Kucinich Challenges ABC News:

On Friday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission challenging ABCNews' decision to exclude him from last night's presidential debate.

Kucinich argued that ABC is violating equal-time provisions by keeping him out of the debate and noted that ABC's parent Walt Disney Co. had contributed to campaigns involving the four Democrats who were invited.

"ABC should not be the first primary," the Ohio congressman said in papers filed at the Federal Communications Commission.

ABC said the candidates left out of the debates failed to meet benchmarks for their support that were outlined to each campaign prior to the Iowa caucus. Kucinich did not complain about these rules ahead of time, said spokeswoman Cathie Levine, who had no further comment since she hasn't seen the FCC filing.

The petition did not accomplish much, as the debate went ahead without Kucinich. In any event, it is very difficult to argue that pre-set qualification rules, such as those employed by ABCNews, somehow violate equal-time rules.