Friday, March 30, 2007

The Hankster Poll

The current Hankster Poll, which asks your opinion on which Presidential candidate you feel would be best for independents, has evolved into a grassroots contest between Chuck Hagel and Barack Obama. Obama at the moment has taken the lead over Hagel.

Tell me more!

Email The Hankster. Let me know WHY you're pulling for one or the other.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What's Eric Altman doing under the covers? Read more on Huffington Post

Eric Altman asks the question on the Huffingon Post: Since when does Al Sharpton speak for anyone but Al Sharpton?

Answer: When he speaks for the community and the population.

Which, by the way, is often.

Eric doesn't think that Mayor Michael Bloomberg should run as an independent. You can read his post on the Huffington Post and catch a glimpse of a sexy Mate.com profile if you're really looking for a private relationship on the link above.

For my money, and my political attraction, I'd look below the covers... - NH

Breaking with tradition: Jesse Jackson, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Jesse Jackson has endorsed Barack Obama (there are many articles but here is one from the International Herald Tribune), for the nomination of the Democratic Party for President (sub-text: not Hillary Clinton) and the Democratic nomination is now up for grabs. Why? Because the black vote is very important to the Democratic Party, and the Take-Them-For-Granted era is -- apparently -- over.

Cudos to Rev. Jackson for his "split" from the Dem Party Line: and we all know that the Democratic Line is vote for Hillary--it's Her time, not Obama's time...

Well, good point: Who's time is it?

I say it's the time for American independents. The time for ordinary people in this country to speak up about what it is that the American people need and desire. Our history of identity politics (how drab is the dialogue about black vs. women vs. gay vs. conservative vs. liberal vs. whoever?) is changing.

I'm not endorsing Obama, but I have to admit, the emerging alliance between black voters, independent voters, the "topsy-turvy" climate, lead me to paying a LOT of attention to the Obama campaign.

What will Barack Obama's outreach to independent voters look like? That's a question I'm eager to see play out. -NH

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Hillary and the independents
New Idaho Bill to Close Primaries
Illinois: Changing the primary
Obama, Clinton: Watch Out For Republican Attack Dogs
Will Mayor Bloomberg run for Prez?
While you were waiting: Obama, Hillary, or Edwards
AIN'T EASY BEING GREEN

Hillary and the independents

From The Hill: ...Forty-eight percent of Independent voters also said that they would choose another candidate over Clinton, the poll, which surveyed 2,223 potential voters, states.
Fifty-six percent of men said that they would not vote for Clinton, while 45 percent of women said that she would not be their pick. In addition, 69 percent of those 62 and older said that they would not vote for Clinton....

New Idaho Bill to Close Primaries

(Ballot Access News) On March 26, the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee introduced S1244, the newest attempt to close Idaho’s primaries. Existing law lets voters choose a party’s primary ballot in the privacy of the voting booth on primary election day. S1244 would provide for partisan registration. If enacted, registered members of a party could only vote in that party’s primary, but independent voters could choose any party’s primary ballot. Parties would not have the discretion to bar independents from voting in their primary.
Although the Secretary of State supports this bill, the County Recorders (who administer elections) do not. No one yet knows if the bill will pass this year.
Since most voters are not likely to go to the bother of re-registering (assuming they are already registered to vote), the bill provides that they can choose their party affiliation at the polls, in the May 2008 primary.

Illinois: Changing the primary

From Chicago Tribune: ...But some believe Obama would face little challenge in a favorite-son bid to win Illinois delegates to the Democrats' national nominating convention. Instead, the focus in Illinois might be on a GOP presidential field seeking the state's Republican nominating delegates....

Obama, Clinton: Watch Out For Republican Attack Dogs

From Black Star News: ...In the past year, I’ve spoken with many political Independents that have expressed strong anti-Hilary sentiments. When I ask them to elaborate on their dislike for Hilary, many can’t articulate the basis for their disdain. They just don’t like her. Add these Independents to the Republican base and the many Americans that would never vote for a woman, regardless of party or credentials, and you get a Republican president in 2008. ...

Will Mayor Bloomberg run for Prez?

From Washington Post reprinted in Concord Monitor: ...He has expressed to friends a deep frustration with partisan politics in the United States. And if he ran as a Democrat, he might sacrifice his reputation as an independent-minded businessman who is above politics.
But running for president as a third-party candidate has its own risks and challenges. The two-party system makes it difficult for third-party candidates to get on the ballot, and waiting until next year could make that hurdle insurmountable.
Bloomberg could have help in that area from a group that is planning to hold a "unity" primary to nominate a bipartisan ticket for the White House. The group, Unity08, was founded by, among others, Hamilton Jordan, President Jimmy Carter's chief of staff.
"Unity08 believes that neither of today's major parties reflects the aspirations, fears or will of the majority of Americans," its website states. "Both have polarized and alienated the people. . . . Unity08 will act to assure that an alternative ticket is presented to the American voters in 2008." ...Said one confidant, "Is there going to be a Perot moment where a third-party candidate can come in, much the way Perot did, and have it make sense so you're almost halfway sold before you're out the gate?
...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

While you were waiting: Obama, Hillary, or Edwards?

From Sunday's Talk/Talk "The Waiting Game" with Jackie Salit and Fred Newman:
Salit: Let me ask you about two other personalities, one announced, one unannounced. How do you see John Edwards in all of this? Throughout the campaign, he’s been referred to as “the third man.” You have the two giants fighting, or not fighting, or fighting each other in a controlled way, that being Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Then you have Edwards, who’s got a good ground operation in Iowa, the critical first state in the contest. How do you see the dynamics around his campaign?
Newman: He’s waiting for a mistake by one of the big two. Alternatively, he could try to prove that he is either black or a woman, but that is unlikely....

AIN'T EASY BEING GREEN

FILM SCREENING: A 92 MINUTE DOCUMENTARY

MONDAY APRIL 9, 2007
STITELER HALL AUDITORIUM (ROOM B6)
AT THE CORNER OF 208 S. 37TH STREET (BETWEEN WALNUT AND LOCUST STREETS AT 37TH STREET)
PHILADELPHIA, PA
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
5:30-6:30pm- There will be dinner and mingling.
6:30-8:00pm- Film screening.
8:00-9:00pm- Panel Discussion with reps from Annenberg, PoliSci Dept. and History Dept.

Morse-Levin Productions Presents:
AIN'T EASY BEING GREEN
Directed by Stephen Robert Morse
Edited by Matthew Langhirt
Ain't Easy Being Green depicts the obstacles faced by Carl Romanelli, the Green Party's nominee for United States Senator from Pennsylvania in 2006. A quirky character who set himself apart from the other candidates in this race, Romanelli battled numerous legal challenges from the Democratic Party, because Democrats across the nation were furious that he would spoil the election. But Carl Romanelli did not go away quietly, and this is his story.

Cosponsored by: Political Science Department, Wharton Venture Initiation Program, History Undergraduate Advisory Board, PoliComm, Women's Studies Undergraduate Advisory Board, 34th Street Magazine, The Middle East Forum at Penn, and the Libertarian Speaker Committee.

THIS SCREENING IS COMPLETELY FREE. PLEASE BRING ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS, RELATIVES, AND ANYONE INTERESTED IN POLITICS!

