Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has become the second U.S. presidential candidate accepting bitcoin for his “Fair Debates” lawsuit against the official presidential debates’ two-party monopoly.
Fair Debates is a website created by Johnson's team to help fund a lawsuit against the CPD and FCC for barring potential third party competitors. Users visiting the website can donate to the project with bitcoin. The digital currency is prominently displayed as the donation of choice. The website reads:
“Now you can use Bitcoin to help us change the game! — A publicity campaign to let ALL the people know: the ‘official debates’ have been monopolized by the two parties who have exclusively occupied the stage for the past twenty years.”
- Gary Johnson
The Fair Debates initiative is an attempt to free up the electoral process from being monopolized by the two-party system with the help of bitcoin donations, which Johnson believes will give the lawsuit more traction. “I look at it [Bitcoin] as the Visa card of the future,” Johnson told the DailyDot after his speech at LibertyFest.
But while Johnson has been vocal about the currency, he admits he isn’t very knowledgeable on the topic. Last year on a reddit AMA post Johnson stated:
“I wish I were more versed on it — I wish I understood it better, but I’m to the point now where I’m actually going to put some money into it to try it based on what I understand about it.”
Johnson is a former governor of New Mexico who ran for president in 2011 as a Republican before dropping out and joining the Libertarian Party ticket in 2012. The candidate is a staunch supporter of free markets, ending the Federal Reserve, ending the IRS, and many other controversial political views.
The website’s history page claims that two electable candidates, Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, were barred from the race in 2012 and shows many examples of prior barring.
The two did not score enough in the polls last election forcing them to enter the debate the hard way by collecting petitions. But despite collecting enough signatures, they were still not allowed to attend. And though they did show up to the event to voice their opinion to the press, Stein was arrested outside the debate hall for trying to enter the function without permission.
Another of his opponents on the Republican ticket is Rand Paul who became the first presidential candidate to accept bitcoin donations back in April. However, Paul hasn't made any public statements about the virtual currency since it was added to his funding cycle.
“I like the fact that he’s running,” said Johnson. “I mean of all the Republicans, he’s the closest to my ideology. The things that we differ are immigration, marriage equality, women’s right to choose, drug policy and military intervention.”
However, despite the two candidates disagreeing on many issues, they both support bitcoin as an alternate form of funding, which should play an increasingly important role in how political campaigns in the post-Bitcoin world are funded.