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No Green at governors debate

Matthew Artz
Tuesday October 08, 2002

Green Party candidate for governor Peter Camejo was barred from attending a gubernatorial debate Monday at the insistence of Gov. Gray Davis, Camejo’s campaign manager Tyler Snortum-Phelps said. 

Camejo, who was put on the guest list of Republican candidate Bob Simon, was refused entry by debate officials when Davis said he would not participate if Camejo was allowed inside the building, according to Snortum-Phelps. 

“[Camejo] went up to the front desk with his guest pass, but they kept saying ‘you’re not invited,’” Phelps said. 

The debate, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, was steeped in controversy due to the newspaper’s decision to exclude the Green candidate. The two major party candidates tussled over the snub, Camejo said, with Simon encouraging his participation and Davis rejecting it. Both candidates thought the Green candidate could take liberal votes away from Davis, Camejo said. 

Simon previously said he would not participate in the debate if Camejo were not allowed to attend, but he ultimately decided to participate.