Monday, July 28, 2014

An Open Letter to Sen. Charles Schumer: End Partisan Primaries, Save America


Dear Senator Schumer,

Thank you for writing “End Partisan Primaries, Save America” in the July 21st edition of The New York Times.  You are right---closed party primaries do “poison the health” of our democracy, and we need to move to Top Two Open Primaries all across the country, including here in New York.  As you described, in a Top Two open primary system, all voters can vote and choose from all the candidates.  The top two vote getters would then appear on the November ballot. 
 
In your oped, you call for the formation of a national movement to bring this reform to all the states in the country.  There is one, led by forces such as IndependentVoting.org, Endpartisanship.org, and many others across the country.  This fall, a Top Two Open primary initiative will be on the ballot in Oregon.  Plans are underway to put it back on the ballot in Arizona in 2016.

Here in NYC, the NYC Independence Party, former Mayor Bloomberg, and the Citizen’s Union have championed this reform.  Right now in NYC, there are more than a million voters independent of the two major parties who are locked out of our primaries, where most elected officials are actually chosen.  In New York State that number is over 4 million.

We applaud and welcome you to the movement for nonpartisan primary reform, Sen. Schumer.  Yours is an important voice.  We call on you to help make Top Two nonpartisan primaries a reality here in New York.

Yours truly,
The Hanksteristas

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ohio Independent Voters Protest Voting Restrictions

Independent voters across the country are protesting exclusion from party-run private primaries. In Ohio check out their website at http://independentohio.org/ or email Cynthia Carpathios at ccarpathios@independentohio.org http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2014/05/independent_voters_protest_ohi.html


Rick Robel at protest in Columbus.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Jackie Salit: Something's Rotten In...

...New York State politics?

No! That couldn't be! "...Don’t miss the latest drama about the Independence Party in which Governor Cuomo is cast as Hamlet, deciding whether “to IP or not IP.”  Independents must consider our alternatives.  Here’s the backstory..."


Independence Party founder, Jacqueline Salit weighs in on

the Governor's race and

the fate of the Independence Party in

 
Jackie Salit just posted an opinion piece on the NYC Independence Party website calling for Lenora Fulani to challenge Gov Cuomo in 2014.  In it, you'll get her take on the Governor's race and the political gamesmanship and controversy currently surrounding of the New York State Independence Party.
Jackie Salit helped establish the Independence Party in 1994 and managed all three of Mayor Bloomberg's campaigns on the Independence Party line.  She is the author of Independents Rising.
 
This is all sad commentary on the Independence Party’s fate.  All the players in this drama, either directly or indirectly, propped up MacKay as he did their bidding, stripping away the party’s independence and vision.  Now, it’s time to kill it off, they say.  Just as the child who murders his parents and throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan, these anti-independent schemers beg for justice.
The climax will star the embattled Cuomo, who, in Hamlet-like fashion, must resolve whether “to IP or not to IP.”  Either he does business with MacKay or becomes a full-fledged Working Families Party-allied Democrat, even as the WFP is going through its own public handwringing.  He is caught between the Devil and deep blue sea.
- See more at: http://www.ipnyc.org/home/opinion-somethings-rotten-in/#sthash.6tGQcfte.dpuf
This is all sad commentary on the Independence Party’s fate.  All the players in this drama, either directly or indirectly, propped up MacKay as he did their bidding, stripping away the party’s independence and vision.  Now, it’s time to kill it off, they say.  Just as the child who murders his parents and throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan, these anti-independent schemers beg for justice.
The climax will star the embattled Cuomo, who, in Hamlet-like fashion, must resolve whether “to IP or not to IP.”  Either he does business with MacKay or becomes a full-fledged Working Families Party-allied Democrat, even as the WFP is going through its own public handwringing.  He is caught between the Devil and deep blue sea.
- See more at: http://www.ipnyc.org/home/opinion-somethings-rotten-in/#sthash.6tGQcfte.dpuf
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Must read for independents everywhere!
 
