Adrian Wyllie, Libertarian Party of Florida candidate for governor, has retained Constitutional attorney Luke Lirot to represent the campaign. Lirot is known for representing numerous individuals in a variety of civil rights cases, legislative challenges, and election related cases, including the representation of former gubernatorial candidate Max Linn in his ultimately successful legal challenge to allow him to participate in the gubernatorial debates held in 2006. Lirot is highly respected for his decades of success in First Amendment cases.
Wyllie has asserted that, with the help of his campaign team and thousands of supporters, he will fight for the right of every Floridian to hear him communicate his ideas on an equal footing with Charlie Crist and Rick Scott. Believing strongly that Floridians are waking up to the fact that the “same old” parties consistently put politics above people, Wyllie has promised to utilize every avenue to fight to prevent his exclusion from these important debates on many different fronts. Such exclusion is not only unfair to the Wyllie campaign, but a disservice to the people of Florida.
“The campaign is set to fight to make sure that we be included in the debates and we will not stand for our voices to be silenced by erroneous criteria set out to exclude viable alternatives in the race. In 2006, the criteria to secure participation in the debates required only that a candidate poll 7 percent or higher,” said the Wyllie campaign in a statement earlier this week. Now being faced with more than double the polling requirements, it must be asked, “What has changed in our political environment to warrant such a significant change in their criteria? Why in 2006 was 7 percent viable, but in 2014 it is 15 percent?”
Third-party and non-party voters are the fastest-growing political demographic in Florida. Wyllie points out that he would have easily qualified for the debates using the 2006 standards. However, he says recent changes to the debate qualifications are designed solely to exclude viable third-party candidates, whose positions often more closely align with an estimated three million Florida voters.
The campaign says that retaining Luke Lirot is just one step in the struggle for debate inclusion by the Wyllie campaign. Other steps and measures may also be taken in regards to Wyllie’s appearance in the televised bouts with his major-party counterparts, but the campaign has made the strategic decision not to release further details at this time.
“After meeting with Mr. Lirot, I feel he not only understands the battle we are willing to take on, but is as devoted to the cause of having the undeniable third option heard on the debate stage,” campaign manager Danielle Alexandre commented. “I feel he has the same vigor as all of our staff and volunteers do, to ensure that Adrian be on that stage. I could not be happier to have him join our team.”
With a full-time campaign staff, commercial ads, a physical office, statewide distribution system of campaign supplies, GOTV software specifically for grassroots volunteers, and campaign contributions nearing $100,000, the campaign has proven to be a credible and formidable opponent in this race. With donations averaging only $75 per donor, to amass that amount in the campaign coffers shows significant grassroots support for Wyllie.
As the latest Quinnipiac poll has pointed out, voters in Florida are unhappy with their current major party choices. Voters said by 49-37 percent that they don’t trust Crist, and by 51-39 percent that they don’t trust Scott. It is clear that the people of Florida are looking for another option and Adrian Wyllie has provided that choice.
“For too long, the Republican-Democrat ‘duopoly’ has controlled the conversation, and they have used their power to silence the competition. Their attempts to exclude me from the debates is just another example,” said Wyllie. “The people of Florida are demanding a third choice, and we are going to make sure that their voice is heard. We will not go quietly.”