Friday, August 25, 2006

New York: War of Independence

New York Daily News columnist Errol Lewis had this to say today:
War of Independence
by Errol Lewis
New York Newsday
August 25, 2006

The long-running battle for control of the Independence Party is creating a new chapter in the arcane annals of New York election law. The contingent of the party led by Lenora Fulani just discovered that petitions were submitted to challenge hundreds of the party's county committee members in the five boroughs. It's not clear who filed the petitions, but insiders suspect Fulani rival Frank MacKay.

The petitions would set up hundreds of write-in primaries for the obscure committee positions. In cases where no vote was cast, the seats would be declared vacant - and if enough vacancies were created in a county (or borough), the entire committee would be dissolved.


Harry Kresky, an election lawyer affiliated with Fulani, says he expects to have the petitions declared invalid in federal court. But the affair provides an interesting road map to those bent on killing off minor parties - a fact that should concern leaders of the Working Families and Conservative parties.

New York: Hillary faces anti-war challenger Jonathan Tasini in Dem primary

From MidHudson News:
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton leads anti-war challenger Jonathan Tasini 86 – 10 percent among New York State likely Democratic primary voters, including leaners, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Four percent are undecided and 13 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind before the September 12 primary.

In general election matchups, Clinton leads either of two possible Republican challengers by more than 2 – 1 among registered voters, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds 64 – 24 percent over former Pentagon official Kathleen McFarland; 62 – 26 percent over former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer.... [more]

Connecticut: Out Dem Spot!

Despite some local Dem demands, Lieberman will remain on the rolls as a Dem...

Sometimes...

...when you click on a picture posted on The Hankster, it will take you to a relevant article or an interesting website.... It's a Wonderland!

Connecticut: Curiouser and curiousier...


Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) hit media paydirt today by saying that the US needs a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq. This in the face of "anti-war" Dem opponent Diane Farrell who opposes a timeline in favor of an exit strategy....

Arkansas: Independent gov candidate Rod Bryan excluded from debate

From Arkansas News Bureau:
...No other candidates for governor will be included in a series of debates featuring Democrat Mike Beebe and Republican Asa Hutchinson, campaign officials for the two major party candidates said Thursday. Independent candidate Rod Bryan of Little Rock expressed frustration with being excluded. "It's a scheme of the Hutchinson and Beebe campaigns to privatize the debate process," Bryan said, describing the two as "corporate candidates."... [more]

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Washington: The rights of parties vs. the rights of the voters


From yesterday's New York Times:
Washington: Ruling on Primary System
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: August 23, 2006

A federal appellate court refused to reinstate the state’s primary system, in which the top two vote-getters for each office advanced to the general election, regardless of political affiliation. A three-judge panel said the system infringed on the rights of political parties to choose their own nominees. Judge Thomas Zilly of Federal District Court ruled the system unconstitutional last summer before it was ever used.

Hankster Mini Poll Results

This poll ran from August 14 - August 24:
Joe Lieberman is running for the Senate as an independent. What do you think of this plan?
1. He's a sore loser Democrat trying to opportunize off of the growth of the independent movement. Votes - 19 (66%)

2. Hey, it's a free country. The more candidates in the race, the better. Votes - 6 (21%)

3. Good for him. The Democratic Party has shifted too far to the left and does not reflect the majority view. Votes - 4 (14%)

4. It's a mistake. The independent campaign will use up resources needed to campaign against Republicans. Votes - 0 (0%)


Don't miss the next poll: What does it mean to be an independent? (see the sidebar)

The Libertarian Alternative - Ballot Access News

Interview with Richard Winger of Ballot Access News on the obstacles facing third parties in the US.

New York: Where (or what's) the beef?

From Newsday, we have an update on the culinary proclivities of the upstate IP Chief Disenrollment Officer:

"Frank MacKay, the New York State and Suffolk County Independence Party chairman, meets so many officials and political hopefuls for breakfast in the Rocky Point Diner that he says, "The diner is like a second home to me. Sometimes they joke about charging me rent." "

We suppose that's where the sausage gets made.....

Lamont/Lieberman: Who's on first?

The latest in the Lamont/Lieberman race:

Of organized labor in Connecticut, the UAW and SEIU stayed neutral during the Dem primary that Ned Lamont won, and who, by the way, will be meeting with Hillary on Friday. What will they do now? Other big guns like AFSCME and the AFL-CIO leadership are sticking with Lieberman.... who, by the way, is on the ballot now...

One Californian writing in to the Hartford Courant blog seems very clear where he stands:
"Mr. Lieberman is neither an independent candidate, nor is he a candidate for the Independent Party of Connecticut. Mr. Lieberman is the candidate representing the 'Connecticut for Lieberman' Party. I'm not sure what platforms the party takes, but based on the name, I'm pretty sure it's about ensuring that Connecticut ensures the needs of it's Lieberman are better served through better governance. "Either way, please correct the error. He's not an independent, he is a party man just not the Democratic Party (who voted against him)."

Rush Limbaugh paused in his radio show on Sunday to remind us that Lieberman is still a liberal: "You know, folks, I want to say something here. I know that there is a lot of sentiment here attached to Joe Lieberman and there is a lot of appreciation for Joe Lieberman because he's right on the war on terror, and he is paying a price in the Democrat Party for supporting President Bush and the war, and that's great, and that's all well and good, and I know that there are some Republicans out there who are going to raise money for him and are going to vote for him, and that's fine, and that's all well and good. But let's not forget Joe Lieberman gets a 97 or 98 percent ADA rating. He is a full-fledged 100% liberal. ... "
Uhhh..... thanks, Rush.... I guess he's not the bargain some folks thought.... hmmmm.....

The New York Times puts it like this: "Mr. Lieberman’s stronger comments about Iraq and the Middle East seem a reflection of his desire to win over independents and Republicans who are considered more likely to support Mr. Bush and the war than Democratic primary voters."
Hmmmm..... I wonder which "independents" the author was thinking about here; clearly she didn't speak to any.....

And from Jackie Salit and Fred Newman's Talk/Talk, some thoughtful talk about what independents are doing and need to do:
Salit: On this theme, we talked last week about the mischaracterization of the independent movement as pro-war and Lieberman’s move to run “independent” bringing that to the surface.... [Six months ago] The question would have been: I can see how you’re going to get support from Republicans and from independents, but how are you going to make your case to Democrats who are opposed to the war? There would have been a presumption that there wasn’t a gap between McCain’s position on the war and where independent voters were at. I thought it was interesting that Gregory highlighted that cleavage.
Newman: I don’t know that independents can claim that anti-war base of support. It’s broader than the independent movement. It’s bigger than the independent movement. I think independents, who are a substantial base in and of themselves – 30 to 35 percent – need to engage the question of how they’re going to relate to the anti-war movement. Whether they can take it independent is the political question for independents. I don’t know if they can.....

Pennsylvania: Chilling, huh?