Monday, March 26, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Talk/Talk: Decision Time
Hankster Poll
Staten Island: Special election for Assembly
California: Independents Rule!
Party-Schmarty
California: Elaborate deal for term limits, campaign finance reform and redistricting
McCain losing independent support
Independents shifting left
Fasten your seat belts, 2008 is going to be interesting!
Texas: Bigger role in primary elections?
"Obama, ni wetu! Obama, ni wetu!"
Trans-Texas Corridor opposition growing
Honey, I Shrunk The Party?
Repub/Dem gap: the defection of independent voters
California: Continuing gains for independent voters
California: Where the independents are...
Urgent Message from Texas independent leader Linda Curtis

Talk/Talk: Decision Time

From last week's Talk/Talk with Jackie Salit and Fred Newman "Decision Time"
Newman: So, I don’t think it’s a question of conservatism being played out. I think the conservatives have done an extraordinary job, they have out-flanked and out-foxed liberalism. That has as much to do with liberalism’s backing off of its principles as it has to do with conservatism’s popularity. I think these two go together....

And from March 11th Topsy-Turvy Times. It's amazing, isn't it? I'm talking about the extremes to which the establishment will go to deny the existence of the independent movement. That's the obvious factor in all of this. The independent movement is more than a third of the electorate, yes?

Hankster Poll

In one of the most interesting Hankster Polls to date, it looks like a grassroots contest is shaping up between Chuck Hagel and Barack Obama!

Here's the question on the sidebar:

Of the candidates currently running or thinking about it, who is the best candidate for independent voters at this point?

Chuck Hagel is the front-runner with 18 votes and Barack Obama is a close second with 14 votes. Bill Richardson gets 5, Dennis Kucinich has 3, Hillary and Rudy have 2 each and Joe Biden and John McCain hold 1 vote each.

If you haven't yet, vote today!

Staten Island: Special election for Assembly seat

A special election on Staten Island has drawn some political "heavy hitters" -- Rev. Al Sharpton, State Sen. from Brooklyn Eric Adams and Dr. Lenora Fulani have come together to back Assembly candidate Kelvin Alexander... (Staten Island Advance)

California: Independents Rule!

Independents Rule Three Big Liberal Counties (LA Times Blog) You can see why conservatives in the California Republican Party won't allow decline-to-state independents to vote in their presidential primary next year. The GOP has effectively closed its Feb. 5, 2008, presidential ballot to party members only, to avoid mischief or undue influence from people who aren't true believers. The Democratic Party is, however, allowing decline-to-state voters inside the tent.

Although independent voters hold a wide variety of political viewpoints, the San Francisco, Marin and Alameda county voting blocs are rather large and could indeed favor moderate GOP candidates. That is, if those independent voters 1) were allowed to participate in the Republican presidential primary and 2) didn't want to vote in the equally exciting Democratic presidential race. Not a single Top 10 Republican county shows up in the Top 10 list of decline-to-state counties, but three big-and-liberal Bay Area counties are cross-pollinating between Democratic and independent....

Party-Schmarty

Party Schmarty - Vote With Your Conscience, by Cindy (finelinelive)...sick of the inherent corruption, manipulation, and corporate/financial influence in our two-party political system...

California: Elaborate deal for term limits, campaign finance reform and redistricting

Primary provides platform for change; California politicians hope to use the February 2008 primary as a stage for changing term limits, redistricting and fundraising laws. By BRIAN JOSEPH (The Orange County Register) State officials say they moved the presidential primary to make California a bigger player in national politics, but that wasn't their only reason.
Moving the primary to February is the centerpiece of an elaborate deal to adjust term limits, reform campaign fundraising and change the way political districts are drawn.
Both parties and the governor have something they want and the deal could collapse if any of them don't get their way. In state politics, the stakes couldn't be higher....

McCain losing independent support

McCain Tested by War, Economy in N.H., By PHILIP ELLIOTT, The Associated Press (Washington Post ) ...McCain's return to New Hampshire, including stops to northern cities, comes just a week after he visited southern and central parts of the state. During his previous campaign stops, he tried to retrieve his appeal among independent voters who had handed him a 19 percentage point win over then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the state's February 2000 presidential primary.
But things are hardly the same for him in New Hampshire as they were eight years ago, largely owing to his war support and local economic challenges....

Independents shifting left

Moderates Migrate to Dems, By Paul Silver (The Moderate Voice) ...As a moderate Independent I will probably tend to support Democrats in the next elections, not so much because they have better ideas but because the bar for competence and reform has been so lowered by the current crop of GOP leaders that the Dems seems relatively more likely to move the country forward in the healthiest direction. By comparison they seem to me to be more open minded, more far sighted, more practical, and more likely to get meaningful things accomplished for the environment, diplomacy, healthcare, energy and civil liberties....

Thanks, Paul -- and let's not forget that independents must remain independent in order to change the direction our country is going in. That takes organization at the grassroots!

By the way, my friend Pete Abel from Central Sanity is also writing for The Moderate Voice. If you haven't checked out his columns, please do! "...If I’ve learned anything in the last five months of participating in the moderate/centrist/independent corner of the online world, it’s this: The universe of disillusioned voters is growing. Americans are increasingly fed up with both major parties; they don’t feel either speaks for them, and thus, they want alternatives to rise up and represent them...."

Fasten your seat belts, 2008 is going to be interesting.

...The survey also suggests, however, that a centrist, internationalist Republican could fare well in 2008 (if he or she made it past the GOP primaries). While the number of Americans identifying with the Republican party has fallen in recent years, the number of Americans identifying with the Democratic party has remained flat over the last three years, when you exclude the leaners. That's shocking. Just think about the dramatic downward spiral in Iraq within that time period—the public;s declining faith in GOP competence parallels its steady disillusionment with the war, yet the Democratic party hasn't translated wayward independents into registered Democrats. What's more, traditional Republican positions such as a belief in small government still hold great appeal. Nearly six in 10 Americans (including 50 percent of independents) believe government regulation does more harm than good, up four points since 2003. But talk within the party of the need for another "Reagan Republican" on foreign policy appears ill-founded. In 2002, 62 percent of Americans agreed with a strategy of peace through military strength. Today just 49 percent agree with that approach. Fifty-seven percent of Americans, on the other hand, have a favorable opinion of the United Nations—underscoring Martin Wolf's argument that the U.N. was a major beneficiary of the Iraq war...
(Foreign Policy blog)

Texas: Bigger role in primary elections?

Back in the Game -- Texas deserves bigger role in primary elections Dallas Morning News Which state volunteers to not have a say in the 2008 presidential primaries? Anyone?
Next year's election will be the first since 1952 without a sitting president or vice president on the ballot. No wonder states are jockeying like never before for position in the wide-open primary season....

"Obama, ni wetu! Obama, ni wetu!"

OBAMA-MANIA COMES TO KENYA: He is the nation's golden boy from Web chat rooms to Kenyan saloons, by Edwin Okong'o in San Francisco Chronicle

Trans-Texas Corridor opposition growing

What are Texans doing about the Trans-Texas Corridor project? They're getting organized:

Victoria group plans to fight Trans-Texas Corridor; TxDOT official says there's 'just so much emotion' about the project (VICTORIA ADVOCATE BY DAVID TEWES)
A Victoria-based watchdog group called Citizens for Responsible Government is organizing local opposition to the Trans-Texas Corridor, a futuristic highway network that state officials say is needed to keep traffic moving.
"We feel we need to do something to try to block this effort," said Russell Pruitt, one of the leaders of Citizens for Responsible Government.



