Wednesday, January 31, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



C-Span: "Independent Politics in a 'What's Next' World" coverage
Hillary not the first!
Who are the independents?
Conservative Summit: How to attract independentvoters
Ohio: Independents oppose the war
Connecticut: Independent Party in Norwalk
Ralph Nader: Putting third party candidates second
Independent Winter Meeting brings out 500 to NYC
Is it her gender, or is it her Hillary-ness?
In the U.S., They Want Bush Presidency to Be Simply Over
McCain: a "Bob Dole-ized" candidate? 1 comment
The Hankster: Independent voters make history, and news

C-Span: "Independent Politics in a 'What's Next' World"

C-Span taped two sessions of the independent winter conference "Independent Politics in a 'What's Next' World." One was a talk by Dr. Lenora Fulani on the Black and Independent Alliance, and the other was a large panel of mostly independent candidates who ran in 2006, including Helen Blocker-Adams from Georgia, Wayne Griffin from South Carolina, Russ Diamond and Carl Romanelli from Pennsylvania, Linda Curtis who ran Carole Keeton Strayhorn's campaign to independent voters in Texas, Dr. Jessie Fields from New York, Lisa Braun from New Jersey, Mike Telesca from Connecticut, Kim Wright from Missouri, Betty Ward from New Hampshire, and more... To check the schedule to know when the "Independent Politics in a 'What's Next' World" conference will run, click here C-Span

Hillary not the first!

In her article called "Clinton’s Not the First" Pamela Gentry, BET News Posted Jan. 26, 2007, starts out by saying "I got an email the other day from a friend of mine who questioned the many references to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) as the “first woman” to make a bid for the White House. “That doesn’t sound right,” his said. I assured him that the reason it didn’t sound right is because it’s dead wrong..."

Then if you can see your way through some really bad typos, you'll read in this article that Democrat Shirley Chisholm and independent Lenora Fulani also ran for President. Ok, that's good.

Then Ms. Gentry ends the article by saying "Now we know who ran first. What’s really important is who’ll win first."

Maybe -- but in a winner-take-all two-party duopoly, we all lose! But that's exactly what independents are trying to change.

Who are the independents?

Big change expected in American politics, By Mary E. O’Leary, New Haven Register — A major realignment in American politics is in the offing with independent voters — who think like liberal Republicans — likely to fill the pivotal role of swing voter. That’s the conclusion of Arthur Paulson, a political scientist at Southern Connecticut State University, who just published a book, "Electoral Realignment and the Outlook for American Democracy."...

Conservative Summit: How to attract independent voters?

...[Ramesh Ponnuru] also argued that Republicans need to re-think how to apply conservative principles to domestic policy issues in ways that attract independent voters, which is where the political battle is being fought.... Thoughts On The National Review Institute's Conservative Summit by Steven M. Warshawsky (American Thinker)

Ohio: Independents oppose the war

...Iraq will likely be a key issue in the 2008 election — perhaps the key issue — and the poll showed that there is a sharp partisan divide, with Republicans backing the president and Democrats and independents in opposition.... (Middletown Journal - Ohio)

Connecticut: Independent Party in Norwalk

Scott Merrell, a homeowner in the Wilson Point section, is collecting signatures to start a new Independent Party in Norwalk and expects to finish by the week's end.... (Stamford Advocate)

Ralph Nader: Putting third party candidates second prevents new ideas

...Nader also added that he wished that more independent thinkers would run for president. "We all have an equal right to run," says Nader. "We're all trying to get votes from one another, and no one is a second class citizen. Because if you put the third party candidates as second class, you're preventing new ideas - new agendas." ... (CBS News)

Independent Winter meeting brings out 500 to NYC

For Sarah Cox [shouldn't that be 'Lyons'?] and the nearly 500 Independents from 30 states who met at a conference in New York over the weekend, such moves are a step in the right direction. Cox’s organization, the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, used the occasion to discuss how they could help strengthen the amount of leverage Independents have in the political process.... (metro new york)

Is it her gender, or is it her Hillaryness?

...In an ABC News-Washington Post poll taken in May 2006, for example, 74 percent of Republicans and 43 percent of independent voters said they wouldn’t even consider casting their ballots for her. By contrast, only 38 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of independents ruled out voting for Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a leading contender for the Republican nomination.... Will Gender Gap at The Ballot Box Benefit Clinton's Presidential Bid? By CQ Politics

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In the U.S., They Want Bush Presidency to Be Simply Over

Kommersant (Russia) -- The approval ratings of U.S. President George W. Bush continue hitting the minimum records. In the last poll of public opinion, just 30 percent in the United States said they supported the president, while 58 percent wished his presidency were simply over. The end of tenure of the U.S. most unpopular president in the last half-century would be favored by 86 percent of Democrats, 21 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents. ...

McCain: a "Bob Dole-ized" candidate?

By James P. Pinkerton-- Chuck Hagel is hot - John McCain is not (Newsday) ...So say goodbye to the media's portrayal of "St. John" McCain, the flinty, brave maverick. And say hello, instead, to a new "Bob Dole-ized" McCain. Like the Kansas Republican, who, as a 70-something, was mostly portrayed during the 1996 presidential campaign as a cranky and ranting old man, the 70-year-old Arizonan is being portrayed that way now....

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Hankster: Independent voters make history, and the news.

By Nancy Hanks

Cudos to the 500 independents from 31 states who stood for a new movement at the winter meeting in New York City on January 28th. Let's get busy!

I get up every morning about 6:30. I love getting up at that hour because I have a great view of New York City from my desk. The sunrise is reflected brilliantly for a few minutes off the Citigroup building that stands on the Queens side where I am, between the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building on the Manhattan side. Every morning is different. I make a cup of coffee and sit down to my laptop to see what the night’s news has to say about independents around the country. It’s a great way to start the day, and I savor the moment as I head off to my “day job”.

American independents have always been around—starting shortly before 1776, when the British colonies in America produced a cultural leap that led to a successful fight for independence from the King. Third party activists created the Republican Party and marshaled enough support among the voting population (excluding blacks and women) to take the White House in 1860. The sixties brought on another revolution of “constituencies” that are still volatile today.

Whether our post-modern times will produce the environment where independent voters—ordinary people—will finally prevail is still in question. That would propel us toward the completion of the American Revolution in a “What’s Next” world.

Somewhere in that continuum, between the 1992 election when Ross Perot got 20 percent of the vote as an independent for President and the recent 2006 midterm elections, independent voters have once again been recognized by the “powers that be” as a force in America. We were given credit for the changeover in Congress by the pundits.

Shortly before November 7, 2006, a Wall Street Journal poll showed that 42% of the American electorate considers themselves independent. And, as the Neo Independent magazine’s Jackie Salit (see the sidebar) pointed out, we were also the force that made the war in Iraq THE issue in the campaigns. And what we read in the papers began to reflect a little more of what was happening on the ground. And what was happening on the ground was beginning to be—well, more newsworthy.

The Hankster, started in May 2006, is a political blog for independent activists. It is created primarily from Google Alerts. In case you’d like to try this yourself, here are some of my standard search phrases:
* independents republicans democrats (without quotes) is where the Gallup, Quinnipiac and other polls and stats come up and how we find out that there are large independent voting blocs in a particular state or district that could swing a local election.
* “independence party” (in quotes) is mostly geared to New York and Minnesota. Alaska also has an Independence Party.
* “independent voters” (in quotes) is an up-and-coming phrase that gives us a look at the unaffiliated independent base throughout the country.

The Hankster also makes a point of searching for articles about the increase of independence from the Democratic Party among African American voters.

During the midterm elections, there were about ten statewide independent campaigns that The Hankster followed, including: Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman in Texas, the Minnesota Independence Party team, Helen Blocker-Adams in Georgia, Christy Mihos and Question 2—the fusion referendum in Massachusetts, Russ Diamond and Carl Romanelli in Pennsylvania, Ben Westlund in Oregon, Lamont/Lieberman in Connecticut (where Lieberman was NOT the independent…), and the hotly contested primary that constituted grassroots, locally controlled county committees in New York City by the “Fulani Forces” of the New York Independence Party.

