Sunday, July 30, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

New York: Disenrollment of city Independence Party members hearing held in Manhattan
California: Assembly seeks to divide Schwarzenegger from independent support
Texas: Kinky's campaign
Maryland: More independents will gain ballot access
Oregon: Repubs reject open primary initiative
Rhode Island: Party switchers
Pennsylvania: Unfair ballot access laws prevent indies from running
National: Divisions over Iraq war sharper than Vietnam in the sixties
Congo: Tshisekedi says boycott
Inside Zebster: Barbara Merrill update
Just what the heck is the Trans-Texas Corridor?
New York: DISENROLLMENT ATTEMPT AGAINST 117 INDEPENDENCE PARTY MEMBERS MOVES TO COURT (Press Release)

New York: Disenrollment of city Independence Party members hearing held in Manhattan

Hearing Held in Fulani Supporters Expulsion Lawsuit
July 28th, 2006, Ballot Access News
On July 27, New York Supreme Court Judge Emily Goodman held a trial in McKay v Mandell, 109502-2006. The issue is whether the state leadership of the New York Independence Party may expel 94 of its members, on the grounds that they are allied with Lenora Fulani. New York state law permits political parties to expel members deemed to be disloyal to the party. Judge Goodman asked attorneys for the state party leadership why the bulk of their complaints about Fulani extend to remarks she made in 1989, before the Independence Party even existed. She also asked, if Fulani and her supporters have been so disloyal to the party’s principles for so long, why the party (which was formed in 1994) is only now trying to expel them. [link]

Read the press release from the New York County Independence Party....

For an interesting dialogue about the illegalities and McCarthy-ite tactics of Frank MacKay, check out the New York Sun's blog Fifty First State...

Incidentally, New York City IP attorney Harry Kresky has been representing parishoners and neighborhood supporters of an historic Irish Catholic church in the East Village St. Brigid's which has been slated for demolition by the Archdiocese. They won a reprieve in court under Kresky's legal leadership. The case has been getting a lot of press play, including in the Daily News, Newsday, and the New York Times....

California: Assembly seeks to divide Schwarzenegger from independent support

From the Contra Costa Times: Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been performing a delicate balancing act in his campaign for a second term -- wooing independent voters who are likely to sway the election while trying not to alienate business interests that are helping finance his campaign.
But a number of bills likely to emerge from the Democrat-controlled Legislature in the weeks ahead could test the governor's centrist strategy at a critical point in his re-election bid. On issues from greenhouse gases to children's health care to wages for low-income workers, Schwarzenegger potentially faces a series of thorny decisions just as he reaches the home stretch of his campaign against Democratic Treasurer Phil Angelides....
[more]

Texas: Kinky's campaign

From Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette: ...The pols and the pundits said he was a clown who could never collect the 45,540 signatures necessary to get on the ballot as an independent candidate. But Kinky showed them: He got 137,154 certified signatures.... [more]

Hawaii: Independent voters most concerned about war in Iraq

From Honolulu Advertiser: ...Akaka's campaign has done a voter-identification program that has apparently found, among other things, that many independent voters are most concerned about the war in Iraq. The campaign has been using Akaka's anti-war record in advertisements to fire up the party's liberal primary voters, but if the message also is motivating independents, it would be another edge for the senator.... [more]

Maryland: More independents will gain ballot access

From the Baltimore Sun: ...This week, C. Stephen Wallis, the independent county executive candidate, expects to file his petitions containing about 2,400 names of registered voters -- more than enough to get his name on the county's general election ballot in November. Wallis needs about 1,800 valid voter signatures before the Aug. 7 deadline. ... [more]

Oregon: Repubs reject open primary initiative

From The Oregonian: ...Meanwhile, Republicans went on record against an "open primary" initiative that is being sponsored by two former Oregon secretaries of state — Democrat Phil Keisling and Republican Norma Paulus.... [more]