 
- NH
 

Don’t miss the latest drama about the Independence Party in which Governor Cuomo is cast as Hamlet, deciding whether “to IP or not IP.”  Independents must consider our alternatives.  Here’s the backstory. - See more at: http://www.ipnyc.org/home/opinion-somethings-rotten-in/#sthash.6tGQcfte.dpuf
This is all sad commentary on the Independence Party’s fate.  All the players in this drama, either directly or indirectly, propped up MacKay as he did their bidding, stripping away the party’s independence and vision.  Now, it’s time to kill it off, they say.  Just as the child who murders his parents and throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan, these anti-independent schemers beg for justice.
The climax will star the embattled Cuomo, who, in Hamlet-like fashion, must resolve whether “to IP or not to IP.”  Either he does business with MacKay or becomes a full-fledged Working Families Party-allied Democrat, even as the WFP is going through its own public handwringing.  He is caught between the Devil and deep blue sea.
- See more at: http://www.ipnyc.org/home/opinion-somethings-rotten-in/#sthash.6tGQcfte.dpuf

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Alex Myers Gets Revolutionary with Politics for the People April 13


RevolutionaryAlexMyersBookCover

So what else is new in the independent political movement?

Not exactly new, but Cathy L. Stewart is hosting the next P4P Book Club conference call with author Alex Myers.  Read his book Revolutionary and call in for the book club call with the author on Sunday, April 13th at 7 pm EST.

Revolutionary by  Alex Myers 

“In 1782, during the final clashes of the Revolutionary War, one of our young nation’s most valiant and beloved soldiers was, secretly, a woman. When Deborah Samson disguised herself as a man and joined the Continental Army, she wasn’t just fighting for America’s independence—she was fighting for her own."

This is Alex Myers' first novel. Born and raised in Paris, Maine, Alex was raised as a girl and attended boarding school at Phillips Exeter Academy.  In his senior year, Alex came out as transgender, the first ever at Exeter.  After Exeter, Alex earned his bachelor’s at Harvard University, also the first openly transgender student at Harvard, and worked to change the University’s nondiscrimination clause to include gender identity.

Very timely on all accounts. Highly recommended!

NH

Sunday, March 16, 2014

RT America with #EndPartisanship's Chad Peace on Breaking the Party Grip on Our Democracy

Hey hey Hanksteristas!

Lots of breaking news in the independent movement lately! If you have not seen this piece by RT America, check it out now:

RT America invited #EndPartisanship’s legal counsel, Chad Peace, on their ‘Breaking the Set‘ segment to discuss the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars that have been used to conduct closed partisan primary elections.

Host Abby Martin [Move over, Rachel Maddow, WAY over!] discussed the record low turnout rate in states like New Jersey and New York where less than 5% of eligible voters ultimately decide who can be their state’s next Governor or even Senator.



Stay tuned -- more to come from America's growing independent movement!

NH

Monday, February 10, 2014

Una solución a la polarización en los Estados Unidos

BI PARTIDISMO UN PROBLEMA EN NUESTRA POLITICA

Disculpa que me haya desaparecido. He tenido un invierno muy dificil y mucha nieve. Estoy de regreso porque creo que es importante en el 2014 educar a la gente sobre nuestra politica.

Aqui le dejo en enlace para que entiendan un poco sobre como los partidos controlan todo y una de las muchas soluciones en los que ellos no quieren ejercer. 


Por favor lean, vamos a educarnos. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

"Hold Your Horses on the Partisanship, Boys! Our Revolution for Independence didn't include political parties!"

That's what George Washington said as he was leaving office as our first and thus far only nonpartisan President. Captured here on Wall Street, Geo. W.


 Check out independentvoting.orgIVN and the coalition called EndPartisanship.org

Yes, the movement for independence in America did not end in 1776!

Let's continue the revolution, and let's develop!

-NH


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

An Independent View of NJ's Gov Christie "Traffic-Gate" Scandal

From Cathy L. Stewart's Politics for the People blog:

An Independent View of NJ’s Christie scandal

Imagine my delight on Saturday morning, when reading the editorial page of the New York Times, I came across a letter by a dear friend and independent activist, Dr. Phyllis Goldberg.  She was the lead letter to the editor under the heading “Christie’s Efforts at Damage Control.”