For readers, The Hankster has served to focus scattered little news pieces into a framework so that we can get a glimpse of the independent movement nationally, as seen through the mainstream media, though filtered through an activist outlet. It has been a source of encouragement to isolated independent bloggers and readers, and a point of contact for the New York-based national strategy center that I work with, the Committee for a Unified Independent Party – www.independentvoting.org. The Hankster has been a source of contacts (media and activists) and of information and issues around the country that we might want to be involved in.

The interplay between what’s in the mainstream media and activists’ ability to use that news to reach other independents around the state and country, and to mobilize them, is really the raison d’etre of The Hankster. This is the kind of blog that The Hankster is becoming. A news feed to local activists, as independents make history—and increasingly make news. -NH

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



New Hampshire: A lot of independent voters who can vote in primaries
Florida: McCain an obstacle to independent funds
Will Dems "turn off" independent voters?
Lieberman will do as independent do?
Does 1952 mean anything now?
Obama and the black vote - where are the independe...
Godwhacker and Black Star News: Black & Independent Alliance?

New Hampshire: A lot of independent voters who can vote in either primary

Presidential candidates begin campaigns in New Hampshire, By Helen Kennedy in New York Daily News on Times Argus ...New Hampshire, with lots of independent voters who can vote in either primary, a relatively moderate GOP and a fondness for poking front-runners in the eye, would be a must-win for Giuliani....

Florida: McCain an obstacle to independent funds

Preparations for Florida's primary already begin; Candidates scurry to line up supporters, raise money, By Tamara Lytle and John Kennedy, Orlando Sentinel ...McCain also has be en active. His ability to appeal to independent voters in a general election has left Austin, one of the most influential uncommitted GOP fundraisers, in a quandary. ...

Will Dems "turn off" independent voters?

Move to middle hurts Democrats, By Glenn Hurowitz Baltimore Sun
Although the new Democratic Congress completed its "first hundred hours" with some important successes, such as voting to raise the minimum wage, the rest of its agenda - and specifically how much Democrats will challenge President Bush - remains very much up in the air. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have repeatedly promised to work "from the middle." They've declined to make clear how far they'll push to undo the Republicans' tax cuts for the rich, to pass aggressive legislation to combat environmental crises such as global warming, or to use their power of the purse to chart a new course in Iraq. It seems clear that Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid are convinced that undoing the Bush agenda would be good for America, but they are worried that pursuing a confrontational agenda could turn off the independent voters who split in their direction just enough in 2006 to give them their narrow majorities. ...

Lieberman will do as independent do?

Lieberman May Back Republican in 2008, The Associated Press, Washington Post -- Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 2000 who won re-election as an independent last year, says he is open to supporting any party's White House nominee in 2008.
"I'm going to do what most independents and a lot of Democrats and Republicans in America do, which is to take a look at all the candidates and then in the end, regardless of party, decide who I think will be best for the future of our country," Lieberman said Sunday....

Does 1952 mean anything now?

Could the Democrats Lose the Senate before the Next Election? By Richard K. Neumann, Jr. Mr. Neumann, Jr., is professor of law at Hofstra University History News Network
...The first time was in the 83d Congress, when there were 48 states and thus 96 senators. When the Senate organized in January 1953, the Republicans had 48 senators and the Democrats 47. The extra was Wayne Morse of Oregon, previously a Republican. Because he objected to a Republican drift to the right, he had resigned from the Republican party in October 1952, declared himself an independent, and in the presence of a roomful of reporters filled out an absentee ballot in which he voted for Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic presidential candidate....

Obama and the black vote - where are the independents?

Obama and Blacks, By Earl Ofari Hutchinson, BlackNews.com ...Hillary Clinton and Mr. Edwards come much closer to fitting that bill than Obama. Many blacks applaud Edwards for being virtually the only top white Democrat to speak candidly about racial problems in the 2004 presidential race, and for barnstorming the country afterward championing labor rights and demanding a new war on poverty. Senator Clinton, for her part, has a highly advantageous last name and husband, solid ties with black religious leaders and elected officials, and is personally admired by many blacks. In combined USA Today/Gallup polls conducted in November, December, and January, Clinton had a 39 to 31 edge over Obama among black Democrats and independents. ...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Godwhacker and Black Star News

Check out new Hankster blogroll Godwhacker and Black Star News... Is this part of the new black and independent alliance??? Let me know.

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Primaries: Partisan interests pervade
Bush: a slim majority of independents want him gone
Iraq: We're not being heard...
International: Japanese independent voters are on the rise...

Primaries: Partisan interests pervade

The case against moving up California's primary, By DAN WALTERS ...It would further distort California's convoluted practice of governing by ballot measure because voter turnout in primary elections is deeply affected by the dynamics of the intra-party contests at stake. If, for instance, there were to be a hot battle among Democratic presidential candidates but none on the Republican side, it would mean a big turnout of Democratic voters, which would tilt the playing field in favor of left-of-center ballot measures. And by their nature, primary elections effectively diminish participation by independent voters, the electorate's fastest-growing segment. ...

The rise in independent voter registration, non-partisan and unaffiliated registration is dramatic, not just in California, but nationally. Primaries are party affairs. How can independents participate, given that most independents don't like parties and the exclusive nature of party structures? This is the question that independents all over the country are considering... What do you think?

Bush: a slim majority of independents want him gone...

Washington Times -- A Newsweek poll done after U.S. President George W. Bush delivered his State of the Union address found that many voters now see him as almost irrelevant. The poll put Bush's job approval rating at 30 percent.... A majority of independents wish Bush's term was already over....

It is with much trepidation that I run these polls because, as we know, polling is partisan. Who is paying for the poll, who is reading it, who does it represent? That's the question. For whom?

Iraq: We're not being heard...

Iraq: We're Not Winning; We're Not Losing PR Newswire (press release) ....On the other hand, 57 percent of Republicans (compared to 24 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of Independents) believe invading Iraq "was the right thing ... "

International: Japanese independent voters are on the rise

Japanese Public Distrusts Politics [Commentary] Prime minister's approval rating declines, but No. 1 opposition party gets no boost, By Hisane Masaki (hmasaki) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration got off to a good start last autumn with strong public support. In the last extraordinary parliamentary session, which elected him as Japan's new leader, key bills strongly pushed by Abe's ruling coalition were enacted. ...Abe's predecessor Koizumi roared into office in April 2001 with a vow to "destroy the old LDP." His combative style in the fight against intra-party opponents of his reform drive -- whom he labeled "old-guard conservatives" or "resistance forces" -- earned him unusually strong support among Japanese, including the rapidly growing number of independent voters who claim no party allegiance. This in turn provided him with much-needed ammunition to push through reform programs.... (Ohmy News, Korea)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

Shirley Chisholm, history of diversity
2008: Poll: N.J. Voters Want Rudy/Hillary Matchup
2008: Can Giulani make up for his liberalism?
New York: IP member Buddy Fletcher candidate for comptroller
2008 for the gay community
Massachusetts: What is a McCain presidential campaign?
New Hampshire: McCain, Obama Are Leading and independents abound
California: Not your father's Jerry Brown
Ralph Nader: Spoiler?
Savannah, Georgia: No support for war candidate Hillary


Shirley Chisholm, history of diversity and what the h* is a Blue Dog voter?

...Short History of Diversity from ABC News
In 1972, New York Rep. Shirley Chisholm, who was black, launched a largely symbolic campaign for president.
More than a decade later, New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro was the Democratic vice presidential nominee.
Civil rights activist and Baptist minister Rev. Jesse Jackson won five presidential primaries in 1984 and 11 in 1988. Still, Jackson never secured the nomination.
But this year is different. ... Given that move toward the center, says political consultant Tom Serafin, the Democratic presidential candidates will need to actively court Blue Dog voters, without ignoring the party's more traditional liberal base....

