Saturday, February 24, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Battle for Barak's Soul (part 1)
Battle for Barak's Soul (part 2)
Staten Island: Independence Party screening Sunday
Alaskan Independence Party general membership meeting Monday
Obama in Austin and Virginia
Open Primaries Benefit Independent Voters
The Women Who Ran for President
Yes, Barak -- There ARE Black Independents!
Is Hillary Black Enough?
Obama drama: Another political sleeping pill for Black voters

Battle for Barak's Soul (part 1)

Will the Black establishment or even the Black anti-establishment establishment back Obama? A Black President?

Virginia Governor Doug Wilder says “The civil rights movement was over 50-something years ago…” Preeminent civil rights leader cir. 2007 Rev. Al Sharpton says “Just because you’re our color doesn’t make you our kind…” “Hollywood Abandons Hillary”… Sen. Daschle backs Obama… Two South Carolina black state legislators back Hillary…

And what about the independents?

It’s no secret that independent voters set the agenda (the war in Iraq) for the mid-term elections in 2006 and were responsible for the change-over of party control in Congress. For weeks before and after the November 7th election, it was all about the independent voter.
And Black independents? Invisible? It’s no secret that Barak Obama needs independent voters in order to move ahead in this protracted 2008 presidential race. Dr. Lenora Fulani, the first woman and first African American to make it onto the ballot in all 50 states running as an independent for president in 1988, and America’s preeminent black independent, cautioned Obama in her statement on Feb. 10th, that following a behind-the-scenes piece of advice from Dem higher-ups telling him “Don’t put anyone in your statement who isn’t a Democrat,” would be unfortunate. “Being black is not synonymous with being a Democrat anymore, as much as the Clintons – and others – would have us believe…”

(cont. on next post)

Battle for Barak's Soul (part 2)

(cont. from previous post) The future of America depends on independents. It’s clear that the two-party system has yielded more and more corruption and that “bipartisanship” is just another word for partisan collusion. What we need is leadership. Does Barack Obama want to be the one?

In the ‘50s and ‘60s, ordinary black leadership from the streets caught the imagination and creativity of all Americans. Call it the Civil Right Movement. I would caution Governor Wilder and other beneficiaries of a grassroots movement for integration in the ‘50s and for voting rights in the ‘60s, that the civil rights movement is maturing. A reminder – the Democratic Party came late to the demand for equal rights and de-segregation. It took ordinary people, sitting in at Woolworth’s or refusing to go to the back of the bus, who’d “had enough” (and by the way, many of them were white) to force a change in official policy. The Democratic Party had the smarts to take ownership of the civil rights movement, not because they were concerned about civil rights. It’s all about the votes for them.

It will take a similar resolve among independents to move beyond the current crisis in democracy in America. Just as the abolitionists who were at work before the Civil War, or the trade unionists who worked overtime to bring workers’ rights to America and gained social security for all Americans after World War II, our time is now.
This is not a party-driven movement. Movements never are party-driven. Movements come from the people. The people must be heard – if not now, when?- NH

Pennsylvania: Swarr says he's no "fence-rider", will run as independent in the general election

From Lancaster Online: ...Tuesday evening, after being passed over for the party endorsement, the Rapho Township supervisor announced he will run for commissioner. He will run as an independent in the general election. "It's not about the party. My campaign won't be about the party. It will be about the people," Swarr said in an interview Thursday. Swarr is an unpretentious former farmer who now runs a motocross track. He plans to run a no-nonsense campaign."I'm less of a politician now than I was eight years ago. I was a fence-rider," he now says.

Staten Island: Independence Party screening Sunday

Independence Party schedules interviews for Sunday
Posted by Tom Wrobleski February 23, 2007, Staten Island Advance
The borough Independence Party will screen candidates Sunday for the Lavelle seat during a meeting at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Livingston. A number of candidates, including party members the Rev. Dr. John Johnson and Thomas Mauro, as well as Democrats Daniel Lavelle, Matthew Titone and John Luisi, have requested to interview, according to party chair Sarah Lyons. Others interested in interviewing with the party can call Ms. Lyons at 718-447-9689.

Alaskan Independence Party general membership meeting.

Fairbanks Daily News-MinerCalendar - Monday:6:30 p.m.–Alaskan Independence Party general membership meeting. Refreshments will be served. 510 Noble St. Information: 457-1884. (Fairbanks Daily News - Miner)

Obama in Austin and Virginia

* Doug Wilder applauds Obama for staying clear of civil rights history (Washington Times)

* Obama was well-received in Austin (20,000 audience attends in local Dallas Morning News news; call for withdrawal of troops from Iraq in Dallas Morning News; "as exciting as JFK" in San Antonio Express; "slap at Cheney" in the New York Post; rock-star reception in Dallas Fort Worth Star Telegram)

Open Primaries Benefit Independent Voters

OPEN PRIMARY OPTIONS

* Virginia: GOP committee wants to avoid open primary (Freelance Star) because Dems and independents would determine the Repub candidate in an open primary situation...

* Connecticut: Lieberman should have been required to submit independent sigs before the primary (Norwich Bulletin) -- some independents protested Lieberman's signatures even AFTER the primary as not by the book -- See: Jacqueline Salit in the press during September 2006: ..."There is mounting concern among independent voters in Connecticut that Mr. Lieberman's so called 'independent candidacy' is a fraud on the voting public," states Salit. "He is not an independent, but is rather a Democrat who availed himself of an escape hatch in state Election Law allowing to reinvent himself as an 'independent-in-name-only' candidate after he lost his own party's primary."...

The Women Who Ran for President

...Lenora Fulani was the most successful female minor party candidate. Her name was on the ballot in 51 jurisdictions in 1988 and 48 in 1992. No other woman running for President, whether in a primary or a general election, has had her name on as many different ballots....

See: The Women Who Ran for President, by Jo Freeman

Yes, Barak -- There ARE Black Independents!

Listen Up, Barack – Black Presidential Candidates from Years Past Have Good Advice Galore
Date: Friday, February 23, 2007
By: Sherrel Wheeler Stewart, BlackAmericaWeb.com

....Fulani, now a developmental psychologist, got her name on the ballot in all 50 states as an independent and qualified for matching federal election funds. She said Obama must reach out to the independent voters to be successful.
"More than 35 percent of young African-American voters identify as political independents," Fulani told BlackAmericaWeb.com. "Some want to ignore us in the polls. We want to be the ones who not only swing, but also sway the vote."
And there are plenty of reasons to court black independent voters.
In the most recent election for mayor of New York, 47 percent of blacks who voted did not vote for the Democratic nominee, Fulani said.
“Many Democrats don’t want to recognize the black independent voters. They would rather keep black voters under their thumb,” she said.
With the backing of independent voters, a candidate can stand up and address issues that relate the needs of a broader segment of America, she said....

Is Hillary Black Enough?

From Craig Crawford's Trail Mix in CQ Politics: ...At a town hall in Miami’s predominantly black Liberty City neighborhood, Clinton warmed up a crowd torn between longstanding loyalties to Bill Clinton and fascination with Obama (who spent the day courting elite celebrities in California). ...

Obama drama: Another political sleeping pill for Black people

by James Clingman
Chicago Defender, February 21, 2007
Here we go again. Will the euphoria sweeping through our ranks over the possibility of a Black President eventually dominate our collective psyche? Will it overwhelm us with notions of equality and victory, and ostensibly cause us to subordinate our primary interests and abandon the pressing issues that negatively impact Black life in America? With more than 21 months to go before we vote and one year before the first primaries and caucuses, Black folks are spending a great deal of time and resources following each episode of the Obama Drama. Been there, done that....

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Turning Point?
Upton predicts McCain vs. Clinton, says `a lot will depend on the war'
33.9 percent

Turning Point?

Newman: There are a lot of challenges out there to the American position as a world power. We might be in a period, strategically speaking, where if you want to preserve it you have to fight for it. Who knows the answer to that one? I don’t think we should fight for world hegemony. I don’t even think we should necessarily want it.... (Talk/Talk)

Upton predicts McCain vs. Clinton, says `a lot will depend on the war'

A McCain-Giuliani ticket would have considerable crossover appeal for independents... (Kalamazoo Gazette)

33.9 percent

...From 2001 through 2005, "party identification balance" in the Gallup polling, before independents are queried, stayed within 2 points of each other. But for 2006, Democrats pulled away, leading Republicans by 3.9 points, with 34.3 percent identifying themselves as Democrats, 30.4 percent as Republicans and 33.9 percent as independents.