'HOWL FROM THE HIGHWAY': Edna man thinks Trans-Texas Corridor would ruin his home,and he wrote a song, 'That New Road,' to say exactly that BY APRILL BRANDON - VICTORIA ADVOCATE

Carlos Guerra writes in the San Antonio Express: Stopping toll roads not so simple when the Legislature is involved-- ... Perhaps for varying reasons, thousands of TTC opponents packed TxDOT hearings throughout Texas. Shortly after the Legislature convened, the anti-tollers were encouraged when several anti-TTC bills were filed, especially Senate Bill 1267, which was filed by Sen. Robert Nichols, a former member of the Transportation Commission....


During the 2006 gov race in Texas, independent candidates Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman won almost 30% of the vote between them. Many independents are opposed to the Texas toll road:
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who presides over the Texas Senate, has been at odds with Craddick off and on. But he and the solid Republican majority in the Senate, in the post-9/11 years, with a Texan in the White House, have kept a closed season on the governor.
But now, it seems the Perry-hunting season is perpetually open. The 39 percent governor, as the Democrats love to call him - referring to his re-election plurality last year - finds things backing up on him....
(LubbockOnline)


This article has many links and lots and lots of info on the Trans-Texas Corridor: Farm Bureau Describes TTC Project As A Disaster For Farms And Ranches (KWTX)

Honey, I Shrunk The Party?

People's lack of confidence in Pres. Bush's policies are costing the Repubs membership, but: Most of these changes are apparently due to shifting attitudes among independents and a decline in the number who identify as partisan Republicans. The survey indicates that the number of independents who lean toward the Democratic Party has steadily increased since 2001, but the number leaning toward the GOP has remained flat, at around 10 percent, since Bush took office. In the same time period, the percentage of solid Republicans has fallen to 25 percent, a decline of 5 percentage points. (CBS News)

Repub/Dem gap: the defection of independent voters

The gap between Republican and Democratic identification, which Pew measured by counting people who are leaning toward one party or the other as well as those with a firm allegiances, is the widest spread between the parties since Pew began the studies. Although the gap speaks to the GOP's current troubles, Kohut said the shift mostly reflects the defection of independents from the party rather than a more favorable overall assessment of the Democratic Party. (from LA Times reprinted in Seattle Times)

California: Continuing gains for independent voters

New California Registration Data: The California Secretary of State has released new registration data. There won’t be any further California registration tallies until the late autumn of 2007. The new data shows some slip in Republican registration, and continuing gains for independent voters, compared to October 2006.
Republicans slipped from 34.33% of the state total, to 34.19%. Democrats gained slightly, from 42.48% to 42.52%. Independents went from 18.74% to 18.83%. All other parties went from 4.45% to 4.46%.
(Ballot Access News)

Friday, March 23, 2007

California: Where the independents are...

Independents Rule Three Big Liberal Counties, LA Times Blog You can see why conservatives in the California Republican Party won't allow decline-to-state independents to vote in their presidential primary next year. The GOP has effectively closed its Feb. 5, 2008, presidential ballot to party members only, to avoid mischief or undue influence from people who aren't true believers. The Democratic Party is, however, allowing decline-to-state voters inside the tent.Although independent voters hold a wide variety of political viewpoints, the San Francisco, Marin and Alameda county voting blocs are rather large and could indeed favor moderate GOP candidates. That is, if those independent voters 1) were allowed to participate in the Republican presidential primary and 2) didn't want to vote in the equally exciting Democratic presidential race. Not a single Top 10 Republican county shows up in the Top 10 list of decline-to-state counties, but three big-and-liberal Bay Area counties are cross-pollinating between Democratic and independent. Here are the newest numbers from Secretary of State Debra Bowen....

Urgent Message from Texas independent leader Linda Curtis

Dear Friends and Members:
Just yesterday our "champion", Sen. John Carona, told a newspaper reporter that he would not move SB 1267, to put a 2-year moratorium on the Corridor/Tolls, out of the Senate Transportation Committee. Since then, he's been catching hell from citizens across the state.
Here's what we need from you for the next few days. Email, and then, call your friends -- those with and without emails -- and make sure they do this tomorrow and Monday.
Call Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's office 512.463.0001. Let the Lt. Gov. know that we're counting on him to get the Corridor/Toll Moratorium bill, SB 1267, out of the Senate Transportation Committee and passed through the State Senate, right away. He should have no problem with this, since we already have 81% of the Senate signed on. With that amount of support, if he can't get it passed, it's clear he's not up to being Governor of this state in 2010. Be polite, but tell the Lt. Gov. we know what the hell's going on.
Our supporters in the House and Senate are holding strong -- including former Transportation Commission Member, State Senator, Robert Nichols. Why? Because they know that Texans -- from across the socio-economic, racial, political and geographic spectrum, are sick and tired of political corruption.
We will not sit by while this administration (from Perry on down), prepares to bleed this state dry for the profit of a private corporation -- Spanish, Australian, or otherwise. We will not sit by, while they ignore the vast majority of citizens, and even now, our own elected representatives,
What the hell's going on is that I'm fired up and I'm not gonna take it anymore. How 'bout you?
Make those calls and let me hear from you.
AND I hope to SEE you at one of these meetings. If one is not close enough to you, organize one and I'll come! (For details check our calendar by clicking here:
Calendar): Mon, Mar 26, Dallas, Tues, Mar 27, Sat, Mar 31, Channelview, and Wed, April 18, Austin.
Linda Curtis
Independent Texans
http://indytexans.org
P. O. Box 14294
Austin, TX 78761
512-535-0989
512-657-2089 cell

Monday, March 19, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

Nevada: Independents speak out on the war in Iraq
Where's Obama at with black voters, leadership?
California: 10,000 hear Barack Obama in Oakland
New Hampshire's independents potentially powerful force

Nevada: Independents speak out on the war in Iraq

Nevada voters negative on war, by GUY CLIFTON: ...By a better than 2-to-1 margin, voters said going to war in Iraq for regime change was not worth it. Sixty-three percent of voters surveyed said it was not worth it, while 31 percent said it was and 6 percent said they were not sure.
Of that total, 90 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independent voters said the regime change was not worth it. Republicans were in favor of regime change by a 57-34 margin with 9 percent unsure....
(Reno Gazette Journal)

Where's Obama at with black voters, leadership?

S.C.'s black voters in national spotlight By WAYNE WASHINGTON wwashington@thestate.com: Barack Obama could be on the cusp of history as the nation's first black president. .....Jackson, who supported Edwards during his 2004 run for the Democratic presidential nomination, said he and other black voters like what the former senator is saying.
"He's saying all of the right things, but how much will that matter?" Jackson asked, noting the Democrats' 2004 John Kerry- Edwards ticket ultimately was unsuccessful. "There are a lot of African-American voters who want to win."...
(The State)

California: 10,000 hear Barack Obama in Oakland

Obama hoping to woo East Bay's melting pot (Inside Bay Area): And, in the end, while many African Americans are personally rooting for him, some think the presidency still may be out of reach given the complex political formulas it takes to win the job.
"There is no precedent for it. I'd love to be wrong," said Charles Henry, professor of African-American studies at the University of California, Berkeley. "I'm certainly backing Barack Obama because I do think he takes us down the road but if you look at recent politics, it's white male Southern governors who've won."