2008: Poll: N.J. Voters Want Rudy/Hillary Matchup In '08

Survey Shows Giuliani Beating Clinton In Head-To-Head Race WCBS-TV See Also -- 2008 Presidential Hopefuls CBS 2's Coverage Of Hillary's Run For President...About 58 percent of the state's 4.8 million voters are registered independents, and independents support Giuliani over Clinton 47 percent to 37 percent and McCain over Clinton 48 percent to 36 percent. ...

2008: Can Giulani make up for his liberalism with votes from Dems and indies?

(NewsMax) ...Unknown is whether Giuliani can woo enough of those base Republican voters to win the nomination and, if not, whether he can make up the difference by attracting independents and Democrats....

New York: IP member Buddy Fletcher candidate for comptroller?

From Azi Pabarah on the (Politicker)

When the name of Alphonse "Buddy" Fletcher unexpectedly surfaced last week on the list of candidates for comptroller, it caused a ripple, with one lawmaker telling me he "will be hard to say no to." He's a Harvard-educated, black millionaire philanthropist with plenty of financial experience. Just the sort of outside financial expert Eliot Spitzer's people were looking for....

Buddy Fletcher is apparently an New York Independence Party member... Controversial? [If it's independent and it's Azi Pabarah, it's controversial...) - NH

New Jersey: Poll prefers Giuliani for president

By TOM HESTER Jr., Associated Press, Courier Post ....About 58 percent of the state's 4.8 million registered voters are independent, and independents support Giuliani over Clinton 47 percent to 37 percent and McCain over Clinton 48 percent to 36 percent....

2008 for the gay community; independent voters will decide race

Clinton, Obama join 2008 presidential race ...Patrick Sammon, president of Log Cabin Republicans, said gay Republicans, too, are studying the field. He declined to say whether they are beginning to lean toward some candidates and added that while a candidate's position on a constitutional ban to same-sex marriage is important, gay Republicans will also be paying attention to the "language they use to talk about" gay-related issues.
"Republican candidates," he said, "should remember that the country wants a candidate who presents a hopeful and optimistic vision for the future, and the politics of division are going to turn off the independent voters who ultimately decide this election."...
(Bay Area Reporter)

Massachusetts: What is a McCain presidential campaign?

"He has Mitt on the mind," said a Romney campaign consultant who requested anonymity... (Boston Globe) Rob Gray is shepherding McCain's Mitt Romney stance...

New Hampshire: McCain, Obama Are Leading and independent voters vote in the primaries

...New Hampshire traditionally hosts the first presidential primary in the United States. Since 1952, 11 Republicans and eight Democrats have won the Granite State contest and later earned their party’s presidential nomination. New Hampshire allows independent voters to take part in primaries.... (Angus Reid)

By the way, the fact that independents STILL vote in the primaries in New Hampshire is largely the result of a committee of independents in New Hampshire led by Betty Ward, who defeated HB 154 last year. HB 154 was a little-publicized bill that would have placed an onorous qualifier on independents to vote in party primaries. -NH

California: Not your father's Jerry Brown

...Brown says he will work with Schwarzenegger on global warming. Both Schwarzenegger and Brown speak to many of the same themes — themes that define an emerging independent spirit that could transcend the conventional boundaries of the two political parties.... (LA Weekly)

Ralph Nader: Spoiler?

As the 2008 presidential elections approach, perennial dark horse candidate Ralph Nader emerges from the shadows to decipher America’s next political showdown ,By John DeSio (New York Press)

A who-done-it: Who spoiled what for whom??? To Mr. Nader's credit, he did step up to the plate (albeit 30 years after the first request) for independents in a grim political year...

Savannah, Georgia: No support war candidate Hillary

... I won’t support Hillary Clinton because she apparently believes that the way to the White House for a liberal Democrat is to move as rapidly to the right as possible. She, or her handlers, think that if she can appear more centrist she will garner the support of independent voters. (Connect Savannah)

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


New leadership? Women and African Americans...
Independents Adding Sway To Swing?
California: Will cosmetic election law reform satisfy independents?
2008: Hillary needs independent voters
Delaware: More blacks becoming independent
Can Indy Media Stop the Corporate Media’s Hillaryfest?
Wanna walk the independent walk? Read Talk/Talk!


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New leadership? Women and African Americans...

By Ashley-Nicole Weatherington in Rutgers Observer
After the disappointing actions taken by the United States government with regards to various situations such as Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War, the American people are ready for new leadership in the White House.... To make everyone happy, I propose that Clinton and Obama run for the 2008 presidential election together.... For a woman or a black person to run for president, it is generally unheard of. Many people like Jesse Jackson, Cathy Gordon Brown, Lenora Fulani, and Al Sharpton have tried but have not been successful....

Independents Adding Sway To Swing?

By Jacqueline Salit in Black Star News

California: Will cosmetic election law reform satisfy independent voters?

...California's political geography makes creation of any significant number of so-called competitive districts ever more difficult, in part because voters increasingly sort themselves into neighborhoods and precincts where most people are politically and culturally like themselves. In addition, the growing number of independent voters defies attempts to shuffle them by party.... (By Peter Schrag - Sacramento Bee)

2008: Hillary needs independent voters

...The reason Clinton is getting so much attention is not just because she's a well-known former first lady or an accomplished senator. It's because among the many women who have vied for the presidency before, Clinton has a real chance to actually win. So far in U.S. history, there has not been a female president or vice president.
But Clinton is seen to be more liberal than her husband Bill, who was considered a moderate. One of her weaknesses is that conservatives tend to have a knee-jerk reaction against her. Another concern is about how much support she can muster among independent voters....
(Watching America)

Delaware: More blacks becoming independent

...This is exactly why more and more African-Americans, especially the younger ones, are changing their party affiliations to Independent. They want the ability to kick both parties to the curb when necessary.
Indeed, Independents are the most courted voting bloc around, so why not?
The Democratic Party has simply failed in what their resolution offers Wilmington’s Black community in restitution for 1898, and that’s simply unforgivable....(
Wilmington Journal)

Can Indy Media Stop the Corporate Media’s Hillary Bandwagon?

From Guerilla News Network ...The 2008 presidential election is shaping up as a test of the power and capacity of new independent media vs. old conglomerate-dominated media. And a test of grassroots/netroots politics vs. corporatized Democratic politics....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Wanna walk the independent walk? Read Talk/Talk!

THEY'RE IN. AND THEY'RE OFF AND RUNNING
Sunday, January 21, 2007

Every Sunday CUIP’s political coordinator Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogue on Sunday, January 21, 2007 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show,” "The McLaughlin Group”, "Meet the Press.” Below is an excerpt from Talk Talk. To read it in its entirety, go to: www.independentvoting.org, or click on the link below.

I subscribe to Talk/Talk through Independent Voting - you can too! -NH

Salit: If I had to come up with some kind of “vest pocket” description of the shows today, I would say it is this: There are so many possibilities for the presidency, and so few possibilities for Iraq. That seems to be what the discussions were about.
Newman: Yes.
Salit: So let’s talk about both. And maybe there’s a relationship between them.
Newman: I would assume so.
Salit: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both announced that they’re “in it” last week. Now you have the “top three” – Clinton, Obama and John Edwards. The Democratic Party has decided they’re running an anti-war campaign for the presidency.
Newman: For sure. How could they not? Unless they run Joe Lieberman. It’s their interpretation of the November vote. It might be nuanced in endless kinds of ways, but it’s got to be anti-war....

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

Hankster methodology
Dems need independents for 2008 win
Candidates positions won't matter for 2008 campaig...
Independent candidates won't be a factor in 2008?
2008 Horserace: Who will make it out of the gate?
Hillary on the Web; Bloomberg on the Scene
From little acorns....
Obama smeared by Insight magazine...