"This represents a swing of 5.8 points in just three years, from a GOP lead of 1.9 points to a deficit of 3.9 points. It's not that Democrats grew that much; it's that Republicans dropped, with the independent column picking up much of the slack," argues Cook.

But for Cook, "the real jaw dropper" is the responses of independents when asked which party they lean toward. Here, Democrats jumped from a 1.3 point advantage in 2001 to a 10.2 advantage in 2006: 50.4 percent for Democrats, 40.2 percent for Republicans.... (American Spectator)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



US still needs its own ‘regime change’
Rudy and the Rich and Green case
Barak Obama, let's see your baggage?
Hillary: Manchurian Stepford wife?
Hillary, just be yourself...

US still needs its own ‘regime change’

by Ben Tanosborn in Turkish Daily News ...If Americans want change and they really mean it they must force it at the local and state level and forget about the people they've sent to the Capitol in D.C. It's the small towns and big cities that need to make declarations rebuking U.S. foreign policy and its byproduct: war, war and more war; rebuking jointly the president and the vice-president and calling for both their impeachments. Until there is such a groundswell of public opinion, and it becomes conclusive that we must stop beating around this Bush, there will be little hope for change and definitely no end to the involvement in Iraq....
Ben Tanosborn is a lawyer and political commentator based in Vancouver, WA, United States

If the US had a British-style system where allowances are made for a change in leadership of the country when citizens express a "no confidence" vote (and certainly, Pres. Bush has a big "no confidence" vote right now), we might be witnessing a regoranziation of our government. But we have a stable two-party bureaucracy in which calls for impeachment are rhetorical at best.

The groundswell of public opinion is already here, but we must be organized outside the two parties. Independents must speak out on behalf of the American people, and we need to organize at the grassroots. -NH

Rudy and the Rich and Green case

The Antidote to Hillary?by John Batchelor Human Events ...In sum, Giuliani, as Republican nominee, would possess so potent a campaign challenge to Clinton, going to the heart of presidential mettle, that it might not have to be voiced by the candidate. The Rich and Green case is American justice delayed, not denied. It is the sort of treachery and trickery that, in the new presidential contest, will come back in the debate along with all the other debts run up by the tyrants of Tehran that America looks forward to marking as paid in full....

Barak Obama, let's see your baggage?

Mike Robinson, Associated Press Writer chronicles Barak Obama's civil rights background (here in the Boston Globe) "...Obama was part of a team of attorneys who represented the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois in 1995 for failing to implement a federal law designed to make it easier for the poor and others to register as voters.... "

Is this the beginning of "cleaning up" Obama -- or in his case, the "dirtying down"? 'Barak, let's see your baggage, meager as it may be!'... Did somebody at The Top decide that it's not smart to alienate the Old Guard civil rights movement (which is about 2/3 of the country)? -NH

Hillary: Manchurian Stepford wife?

Patricia DeGennaro writes in American Spectator that Hillary "seems more like a Manchurian Stepford wife than a gutsy maverick.
I’m a woman, but I won’t support a candidate just because she’s female. My candidate will stand for something and take a stand for something. She or he will not bow to special interests and change positions every time the political winds shift. This person will embrace all of the American people – not only his or her political base...."


Thanks, Patricia - and that goes ditto for ALL the candidates. I wouldn't look to the Manchurian/Stepford Democratic Party to make the right choice, however.

Hillary, just be yourself...

David Brooks said last week in the Sacramento Bee that Hillary shouldn't appologize for her war vote because it would be a compromise of her Clintonian triangulating ways....

I would add that Hillary thinks strong-arming independents in New York and being cagey in New Hampshire is "reaching out" to independents. It won't help her campaign.

Monday, February 19, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS






Lenora Fulani: "I don't think black people will vote for Hillary just because she's married to Bill"

Independents favor troop withdrawal
Pennsylvania: US Supreme Court considering whether to hear Carl Romanelli case
Pennsylvania: Online parody recalls Russ Diamond's law suit
Texas independent leader Linda Curtis slams Trans-Texas Corridor
Virginia Gov endorses Obama
Dallas Mayor endorses Obama
Obama, race, slavery and winning the Presidency
Introducing: SloppyCampaignWork.com 2008

Lenora Fulani: "I don't think black people will vote for Hillary just because she's married to Bill"

Bill Clinton acts as stand-in
Former president campaigns for Hillary at annual lawmakers dinner
Yancey Roy, Albany bureau ...Not everyone at the Albany event was convinced the former president could help his wife win minority voters. "I don't think black people will vote for Hillary just because she's married to Bill," said Lenora Fulani, a former top official of the Independence Party. ... (Democrat & Chronicle)

From Sunday's New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators

Independents favor troop withdrawal

Shift among independent voters swings American public opinion in favor of pulling troops out of Iraq
Poll finds 53 percent believe washington should leave as soon as possible
EXPERT BRIEFING by Pew Research Center ...In recent surveys, independents had been fairly evenly split over whether to bring the troops home. In January, 47 percent favored a troop withdrawal while 49 percent said the troops should remain in Iraq until the situation there is stabilized. But in the current survey, 55 percent of independents say they favor bringing the troops home as soon as possible, compared with 40 percent who believe the troops should remain.... (Daily Star - LEBANON)

Pennsylvania: US Supreme Court considering whether to hear Carl Romanelli case

U.S. Supreme Court Disposition of 4 Election Law Cases Expected on February 20
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to hear four particular election law cases at its February 16 conference. The results will not be released to the public until February 20. The 4 cases include three ballot access cases: (1) Pennsylvania petition-checking procedures, filed by Carl Romanelli; (2) Illinois petition-checking procedures for initiatives, filed by the Protect Marriage Initiative organization; (3) New York petition requirements for candidates getting on a primary ballot for Delegate to Judicial Conventions. The 4th case is from Utah and concerns whether a state may require all initiatives on one particular subject to fail unless they receive a “yes” vote of two-thirds. (Ballot Access News)

Pennsylvania: Online parody recalls Russ Diamond's law suit

A tangled Web at state House
GOP campaign material was improperly stored on a Pa. government Web site funded by taxpayers.
By Mario F. Cattabiani ...Kate Philips, Rendell's press secretary, called the cartoon "bush league."
"Wrong doesn't begin to describe it," Philips said. (Rendell shatters a scale during the fight's weigh-in.) "It was disrespectful, distasteful and, frankly, a little dumb."
It's not the first time House Republicans have faced questions about use of state computers.
Last year, Russ Diamond, founder of PaCleanSweep, a group formed in response to the 2005 pay raise, sued a House GOP staffer for defamation.
The suit alleged that the staffer, Bob Nye, had created an online parody equating Diamond with former Enron chief Kenneth Lay. Nye acknowledged the site was his, but said he had done it entirely on his home computer. A federal judge dismissed the case in October....
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

Texas independent leader Linda Curtis slams Trans-Texas Corridor

Trans-Texas Corridor comes under fire
Bastrop-based activist terms political process in Austin 'corrupt'
By PHILLIP WILLIAMS 2/12/07 ..."TTC is “an unbelievable land grabbing, monopoly building, autocratic scheme developed without public input and devoid of collaboration with regional or metropolitan transportation organizations.”... (Gilmer Mirror)

Virginia Gov endorses Obama

Virginia’s governor endorses Obama
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Gov. Timothy M. Kaine endorsed Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign Saturday within sight of the former Confederate Capitol.
Obama picked up his second gubernatorial endorsement.
Before Obama announced plans to run for president earlier this month, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he would back the Democrat’s candidacy....
(Northwest Herald - IL)

Dallas Mayor endorses Obama

Obama reshaping politics in Texas
Elections: In fast-moving race, black leaders must decide on choice early, By GROMER JEFFERS JR. -- Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk is usually deliberate, even cautious, about his endorsements.
In Texas and elsewhere, the phenomenon is causing an early and unexpected split among the party's most loyal supporters: black voters....
(Dallas Morning News)

Obama, race, slavery and winning the Presidency

Obama's candidacy sparks debates on race; Is he African American if his roots don't include slavery? by Leslie Fulbright, ...The Rev. Al Sharpton of New York, who ran for president in 2004, was also upset. "We cannot put our people's aspirations on hold for anybody's career, black or white," said Sharpton. "Just because you are our color doesn't make you our kind."
The two major parties have fielded five black presidential candidates over the years -- Shirley Chisholm, Jackson, Carol Moseley Braun, Sharpton and Alan Keyes. But the issue of race didn't rise in those campaigns to the degree it has this year, perhaps because Obama is the first black person viewed as a possible winner....
(San Francisco Chronicle)

Sloppy journalism?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Introducing: SloppyCampaignWork.com

For our money, nothing beats the spectacle of the American presidential campaign.
With no presumptive incumbent for 2008, there is a sizable crop of candidates vying for each party’s nomination. With so many candidates campaigning in so many states for so many months, we are anticipating a generous amount of fuel and fodder for our modest little project on sloppy campaign work.
By creating this Web site, our goal is neither to point fingers nor embarrass any of the hard-working campaign staffers who toil long hours for noble ideals and meager salaries. We, ourselves, worked for several years on political campaigns, including one of us who was employed on the national staff of a presidential candidate within the past twenty years (I won’t say which one)… so, you know, we feel your pain.


