Friday, June 30, 2006

Happy Independence Day!


The Hankster will be published eratically over the Fourth of July weekend while the New York City Independence Party petitions for County Committee in the five boroughs. See you soon!

Either or

by Charlie Weinberg

[Posted by The Hankster in honor of the International Class and this year's graduates of the training program of the East Side Institute]

Either or
is very boring
when there is so much more
for us to draw on,
for us to explore...
Singular
plural
urban and rural
we are all part of the great big mural
the writing on the wall..
I am in relation to you...
a relative relative of yours.
We
are in relation to more
we
if
we want to be...
And, if not,
we are alone in a plot
which is filled with action,
every frame a fraction of our lives
every line a dialogue of knives
or a bowl of cherries...
cutlasses or berries
machetes or dinner with the dignitaries
who decides?
Do we have to take so many sides
Do we have to make divides
so wide
between either
or?
or
can we be a bit more
creative,
a little less
legislative
when it comes to
possibility?...
What can we possibly bring to be
that is not about
´me´...
that does not require the abduction of diversity
in order to exist...
Are we a group if there is no activity?
Is there ever no activity?
Can we engage
what others have for so long separated?
Is alienation not water to be navigated?
Are we not divorced from each other without
ever having been wed?
Should we not go on honey moon
instead?
Should we not be led more by our instincts
than by the forces of dread and the power
of what gets said?
What is the point of the daily grind, getting your shoes shined, wining and dining and being confined to meanings that are underlined by people inclined towards not being undermined?
what kind of ore can we find in a group mind?
What kind of threads and knots can we unwind
if we try together to unbind
rather than getting everything defined...as if we needed clarity
in order to progress...
as if we are reliant on logic to process stimulii
as if a dependency on abstract assumptions that agree
will avoid addiction to emotionality.
Good, bad and ugly,
is it possible to be all three
at once?
truly, madly, deeply...
which is the performance
for now?
How do we choose who we are?
Are we ever any one?
How do you carry on knowing that what you have done or said
is not what you thought in your head and
not what you wanted to do or say
yet you did it or said it and now it is done...
You have to go on from there you cannot run away
to start again...
although you are taught that you may.

And there is so much more for us to draw on...
So many more possibilities...

Charlie Weinberg is a British-born youth worker and performance poet who has been living in Nicaragua for the last five years. Among this year's graduates from the East Side Institute's International Class, she is on her way back to London to study Gender, Sexuality and Ethnicity at East London University.

From New York With Love...


The "scene" in Oslo welcomes an upgrade..... Looks like one of us has his work cut out for him!

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


New York City Independence Party will celebrate the Fourth by petitioning for County Committee! If you are in driving distance, please join us!

Texas: Dems best bet is split vote
Louisiana: How does the black vote fall in closed primaries?
National: Americans favor third party...


Texas: Dems best bet is split vote

From the Texas Observer:
The Fight for Relevance - can the Dems make a case? Probably not - they're hoping for a Repub split with independents Strayhorn and Kinky.....

And from the Pioneer Press:
Minnesota Independence Party-Jesse Ventura consultant Dean Barkley's campaign for Kinky...

Louisiana: How does the black vote fall in closed primaries?

From the Bayou Buzz:
Some calculations of black Dems, black independents, and open primaries....

National: Americans favor third party...

Ross Perot, Kinky Friedman, Carole Strayhorn, Russ Diamond -- it all adds up: Americans favor having a third party! Will we produce it?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



California: Independents Key to Dellums' Victory in Oakland
Texas: Anti-Trans-Texas Corridor coalition meets to endorse gov candidate....
West Virginia: Will Dems open primaries to indies?
New York: Michael Bloomberg - independent candidate for Prez 08?
National: Survey shows "swing voters" very unhappy....
Inside Zebster: What's in it for Indies?

California: Independents Key to Dellums' Victory in Oakland

On June 6th, Independent voters put Ron Dellums over the top in the Oakland Mayoral race. His margin of victory was 155 votes.

The Committee for an Independent Voice (see Hankster sidebar) had recognized that independents could make the difference in what was shaping up to be a very close election. They endorsed Dellums for mayor because of his long history and activities in support of an inclusive, non-partisan political process. CIV reached out to Oakland's 51,000 independents - many of whom were undecided - and urged them to use the criteria of his support for political reforms in casting their votes.

The Oakland victory is a demonstration of the growing trend in which independents are organizing to vote for candidates who support our demand for political reform. Congratulations!!

Read the Oakland Post's interview with CIV director Harriet Hoffman...

Texas: Anti-Trans-Texas Corridor coalition meets to endorse gov candidate....

About a hundred members of the Blackland Coalition and the Blackland Political Action Committee, part of a coalition opposed to the Trans-Texas Corridor, met today to endorse a candidate for gov -- Texas Independents spokesperson Linda Curtis gave her personal endorsement of Carole Strayhorn..... Stay tuned.....

West Virginia: Will Dems open primaries to indies?

Declining enrollment of Dems, increase in independent registration leads Dems to consider opening primaries to independent voters....

New York: Michael Bloomberg - independent candidate for Prez 08?

From Ben Smith's article in the New York Daily News:
Bloomberg's main political adviser, Kevin Sheekey, indicated that the mayor would be unlikely to challenge Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) - a friend who has been successful with the same category of independent voters to whom Bloomberg would appeal. But Sheekey told The New Republic - in an interview with this columnist - that Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) would not be an obstacle, and could even be an ideal adversary.....
[more]

National: Survey shows "swing voters" very unhappy....

From Political Affairs:
...According to this survey of likely voters, 73 percent of swing voters view things as having "gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track."... [more]

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Inside Zebster: What's in it for Indies?

Read Inside Zebster: What's in it for Indies? for a discussion of how independents might come together. A third party? Not a third party? And what about ideology? Thanks to Inside Zebster for continuing the dialogue....

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



California: Redistricting Do-Over
Texas: They're still on the name...
Illinois: Green Party candidate wants to "pull a Jesse Ventura"
Illinois: Independent candidate duped by fake petition consultant
Arkansas: Ballot access is discriminatory for third parties
North Carolina: The fight for fair ballot access laws
Louisiana: Effects of return to closed primaries
Oregon: "Ben Westlund is no Jesse Ventura"...
National: Iraq of concern

California: Redistricting Do-Over

New version of Prop 77 has 11 commissioners instead of 3.....

Texas: They're still on the name...

I wish there were something more interesting to say about the gov race, but the press seems to find Carole Strayhorn's request to be listed as "Grandma" infinitely facinating.....

Illinois: Green Party candidate wants to "pull a Jesse Ventura"

Rich Whitney files for gov race as Green Party candidate.... By the way, it was the voters of Minnesota who "pulled a Jesse Ventura", not Jesse....

Illinois: Independent candidate duped by fake petition consultant

From the Chicago Daily Herald:
In the annals of Chicago-area political dirty tricks, this one’s new: An anti-war candidate in the key 8th Congressional District claims he was duped by a person posing as a consultant promising to gather 10,000 signatures to help him get on the ballot.
Those signatures never materialized, and the upshot is independent candidate Bill Scheurer of Lindenhurst almost certainly won’t be on the Nov. 7 ballot, providing a small boost to Democratic U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean of Barrington as she tries to fend off a challenge from Republican David McSweeney of Barrington Hills.
Running as an Iraq war foe, Scheurer was expected to pull 1 percent to 2 percent of the voters — voters who otherwise might have supported Bean. In a close race, that could have been the difference.
But Scheurer said Monday he filed 13,000 signatures with the State Board of Elections, about 1,000 short of what he needed to survive a legal challenge to his nominating petitions. Why Scheurer says he was unable to get the required signatures is a bizarre story....
[more]

Arkansas: Ballot access is discriminatory for third parties

The ACLU is suing for fair ballot access in Arkansas on behalf of the Green Party...