There is indeed an African American running for President of the United States. Where Jesse Jackson was outrageously shunned by the Dems in 1984, not unlike Howard Dean's attempt in 2004 to push the Dems in a more progressive direction, it might be a new day. Independents should speak out. -NH

New Hampshire's independents potentially powerful force in 2008

Independents Wield Clout in N.H. Primary, By HOLLY RAMER, The Associated Press (Washington Post) FREEDOM, N.H. -- Success in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary may hinge on how well candidates win over the politically fickle as well as the party faithful.
New Hampshire's independent voters _ those unaffiliated with either political party _ have doubled in number since 1992. They make up 44 percent of registered voters, more than Republicans or Democrats, and can vote in either primary, making them a potentially powerful force in 2008....

Sunday, March 18, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Talk/Talk: An independent left of some significance
Tennessee: Mike Williams switches from Repub to independent
Maine: Fusion voting?
California: Will Repubs open their primary?
California: Politics is relative and independents are rising
Idaho "closed primary" bill
McCain losing critical independent support in New Hampshire
National Primary?
Hankster Poll
Calling all Interior Alaskans

Talk/Talk: An independent left of some significance

From last Sunday's Talk/Talk "Topsy-Turvey Times" with Jackie Salit and Fred Newman:
Salit: And, the independent movement is moving left…
Newman: At least it’s being pushed to the left by a force that is becoming more formidable. The independent movement was born on the right. But it was re-shaped by the war and by the forces that have been developing it on the ground, most specifically the activist independents in the CUIP network. In effect, you now have an independent left of some significance in this country....

Tennessee: Mike Williams switches from Repub to independent

State Senator Mike Williams has quit the Repubs to become an independent. Here in The Tennessean, and the Repubs want him to resign, here in The Chattanoogan...

Maine: Fusion voting?

But that argument does not hold in New York, because in New York minor parties are allowed to nominate one of the major party candidates as their candidate as well -- and the votes cast for that candidate on any party lines on which his or her name appears are added to that candidate's total vote.
The procedure is called fusion or open ballot voting -- and the WFP is attempting to have it made law in Maine and many other states. Those who favor third parties as an alternative to the major parties should favor such a change -- and even someone like me, someone with grave reservations about third parties, sees positive aspects of this way of counting votes...
(Kennebec Journal)

California: Will Repubs open their primary?

Speakers decline to endorse candidates at Democratic fundraiser, By Karen Holzmeister, Inside Bay Area ...Now the question is whether Republicans will open the party's presidential primary to millions of independent voters, a move that could benefit Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain.
State Democrats already permit independents to vote in their presidential primaries. ...

California: Politics is relative and independents are rising

Dan Walters: Politics are all about relativity: ...Relatively speaking, both major parties are losing market share. Two years ago, they claimed 77.5 percent of voter registration (it was around 90 percent not too long ago) but now it's dropped nearly a full point to 76.7 percent. The number of independent voters continues to rise, an important trend, but just as importantly, Democrats (now 42.5 percent) are continuing to decline more rapidly than Republicans (now 34.2 percent), narrowing the margin between the two to the lowest in seven decades and increasing the relative and often decisive clout of independents.... (Sacramento Bee)

Idaho "closed primary" bill

The bill was rewritten to let parties include independents and won the committee’s approval for printing when Hagedorn again presented it. But the bill got stuck in committee again after Secretary of State Ben Ysursa testified it was unclear how party registration would work and how much it would cost.... (Idaho Statesman)

McCain losing critical independent support in New Hampshire

McCain loses some of his rebel edge; Because he's aligned himself more closely with Bush, past primary supporters may defect. By Janet Hook and Michael Finnegan ...In New Hampshire, he is laboring to convince the state's famously independent voters that he is still the plain speaker they embraced in 2000. But he is weighted down by vast burdens, above all his outspoken support for President Bush's Iraq war strategy. The war is highly unpopular among the state's independents.... (LA Times)

National Primary?

George Will doesn't like the idea:
Three delegates to the national convention will be awarded on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who gets the most votes, even if only a plurality, in each of California's 53 congressional districts. That means three delegates will go to the candidate who gets the most Republican votes (independents probably will be excluded) in, say, the 49th district in a heavily Republican portion of San Diego County.... (Concord Monitor)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hankster Poll

Interesting early results from the Hankster Poll on the sidebar:
Chuck Hagel: 8 votes
Dennis Kucinich: 1 vote
Barack Obama: 4 votes
Bill Richardson: 1 vote


Register your opinion in this very early partisan game!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Calling all Interior Alaskans

The Alaskan Independence Party is "calling all Interior Alaskans" to gathering at noon, Wednesday Mar. 21, at Debi's Café, off Van Horn Road at Industrial Ave. The AIP agenda will include two main topics, reviewing the Attorney General's recent decision on the 07AKIN petition and a presentation regarding the Party's "Joe was Right" oral history project. The 07 AKIN petition was expected to be approved by Lt. Governor Sean Parnell's office later this month, but was recently denied by the Attorney General's Office, and thus, the Lt Governor's office. Attempts to vote on this issue have been denied by previous Lt. Governor's Ulmer and Leman. Chairman of the AIP, Lynette Clark, said, "I still consider this Initiative to be one of the most important works for Alaska and her people since the convening of the Alaska Statehood Commission." A full report on the "Joe was Right" project will be presented, along with the first "airing" of the projects first production "Remembering Joe" on CD. Come and hear Joe again. This CD is the first of a series from the extensive cassette archives of his thoughts, knowledge, and speeches that will be made available to the public and those who remember Joe Vogler. This project with the permission of the Joe and Doris Vogler Estate. Lynette Clark, Chairman, Alaskan Independence Party For contact or additional information: Call 457-1884 or email: lclark@akip.org

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Hankster Poll
Independents are warming up to Obama
Chuck Hagel: "a political reorientation"
McCain's losing game plan among independents
Obama campaign expects to register new voters
West Virginia Dems will allow independents to vote in primary
Clinton pollster says percentage of independents skews results

Hankster Poll

Here are the results of the latest Hankster Poll
How should independents participate in the 2008 Presidential campaign?
We should look for the best candidate and endorse him/her. (23%)
We should draft an independent candidate. (13%)
We should lobby the media to cover any independents who are running. (18.5%)
We should demand impartial oversight for Presidential debates. (18.5%)
We should build independent clubs, committees and associations. (17%)
We should get behind a bipartisan ticket. (9%)

Draw your own conclusions... and participate in the next poll!