New to the Hankster Blog Roll -- check it out -- it's funny, it's political, it's independent!

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Congress vote on Iraq: can they withstand the independents?
Midterm elections: independents and the Dems
John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, weirdness and independent voters
Can independent voters determine the 2008 election?
Arizona: Independent voters boon to McCain
Kentucky: Gov gets low marks from independents
"The damage was among independents..."
Liberal moment or conservative slump?
Barak Obama: Independent legacy?
Black voters: Liberalism is exhausted
Blogosphere: Liberal Bloggers alienate independents
Are you an independent voter?
Walk the Walk with Talk/Talk: Is Barak Obama Black Enough?

Congress vote on Iraq: can they withstand the independents?

Iraq vote tough for GOP lawmakers
By Margaret Talev and Renee Schoof
McClatchy Newspapers
...Dozens of Republicans are expected to vote for the Democrats' resolution opposing the 21,500-troop increase. Some hail from conservative districts and won re-election last year by wide margins. Others won with 55 percent of the vote or less, including Reps. Ric Keller of Florida, Phil English of Pennsylvania and Tom Davis of Virginia. By crossing party lines, they could build support from independents and Democrats, but they also could court primary challenges.... (Seattle Times)

Midterm elections: independents and the Dems

The Democrats After November
by Mike Davis, New Left Review
Was the November 2006 midterm election an epic political massacre or just a routine midterm brawl? ......Democrats, for the first time ever, did not lose a single incumbent or open House seat. Independent voters (26 per cent of the electorate) swung to the Democrats by an almost two-to-one ratio—‘the biggest margin ever measured among independents since the first exit polls in 1976’.... (ZMagazine)

John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, weirdness and independent voters

Battle between ‘crock’ McCain and 'weird' Giuliani
...Last week’s Gallup poll showed that McCain’s support for the “surge” of 21,500 extra troops in Iraq was not hurting his chances with Republican voters.
Only 8% said it made them less likely to support him, while 21% said they approved of his decision. But it has hurt McCain with independent voters, who are moving into the antiwar camp.... (UK Sunday Times)

Can independent voters determine the 2008 election without conservatives?

Agree to Disagree: Goldman and McSweeney debate topical issues
This week: Will social conservatives be able to block Rudy Giuliani from getting the GOP nomination on account of his NYC-friendly positions on abortion, gay rights, gun control, illegal immigration, and the like?
Patrick McSweeney:... Can a Republican be elected president in 2008 by drawing a substantially higher share of moderate and independent voters than in recent elections, while cultural conservatives sit out the election? Not likely.... (Richmond Times Dispatch)

Arizona: Independent voters boon to McCain

Back at Home, McCain Annoys the G.O.P. Right
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
...The senator’s supporters are quick to write off the detractors as a fringe of the raucous state party that will be flattened like pita bread once primary day arrives next year. As a practical matter, Mr. McCain’s supporters point out, Arizona’s large swaths of independent voters can vote in the Republican primary, which will be a boon to Mr. McCain even if he loses some votes within his own party. ... (New York Times)

Kentucky: Gov gets low marks from independents

Fletcher's image problems persist as job marks rise, Nearly half have unfavorable view
By Joseph Gerth ...Predictably, Fletcher got his strongest support from Republicans, 62 percent of whom said they approve of the job he was doing. Only 37 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of independents said they somewhat or strongly approve of the job the governor is doing. ... (Courier Journal)

"The damage was among independents..."

Aderholt glad only 17 in GOP jumped ship on surge vote
By CHRIS WELCH
...Of the 17 party votes in the House, Aderholt added, "I think this is just a way for Republicans to send the president a message."
Aderholt touched on a number of issues Saturday, but focused on why the Republicans lost control of the Congress 233-202 after the Nov. 6 election. They had previously controlled Congress by the same number. The party commissioned a study of why things went so badly and got the results a month ago. ....The bottom line, he said, is "the damage was among independents, the voters in the middle; the election was more than just Iraq and the images and brand of the GOP took a hit." ...
(Huntsville Times)

Liberal moment or conservative slump?

The L Word: Leftward, Ho?
By MARK LEIBOVICH
...A Gallup survey last month found that Democrats led Republicans by 34 percent to 31 percent in party affiliation — the largest Democratic advantage since the Clinton administration (34 percent of respondents identified themselves as independents). ... (New York Times)

Barak Obama: Independent legacy?

'News Worth Noting' Obama Knows Novelty Goes Only So Far
Fresh Face in Washington in the ‘08 Race Who Still Must Report to Day Job
WASHINGTON--There is always, it seems, a fresh new face breezing into a presidential race, offering himself as the person to change the tone, eliminate the vitriol and transform the old ways of politics. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (Dem., Ill.) is auditioning for that role in the 2008 campaign. He said so himself, leaping into the Democratic contest the other day on a promise to “advance the cause of change and progress that we so desperately need.” 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.... (Black Chronicle)

Black voters: Liberalism is exhausted

African-Americans' disagreements vented 'Esquire' essay sparks the latest firestorm
By Erin Texeira, The Associated Press
..."Black conservatives have had to go to the mainstream and make their arguments there because there is no place in the black community for those arguments to be made - not the black church or anywhere," said Shelby Steele, an award-winning author and a fellow at the Hoover Institution.
"Liberalism is exhausted," he added, but that idea "will only be taken seriously if it's in the mainstream."
The conservative tag Steele uses for those who share at least part of his vision is slippery. Some identify as Republicans, but others are independents and Democrats - or eschew political labels. ...
(Concord Monitor)

Blogosphere: Liberal Bloggers alienate independent voters

Liberal Bloggers Demonstrate Their Political Immaturity, Democrat Says
By: Dan Gerstein
...But the typical blog mix of insults and incitements is just not an effective strategy for persuading people outside of your circle of belief – be they moderate Democrats, moderate Republicans, or the swelling number of independents – to join your cause. In fact, it’s far more likely to alienate than propagate them.
Something else most liberal bloggers fail to appreciate – we as Democrats can’t afford to repel those middle of the road, largely non-partisan voters.
The Iraq war notwithstanding, which has temporarily tilted the political landscape in our favor, the long-term electoral math is stacked against us – surveys show conservatives currently outnumber liberals three-to-two. Thus, if we want to win the White House and become a majority party again, it’s not enough to excite our base. We must also expand it....
(The Politico blog)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Are you and independent voter?

Have you checked out IndependentVoting.org?

I recommend it!

The Internet has made this the age of the instant political movement. Like-minded people (and even unlike-minded people) can find one another and quickly create a kind of critical mass. The hope, often the expectation, is that these new aggregations can bring positive change to the body politic. This includes seizing new opportunities for democratizing communication and communicating democracy, both of which are urgently needed.

While Independentvoting.org uses the Internet as a path to the "netroots,” we think the process of social change – particularly one driven by independent voters – requires more than an "add water and stir” methodology. Developing new political conceptions, new organizing models and new political leaders is challenging, especially when two-partyism, left/center/right ideology and top-down approaches dominate the culture as they do. If your premises aren't out-of-the-box, what you build won't be either – no matter how innovative your tools might be.
In our experience, the seemingly instant movements – at least the ones that make a real difference in the lives of ordinary Americans – are not really instant at all. They are the product of what athletes like to call "brick work” – the slow, steady and unglamorous enterprise of doing the groundwork for the progressive and democratic transformation of political process our country so desperately needs.