North Carolina: The fight for fair ballot access laws

A coalition of 23 groups, including the Green and Libertarian parties, has been formed to fight for fair ballot access for independent and third party candidates....

Louisiana: Effects of return to closed primaries

Independent voters will be locked out.....

Oregon: "Ben Westlund is no Jesse Ventura"...

BlueOregon blog says Ben Westlund's campaign is suffering because he's not running on traditional independent issues...

Afterall, if the base of independent voters isn't out there pushing those "traditional" issues - political and election reform - there isn't any reason for candidates (even independent candidates) to talk about those issues. That's the thing about a movement!

Political reform doesn't exist. It's independent voters that are making it an issue. Without independent voters coming together to set the agenda, there won't be any candidates talking about political reform. So speak up! -NH

National: Iraq of concern

Gallup poll says Iraq is at the top of the list of concern by voters...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

WELCOME Robbie and "INDEPENDENT OPINIONS"!!!!

Please visit an important new independent political blog by Robbie in San Diego:

".....You’re probably asking yourself if being an independent is all it’s cracked up to be. It isn’t. it’s better. When you’re an independent, you’re no longer shackled by the ideology of either the Republican or Democratic party. You’re free to judge an issue from a third-person point of view, so when you take a stand on an issue, you can feel good about it because it’s what you wholeheartedly believe in, not what others want you to say or feel.

That is what being an independent is all about....."


Thanks, Robbie! Keep up the great work!

Independent Opinions

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



New York: Hillary needs a "slap in the face".....
Texas: Quick - how many candidates are running for gov?
Arkansas: Rod Bryan, independent candidate for gov
Minnesota: "Not left, not right, forward..."
Virginia: Independent and third party candidates have friends
National: Imperato/Brooks - independents for Pres 08
National: Voter insecurity rules 06 elections
National: Billions for charity
Mexico: Political corruption from the parties

New York: Hillary needs a "slap in the face".....

Sen. Clinton is getting pushback from anti-war Dems....

Texas: Quick - how many candidates are running for gov?

Kuff's World discussion of polls in Texas gov race....

Arkansas: Rod Bryan, independent candidate for gov

Independent environmental candidate for gov gets on the ballot....

Minnesota: "Not left, not right, forward..."

Minnesota IP convention takes place at Midway Stadium....

Virginia: Independent and third party candidates have friends

Independent Green Party helps indies get on the ballot.....

National: Imperato/Brooks - independents for Pres 08

From a press release:
Open Letter to "Unity 08" Independent Presidential Initiative Organizers ...

National: Voter insecurity rules 06 elections

Article in Al Jazeerah by James Zogby (John's brother)

National: Billions for charity

Warren Buffet and Bill Gates - the next Andrew Carnegie?

Mexico: Political corruption from the parties

Political corruption reigns in Mexico where voters are paid to vote for candidates and threatened with losing the little health care available...

Monday, June 26, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Texas: Voters now have a choice besides the 2 parties....
Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond back in polls...
Michigan: One-third of electorate excluded
Minnesota: Independent voters are not moderates!
Kansas: Time for an independent?
Idaho: What do independent voters want?
Oregon: Spice needed in gov race?

Texas: Voters now have a choice besides the 2 parties....

The Star Telegram editorial offers congratulations to Kinky and Grandma for offering choice in election....

Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond back in polls...

Independent gov candidate Russ Diamond at 2% in poll.....

Michigan: One-third of electorate excluded

Detroit Free Press op/ed:
Closed primaries exclude independent voters...

Minnesota: Independent voters are not moderates!

In a letter to the editor in Pioneer Press, William A. Cooper of Wayzata says that "Independents are not moderates. They hold a set of views on issues, as do Democrats and Republicans. What sets independents apart is they think all politicians will say anything to get elected, don't keep their promises and you can't trust any of them...".....

Kansas: Time for an independent?

Former Wichita mayor Bob Knight is considering independent run for gov....

Idaho: What do independent voters want?

Repubs want closed primaries....

Oregon: Spice needed in gov race?

Gov race not getting much national press -- let's see what happens when Ben Westlund gets on the ballot....

Sunday, June 25, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


New York: Presidential preferences
California: Where will independent voters land?
Texas: Move over Sam Houston!
Minnesota: IP convention picks Hutchinson
Mexico: Obrador could win with independent voters

New York: Presidential preferences

From MidHudson Valley News:
...Among New York City voters, 57 percent say Bloomberg would make a “great” or “good” president, while 29 percent say “so-so” and 12 percent say “bad.” ....

California: Where will independent voters land?

Gov. Schwarzenegger triangulates with the best of them.....

Texas: Move over Sam Houston!

Gov. Perry gets "automatic" press, Kinky has entertainment value, but Strayhorn and Bell fight for coverage..... And Texas FINALLY has independent politics!

Minnesota: IP convention picks Hutchinson


Peter Hutchinson gets IP nod yesterday at Midway Stadium convention....

Mexico: Obrador could win with independent voters

From Contra Costa Times:
Analyst Maria de Las Heras projects Obrador at 5% win with support of independent voters....

Saturday, June 24, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Take me out to the convention.....

Texas: Grandma - er, I mean Carole, and Kinky....
Minnesota: Independence Party - Minnesota's third major party...
Connecticut: Ned Lamont, independent Dem vs. Joe Lieberman, Dem independent?
National: We need a third political party (or is it a second?)
National: Hillary vs. independent thinkers

Texas: Grandma - er, I mean Carole, and Kinky....

There are now two independents officially on the ballot for gov - but "Grandma" likely won't be one of them.....

Minnesota: Independence Party - Minnesota's third major party...

Minnesota Independence Party, the third major party, built ties with younger voters via the internet, has a strong position from Jesse Ventura's campaign and time in office, and is holding its convention in a stadium....

Connecticut: Ned Lamont, independent Dem vs. Joe Lieberman, Dem independent?

Ned Lamont seems to be Connecticut's version of Howard Dean circa 2004 -- how long will it last? In the meantime, Howard Dean circa 2006 might support his boy (Joe Lieberman) as an independent if he loses to Lamont.....

National: We need a third political party (or is it a second?)

In a letter to TomPaine, William Street says "If the Dems can't speak out for meaningful civilian control over military adventurism like Bush's Iraq policy, then we need a third political party that will."

We couldn't agree more! See past Hankster and Zebster dialogue....

National: Hillary vs. independent thinkers

To state the obvious, when Hillary says that Dems do not "blindly follow" like Repubs, she wants to set up a Dem pro-war constituency. All the more reason for a vital independent movement!

Friday, June 23, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



WELCOME, ZEBSTER!!!!
Mexico: neck to neck race with electorate split in three
Minnesota: Independence Party convention this weekend
Oregon: And Morley makes five...
Coming soon.....
Texas: Grandma and Kinky set to go!

WELCOME, ZEBSTER!!!!


The Hankster: NATIONAL: Independent voters need to demand full debate on the war and US foreign policy This post at The Hankster inspires me to finish what I started in my previous post, http://zebster43.blogspot.com/2006/06/representative-government.html

I am an independent, moderate liberal. I generally don't trust Democrats or Republicans, and I'll explain my feelings on that. Both parties are beholding more and more every day to their individual special interests, and beholding more and more to the corporate dollar. So who do they answer to under these circumstances? It obviously isn't us. Both sides are out of touch, many of them rarely set foot in the districts that elected them (except when they're running for office); so that the only feedback they're getting is from each other, just like two football teams huddled opposite one another, getting ready to battle to win, not to represent us..... [more]

Congratulations to Zebster for his new blog! Inside Zebster is now linked on the Hankster sidebar, so go there often!

I believe we are beginning to create an independent blogging community for independents and independent-minded voters who want to stand as independents for a new direction for our country. Blog on!