Independents are warming up to Obama

Among Independents, people are slightly more likely to consider voting for Obama (42%) than for Clinton (36%). In February Clinton led Obama by 40 percent to 35 percent (from a Harris Poll press release)

Chuck Hagel: "a political reorientation"

Hagel was onto something when he spoke of the country "experiencing a political reorientation, a redefining and moving toward a new political center of gravity" and of our problems "overtaking the ideological debates of the last three decades." And he hinted that he might seek the White House as an independent. "This movement is bigger than both parties," he said, tantalizingly.... (San Francisco Chronicle from March 13)

Whether Chuck Hagel runs or not, he just might well be onto something...

McCain's losing game plan among independents

McCain behind Giuliani, despite work, by Adam Nagourney (from The New York Times in Charlotte News Observer) ...McCain's methodical effort to calm conservatives seems to have achieved only limited success, as he was reminded of at a town hall meeting here Thursday, when he was challenged by one Iowa voter over his stance on immigration. At the same time, the appearance that he has veered to the right may well have cost him critical support among independent voters who once flocked to his candidacy, analysts said....

Obama campaign expects to register new voters

Obama's campaign seen natural to register voters, By Brian DeBose: Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign could spur record voter registration among black voters the same way the Rev. Jesse Jackson's campaign did in 1984 -- though new registrants won't just "miraculously appear," political analysts say. Mr. Obama, Illinois Democrat, will have to build a strong grass-roots movement designed to operate simultaneously with his campaign, registering new voters everywhere he goes, particularly young and independent voters, said political consultant Donna Brazile... (Washington Times)

West Virginia Dems will allow independents to vote in their primary

Democrats continue to hold about a 2-1 margin in registered voters statewide, but the number of independents has been growing until they accounted for 11.7 percent of total number of registered voters in the 2006 general election amounting to 133,555.
In the 1996 general election, independent and other registrations added up to 66,339 or 6.8 percent of registered voters.
While the total number of registered voters grew by 15 percent between 1996 and 2006, the number of independents grew by a little more than 50 percent....
(The Journal News)

Clinton pollster says percentage of independents in Time poll skewed results

From the New York Sun:
Mrs. Clinton's pollster, Mark Penn, told The New York Sun yesterday that the Time survey is out of line with three other national polls taken recently, all of which show the former first lady doing substantially better across the board. He also said the proportion of independent voters in the Time poll, 25%, was too high and skewed the results against Mrs. Clinton, who does best with registered Democrats.
Mr. Penn said state-by-state surveys suggest Mrs. Clinton's recent outreach to African-Americans is paying off. "In the polls I've seen in Alabama and South Carolina, she's gone up after Selma. That is an important indicator of a trend," he said.
The polls also show some dangers for Mr. Obama, whose campaign declined to comment for this article. A CNN survey out this week showed Mrs. Clinton's support firm and his support soft....
(New York Sun - subscription needed)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



California primaries: To open or not to open, that is the question...
Hillary is losing popularity, and independent voters are "split down the middle"....

California primaries: To open or not to open, that is the question...

Michael R. Blood wrote an article that ran in a lot of local dailies today called "GOP Weighs Value of Calif. Independents" here in the Casper Star Tribune. Read the AP article here in the San Jose Mercury News.

The California Dems allow independents to vote in their primaries. Some Repubs are concerned that if independents aren't brought into the primary process, they will be less likely to vote for the Repub candidate come November. Food for thought, dontchathink? Identity politics is rough, brother! -NH

Hillary is losing popularity, and independent voters are "split down the middle"

'She can lose the nomination', By Donald Lambro ...And it isn't just Democratic strategists who are saying this. Top political pollsters are also picking up signals that her eroding electability is fast becoming a troubling issue among Democrats who see 2008 as their best chance to win back the White House -- with a stronger candidate.
A Gallup poll reported last week that "Americans are closely divided in their view of whether Clinton or Obama has the better chance of being elected, with 50 percent choosing Clinton and 45 percent choosing Obama."More importantly, perhaps, Gallup found that independent voters, the fastest-growing segment of the nation's electorate, were "split down the middle" between the two major rivals when asked to appraise their electability.Clinton's erosion has been nothing short of astonishing in the past week, though the campaign press has been slow to focus on it. Indeed, they've gone out of their way to ignore it. ...
(Town Hall)

Independents are important in the general election, not so much in the primaries -- less than half the states have open primaries. But we may be a factor in "electability" as the major parties choose their candidates. If independents can create a presence in the 2008 campaigns, we can impact on the terms of the election. What will this election be about? What will be the issues that drive the campaigns? If we independents are speaking out and organizing (a fancy word for talking to each other and putting pressure on the candidates), we might gain some ground in changing the culture of politics in our country. -NH

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



California: Independents are 19% of electorate
California: Republicans don't want decline-to-state voters
California: Independents
West Virginia: Independents and Dems
Tennessee: independent voters
2008: Edwards' pitch
2008: Hagel is.... ?

California: Independents are 19% of electorate

California: New primary date still excludes 19% of electorate (Ventura County Star)

California: Republicans don't want decline-to-state?

Calif: Repubs exclude indies (California Majority Report)

California: Independents

Calif indies on the rise (NBC-11)

West Virginia: Independents and Dems

West Virginia: Indies will vote in Dem primary (Charleston Daily Mail)

Tennessee: independent voters

Tennessee candidates need indies (National Review)

2008: Edwards' pitch

John Edwards' populist pitch (USA Today)

2008: Hagel is....

Damp-squid declaration by Hagel sums up Republican woes (UK Times)

Monday, March 12, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS





Hillary: Independent voters "split down the middle"...
Iraq quagmire and independent voters
Texas Toll Road Plan Stirs Grassroots Protest
New Hampshire: "We call them 'Independents'...

Hillary: Independent voters "split down the middle"...

Democrats question Hillary's electability, By Donald Lambro(THE WASHINGTON TIMES) ...And it isn't just Democratic strategists talking. Political pollsters are also picking up signals that her eroding electability is becoming a troubling issue within the party. A Gallup poll reported last week that "Americans are closely divided in their view of whether Clinton or Obama has the better chance of being elected, with 50 percent choosing Clinton and 45 percent choosing Obama." Significantly, Gallup discovered that independent voters -- the fastest-growing segment of the nation's electorate -- were "split down the middle" between the two major rivals when asked to appraise their electability. ...

Iraq quagmire and independent voters

In Congress, Iraq is a Political Quagmire, Behind the war debate, a struggle for strategic advantage, By Silla Brush (US News & World Report)... Conservative Democrats worry about imperiling their national security credentials and driving away independent voters. Democrats hammer the message that more troops amount to an "escalation"-some form of this word appearing in the Congressional Record more than 1,000 times since February 1-not a "surge." ...

Texas Toll Road Plan Stirs Grassroots Protest

by Gary Hoitsma, Human Events: The conventional wisdom among conservatives about the benefits of privatizing government programs is being severely tested in a heretofore largely obscure controversy that is now blossoming in America’s heartland. ...

New Hampshire: "We call them 'Independents'...

A Window into New Hampshire, By Bill Steigerwald
Q: What’s the typical New Hampshire voter? How would you describe voters' politics? Are they necessarily more knowledgeable or opinionated or both? A: Oh, I think that the ones who vote are knowledgeable. Interestingly, under party registration the biggest registration is “undeclared.” We call them “Independents” and they outrank Republicans and the Democrats are a close third. ... (FrontPageMagazine.com)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Connecticut: New London charter review?
Michigan should schedule a two-party presidential primary
Independents have shifted left - emerging conventional wisdom
Neither party has Americans' trust
Fired US attorneys - some are independents
A case for national open primaries
New York's faulty judge selection process
Oregon legislature
"A dead primary would kill our influence, too"
Election Law challenges slow going
Idaho: Showdown on open primaries

Connecticut: New London charter review?

