No Perot

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: A federal judge rejected Ross Perot's bid to be included in the presidential debates. Although U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan acknowledged that the chances of Perot and Natural Law Party candidate John Hagelin (who also filed suit) in the election would be improved by participating in the debates, he said the court lacked jurisdiction over the such events. "The court recognizes the frustration of all who consider themselves legitimate third-party candidates," Hogan said. "This court, and other courts, have ruled the FEC is bound by these procedures and must follow them." Perot's lawyers said they would appeal the ruling, but it is unlikely any decision would be made before the first debate starts on Sunday in Hartford, Connecticut. Perot had been seeking a preliminary injunction forcing the debate commission to invite him to participate, or short of that, a ruling ordering the debate to be canceled. The new ruling strikes another blow at Perot's faltering campaign, and brings just a little bit closer the day when all those "Ross for Boss" signs will have to go back into storage. -->