From MSNBC:
Court: Nader must pay for election suit
Implication of 'fraud and deception' in their petition drive

Ralph Nader is being charged $80,000 by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to pay for proceedings brought by [Democratic Party] complaints that knocked him off the ballot in 2004.

Pennsylvania: Green Party goes for lower sig requirement in court

From Central PA and LeHigh Valley PennLive:
The Green Party of Pennsylvania argued yesterday that the statewide judicial retention last year constituted an election, and that the Pennsylvania Department of State should have based the third-party signature requirement on the number of "yes" votes Justice Sandra Schultz Newman received.... If Judge James Gardner Collins agrees, that would mean statewide minor-party candidates would have had to submit 15,949 valid signatures. The current requirement is 67,070 signatures. ... This would make a difference for Russ Diamond, who collected 26,000 signatures, but dropped out of the governor's race when it became clear he would not be able to get 67,070 signatures. [more]

Arkansas: Ballot access ruling helps third parties



From Arkansas News:
On behalf of the Green Party, the ACLU has been contesting Arkansas election laws that requires three times as many signatures for a third party to get on the ballot as for an independent candidate. The judge ruled in favor of lowering the sigs:

"Arkansas' 3 percent requirement in its party-recognition scheme is not narrowly drawn to serve a compelling state interest," Howard said in the ruling. "The 10,000-signature threshold is a sufficient modicum of support to serve the state's interest in avoid cluttered ballots."....[more]

More from KTHV Little Rock....

Massachusetts: Mihos's signatures enough to qualify

From the Boston Globe:
...The secretary of the Commonwealth's office certified 18,193 of the signatures yesterday afternoon, according to the Mihos campaign, eclipsing the 10,000 minimum needed to make the ballot.... [more]

The AP also ran a blurb about the Mihos sigs....

California: What's an independent to do????

From Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee:
...The gulf between the Legislature and reality widened further five years ago when leaders of the two major parties cooked up a redistricting deal to fix the Capitol's status quo by designating the party ownership of all 120 legislative districts. It strengthened the influence of narrow interest groups in party primaries, rendered the November elections meaningless and effectively disenfranchised millions of independent voters.... [more]

Whacha gonna do? Call Party-Busters!!:

From IndyBay
CALIFORNIA INDEPENDENTS DRIVE REFORM AGENDA INTO GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION
by Jason Olson ( jolson [at] independentvoice.org ) Tuesday Aug 22nd, 2006 12:14 PM
San Francisco, CA …
IndependentVoice.org, a California organization which promotes the power of the state’s 3.6 million independent voters, launched the next stage of a campaign today to directly involve independent voters in the upcoming California gubernatorial election by introducing their agenda for political reform and challenging all candidates to endorse it. [more]

Monday, August 21, 2006

New York: Will the Independence Party be independent, or will it be a weenie?

From upstate Times Herald Record:
...Yeah, it's not easy being New York's third largest political party. These pressures might explain what would drive leaders of the state's Independence Party to endorse a bunch of Democrats for statewide offices while allowing ex-Republicans to gain sway over party organizations in Broome, Cayuga and Orange counties.
"Building third parties is like making sausage," state Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay said. "It's a lot easier to swallow if you don't see it made."... [
more]

Texas: Cheap shot...

Is this a "cheap shot" by Kinky's campaign?

Friedman says campaign should not have filed complaint
08/20/2006 Associated Press
Dallas Morning News
Kinky Friedman said his campaign should not have filed a criminal complaint against fellow independent gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn over possible illegal use of state employees.
But Friedman said he won't ask his campaign manager Dean Barkley to withdraw the complaint because Barkley thinks it has merit. Friedman also declined to apologize for the filing as Strayhorn's campaign said he should.
Barkley filed the complaint with Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle after reports this month that Strayhorn, the state comptroller, had used her state staff to produce briefing papers for political events. Earle's office typically does not investigate charges made by one candidate against another until after an election.... [
more]

Missouri: You gotta SHOW these independents...

Show-Me State Showdown
By Gloria Borger
US News & World Report
Sunday, August 20, 2006
...The plans are obvious, but tricky to execute-especially in a state as notoriously independent as Missouri. Two years ago, George W. Bush beat John Kerry statewide by 7 points, and there's a Republican governor and two GOP senators. Yet now Bush's approval rating sits at 40 percent, and the GOP governor is only a hair more popular. Then there's this: Fifty-four percent of the Missourians say the war in Iraq was a mistake; 77 percent of the state's self-described independent voters say the country is headed in the wrong direction. Not exactly a Republican-incumbent-friendly environment.... [more]

Oregon: Westlund represented a threat to entrenched political interests...

From Russell Sadler at BlueOregon:
Westlund's Withdrawal
...The cutesy treatment is summed up in an Oregonian columnist’s headline, “Ben Quixote: The Windmills Win Again.” Westlund is not Don Quixote. Dismissing Westlund’s independent candidacy as quixotic deliberately marginalizes the threat he represented to entrenched political interests and the voters who rallied to him...[more]

Lieberman: Yup! He sounds like a Democrat alright...

From Reuters:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sen. Joseph Lieberman, seeking to slip out of a perceived White House embrace, insisted on Sunday he was a loyal Democrat and criticized the Bush administration's post-invasion Iraq war policy.... [more]

From Connecticut Post:
WASHINGTON Sen. Joe Lieberman on Sunday called on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign and backed an international conference to find a way out of the crisis in Iraq.... [more]

Pennsylvania: Number of independent voters has doubled in Philly surburbs

From The Morning Call:
Philly's suburbs turning from GOP
Republicans are losing ground in four counties they've had for decades.
By Marc Levy Of The Associated Press
...In the past 16 years, registered Democrats have added almost 7 percentage points to their ranks and now number a little more than one-third of voters in the four-county area. The percentage of independents and minor party members has nearly doubled, to 14 percent.... [more]

Sunday, August 20, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


New York: Upstate Independence Party - is it no longer independent?
California: CALIFORNIA INDEPENDENTS DRIVING REFORM AGENDA
Texas: Pols don't like Strayhorn's independence!
Lamont/Lieberman: The voters vs. the Dem leadership
Youth Culture: Newark Development School for Youth gets corporate support
Independent Voter Blues

New York: Upstate Independence Party - is it no longer independent?

From Times Herald Record:
Major parties snatch bits of Independence
By Brendan Scott
August 20
When is the Independence Party no longer independent? When it's infiltrated by major-party bigwigs who use its influence to support favored candidates.... [more]

California: CALIFORNIA INDEPENDENTS DRIVING REFORM AGENDA INTO GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN

From IndependentVoice.org press release:

Organization Using Internet to Give California's 3.6 Million Independent Voters a Voice
San Francisco, CA
August 19, 2006

IndependentVoice.org, a California organization which promotes the power of the state's 3.6 million independent voters, launched the next stage of a campaign today to directly involve independent voters in the upcoming California gubernatorial election by introducing their agenda for political reform and challenging all candidates to endorse it.