Hankster methodology

In case you're wondering, I'm posting certain articles on the 2008 presidential campaign. The campaigns are mostly Dem and Repub. However, the articles are vetted through my special independent lens: I use the search term "2008 independent presidential" in my Google searches each day. It picks up articles with the word "independent" so there's usually some reference to independent voters in the article. I hope the articles are helpful! -NH

By the way, please go to the new Hankster Poll on the sidebar and register one or two of your opinions on the 2008 Presidential campaign...

Dems need independents for 2008 win

..."Democrats can't win the Presidency in 2008 without winning more men, more independents, and more moderates...." from article "Webb to state own address" in Collegiate Times by Ryan McConnell

And Dems must represent their districts, and attract indies (Kansas City Star) as Jim Kuhnhenn tells us: - Democratic lawmakers who stray too far from the party line could find themselves facing primary opponents financed by unions, trial lawyers and political activists eager to put the new congressional majority to the test. ..."I'm not going to let any outside group dictate to me how I represent my district," Cuellar said. "If we're going to continue winning and keeping the majority and winning the presidency in '08, we have to make sure we can attract the independent voters....

Candidates positions won't matter for 2008 campaign

(Daily Toreador) This is a piece in a college paper in Texas by Chris Kellerman questioning whether candidates positions on issues will matter, especially given it's the Parties that will decide the candidates.....

Independent candidates won't be a factor in 2008?

In his article "2008 United States Presidential Race is Heating Up and History is Being Made" Steve Burke seems to have made a mistake... (Solanco News - PA) -- Hmmmm.... I would venture to say that NO history will be made without independent voters, and possibly without an independent candidate. Unless by history you mean the same old same old that is leading us all to more and more bad policy.... -NH

2008 Horserace: Who will make it out of the gate?

2008 primaries will be crowded and rushed (Washington Post)

Hillary on the Web; Bloomberg on the Scene

Hillary Hits the Net; Bloomy Says: She's 'Electable' (1010 WINS)

From little acorns....

Here's a nice plumb from Fruits and Votes from Friday called Arnold and the post-partisan blues Planted by Professor Matthew Søberg Shugart, Head Orchardist:

"....In an era when the percentage of independent voters in the state has risen from 9% in 1990 to 19% now, the percentage of independent or third-party members of our state and national legislative bodies has remained barely above zero...."

Obama smeared by Insight magazine...

I missed a couple of posts last Friday that are still worth including here, so here's one on from Errol Lewis on the Daily News blog about the smear campaign against Barak Obama floated by Insight Magazine...

Monday, January 22, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Lenora Fulani only presidential candidate who ever...
Minnesota: Pawlenty, Penny unite behind McCain
Dan Walters (California): Governor's centrism reso...
McCain: Is his independent streak over?
Hillary - where is she with independents?

Lenora Fulani only presidential candidate who ever...

If you haven't yet been on to Richard Winger's Ballot Access News (on the Hankster sidebar), please take a look. He's on top of it!!!

...The only woman presidential candidate who ever received as much as one-fifth of 1% of the total vote cast was Lenora Fulani in 1988. She was on the ballot in all 50 states and received .23%. She is also the only presidential candidate who ever received that many votes who was not a caucasian. (Ballot Access News)

Minnesota: Pawlenty, Penny unite behind McCain

By Don Davis - West Central Tribune
Gov. Tim Pawlenty and one of his 2002 gubernatorial opponents find themselves united behind a potential presidential candidacy.
Tim Penny, the former southern Minnesota Democratic congressman who ran for governor under the Independence Party banner, said he plans to work on behalf of Republican Sen. John McCain if he runs for president....

Dan Walters (California): Governor's centrism resonates

By Dan Walters - Bee Columnist
Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger resurrected his political career and won a second term as California governor last year by embracing compromise and persuading voters that he was an effective leader.
Schwarzenegger's popularity, which had been halved during his ill-fated "year of reform" ballot measure drive in 2005, rebounded smartly in 2006, culminating in his landslide win over Democrat Phil Angelides. And in the months since the election, his approval ratings have continued to climb....

McCain: Is his independent streak over?

The big squeeze By Carol Platt Liebau (Town Hall) ..A major part of McCain’s appeal to the Beltway conservatives who otherwise disliked him was, of course, his much-canvassed “independent” streak. His appeal to independent voters, Republicans were repeatedly reminded, could prove an asset so valuable that it was worth overlooking all the reasons for conservatives (and his D.C. colleagues) to oppose him: His leadership of the Gang of 14, his stance on immigration, his promotion of campaign finance “reform,” his opposition to some of President Bush’s tax cuts and his outspoken denunciation of alleged “torture” of terrorist detainees – coupled with a knack for showboating and a hunger for media attention that’s voracious even by Beltway standards....

Hillary - where is she with independents?

Clinton May Be Most Formidable, Vulnerable Among '08 Candidates By Kristin Jensen
(Bloomberg) ...In national polls -- wholesale politics -- Clinton leads the Democratic pack. A Jan. 16-19 Washington Post/ABC News found Clinton led Obama 41 percent to 17 percent. Edwards was backed by 11 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, according to the poll. ... Hmmmmm... But which independents "admire" her???

Sunday, January 21, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


The allure of bipartisan tickets in '08
Obama and the independents
Giuliani, the war and independent voters
Hillary: The best Dem?
Iraq: Who is responsible and who will end it?

The allure of bipartisan tickets in '08

...Today's national unease and rabid partisanship — so similar to the circumstances of 1864 — raise the challenge for someone to form a bipartisan ticket in 2008.... (By Lanny J. Davis Special to The Washington Post in Anniston Star)

Obama and the independents

Forget Obama candidacy; it's Clinton's to lose (Jacksonville Times Union)

Obama may be just what we need (Toledo Blade)

Obama, the media and the war (Mark Steyn-Chicago Sun Times)

Bipartisan Obama 96% Dem (Springfield State Journal Register)

Giuliani, the war and independent voters

...But the troop increase is unpopular with moderate Democrats and particularly independents who have turned against the war - the very crossover and swing voters Giuliani would be banking on, analysts say. ... (Newsday)

Hillary: The best Dem?

Hillary is The Democrats' Best Shot (by Mark Penn-Salem News - North Carolina)

Hillary "is broadly popular with women, African-Americans, and other core groups in the Democratic Party, and she is one of the party’s best fund-raisers and most sought-after speakers. She is admired by many independents and Republicans in New York, winning re-election last year by a 30 percentage-point margin...." (New York Times)

I have to give it to the Times for their carefully worded analysis of Hillary Clinton's relationship to independents in New York. Let's not forget that Mrs. Clinton insisted on the removal of leading African American independent Dr. Lenora Fulani from the executive committe of the Independence Party of New York, a task that state chairman Frank MacKay was all too eager to carry out, adding a number of other New York City black and Jewish members . Words in the New York Times will not erase the fact that 5,000 New York City Independence Party members fought against a racist and undemocratic effort on the part of Chairman MacKay to destroy the City operation, and won on the ground and in the courts over a six-month period. -NH

Iraq: Who is responsible and who will end it?

What they wanted was a war. (Atlantic Free Press)

Congress should bar surge and conduct hearings on the war. (Des Moines Register)

Friday, January 19, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Newly empowered independents want to add sway to their swing
Obama and the independents
Flawed two-party system ignores attitudes of independents
Iraq: Who supports this war? Hardly anybody...
2008: McCain losing indies in New Hampshire
2008: Repubs push for "innovation" at their winter meeting
Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man

Newly empowered independents want to add sway to their swing

From Worcester Telegram & Gazette
By Jacqueline Salit

Independents also have a need and desire to be organized — not just as swing voters reacting to partisan dynamics — but as sway voters, a force able to initiate political events and sit at the political table on its own behalf.

One week prior to the mid-term elections a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll showed the number of Americans identifying themselves as independents had risen to 42 percent. After the elections, independents were openly credited with being the political force that swung control of the Congress by breaking for Democratic candidates by a 2:1 margin.

In his post-election survey, CNN analyst Bill Schneider observed that “independents have always been around, but for the past 12 years they’ve split their votes pretty evenly between the two parties. This year, they swung.”

