Former Internal Revenue Service commissioner Mark Everson has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission objecting to being left out entirely of Fox News’s Republican presidential debate.
Everson was one of the first to declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination back in March (see Former IRS Commissioner Everson Running for President). However, when Fox News announced the lineup Tuesday for Thursday evening’s hotly anticipated debate, the first among the Republican candidates, Everson was left out of the lineup of both the prime-time debate at 9:00 PM ET among the top 10 contenders, based on recent polls, and the early debate at 5:00 PM ET among seven other candidates with lower poll numbers.
Even former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, who waited until last week to announce his candidacy and did not show up on polls, won a spot in the not-ready-for-prime-time debate. Everson told the Guardian that he found Gilmore’s inclusion “a little grating.”
Everson had anticipated being left out of the debates even before Fox announced the final lineup and filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Monday. He pointed out that he is one of the 18 candidates listed in the Republican National Committee’s straw poll, yet said he is the only one of the 18 who has not been invited to either one of the Fox debates on Thursday. His complaint pointed out that Fox made a last-minute change in the rules for who would be included in the debate that effectively excluded him from consideration.
It may be of small comfort, but Everson has written some columns for Accounting Today in the past (see IRS Update: Challenging Times to Be Sure, Tax Reform: Where Are We Now?, Time to Research the R&D Credit, and Former IRS Commissioner Advises How to Respond to IRS Business Audits), and we would publish him ahead of even Donald Trump if he decides to submit future articles.