Politifact calls the CPD an “independent, bipartisan organization.” Score that “half true:” the commission is as bipartisan as the Iraq War, the 2008 bailouts and the imperial presidency itself . But the CPD has always been the cat’s paw of the party organizations that founded it and the campaigns it serves.
McCurry hasn’t lost his Lewinsky-era ability to snow journalists: “Our posture is, we design something we think is in the best interest of American citizens,” he told Politico, and “if the two campaigns decide to have on their own a separate set of discussions about terms, the commission then considers their requests,” in the form of a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU).
“If ”—that’s cute. Every presidential debate since 1988 has featured a MOU negotiated between the major parties. The CPD’s willingness to rubber-stamp these insider deals is what allowed it to hijack the debates from their previous host, the actually independent League of Women Voters, in the first place.