Rhode Island: Party switchers

From Providence Journal: ...As for the GOP primary, with such a small universe of voters participating (the all-time record was 45,000, in 1994, when Lincoln Almond beat Ronald Machtley for the gubernatorial nomination), the infusion of even 10,000 independent voters could have a dramatic effect.
Still, it's not at all clear that the 14,500 disaffiliated Democrats represent Chafee supporters. Some of them, rather than just wanting to help Mr. Chafee, may in fact have given up on their party. Some may simply want to keep their options open about which primary to vote in. Some may even be loyal Democrats who intend to vote in the primary for Mr. Laffey, on the theory that it would be easier in the general election for the Democratic nominee to beat him than Mr. Chafee. There are Machiavellians everywhere
!... [more]

Pennsylvania: Unfair ballot access laws prevent indies from running

From Wilkes Barre Times Leader: Independent candidates won't make ballot in Pennsylvania... "Russ Diamond, the Annville businessman whose PACleanSweep group led opposition to last year's legislative pay raise and who hopes to run for governor as an independent, acknowledged that he had not even cracked the 30,000-signature mark by Friday..." [more]

National: Divisions over Iraq war sharper than Vietnam in the sixties

From New York Times ...An analysis by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that the difference in the way Democrats and Republicans viewed the Vietnam War — specifically, whether sending American troops was a mistake — never exceeded 18 percentage points between 1966 and 1973. In the most recent Times/CBS poll on Iraq, the partisan gap on a similar question was 50 percentage points. ... [link]

Congo: Tshisekedi says boycott

From the Inter Press Service News Agency "An Opportunity for Congo's Ordinary People to Express Themselves" -- Veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi calls for boycott of national elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo.....

Inside Zebster: Barbara Merrill update

Read Inside Zebster: Barbara Merrill update for a report on independent gov candidate in Maine...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

New York: DISENROLLMENT ATTEMPT AGAINST 117 INDEPENDENCE PARTY MEMBERS MOVES TO COURT

STATUS OF 93 MANHATTAN MEMBERS, INCLUDING FULANI AND NEWMAN, TO BE DECIDED IN STATE COURT

New York, NY - On Thursday, July 27th the New York State Supreme Court will consider an action by Independence Party state chair Frank MacKay to disenroll 93 members of the party in Manhattan. The matter will go before Judge Emily Goodman at 2:15 pm in Room 422 at 60 Centre Street in New York City. A disenrollment proceeding targeting an additional 24 Independence Party members will be heard separately in Brooklyn on July 31st, 2006.

Disenrollment from a political party, while provided for under New York state election law, is extremely rare. A mass disenrollment of this kind has not been attempted in New York since 1950 in the American Labor Party.

Attorneys for the party members targeted for disenrollment will argue that MacKay lacks jurisdiction to bring the disenrollment proceeding and that the substance of the complaint is groundless. MacKay and Vice Chairman Tom Connolly conducted party hearings on the proposed disenrollment in June. None of the targeted persons appeared at the hearings, citing MacKay's lack of jurisdiction to conduct them. Under state law, disenrollment must be initiated and conducted at the county level. MacKay bypassed the local organizations.

MacKay is attempting to remove more than 100 party members citywide based on the statements of two Independence Party members -- Lenora Fulani and Fred Newman -- who are accused of being "not in sympathy" with the party's principles. Statements made by Newman and Fulani concerning the history and politics of the Middle East form the crux of the complaint. These statements, made in 1985 and 1989 respectively, represented their personal views, had nothing to do with the Independence Party (which was not founded until 1994) and were not made in relation to any Independence Party activity. Thus, the disenrollment case raises questions of constitutionally protected free speech.

The remaining 115 party members have been similarly charged on the basis of unspecified associations with Fulani and Newman.

Papers were submitted to the court by both sides after Judge Goodman asked attorneys to review the legal and constitutional basis for the proceeding. Papers for the respondents include a legal brief, affidavits by Fred Newman and Cathy Stewart and a set of letters supplied to the court by elected officials and community activists who have worked with the Independence Party organization in New York City.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

TransTexasCorridor

Texas: More anti-Toll Road protests, more support for Strayhorn
Oregon: Westlund files 3 times as many signatures as needed
National: The Clintons and the independents
Texas: More independent voters!

Texas: More anti-Toll Road protests, more support for Strayhorn

From the Waco Tribune: More than 1,000 protest Trans-Texas Corridor, and Carole Strayhorn is there....