Mexico: neck to neck race with electorate split in three

From Merco Press:
With just over a week to Mexico’s presidential election on July 2, populist candidate Andres Lopez Obrador is emerging with an edge over Felipe Calderon from the ruling National Action Party, PAN, according to the latest public opinion surveys.
One poll published Thursday by the daily newspaper Milenio shows former Mexico City mayor Lopez Obrador from the Democratic Revolution Party, PRD, with a 35.4% support compared to 30.5% for Calderon. Roberto Madrazo from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, which dominated Mexican politics during seven decades until 2000 when Vicente Fox was elected, figures with 29.6%. ... [more]

Minnesota: Independence Party convention this weekend

From Minnesota Public Radio:
Minnesota's third major party holds its state convention at Midway Stadium in St. Paul on June 24. More than 450 Independence Party delegates will endorse candidates for governor and other statewide offices. Public policy consultant Peter Hutchinson and political activist Pam Ellison are seeking the IP endorsement for governor, and both are promising campaigns that will reach out to disgruntled voters.... [more]

Oregon: And Morley makes five...

Richard Morley has been nominated as the Libertarian Party candidate for gov....

Coming soon.....

The Committee for a Unified Independent Party (CUIP) is launching a new website on July 4th. Be sure to go visit at www.independentvoting.org!

Texas: Grandma and Kinky set to go!

Texas Sec. of State has certified petitions for Carole Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman with more than double the required signatures.....

Thursday, June 22, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS











Ohio: John Eastman on the ballot for Sec. of State as an independent candidate
NATIONAL: Independent voters need to demand full debate on the war and US foreign policy
MEXICO: If the poor vote, Obrador wins big

Ohio: John Eastman on the ballot for Sec. of State as an independent candidate


Eastman qualifies as Ohio Secretary of State candidate in November 2006 election

Dr. John A. Eastman was notified by the Secretary of State's office that he will qualify for the November 2006 ballot as an Independent Candidate for Ohio Secretary of State.

Eastman submitted over 8000 signatures from all 88 of Ohio's counties. The signatures were collected entirely by volunteers, a recognized accomplishment for any state-wide candidate outside the two-party system. Nearly 6500 signatures were certified as valid by the county Boards of Elections, well over the five thousand required by an Independent Candidate to qualify for a statewide election.


In explaining his reasons for running for Secretary of State, Dr. Eastman emphasizes the importance of impartial public servants in the office which counts the votes on election day. "It is imperative that Ohio's elections process be as fair and nonpartisan as possible. As an independent, accountable only to the citizens of Ohio and not to any party or special interests, I will restore objectivity and integrity to the office of Secretary of State," Eastman said.


Dr. Eastman lives in Centerville, Ohio with his wife, Terri. For the past 19 years, John has been the Chief Environmental Engineer at the consulting firm LJB, Inc. in Dayton. A native of Greene County, he was educated at Antioch College, The John Hopkins University and the University of Washington, completing his Ph.D. in 1977. He is a ninth generation member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Previously John Eastman was the Independent Candidate for Governor of Ohio in 2002.


John Eastman will be making early summer appearances in the Columbus area at Comfest and at the Ohio State Fair.

"John Eastman, the engineer who can make a difference for Ohio."
For further information on the candidacy of John Eastman go to www.johneastman.org.

NATIONAL: Independent voters need to demand full debate on the war and US foreign policy

From the New York Times:
...Some polls show a majority of Americans continue to think that entering Iraq was a mistake, and pollsters say independent voters are particularly open to the idea of setting some sort of timetable for withdrawal, the very policy Democrats have embraced and Republicans are now fighting.... [more]

You have to admire the Times for "good writing" -- in one sentence, the territory is laid out as a fight between Dems and Repubs over a timetable for withdrawal with independent voters leaning Dem....

The question that independents might ask--and it's independents that NEED to and ARE ABLE to and the Dems won't--is what foreign policy best reflects the opinions and attitudes of the American people? Let's have a national discussion, debate and referendum on what role the US should play internationally going forward.

Independents need to demand full debate and let the pollsters, the papers and the politicians know that we aren't playing a leaning-Dem/leaning-Repub game. Partisan politics is destroying our democracy. Independent voters can lead us out of the mire.

(For more on this, read this week's Talk/Talk with Fred Newman and Jackie Salit.)

MEXICO: If the poor vote, Obrador wins big

From the Washington Post:
..."If the poor are enthusiastic enough to turn out, then López Obrador wins big," said Bruhn, a professor at the University of California who is author of two books and numerous articles on Mexico.
The voting group to watch, she said, is the growing contingent of independents. It's no coincidence that campaign banners decorating Mexico City and the countryside often have little or no mention of political party. Skepticism toward political parties is a "continental trend," according to Bruhn's analysis of the region. ... [more]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Talk/Talk: The Iraq war is not the issue. I mean, it’s sad. And, we all know the right things to say: Too many people are dying, it’s costing too much money…. But, the real issue to confront the Bush Administration with is the position of the United States as a dominant international player. It would be good if there were a national vote on that in ’06....
Texas: "Petitioning is hard work"
Minnesota: What's the fair market price for democracy?
Rhode Island: Who's on first...?
Alaska: Gov not doing well in polls - Andrew Halcro steps in?
Pennsylvania: Independent Pennsylvanians endorse Russ Diamond for Gov
For those who have fought a whole life....

Texas: "Petitioning is hard work"

As Grandma Strayhorn and Kinky await their petition approvals, the Green Party won't make the ballot this time. They wanted to run Jerry Larson, but since a volunteer petitioning operation couldn't gather the sigs needed, Jerry says he'll just vote for the Dem....

Minnesota: What's the fair market price for democracy?

In today's editorial, "A price for everything, nothing for nothing", the Pioneer Press says:

"A weakness of democracy is that it encourages politicians to try to seduce us with the promise of something for nothing, even though most people know better....

...Among the candidates for the endorsement of the Independence Party of Minnesota — Gov. Jesse Ventura's old party — is Peter Hutchinson, a former state finance director and Minneapolis schools superintendent. Ken Pentel, endorsed by the Green Party, is a thoughtful candidate...."

And essentially they would like for voters to hear from all the candidates, but mostly the major party candidates, one of whom will surely be the next governor.

Well, for my money, it's not a weakness of democracy that encourages politicians to make empty promises. It's the parties that encourage politicians to make empty promises to get votes to get elected.

Doesn't democracy have something to do with citizen participation? Political parties have become the antithesis of participation by ordinary people - in fact, they prevent our participation in many ways from unfair ballot access laws to corrupt poll watchers to giving us bad candidates.

Rhode Island: Who's on first...?

You've heard of RINOs and DINOs, well now there's IINOs -- apparently some 14,000 Dems have switched to independent (or "unaffiliated") in order to be able to vote in the Repub primary. See today's TPM Cafe "RI-SEN: Dems for Chaffee?" by Christopher Angell...

My question is: will they switch back?

Alaska: Gov not doing well in polls - Andrew Halcro steps in?

From Alaskan Independence Party, which had 15,505 member (3.26% of the electorate) in 2004, is running former Repub Andrew Halcro for gov.