The campaign has already resulted in political reform becoming a defining issue in the election with both Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic challenger Phil Angelides strongly advocating a political reform agenda.


Statewide polls show that independents, who currently make up 23% of registered voters, will likely be the determining factor in who wins the race for Governor this year. In the most recent polls, Governor Schwarzenegger has a slight lead with independents, with the overwhelming majority still undecided.

IndependentVoice.org, formerly called the Committee for an Independent Voice, is not new to statewide politics. It was one of the key players in both the 2004 Open Primary Intitiative campaign (Prop 62) as well as the Redistricting Reform Initiative in 2005 (Proposition 77), and its support recently helped put Ron Dellums over the top by 155 votes in the Oakland Mayoral Race.

"Politicians in this state and across the country are beginning to realize the importance and power of independent voters," said IndependentVoice.org spokesperson Jim Mangia, the former National Secretary of the Reform Party, who is leading the effort to reach out to all gubernatorial campaigns, major and minor party alike. "Independents defy traditional political labels and come from across the political spectrum. What we share is an understanding that radical democratic reform of the political process and of government is the urgent political necessity of the day."

Since 1990 the number of voters registered outside the two major parties has doubled, while the percentage of Democratic and Republican Party registrants has declined. In recent days both Democratic challenger Angelides and Governor Schwarzenegger have embraced various political reform issues - from redistricting reform to public financing of campaigns to a package to attack political corruption.

As part of its ongoing discussions and dialogues with the candidates IndependentVoice.org has sent out a questionnaire to governor hopefuls on issues of political reform and the importance of the independent voter.

A series of meetings and dialogues with candidates and/or their representatives is already underway. IndependentVoice.org recently launched a major internet outreach via its website (
www.independentvoice.org), and has been polling, holding conference calls and meetings with independent voters across the state--briefing them on candidate responses and the growing prominence of political reform issues.

"The thrust of the campaign is to bring independent voters into direct dialogue with the candidates around our issues, in a way in which we haven't yet seen in American politics," says Mangia. "Independents are tired of watching the political process abused by partisanship and special interests while serious issues go unresolved. This year, we're organizing to flex our political muscle. And it's a voting block that neither Schwarzenegger nor Angelides can win without!"

CONTACT: Jason Olson 415-393-9970/415-606-4130 jolson@independentvoice.org
www.independentvoice.org


From San Francisco Chronicle:
Governor speaks to GOP right .At party convention he uses immigration to attack Angelides and appeal to conservatives [more]

Texas: Pols don't like Strayhorn's independence!

From Houston Chronicle:
Strayhorn says her politics remain true. But switching of parties, stands has critics calling her an opportunist... [more]

Lamont/Lieberman: The voters vs. the Dem leadership

From Connecticut Journal Inquirer:
...Though Lieberman is running as an Independent, he said Friday that he has received assurances from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., that he would retain his leadership positions within the Democratic caucus if he were to win the general election, according to an Associated Press report.... [more]

Youth Culture: Newark Development School for Youth gets corporate support

From Newark Star Ledger:
...At 17, Smith had enough drive to start her first corporate internship. Now a college junior, she is on her second internship, working this summer at insurance company MetLife in Bridgewater. Her determination is typical of students from the Development School for Youth, a 14-week program for disadvantaged young people run by the nonprofit All Stars Project of Newark. Some of those high school students win internships at New Jersey corporations and a chance to crack the Fortune 500. ... During the past six years, 200 high school students have participated in the leadership training program for urban youths ages 16 to 21. Workshops led by senior executives and business professionals train them how to dress for the workplace, interview for a job, write a resume and speak in public.
This summer, more than 60 students received paid internships at more than two dozen New Jersey companies, including MetLife, Prudential and Merrill Lynch.... [
more]

Friday, August 18, 2006

Independent Voter Blues

i was born in the delta
raised in the city
i'm an independent
but jim crow been following me

I got the blues
I got the blues
I got those second class citizen independent voter blues

independent voters
gonna mull it over
the 2-party system
hey - who's the victim?

I got the blues
I got the blues
I got those second class citizen independent voter blues

Well, my mama was a democrat
said that was her game
my daddy was republican
hell - they're almost the same
i'm an independent
they don't even know my name
["declined to state"]
i'm an independent voter
I tell you, it’s a shame
I’m an independent
Jim Crow ain’t my name

independent voters
["undeclared" "blank"]
independent voters
gonna mull it over

I got the blues
I got the blues
I got those second class citizen independent voter blues
Gonna mull it over

well now i went down south
they called me a liberal!
i went up north
told me i was a conservative?
took a trip out west
found out i was a centrist
when i got back east
i was nothing but a moderate

i got the blues
who knew
I got the blues
I got those second class citizen independent voter blues
i'm an independent voter
gonna mull it over
cause this 2-party system
got us lookin' like the victim

who knew?
i was blue
i'm an independent voter
just like you

independent voters
gonna mull it over
independent voters
gonna mull it over

well, you can call me al
i won't come unhinged
you can call me late for supper
but don't you call me fringe

i'm an independent voter
35 percent
i'm an independent voter
let me tell you where I went...

I went up to the State House
gonna tell ‘em what for
Senators and Congressmen
All in a partisan war

I got the blues
I got the blues
I got those second class citizen independent voter blues

Well I went down to Washington
And I don’t have to tell you
Democracy just don’t have a chance
Unless we lose these independent voter blues

I got the blues
I got the blues
I got those second class citizen independent voter blues

well this 2 party system
got us in a mess
got us in a war
and a healthcare crisis

I got the blues
I got the blues

most independents
don’t like how it looks
it don’t matter which party
turns up the heat while we cook

I’m an independent voter
They tell me it’s the Party that counts
Gonna mull it over
I got my doubts

I’m an independent voter
Jim Crow ain’t my name
35 percent
now ain’t that a shame?

I’m an independent voter
Gonna talk to my neighbor
Gonna mull it over
Gonna talk to labor
Gonna talk to the preacher
Gonna talk to the teachers

I got the blues
I got the blues
We gotta get smarter
Gotta lose those second class citizen independent voter blues

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


New York: Bloomberg would have to run for President as an independent...
California: Is Gov. Schwarzenegger currying favor among independent voters?
Texas: Trans-Texas Corridor firm hires ex-Perry aide
Lamont/Lieberman: The right to vote for someone other than Joe Lieberman...
South Carolina: Independent voters should have as much right as partisan voters
Georgia: Helen Blocker-Adams in on the ballot!
Arkansas blog: The third party case

New York: Bloomberg would have to run for President as an independent...



From Henry J. Stern in the New York Sun:
...Mr. Bloomberg faces the same issue he did in his mayoral race: in which party should he compete. When he ran in New York City, he took over the moribund Republican Party and used it as his political base. Six years later, the Republicans have not gained strength here. In fact, for the last two elections they did not even offer a candidate for comptroller or public advocate. The mayor, however, was twice elected on the Republican line, with the support of the Independence Party, claimed to have been cleansed of its radicals, and in 2005 the Liberal Party, who were enabled to qualify by Bloomberg volunteers.