From Austin American Statesmen: Chris Bell doesn't like the ring of Dem contributions to Strayhorn....

Oregon: Westlund files 3 times as many signatures as needed

From The Oregonian: Ben Westlund has filed 36,000 sigs in his independent bid for Gov......

National: The Clintons and the independents

Hillary says appeal to independent voters is road to victory for Dems... Bill supports Lieberman...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Talk/Talk: The "becoming" of new forces
Texas: No to the toll road!
New Hampshire: People, not party bosses, are in charge
National: Is a third party vote wasted?

Talk/Talk: The "becoming" of new forces

From Jackie Salit and Fred Newman's Talk/Talk "Who's Coming to the Table":
Newman: And you have to recognize, to use a philosophical term, the “becoming” of new forces that are there. The Middle East is dominating the big headlines right now. But some things are happening domestically, including, for example, relative to independent politics. Not to make a comparison that doesn’t seem appropriate. But I think there’s a way in which the people who lead this country, the Republicans, the Democrats and well, everybody, are having something of an identity crisis about who you can and who you can’t talk to in the current situation. This is true internationally as well as domestically. And that refusal to relate to emergent forces gets you in trouble if you’re trying to lead. If you’re trying to lead, but you’re constrained from talking to all the relevant forces because you don’t want to give any credibility to the people who’ve become players through new sets of circumstances, that puts you in a bad position to actually accomplish anything....

Texas: No to the toll road!

Opposition from farmers and independents to the Trans-Texas Corridor toll road, support for Strayhorn is building... (Dallas Morning News and New York Times)

New Hampshire: People, not party bosses, are in charge

John Bachman says the DNC wants control of voters, not empowerment of minorities (Nashua Telegraph)

National: Is a third party vote wasted?

Szandor Blestman in the American Chronicle makes the case for not wasting your vote on major party candidates....

Friday, July 14, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

California: That's a lot of politics!
Texas: Strayhorn yes, Trans-Texas Corridor no!
Connecticut: Lieberman's Waterloo and the netroots
Arkansas: The Constitution stops here.
Arizona: Youth say two-party system is dangerous

California: That's a lot of politics!

Gov. Schwarzenegger is trying to trade term limits for nonpartisan redistricting - it's the legislature after all.....

Texas: Strayhorn yes, Trans-Texas Corridor no!

From Texas Digest, Waco Tribune Herald and Dallas Star Telegram:

The Blackland Coalition endorses Carole Keeton Strayhorn for gov, hundreds turn out to oppose the Trans-Texas Corridor in Hillsboro and Weatherford....

Connecticut: Lieberman's Waterloo and the netroots

From TPM Cafe: Yes, a lot of nationally prominent liberal bloggers are enthusiastic about the Lamont challenge..... So let’s credit the netroots for what they do well - generate enthusiasm, force the big questions onto the agenda, generate a new definition of what it means to be a Democrat.

From Talk/Talk: Salit: The Lieberman/Lamont race is also a story about the so-called net-roots, the ability of this newly emerged constituency within the Democratic Party, to flex their political muscle. Newman: I think they do have a capacity to wield enormous influence, and certainly to get press coverage. Do they have the capacity to win anything of significance inside the Democratic Party? I don’t know that history is on their side, in that regard.

Arkansas: The Constitution stops here.

From Pine Bluff Commercial and KTHV: The Arkansas Sec. of State says biased anti-third party rules are constitutional.....

Arizona: Youth say two-party system is dangerous

From Arizona Star Young Voices: ...Our conclusion after such a long debate over hot topics such as wiretapping, botched elections and the health care system? We need a new political party. A two-party system just isn't cutting it these days. The majority of Americans are middle-of-the-road moderates. There is so much talk of extremist Islamists, but what about the extremist Republicans or Democrats? Fundamentalists, theirs and ours, can be dangerous and misleading. ... [more]

Thursday, July 13, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Texas: Now, what were the issues?
Oregon: The problem with red/blue divide....
Connecticut: Green Party and libertarian candidates do exist...
Maine: Is 50/50 major party split really a balance?
North Carolina: Open Elections Coalition says Pass HB 88!
Pennsylvania: Independents are "ballot clutter"
Talk/Talk: The Shadow Knows

Texas: Now, what were the issues?

