This morning, the Media Mob caught up with William McGaha, who is serving as Dennis Kucinich’s lawyer in his battle to be included in tonight’s MSNBC debate at Cashman Center in Las Vegas.
Mr. McGaha said his client’s case was based, in part, on two e-mails the Kucinich camp had received from Jennifer Backus, a political consultant for NBC Universal. The first e-mail, according to Mr. McGaha, spelled out the criteria by which candidates would quality for the debate.
“The second e-mail from her was a formal invitation to Mr. Kucinich to attend the debate because he met the criteria,” said Mr. McGaha.
According to Mr. McGaha, Mr. Kucinich received the invitation on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
“All was well and good until Friday afternoon when Chuck Todd, the political director for NBC News, called up of the Kucinich campaign and said, ‘Hey, we’re not inviting you any more, we’re only taking the top three,’” said Mr. McGaha. “We didn’t have any time to do anything about it until Monday morning.”
Mr. McGaha said they filed their subsequent complaint in state rather than federal court for a number of reasons.
“One of the main reasons it’s in Nevada State court is because this is a debate that is meant to influence the caucuses which take place here in Nevada on Saturday,” said Mr. McGaha. “It affects the public interest. This affects the caucus. We thought this was the appropriate jurisdiction because this is a local matter. The judge agreed he has jurisdiction over this.”
Last night, NBC News issued a statement, saying that the network disagreed with the judge’s decision and would be appealing the order.
As a result, Mr. McGaha anticipated that later today he would have to run over to the regional justice center on South 3rd Street in Las Vegas where the Nevada Supreme Court has a hearing chamber on the 17th floor. There, the dispute between Mr. Kucinich and MSBNC will likely continue.