Here is what Phyllis had to say:

To the Editor:

Re “ ‘Very Sad’ Christie Extends Apology in Bridge Scandal” (front page, Jan. 10):
As an independent, I look at the politically engineered traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J., as a product of the partisan political culture. The email exchanges between a member of Gov. Chris Christie’s staff and his Port Authority appointee speak volumes about the norms and values of this culture, in which political operatives’ overriding obligation is to their own side’s interests....

Read more to see what the (all the news that fits the party bosses) Times left out...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

FELICIDADES !!!!!!

UNAS FELICES NAVIDADES Y PROSPERO 2014


Ha sido un 2013 lleno de cosas buenas. Es mi primer vez escribir un blog, y encima de eso un blog en espanol. 

Gracias a Nancy Hanks que me ha permitido participar en esta pagina. 

En el 2014 mucha salud, en especial. 

En el 2014 mas independencia, mas democracia mas inclusion para el votante. Es nueva mision y necesitamos la ayuda de todos.

Feliz Navidad Y Prospero Ano Nuevo.
It has been a 2013 full of good things. My first time writing a blog, on top of that a blog in spanish.

Thanks to Nancy Hanks who has permitted me to participate on her blog.

In 2014 lots of health, which is the most important thing.

In 2014 more independence, more democracy more inclusion for voters. This is our mission and I need everyone', chans help to reach that goal.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years.

Happy Chanukah 


Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Feeling distracted? Might be time to get back to basics...

From "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Partisanship" by SydneyAnne Stone on HuffPo

It is time to start focusing on collective solutions for the greater good. Instead of being a nation divided, we need to come together to find answers or we risk losing a great deal more...

 Hear hear! - NH


Monday, December 02, 2013

Google, Facebook: No Room for Change

From "Blame the Internet for partisanship" by Megan Ellisor in Technician Online:

In a March 2011 Ted Talk, Pariser talked about how he noticed that his conservative Facebook friends’ posts began to “disappear” from his News Feed. Because Pariser clicked on more of the links posted by his liberal friends than his conservative friends, Facebook filtered the conservative posts out of his News Feed. 

[Eli] Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble, demonstrated how Google is filtering search results in his March 2011 Ted Talk by showing screen-shots of what his friends found when they Googled “Egypt” on the same day. Both were Caucasian men located in New York, yet Google gave them very different results.

Pariser said Facebook and Google are using algorithms to act as gatekeepers, making information that we are most likely to agree with the easiest to find. But as Pariser pointed out in his March 2011 Ted Talk, these algorithmic gatekeepers do not have the “embedded ethics” that human gatekeepers did.

The algorithms are different than gatekeepers in that they aren’t preventing us from seeing any information. They are, however, making it more difficult to find different opinions. We all have access to the same information, but sites, such as Google and Facebook, are propelling us all to information that seems to only affirm our views. 

**********

I have noticed this for a while with Google and it really really bugs me. They decide what I want to see based on what I have looked at in the past. Talk about no room for change!!!! - NH

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You should not have to join a party to exercise your right to vote.

Over 90% of elections are decided during primaries, but because of restrictive elections laws only 10% of people participate.
 
Is it any wonder why Congress has a record low 10% approval rating?

You should not have to join a party to exercise your right to vote.

END PARTISANSHIP!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Voters Demand for Open Primaries Increases Nationally


NONPARTISANS/ OPEN PRIMARIES
INDEPENDENT VOTERS
Morning Consult Poll Results on Politics of Healthcare Reform Shows Shift in Independent Voters (Sac Bee/ The Morning Consult) The poll reveals a significant shift in Independent voters heading into a midterm election year. 58% of independent voters now trust Republicans more on handling healthcare. Among all registered voters, President Obama receives a lot of the blame from more than 50% of respondents for the insurance cancellations, and over 60% say the president deserves a lot of the blame for the insurance exchange challenges. 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Year of the Donkey: Mayoral Race 2013, Adolfo Carrion, the NYC Independence Party, and Political Snobbery and Dysfunction


Statement by the Independence Party of New York City on the results of the 2013 Mayoral race

Congratulations to Bill de Blasio and the Working Families Party on their win.

The political coalition taking over City Hall says it will take on the problem of economic inequality and poverty in our city.  We support that 100 percent!