But independents also have a need and desire to be organized — not just as swing voters reacting to partisan dynamics — but as sway voters, a force able to initiate political events and sit at the political table on its own behalf.

The untold story of the mid-term elections was that independents drove the reconsideration of the war in Iraq, forcing the Democrats to adopt a more oppositional posture to the policies of the neo-cons. But the capacity of the two parties to co-opt independent issues for the purposes of winning elections is great.

And the jury is still out. Already Democrats are indicating they may not stop President George W. Bush from sending more troops to Baghdad. Independents are sensibly circumspect about whether, and how much, their November “swing,” which empowered the Democrats, will actually redirect U.S. policy in Iraq.

The focus within some quarters of the independent movement is to push ahead with plans to take independents from their “swing” status, to one of political “sway.” New on-the-ground independent leaders are coming up around the country, building bases of support among independent and anti-establishment voters. Their goal is to close the enormous gap between the sheer numbers of Americans who are independents and the actual political recognition and power they hold.

This roster includes people such as Kim Wright and Helen Blocker-Adams; two independent candidates who each received more than 30 percent of the vote in their campaigns for the state legislatures of Missouri and Georgia respectively. It includes leaders of political reform initiatives like Pennsylvania’s Russ Diamond, founder of PACleanSweep, and Betty Ward, who helped defeat an anti-independent bill introduced by the New Hampshire legislature to discourage independents from voting in major party presidential primaries.

These candidates and campaigners — and hundreds more like them — are part of a new wave of independent organizing that does not rely on either party building or traditional issues. Independents don’t like parties, since they feel Democrats, Republicans and often third parties engender more partisanship than progress.

These independent leaders hold to wide-ranging positions on social issues, but share a fervent belief in structural political reform. They are less into the “net roots” than they are into the “get roots” — building tangible, personal and developmental networks of independents who can be deployed into a variety of political activities.

Independents intend to play a role in the 2008 election. To that end hundreds of these activists from more than 30 states are coming together at a national conference in New York City on Jan. 28 to devise next-step strategies to build and develop the influence independents can wield.

They will gather to take stock of their success, watch the premiere of a documentary, “Facing America’s Independents,” and reflect on their political assets and possibilities.

Former Reform Party officials will be part of the program, as will the independents movement’s leading political philosopher, Fred Newman and the country’s best know black independent, Lenora Fulani.

The conference will conclude with a town hall meeting on the topic, “How Can Independents Win the Presidency in 2008?” The meeting will tackle the question of what “winning” means for independents and how to galvanize and grow a movement to get there.

Here’s the bottom line. The political class might grudgingly acknowledge that independents can be a deciding factor. But they’re less than keen on the idea that independents are starting to decide things for themselves.

Nonetheless, for 2008, that’s the ticket. The independent ticket.

Jacqueline Salit is the political director of the New York-based Committee for a Unified Independent Party and the executive editor of The Neo Independent magazine.

From Worcester Telegram & Gazette News

Obama and the independents

...According to one recent CBS poll, about a third of Democrats and independent voters said they had a favourable impression of Obama — but nearly half said they had simply not heard enough about him to have any opinion at all. ... (Financial Times)

Flawed two-party system ignores attitudes of independent voters

Everyone seems to have at their fingertips thousands of songs on their iPods, restaurants catering to every taste, dozens of cable networks — generous options in almost every area of life. Why, then, does U.S. politics remain a seemingly option-less domain? While other areas in the lives of the American public are increasing with endless options, politics seems to be one of the only areas moving toward homogeneity.... (Matt Flint - The State News - MSU)

Iraq: Who supports this war? Hardly anybody...

...While an overwhelming majority of Democrats and most independents have long voiced dissent against the war, the Fox News poll underscores the increasing erosion of support among the long-loyal constituency of self-defined Republicans. Nearly a third in this group said they oppose Bush’s plan to increase the U.S. troop commitment.... (New York Times)

...Stolz said the veterans include Democrats, Republicans and independents who all agree that sending more troops to Iraq is a mistake.... (Army Times)

2008: McCain losing indies in New Hampshire

For seven years, conventional wisdom has said that the state’s pivotal independent voters would line up behind maverick Sen. John McCain, as they did so famously in the 2000 GOP primary. But new polling data, to be released later this week, will suggest that might no longer be the case. Manchester, N.H.-based American Research Group finds that McCain’s popularity among New Hampshire’s independent voters has collapsed. ... (Boston Herald)

On the heels of a new poll showing Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) backing among independents in a nosedive in the pivotal primary state of New Hampshire, McCain's campaign manager e-mailed supporters of his White House run to savage MoveOn.org for running TV spots in New Hampshire and Iowa that criticize the senator's stance on the war.... (The Hill)

2008: Repubs push for "innovation" at their winter meeting

Is Ken Mehlman trying to recruit Mike Bloomberg as the Republican candidate for 2008???

This from the New York Sun:

WASHINGTON — Republicans can no longer rely on superior campaigning and must instead offer American voters "bold" and "innovative" ideas if they are to retake Congress in 2008, two GOP leaders told party officials at the start of their annual winter meeting yesterday.

The outgoing chairman of the Republican National Committee, Kenneth Mehlman, and the House minority leader, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, each urged committee members gathered at the Grand Hyatt Hotel to learn from mistakes over the last two years as they regroup from defeat in the midterm elections.

Yet while Messrs. Boehner and Mehlman cited a number of reasons why Republicans lost —among them a lack of new ideas and several corruption scandals — neither made direct mention of one issue that some say contributed more than anything to the Democratic victory: Iraq.

Echoing a Democratic strategy in 2006, Mr. Boehner pushed Republicans to expand their party's reach to regions that have recently voted blue, such as the Northeast and the upper Midwest. ... (New York Sun - you need a subscription to read the whole article....)

And this about the new Repub head Sen. Mel Martinez:
...Republicans also lost ground during the last election with independent voters, many of whom were unhappy with the Iraq war and congressional scandals. On the eve of Martinez's RNC election, Florida Democrats were quick to brand him unethical because disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff once served as a co-sponsor of a $250,000 fundraising event for him.... (Orlando Sentinel)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man

There's a movie out that features Ralph Nader called An Unreasonable Man. I recommend it. Go to the website at An Unreasonable Man

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
Ethics Reform: Bipartisan dispute (Isn't that a redundancy?)
2008: Arnold not endorsing yet...
2008: McCain's war stance kills independent voters ...
2008: Obama, the new alternative?
Backgrounder: Unity 08

AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

This from USA Today:

Candidate Party Year(s)
Former senator Carol Moseley Braun, Ill. Democrat 2004
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton Democrat 2004
Former diplomat Alan Keyes Republican 1996, 2000
Psychologist Lenora Fulani Independent 1988, 1992
Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson Democrat 1984, 1988
Rep. Shirley Chisholm, N.Y. Democrat 1972
Source: USA TODAY research

Congrats! Someone got it right!

Ethics Reform: Bipartisan dispute (Isn't that a redundancy?)

Ethics reform derailed in partisan dispute By JIM ABRAMS (Associated Press) --WASHINGTON -- Democrats' hopes of starting off their control of the Senate with a far-reaching commitment to ethics reform received a painful jolt Wednesday, their ethics and lobbying legislation sidetracked by a dispute with Republicans.... (Casper Star Tribune)

2008: Arnold not endorsing yet...

Schwarzenegger plays it coy on presidential contest western news By KEVIN YAMAMURA "After declaring himself "a proud Republican" last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would not commit Wednesday to endorsing a Republican candidate in the 2008 presidential race. ... But Schwarzenegger also heavily promoted his concept of "post-partisanship" in his inaugural and State of the State addresses this month and sounded positive about the potential for independent voters to outnumber Republicans or Democrats if registration trends continue. ... (Scripps News)

2008: McCain's war stance kills independent voter interest

McCain's war stance alienates many -- 42% say they are less likely to vote for him for president because of his support for a troop increase in Iraq. By James Gerstenzang — "Sen. John McCain's vocal support for sending more U.S. troops to Iraq has set him apart from most of the emerging crop of major presidential contenders. And that position could harm his political prospects, according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll.... In the poll, 43% of independents said they were somewhat or much less likely to vote for him because he has backed President's Bush plan to deploy 21,500 additional troops to Iraq...." (Los Angeles Times )

2008: Obama, the new alternative?

