Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Updated: Watch and discuss the 3rd-party presidential debate here (archived video)

Comedy Central Roast Of Donald Trump - Show

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Larry King performs onstage at the Comedy Central Roast Of Donald Trump at the Hammerstein Ballroom on March 9, 2011 in New York City.

Updated: Larry King moderated a third-party presidential debate Tuesday night, including Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Jill Stein (Green Party), Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) and Rocky Anderson (Justice Party), and we've posted the video here.

Goode and Anderson failed to qualify for the ballot here in California, though our ballots have two third-party candidates who didn’t make this debate: Peace and Freedom candidate Roseanne Barr and American Independent candidate Thomas Hoefling. Still, it’s a chance to see two candidates who did qualify here, Johnson and Stein, express their beliefs and why voters should give them a chance over Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.

Why should you watch, even if you’re voting for Obama or Romney? “This might help you decide who you’re voting for based on what these people say about the candidates. Because they’re all running against Romney and Obama, so they might open your eyes to some things,” moderator King told Politico.

“It’s obvious they’re not going to win, but in the Constitution it never says there’s a Democrat or a Republican Party,” King said.

Obama and Romney were invited to the debate as well, but declined to attend.

Watch a promo for the debate from the Free & Equal Election Foundation below:

King said he wouldn’t be voting for an independent candidate this time around, but wouldn’t say who he is voting for.

The questions all come from social networks, though King said he will try to keep candidates on topic if they stray. King gave his thoughts on moderating, in the wake of recent controversy about the role of the moderator in debates between Obama and Romney. “I’m used to debates and the moderator has a role. It’s not his show. It’s their show. But he’s not a potted plant.”

He said that Jim Lehrer may have let his debate get out of control and pointed to Candy Crowley’s moderator performance as one closer to what he would be going for.

“When you see a guy make an obvious error, if you don’t correct it, the next day you’ll be slammed by the other side for not correcting him. So if someone said an error, if someone … said Romney’s in favor of gay marriage, I would interject and correct that. I think that’s a duty the moderator has,” King said.

The debate is sponsored by the Free & Equal Elections Foundation and broadcast on C-SPAN, Al Jazeera English and Russia Today, as well as streamed online by Ora TV and Free & Equal.

You can also play along with Comedy Central’s third party presidential debate bingo card, with phrases to hit like “Obamneycare,” “broken political system” and “we need an alternative,” as well as topics including Occupy Wall Street, drug legalization and — of course — Ron Paul.

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