The New Jersey high schoolers who were planning to drop off their petition for a woman moderator at the Commission on Presidential Debates were turned away by building security at the commission’s Washington, D.C., headquarters Tuesday.
“Security told us they don’t accept packages anymore,” Elena Tsemberis said when reached by telephone. “They’ve known we were coming since Friday.” Tsemberis, Emma Axelrod and Sammi Siegel brought boxes with printouts from their Change.org petition and flash drives with all the signatures on them. Security, Tsemberis said, told the trio they “couldn’t take our word for it” that the boxes contained only paper and wouldn’t let them in the building.
“It’s a letdown that they wouldn’t meet with us and give us their time,” Tsemberis said. “It reflects poorly on them.”
The three said they’d never had any contact with the commission, but it gets an email every time someone signs their petition, and they notified it last week they’d be coming. Axelrod tweeted a photo of the trio in front of the building with the boxes they hoped to present.
— Emma Axelrod (@EmmaAxelrod) July 31, 2012
Next stops: offices for the Obama and Romney campaigns. The students said they’d let Poynter know what happens there. I’ve left a message with the commission requesting comment.