For 2008 the Democratic and Republican nominations appear to be pretty well sewed up by existing contenders or by other party regulars, so Mr. Bloomberg's candidacy would have to be on an independent line. It is not impossible to qualify for the ballot. Ross Perot did it in all 50 states in 1992 and 1996, polling a remarkable 19,743,821 votes, or 18.9% of the total, the highest vote ever for a third party candidate. Many Perot votes were from people who were dissatisfied with both Bush the first and Bill Clinton. More Perotians are considered to have been Bush supporters than Clintonistas, so his candidacy was instrumental, if not decisive, in Mr. Clinton's victory with 43% of the vote.... [link]

California: Is Gov. Schwarzenegger currying favor among independent voters?

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
...Like a lot of conservative voters, the 66-year-old Nichols said he's disillusioned with the governor's recent efforts to recast himself as a political moderate in order to curry favor among Democrats and independent voters.... [more]

Texas: Trans-Texas Corridor firm hires ex-Perry aide


From Dallas/Ft. Worth Star Telegram:
Associated Press
DALLAS - Republican Gov. Rick Perry's former liaison to the Legislature is working once again for the Spanish company that won the rights to develop the state's $7 billion Trans-Texas Corridor toll road project.
Lobbyist Dan Shelley worked for the firm as a consultant just before he went to the governor's office, a connection first revealed in 2004.... [
more]

Lamont/Lieberman: The right to vote for someone other than Joe Lieberman...

From columnist Froma Harrop, Seattle Times:
...No, Connecticut's voters don't owe Lieberman a lifetime job in Washington. Of his defeat in the primary, Lieberman said, "I cannot and will not let that result stand." You'd think that Connecticut Democrats had staged a coup d'état rather than run a primary.

A lot of good Americans domiciled in Connecticut happen to think that they have the right to vote for someone other than Joe Lieberman. And while this may disturb elements of right-wing punditry, Lamont voters can plausibly claim to be doing so in the national interest.... [more]

South Carolina: Independent voters should have as much right as partisan voters

From the Myrtle Beach Sun News:
...The natural instinct of political parties in every state is to frustrate or exclude voters who lack a strong sense of party identification. For them, it's a matter of party survival in an era when voters are increasingly independent-minded. If enough voters lose their sense of party identification, the parties could lose their power to organize elections, organize legislatures and raise money for candidates.... [more]

Right on Sun News!!!

Georgia: Helen Blocker-Adams in on the ballot!

From the Augusta Chronicle:
The race for state House District 120 is officially on. The Georgia Secretary of State's Office confirmed in a Tuesday letter that independent candidate Helen Blocker-Adams has enough valid signatures of registered voters in the district to seek the seat. Ms. Blocker-Adams had to get 978 valid signatures from residents of the district who were registered to vote at least 30 days before the 2004 election, and she got verification on 1,163. She had 1,556 signatures on her petition. She is challenging two-term incumbent Democrat Quincy Murphy in the Nov. 7 election.

Arkansas blog: The third party case

In case you wondered:
The Green Party, courtesy of the ACLU, took its case to federal court today on the state's stupid and unconstitutional interpretation of ballot access, i.e., that you need more signatures to put a third party candidate on the ballot than an independent candidate.....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Rob Redding and Lenora Fulani
New York: Court says no disenrollment for Lenora Fulani, Fred Newman and supporters
Lamont/Lieberman: An American Challenge
Oregon: Westlund, Open Primaries, and Centrism fail...

New York: Court says no disenrollment for Lenora Fulani, Fred Newman and supporters

Fulani’s Victory
August 15, 2006
by Elizabeth Benjamin, Albany Times Union blog with links to the legal decision:
The Daily News reported today that state Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay’s efforts to get Lenora Fulani and her supporters excommunicated from the party - a move at least tacitly supported by a certain U.S. senator and a likely soon-to-be governor - aren’t going so well.
State Supreme Court justices in Brooklyn (last week) and Manhattan (yesterday) ruled MacKay and other party leaders can’t eject Fulani and her ally, Fred Newman, simply because of anti-Semitic statements they made two decades ago and have since refused to repudiate.... [
more]

Fulani ban nixed
BY BARBARA ROSS
DAILY NEWS, Aug 15
The Independence Party can't boot Lenora Fulani's supporters just because she and a top aide made racist, anti-Semitic statements 20 years ago, a judge ruled yesterday.The decision by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Emily Jane Goodman means that 134 Fulani allies in Manhattan can stay on the party rolls. Last week, a Brooklyn judge made a similar ruling about party members in that borough... [more]


From NYC Independence Party press release:
Court Rejects Independence Chair MacKay’s Effort to Disenroll Fulani, Newman and 100 + Party MembersCites lack of Evidence of “Disloyalty”
...Fred Newman, a central target in MacKay’s attempted purge, applauded the Judge’s decision and stated:"Judge Goodman’s decision is very thoughtful and fair. She suggests that Frank MacKay’s motives might have been political. Dr. Fulani and I believe that this was politically motivated through and through."

"MacKay and his upstate cronies tried to use—and abuse—state election law to effect a purge against the most loyal, most successful and most committed branch of the Independence Party. He did so at the direct public urging of Eliot Spitzer and Hillary Clinton. The entire New York political establishment, from the media to the Mayor (whom we got elected twice), was prepared to give him a pass. Fortunately, the court called MacKay on the carpet and said the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the State of New York take precedence over the machinations of petty tyrants."

"The reason so many voters are becoming independents today is that they can’t stand the corruption of the political system. Today’s court decision means that the independent movement can be free of that kind of corruption." [more]

Lamont/Lieberman: An American Challenge

What does it mean to be a political independent in America in 2006? We need full discussion of American foreign policy, and independents must lead this discussion -- it won't come from partisan jockying for elected positions...

Jesse Jackson Column: The Fear Peddlers
BlackNews.com8/15/2006 © Tribune Media Services
...And yet according to Cheney and the Republican noise machine, the voters who chose Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman, the president’s leading Democratic cheerleader – and the nearly two-thirds of Americans who think the war is a mistake are giving aid and comfort to the enemy. These smears are likely to get worse. Republican pollsters have decided that aggressively attacking anyone who seeks a change in Iraq can rouse their base and raise doubts among independent voters. It’s the best chance they’ve got to survive their failed policies. We’re going to see a lot of ugly charges over the next weeks.... [more]

All Eyes On The Courant
With Joey Cadieux's worm stand back in business in Cromwell, the topic of conversation among readers returned to Lieberman and Lamont.
Hartford Courant blog,Aug 17
Referendum On Iraq
A Norwich reader wrote: "Well, I do say I am mystified by the comments of American citizens that the primary results in Connecticut will aid the enemy. How dare American citizens get off their duffs and go to the polls in the largest voter turnout in the history of a Connecticut primary and voice their concern about a policy that, by now, is clear to a kindergartner is failing miserable. That just goes to show that if you give the average citizen the right to vote they just might use it. What a shocker!!! call Rush Limbaugh, call 60 minutes, call the New York Times, this is democracy in action and must be stopped.... [more]

Oregon: Westlund, Open Primaries, and Centrism fail...