As the Skeptics Ask Why, Obama Asks Why Not? By JEFF ZELENY: "...A long line of Democrats, Republicans and independents have gone before him, casting themselves as the sparkling candidate of the new politics only to find that their freshness withers well before the balloting begins. Think John Anderson, Gary Hart, Ross Perot...." (New York Times)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Backgrounder: Unity 08


I must confess that when Unity '08 first came out, I was skeptical. Bipartisan political join hands across the water for the sake of America... Well, I thinks to meself, it's a bit harder than that after all... isn't it? And by all means please see the wonderful actor Peter O'Tool in Venus, it's worth the trip...

Neverlethess, here's some links to some of the current thinking about Unity 08, born of a liberal desire of a third party (without doing the hard hard work)? Well, you decide:

Essentially, Unity 08 was formed as a sort of BIPARTISAN MoveOn.org in May last year by a grouping of Democrats Hamilton Jordan and Gerald Rafshoon, who gained political fame for their role in electing Jimmy Carter 30 years ago, as well as Doug Bailey, a media adviser to former president and representative Gerald R. Ford (R-Mich.) and former Maine governor Angus King, an independent.... :
Their website: http://www.unity08.com/
LATEST NEWS FROM BALLOT ACCESS NEWS (RICH WINGER)Unity.08 Sues Federal Election Commission January 12th, 2007 On January 10, 2007, Unity.08 sued the Federal Election Commission. Unity.08 is asking for an injunction allowing it to raise as much money from individuals as it can, during 2007. The case is Unity08 v FEC, 1:07-cv-53, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington DC.
Federal campaign laws that control how much money individuals may contribute to candidates cannot pertain to groups that don’t have any candidates or that don’t support any particular candidates. Nevertheless, in October 2006, the FEC ruled that no one may contribute more than $5,000 to Unity.08. Unity.08’s complaint says, “Unity08 has no candidates, and is in no way supporting or opposing any person as a candidate, clearly identified or otherwise. Under these circumstances, the FEC cannot legitimately be preventing Unity08 from corrupting a federal election or creating the appearance of corruption in the electoral process.”
The case was assigned to Judge Richard Roberts, a Clinton appointee.
http://www.ballot-access.org/2007/01/12/unity08-sues-federal-election-commission/

THE FOUNDING:From the Internet to the White HousePolitical Veterans Work to Organize Bipartisan 2008 Ticket With Online BallotingBy Jim VandeHeiWashington Post Staff WriterWednesday, May 31, 2006; Page A04LINKA group of old Washington hands has launched a campaign to remake Internet politics, taking a forum that until now has been associated with ideologues and angry partisans and using it to start a movement culminating in a bipartisan presidential ticket in 2008.
The group is called Unity08, and no one would accuse its founders of thinking small. They include Democrats Hamilton Jordan and Gerald Rafshoon, who gained political fame for their role in electing Jimmy Carter 30 years ago, as well as Doug Bailey, a media adviser to former president and representative Gerald R. Ford (R-Mich.). They are being joined by former Maine governor Angus King, an independent....
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/30/AR2006053001139.html?referrer=email&referrer=email&referrer=email

'Unity '08' Seeks Third Party Path
Doug Bailey
Unity '08 Founders Council
Tuesday, June 27, 2006; 12:00 PMWashington Post
Doug Bailey , a member of the Unity '08 Founders Council, was online Tuesday, June 27, at noon ET to discuss the group's goal of a third party option in the 2008 presidential elections. Unity '08 is comprised of political consultants, both Democrat and Republican, who feel that neither party is providing adequate leadership for the country. The group hopes to put forth a presidential ticket with one candidate from each side of the partisan divide.
Bailey is also founder of The Hotline, a political newsletter, and former political media consultant to President Gerald Ford .
The transcript follows....
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2006/06/15/DI2006061501406.html

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

2008: MoveOn moves against McCain
2008: Obama steps out
New Hampshire: It's the independents...
2008: Mike Bloomberg endorsement for Charlie Range...
2008: What would Rev. Sharpton do?
2008: McCain gets Minnesota's Pawlenty support

2008: MoveOn moves against McCain

...MoveOn.org's ads, which started airing yesterday in the crucial primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, criticize McCain for "leading the charge" to send more American troops to "a failed war."

"This Congress was elected with a mandate to end the disaster in Iraq," MoveOn's political director, Tom Matzzie, said in a statement. "MoveOn is going to demand that members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, show leadership that the president won't."

The group, which pumped over $27 million into the last election cycle, has seen its membership grow by 50,000 members after it circulated a petition against the president's planned escalation. The group is doing what many hoped the media would: holding public servants accountable for being wrong -- often many times over -- about the worst foreign policy disaster in American history.... (AlterNet.org)

2008: Obama steps out

The Christian Science Monitor ran an article today saying that "For the first time in American history, a black man is stepping toward a presidential run with the potential to win his party's nomination – and even the presidency itself." [Did they forget about Jesse Jackson in 2004, or are they saying he couldn't win the Dem nomination?.... Hmmm....] It says his filing Tuesday to start raising funds for a 2008 presidential run puts his early appeal to the test. I can't link the article, but you could find it By Linda Feldmann Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

And we're sure there will be no end of the Obama-inexperienced song: Sen. Barack Obama is a bestselling author, a gifted orator and a star in the Democratic Party. But as he prepares to run for president, his political resume is a little thin.... (St. Petersburg Times)

Meanwhile, Washington Post Dan Balz's article "Obama sets stage for "titanic fight" in '08" was reprinted on the Seattle Times:
WASHINGTON — Democrats moved a step closer Tuesday to what is shaping up as one of the most historic and compelling contests for their party's presidential nomination, a study in contrasting styles and candidacies in which race and gender play central roles. At center stage stand Sen. Barack Obama, of Illinois, who set up his presidential exploratory committee Tuesday, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, of New York, who is expected to announce her candidacy within days. ...

New Hampshire: It's the independents...

Sullivan added both lawmakers have shown they know the roadmap to winning with independent voters, a valuable voting bloc in the Granite State.... (The Hill)

2008: Mike Bloomberg endorsement for Charlie Rangel?

Mayor Bloomberg quipped that he would like to see one of the city's most powerful black politicians - Rep. Charles Rangel - throw his hat into the 2008 presidential race. ... (New York Post)

2008: What would Rev. Sharpton do?

...While Obama has managed to maintain the appearance of being a centrist Democrat due in large part to his ability, for all intents and purposes, to “cherry-pick” those issues on which he will go on record with his opinion, a presidential campaign would seriously hinder that – especially, as one Democratic analyst was reported as saying, if there were a Sharpton candidacy to contend with in the primaries, since it would “put Obama on the spot by forcing him to address awkward civil rights issues such as police brutality and racial profiling that he tends to steer clear of.”... (Town Hall)

2008: McCain gets Minnesota's Pawlenty support

John McCain has brought Minn. gov Tim Pawlenty onto his (McCain's) presidential exploratory committee:
“I think our country needs somebody who can bring this country back together — it’s polarized — and do that without violating core principles or values,” Pawlenty, whose reelection in November was a bright spot for the GOP, told Fox News.... (The Hill)

Monday, January 15, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Independents, the war, and John McCain
2008: 20% for a Third Party candidate?
2008: Will he or won't he?
2008: Will Romney do for the right?
Nevada: '08 caucuses
Dems and the Black Agenda
Neocon strategy
Schwarzenegger's brand of centrism

Independents, the war, and John McCain

For McCain, the problem is that independent voters, who have long found him an appealing candidate, are turning against the war but he isn't. (Buffalo News)

Many of those independents were attracted by McCain's image as a plucky outsider with little money in the bank and no big-name supporters. If he runs for president in 2008, he'll run as one of the most well-known figures in politics, with prominent fundraisers and GOP heavyweights lining up to join him. (Concord Monitor)

...Though the public overall strongly opposes the Bush plan, 67% of Republicans in a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll this month said they favored committing more troops to Iraq. Only 13% of Democrats and 34% of independents supported the idea. Nearly eight in 10 Republicans said it was not a mistake to send troops to Iraq in the first place; 82% of Democrats and 62% of independents said it was. McCain has been a leading advocate for a troop increase. (USA Today)

2008: 20% for a Third Party candidate?