The reactionary thrust of the Republican Party and the visionlessness of the Democratic Party have left a political void. That is why 35% of Americans are independents, rather than identifying themselves with one or the other major party. The void is not, as some analysts argue, a space "at the center” for a centrist party. It is rather an opportunity for independents – regardless of ideology – to come together around a vision of radical political reform that effectively challenges the old partisan institutions and old top-down ways of policymaking.
For 12 years (and longer) the folks who bring you Independentvoting.org have been "laying cables” for that movement – and have attracted tens of thousands of independent voters in all 50 states to participate in that process. Through their work, a vibrant, outspoken, up-from-the-bottom, multi-racial, mainstream and engaged community of independents has put itself on the map.


We invite you to learn about and join in the multiple ways that independent voters are finding their voice and becoming a potent third force in American politics.

Jacqueline Salit is the Political Director of the Committee for a Unified Independent Party

Walk the Walk with Talk/Talk: Is Barak Obama Black Enough?

Salit: On the roundtable on “Meet the Press,” Gwen Ifill brought up the dialogue that’s going on in the media about whether Barack Obama is black enough.
Newman: Her position was wrong. It’s not an issue ‘not to be discussed.’ It’s very much an issue to be discussed.
Salit: Tell me why you think that.
Newman: Why isn’t it an issue for debate? It’s a very important issue and she’s trying to close it down in a nod to traditional liberalism. I think it has to be raised, not as an attack on Obama but as an examination of the dynamics in black politics and the connection between the black political scene and the larger world. But no one responded to Gwen when she raised it.


Have Talk/Talk?

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Independent voters and the war in Iraq
Minnesota: Al Franken and independents
Will independent voters bring down Repubs?
Politicans on the edge need independents' support
Pew Research poll shows independents swinging out of Iraq
Black President?
Political advertising: going for independents
Independent voters favor Hillary, Obama over Rudy, McCain
Independent voters, winning and political morals
Colorado: We're independent
New Jersey: Independents favor Giuliani 2008

Independent voters and the war in Iraq

WASHINGTON -- Democrats face a host of risks as they move toward more substantive steps to tie President Bush's hands with funding restrictions on the Iraq war.
Leaders are wary of allowing the more intense anti-war activists define the party's image.
...A survey conducted Feb. 7-11 by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press shows that while a majority of Democrats support cutting off money for the troop increase, most independent voters and a majority of the general public do not.... (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Minnesota: Al Franken and independents

"The question is will he turn off some Democratic voters or will they be worried about him," Lau said. "How will his candidacy lie with the independent voters?"... (Minnesota West Central Tribune)

Will independent voters bring down Repubs?

Recent polls indicate a dramatic shift of independent voters toward Democrats when pressed to take sides. That shift helped Democratic candidates win a majority in Congress in November.... (US News & World Report)

Politicans on the edge need independents' support

...Dozens of Republicans are expected to vote for the Democrats' resolution opposing the 21,500-troop increase. Some of them hail from conservative districts and won reelection last year by wide margins. Others won with 55 percent of the vote or less, including Reps. Ric Keller of Florida, Phil English of Pennsylvania and Tom Davis of Virginia. By crossing party lines, they could build support from independents and Democrats but they also could court primary challenges.... (Miami Herald)

Pew Research poll shows independents swinging out of Iraq

..Independent Swing
In recent Pew surveys on this topic, voters who identified themselves as independent split evenly over whether to bring the troops home. In January, 47 percent of independents favored a troop withdrawal, while 49 percent said the troops should remain in Iraq until the situation there stabilized.
In the current survey, 55 percent of independents said they favored bringing the troops home as soon as possible, compared with 40 percent who said the troops should remain. ... (Dallas Morning News)

Black President?

Mr. Obama has chosen to make a bid to become the 44th President of the America. None of this is or should be shocking, but it is a truth that has not seen the light of day in this particular fashion since the founding of this Republic.

Let us talk about unusual for a moment. It is not unusual because Mr. Obama is a Black man. Jessie Jackson, Alford Sharpton, Shirley Chisholm, Lenora Fulani and others not so familiar and not quite as popular have run that race, as well. It is not unusual that this new Black candidate is not being considered a stalking horse for some other candidate in order to measure the temperature going in.... (Amsterdam News)

Political advertising: going for independents

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) needs his message to match his appeal, and Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) campaign may be in trouble if troop escalation continues to be an unpopular policy, according to Wilson Research Strategies Inc. ...On the bright side for McCain supporters, the ad got average marks from Republicans and independents surveyed for strength of message, effectiveness, appeal, memorability and credibility.
When the ads were compared side by side, 67 percent of those surveyed thought the DraftObama ad was more effective, compared to 27 percent who thought the MoveOn.org ad was more effective.... (The Hill)

Independent voters favor Hillary, Obama over Rudy and McCain

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) are more popular among independent voters than any single Republican candidate, according to a national poll released yesterday. A Harris Interactive Poll found that 40 percent of independents would consider voting for Clinton and 35 percent would consider voting for Obama. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) each garnered the consideration of 27 percent of independent voters.... (The Hill)

Independent voters, winning and political morals

...So here we are with both parties trying to get to the independent voters and those 7 million Republicans who walked out of the party in 1992. Our parties are not working on finding the most qualified candidates but working for the ones who are willing to bow down to any number of people and handing them promises and hand outs. Winning takes the lead over political morals.... (Capitol Hill Blue blog)

Colorado: We're independent

...What they don’t get is that it’s a question of independence. We have more independents than Democrats or Republicans, which means most of us have one foot on each side of that Continental Divide separating the two parties.... (Vail Trail)

New Jersey: Independents favor Giuliani

...Among independents, Giuliani gained a 47 to 37 margin over Clinton, while Republicans backed Giuliani 86 percent. He posted 19 percent among Democrats.
In a Clinton-McCain match-up, independents supported the Arizona Republican 48 to 36 percent... (Newark Star Ledger)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



2 South Carolina legislators back Clinton
Will Barak Obama reach out to independents?
Barak Obama and his Disappearing Lenora Fulani Act...
Independent Voters Press Hillary Clinton on Independent Rights

But is Obama Ready for Black Independents?

2 South Carolina legislators back Clinton

2 key black SC leaders throw support to Clinton
JIM DAVENPORT
Associated Press in Myrtle Beach online
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Two key black political leaders in South Carolina who backed John Edwards in 2004 said Tuesday they are supporting Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
State Sens. Robert Ford and Darrell Jackson told The Associated Press they believe Clinton is the only Democrat who can win the presidency. Both said they had been courted by Illinois Sen. Barack Obama; Ford said Obama winning the primary would drag down the rest of the party....

Will Barak Obama reach out to independents?

From Sunday's Register Mail - Galesburg, Illinois:
..."So if Obama wants to reach out to Republicans and independents (for a general election campaign) he needs to find an issue that shows he is not simply a party-line Democrat," Pitney added....

Barak Obama and his Disappearing Lenora Fulani Act

It's been posted before, but it bears repeating:

In a wonderful article on Black America Web, Barack Obama’s Presidential Candidacy Elicits Excitement, Prompts Debate Among Blacks, February 10, 2007, By Michael H. Cottman --

..."Despite Chisholm, Jackson, Fulani, Mosley-Braun and Sharpton before him, Obama is managing a scale of organizational and fundraising capacity that appears unmatched by those previous candidates," [Colorado state Sen. Peter Groff, executive director of the Center for African American Policy at the University of Denver] said. "Therefore, he is very much the most solid black contender for president of the United States, thereby presenting an unbelievably unique opportunity for African-Americans." .....

..."I'm proud of Senator Obama for following in the footsteps of Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, and Al Sharpton," Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) told BlackAmericaWeb.com. "He has earned the opportunity to make this run for the presidency, and I look forward to hearing his plans on how to get America back on the right path." ...

Independent Voters Press Hillary Clinton on Proposed Plan to Limit Their Voting Rights

Dem/Repub Legislators Plan “St. Valentines Day Massacre” of Independents
February 12, 2007

Concord, NH —Independent voter and activist Betty Ward of Concord, NH put the role of independents in the presidential election front and center during Hillary Clinton’s Concord visit Saturday, as Democratic and Republican legislators in the state plan to deliver a nasty Valentine’s Day message to independents. The legislators have reintroduced a bill to restrict independents’ participation in presidential primaries, a bill which independents defeated in 2005. A hearing on HB 196 is scheduled for February 14, 2007 before the House of Representatives, Committee on Election Law.

