WASHINGTON — The League of Women Voters accused the Democratic and Republican national committees Tuesday of trying to sabotage its sponsorship of the 1988 presidential debates.
League President Nancy M. Neuman said the committees pressured House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill (D-Mass.) and Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr. (R-Md.) to withdraw as honorary co-chairmen of its presidential debates advisory committee.
Neuman accused the parties of being "willing to engage in whatever shenanigans are necessary to sabotage our efforts," and declared that the league is determined to sponsor the presidential debates in 1988.
"We didn't pick this fight," Neuman told reporters at a news conference.
Spokesman Denies Pressure
She said O'Neill withdrew as honorary co-chairman Monday as a result of Democratic National Committee pressure. His spokesman, however, said the House Speaker had not been pressured but decided to support the party's decision to sponsor its own debates in 1988.