October 11, 2018
ATTN: Ms. Dana Bash, CNN Chief Political Correspondent
Copy Sent by Certified Mail
I formally request inclusion in the CNN sponsored US Senate debate / town hall on October 18, 2018 in McAllen. I unfortunately learned about this program late from the press. I am available to participate on that date and in that location.
I am one of three US Senate candidates on the ballot in Texas. I won the Libertarian nomination in a five-way contested convention after receiving the votes of >70% of the delegates. I suspect that my participation would increase viewership of the Oct 18th program because I bring a fresh perspective to the political discussion that I think your audience would appreciate. For the first time in a major Texas race, multiple objective media outlets have reported that the Libertarian candidate can tip the scales on the outcome of an election – particularly in the event of a close O’Rourke win.
Texas Monthly - "An unanswerable question is whether these disaffected Republicans will cross party lines to vote for O’Rourke, or will the choose a safe-harbor vote for Libertarian Neal Dikeman, or make a decision to either stay home or vote for Cruz despite their misgivings."
Dallas Morning News - Could Libertarian Candidate Tip the Senate Race to Either Cruz or O'Rourke?
Capital Tonight with Karina Kling - If the race between Cruz and O'Rourke proves to be as tight as some polls suggest, Dikeman could be a spoiler.
Texas Tribune - Analysis: Neal Dikeman’s voters could decide which Texan serves in the U.S. Senate
I was not on the original invitation list for the October 18 debate in McAllen nor was I advised ahead of time of any objective criteria for inclusion. Given that Ted Cruz has declined to participate, my inclusion in the October 18 program enables CNN to meet the requirement that a staged candidate debate must include at least two candidates. An additional benefit would be to avoid the risk that the O’Rourke campaign accepts a prohibited political contribution from CNN.
Given the tight timeline, and campaign logistics, I respectfully request a response within 24 hours of the receipt of this note. I am available at your convenience to discuss details and look forward to hearing from you.
Neal M. Dikeman
Libertarian Nominee for US Senate
Neal Dikeman for Senate
cc: Congressman Robert “Beto” O’Rourke; Beto for Texas