Ben Westlund
The newly ex-gubernatorial candidate's own words on why his boomlet fizzled.
BY HENRY STERN & MARK ZUSMAN
Willamette Week, Aug 16
...Westlund says his campaign did in fact gather more than 48,000 signatures to make the ballot (more than twice the 18,368 he needed). But he believes that state rules limiting the voters who could sign his ballot petitions to those who didn't participate in the May 16 primary fatally hamstrung his campaign. That's because he couldn't begin gathering signatures until after the primary, draining time and energy while Saxton and Kulongoski picked up key endorsements that Westlund at least thought he could have competed for. ... [more]

It’s getting lonely in the middle in state politics
The Lake Oswego Review, Aug 16
The withdrawal of independent candidate Ben Westlund from the governor’s race and the failure of the open-primary initiative to make the fall ballot illustrate that the middle is no longer the place to be in Oregon politics.... [more]

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS










Lamont/Lieberman: Who's the real independent?!
California: Don't let redistricting reform die
Theater: A Brechtian betrayal in postmodern Berlin
New York: Court Rejects Independence Chair MacKay’s Effort to Disenroll Fulani, Newman and 100+ Party Members
Independent Voters: David Lesher interview

Lamont/Lieberman: Will the real independent please stand up!

From the liberal newspaper of record New York Times to the right-wing National Review to the independent Talk/Talk, everyone's talking about Lamont/Lieberman. Don't forget to vote on the Hankster Mini Poll this week: "Joe Lieberman is running for the Senate as an independent. What do you think of this plan?" (see the sidebar)


New Lieberman Retooling Race as Independent
By PATRICK HEALY and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
New York Times, August 16, 2006
...“I told Lamont, don’t listen to the right wing saying you can’t win with Sharpton and Jesse Jackson by your side, because you already did win with Sharpton and Jackson with you,” Mr. Sharpton said. “He can’t let the right wing pressure him in subtracting supporters from his side — he has to focus on addition.”
Lieberman aides said that Mr. Lamont’s association with Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson — both of whom campaigned vigorously for Mr. Lamont — was a political albatross that helped explain why Mr. Lieberman believed he could win over a majority of voters.... [
more]


The Lieberman Purge
Politics where there shouldn’t be.
By Ted Frank
National Review
...What is perhaps most disturbing about the purge of Lieberman (aside from the virulent anti-Semitism all too present in the fever swamps that are the comment sections of various left-wing blogs) is the use against him of the quote that had so many Lieberman opponents upset, repeated time and time again by left-wing bloggers Glenn Greenwald, Daily Kos, and Atrios: “It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years. And that in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.”... [more]


The Beat Goes Independent and Center-Left
Talk/Talk
with Jackie Salit and Fred Newman
Sunday, August 13, 2006
...But we have to get into this Connecticut thing and ask the question, What is it that Joe Lieberman is independent of? Because he’s trying to pass himself off as an independent. He’s no independent. Independent doesn’t mean that you talk with people across the aisle. That’s what elected officials are supposed to do to govern. That’s not independent. Independent means having a position independent of partisan politics, it’s a new politic, a new substantive politic and position, as opposed to some of the more reactionary positions of both the Democrats and the Republicans who currently run Washington and run most of the states. That’s what independent means.... [more]

California: Don't let redistricting reform die

LAWMAKERS NEED TO STOP PROTECTING THEIR PERKS AND START ENABLING FAIR BOUNDARIES
Mercury News Editorial
...Legislators, led by Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Los Angeles, and a coalition of good-government groups, including the Commonwealth Club and Common Cause, worked for a year drafting a compromise responding to legislators' objections. The ``sweeping package'' that the leaders referred to included an ill-conceived, controversial scheme to link redistricting reform with an initiative to lengthen term limits for legislators.... [more]

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Theater: A Brechtian betrayal in postmodern Berlin



From Deutsche Welle:
Heiner Müller said in an interview once that "to use Brecht without criticizing him is to betray him." Turning "The Threepenny Opera" into a wax museum musical was one such betrayal...... ....The most contradictory -- and most Brechtian -- moment of the evening happened outside the theater. The elegant guests were greeted on arrival by a couple of homeless Berliners selling a special edition of their newspaper, Strassenfeger (Street Sweeper), entirely dedicated to the new production of "The Threepenny Opera." It is fascinating what kind of advertising a budget of 3.5 million euros ($4.5 million) can get you..... [more]

Monday, August 14, 2006

New York: Court Rejects Independence Chair MacKay’s Effort to Disenroll Fulani, Newman and 100+ Party Members

From NYC Independence Party press release:

Court Rejects Independence Chair MacKay’s Effort to Disenroll Fulani, Newman and 100 + Party Members

Cites lack of Evidence of “Disloyalty”

New York, NY—New York State Supreme Court Judge Emily Jane Goodman today dismissed a court action initiated by Independence Party state chair Frank MacKay to disenroll over 100 Independence Party members from Manhattan. Last week, Judge Joseph Levine dismissed a similar action in Brooklyn Supreme Court where 24 Independence members were also targeted for disenrollment.

In the decision, Judge Goodman stated that “no evidence has been submitted to this Court that Respondents did, in fact, violate the principles,” of the party. Goodman also affirmed that statements by Lenora Fulani and Fred Newman, which were cited in the disenrollment attempt, were not made in connection with any party activity, and had been made years prior to the founding of the party. She further stated that “While the Court is not going to speculate on the motive for bringing this Petition now …it appears to be more political than philosophical.”

Fred Newman, a central target in MacKay’s attempted purge, applauded the Judge’s decision and stated:

"Judge Goodman’s decision is very thoughtful and fair. She suggests that Frank MacKay’s motives might have been political. Dr. Fulani and I believe that this was politically motivated through and through."

"MacKay and his upstate cronies tried to use—and abuse—state election law to effect a purge against the most loyal, most successful and most committed branch of the Independence Party. He did so at the direct public urging of Eliot Spitzer and Hillary Clinton. The entire New York political establishment, from the media to the Mayor (whom we got elected twice), was prepared to give him a pass. Fortunately, the court called MacKay on the carpet and said the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the State of New York take precedence over the machinations of petty tyrants."

"The reason so many voters are becoming independents today is that they can’t stand the corruption of the political system. Today’s court decision means that the independent movement can be free of that kind of corruption."