Call her Carole or call her Grandma, she still opposes the Trans-Texas Corridor....

Oregon: The problem with red/blue divide....

.From Willamette Week: ...Over the past three decades, the number of registered Democrats in the state has not only failed to keep pace with population growth, it has actually declined in absolute terms. According to the secretary of state's election statistics, there were 794,218 Oregon Democrats in 1976; as of this past May, there were 760,066.
Thirty years ago, 56 percent of registered Oregon voters were Democrats; today, that number is less than 39 percent. ... Democrats not only face a rising Republican tide, they also must compete for a growing and unpredictable cadre of independent voters.
Over the past three decades, voters who register with neither of the major parties have increased far faster than Democrats or Republicans.
Since 1976, nonaffiliated or independent voters have increased by 244 percent and now make up about more than a fifth of the Oregon electorate.
With the two major parties approaching parity, those independent voters play a crucial role in statewide elections. They are nearly impossible to categorize....
[more]

Connecticut: Green Party and libertarian candidates do exist...

News Flash: there are "real" third party candidates and independents running for office....

Maine: Is 50/50 major party split really a balance?

From Kennebec Journal: ...Indeed, when freshman Rep. Barbara Merrill of Appleton dumped her Democratic Party affiliation earlier this year -- she's currently running as an independent candidate for governor -- it left the House in a 73-73 partisan tie.
That caused a bit of indigestion for a few hours until an earlier Democrat-to-independent crossover, Rep. Joanne Twomey of Biddeford, rejoined her old party and restored a one-vote majority status to the Democrats. ...
[more]

North Carolina: Open Elections Coalition says Pass HB 88!

Green Party activist Hart Matthews talks about the two-party monopoly and unfair ballot access....

Pennsylvania: Independents are "ballot clutter"

The Sec. of State wants to keep unfair ballot access laws in place to prevent "ballot clutter"....

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Talk/Talk: The Shadow Knows


From this week's Talk/Talk with Jackie Salit and Fred Newman:
Newman: The real issue in the Lieberman situation is the war in Iraq, and the kind of role that the Iraq war is going to play in the elections this fall and beyond that, in ’08.

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Idaho: Hillary makes appearance for the money
Georgia: Blocker-Adams sparks tribute to voters from opponent
Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond says Hoeffel involved in quid pro quo
Connecticut: Lieberman controversy

Idaho: Hillary makes appearance for the money

From Idaho Mountain News: ...So bankrupt is the system, that Clinton came to the only county in Idaho that voted for Democrats in the last presidential election, to a state with just 17 Democrats in its Legislature, and did—nothing.
Nothing for Idaho Democrats. Nothing for independent voters who after six years of the Bush administration might be thinking, "Maybe it's time for a change." No press conference, no sound bites.
Like Cheney and the Kerrys, Clinton appeared just for the money. ...
[more]

Georgia: Blocker-Adams sparks tribute to voters from opponent

From Augusta Chronicle: ...Answering the same question, state Rep. Quincy Murphy, D-Augusta, who is seeking re-election in House District 120 and is facing a challenge in November from independent candidate Helen Blocker-Adams, said no one leader can change the community for the better. He said voters would have to do their part at the polls.... [more]

Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond says Hoeffel involved in quid pro quo

Russ Diamond (Philadelphia Inquirer) ..."This is the deal that was made so he wouldn't challenge Catherine Baker Knoll in the primary and Ed wouldn't lose support in Western Pennsylvania," said Russ Diamond, an independent candidate for governor and cofounder of PACleanSweep, the grassroots group that fought the pay raise that legislators voted for themselves last year.... [more]

Connecticut: Lieberman controversy

David Brooks says Lieberman is the object of a liberal inquisition (Kansas City Star) ....What’s happening to Lieberman can only be described as a liberal inquisition. Whether you agree with him or not, he is transparently the most kindhearted and well-intentioned of men. But over the past few years he has been subjected to a vituperation campaign that only experts in moral manias and mob psychology are really fit to explain... [more]