On March 13, the voters will decide whether to have a directly elected mayor granted concentrated powers.... (The Day)

Michigan should schedule a two-party presidential primary

I think independent voters especially are going to be really weary and apathetic by the time November 2008 comes around, and that's too bad, because this election will be so critical.... (Detroit Free Press)

Independents have shifted left - emerging conventional wisdom

A historically strong Democratic primary field, coupled with a truly bizarre Republican field -- the top three contenders are all likely to alienate large portions of the conservative base and of moderate and independent voters -- justifiably contributes to the perception that Democrats have an edge.... (Media Matters)

Neither party has Americans' trust

Two-thirds of political independents — the swing voters — agree with the statements that Republicans are too quick to use military force instead of diplomacy and are too stubborn in refusing to negotiate with hostile countries. But by nearly as large a margin, those same independents agree that Democrats are not tough enough to do what is needed to protect America and are unwilling to use military force, even when it's necessary for national security.... (David Broder in Pioneer Press)

Fired US attorneys - some are independents

A new study reported last Friday in The New York Times showed that out of 375 such cases, 10 were against independents, 67 were against Republicans and 298 were against Democrats. Under Bush and Rove, the whole concept of a fair justice system has taken a Nixonian turn. ... (Andrew Sullivan in the UK Sunday Times)

A case for national open primaries

This country is past due for open primaries, something to remove the stranglehold Democrats and Republicans have on the American voter. Until we are allowed to vote for the best candidate, no matter the party, nothing will change. The rich, Democrats and Republicans alike, will get richer, the welfare rolls will continue to swell, and the average middle-class American will have to foot the bill for it all.... (Letter to Clarion Ledger by Mike Walker of Brandon

New York's faulty judge selection process

A decision by the nation’s highest court to review New York’s faulty system for selecting candidates for state Supreme Court justice means the process will, regrettably, continue for at least one more election.... (Tonowanda News)

Oregon legislature

The combination of special interests and partisan caucus politics is not a pretty sight.... (State Sen. Frank Morse in Corvallis Gazette Times)

"A dead primary would kill our influence, too"

Washington state is considered to have relatively weak political parties. We don’t have party registration. We don’t have a closed primary – not yet, anyway.... (Tacoma News Tribune)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Election Law challenges slow going

Some Election Law Cases from 2002 are Still Pending (Ballot Access News) There are at least two election law cases filed in 2002 by minor parties or independent candidates that are still pending. One is the Alabama case filed by an independent candidate against Alabama’s 3% (of the last vote cast) petition. That has a hearing in the 11th circuit in Atlanta on March 20.
The other is the Arizona Libertarian Party’s case against a state law that forces the party to let independent voters vote in its primary. That case is still in U.S. District Court. Both sides have been waiting for over a year for the Judge to issue his opinion.

Idaho: Showdown on open primaries

'Collision coming' between Idaho, GOP, By Parker Howell, BOISE – The stage is set for a legal clash between the State of Idaho and the Idaho Republican Party over the fate of primary elections, state officials and lawmakers said Friday.
If lawmakers don’t pass legislation this session to partially restrict primary elections, and state GOP leaders pursue a proposal to close their primaries to non-members, the tangle might go to the courts.
A recent opinion by the Idaho attorney general’s office said courts would rule in favor of the party on First Amendment grounds. ...
(Spokesman Review)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

Barack Obama in Knox College's GizmoGram

Talk/Talk: She's Vulnerable
California: Dems want independents to vote in their primary
California: Earlier primaries bad for independents?
Washington: Supreme Court to consider "top two" primary
Oregon: New Independent Party qualfied
Slim pickins for the right wing
Louisiana: Independent voters numbers climbing
California: McCain wants independent voters voting in the primary
Anti-Trans-Texas Corridor forces on the march




She's Vulnerable

From Sunday's Talk/Talk with Jackie Salit and Fred Newman:
Salit: The newest polls show the black vote starting to shift away from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama. Chris Matthews made the point that this shift undercuts “the inevitability factor” – a major component of the Clinton strategy.
Newman: I’ve never bought in on the “inevitability factor.” It was spin from the start.
Salit: No, you didn’t. And now Obama is unraveling it, and Hillary suddenly looks vulnerable.
Newman: She’s always been vulnerable. That’s why her campaign focused so heavily on projecting that she wasn’t.
Salit: The Clintons, and Bill Clinton in particular, have cultivated a strong connection to black elected officials, to the black political establishment and to black voters. That’s been largely unchallenged.
Newman: Right. Except that Obama is black....

California: Dems want independents to vote in their primary

Dems welcome independent voters, by John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle: If California's independent voters want a voice in next year's presidential primary, they better start paying attention to Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and the rest of the Democratic candidates.
While the nearly 20 percent of California voters who register as decline to state will be welcome in the Democratic presidential primary, they will be barred from casting a ballot for any of the Republican presidential hopefuls. ....


You have to be at least a little suspicious! It's still a partisan game...

California: Earlier primaries bad for independents?

Dan Walters says "Early primary would be a great move — for politicians" in the Fresno Bee:
...Independent voters -- the fastest-growing segment of the electorate -- would have almost no motivation to vote in party primary elections, which would be dominated by the most liberal Democratic voters and the most conservative Republicans, thus distorting the dynamics of divisive ballot measures even more....

Washington: Supreme Court to consider "top two" primary

From Stateline.org: The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to let Washington state voters use a “top two” primary-election scheme that, if upheld, could be a model for reformers looking to loosen political parties’ grip on the nomination process....

Oregon: New Independent Party qualfied

From Willamette Week Online: Oregon has a new political party, and the state's top elections official is getting an earful from one of his now-familiar foes about it.

In January, the Independent Party qualified as a minor party by collecting nearly 19,000 signatures of support, joining the Constitution, Pacific Green, Libertarian and Working Families parties as challengers to the hegemony of the big two—the Republicans and the Democrats....

Slim pickins for the right wing

From The Day (Connecticut): It has become customary for candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination to come before the Conservative Political Action Conference in a ritual dance contest, there to show off their best right-wing moves.And what sort of outfit is CPAC? The sort that laughed and applauded when Ann Coulter, far right commentator and professional harpy, running a rap on Democratic candidates, said she had planned to comment on John Edwards, “but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot.'”...

Louisiana: Independent voters numbers climbing

Looking for a Voice: The number of independents in Louisiana has ballooned over the past decade, but will these voters play a stronger role in the election process? By Jeremy Alford The Independent Weekly Mainstream candidates rarely know how to approach them, a vast majority don’t have a national platform, and all serve an unappreciated role in the American election process. Over the past 10 years in Louisiana, hundreds of thousands of voters have made the switch. Today, there are nearly 610,000 independent registered voters in the state that have no affiliation with elephants or donkeys. That’s up from 360,000 in 1997, when Ross Perot’s Reform Party was reaching its peak in popularity....

