Rick Santorum Debates Invisible Man

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Early this morning, a Pennsylvania judge kicked Green Party candidate Carl Romanelli off the ballot in the state's Senate race. Romanelli had almost made the ballot thanks to a cash infusion by Sen. Rick Santorum (R), who wanted him in to scrape votes off Democrat Bob Casey. Too many of Romanelli's signatures were faked, so he's no longer in the race. But before the decision came down, Santorum had agreed to a series of debates with Romanelli. The first one happened two hours ago. This might be the first case of a candidate debating another candidate who isn't technically running against him.

The guys at Hammer of Truth have argued for the rights of Pennsylvania's third party candidates; I think that the state's Libertarians, especially Russ Diamond, have some good reasons to compete in PA politics. But Santorum's great debate is an example of the pitfalls major parties get into when trying to use third parties as fulcrums for their own power.