Aside from a statement on campaign finance reform, I don't see any campaigning for political reform. Halcro needs to step up to the plate on issues of concern to independent voters, otherwise he's just another Repub reformer trying to get some votes.....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pennsylvania: Independent Pennsylvanians endorse Russ Diamond for Gov

Independent Pennsylvanians To Endorse Russ Diamond for Governor
Independent Pennsylvanians (IP), an association of independent voters formed in 2004 will endorse Russ Diamond, Independent for Governor, at a press conference June 23rd. IP is the local affiliate of the Committee for a Unified Party (CUIP), a national nonpartisan strategy center for independent voters.
Recent polls show 35% of Americans identify as independents, more than Republican (32%) or Democrat (31%). In Pennsylvania, where Democrats and Republicans are evenly represented in the electorate, independent-minded voters can make the difference in an election. These voters are increasingly looking for candidates who adopt their positions on electoral reform issues. Russ Diamond is such a candidate.
"The surge in voters becoming more independent and the demand for genuine political reform go hand in hand," said Jenn Bullock, founder of Independent Pennsylvanians. "Independent voters want political reform. They want a restructuring of the political process to revitalize democracy, to make it more energized, to give the American people more direct political control over policymaking and over government. And Independent Pennsylvanians supports Russ Diamond's efforts on these issues."
Diamond's support for IP's Independent Bill of Rights, which consists of a demand for nonpartisan elections, statewide initiative and referendum, and nonpartisan redistricting, factored into the endorsement decision. "I am pleased to accept the endorsement of Independent Pennsylvanians," said Diamond. "Together we will work to end the culture of arrogance and greed from Harrisburg and help Pennsylvanians get their government back by continuing to push for reforms in the political process."
Diamond started "PACleanSweep" in July, 2005 in response to the infamous pay raise enacted by the Pennsylvania state legislature. Diamond was awarded last March the "Golden Dot" for Best PAC or Non-Partisan Internet Campaign of 2005 by George Washington University's Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. In July, 2006 he will receive an award from PA Common Cause for his efforts.
The press conference will be held in Philadelphia on Friday, June 23rd at 12:00 noon on the Front Lawn of the Constitution Center, Market and 6th Streets, Philadelphia, PA.

ON THE WEB Committee for a Unified Independent Party http://www.cuip.org
RUSSDIAMOND.ORG
http://www.russdiamond.org
-###-
6/20/06 Contact: Jennifer Bullock
Tel: (215) 957-5073
Email: jbullock1@comcast.net

For those who have fought a whole life....


The most beautiful thing
for those who have fought a whole life
is to come to the end and say:
we believed in people and life,
and life and the people
never let us down.
- Otto Rene Castillo
(From his poem "Satisfaction")

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


NATIONAL: Third Party Coming
New York: More on Mayor Bloomberg's 08 run
Texas: The count is on!
Tennessee: How important are independent voters to Harold Ford?
Connecticut: Will he or won't he?
Norway and The Ark

NATIONAL: Third Party Coming

FreeMarketNews ran this article yesterday Third Party Coming in 2008, and Hankster reader and national Committee for a Unified Independent Party organizer Gwen Mandell sent in this comment:

I also read Peggy Noonan's article and am glad to see that some of the political pundits now see what over 30% of the electorate has seen for some time now - that partisanism and corruption are making it impossible for any serious solutions to public policy to emerge. Independents have been building at the grassroots for some time time now (and not necessarily with the direction of building another party (partisansim is partisanism and building another party just might not be the way to bring about the radical political reform necessary to shake up the political process), and while perhaps some "big players" are currently "seeing the light" because they see some mileage to be gained, the independent voice led by ordinary folks continues to shape itself, even if the media doesn't give it the coverage it deserves. For a daily report on News for independents read the daily blog The Hankster, http://grassrootsindependent.blogspot.com/

That's tellin' it like it is!!!!

New York: More on Mayor Bloomberg's 08 run

From the New York Observer June 5 -- Bloomberg in '08? Never Say Never! by Niall Stanage

If there were any lingering doubts that Mr. Bloomberg is a RINO, a "Republican in Name Only”his latest pronouncements have erased them. "I think it's clear he's not running in the Republican [Presidential] primaries in '08," Doug Muzzio, a political-science professor at Baruch College, says with a laugh. Speculation has taken hold that the Mayor might consider wagering around $500 million of his multibillion-dollar fortune on an independent run for the White House. Such a move may sound quixotic, but "or so the Bloomberg boosters argue”it would seem immeasurably less so if the Republican and Democratic parties each nominated a Presidential candidate from their ideologically entrenched flanks. The Mayor's recent remarks seek to cast him as a "common-sense candidate”someone concerned not to "let ideology get in the way of truth," as he put it at Johns Hopkins. [To read the article go to The Observer and search Niall Stanage]

Texas: The count is on!

All the dailies are covering the signature count for Strayhorn and Kinky.... There's a lot of countin' to be done. We may have results from the Sec. of State by Wednesday.....

Houston Chronicle blog
Star Telegram
Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
San Antonio Express-News
Dallas Morning News
Waxahatchie Daily Light

Tennessee: How important are independent voters to Harold Ford?

Nashville area independents are key to Harold Ford's campaign....

Connecticut: Will he or won't he?

The Moderate Voice covers Lieberman's possible independent run....

Norway and The Ark


Norway has decided to create a vault to save seeds....

Monday, June 19, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


NATIONAL: Do we need an independent candidate for President in 2008?
Pennsylvania: Fight the Dem/Repub Duopoly!
Oregon: Why don't the Dems and Repubs want an independent candidate in the race?
Maine: Independent gov candidates have public funding
New Mexico: The Green Party
Ohio: How will independent voters affect the midterm elections?

NATIONAL: Do we need an independent candidate for President in 2008?

Mayor Bloomberg can't shake that story about running for Prez in '08 as an independent....

Pennsylvania: Fight the Dem/Repub Duopoly!

From Dimitri Vassilaros in the Pittsburgh Tribune:
Independent gov candidate Russ Diamond and Libertarian Ken Krawchuck protest draconian ballot access laws in challenge to the duopoly....

Oregon: Why don't the Dems and Repubs want an independent candidate in the race?

Benjamin Ark says independent Westlund is best for the state.... and he's raising significant cash....

Maine: Independent gov candidates have public funding

Independent Barbara Merrill and Green Party candidate Pat LaMarche are running on public funds....

New Mexico: The Green Party

The New Mexico Green Party is running to build the Green Party....

Ohio: How will independent voters affect the midterm elections?

Every district wants to be the microcosm of upcoming midterm elections and Columbus' Precinct H has 100 Repubs, 99 Dems and 280 independent voters....

Sunday, June 18, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS




NATIONAL: Radical political reform - there's an organizing struggle out there to be had.
California: Schwarzenegger is more fun....
Texas: Where's Chris Bell? He's running against Carole Strayhorn....
Massachusetts: Christy Mihos on the campaign trail...
Colorado: Garfield County goes independent!
Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond - the "real" outsider
Idaho: Repubs vote against open primaries
Illinois: John Hartman - We're losing an enormous amount of talent if independents can't get on the ballot

NATIONAL: Radical political reform - there's an organizing struggle out there to be had.

Brad Warthen at The State says there are enough independents to keep either of the major parties from being a majority..... And David Lindorff at Political Affairs (Marxist Thought Online) comments on the national Dems' possible endorsement of Joe Lieberman if he loses the primary and runs as an independent.... Meanwhile, here's another look at last week's Talk/Talk with Fred Newman and Jackie Salit, where Newman says independents could organize the country around radical political reform, and it's a struggle that takes place "on the ground":

Newman: I think that we have to teach independents that that’s exactly not the way to look at it, namely in terms of how it’s going to benefit the Republican vs. the Democrat. The independents have to work to communicate with each other to articulate a strong position about radical political reform. Then they go with whoever comes to them and says they will give expression to that position as part of what they’re going to stand for. That’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of communication, a lot of outreach. But there is a position there to communicate. And that’s what the independents have to be identified with, not just the swing vote. Because who cares who wins the election? This is a time for independents to play hard to get. Not hard to get between Republicans and Democrats, but hard to get relative to their own commitment to a position, which is radical political reform. What is radical political reform? Well, it’s a lot of different things. It goes all the way from local nonpartisan elections, as we tried in New York, the right to I&R, to changes in the voting machines. It goes from there all the way to national referenda. The full range. It goes to – and here we might have Hillary on our side – eliminating the electoral college. There are a lot of different planks to it, but in general, it stands for radical, popular political reform. It’s the critical threshold issue, I would argue. But that’s what’s got to be done on the ground, at the organizing level. You’ve got to build that movement. Is there a base for that movement? Yes. It’s the one third of the country that’s independent. Are they organized around that now? No. Are they there as a potential base to be organized in that way? Yes. Would it be exclusive? No. You could also organize Democrats and Republicans into that because there are some Democrats and Republicans who feel that way strongly, but are not satisfied with what their parties are doing. There’s an organizing struggle out there to be had. And independents can be full participants in it. The country’s gone one third independent. In fact, by some polls the independents are slightly ahead. But “independent” still means what it means, which is largely defined by Democrats and Republicans and is defined as swing voters. We progressive independents have to change that definition.... [more]

California: Schwarzenegger is more fun....