Independence Party of New York County
225 Broadway, Suite 2010 ~ New York, NY 10007
Phone (212) 962-1699 Fax (212) 803-1899
Cathy L. Stewart - Chair For Immediate
Release:August 14, 2006
Contact: Sarah Lyons
212-962-1824 / 917-658-9885

Independent Voters: David Lesher interview

Former LA Times writer and current director of the New America Foundation's California Program, David Lesher talks about how the increase of Independent voters is shaping the political landscape.

New York: State Supreme Court rejects disenrollment of Fulani supporters

From Ballot Access News, August 12th, 2006
On August 11, a New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn rejected attempts by the state organization of the Independence Party to expel supporters of Lenora Fulani. The court cited procedural problems with the Independence Party’s methods. The case involves members living in Brooklyn and Staten Island. A similar case involving members in Manhatten is still pending.

Texas: Strayhorn goes for it...

From Dallas Morning News:
Strayhorn stumps along corridor route
She's making personal rallies out of required hearings on Perry plan
Monday, August 14, 2006
By CHRISTY HOPPE / The Dallas Morning News
ST. HEDWIG, Texas – From the parking lot jammed with pickups, past the tables with campaign T-shirts and into the overflowing high school auditorium, Carole Keeton Strayhorn works the linoleum aisle as if it's her own political rally.... [
more]

Connecticut: The Lieberman side show

From the Washington Times:
...Exit polling suggests that although Mr. Lieberman can rely on support in November from most of the voters who picked him in last week's Democratic primary -- which he lost 52 percent to 48 percent to businessman Ned Lamont -- he still must draw support from a significant number of Republican and independent voters to win. ... [more]

And from the Hartford Courant:
by Kevin Rennie
The hypocracy of Lieberman: "The man who has spent more than three decades as a grasping, partisan Democrat suddenly hated party politics...." [more]

Oregon: Westlund campaign only one stop on this train....

From the Register Guard:
....Those 427,250 independents, along with quite a few Democrats and Republicans, are looking for someone who can break free of a style of politics that seems increasingly stale and unresponsive..... [more]

And From the Corvallis Gazette Times:
... Now that he is out of the race, the remaining candidates are trying to woo his supporters. Good luck to them. His supporters may not find anyone similar. Westlund represented an independent thinker not seen in Oregon since Tom McCall.... [more]

Texas: inherited its zany politics from the Brits

And on the lighter side.....
James E. Barlow (Commentary)
Special to the San Antonio Express-News
Web Posted: 08/12/2006 06:00 PM CDT

Texans have always been bizarre in their politics. After all, they elected me, didn't they?

It looks like we will reach a zenith in this century in the race among Rick Perry, Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Freedman.... [
more]

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Lieberman/Lamont

There's a lot of attention in the press to the Lamont win over Lieberman in Connecticut, and Lieberman's run as an independent:

* Eli Pariser commentary (Concord Monitor)* Don't count Lieberman out (Norwich Bulletin)* Andrew Sullivan commentary (UK Times online)* Michael Moore, Stalinist (Pioneer Press)* What it means for Hillary (NY Times Herald Record)* Not a national trend (Salem Statesman Journal)* Lowell Weicker sees the differences (Dallas Morning News)

And from last Sunday's Talk/Talk:
Salit: Your point about the methodology here is a good one. But, Lamont’s critics say he hasn’t articulated a particularly clear cut position on the war.
Newman: I don’t agree with them. I think it’s crystal clear to every voter in the state of Connecticut, certainly among the Democrats, who stands for what. Everyone knows what the issue is. It’s a vote on that question. And it’s about time that there was at least some vote on that question. It would be nice if there had been a national vote on it in the last presidential, but John Kerry decided not to run that way. These people won’t raise those kinds of questions in a clear cut way because they’re always trying to do something which they call “playing to the center.” But all you get from that is that you don’t have any clear cut policy choices....

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mexico: In the spirit of Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

From New York Times op/ed:

Recounting Our Way to Democracy

By ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR
...The largest demonstrations in our history are daily proof that millions of Mexicans want a full accounting of last month’s presidential election. My opponent, Felipe Calderón, currently holds a razor-thin lead of 243,000 votes out of 41 million cast, but Mexicans are still waiting for a president to be declared.... [more]

Friday, August 11, 2006

Brooklyn Court Rejects Attempt by Independence Party State Chair Frank MacKay To Disenroll 24 Independence Party Members

From a press release from the New York County Independence Party Aug. 11:

Judge Upholds State Law Over Party Rights

New York, NY—New York State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Levine today dismissed a court action initiated by Independence Party state chair Frank MacKay to disenroll 24 members of the party in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Judge Joseph Levine stated in his decision that MacKay’s “determination to disenroll respondents from membership in the New York State Independence Party was not just,” because it did not comply with election law. Responding to arguments by MacKay’s attorneys that the party could proceed with disenrollment without adhering to state law, Judge Levine wrote “once a person is an enrolled member of a political party in New York State,” the legal process for disenrollment “must be strictly adhered to.”

“Parties have rights but they're not above the law,” said attorney Harry Kresky, co-counsel with Gary Sinawski for the respondents. “We're glad that Judge Levine recognized that Independence Party members in New York City are entitled to protection from illegal overreaching by the party's chairman and state leaders.”

A disenrollment proceeding targeting an additional 93 Independence Party members was heard separately in Manhattan on July 27th, 2006. Judge Emily Jane Goodman has not yet ruled in that case.

In June, MacKay and Vice Chairman Tom Connolly conducted party hearings on the proposed disenrollment. None of the targeted persons appeared at the hearings, citing MacKay’s lack of jurisdiction to conduct them. In his decision, Judge Levine noted that the proceeding was commenced by Mackay, the state chairman, on the complaint of a party member from Queens, not Brooklyn or Staten Island. Under state law, disenrollment must be initiated and conducted at the county level.

MacKay’s attempts to remove more than 100 party members citywide cite statements concerning the history and politics of the Middle East of two Independence Party members—Lenora Fulani and Fred Newman—accusing them of being “not in sympathy” with the party’s principles. These statements, made years before the Independence Party was founded, represented personal views and were not made in connection with any Independence Party activity. Thus, attorneys for the respondents raised questions of constitutionally protected free speech, though Judge Levine did not address these issues in his decision. He did reject a motion by MacKay to disqualify attorneys Kresky and Sinawski.

Independence Party of New York County
225 Broadway, Suite 2010 ~ New York, NY 10007
Phone (212) 962-1699 Fax (212) 803-1899
Cathy L. Stewart – Chair
For Immediate Release:August 11, 2006
Contact: Sarah Lyons
212-962-1824 / 917-658-9885

Oregon: Ben Westlund folds...


From The Oregonian: ... Westlund told reporters he dropped his bid after concluding that he couldn't win, and would just be a spoiler in the November election, expected to be among the nation's most competitive gubernatorial races.... [more] And, read Ben Westlund's statement and Gov. Ted Kuglongoski's statement from the Salem Statesman Journal...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Indie Castle: Demanding an end to the cycle of violence

Thought you might be interested in this link to Indie Castle: Demanding an end to the cycle of violence which includes an editorial in The Oregonian by Paul Rogat Loeb of Seattle and this comment below by Kevin at Indie Castle. (Thanks, Kevin.)