Ward, an activist with the New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice (NH-CIV), drew applause from audience members when she began her question to Clinton by stating that 42% of NH voters were independents. Ward continued, “On one hand, we are congratulated when we help a candidate win, but on the other hand, Democrats and Republicans have introduced legislation that limits our voice in elections.”

Clinton responded by saying everyone should be included in the process, and cited some minor parties in New York that work together in the fusion process.

“Senator Clinton made a general statement about the need for independents to be included,” said Ward. “But our concerns at this moment are very specific. Our state legislature has reintroduced a bill to limit independents’ participation in the presidential primary elections, and we are fighting against it. Senator Clinton didn't speak as clearly as she needs to. We’re going to be asking all the presidential candidates exactly where they stand on this issue.”

Ward added, “Senator Clinton seems to think that being independent means being in a party. That shows she doesn't know who independents are. Independents don't like parties and most of us aren't in one. But we still want the full rights of participation that are guaranteed by the Constitution."

Independents have voted in presidential primaries in New Hampshire since 1910.

Press Contacts: Jerome Holden 603-569-5335 Sarah Lyons 212-962-1824 / 917-658-9885

If you would like to get involved in the fight in New Hampshire against HB 196, click here for a sample letter.

But is Obama Ready for Black Independents?

This is a repeat of a post from Feb. 10 - "back by popular demand..." Long considered the political property of the Democratic Party, black voters have developed a new found independence. Will Obama stand with Lenora Fulani, as Rev. Sharpton has, as the leading independent voice for black America? How Barack Obama chooses to relate to the black independent will be a true test of his ability to put principles before partisanship.

Independents are Ready for Barack Obama. But is Obama Ready for Black Independents?
February 10, 2008
By Lenora Fulani
Two weeks ago, I spoke at a national conference of independent voters. There were 500 activist independents, from 31 states – over a third of whom were African American. This conference was the latest indicator that black voters are more politically volatile these days, more independent in their voting and thinking. Many will be receptive to Barack Obama and his presidential campaign. A pressing question is whether he will return the interest. Independents may be ready for Obama. But is Obama ready for us? .... Is Obama Ready for Independents?

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Ohio: Voting machinecanery
Oregon: Serious grassroots-driven winning strategy...
New Hampshire: Voting in open primaries
Can you reason your way out of partisan gridlock?
Obama: Staying power?
Gay UK: Obama?
Obama: The Answer? What about the people?

Obama: if he chooses to become more politically courageous
Obama: Lincolnesque -- Not hype?
How should independents participate in the 2008 Presidential campaign? Hankster Poll

Ohio: Voting machinecanery

What is needed is for grassroots forces that believe in democracy to take concerted action. (Political Cortex blog)

Oregon: Serious grassroots-driven winning strategy

Strategy: Oregon special election is super important for Democrats, Independents and Republicans of conscience to coalesce early behind a great candidate and a serious grassroots-driven, winning strategy (Blueoregon blog)

This post raises 2 important issues: one, thinking out loud -- we should all do that! and two, mounting a unified early challenge -- we should do that too, but what happens if a great candidate isn't available? Keep organizing at the grassroots!

New Hampshire: Voting in open primaries

Letter says elderly need straight-ticket voting (Union Leader) Hmmmm......

Monday, February 12, 2007

Can you reason your way out of partisan gridlock?

Is There Power in a Unity 08? Send in the centrists? Don't bother, they're here. Brian Doherty (reason magazine) --Even if we could assume that the overall result of 2006’s election was an accurate reflection of most voters' overall wishes rather than an emergent pattern above and beyond their control, that result—GOP executive, Democratic congress—is the best guarantee we could have of “partisan gridlock.” And those, such as Unity 08, who link big money corruption with partisanship should note that it was only partisanship—a Democratic desire to differentiate themselves from their sleazy colleagues across the aisle—that led to the recent anti-lobbyist action we’ve seen. Partisanship is the one thing that makes the bastards go against their larger interests as politicians....


I'm not a fan of Reason magazine, although I have some good libertarian friends who tend more in the grassroots tradition. I dont see any reason to posit a centrist politic in favor of issue-oriented appeals, or vice versa. The issue for independents is that partisan gridlock won't be broken except by a concerted effort on the ground by independent thinkers. We won't think our way out of this. That's the worst kind of conscienceness-raising.

Obama: Staying power?

Obama -- from the California Majority Report -- Even with the headline-stealing death of Anna Nicole Smith late last week, Senator Barack Obama managed to make another splash with his entry into the Presidential race on Saturday. Now the question is whether he has the staying power needed to compete with the other heavyweights running for the Democratic presidential nod....

Gay UK: Obama?

British actress Emma Thompson has spoken of the dream ticket for many Hollywood "limousine liberals," namely a Clinton/Obama Democratic platform. ... From PinkNews.co.uk

Obama: The Answer? What about the people?

A Drury University Mirror editorial says ...The American people will not be looking for a candidate with exceptional experience in 2008. There is a desperate need for a competent leader to step up and rescue America from the disasters into which the current administration...

The question is who will produce those leaders? The parties? We've seen what they can do. Let's see what ordinary people can do. Traditionally, we have produced movements. The powers that be are into parties....

Obama: if he chooses to become more politically courageous

...from William Julius Wilson in the Harvard Crimson "Obama and the Right Message"...

Personally speaking, I could do with less message and more interaction with real people and especially with independent voters who will weigh in on the direction that America will take in the future. Demand more!

Obama: Lincolnesque -- Not hype?

An editor from In These Times has written a glowing peice called "The Gentleman From Illinois" about Barak Obama's plunge into the 2008 presidential run in the American Prospect... The references to Abraham Lincoln have just begun. By the Dems. Let's not forget that A. Lincoln ran as a third party candidate, but I'll give you that it was at a time of historical crisis in America....

How should independents participate in the 2008 Presidential campaign?

Look on the sidebar for the Hankster Poll. Results so far:

We should look for the best candidate and endorse him/her. 23%
We should draft an independent candidate. 10%
We should lobby the media to cover any independents who are running. 18%
We should demand impartial oversight for Presidential debates. 18%
We should build independent clubs, committees and associations. 18%
We should get behind a bipartisan ticket. 13%


Vote today!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS





Missouri independent leader Kim Wright speaks out about SB 409
New Hampshire: HB 196 attacks independents' rights
Schwarzenegger and the independents
New Hampshire: Where will the independents go?
Florida: Attempting to be acceptable to independents
Deconstructing Nader
New Hampshire: large presence of undeclared or independent voters
Hillary, Iraq, independents and New Hampshire
Is Obama Black Enough (and enough for whom...)?
New Hampshire: Independent voters will determine
Obama show opens officially
The Audacity of Australian PM Howard
Obama: the "Black JFK"?
Independent Party Platform - Coming (David Remer)
Maybe I'm Not a Misfit After All (Marcia Ford)
Gary Younge on Barak Obama

Missouri independent leader Kim Wright speaks out on SB 409

An Independent Response to Proposed Senate Bill 409

by Kim Wright

Is anyone surprised that Senator Gary Nodler, with the support of Senator Delbert Scott, has introduced legislation to change the election process for independent candidates in Missouri? Senate Bill 409 would require that any person considering a non-partisan run for office file a written declaration of intent to run prior to the primary election. While this legislation may seem benign, it will make a big difference.

In 1976, a three-judge U. S. District Court struck down Missouri’s old law that said independent candidates petitions were due in April. So why now would Mr. Nodler want to require a Declaration of Intent well before the primary or general election?

Independent candidates offer voters a choice. This new bill will significantly restrict voters’ choices in future elections. When one party candidate is running unopposed by another party candidate, voters are not afforded a voice. An unopposed candidate does not have to present a political platform, nor does he (she) have to listen to or even represent voters. As voters we generally support the candidate whose values parallel our own. Should that candidate be defeated in the primary election, an Independent candidate with similar values might provide a better choice than the competing Democrat or Republican.