The papers are saying that Gov. Schwarzenegger is popular because he's "more fun" to have around... and let's face it, we all need to be having more fun.... (?)

Texas: Where's Chris Bell? He's running against Carole Strayhorn....

Carole Strayhorn says it's a 2-person race (hint - one of them is not Chris Bell) and Bell continues his anti-Strayhorn campaign....

Massachusetts: Christy Mihos on the campaign trail...

From the Lowell Sun:
...This past week, Independent candidate Christy Mihos bounced around from an auto auction in Quincy to meetings with the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, with clergy and the Mass Taxpayers Foundation in Boston, and radio and television interviews in Brockton and Bridgewater. ...

Colorado: Garfield County goes independent!

Garfield County, Colorado is going independent:
From the Aspen Daily News
For the first time in memory, unaffiliated voters in Garfield County outnumber both Republicans and Democrats, leaving both parties scrambling for the hearts of independent voters as they prepare for the November elections.
Unaffiliated voters have long been a large bloc in the county, usually outnumbering Democrats. But the latest numbers show unaffiliated voters outpacing even Republicans, who have long been the county's dominant party. "This is the first that I can recall that they outnumber the other parties," said County Clerk Mildred Alsdorf, who has been county clerk for 27 years. ... [more]

Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond - the "real" outsider

Lynn Swann was recruited by the Repubs as the candidate with the most chance of beating Dem Ed Rendell for gov this year, but a candidate hand-picked by a major party is hardly an "outsider".....

And, hey, if you're petitioning for Russ Diamond, don't forget about those Steelers tickets!!!!!

Idaho: Repubs vote against open primaries

Idaho Republicans have voted against open primaries at their convention, but 66 delegates think open primaries are important - sometimes Libertarians want to weigh in on Repub candidates (and the Repubs want the votes....)

Illinois: John Hartman - We're losing an enormous amount of talent if independents can't get on the ballot

John Hartman of Edwardsville, Ill. has decided to abandon his independent run for Congress because his team cannot meet the petition requirements.
From the Edwardsville Intelligencer:
"But to get on the ballot independents, such as Hartman, are required to collect 15,957 signatures and Hartman said that as of June 12, volunteers had collected less than 10,000. They began collecting on March 28 and had until June 26 to reach their goal. ... [Hartman] cited Pew Research Center research showing that roughly a third of Americans consider themselves Democrats, a third Republicans, and a third say they are independents. "We are losing an enormous amount of talent if a third of our potential leaders are shut out of the political process, not to mention the gross unfairness," he said.
To get on the primary ballot, Democrats needed to gather only 852 signatures while Republicans needed just 951. "Having spoken with about 4,000 people in southern Illinois, I know the people would welcome another choice on the ballot," he said."... [more]

Saturday, June 17, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



NATIONAL: Karl Rove, independents, Dems, Repubs......
Texas: "Carole Strayhorn Reality Tour"
Minnesota: Sue Jeffers won't get Libertarian endorsement
Louisana: Partisan legislature wants closed primaries
Maine: Red, blue, green, blue-green and.....
Oregon: Westlund still raising money, still collecting sigs
Virginia: Roanoke elects For the City independent slate to city council
Rhode Island: Partisan affair

NATIONAL: Karl Rove, independents, Dems, Repubs......

Karl Rove makde a mistake in trying to "buy independents" with education and Medicare reform and Fox News says independents are leaning Dem....

Independents need to recognize that we are one-third of the electorate, not swing-voters, not "leaners", not "don't stand for anything". Independents don't like partisanship. And we have the numbers. As Fred Newman put it in this week's Talk/Talk:

Newman: ...The independents, it seems to me, have to begin with the premise that the country is split roughly, one third, one third, one third. And, the independents have a bona fide position. There’s substance to it, as we just described: radical political reform to increase the level of democracy in the country. And that’s a premise, or a pre-condition, for going on to address a host of other issues. As I said to you, the Republican Party has a position. It’s a reactionary position, but it’s a position. The Democrats are into winning. And they’re mainly into negating the Republicans, but don’t offer any kind of positive vision. We have to try to win people from the other two thirds over to the independent third, even as we’re fighting to win the broad independent movement to the vision of political reform. We don’t accept the premise that the independents are only a swing vote. You have to deny that premise vehemently. It’s a one third, one third, one third fight at the base level for…Salit: …the direction of the country.Newman: Yes, for the hearts and minds of the people, as they say. And I think that if it’s well fought over time, we can win people over to our one third and make it a larger and more significant force. It will, in the final analysis, in my opinion, win out over both the pointless Democratic Party and the reactionary Republican Party.... [more]

Texas: "Carole Strayhorn Reality Tour"

A winning campaign tries not to even mention "the other" candidate. Chris Bell, on the other hand, has launched a week-long "Carole Strayhorn Reality Tour"...... Who's he campaigning for?????

Minnesota: Sue Jeffers won't get Libertarian endorsement

The Libertarian Party has decided to nullify their endorsement of Sue Jeffers for gov in Minnesota because she will take the Repub line....

Louisana: Partisan legislature wants closed primaries

Lone independent in the Louisiana legislature Rep. Joel Robideaux , I-Lafayette, says the House vote to close the primaries alienates 600,000 independents.... Bill now goes to the gov....

Maine: Red, blue, green, blue-green and.....

A rainbow of candidates from independents and third parties in Maine.....

Oregon: Westlund still raising money, still collecting sigs

He's still considered a "wild card" in the gov race....

Virginia: Roanoke elects For the City independent slate to city council

Wealthy funders and voters elect independents to city council in Roanoke....

Rhode Island: Partisan affair

Thousands of Dems are switching to "unaffilated" to vote in the Repub primary, presumably for Chafee over Laffey.....

Friday, June 16, 2006

Indie Castle: Centrists or Independents or both?

Indie Castle: Centrists or Independents or both?

Liberal bloggers: "It's rather the absence of philosophy"

If you haven't yet read this week's Talk/Talk "We Declare" with Fred Newman and Jackie Salit, I highly recommend it. And we'd like to know what you think. Click and read and post a comment. And don't miss Kevin's response over at Indie Castle...

Salit: But the Republican Right is organized and mobilized around certain core ideological issues which they leverage with and inside the Republican Party. The liberal blogosphere is a constituency that, arguably, has no core ideological issues, but rather…Newman: I don’t agree with that. The new ideology emerging in the Democratic Party is the ideology of winning. Salit: Okay.Newman: Winning again. That’s what they believe in. They don’t stand for anything other than winning. This is the legacy of Bill Clinton. Salit: Electability. That’s the key thing. Newman: Well, I prefer to call it “winning” because electability doesn’t get you into the White House or any other place, for that matter, if you don’t win. Salit: Okay. So that’s the “ideology” of this new movement.Newman: They’re young pragmatists. Salit: Okay. And their philosophy is; ‘We’ve got to get the Democrats back into the White House and back in control of Congress. And then good things will follow.’Newman: You can call it their philosophy. It’s rather the absence of philosophy...... [more]

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Indie Castle: Centrists or Independents or both?
Liberal bloggers: "It's rather the absence of philosophy"

National: Who's Afraid of Hillary Clinton?
Texas: Of Dems, Repubs and independents
Louisana: Dems and Repubs and nobody else!!!
Minnesota: Peter Hutchinson's Independence Party team up to bat....
Oregon: Open Primary - a test of politicians
Rhode Island: State legislature afraid of voters?