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



National: Bloomberg could win in 2008 as an independent
Oregon: Ben Westlund closing in on ballot access
Connecticut: Lieberman prepares for independent run
Massachusetts: Christy Mihos on construction overcharges
Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond criticizes "reformers"
Texas: Kinky and Carole
California: Nonpartisans in Name Only?
Georgia: Helen Blocker-Adams files for the House
New York: Why the Dems are scared of the Independence Party
Oregon: Why voters don't vote

National: Bloomberg could win in 2008 as an independent

...Bloomberg, [Dick] Morris insists, could "not just hurt Hillary Clinton or the Republicans, but actually win the White House.... [more]

Oregon: Ben Westlund closing in on ballot access

Ben Westlund needs about 5,300 more sigs by the end of August!

Connecticut: Lieberman prepares for independent run

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman filed paperwork Monday that will allow him to collect signatures to petition his way onto the November ballot if he loses an August primary..... [more]

Massachusetts: Christy Mihos on construction overcharges

From the Lowell Sun: ...Christy Mihos, an independent candidate for governor and former member of the Turnpike Authority Board and agency critic, called the accident "my worst nightmare come true." He renewed his call for the attorney general to immediately cease any negotiations with Big Dig contractors over construction overcharges and urged the governor to seize control of the Turnpike's day-to-day operations. .... [more]

Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond criticizes "reformers"

From the Pittsburgh Tribune: ...Russ Diamond, a pay-raise opponent trying to get on the ballot as an independent candidate for governor, said he cringes when he hears people in the reform movement praise the Senate's action. The state Constitution says members should receive only salary and milage; it never mentions rental cars, Diamond said.
To Diamond, the Senate's move smacks of "election-year pandering."....[more]

Texas: Kinky and Carole

Sec. of State says "Kinky" is ok, but no-go for "Grandma"...

California: Nonpartisans in Name Only?

From California Progress Report: ....Most voters want candidates who represent centrist positions and embody a combination of ideologies from a variety of political points of view. Extremism on either end appeals to a narrow few. But rarely are centrist candidates supported by their political parties.
Nonpartisan races, where party affiliations are not supposed to matter, should now be called NINOs, for Nonpartisan In Name Only, as more and more nonpartisan races are ruled by party politics.
School board races are nonpartisan and were established that way for a reason: Everyone was supposed to come together for the greater good of the children and the benefit of public education.
Sounds a bit naïve now, doesn’t it? My suggestion to local political leaders recently that perhaps nonpartisan races should be, well, nonpartisan, was met with incredulity and bemusement, as if I were delusional.....
[more]

Georgia: Helen Blocker-Adams files for the House

Congrats to Helen Blocker-Adams, independent candidate for the Georgia House in the 120th - she filed 1,042 sigs yesterday! Keep up the great work, Helen! Read the Augusta Chronicle article... and PJM News: "It's easy to run as a Democrat or Republican," the businesswoman said. "I don't fit into those categories. ... I can't be fake."She said she gets a positive response from most people she meets canvassing neighborhoods. She said the common question among residents is, "Why do you have to do this? It isn't fair."...

Monday, July 10, 2006

New York: Why the Dems are scared of the Independence Party

...The Independence Party gained 121,452 members. The party, with 339,382 members, is now more than twice the size of the Conservative Party.... [more]


...At the same time, the Conservative Party that has been crucial to Republicans has shrunk, while the left-leaning Working Families and Green parties have grown. The wild card, the Independence Party of disaffected Democrats and Republicans and independents, has grown by about 50 percent.
The wavering loyalties come as New Yorkers became more restless with politics as usual.
Four years ago, just 29 percent of New Yorkers were dissatisfied with the way things were going. Today, 54 percent are dissatisfied, and more than half are "very dissatisfied," according to Quinnipiac University polls. ...
[more]