Independents do not have the status or support of an organized party. Often independent candidates choose to run at the request of local voters who want a voice in their government. Sometimes they run in response to having undesirable candidates in the two major parties. Senate Bill 409 will likely limit voter choices in upcoming elections.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 42% of Americans are identifying themselves as independents. This must be alarming to both political parties. In November election, there were 20,198 voters in District 32 and 27,128 voters in District 28 who cast ballots for independent candidates. These voters would not have had that option had SB 409 been in place. I can think of only two people who wish this bill had been introduced in 2004.


This bill goes to the Senate Finance and Government Organization and Elections Committee (Delbert Scott, Chair on Monday, February 12th. Perhaps Mr. Nodler has a good explanation for “why now?”. I plan to call him (573-751-2306 ) to ask. I hope you will call, too.

New Hampshire: HB 196 attacks independents' rights

New Hampshire Bill Would Somewhat Restrict Independent Voters
Ballot Access News
Under current New Hampshire law, an independent voter can “join” a qualified political party at the polls on primary day, vote in that party’s primary, and then immediately sign a form (at the polls) to go back to independent status. HB 196 would still let independent voters join a major political party at the primary polling place, and vote in that major party primary, but the bill would provide that that voter must then remain a member of that party, until he or she (after primary day) goes to the town clerk and requests a change back to independent status. This bill has a hearing on Feb. 14.

Schwarzenegger and the independents

From San Francisco Chronicle: "His base is independent voters, and they're quite happy with him,'' he said. ...

New Hampshire: Where will the independents go?

From New Hampshire Foster's online: ...Despite changes in New Hampshire demographics over the last 10 years, Cullen sees plenty of opportunity for the GOP. He maintains that many of the state's independent voters are still more inclined to vote Republican, and says that from what he has seen, the Democratic turnout was only a couple of points higher than GOP turnout in November. ...

Florida: Attempting to be acceptable to independents

From Florida The Ledger: If they want to build on 2006, they have to recruit strong local candidates, reach out to all areas of the state and promote a message that can be heard and accepted by conservative Democrats and independents who have been supporting Republicans....

Deconstructing Nader

Boston Globe's review of the movie about Ralph Nader An Unreasonable Man

New Hampshire: large presence of undeclared or independent voters

From Pittsburgh Post Gazette: ...Dartmouth's Ms. Fowler concedes the criticism of the state's atypical demographics -- few minorities and a much smaller proportion of Christian conservatives than most states' GOP constituencies, for example. But she argues that the relatively large presence of undeclared or independent voters, who are free to choose between the two party primaries, make the New Hampshire contests better bellwethers for a general election than those of other early states where the nominating process is more dependent on party activists....

Hillary, Iraq, independents and New Hampshire

From Concord Monitor: ...Clinton's approach may not be the most popular with the Democratic base - a handful of hecklers attended her DNC speech. But in the battle for independent voters, Clinton's message will likely resonate, Lesperance said. Independents "may not be happy with the war, but they don't think that pulling out immediately is the best response," he said. Clinton's "is a smart strategy" ...

Is that the best Hillary can do to pander to independents????? - NH

Is Obama Black Enough (and enough for whom...)?

From L.A. Times: "You really don't want to nationally say that blacks should do something for Obama that he himself is not doing at home," Sharpton told CNN. "I think what is intelligent and respectful to our community, as in any community, is to talk our interests and our issues." Sharpton repeated those sentiments Saturday at the State of the Black Union symposium in Hampton, Va.

New Hampshire: Independent voters will determine outcome between Obama and Hillary

From Concord Monitor: "I think where Obama could outflank Clinton could be among Democratic-leaning independents," said Dante Scala, an assistant professor of politics at St. Anselm College. "He could catch fire among them and really cause Hillary Clinton a lot of trouble."

Obama show opens officialls

From the New York Times: Obama's campaign positions him as "... an agent of generational change who could transform a government hobbled by cynicism, petty corruption and “a smallness of our politics.”...

The Audacity of Australian PM Howard

The Austrailan Prime Minister warns Americans not to vote for Obama or any Democrat...

Obama: the "Black JFK"?

The UK's Sundy Mirror report that if Barak Obama overcomes many obstacles, he could become the first (or is that "next") black president...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Independent Party Platform - Coming (David Remer)

Independent parties are springing up like dandelions after a warm Spring rain. Some are very religiously based spin offs of the Constitution Party like the Independent American Party and the American Independent Party of California. Some take a very non-ideological approach like the oldest Independent Party which has been around since 1934. And some are very democratic (small ‘d’) oriented, focusing intensely on restoring democratic processes and principles, like the Independence Party of New York. ....

Maybe I'm Not a Misfit After All (Marcia Ford)

Maybe I'm Not a Misfit After All
So there's this group that threatens to strip me of my misfit identity. Sheesh! I've spent a lifetime feeling like a misfit, and I even came out of the closet with my 2003 book, Memoir of a Misfit. Two weeks ago, though, I attended a national conference for independent voters. And I experienced something I've seldom felt before: the sense that I actually belonged. Me! The misfit! Among 500 political activists! I'm still reeling from this heady happening.


MUST READ FOR INDEPENDENTS!
Postmodern Misfit is now on the Hankster Blog Roll (on the sidebar)

Gary Younge on Barak Obama

The power of hope: Six years ago, Barack Obama's political support consisted of 50 friends and acquaintances. Today, he has a serious chance of becoming the next US president. Gary Younge goes on the campaign trail of the black candidate who makes white voters feel at ease (The Guardian - UK) Saturday February 10, 2007

...In short, America is in a deep funk and desperate for political leadership that can unite the country around some new story. Obama's campaign is pitched to fill that void....

Friday, February 09, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS





Independents are Ready for Barack Obama. But is Obama ready for Black Independents
Harris Poll suggests independent voter percentage is up
John Warner, the independents and the future
South Dakota: Tom Lawrence speaks out about sidelining independents
Joe Trippi says Obama's campaign could take off online
Missouri: Hearing scheduled for independent candidate bill

Independents are Ready for Barack Obama. But is Obama Ready for Black Independents?

Lenora Fulani argues that a test of Barack Obama's ability to put principles above partisanship, will be tested as he chooses how to relate to black independents.

by Dr. Lenora Fulani

Two weeks ago, I spoke at a national conference of independent voters. There were 500 activist independents, from 32 states – over a third of whom were African American. This conference was the latest indicator that black voters are more politically volatile these days, more independent in their voting and thinking. Many will be receptive to Barack Obama and his presidential campaign. A pressing question is whether he will return the interest. Independents may be ready for Obama. But is Obama ready for us?

With independent voter registration growing in Harlem, Oakland and Newark, there is a new constituency in African American politics – the Black Independent. As many as 35% of younger black voters now identify as independent, rather than Democrat. Forty-seven percent of African Americans deserted the Democratic nominee in the 2005 New York City mayoral race to re-elect the Independent Republican Mike Bloomberg. Last year, 32% of Augusta, Georgia voters rejected a Democrat incumbent state legislator and cast ballots for the black independent Helen Blocker-Adams. Black America is no longer a political monolith. Traditional partisan politics have lost their appeal.

Barack Obama is a critic of partisan politics whose road to prominence did not pass through the standard Democratic Party stopping points, i.e. the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, the local empowerment machines of the 1970s or the Rainbow surge of the 1980s. He would seem to be a natural fit for black independents.

But as soon as Senator Obama got into the first “scrap” of his campaign – the ridiculous remarks made by Senator Joe Biden about how “clean” and “articulate” Obama is – his response made black independents totally invisible.

Obama issued a statement that listed prior black presidential candidates to show Biden that he wasn’t the first clean-cut African American to run for the White House. The list included nearly everybody – Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Carol Mosley Braun and Shirley Chisholm – everybody, that is, but me, the black independent who ran for president twice, and who made the history books for being the first African American ever to get on the presidential ballot in all 50 states. Even the “white bread” USA Today included me in its recent historical review.

Perhaps Senator Obama left me off the list because I’m not clean enough. The New York Post does generally refer to me as the “odious Lenora Fulani,” but I always took that to be a right wing political polemic, not a comment on my perfume. No, I suspect I was left off because I’m not a Democrat. I wouldn’t be shocked if his advisors told him – “Don’t put anyone in your statement who isn’t a Democrat.” If that’s true, it’s a very unfortunate piece of advice. Because in leaving me off the list, Senator Obama crosses a growing portion of black America off his list, too.