"Undoubtedly Loeb will get labled an "anti-semite" by some for daring to challenge the bloodlust which is so popular right now. But I ask you, how is it
being anti-semitic to advocate alternate choices which the historical facts would seem to indicate would result in less Israeli deaths than the continuing cycle of violence which the current choice will inevitably bring? Isn't it those crying out for more and more blood who are emonstrably anti-semitic? Their bloodlust will ensure that more, not less, innocent Jewish blood will be shed in the future."

Saturday, August 05, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Texas: What do YOU call it????
Connecticut: Lieberman's independent option....
Maine: And Alex makes 4 or 5?
National: Parties more divided than people....
Pennsylvania: Petition Challenge Industry Gears Up
Bloomberg in 08? "Third-party candidates are hard to do"
Oregon: To some, politics is "their own private party"...

Texas: What do YOU call it????

The Dallas Morning News might call it "wackiness" -- we call it independent politics!

American Chronicle likes Kinky.....

From Waxahachie Daily Light: Strayhorn calls it the Trans-Texas Catastrophe....

Connecticut: Lieberman's independent option....

From CQ Politics: The Independent Option. Should Lieberman lose the primary Tuesday, he would have to file 7,500 valid petition signatures by the very next day to qualify for the November ballot as an independent candidate — a major reason why he felt he had to take the risk of announcing before the primary that he would go that route if necessary.... [more]

Maine: And Alex makes 4 or 5?

From Magic City Morning News: Alex Hammer is running for gov as independent....

National: Parties more divided than people....

From the New York Times: Pew Research finds public not as divided as the political parties are....

Friday, August 04, 2006

Pennsylvania: Petition Challenge Industry Gears Up

From PA CleanSweep, Aug. 4:

...One incumbent was forced to withdraw in the face of a blatantly false sworn affidavit. Another successfully obtained the signatures of dead people. Others qualified for the primary ballot with the help of "signatures" from many voters who all - oddly - had the exact same handwriting. ...

Petition Challenge Industry Gears Up
The underbelly of politics has become big business in Pennsylvania, tipping the scales even further toward incumbent protection.


Newspapers and other media outlets have been brimming of late with news of the success or failure of various potential candidates in collecting a sufficient number of signatures to qualify for ballot access. Most of these accounts have focused on the various strict regulations, significant hurdles and the absolute requirement for attention to detail by elective hopefuls. Mostly unreported, however, has been what happens after the petitioning process is complete and nominating petitions are turned in to the Department of State.

The petition challenge, somewhat of a rarity in the past, has now become the norm in Pennsylvania, employing countless lawyers, experts and consultants as hit-men to knock opponents off the ballot. For those who offer their services in this capacity - sometimes billing in excess of $400 per hour - this now-regular seasonal business adds up to big bucks.

This helps to further exacerbate the incumbent protection program we've all heard so much about over the last year, as only those candidates with vast resources at their disposal can afford a detailed review of an opponent's petitions. Before this year's primary, PACleanSweep tried to counter this imbalance by educating its candidates on the particulars of reviewing petitions, urging them to conduct reviews on their own behalf and by employing additional volunteers in the effort.

One result of these reviews was a confirmation that Pennsylvania's ballot access requirements are so tedious that even incumbents find it necessary to bend the rules - or cheat outright - in an effort to insure their political futures.

One incumbent was forced to withdraw in the face of a blatantly false sworn affidavit. Another successfully obtained the signatures of dead people. Others qualified for the primary ballot with the help of "signatures" from many voters who all - oddly - had the exact same handwriting.

On the other side of the coin, one incumbent successfully challenged three different opponents off the primary ballot. Although PACleanSweep candidates did have a few minor victories in petition challenges, the very fact that challenges are becoming the norm is a sad commentary.

To make matters worse, court decisions in petition challenges are extremely difficult to predict. The official interpretation of what's legal and what isn't seems to change from year to year. In addition, different judges or panels can interpret the law differently in the same year.


For those who wish to run for office in Pennsylvania, this only leads to uncertainty, a need to far exceed the official number of signatures required by law and the need to set aside a great amount of resources - just in case of a challenge - which could be better utilized to inform voters of positions on the issues.

Qualifying for the ballot in Pennsylvania has essentially become a crap shoot. Armed with the right legal team, selective precedent and the prevailing whims of the courts, any candidate could be successfully disqualified from participating.

Overall, the Commonwealth's qualifying process serves to benefit a few - incumbents and paid experts - and put prospective challengers and newcomers at a distinct disadvantage. In the end, it's the voters who suffer, as their choices are limited due to technicalities and legal loopholes.

Pennsylvania's ballot access laws are complex, inequitable and arcane. It's time to simplify them in the interest of increasing competition and providing more choices for voters. More choices will ultimately lead to better government, as competition makes the cream rise to the top.

Unfortunately, this is not in the best interest of the ballot access hit-men and hired guns who are pocketing vast amounts of money in the business of politics. And of course, changing the law requires the cooperation of incumbents, an act which would threaten their very livelihood.

About PACleanSweep
PACleanSweep is a non-partisan effort dedicated to defeating incumbent elected officials in Pennsylvania and replacing them with true public servants.
For more information, please visit
www.PACleanSweep.com.
For More Information:
Russ Diamond
chair@pacleansweep.com
717.383.3025


Bloomberg in 08? "Third-party candidates are hard to do"


A Bloomberg Bid for President? Guests Won’t Say New York Times By DIANE CARDWELL Published: August 4, 2006
Sending a signal that despite his protestations to the contrary he is at least toying with a run for president, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg dined Wednesday night with Al From, a guru of centrist Democratic politics and one of the chief policy minds behind Bill Clinton’s 1992 victory.... ...Indeed, the dissatisfaction among voters with both the Democratic and the Republican Parties has left open the possibility of a third-party candidate, Mr. From said in an interview this year, “but third-party candidates are hard to do.”... [more]

Oregon: To some, politics is "their own private party"...


The deck stays stacked against Oregon's independent voters
The idea to open Oregon's primary is no match for the forces that treat politics as their own private party
The Oregonian
Friday, August 04, 2006
The initiative campaign to open Oregon's election system to independent voters had almost everything going for it, except for the two things an initiative needs most:
First, gobs of money from out-of-state millionaires or interest groups.
Second, plenty of support from the far right or left.
The initiative to change Oregon's election system failed to qualify for the November ballot. Backers turned in 90,000 signatures, but only two-thirds were valid. The initiative fell short, despite the polls showing broad public support for this inspired change....
[more]

Thursday, August 03, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


New York: Dems, Repubs fight over Independence Party line...
Minnesota: Hutchinson needs to differentiate....
Oregon: Open Primary Initiative fails to make ballot
Maine: Major party ethics...
Pennsylvania: What have we learned about ballot access?
Massachusetts: Mihos, Ross confident of getting on the ballot, Szych indie for 1st CD
Pennsylvania: Ballot inaccess
Texas: Debate Oct. 5

New York: Dems, Repubs fight over Independence Party line...