National: Who's Afraid of Hillary Clinton?

Hillary tops the "fright list" in Fox poll.....

Texas: Of Dems, Repubs and independents

A spokesperson for Bell's campaign says "All we need are Democrats to vote Democrat" in face of Kinky and Strayhorn independent campaigns running strong.... And Ron Paul, former Libertarian-turned-Repub wants to bring the Repubs home again.....

Louisana: Dems and Repubs and nobody else!!!

Louisiana legislature moving to get rid of open primaries....

From the Times Picayune: ....Rep. Joel Robideaux of Lafayette, who has no party affiliation, said it was unfair to independent candidates. Robideaux said the measure would make it increasingly difficult for independents to run for Congress because they would wait on the sidelines until the general election.
"We're basically saying we're going to have a Democrat or a Republican for a congressman and nobody else is really going to have a chance," he said.....

Changes will need approval from the US Justice Department.

Minnesota: Peter Hutchinson's Independence Party team up to bat....

Minnesota's major Independence Party picks team to run in November with Peter Hutchinson; they'll hold their convention and then see the Saints' night game against the Sioux City Explorers

Oregon: Open Primary - a test of politicians

From John Sowell in News Review, former Oregon gov wants no part of Open Primary initiative.....

Rhode Island: State legislature afraid of voters?

Letter to the Editor in Providence Journal by John E. O'Hara says Rhode Island House Judicial Committee was unwise in rejecting the Voter Initiative measure....

Thursday, June 15, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Independent voters span the ideological spectrum....
Pennsylvania: Attention Russ Diamond petitioners! Eagles tix incentive....
Texas: Kinky could have been the Ventura of the Lone Star state but for Grandma...
New York: Bloomberg could get on the ballot for Prez.... But the debates?
Connecticut: Hey, Sen. Lieberman - how independent do you want to be?
Alaska: Halcro will petition for gov ballot as independent

Independent voters span the ideological spectrum....

Thanks to Kevin at the Indie Castle for this thoughtful response to yesterday's post in the Hankster:

Kevin says:
...I fully agree with Newman and Salit (the other half of the Talk/Talk duo) that Indies should hold out and not give our votes so easily to either of the main two political parties as Swing Voters. It would be really nice if we could hold out for better terms before agreeing to pull the lever on election day. But, to do so we'd have to come together as a group and present a united front and I personally am skeptical that that can be done. At least on the national level. I do think that it could perhaps be done on a state level. But, if so I would expect that there would be divisions between different state groupings over who to give their votes to.... READ MORE

Pennsylvania: Attention Russ Diamond petitioners! Eagles tix incentive....

RUSSDIAMOND.ORG, the campaign committee for Independent gubernatorial candidate Russ Diamond, is offering Club Seat tickets to two Philadelphia Eagles home games to the winners of its “Most Valuable Player” signature contest.

The contest is open to anyone gathering signatures to put Diamond on the ballot for Governor. Hundreds of individuals are actively gathering signatures to place Diamond on the ballot as an Independent by the August 1 deadline. Diamond’s petition has been downloaded over 1500 times from his campaign website.

Diamond is required to collect the signatures of 67,070 registered voters just to have his name appear on November’s ballot. The Republican and Democrat candidates were only required to collect 2,000 signatures.

http://www.russdiamond.org/contest.html

Texas: Kinky could have been the Ventura of the Lone Star state but for Grandma...

Look for Capture The Flag by Paul Burka in the upcoming issue of Texas Monthly:

Preview from Harvey Kronberg's Quorum Report
...Nobody in the business of politics gives Kinky Friedman a chance to win, including me. And yet I wonder what the race would have been like had Strayhorn not stolen some of his thunder by running as an independent as well. Perry’s strategists say that Friedman’s negatives are twice as high as his positives, but that doesn’t matter much, because his voters are twice as motivated as the other candidates’ voters. Friedman represents what so many people want to vote for: none of the above. His slogan—“How hard could it be?”—targets the vast majority of Texans, some 64 percent, who’ve grown so cynical about politics that they didn’t even bother to vote in the last gubernatorial election.
The model for his race, of course, is wrestler Jesse Ventura’s upset victory as the standard-bearer for Minnesota’s Independence party, then known as the Reform party, in that state’s three-way governor’s race of 1998. Friedman even retained Dean Barkley, Ventura’s campaign chairman, as his campaign director. Both say they have a feeling that something big is brewing in Texas, but as many observers have noted, the rules in Minnesota are far different from those here.....

New York: Bloomberg could get on the ballot for Prez.... But the debates?

Ballot access expert Rich Winger says Bloomberg would have easier time than Perot getting on the ballot for prez, but it's the 15% in the polls requirement for inclusion in the debates that would be the bigger hurdle.... (New York Sun)

Connecticut: Hey, Sen. Lieberman - how independent do you want to be?

From the Stamford Advocate: Sen. Lieberman has not ruled out running for re-election as an independent.... It's his "back-up" plan if he loses the Dem primary.....

Alaska: Halcro will petition for gov ballot as independent

This from the Anchorage Daily News: Independence Party candidate for gov will collect over 3,000 sigs to get on the ballot after the primaries....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


NATIONAL: What do independent voters need to do?????
New York: Fusion upstate
Texas: Grandma Strayhorn has the Dems worried....
Pennsylvania: Ballot access is more equal for some than for others....
Oregon: Can Ben Westlund and Open Primary initiative make the ballot?????
Iowa: Gov Vilsack and the independents of New Hampshire
Tennessee: Is Harold Ford too liberal for Tennessee?

NATIONAL: What do independent voters need to do?????

The Washington Post tells us that a shift among indies away from Repubs will hurt Northeastern moderates and CQ Politics said the House "debate" on Iraq won't help Repubs, won't gain indies...

For a great discussion of what independent voters need to do (we're NOT swing voters helping either Dems or Repubs win elections....), read this week's Talk/Talk with Fred Newman and Jackie Salit....

New York: Fusion upstate

The Hill reports on upstate Independence Party local candidates and discusses (lightly) the issue of fusion....

Texas: Grandma Strayhorn has the Dems worried....

Dem Bell is worried about Strayhorn campaign making inroads into "Dem" territory; Strayhorn posts online business tax calculator on her site.....

Pennsylvania: Ballot access is more equal for some than for others....

Russ Diamond, independent candidate for gov in the Keystone State comments on ballot access for independents....

Oregon: Can Ben Westlund and Open Primary initiative make the ballot?????

The Oregon blogs and a 2-part series from New West Network are talking about where Ben Westlund's petition drive is at -- is he low on sigs?

And Jesse Cornett at BlueOregon reports that the Open Primary initiative may not make the ballot....

Iowa: Gov Vilsack and the independents of New Hampshire

Iowa Gov Vilsack is heading to New Hampshire -- will contend with plurality of independent voters....

Tennessee: Is Harold Ford too liberal for Tennessee?

Dem Harold Ford might be "too liberal" for Tennessee. According to Zogby, he leads in the polls among independent voters against Repubs....

Tuesday, June 13, 2006



New York: Independence Party state chair will try to disenroll city members
California: Dan Walters on redistricting reform vs. partisan jockying -- disenfranchisement for independent voters?

California: Tweedledum goes up against the Gov - what will independents do?
Texas: Older and more Hispanic
Rhode Island: Biggest bloc of voters is now unaffiliated
Maine: Joanne Twomey and party-switching
Minnesota: The Ins and the Outs of status-quo politics

New York: Independence Party state chair will try to disenroll city members

Ben Smith had this to say last week (thanks to my friend Gwen M. for finding it!) on his blog at the New York Daily News:
This seems pretty extreme: Independence Party chief Frank MacKay is trying to strip 150 people of membership in his Independence Party...... [more]

The move to disenroll was announced by MacKay during the state IP convention last weekend:
"I do feel this is a profound attack... Illegal according to the election law," said Cathy Stewart with the Manhattan Independence Party.... [more]

California: Dan Walters on redistricting reform vs. partisan jockying -- disenfranchisement for independent voters?