Being black is not synonymous with being a Democrat anymore, as much as the Clintons – and others – would have us believe. No less a figure than Reverend Al Sharpton has made that point loud and clear, including when he has spoken out against attempts by white Democrats, like Senator Hillary Clinton, to drive black independents like me out of politics.

Barack Obama has just made it official. He’s running for president of the United States. His message is that it’s time to put principles ahead of partisanship. Black independents have been acting on that idea for years. How he relates to us is the first real test of his principles.

____
Lenora Fulani is a developmental psychologist and a member of the Independence Party’s State Committee. Dr. Fulani was the first woman and first African American to be on the ballot in all 50 states and to qualify for federal matching funds when she ran as an independent for President of the United State in 1988. She leads the Lenora B. Fulani’s Harlem Independence Club which meets monthly. She can be reached at 212-962-1699.

Released February 9, 2007 by:
Sarah Lyons
Communications Director
CUIP
225 Broadway, Ste. 2010
New York, NY 10007
212-962-1824

Harris Poll suggests independent voter percentage up in 2006

2006 Harris Polls Suggest Modest Loss by Republicans in Party Affiliation for the Second Year Running; Democratic Lead Over Republicans Increases to Nine Percentage Points, the Largest Lead Since 1998 (PR Newswire) ...Independents comprise almost one-quarter of all adults (24%), up from last year's 22 percent, but back to where they were in 2002, 2003 and 2004...

John Warner, the independents and the future

Virginia’s 2008 Senate Riddle: Two Warners, One Warner or No Warner, By Matthew Spieler (New York Times) Virginia’s Democratic Party, like its counterpart in most other Southern states, had been losing ground for years as this decade began. But the once-dominant state party hit a low point in 2002, when it failed to field a challenger to Republican Sen. John W. Warner.Running for the second time without a Democratic opponent — the first time was in 1990 — Warner piled up 83 percent of the vote to defeat two little-known independent candidates....

South Dakota: Tom Lawrence speaks out about sidelining of independent voters in the primaries

An independent look at elections, By Tom Lawrence (Black Hills Pioneer -- South Dakota) -- The Legislature has acted, and once again political independents like me are left on the sideline for primaries.A bill was proposed last week that would have allowed independents to vote in primaries, but it was squashed in the House Local Government Committee, 9-4. Rep. Larry Lucas, a Democrat from Mission, sponsored the bill....

Joe Trippi says Obama's campaign could take off online

Clinton must face ‘web insurgents’ by Tom Baldwin in Washington (Times online -- UK) -- Hillary Clinton’s position as front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination is vulnerable to an online insurgency, according to the party’s leading internet authority.
Joe Trippi, the strategic guru who helped to drive Howard Dean to the brink of the Democratic nomination in 2004, is predicting that Barack Obama or another candidate will ride an even bigger wave across cyberspace and, perhaps, into the White House. “Clinton is running a scripted by-the-numbers campaign. Her problem is that because she is so strong, she will not take risks and that will encourage other candidates to be bolder and more open with the internet,” he told The Times....

Hearing scheduled for independent candidate bill

Thank to Randy Turner in Joplin, MO and The Turner Report for this important "heads up":
A bill that would prevent thin-skinned politicians from receiving late challenges from independent candidates will have a hearing Feb. 12 before the Senate Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections Committee.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Where will independent voters go?
Partisan consideration trumps...
Party deadlock may produce independent presidential candidacy

Where will independent voters go?

INDIES GO DEMOCRATIC (Union Leader) A UNH Granite State poll conducted for WMUR and CNN and released Tuesday shows a troubling pattern for Republicans John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.
Independent New Hampshire voters continue to flock away from Republican candidates and toward Democrats....

Partisan consideration trumps...

Americans more open to idea of a female or black president in 2008: polls (Brooks Bulletin - Alberta) by BETH GORHAM ...While no one would deny that race still matters in U.S. politics, said Keeter, "it seems like partisan considerations are more important than race."
The evolution of U.S. politics isn't surprising to those who remember that exit polls suggested Colin Powell could have won against Bill Clinton in 1996 if he'd run for president.
And a Gallup analysis suggests Hillary Clinton's gender may be a boost for her candidacy since she scores better among Republican and independent women than other Democratic candidates.
"It's possible that women may disproportionately swing to her in hopes of supporting the first female president," says the polling firm....

Party deadlock may produce independent presidential candidacy

When policy paralysis is bad politics, By Jacob Weisberg (Financial Times) ...It is an obvious point that leaving the country’s biggest problems to fester cannot be good policy. Less obvious is that it may not be good politics either. A two-party system is a zero-sum game, in which Republican gain ought to mean Democratic loss and vice versa. But because the politics of blockage, blame and stagnation tends to breed disgust with both sides, it can pave the way for big anti-incumbent swings and third-party movements. John McCain and Barack Obama both owe their popularity to a reputation for speaking more plainly than other politicians. But if the current logjam persists, Michael Bloomberg or someone else may wage an independent presidential candidacy on the case that neither Republicans nor Democrats are facing up to America’s challenges. ...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Florida: Independents like Charlie Crist
Alabama: 5% independents
Firefighters not ready to endorse
"Liberal Progressives" should back Kucinich
Chuck Hagel: Third-party run?
Obama and Hillary: dilemma for black women?
Obama: easy commodity
Obama and Hillary: (They're both Democrats)
Hillary and Obama: Politicians need black votes

Florida: Independents like Charlie Crist

Poll shows voters just wild about Charlie -- by John Kennedy (Orlando Sentinel) -- TALLAHASSEE -- Move over, Jeb Bush. Gov. Charlie Crist has surpassed you on the popularity front.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found that 69 percent of Florida voters think that Crist, a Republican who took office a month ago, is doing a good job....The survey found Crist received his strongest marks from Republicans, with 77 percent approval. But independent voters also gave him 70 percent, and even 65 percent of Democrats said they thought he has done a good job since taking office....

Alabama: 5% independents

Poll finds 'split ticket' in AlabamaDemocrats gain footing; state still called 'competitive' Wednesday, February 07, 2007By BOB LOWRY (Huntsville Times) ...The good news for Democrats, however, is that, according to Gallup, 49 percent of Alabamians called themselves Democrats in 2006, while 46 percent identified with the GOP. The poll said 5 percent of Alabamians classified themselves as independents. ...

Firefighters not ready to endorse

Firefighters are not rushing to hand out an endorsement ,By Sam Youngman (The Hill)
...Because the organization is divided almost evenly between registered Democrats, Republicans and independents, Schaitberger said they keep the endorsement process open to candidates from both parties....

"Liberal Progressives" should back Kucinich

The "Sandbox" Theory (OpEd News) by Gatto -- Join Up! This Liberal/Progressive movement that started to coalesce with the anti-war movement should move on and embrace it's own political agenda as a separate entity that operates independently of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party that doesn't seem to understand the will of the people. Dissatisfied Republicans and Greens as well as independents should unite under an L/P banner and support someone like Dennis Kucinich, and remove our support from any Democrat entirely. This does not have to be a permanent course of action, but it could well be the beginning of a new political coalition that will set a new high water mark in American politics. ...

Chuck Hagel: Third-party run?

NEWS ANALYSIS: McCain a Strangely Joyless Presidential Hopeful These Days, By Martin Schram, Scripps Howard News Service, (Huntington News.net) ...Hagel spoke with the sort of un-hedged honesty rarely heard since McCain left the campaign trail. Unfortunately, that sort of candor won't get him far in the Republican race. But that doesn't mean we've heard the last of Hagel in Campaign 2008. An independent third-party presidential bandwagon may be just the right vehicle for Chuck Hagel's uniquely customized 2008 Straight-Talk Express. ...

Obama and Hillary: dilemma for black women?

Black women face dilemma in Democratic primary (Baltimore Sun) -- Barack Obama is black. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a woman. So if you're an African-American woman - and therefore, presumably, a Democrat - how do you choose between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton in what could turn out to be a precedent-setting presidential election? ...

Obama: easy commodity

Long trail ahead for Obama, By LAWRENCE AARON (North Jersey Record) -- A New Jersey professor has a long road ahead of him as a chief strategist in Barack Obama's soon to be formalized primary campaign.
Obama should be an easy commodity to sell. He's bright, ambitious and free of ethics scandals. His education is solidly Ivy. But he'll need plenty of help packaging all that into a consistent image that appeals to all hues of the Democrat spectrum....

