Monday, April 25 at 7pm EDT Rep. David Jolly (R) and Rep. Alan Grayson (D) went head-to-head and answered YOUR questions in a groundbreaking Open Debate moderated by The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur and Independent Journal Review's Benny Johnson.
Miss the debate? Click here to watch the video!
We are a coalition of people and organizations from across the ideological spectrum urging that political debates be made more “of the people” by bringing them fully into the Internet age.
Specifically, we endorse this Open Debate principle: The public should be empowered to conceive and select debate questions – so that questions addressed by candidates represent the will of the people.
This is not a matter of right versus left, but new versus old. Participatory democracy is a driving principle of the open Internet. The best ideas rise to the top, and the wisdom of crowds prevails.
Moderators can choose from among the top questions proposed and voted on by the public – and have discretion to ask follow-up questions. Many formats can be experimented with, some typical and others so innovative they have yet to be conceived.
As voter participation declines, voter-driven Open Debates that embrace the Internet’s bottom-up ethos could breathe fresh air into our democracy – and attract more young people to participate.
The members of the Open Debate Coalition don’t agree on every issue. But we agree that by bringing together the power of the Internet with the voices of voters, we can ensure that debates are truly “of the people.” We urge candidates, political parties, the media, and debate hosts to work with us and the public to transform our democracy through Open Debates. This represents the future of democracy, and we can make great strides together in the 2016 election.
Adam Green and Stephanie Taylor (Co-Founders, Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Progressive Change Institute)
Grover Norquist (Founder, Americans for Tax Reform)
Jimmy Wales (Co-Founder, Wikipedia)
Craig Newmark (Founder, craigslist)
Cindy Cohn (Executive Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation)
Chris Kelly (Former Chief Privacy Officer, Facebook; Founder, Kelly Investments; Chair, Organizer Inc.)
Terry O’Neill (President, National Organization for Women)
Mindy Finn (Former Digital Strategy Director, Mitt Romney; Former Senior Digital Advisor, Republican National Committee; Founder, Empowered Women)
Tim O’Reilly (Founder, O’Reilly Media)
Rashad Robinson (Executive Director, ColorOfChange.org)
Paul Rieckhoff (Executive Director, Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America)
Michael Turk (Former eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee and Bush/Cheney '04)
Anna Galland and Ilya Sheyman (Executive Directors, MoveOn.org Civic and Political Action)
Ilyse Hogue (President, NARAL Pro-Choice America)
Shepard Fairey (Artist known for iconic Obama “Hope” poster)
Heather McGhee (President, Demos)
Albert Jacquez (Deputy Executive Director, National Council of La Raza Action Fund)
Jon Henke (Former New Media Director, U.S. Senate Republicans and Fred Thompson for President; Strategic Director, TechFreedom)
Cenk Uygur (Host, The Young Turks)
Nita Chaudhary (Co-Executive Director, UltraViolet)
Chris Shelton (President, Communications Workers of America)
Michael Brune (Executive Director, Sierra Club)
Markos Moulitsas (Founder, DailyKos)
Glenn Reynolds (Founder, Instapundit)
Joichi Ito (Director, MIT Media Lab)
Cory Doctorow (Author, blogger, journalist)
David Moore (Executive Director, AskThem.io, Participatory Politics Foundation)
Ethan Zuckerman (Director, MIT Center for Civic Media)
Jared Friedman (Founder, Scribd; Partner, Y Combinator)
Marvin Ammori (Lawyer, Technology Strategist)
Micah Sifry and Andrew Rasiej (Co-Founders, Personal Democracy Media, Civic Hall)
Jim Dean (Chair, Democracy for America)
May Boeve (Executive Director, 350 Action)
Roy Beck (President, NumbersUSA)
Joseph Bast (President & CEO, The Heartland Institute)
Alex Lawson (Executive Director, Social Security Works)
Alexandra Flores-Quilty (President, United States Student Association)
Christopher Long (President, Intercollegiate Studies Institute)
David Segal (Executive Director, Demand Progress and Rootstrikers)
Ashley Thorne & Peter Wood (President & Executive Director, National Association of Scholars)
Kenneth Roth (Executive Director, Human Rights Watch)
Murshed Zaheed (Political Director, CREDO Action)
Rea Carey (Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund)
Robert Greenwald (Founder, Brave New Films)
Marissa Brown (Executive Director, Democracy Initiative)
Miles Rapoport (President, Common Cause)
Arianna Huffington is also a member of the Open Debate Coalition.Website
The Independent Journal Review is a social first, mobile first news company serving millions of Americans each day with informative content. We’re dedicated to reporting political and cultural news in an objective, fair, and entertaining way to a large and engaged independent-minded audience.
Traditionally, politics and news have been projected to the American people from a Washington, DC “inside the beltway” point of view, telling them how and what to think. We believe our audience deserves better – to challenge conventional wisdom and traditional coverage. We are audience first. And our audience demands and deserves to hear from more than one side on a story. Our audience demands and deserves to decide on its own where they stand. Using our team of independent writers located all across the country, as well as our newsroom in Alexandria, Virginia, we aim to engage you into the debate with the information you need to make up your own mind.Website
TYT Network is the largest online news network in the world, covering politics, pop culture and lifestyle. TYT Network is one of YouTube's top partner channels and has over 200 million views a month and more than 3 billion total views on The Young Turks YouTube channel and Facebook page. The Young Turks was named to Variety’s Famechangers list, The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen 30, and has won the 2013, 2014, and 2015 People's Voice Webby Awards for best news and politics series, 2011 News/Politics Shorty Award, Best Political Podcast 2009 at the Podcast Awards, and Best Political News Site 2009 at the Mashable Awards. The show is No. 1 in News & Politics among millennials according to comScore, Tubular Labs, and OpenSlate data.
The Young Turks is the flagship show of the TYT Network, which includes What the Flick?!, Think Tank, TYT Sports, TYT Interviews, TYT Politics PopTrigger, Nerd Alert and The Jimmy Dore Show.Website
“At a time when a corrupt campaign finance system and rigged voting laws are damaging our democracy, Open Debates are a huge bright spot for our democracy – empowering regular people in an unprecedented way. We hope this historic event helps makes Open Debates the norm in the future – from state and local races to Congress and all the way up to President.”
- Adam Green and Stephanie Taylor, Co-Founders, Progressive Change Institute
"As a member of the Open Debate Coalition, I am very glad the candidates agreed to use this innovative format and will answer questions that are submitted and voted on by the public. Hopefully, numerous Open Debates happen this 2016 cycle -- including in the race for President."
- Grover Norquist, Founder, Americans for Tax Reform