Sweeney's franked mail piece questioned By Jonathan E. Kaplan The HillAug 2 -- A constituent filed a formal complaint last week with the House panel that regulates franked mail, alleging that Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) violated the franking privilege by mailing a batch of 500 letters less than 90 days before New York's Sept. 12 primary.... Whether Sweeney violated the rules hinges on New York's arcane election laws, which let candidates run for the nominations of more than one party.
Sweeney could face Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand in the Independence Party primary. Both are contesting the other's right to appear on the ballot as a candidate for the party's nomination before the New York State Board of Elections.... [more]

For more on this see: Board gives Sweeney line Gillibrand to appeal ruling that prevents Independence Party race By TIM O'BRIEN, Albany Times Union ...The state Board of Elections dealt a blow to Gillibrand's efforts to face Sweeney in a primary for the Independence Party line by ruling she did not have enough valid signatures and giving the line to Sweeney.... [more] AND Staten Island Advance AP aricle

Minnesota: Hutchinson needs to differentiate....

In first debate, governor candidates clash over farm issues MARTIGA LOHN Associated Press, Pioneer PressAug 3 ...Both Hatch and Hutchinson attacked Pawlenty's record on health care, rural roads and local government aid.... [more]

Oregon: Open Primary Initiative fails to make ballot

Open primaries initiative fails to make Oregon ballot 8/2/2006, By BRAD CAIN The Associated Press The Oregonian SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Supporters of an "open primaries" initiative failed to turn in enough signatures to put the issue before Oregon voters this fall, election officials said Wednesday.
The proposed initiative drew 61,985 valid signatures, far short of the 75,630 needed to qualify, the state Elections Division said.... Besides the open primaries measure, another initiative campaign that turned in an insufficient number of signatures was one to require the Legislature to find a way to provide universal health care by 2009.... [more]

Maine: Major party ethics...

From Portland Press Herald: The state will soon move a step closer to settling a dispute over independent John Michael's bid for public funding of his gubernatorial campaign. Rep. John Eder of Portland said Wednesday that he will soon submit to legislative leaders a list of suggested candidates for a vacant seat on the state ethics commission, which oversees campaign finance laws.... [more]

From Bangor News: The state ethics commission deferred action Tuesday on an independent gubernatorial candidate's appeal for public campaign funding until a fifth and final member for the panel can be nominated by the governor. [more]

From Maine Today Morning Sentinel editorial: It is unconscionable that legislative leadership has failed to nominate a fifth, independent member to the state's ethics commission. We don't know whether it is a symptom of legislative leadership's contempt for the role of the commission, partisan paralysis or simply that they've got better things to do, but they need to get over it.... [more]

Is the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices coming apart at the seams? It would appear so. ... [more]

Maine voters are to be forgiven if they feel that they're in the midst of one big food fight these days between Democrats and Republicans. First there was the mini-scandal about whether independent candidate Barbara Merrill and Republican candidate Chandler Woodcock -- both running for governor -- had illegally traded $5 donations to help one another qualify for public funding. ... [more]

Pennsylvania: What have we learned about ballot access?

Russ Diamond's swan song WEBCommentary Tony Phyrillas Aug 3 Ballot access restrictions prevent the political maverick who led Pennsylvania's anti-incumbent movement from qualifying for a ballot spot as an independent candidate for governor.
Russ Diamond dreamed the improbable dream.
The dream ended Tuesday when he woke up to the realization that he will not be governor of Pennsylvania. Not that he had much of a chance in the first place. But Diamond's remarkable one-year run in the spotlight has left a lasting mark on Pennsylvania politics.... [more]


Third-partiers hold rally on petition-deadline day By RICHARD FELLINGER Staff Writer Lebanon Daily News Aug 2 HARRISBURG — Independent and third-party candidates had mixed success in their bids to get on the ballot for November’s statewide elections, but all complained the deck was stacked against them because of unfair ballot requirements. ... [more]


Green challenger gets name on the ballot The Evening Sun By ASHLEY ADAMS Aug 2 It wasn't easy, but a Hanover-area bookstore owner says he's gathered enough signatures to appear on the November ballot as a Green Party candidate for Congress.
Derf Maitland, of Union Township, had until Tuesday to collect 4,400 signatures from the 19th congressional district covering Adams, Cumberland and York counties. ... [more]

Massachusetts: Mihos, Ross confident of getting on the ballot, Szych official as indie for 1st Congressional District

Mihos, Ross confident on ballot spots The Lowell Sun Aug 2 BOSTON -- The gubernatorial campaigns for Independent candidate Christy Mihos and Green-Rainbow candidate Grace Ross yesterday said they are confident their candidates have secured enough signatures from registered voters to make the 2006 ballot. ... [more]

Independent Candidate, Billy Szych, is Officially on the Ballot for First Congressional District Seat in Massachusetts Hatfield, MA (PRWEB via PR Web Direct) PRESS RELEASE August 2, 2006 -- William H. “Billy” Szych has successfully reached the first major milestone in his candidacy to represent the 1st Congressional District in the United States Congress. His message: We are not Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans. Szych – who is running as an unenrolled candidate – believes he is quickly establishing a strong base of support in this predominantly independent District, which in many towns has 60% or more of voters registered as unenrolled. ... [more]

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Pennsylvania: Ballot inaccess

Green Party candidates turn in signatures for statewide elections by MARTHA RAFFAELE, Associated Press, Centre Daily, Aug 2 HARRISBURG, Pa. - Green Party candidates for governor and U.S. Senate turned in enough signatures to ensure that their names will appear on the Nov. 7 general-election ballot, state election officials confirmed late Tuesday.... [more]


Diamond bows out of gubernatorial race By JOHN LATIMER Staff Writer Lebanon Daily News Aug 2 -- Annville businessman and political activist Russ Diamond announced yesterday he has given up his bid to become an independent candidate for governor after falling short in gathering nominating petitions..... [more]

Candidates rallied against the system that requires them to get 67,070 signatures to be on the ballot. York Daily Record By RICHARD FELLINGER Harrisburg bureau Aug 2, 2006 Independent and third-party candidates had mixed results in their bids to get on the ballot for November's statewide elections, and they claimed the deck was stacked against them because of unfair ballot requirements.
Several candidates and minor-party activists rallied Tuesday in the Capitol to rail against the system that required them to get 67,070 signatures on nominating papers to qualify for the ballot this year.... [more]

Texas: Debate Oct. 5

From Amarillo Globe News editorial: OK, so the major candidates for governor apparently aren't coming to Amarillo to debate, which we requested a few weeks ago.They're going to square off in Dallas on Oct. 5 in what appears to be a one-time joint appearance before the general election on Nov. 7.
Well, three of the four have agreed to the event.... [more]