California: McCain wants independent voters voting in the primaries

McCain seeks independents' primary votes, By Ralph Z. Hallow: Sen. John McCain's campaign is mounting a stealth effort to change Republican presidential nomination rules in California to allow independents to vote in the Feb. 5 primary, party and campaign officials in the state have told The Washington Times. ...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Anti-Trans-Texas Corridor forces on the march


The controversial Trans-Texas Corridor is not sitting well with many Texans. And independents are right smack in the middle of this fight. Read more on Sal Costello's blog the muckraker...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Idaho State Rep. Elaine Smith votes no on HB 185
New Hampshire: Staying in the game
A bold gamble on bipartisan third party
Alaska IP will meet March 21

Idaho State Rep. Elaine Smith votes no on HB 185

From Elaine Smith, state representative from Pocatello: Another bill in House State Affairs last week was the print hearing on semi-open primary elections. If this bill would pass, people who vote in the primary would have to declare a political party. The modification to this bill from a previous bill would allow the political parties to notify the Idaho Secretary of State's Office between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30 of the odd-numbered years if they intended to allow independent voters to vote in their political party primary. I did vote no because I believe this bill would disenfranchise around one-third of Idahoans, who state they are independents. I would encourage anyone interested in this issue to read House Bill 185 online at www.legislature.idaho.gov.

You might remember that Idaho independent Mitch Campbell from Twin Falls testified at the hearings last week that 37% of all Idaho voters are independent.

New Hampshire: Staying in the game

...The primary also is open to anyone, Gardner said, in contrast to caucus states, where the parties decide who can run.

The state has same-day voter registration, and independents -- 42 percent of the electorate, at last count -- can vote in either primary.... (Town Hall)

A bold gamble on bipartisan third party

David Broder on Unity '08 (Indianiapolis Star): Thirty-nine states allow a new party to petition onto the presidential ballot, without having a named candidate, but the deadlines and numbers of signers vary widely. The first test will be whether Unity08 attracts enough volunteers and money to carry out that effort. And then comes the challenge of recruiting a candidate or candidates for Unity08 to back....

Alaska IP will meet March 21

The next Alaskan Independence Party meeting for general membership is on March 21st at Deb's Cafe on Van Horn Road for a noon luncheon. Guest Speaker will be Dexter Clark discussing the production of Joe Voglers' speeches on CD's and their planned release. For further information call Lynette Clark at 457-1884 or www.akip.org.

Monday, March 05, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS





Biden Courts Independent Voters in S.C.
California: Redistricting
Independent voters have shifted left

Biden Courts Independent Voters in S.C.

Joe Biden will be "spending time courting independents in a state where voters don't register by party. "If the Democratic nominee cannot attract independents, Democrats cannot win," said Biden...." (msn.com)

California: Redistricting

Redrawing legislative and congressional districts is good government. (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Independent voters have shifted left

Cokie and Steve Roberts warn Nancy Pelosi and Co. about "pandering" to the left-wing of the Democratic Party in their commentary in the Laurel Mississippi Leader-Call:
"It was the moderates and independents who [elected a Democratic
majority], and they’re the voters who will decide the next election as well. If
the Democrats want to win next year they have to oppose the president's war but
not take responsibility for it. The last time the party got entranced by an
antiwar “folk hero” his name was George McGovern. He lost 49 states...."

Independent political analyst Jacqeline Salit has a different take in the last issue of the Neo-Independent "Election Analysis":
"Independents had a good year. Closer to the American people than
the major parties are, they helped voters find their anti-war voice. They showed
the neo-cons the door. They developed some grassroots organization, “ordained”
new rank and file leaders in dozens of states, attracted some quality
candidates, and won some fights to keep the independent movement multi-racial
and inclusionary. They even brought some old independents back into the game and
got them talking to one another for the first time in years...."

And let's not forget that it was the Democratic Party itself that undermined George McGovern's campaign, much as they put a quick halt to Howard Dean's popular primary candidacy in 2004.

Hello to my J&R friends from London!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Independent presidential candidate by next year?

My Sunday mornings usually consist of Googling the weekend's news for independents and posting relevant articles on The Hankster while drinking a cup of coffee, looking out the window and keeping half an ear to the Sunday morning talk shows. (I depend on Jackie Salit and Fred Newman's Talk/Talk for analysis.)

This morning something caught my attention: Eleanor Clift predicted on the McLaughlin Group that there will be an independent presidential candidate next year...

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS





Giuliani: Credible path to the nomination?
Florida: Crist a bipartisanish self-styled populist
California: The Decline to State
Oregon: Repubs need independents
Blogosphere: Facebook this!
Independent voters have turned against Bush
Giuliani and the independents
2008 primaries and independent anti-war voters
Michigan: Open or closed primaries?
UPTURNS, DOWNTURNS AND TURNOUTS

Giuliani: Credible path to the nomination?

Dan Balz has an interesting commentary in Sunday's Washington Post , "Giuliani Has No Real Chance With GOP Voters . . . or Does He?", about the viability of the Repubs picking Rudy Giuliani as their nominee.

"...The former mayor's campaign team believes it has found a credible path to the nomination. Its foundation is a conclusion that while the overwhelming majority of Republicans differ with Giuliani on abortion, gay rights and gun control, a much smaller percentage of GOP primary voters -- perhaps no more than a quarter -- are single-issue voters who would never vote for him because of his views on those issues, a percentage borne out by the latest Post-ABC News poll..."

While the Dems and Repubs scurry to define themselves and the candidates look for "credible paths" to major party nominations, independent voters can do likewise. Independents are allowed to vote in various forms of primary structures in 22 states. For them and for the rest of us, what we independents do now will determine what influence we will have come the general election.

Independents can define ourselves and create the path to the Presidency for 2008 for the American people.

Changing our political culture isn't easy by any means. But independents have an increasing capacity and responsibility to lead the way in 2008 for a new direction for our country. Certainly one thing we have in our favor is that we're not interested in partisan (or bi-partisan) politics. -NH

Florida: Crist a bipartisanish self-styled populist

...Independent voters are more interested in candidates who offer real solutions to real problems than those who want to dwell on divisive social issues to excite and turn out religious conservatives.
Charlie Crist appears to understand this. Unlike his predecessor, he has no ideological or religious agenda. He calls himself "the people's governor" and tends to side with consumers against big corporations. He is just what Florida needed after eight years of Jeb Bush, who exerted strong leadership in the pursuit of some wrong-headed policies, some of which Crist is beginning to tweak or correct....
(St. Petersburg Times)

California: The Decline to State

Nonpartisan rule a dilemma for GOP, by LISA VORDERBRUEGGEN ( Contra Costa Times)
...Back in 1970 when 95 percent of California voters were registered as Republicans or Democrats, no one cared what nonpartisan voters did.
Today, the percentage of voters who identify with either party has dropped to 76 percent, with decline to state voters making up nearly 19 percent of the electorate. In some counties, such as Alameda and San Francisco, nonpartisan voters outnumber Republicans....

Oregon: Repubs need independents

Oregon Repubs consider "Future control, several people acknowledged, could lie with the non-affiliated voters, who trended Democratic in 2006... "We've got to reach out to the Independents," (KGW AP Wire) Oregon GOP does some soul-searching at Dorchester, By JULIA SILVERMAN

Blogosphere: Facebook this!