Obama and Hillary: (They're both Democrats)

Right Candidates, Wrong Question, By GLORIA STEINEM (New York Times) EVEN before Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton threw their exploratory committees into the ring, every reporter seemed to be asking which candidate are Americans more ready for, a white woman or a black man?
With all due respect to the journalistic dilemma of reporting two “firsts” at the same time — two viable presidential candidates who aren’t the usual white faces over collars and ties — I think this is a dumb and destructive question. ...

Hillary and Obama: Politicians need black votes

Clinton, Obama Vying for Black Power-Brokers: It’s a Snarl! Obama ‘Has My Vote,’ Says Jesse Jackson; Hillary Backer Charlie Rangel Calls Barack a ‘Hero’; Al Sharpton: ‘He Has the Right Stuff—Can He Connect?’ By Jason Horowitz (New York Observer)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Independent voters need to play smart and tough......
Idaho: No closed primaries, thank you
California: Redistricting two-step
No Black or White Presidents
Ralph Nader may run again independent presidential candidate, Ralph Nader
Hankster comment of the week: Can black people help independents?

Independent voters need to play smart and tough...

From Talk/Talk
Newman: Well, there’s a big difference between 2004 and 2008. And one difference is that we’re being looked at – we’re being carefully examined right now, we independents. Now, at one level, there’s not a whole lot to look at. Although we have big numbers in the polls, and quality networks of leaders and activists, we don’t have big money. So, what do you think they’re looking at when they look at us to make ongoing appraisals of who we are? They’re looking at how we’re relating to the presidential candidates. What we say to them and about them. And we’ve got to be very clear, as to how we play that. You’ve got to play that tough. It’s got to be smart, but it’s got to be tough....

You can subscribe to Talk/Talk, the weekly dialogue between independent strategists Fred Newman and Jackie Salit about the Sunday talk shows. Don't be talked to death on Sunday -- read Talk/Talk!

Idaho: No closed primaries, thank you

Closed primaries plan dies in committee. House bill would have forced voters to choose a political party, by Parker Howell (Spokesman Review) BOISE – Lawmakers narrowly rejected an attempt Monday to require Idaho voters to officially choose a political party in order to cast ballots in the state's primary elections.
Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, proposed a bill to close the state's primaries – a position favored by the state Republican Party platform to keep Democrats from voting in GOP party elections.
Hagedorn said Idaho's primary election participation has dropped dramatically since the state switched to open primaries in 1972. But several legislators said the bill would disenfranchise Idaho's traditionally independent voters....

California: Redistricting two-step

The redistricting two-step, By Daniel Weintraub, The Sacramento Bee in the Press Telegram -- Listening to California's legislative leaders talk about the issue of drawing political boundaries is almost painful. They acknowledge that it's wrong for legislators to draw their own districts, in effect choosing their voters, rather than the other way around. But so far they have just not been able to get themselves to do anything about it. They creep up to the precipice of reform and then pull back, teasing us, and maybe even themselves, with the idea that one day they might do the right thing....

No Black or White Presidents

Black or White? Obama’s appeal should not depend on his racial identification, By PATRICK JEAN BAPTISTE (Harvard Crimson) ...The point missed by many such concerned commentators is that Obama cannot, and should not, be a “black president” any more than he should be a white one. A multiracial nation demands a colorblind president—one willing to fairly address the plight and concerns of every citizen....

Ralph Nader may run again

(Capitol Hill Blue blog) Oh God! Nader may run again ...He added that Clinton may face a challenge in her own state from wealthy Republican New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“I think her main problem may well be right in New York City, Michael Bloomberg. They’re talking in the Bloomberg camp of a possible run. I’m saying he’ll give more diversity, for sure, and he’ll focus on urban problems. But I might say, he’s got the money to do it,” Nader said....

Monday, February 05, 2007

Hankster comment of the week: Can black people help Arizona independents?

Party spokesmen here in Arizona said that independent voters should not be allowed to vote in party primaries because political parties were like private clubs. I agree that they are like private clubs, but what other private clubs have their elections paid for by public revenues? If we have to pay for these elections, then we should be allowed to vote in them.

Completely agree! Keep in touch!

Robert B. Winn: Check out his very new blog -- and read a very personal fight for the rights of independent voters--

...A party spokesman now on the state committee of his party boasted that the rapid 7% increase in independent voters in the state of Arizona had been stopped by a new voter registration form. People were now registering as Democrats and Republicans, he said.I bring this matter to the attention of black people because they have had more experience in this sort of political party activity than white people like me have had. I know that a large percentage of the people who were registering independent in Arizona before the change in the voter registration form were black people. I would be interested in any suggestions you might have about how to proceed concerning this matter.Arizona is a good place to start for an independent movement. Their election laws are obviously un-Constitutional, and we have caught them red-handed twice taking action to dis-enfranchise independent voters....

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Ralph Nader: A reasonable question
2008: Unity '08 Angus King
2008 DNC: Yes to Obama, Edwards, Hillary; Ho-hum for Wesley and Kucinich
2008: John Edward -- "I was wrong."

Ralph Nader: A reasonable question

NADER IS HINTING AT 2008 RUN -- Reuters (New York Post) WASHINGTON - Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader yesterday left the door open for another White House bid in 2008 and criticized Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton as "a panderer and a flatterer."
Asked on CNN's "Late Edition" if he would run in 2008, the lawyer and consumer activist said, "It's really too early to say . . . I'll consider it later in the year."

Nader ran for president as an independent in 2004 and as the Green Party candidate in 2000.


I don't know whether Ralph Nader will run for President in 2008. And I'm not sure we need him to. But he stepped up to the plate in 2004 and has been feeling the full force of the reining major party duopoly that doesn't want to hear from regular people. There's a movie out called "An Unreasonable Man" that's showing in selected theaters right now. I recommend it.

2008: Unity '08

A THIRD WAY?McCain finds help in Maine, By SUSAN M. COVER (Morning Sentinel Maine Today) -- While we're on the topic of presidential politics, former Gov. Angus King is working with a group called Unity '08, which is hoping to create a bipartisan ticket for the 2008 presidential election.
As explained in The Atlantic Monthly, the idea is to team up a Republican and a Democrat who didn't get his or her party's nomination and run them as a ticket. King, an independent who served eight years as governor, is listed on the group's Web site as one of 32 people on the Founders Council.
To learn more, go to
http://www.unity08.com.

I havent' been keeping up on Unity '08, but I heard that they filed some papers with the Federal Elections Commission and were designated as a PAC...

2008 DNC: Yes to Obama, Edwards, Hillary; Ho-hum to Wesley Clark and Dennis Kucinich...

Pecking order emerging for '08 hopefuls. Analysts say race too early to rank, By Susan Milligan (Boston Globe) WASHINGTON -- The screams from the crowd at this weekend's Democratic National Committee convention were so boisterous that they often drowned out the words being spoken by Barack Obama , John Edwards, and Hillary Rodham Clinton .
Not so for Wesley Clark, retired general, and US Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, presidential aspirants whose speeches were met with bored conversation punctuated by schoolmarmish shushes from a few audience members....


That the parties are all about "pecking orders" is a priori. That's probably something that independent voters don't like. But I reckon you can't tell somebody who ain't never...

2008: John Edward -- "I was wrong."

Edwards Again Says He Was Wrong to Vote for War, By Matthew Mosk (Washington Post) .....Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, appearing on "Meet the Press," again expressed regret for his vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq. (By Alex Wong -- "Meet The Press" Via Associated Press) -- Edwards began drawing attention to his vote in fall 2005, writing an op-ed piece in The Washington Post that began with: "I was wrong."
The soul-searching continued yesterday on NBC's "Meet the Press."....


Edwards might be picking up on a desire by the American people for "transparency" in our elected officials. The capacity to say "I was wrong." That's the stuff that successful relationships are built on.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


And why do these cats keep leaving out Lenora Fulani and Shirley Chisholm?
Nonideological swing voters flipped the '06 election
Michigan: Independent voters have doubts about Hillary
Massachusetts: Independents respond to campaign formulas?

Brad Warthen: independents must get off the sidelines
Pennsylvania: Independent voters should be allowed to vote in the primaries
Obama, Sharpton, class and race

No Black auto-votes for Obama
Hillary and the "women's vote"
More "Black Presidents"