Oregon: Why voters don't vote

From Russell Sadler in BlueOregon:
It is supposed to be an old political joke in election-ridden Oregon: “What if they held an election and no one came? ...Both the Republican and Democratic parties are losing support. Neither represent a majority of voters any longer. About 38 percent are registered Democrats, 34 percent registered Republicans. Everyone else is registered independent or to a “minor” party. To maintain their dwindling control over the political system both Republicans and Democrats use redistricting to pack legislative districts with predictable voters while diluting independent voters by spreading them out in districts where they are impotent minorities, thus disenfranchising unpredictable independents. No wonder some voters get the impression their votes don’t count... [more]

Sunday, July 09, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

Regular readers of The Hankster might notice that we've been a little sparse over the past couple of weeks. I'm in the field collecting signatures in a massive petitioning drive to create County Committees in all five boroughs of New York - we've reached over 4,000 members so far and signed them up. The Independence Party members I am speaking with are very unhappy about the direction the country is going in and are concerned about the war in Iraq in particular. It's not easy, but together we are changing the political culture in our country. I'll keep you posted and in the meantime, Rock on!

Maryland: Ralph Nader on unfair access for independents and minor parties

From the Baltimore Sun:
by Ralph Nader:
...In no other Western democracy do third-party or independent candidates confront more obstacles and exclusions from contributing to a competitive democratic process than in the United States. These include both legal obstacles and an abject lack of media coverage. Legal impediments include ballot access barriers, such as requiring huge numbers of verified signatures subject to arbitrary challenges by state officials, as well as a winner-take-all system without the benefit of instant runoff voting or proportional representation. ... [more]

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Oregon: Open Primary Initiative sigs are in!

12 initiatives might make ballot
Measures include abortion, tax cuts and spending limit
STEVE LAW
Statesman Journal
July 8, 2006
....A measure eliminating partisan primaries also might be in trouble.
Former Secretary of State Phil Keisling, a co-sponsor, said he's "guardedly optimistic" that the open primary can qualify for the ballot, although it will require a validity rate of more than 80 percent.
"We did a lot to get that validity rate up," said Keisling, whose mail-voting initiative in 1998 set the record at 92 percent.
As secretary of state for nine years, Keisling presided over nearly 50 initiatives on the ballot.... [more]

Friday, July 07, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS






Texas: What's up with the Dems?
Texas: Independent Texans endorse Strayhorn
Oregon: Yes to Open Primaries!!!
The Committee for a Unified Independent Party has a new look!

Texas: What's up with the Dems?

Apparently not their fundraising..... Kinky Friedman has raised more money for his campaign than Chris Bell.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Texas: Independent Texans endorse Strayhorn

Independent Texans, the state’s only organization representing independent voters, today announced its post-Independence Day endorsement of Texas Independent Candidate for Governor Carole Keeton “Grandma” Strayhorn.
“Independent Texans is a ‘fusion outfit’. We support candidates of any party affiliation that we believe will recognize the state’s 4.2 million independent voters and the fastest growing voting block,” said Linda Curtis, founder of the group.
Strayhorn received an overwhelming 87% of Independent Texans’ endorsement vote. “We are with Carole not simply because we like her, but because we like that she is preparing with us for a durable long-term movement to clean up and open up Texas politics,” Curtis said. “What’s more Carole has demonstrated, for several years now, that she knows who we are because she’s one of us. We are not just ‘swing voters’ with no particular overriding concerns. In fact we are united to put an end to the petty partisanship which is killing American democracy.”
Strayhorn simultaneously released her own statement on July 5th about the independent endorsement stating, “I am honored to receive the endorsement of Independent Texans. I pledge to put principles above politics and people before parties and to help Texans win their most powerful political reform tool -- statewide initiative and referendum. In addition, as an independent, I continue to challenge all the candidates running, in all races, to support I&R along with an independent redistricting commission. Our political leaders need to be independent and to focus on the state’s real critical issues of our children, our elderly, education, health care, and fiscal responsibility rather than partisan power struggles. For too long, Texans have made it clear they want real concerns solved not studied, and they want the opportunity to make them the law of the land,” Strayhorn said. “I say politicians should not fear, but should embrace, the will of the people. Let the people vote. I&R, through a deliberative and careful process, is the best way to involve people in their government and to stop this regime of special interests and DC lobbyists.”