19 percent or better, News Sentinel blogpost by Leo Morris, Fort Wayne, IN:
I don't think much of Arnold Schwarzenegger's "creative centrism" ...

2008: Will he or won't he?

Hillary, Rudy, And George, But Not Mike ( Or So He Says) by Joshua Brustein (Gotham Gazette)

2008: Will Romney do for the right?

Mitt Romney: A Massachusetts liberal for president, By Selwyn Duke (Enter Stage Right)

Nevada: '08 caucuses

When Democratic presidential hopefuls come calling on Nevada, the real challenge will be the party faithful they find in this independent-minded state... (KTLA)

Will Dem dominated Congress deal with issues of Black community?

Civil Rights Supporters Hold Key Spots in New Congress, By Hazel Trice Edney (Louisana Weekly) ...Even if withdrawal from Iraq is not imminent, Shelton says the change in leadership opens a chance for Democrats to deal with critical issues of the Black community, such as anti-racial profiling, anti-police brutality, anti-hate crimes...

Neocon strategy

All the signs are that Bush is planning for a neocon-inspired military assault on Iran , by Dan Plesch (The Guardian)

Schwarzenegger's brand of centrism

Republicans should learn from governor's 'post-partisanship', Newark Advocate (Ohio)
...Schwarzenegger's brand of centrism means two things -- shunning the extremes in search of common-sense, middle-of-the-road solutions to difficult problems and reaching out across the political divide to incorporate the best ideas your opponents have to offer while giving them credit in the process....

Sunday, January 14, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Dr. Martin Luther King's speech "Beyond Vietnam", 1967, Riverside Church, NYC


INDEPENDENT VOTERS

* McCain's war stance (Seattle Times)

* Schwarzenegger increasingly independent (LA Times)

* Redding PA mayor's race brings out independent candidates (Redding Eagle)

* Independents third branch of government? (Oregon News Register)

* Political and financial elites rule America (Letter to Concord Monitor)

* Arnold's centrism playing well (Mercury News)

* Spitzer's disconnect from state legislature on reform (Letter to Albany Times Union)

ETHICS LEGISLATION

* S 1 and bipartisan cooperation (Helena Independent Record)

2008 CAMPAIGN

* NY William Weld supports Romney (NY Crains)

* Obama to form exploratory committee (by Robert Novak, Chicago Sun Times)

* A Moment Of Hubris On The Ron Paul For President Campaign (The Liberty Papers blog)

* As many as 4 independent candidates with major names possible for 2008 (Kuff's World on Houston Chronicle)

IRAQ

* Dems did nothing about Iraq (by David Brooks, The Day)

* GOP, Democrats Skirmish Over Iraq Plan (AP)

* Where are the Republicans for Peace (antiwar.com)

* Bush, Blair, Olmert: Rush to Armageddon (Arab American News - MI)

Where are independent voters?

How are independent voters impacting on the political scene?

McCain's war stance (Seattle Times)

Schwarzenegger increasingly independent (LA Times)

Redding PA mayor's race brings out independent candidates (Redding Eagle)

Independents third branch of government? (Oregon News Register)

Political and financial elites rule America (Letter to Concord Monitor)

Arnold's centrism playing well (Mercury News)

Spitzer's disconnect from state legislature on reform (Letter to Albany Times Union)

Ethics Legislation

S 1 and bipartisan cooperation (Helena Independent Record)

2008: Who will be the independent candidate?

Where are independent voters going in 2008? The ground is being set now...

NY William Weld supports Romney (NY Crains)

Obama to form exploratory committee (by Robert Novak, Chicago Sun Times)

A Moment Of Hubris On The Ron Paul For President Campaign (The Liberty Papers blog) "Ron Paul is Hillary's worst nightmare"

Will POTUS 2008 look like Texas Gov 2006?
As many as Kuff's World on Houston Chronicle)

Iraq: Where are we going and who will lead?

Massive opposition by the American people to the current policy in Iraq, bipartisan jockying in Congress, Neocon strategy -- where are we going?

The Fog Over Iraq by David Brooks, The Day (CT)
If the Democrats don't like the U.S. policy on Iraq over the next six months, they have themselves partly to blame. There were millions of disaffected Republicans and independents ready to coalesce around some alternative way forward, but the Democrats never came up with anything remotely serious. ...

GOP, Democrats Skirmish Over Iraq Plan By ANNE FLAHERTY Associated Press Writer
Senators who back President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq tried Friday to bolster support for the unpopular strategy while Democrats plotted ways to derail the increase and force changes in war policies....

Where are the Republicans for Peace? by Doug Bandow (antiwar.com)
...But virtually no one treats such administration claims seriously any more. Many leading conservatives, such as Rich Lowry of National Review, now admit that carnage in Baghdad's streets overshadows, say, increased cell phone sales. In a remarkable article entitled "Time to Change Course," conservative journalist William Tucker acknowledged: "the horrible thing about Iraq right now is that if you read all liberal criticisms of the past four years, you realize it is basically right."...

Pres. Bush has purged his opposition to his Iraq strategy -- Bush, Blair, Olmert: Rush to Armageddon By: Robert Parry /Consortium News Arab American News (MI)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Iraq: Necon strategy or presidential swaggering?
2008: Hillary, Obama - electable?
2008: Emily + Hillary
2008: Dodd goes whole hog
Missouri: Partisan deadlock and redistricting
Go where the independents are...
National
: A "no party" system
2008: No sides presidential debate

Iraq: Necon strategy or presidential swaggering?

TEHRAN – U.S. President George W. Bush was to unveil his plan for sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq on Wednesday. However, Charles A. Kupchan, an associate professor at Georgetown University, believes that sending more troops will not solve the United States’ problems in Iraq.... Asked whether the proposal for a troop surge comes from new neocons such as retired general Jack Keane and American Enterprise Institute scholar Frederick Kagan, he stated, “Although analysts like Kagan are pushing for an increase in troops, the plan to send more troops to Baghdad is coming not from neoconservative ambitions, but from an administration that is not yet ready to accept that its efforts to stabilize Iraq have failed.” (Tehran Times)

2008: Hillary, Obama - electable?

Democrats' Litmus: Electability Key Issue for 2008 Race Poses Hurdles for Clinton, Obama
By JACKIE CALMES
Wall Street Journal
January 11, 2007
[excerpt]

.....Last year's midterm elections, which gave Democrats a majority in Congress for the first time in 12 years, offered a preview of their party's pragmatic bent. Primary voters chose a number of moderate-to-conservative Democrats over liberal stalwarts for the party's nominations, to increase the chances of winning Republican-held suburban and Western seats.

"Primary voters vote with their heads, not their hearts," says Democratic consultant Stephanie Cutter, an adviser to John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. She and some other strategists cite that year for early evidence of Democrats' emphasis on electability, when Mr. Kerry won the nomination over Howard Dean, then the darling of antiwar liberals. "They dated Dean but married Kerry because he was the best positioned to beat President Bush with his military record and proven experience," Ms. Cutter says.

Yet Mr. Kerry wasn't elected. And that has other Democrats, in particular Clinton and Obama advocates, warning against taking the electability test too far. Neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Obama has announced for president, though both are expected to create exploratory committees this month.

