S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley is refusing to appear onstage alongside two non-establishment candidates for governor, sources familiar with the Palmetto State’s 2014 debate negotiations tell FITS.

Haley has committed to debating Democratic gubernatorial nominee Vincent Sheheen an unspecified number of times, but she’s reportedly insisting any third party or petition candidates reach a fifteen percent polling threshold to be allowed onstage.

“The governor is simply following the guidelines recommended by the Commission on Presidential Debates,” a source close to Haley told FITS.

Sources close to Sheheen’s campaign say he wants all duly nominated and petition candidates to be allowed onstage.

In addition to Haley and Sheheen, self-styled “independent Republican” Tom Ervin and Libertarian nominee Steve French are seeking the state’s top constitutional office this November.  Both are currently polling under five percent, but Ervin recently launched his first television ad of the general election campaign and French is reportedly preparing his first spot.

Haley is no doubt responding to polls that show her cruising past Sheheen in a head-to-head match up, but struggling to stay outside the margin of error in a race with all four choices on the menu.

If Haley’s efforts are successful, this wouldn’t be the first time her handlers have taken steps to limit who appears onstage alongside her.

Sources at the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) tell FITS that Haley will not appear on panels alongside New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez due to the South Carolina governor’s comparative lack of command of the issues.

Sheesh …

We think this issue is a no-brainer: All four candidates should be allowed to debate.  Anything less is a sad byproduct of mainstream media censorship and establishment fear.