“Independent Texans leaders have been traveling the state to build our organization as we campaign for One Tough Grandma,” Curtis said. “The Texas gubernatorial race is in the eyes of the nation, as political pundits have begun predicting the emergence of a major independent presidential candidate or party in 2008. Independent Texans hopes to make clear, through Grandma’s candidacy, that you have to work for political reform to get our support, and we are here to stay this course.”
Initiative and referendum, the right of the citizenry to override their legislature through petitioning for a vote of the people, has been enjoyed by citizens in 24 mostly western states for over a century. Texans have I&R rights, but only at the municipal level. Redistricting reform is becoming more popular with voters across the country, particularly in states which have statewide I&R. Most Texas daily newspaper editors stated their support for a redistricting commission when the Governor called three special sessions on redistricting in 2003.
Kinky Friedman received 9%, of the support of Independent Texans. Libertarian James Werner received 2% and the remaining 2% abstained in the endorsement vote. Although Rick Perry and the Democratic nominee, Chris Bell were on our ballot, neither received any support.



For more information contact:
Linda Curtis
Independent Texans
512-535-0989 http://indytexans.org
PO Box 14294
Austin, TX 78761

Oregon: Yes to Open Primaries!!!

The Oregonian says: Sign the petition for Open Primaries - Friday is the deadline....

The Committee for a Unified Independent Party has a new look!




The national strategy center for independent political reform CUIP has launched a new website IndependentVoting.org -- check it out -- and fill out the survey on the 2008 Presidential election! Daily news updates from the mainstream media are available on the home page.

The reactionary thrust of the Republican Party and the visionlessness of the Democratic Party have left a political void. That is why 35% of Americans are independents, rather than identifying themselves with one or the other major party. The void is not, as some analysts argue, a space "at the center” for a centrist party. It is rather an opportunity for independents – regardless of ideology – to come together around a vision of radical political reform that effectively challenges the old partisan institutions and old top-down ways of policymaking.
Congrats to CUIP, making every day Independence Day!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond celebrates Independence Day!

Indie gov candidate Russ Diamond will be out and about over Fourth of July in the Pittsburgh area - go by, say hello and pick up some petitions!


7/3/2006 2:00 p.m. Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta Point State Park 101 Commonwealth Place Pittsburgh PA 15222
Join Russ and Mark Rauterkus at the Regatta and get signatures! Meet at the fountain at 2:00 PM!
For more times and places - Event Contact: Mark Rauterkus, 412-298-3432, mark@rauterkus.com

Inside Zebster: On this Independence Day

Thanks to Inside Zebster: On this Independence Day for the invitation to do a "blogger chain-letter" for Independence Day. For me and many of my colleagues in the New York Independence Party, Independence Day is a great opportunity to build independent politics. Because of the state petitioning rules, we get up early to comb the neighborhoods of Bayside and Jamaica, Queens, the Village and Harlem in Manhattan, Eastchester and the Bronx River Housing Project in the Bronx, Bed-Stuy and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, and Staten Island, gathering signatures to put our candidates on the ballot. This year we are forming County Committees in every borough to fight for local control and grassroots democracy. The state IP leadership has threatened the New York City organization by putting county leadership "interim county organizations" in trustee-ship and even attempted disenrollment of key activists and party members. We take this very seriously, and IP members all over the City are responding to this attack by hack politicians who control the the State Committee from their upstate positions. Thousands of City IP members are signing up for County Committee positions. On this Independence Day 2006, the fight is still to have the voice of the people be heard. It's the Good Fight!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

"Our two-party system is really a one-choice system..."

From the Cherry Hill Courier Post:
Our two-party system is really a one-choice system as it relates to the voter. If you fear the Republicans or just strongly reject them on principle, then you must vote Democrat, regardless of the specific candidate, how far the party has drifted from its traditional ideology or the well-publicized "boss" system common in New Jersey politics. You must vote for the Democrats to prevent "spoiling." The Democrats know it. And because they are virtually guaranteed of being re-elected in most of the blue states, they have no reason to change a thing.
They own you, or at least they own your vote. It's the same for Republicans who own the voters who hate and fear liberals. And the two parties are united in their effort to crush independents so each can retain the loyalty of its respective base without having to earn that loyalty....
[more]