Dan Walters: If redistricting reform is real, it'll emulate state high court
By Dan Walters -- Bee Columnist Monday, June 12, 2006
...That's not only small-d undemocratic but results in a Legislature composed overwhelmingly of very conservative Republicans and very liberal Democrats. It thus worsens the Capitol's chronic inability to deal with the state's most pressing political policy issues. And it completely disenfranchises independent voters, who are the fastest-growing segment of the electorate.... [more]

California: Tweedledum goes up against the Gov - what will independents do?

From Paradise Post:
By Dick Little ...However, Tweedledum now has an uphill fight on his hands. Pre-election polls show he will not do well against the governor. Poll numbers produced by the Los Angeles Times show Westly voters are "weighted" toward Schwarzenegger 54 percent to 46 percent. Polls are also showing so-called independent voters are leaning heavily in favor of the governor as well. ... [more]

Texas: Older and more Hispanic

From Dallas Morning News:
Get out your calculator again. More numbers to consider.
Like the ones we looked at last week, these are more important to the governor's race than whether Rick Perry wins another term, Chris Bell revives the Democrats or Kinky Friedman or Carole Strayhorn strike independent gold.....
[more]

Rhode Island: Biggest bloc of voters is now unaffiliated

From Providence Journal:
...Only about 71,000 Rhode Islanders are registered as Republicans. Democrats have roughly 250,000 registered voters. The biggest bloc of voters is now unaffiliated, with about 341,000, according to the secretary of state's office.... [more]

Maine: Joanne Twomey and party-switching

From Press Herald:
...Among the most closely watched races is the Senate Democratic showdown in District 4 between incumbent Sen. Nancy Sullivan and term-limited Rep. Joanne Twomey, who has switched from the Democratic Party to independent, then back to Democrat within the past year. Both candidates are from Biddeford.... [more]

Minnesota: The Ins and the Outs of status-quo politics

From Pioneer Press LETTER TO EDITOR from Donald Frykman:
...Whenever the country is in trouble, the Outs salivate, wring their hands with glee, and are euphoric. If the unemployment rate is high, if there is inflation or deflation, if we are at war or there is a great natural disaster, that is good for the Outs. Anything bad is good. The Outs crank up their propaganda machine to convince you and me that we have to get the Ins out and the Outs in. All our problems are caused by the Ins and the only solution is to get the Ins out and the Outs in.....[more]

Monday, June 12, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



NATIONAL: Political blogger convention in Las Vegas...
New York: Minor parties play major role in New York politics....
California: Political questions - independent voters and centrism....
Maryland: Ralph Nader speaks at Zeese rally
Rhode Island: Independents outnumber Dems and Repubs combined
Minnesota: Independence Party will endorse June 24
Iowa: Streak of independence

NATIONAL: Political blogger convention in Las Vegas....

Liberal bloggers search for a way to hook Democrats
Monday, June 12, 2006Newark Star Ledger
...Until now, they've gone largely unnoticed by Democratic candidates and their minders. But no longer, apparently. A bloggers convention in Las Vegas over the weekend drew a very respectable gathering of the Democratic elite, including party chairman Howard Dean, U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and four unannounced but likely candidates for the 2008 presidential nomination -- Govs. Tom Vilsack of Iowa and Bill Richardson of New Mexico, former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and retired Gen. Wesley Clark. ... It's appealing to lots of liberals. But it's a really bad idea. Just the thing to turn off independent voters sick to death of the rampant partisanship on display in Washington these days. The bloggers are, in short, very much a mixed bag. They'll be a volatile, even precarious ally. But Democrats, who suffer from a crisis of confidence despite Bush's poor poll ratings, are likely to embrace them. They'll take help where ever they can find it. Controlling the blogger, however, is another matter. As Mark Moulitis, a prominent blogger, told reporters, his crowd intends to make its presence felt in the primaries and caucuses to select the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate.
"I think there's clearly going to be a blogosphere primary," he said. ...
[more]

New York: Minor parties play major role in New York politics....

From Newsday's Spin Cycle:
...But even there, "they don't have enough muscle to have much impact," Muzzio said.
Still, the minors have managed to provide a bit of drama in an otherwise predictable year.
The Working Families Party, a liberal organization affiliated with labor unions, held a heated debate over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's support of the Iraq War before finally endorsing her over anti-war challenger Jonathan Tasini. And both Clinton and Eliot Spitzer accepted the Independence Party's nods only after its leaders distanced themselves from member Lenora Fulani, who uttered anti-Semitic remarks [sic] about a decade ago..... [more]


By the way, apparently Michael Rothfeld, Lauren Weber, J. Jioni Palmer, Celeste Hadrick, who wrote this article, have just joined the chorus of anti-Fulani writers that Newsday can count on. For as much as the press uses "Lenora Fulani" and "anti-Semitic" in the same sentence, doesn't make it true (in fact, the use of this attack is itself grossly anti-Semitic). They repeat this mantra ad nauseum as an attempt to scare voters -- increasingly independent -- away from the Independence Party. The NYIP is the third largest party in the state with almost 340,000 members. There are nearly a million IP and unaffiliated voters in the City of New York, so it's no wonder that the big shots, party hacks and their minions are scared...

And just for the record, the state leadership of the Independence Party wouldn't have it any other way. State Chair Frank MacKay suddenly became anti-Fulani after a 7-year partnership, right after the City operation of the IP won 75,000 votes for Mayor Bloomberg and pulled 47% of the black vote last year, as well as 70% of the Jewish vote for the independent mayor - much of it on the IP line. For a little background on this fight, see The Hankster from May 28....

California: Political questions - independent voters and centrism....

'Arnold unplugged' is back and as enthusiastic as ever
By Daniel Weintraub Sunday, June 11, 2006 ...It remains to be seen whether the voters will agree that he has kept his promises. Californians do still like Schwarzenegger. A recent poll found that 71 percent of adults and even 57 percent of Democrats said they like the governor as a person. But many Democrats and independents, and even a good number of Republicans, are unhappy with his performance in office and say they do not intend to vote to give him a second term.... [more]


How Angelides Can Win by Randy Shaw‚ Jun. 11‚ 2006 BeyondChron
Since 1980, Republicans and Democrats have pursued contrasting electoral strategies. Republicans have galvanized their base, while Democrats have sought to keep their base while moving to the center to win independent voters. The results? Right-wing Republicans now control all three branches of the federal government, and set the national debate. The message is obvious: Democrats must energize their base to win. Phil Angelides accomplished this in the primary campaign, but editorial writers and media pundits are now claiming he must “move to the center” to win in November. History says otherwise. Angelides will beat Schwarzenegger if he mobilizes his base, and convinces working and middle-class voters that he will stand with them against the big corporations and wealthy special interests that control both the Governor and the Republican Party. ... [more]

Maryland: Ralph Nader speaks at Zeese rally

From Media Monitors:
Baltimore, MD - On Saturday afternoon, June 10, 2006, Ralph Nader, a 3rd Party candidate for the presidency in 2004, spoke at a political rally, held in a conference room at the U. of Baltimore’s Langsdale Library. The primary purpose of the affair was to boost the candidacy of Kevin Zeese, who is running as an Independent candidate for the U.S. Senate in Maryland. In 2004, Zeese served as Nader’s press secretary.
Nader’s message emphasized that Americans need a good dose of “moral courage” to take on the corporate controllers of this country. A vast majority of the people need to get over “their own sense of helplessness and powerlessness,” he said....
[more]

