

KERA Vice President of News Rick Holter has informed Kathie Glass that his Public Broadcast System (PBS) station in Dallas will exclude the Libertarian Party nominee from participating in the gubernatorial debate on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

The Glass campaign released a statement about being excluded, saying:

Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis had agreed to debate on Gannett WFAA, which was open to inviting Kathie. After the campaign announced that we would run ads during the Sept. 19 McAllen debate from which Kathie was also excluded, Abbott abruptly pulled out from the WFAA debate. He would only debate on KERA with its exclusionary debate criteria and where there are no commercials.

In excluding Kathie, KERA violated its own debate criteria. To be invited to participate, one must be “‘sufficiently newsworthy to warrant coverage by the media.” The campaign submitted evidence of coverage in 14 Texas television markets, over 100 Texas newspapers, multiple radio interviews across the state, and appearances before diverse groups such as the LULAC state convention and too many Tea Parties and forums to count. We even included an Oct. 2 “One-on-One” interview with Evan Smith of the prestigious Texas Tribune.

In excluding Kathie, KERA is telling the Texas Tribune and the rest of the Texas media that they don’t know how to do their job.

They’re also urging people to call the station to ask that Glass be included in the debates, emphasizing the point that a publicly funded station hosting a debate should include all candidates.

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

The one-hour live debate is a co-production with NBC 5/KXAS-TV and Telemundo 39/KXTX-TV, and The Dallas Morning News. It will be broadcast on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. CT on television, radio and online.

It will air live on KERA-TV Channel 13, KERA 90.1 FM, COZI-TV Channel 5.2 and other radio and television stations around the state, and streamed live online at texasdebates.org, NBCDFW.com and dallasnews.com. The television program will rebroadcast on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 11 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. on KERA-TV. KERA 90.1 FM will rebroadcast the debate on Friday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.

Democratic nominee Wendy Davis previously came out in support of medical marijuana and said she would consider downgrading the penalty for possession.

Republican nominee Greg Abbott has firmly opposed any measure which would change current cannabis laws.

KERA can be contacted at 214-871-1390.

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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