We hope that the new Mayor's agenda will also include taking on political dysfunction.  With voter turnout at a 96-year low and a million independents locked out of primary voting, New York's electoral process clearly needs some drastic reform.  Fairness happens when a process is fair.  We urge Mayor-elect de Blasio to make political inclusion and participation key goals of his administration.



Below are notes by IPNYC Press Secretary Sarah Lyons from interviews after the election between Jackie Salit and the press:



Where is the NYC Independence Party headed post-election? 
The NYC Independence Party is part of a national movement concerned about the state of our political process and about political dysfunction -- a movement seeking nonpartisan reform.  We'll continue to pursue those reforms as we always have.

How we approach that with Bill de Blasio as Mayor is an open question.  After all, unlike Bloomberg, neither de Blasio nor the Working Families Party supports nonpartisan reform.  Quite the contrary.  But when you have a system that produces the lowest voter turnout in 96 years and a million independents locked out of the primaries, there is something very wrong with that system.

Adolfo Carrion received some 8,200 votes. How do you account for the low number of votes? 
First of all, this was the Year of the Donkey, meaning that after 20 years' exile from City Hall, the Democratic Party was going to win the mayoralty under virtually any circumstances.  Consequently, the mayoral election really took place in the Democratic primary, which the city's one million independents were banned from voting in.  To break through for an independent in the Year of the Donkey was nearly Mission Impossible.

That said, the Independence Party took a shot.  We chose not to run a fusion campaign.  We supported Adolfo Carrion, a political leader who is a man of color who had held public office, and served in the Obama administration, but who left the Democratic Party to become an independent.  He is a reformer who came up against huge resistance from all corners of the political marketplace.  The systemic change of nonpartisan elections that we sought during the Bloomberg years would have leveled the playing field in this election.  But, that hasn't been achieved yet.  So the election was tilted from the outset in favor of the major party candidates.


Independence Party members protest exclusion of Carrion from ABC debate
Carrion was excluded from the debates, marginalized by much of the media, and didn't have the financial wealth that Bloomberg had to overcome the differential of being an independent in a town in which the Democratic Party runs the show.  Many of his donors were afraid to support him as an independent, afraid of retribution from the Democrats. 





The fact that de Blasio refused to debate Carrion meant that the Democrats wanted to give the public no opportunity to consider another progressive option.  All of that meant the odds were severely stacked against Adolfo.  We knew that going in.  But we felt it was important to support a Latino independent looking to shake up the system and to carve out a new option.  Don't make the mistake of underestimating the 8,200 people who voted for Carrion this year.  Those who did made a very forward-looking statement about resisting the Democratic Party monopoly on progressive politics.  They are the nucleus or the core of a bottom-up independent movement.  All the independent votes we got for Mike Bloomberg were hugely important, they gave him a mandate for nonpartisan leadership, but they were votes for a winner. Everyone who voted for Carrion knew he couldn't win, but they voted for him to build something.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3235/2741856823_e04b898ae0.jpgWon't the low vote total make people look askance at the Independence Party?
People have always looked askance at the IP, whether we got 150,000 votes, as we did for Bloomberg in 2009, or under 10,000 votes, so that isn't an issue for me.  I'm used to the political class looking askance at us.  Actually, I like it when they do.  
Does this vote total mean that the Independence Party's message is invalid? 

No. First of all, most New Yorkers didn't know Adolfo Carrion was running, they never got the message. But more than that, the main way that voters displayed their dislike with the system and their major party options this year was by staying home.  This year's voter turnout was the lowest it's been in 97 years.  That's shocking!  Everybody should look askance at that!  

IP is part of a very young movement that is in its infancy.  The Working Families Party, now being touted as having eclipsed the IP as the major minor party in New York City, is not an independent party.  It's an arm of the Democratic Party.  The Democratic Party has had a 200-year head start over the independents.  We are playing a long game, and this campaign was one moment in that long game.

We shouldn't forget that New York isn't even a bipartisan town, it's a one-party town.  The Republican Party did poorly because it has no message and no soul.  The Independence Party has both, but it's young, it's under-funded, it's considered illegitimate and it's operating in a city that is run by one party.


###
 



A note from The Hankster:

In a one-party town, what do you do? You organize, and build build build. It was a pleasure working with all of you on the campaign. Onward!

NH