Rhode Island: Independents outnumber Dems and Repubs combined

From US News & World Report:
...Even though Chafee is so moderate that he has considered switching parties, the Democrats are targeting him in their quest to gain Senate seats--and for all the trouble he has caused them, the White House is supporting him. The race is wildly unpredictable; in the Ocean State, independents outnumber Democrats and Republicans combined. But Democrats are hoping that President Bush's low approval rating here--23 percent--will translate into votes against the status quo.... [more]

Minnesota: Independence Party will endorse June 24

From the Duluth News Tribune:
...The Independence Party will endorse someone June 24. Policy consultant Peter Hutchinson, who like Hatch served as a cabinet member in DFL Gov. Rudy Perpich's administration, is the presumed pick.
The Independence Party - and its differently named forerunner - has played a decisive role in the last two elections, including Jesse Ventura's 1998 surprise win....
[more]

Iowa: Streak of independence

From the Daily Nonpareil:
...Iowans have a streak of independence about them, he said.
"Iowa voters are not straight-ticket types," Mathiasen said. "We have Sens. Grassley and Harkin - about as opposite as you can get. Also, Iowa has gone for Reagan, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore and Bush."
Because of that independence, party grassroots turnout efforts will be a key, he said.
"It's a pretty clear choice if you are a Republican or a Democrat, so the Independent voters could make the difference."...
[more]

Sunday, June 11, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


NATIONAL: The Dems, the Repubs, and the independents - will there be a Third Party?
California: Watch the 20% factor -- independent voters are critical
Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond on the campaign trail...
Oregon: Ben Westlund SHOULD be an opportunist! For independent voters....
Minnesota: Major parties offer "nothing to more independent-minded voters"
Florida: "the key is mobilizing those voters and wooing independents"
Tennessee: Can Harold Ford save the Dems?
MEXICO: "Other options are dangerous for Mexico."

NATIONAL: The Dems, the Repubs, and the independents - will there be a Third Party?

From the Huffington Post:
Russell Shaw: For Hillary, *Everything* Is A Political Calculation
On Wednesday, Sen. Hillary Clinton released a new guide for parents. The guide gives parents tips on how to keep their kids safe online, ensure the video games they play and the tv they watch are appropriate.
The fact that there's games, content and tv shows that are inappropriate for children is not in dispute. But to me, the timing of this report's release- and the reasons she released this report- should not be in dispute either.
That's because from her marriage to her support for the Iraq war to this latest do-goodism, Hillary has always been about political calculation....
[more]


From the American Thinker:
A McCain and even more so a Giuliani would make it much harder for the Democratic nominee in 2008 to compete for the center and independent voters.... [more]


From the Ventura County Star:
First, partisanship is now the single driving force for both the Democrats and Republicans.... this is not a new call — the time is ripe for a new, legitimate third party. We are a nation of almost 300 million people equipped with the Internet and new media to build awareness, organize volunteers and raise all-important campaign donations. We have the tools to back up demands that our political leaders must heed our voices. If the Republican and Democratic parties won't respond, we'll find someone or some party who will.
It is easy to see a third party rising from the center: conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans who already feel they are no longer represented by their parties; and Independents and the decline-to-state, who already have detached from the traditional two-party system. ...[
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California: Watch the 20% factor -- independent voters are critical

From the Monterey Herald:
... There are 6.7 million registered Democrats in California, compared with 5.4 million Republicans, but Republicans generally turn out 5 percent more voters. Luring the increasing number of independent voters -- nearly 20 percent of the state electorate, or 2.9 million -- will be another key factor in November.... [more]


Still talking about the Bilbray/Busby bash, Ronald Brownstein in the LA Times says:
It's the rare election that offers both parties more reason for concern than optimism, but that may be exactly the verdict from last week's congressional special election in San Diego County. ...Other numbers from the race, though, were more ominous for Republicans. Independent voters appeared to break overwhelmingly for Busby. Remember that Bilbray's total in the special election exceeded the votes cast in the Republican primary only by about 1,100. Busby's total in the special election exceeded the votes cast in the Democratic primary (which she won) by almost 10,000. That suggests she attracted the vast majority of independent voters who did not participate in either party primary.... [more]


From Newsweek:
Arnold the environmentalist.... ...In California, where 87 percent of voters say that environmental issues matter in choosing a candidate, that's a smart course. "We're about bringing people together," Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver, said. "Democrats, Republicans, independents, greens. We're the only state in America doing that."...

Texas: Grandma is going strong!

From Gromer Jeffers in the Dallas Morning News:
...Chris Bell, the party's nominee for governor, says that the built-in structure of a political party gives him the edge over independents like Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman.
The Democrats' rusty machinery, however, has slipped behind the grass-roots organizations built by Republicans in recent years. The GOP has a decided edge in using technology to find, register and turn out voters. ...
[more]

....Don't underestimate her, says Carlos Guerra in the San Antonio Express News:
She has a history of winning tight elections and then garnering huge re-election tallies — as in 1996 when she got more votes than then-Sen. Phil Gramm, and 2002, when she bested Perry and was re-elected comptroller. In both elections, Gramm and Perry were, respectively, the ticket leaders and Strayhorn was in a down-ballot race.
Now she is waiting for Perry's handpicked secretary of state to tell her if she will be one of as many as five candidates for governor on the November ballot, a race that will be won with whomever garners the most votes. ...
[more]

Strayhorn has the endorsement of the Texas State Teachers Association, which traditionally backs Dems....

Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond on the campaign trail...

This from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:
Worse, and as John Micek of The Morning Call of Allentown broke the story on his blog last year, Crompton had the audacity to pen an internal Senate memo arguing that pay-jacking foes such as Russ Diamond, Chris Lilik and Tim Potts should have to register as lobbyists with the state Senate. ... [more]

And from the Patriot News:
...Russ Diamond, chairman of PACleanSweep and candidate for governor, said, "I think a lot of people have an extremely negative attitude about politics and politicians in general." ... [more]

Oregon: Ben Westlund SHOULD be an opportunist! For independent voters....

My favorite attack on independent candidates below. Independents ARE oppotunists - independent voters have to seize every opportunity possible to break the two-party monopoly!
From the Oregonian:
And is Ben Westlund's candidacy the odyssey of a maverick independent or a political opportunist who has, once again, re-created himself? (And do we care if he's asking all the right questions?)
Clearly attuned to metaphors, Westlund spent several days last week priming a balky pump at his Tumalo ranch. He said he has generated 4,000 of the 18,364 signatures required to prime his gubernatorial campaign, adding that "the political insiders all know I'm going to be on the ballot."
"I am a legitimate centrist choice for Oregonians; I am not a spoiler. Is there a plausible path to victory? No question." ...
[more]

Westlund has also come out in favor of higher signature requirements for citizen initiatives. Hmmm..... Not sure about that one.....

Minnesota: Major parties offer "nothing to more independent-minded voters"

From the Pioneer Press:
Tim Penny, the 2002 Independence Party gubernatorial candidate who drew 16 percent of the vote, suggested each candidate would have trouble in the general election. His party is expected to get behind Peter Hutchinson, a policy consultant and a cabinet member in the last DFL administration.
"This is a set of options that offer nothing to more independent-minded voters," said Penny, a former Democratic congressman. "It doesn't matter much from our perspective who comes out of the convention with the endorsement."...
[more]

Florida: "the key is mobilizing those voters and wooing independents"

From the Ocala Star Banner:
...And the voters are out there. The Florida Division of Elections report dated January 2006 showed registered Democrats still outnumbered Republicans in Florida, by 4.2 million to 3.9 million. In Marion County, registered Republicans outnumber Democrats 84,194 to 75,918, but there are also almost 24,000 independent voters who could swing the tide for either party.
Marion County Democratic Executive Committee chairman Marjorie Renfroe said the key is mobilizing those voters and wooing independents....
[more]