...Joe Trippi, the internet-savvy campaign manager of Democrat Howard Dean's 2004 White House bid, said there was no way the Obama campaign alone could have organized an event that drew 3,000 at such an early stage in the campaign. ..... Dean, a former Vermont governor, powered his way into contention in 2004 with his use of then-innovative blogs and other internet tools to raise money and create a buzz around his candidacy, then faded after the primary voting started. "Today there are 55 million blogs, social networking tools available to the campaigns," Trippi said. "I envy them." ... (Concord Monitor) AP article by Donna Cassata

Independent voters have turned against Bush

Core group of Bush loyalists stand by their man
By Ron Hutcheson ...Independent voters also have turned against Bush, although roughly 29 percent say they still approve of his job performance, averaging five Gallup polls this year.... (McClatchy Newspapers)

Giuliani and the independents

Giuliani emerges as GOP's front runner
By William Douglas ...Giuliani also appears to the favorite among independents. In a USA Today/Gallup poll last month, independents gave him a 68 percent favorable rating, to 55 percent for McCain. (Clinton and Obama each had a 55 percent favorable rating.)
Giuliani's crossover appeal is striking. Democrats gave him a 55 percent favorable rating in the USA Today/Gallup survey, while Obama had only a 39 percent favorable rating among Republicans, and Clinton had 28 percent...
(McClatchy Newspapers)

2008 primaries and independent anti-war voters

Anti-War States Up First:
In New Hampshire, which has only two congressional districts, these anti-war primary voters represented half the state. So this unpredictable electorate will have a big say as to whom Democrats nominate for president in 2008. Republican candidates also have reason to take note of the 2006 results in a state where independent voters make up a plurality and can vote in either party primary.... (Investor's Business Daily)

Michigan: Open or closed primaries?

To be effective, the parties have to agree: ...the state Democratic party is continuing talks with the Michigan Republican Party to hold semi-closed primaries on the same day, instead of a closed Democratic caucus and Republican open primary.... (Detroit Free Press)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

UPTURNS, DOWNTURNS AND TURNOUTS

From last Sunday's Talk/Talk with Jackie Salit and Fred Newman:

Salit: I think the Clinton camp is baiting Obama, trying to pull him into a direct attack on Hillary. They think that if they can get him into that zone, they can beat him. It’s interesting because at some point he’s going to have to take her on and face her down. He has to establish that his “vision” politic has some real honest-to-goodness toughness attached to it, that it has some guts. He’s got to be willing to have a fight with the old line political establishment. It needs to be principled – on his part. But it needs to be tough. The Clinton camp wants a fight. They think they can win it. I don’t know that Obama has decided whether he wants the fight or not.

Newman: You might well be right. I think the key is that the Clintons have started on a path and they’re going to stay on that path. And that path is, of course, that Hillary can win.
Salit: Hillary can win.


Newman: Yes. And, if you’re on that path, you’re going to play the campaign as I’m the winner and everybody else is trying to knock me over. I think that’s where it comes from, strategically. Not everybody accepts – and I’m one of those who doesn’t accept it – that Hillary is the winner and that the election is hers to lose. I don’t agree with that at all. I don’t know what the Obama people think. But I guess they think that she’s not the winner.....

Friday, March 02, 2007

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



California: Independents to vote in party primaries?

Frank Luntz: "a large and growing constituency"
New Hampshire: Watch out for the independents!
New York: Party party party

Idaho: Independent leader Mitch Campbell speaks out
Black Mules & Rino's
And the winner is...

Hey, what happened to The Hankster?

California: Independents to vote in party primaries?

Independent Voters: Yes Dem, No GOP (Capital Notes - KQED ) The fastest growing group of California voters, contrary to what was said a few weeks ago, will not be allowed to vote for one of the major party's presidential candidates next year.
Two weeks ago, the new chairman of the California Republican Party, Ron Nehring, told reporters that he would authorize voters registered as 'decline to state' as eligible to cast ballots in next year's GOP presidential primary.
Not so fast, it seems....

Frank Luntz: "a large and growing constituency of independent voters"

This just isn’t working -- Lack of ideas, credibility makes Republicans fade from power, By Frank Luntz, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette ...“Don’t be afraid to see what you see,” Ronald Reagan once said.
Today, many of his disciples are choosing not to see the obvious. Republicans in Congress cannot regain their majority merely by relying on a coalition of traditional conservatives and evangelicals. They must reach out to what I call “the fed-ups” – a large and growing constituency of independent voters who have held the balance of power in every election since 1992, and will hold it again in 2008....

New Hampshire: Watch out for the independents!

In N.H., Romney blasts McCain on immigration, By Glen Johnson, Associated Press , Portsmouth Herald ...The former Massachusetts governor is romancing an electorate that's already shown fondness for McCain and fellow GOP presidential contender Rudy Giuliani. Granite State residents, meanwhile, are increasingly voting Democratic, and the expanding ranks of independents may lean that way as well.
"I think the real problem for him is that both he and John McCain are so busy courting the right wing and trumpeting their support for the war, that won't sell up here," said Linda Fowler, a government professor at Dartmouth College. "What may end up happening is that independent voters gravitate to the Democratic primary. That would leave (Romney and McCain) battling over the hardcore Republicans." ...

New York: Party party party

The Bruno-Kruger connection: Tom Connolly (Politicker)

Idaho: Independent leader Mitch Campbell speaks out in opposition to closed primaries

Idaho’s Closed Primaries Bill: Why It’s a Con
By Jill Kuraitis, New West Politics ...Citizen Mitch Campbell from Twin Falls testified that he, along with about 37% of all Idaho voters, are independent of political parties. “Apparently you know we’re there, but you don’t know who we are. I don’t see anyone in this room who represents the independent voter. We do have a lot of political swing.”
In fact, independent voters are the deciding group in a great many Idaho elections. It’s baffling that Republicans want to exclude them from voting, since independents nearly always break toward Republicans and ensure their elections. ...

Black Mules & Rino's

Black Mules & Rino's Cut Off New Generation Leadership At Grassroots by Gay James on cadreusa ...In 2002 the party gave the congressional designation in Harlem’s 15th CD to Dr. Jesse Fields an official of the Independence Party, reportedly controlled by Dr. Lenora Fulani. Many longtime local Republicans were irate because of the obvious snub and apparent compromise of GOP values in the political deal with the Independence Party. But the controversy began because Mr. Conrad Muhammad the former minister of the Nation of Islam’s Mosque # 7 and his GOP supporters were lobbying for his (Conrad Muhammad) designation as the party’s congressional standard bearer.
The popular and charismatic Conrad Muhammad had begun evaluating both political parties as well as the prospect of running for public office a couple of years earlier. The advent of Conrad Muhammad as a GOP Congressional candidate generated shockwaves within the leadership of both local political parties. The word on the street began to generate great curiosity, if not a ground swell, and much local and state political interest in the Grand Old Party was percolating....

And the winner is...

Forget the Oscars -- the political show is on 24/7 (Houston Chronicle from last week)

Hey, what happened to The Hankster?

Sorry, eveyone. I've been out of commission for a few days. Back and better....!