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In this essay, Brian Kelly asks why there has been no coverage of his congressional campaign, launched on January 26, 2016 for a Primary Election to be held April 26. He is inclined to forgive the press for their slight as long as they post this disclaimer on all their future work:

"Disclaimer. Though we may appear like a normal media outlet to serve the people, we are not! Our primary goal is ad revenue and so we do not follow the precepts typically attributed to the "fourth estate."

His essay title is:

Media in NEPA do not serve as Fourth Estate

Please enjoy this essay by Mr. Brian Kelly.

An Essay By Brian Kelly

Media in NEPA have totally ignored Brian Kelly's congressional candidacy

A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person's name. That's pretty simple isn't it. For its own reasons, the newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations, including Public TV feel that they can exclude bona fide candidates from their lists of candidates simply because a particular candidate has chosen not to go through all of the hoopla and expense of getting his or her name on the ballot.

In order to get one's name on the formal ballot in Pennsylvania, a candidate for state or federal office must meet a variety of complex, state-specific filing requirements and deadlines. These are intended to keep regular citizens from running for office. The founders did not decide that a candidate should need a huge war chest to run for office. Incumbent politicians trying to keep all the John Doe's off the ballot that they can, thus thwarting the fairness underpinnings of our democratic republic, have devised a number of ways to assure their continual reelections. One such way, and the easiest, I might add, is to legally discourage any and all people who may decide one day to challenge the "God-given-right" of a politician to be elected and reelected until that politician retires.

These regulations in Pennsylvania are known as ballot access laws. They simply determine whether a candidate or party will appear on an election ballot.  They do not inhibit the ability of an individual to declare her or his candidacy and have the general public write their name in on the ballot on election day. This is a hallmark of our democracy and it is the law in Pennsylvania. A write-in candidate is not a write-in schlepper. He or she is a write-in candidate and all candidates may become either nominated or elected depending on the nature of the election -- Primary or General.

Ballot access laws are set at the state of PA level; not at the federal level.  A candidate must prepare to meet ballot access requirements well in advance of primaries, caucuses and the general election. It is so much work put in front of regular citizens by incumbent politicians that most people opt not to run for office ever in their lifetimes--even if they might have become fine representatives of the people. It answers the question as to why the choice of candidates is often poor. The reason is simple: Politicians do not want the general public to become competitors against their quest for gaining and keeping political office. It isn't fair but it is so.

The formal notion or excuse given by lawmakers is that the state lawmakers have developed ballot access procedures in an effort to prevent non-serious candidates from appearing on the ballot; meanwhile, critics contend that stringent ballot access requirements discourage candidate and voter participation in the electoral process.

Please count me in as a critic as there is no other option given other than the write-in. Feel free to be an active critic yourself. The Press / Media have chosen to no longer help the people understand that they have options other than the candidates thrown at them by the political money machines, the major donors, and the entrenched establishment parties. The people are sick of their lousy choices.

The Press is deemed as the fourth estate and highly regarded when they execute this major responsibility. In the United States, the media is often called the fourth branch of government (or fourth estate).That's because from the founding of America, its job has been to closely monitor the political process in order to ensure that political players don't abuse the democratic process. The job of the fourth estate is not to ignore candidates who have chosen not to play by the rules of the politicians. In fact, it is the press's job to fight for the people by making us all aware that our state legislators have snookered us on ballot access laws.

In my case, there is no reason why since January 26, when I announced that I was running for Congress, there was not one piece in the media of NEPA about my candidacy. Does our fourth estate in NEPA think their only mission is to collect ad revenue from candidates? Why, when the PA Constitution gives write-in candidates an opportunity for election, should a declared write-in candidate not receive the same press coverage as those who worked the moneyed class to get on the ballot. Here is a brief excerpt from a Stanford Article about a free press that you should enjoy:   

Consider the following excerpt from Journalism in the Digital Age http://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs201/projects/2010-11/Journalism/index7f0d.html?page_id=16

"Journalism has long been regarded as an important force in government, so vital to the functioning of a democracy that it has been portrayed as an integral component of democracy itself. In 1841, Thomas Carlyle wrote, Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all (On Heroes and Hero Worship). Four years earlier, Carlyle had used the phrase in his French Revolution: A Fourth Estate, of Able Editors, springs up, increases and multiplies; irrepressible, incalculable. Carlyle saw the press as instrumental to the birth and growth of democracy, spreading facts and opinions and sparking revolution against tyranny."

"The fact of the matter is that democracy requires informed citizens. No governing body can be expected to operate well without knowledge of the issues on which it is to rule, and rule by the people entails that the people should be informed. In a representative democracy, the role of the press is twofold: it both informs citizens and sets up a feedback loop between the government and voters. The press makes the actions of the government known to the public, and voters who disapprove of current trends in policy can take corrective action in the next election. Without the press, the feedback loop is broken and the government is no longer accountable to the people. The press is therefore of the utmost importance in a representative democracy."

When you see this essay by Brian Kelly, a write-in candidate in 2016 for the 17th Congressional District, in print any time in the future, write to your state legislators and tell them to make the ballot access laws in PA favor the people-- not the politicians. While you are at it, write or call your friendly media outlets (Newspapers, Radio, TV) and let them know that you will no longer buy their product or listen/watch their spew if they do not treat all candidates for office fairly. Ask them to put a disclaimer on their work in the future if they deny your request. My recommended text for the disclaimer is:

"Disclaimer. Though we may appear like a normal media outlet to serve the people, we are not! Our primary goal is ad revenue and so we do not follow the precepts typically attributed to the "fourth estate."

My bet is that no media outlet in NEPA or elsewhere dares to print this essay in this the age of a waning free press.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely,

Brian Kelly