Until 1988, the League of Women Voters had organized and moderated the Presidential Debates as an independent 3rd party. They were responsible for moderation, selection of questions, location, and other details related to the debates. The only thing the candidates had to do, was show up. In 1987, the Democratic and Republican Party then jointly created a non-profit organization called the Commission on Presidential Debates. This commission secretly created a contract called a memorandum of understanding that decided which candidates would participate in the debates, which individuals would be panelists capable of asking questions, who could be in the audience… even the height of the podiums!