Everson Complains to FEC About GOP Debate

Challenges Fox criteria for inclusion
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The campaign of GOP presidential hopeful Mark Everson confirmed Monday it has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission over not being included in the Fox/Facebook inaugural GOP debate Thursday (Aug. 6).

Everson, former IRS commissioner and CEO of the Red Cross, is complaining Fox used improper criteria for determining participation, according to a copy of the filing.

Fox has said all along it was using the five most recent national polls to determine participation among a field that by some counts tops 100 candidates, and even loosened its criteria for a pre-debate forum—which had been polling at least 1%—that will include a number of candidates who did not make the top-10 debate cut-off according to the polls—Fox will release the list of polls Aug. 4 at 5 p.m., the cut-off for determining which 10 get in.

Fox went from a 1% cut-off for the pre-debate forum to "all declared candidates whose names are consistently being offered to respondents in major national polls, as recognized by Fox News."

“All candidates who meet our criteria and are included in the five most recent national polls will be eligible for the debates," said Michael Clemente, executive VP of news at Fox News, which was first reported by USA Today.

Fox similarly used the national polls criteria for the South Carolina/FNC/Google GOP debate in the last presidential election cycle, and did not list the polls beforehand that time around either.

Not surprisingly, given that the debate is three days away, Everson asked the FEC for an expedited ruling.

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