"I think both are electable," says Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who has ties to both -- as Mr. Obama's friend and fellow Chicagoan, and as a former top adviser to Mrs. Clinton's husband. "Bill Clinton had an electability problem until the primaries were over" in 1992, Mr. Emanuel recalls, but his strong performance in the primary campaign overrode controversies about his political stands, avoidance of the Vietnam draft and alleged philandering.

Much like her husband 15 years ago, Mrs. Clinton is often seen as too cautious and calculating, leaving many questioning what she stands for. Unlike him, she lacks a compensating charisma. Despite bipartisan praise for her Senate record on issues from education to national security, even admirers lament that she would draw Republican attacks like no other Democrat given conservative activists' loathing for both Clintons. Then there is the fact Americans have never elected a woman -- complicated in Mrs. Clinton's case by her spouse being a former president, suggesting a co-presidency of sorts.

"Anybody who has questions about her electability should look at what she's done in New York," says spokesman Howard Wolfson. He notes that she defied skeptics in 2000 by winning election to the Senate with 55% of the vote, and last year was re-elected in a landslide thanks to greater support from independents and Republicans.
Mr. Obama exudes the charisma, authenticity and optimism that many Democrats find lacking in Mrs. Clinton. Yet while he was raised in Hawaii by his white mother and grandparents from Kansas, his public identity is defined by the African skin and Muslim name inherited from his late father, Barack Hussein Obama, of Kenya. Inevitably Democrats ask: Would Americans elect an African-American, and one whose name rhymes with the terrorist they most revile?

Skeptics also cite the 45-year-old Mr. Obama's inexperience after just two years in the Senate. Days after his return last week from a holiday visit to hometown Honolulu, Hawaii's longtime Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye was quoted in the city's paper saying Mr. Obama should wait: "He has been in the Senate for, what, two years?"


2008: Emily + Hillary

Hillary Clinton picked up Emily's List endorsement (Chicago Sun Times)

2008: Dodd goes whole hog

Chris Dodd has decided to skip the exploratory phase and start his paperwork for 2008 (New York Times blog The Caucus)

Missouri: Partisan deadlock and redistricting

Democrats envision nonpartisan redistricting (Kansas City Star)

Go where the independents are...

Gary Hart influenced Howard Dean's strategy (Denver Post)

National: A "no party" system

Larry Sakin proposes a "no party system" in his OpEdNews article "A Declaration of Complete Independence"

2008: No sides presidential debate

2008 Presidential Debates May Go Online
By BetaNews Staff, BetaNews
January 12, 2007, 12:38 PM
Political blog The Huffington Post wants to try something in 2008 that's never been done before: an online presidential debate. Run by conservative-turned-liberal political commentator Arianna Huffington, the site has quickly grown into one of the most widely read political blogs on the web. If it becomes a reality, it could solidify the Internet and the so-called 'netroots' as a serious force in politics.
Even though the site focuses more on liberal-leaning commentary, Huffington wants both sides to participate. Thus, both sides have been contacted about the prospect of such an event. Invitations have been sent out to likely candidates, although none have formally confirmed they would participate in any online debate.


That's good, I guess. But at a time when many voters are calling for a centrist politic, and many independents refuse to be pidgeonholed into left/center/right categories but want to go beyond the partisan divide, I see a snag. "Both sides"? How about many sides, or no sides, or whoever who has something to say sides?
NH

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Taiwan: Independent vs. Median voters
2008: McCain and the independents
Iraq: Congressmen denounce surge
New York: Redistricting reform - where's Bruno?
2008 Horserace -- literally!
Mayor Bloomberg, staunch supporter of non-partisan elections
2008: What's the difference?
Iraq: Vermont reps oppose surge
Iraq: Quagmire

Taiwan: Independent vs. Median voters

Candidates need to adjust strategies By Wang Yeh-lih (Taipei Times) - "Median voter" strategy is based on Game Theory...

2008: McCain and the independents

McCain might get independent voter support for principled support of Iraq policy (Financial Times)

Iraq: Congressmen denounce surge

Southern GOP Congressmen denounce troop surge in Iraq (Facing South)

New York: Redistricting reform - where's Bruno?

Mr. Bruno would be very wise to send a clear signal to the public that he not only understands its demands for reform, he embraces them. (Albany Times Union editorial)

2008 Horserace -- literally!

Barack Obama is now listed with 3 to 1 odds of becoming the next US President in 2008 and those odds are likely to be shortened further as well. That bet would pay out $3 on every $1 wagered at Sportsbook.com. (Lawrence Journal World)

Mayor Bloomberg, staunch supporter of non-partisan elections

I would just urge as many people who want to run for office to run, said Bloomberg, a staunch backer of non-partisan elections, during an unrelated news conference at City Hall. The public is well served by having a greater choice. (Staten Island Advance)

2008: What's the difference?

Obama, Hillary and Edwards - can we tell them apart? (CQ Politics)

Iraq: Vermont reps oppose surge

Vermont's two U.S. senators and House member said Tuesday they oppose Bush's plan to add more troops in Iraq, and appeared poised to support efforts to block funding for that plan.(Rutland Herald)

Iraq: Quagmire

Bush Iraq policy will mean no Repub for president in 08 (American Chronicle)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Arizona: Independents are changing the landscape
New York: Spitzer and redistricting
2008: McCain-Lieberman ticket?
2008: Rev. Sharpton mulls it over
2008: Independents for Obama?
Backgrounder: Neocon Strategy

Arizona: Independents are changing the landscape

Arizona's increasing independent voting population (Arizona Republic)

New York: Spitzer and redistricting

Spitzer calls for reform on legislative redistricting, But Bruno in no hurry to end gerrymandering (Ithaca Journal)

2008: McCain-Lieberman ticket?

And for their next feat... (NewsMax)

2008: Rev. Sharpton mulls it over

Al Sharpton is "seriously" considering a run for President (NewsMax)

2008: Independents for Obama?

DraftObama.org announces "Independents for Obama" in the American Chronicle

I'll support a campaign called "Obama for Independents".....

Monday, January 08, 2007

Backgrounder: Neocon Strategy

Christian Science Monitor Special: Empire Builders--Neoconservatives and their blueprint for US power; Neocon 101--Some basic questions answered. (2003)


National Post -- Trotsky's ghost wandering the White House, Influence on Bush aides: Bolshevik's writings supported the idea of pre-emptive war (June 07, 2003 - from Alex Jones' PrisonPlanet.com)


Vanity Fair Exclusive: Now They Tell Us -- Neo Culpa As Iraq slips further into chaos, the war's neoconservative boosters have turned sharply on the Bush administration, charging that their grand designs have been undermined by White House incompetence. In a series of exclusive interviews, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman, David Frum, and others play the blame game with shocking frankness. Target No. 1: the president himself. by David Rose VF.COM November 3, 2006


Truthout interview with Scott Ritter (Ritter, you might remember spoke out early about the lack of WMDs in Iraq.) This is the third of Raw Story's series of conversations with former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter. In the first installment, Ritter spoke about the situations as regards weapons in Iraq, Iran and Russia. In the second, Ritter enumerated what he saw as the failings of the US intelligence operation, calling the CIA 'terminally ill.'In this final part of the three-part series, the former weapons inspector details his beliefs about the neoconservative movement, the American legislative process and his hopes for the future.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Colorado: Independent voters are transforming the political landscape
Massachusetts: The Gov and independent voters
Iraq: Neocon strategy
2008: Penny will back McCain
2008: McCain the Warmonger
California: Schwarzenegger the Centrist
New York: Spitzer the Reformer

Colorado: Independent voters are transforming the political landscape

A political transformation, by Susan Barnes-Gelt, Denver Post - it's the independents!

Massachusetts: The Gov and independents

Deval Patrick must avoid alienating independent voters - Boston Globe

Iraq: Neocon strategy

'Surge' in Iraq backed by new batch of neocons By Peter Spiegel, Los Angeles Times

2008: Penny will back McCain

Independence Party's Penny says he'll back McCain - Minneapolis Star Tribune

2008: McCain the Warmonger

McCain's call for troops raises stakes, Sets him apart in White House bid - Boston Globe