Participation Criteria

Criteria for Participation in the 2016 Florida Congressional District 18 Debate produced by Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce

Statement of Purpose
Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (PBNC) is producing a televised debate among selected 2016 Florida candidates in the General Election race for Florida’s Congressional District 18. The participation criteria for the Debate are explained below.

Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit, nonpartisan, membership organization.

PBNC is a private corporate entity and is not a state / county actor, agent or agency. The debate will be financed by private funding provided by PBNC and debate sponsors.

The goal of the Debate is to offer the citizens of Florida’s Congressional District 18 an opportunity, in a broad-ranging debate format, to learn about, compare, and carefully consider candidates with a threshold level of support from whom Florida voters will elect a United States Congressman. In order to achieve this goal, PBNC adopts these Candidate Eligibility Criteria (“Criteria”) for identifying those candidates who will be allowed to participate in the Debate. It is the intent of PBNC that the Criteria comply with all applicable legal requirements and that candidate participation in the Debate will be based upon the application of established, objective criteria as expressed in the Criteria.

2016 Florida Congressional District 18 Debate
The televised general election debate will occur on October 5, 2016, at Eissey Campus Theater, Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Palm Beach State College is the Debate Site Host. Palm Beach State College has not played any role in developing these Criteria and will not play any role in eligibility determinations or in the direction and production of the Debate.

Candidate Selection Criteria

  1. To qualify to be invited to participate in the Debate, a candidate must satisfy the following criteria:
     
     A. The candidate must satisfy all of the eligibility requirements of the governing body responsible for the elections.
     
    B. The candidate must be legally qualified for and registered to participate as a candidate in the 2016 State of Florida United States Congressional District 18 general election.
     
    C. The candidate has been elected as one of the two party nominees elected in Florida’s August 30, 2016 primary election. If the candidate has not been elected as one of the two party nominees in Florida’s August 30, 2016 primary election, then Criteria 1.D. applies.
     
    D. Candidates not meeting the criteria of 1.C. above must meet the following polling thresholds in these rules:

    • A qualifying candidate must have at least 15% support (based on a credible statistical sample size among all likely voters who will participate in the general election as determined by a poll conducted by a credible and reputable independent poll). Such poll shall be conducted, completed and in the possession of the PBNC between September 1, 2016 and 5 p.m. September 30, 2016. It is the responsibility of the candidate to deliver the poll to PBNC. If such a candidate meets the other criteria set forth in these Rules, that candidate would qualify to be invited to participate in the Debate.

     
    E. The candidate and his/her campaign representatives must agree in writing, on behalf of the candidate and the campaign, to abide by all rules concerning the conduct of the debate.
     
    F. For purposes of these rules, the term “independent poll” means a poll that is not commissioned or performed by or on behalf of a candidate or the supporter of a candidate or by or on behalf of a political party. PBNC reserves the sole and absolute discretion to determine whether a poll is reputable and independent and will be used to determine eligibility. In making such determination, PBNC will consider, without limitation, factors such as the pollster’s experience, whether the pollster is a member of any polling or political consultant professional organizations, whether and the extent to which the pollster has been hired by media or other nonpartisan organizations to do national, statewide or congressional district polling with published results.

  2. The deadline to meet the requirements of these Rules for participation in the Debate is September 30, 2016. PBNC will advise qualifying candidates of their eligibility to participate in the Debate shortly thereafter.
     
  3. PBNC will not accept any other polling results, specifically including but not limited to any polling results paid for or otherwise obtained, directly or indirectly, by a candidate, a candidate’s campaign, or any supporter of the candidate.
     
  4. PBNC or its designee may cancel, postpone, or reschedule this Debate in their sole discretion. PBNC is not responsible or otherwise liable for any cost or expense of any candidate in the event PBNC cancels, postpones, or reschedules this debate.
     
  5. ALL DECISIONS CONCERNING THIS DEBATE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS, CANDIDATE INVITATIONS, AND THE INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION OF THESE CRITERIA, ARE WITHIN THE SOLE DISCRETION OF PBNC OR THEIR DESIGNEE AND SHALL BE FINAL. PBNC RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ALTER OR AMEND THESE CRITERIA AT ITS SOLE DISCRETION.