By Dylan Byers
Philips Electronics has dropped its sponsorship of the 2012 presidential debates, citing a desire not to associate itself with “partisan politics,” POLITICO has learned.
Philips is the third and by far the largest of the original ten sponsors to pull its support, following similar decisions by British advertising firm BBH New York and the YWCA over the last week. Their decision to do so is seen as the result of intense lobbying efforts by advocacy organizations — primarily Libertarian supporters of former Gov. Gary Johnson — who oppose the exclusion of third-party candidates and who therefore believe the Commission on Presidential Debates is an anti-Democratic institution.
Mark A. Stephenson, the head of corporate communications at Philips North America, told POLITICO that the company doesn’t want to provide “even the slightest appearance of supporting partisan politics.”
Philips “has a long and proud heritage of being non-partisan in the many countries it serves around the world. While the Commission on Presidential Debates is a non-partisan organization, their work may appear to support bi-partisan politics,” Stephenson said in a written statement. “We respect all points of view and, as a result, want to ensure that Philips doesn’t provide even the slightest appearance of supporting partisan politics. As such, no company funds have been or will be used to support the Commission on Presidential Debates.”
If you are tired of the Commission on Presidential Debates ‘strict rules’ that promote bipartisan politics and prevent ‘outsider’ and third party candidates, make sure to take action and contact the debate sponsors!
Also see the letter from Crystal Gross, State Director of Georgia for Gary Johnson 2012