Schwarzenegger takes on unions once again (By DAN WALTERS, Sacramento Bee editorials and opinion) Publicly, the governor says the steps are needed to balance the budget and improve the economy, but there's no doubt that he wants to compel Democrats to defy the unions and thus crack, even slightly, their alliance. And having won voter approval of legislative redistricting reform, he plans to challenge unions again by championing "open primaries" that could reduce their power even more.
Russ Lemmon: Choice morsels from '08 (TC Palm - FL) Maybe someday the state will switch to an open primary...
Twelve Steps for the GOP - Advice from voters for a Republican recovery (By STEPHEN MOORE, Wall Street Journal) That's a big problem because even though 84% of voters say they are center or right on the ideological spectrum, the 48% in the middle, i.e., independents, are tilting heavily toward Democrats. The fairly narrow victory by Barack Obama in the popular vote disguises an "enthusiasm gap" among Democratic and Republican voters. Some 65% of Obama voters "strongly supported" him, whereas only 33% of John McCain voters "strongly supported" the Arizona Republican. This helps explain the river of money for Mr. Obama and the massive grassroots advantage for the Democrats.
Can Podesta Craft a Transition to a New Progressive Era? (Tom Hayden, Huffington Post) "Progressivism has been an independent, often nonpartisan, reform movement keeping "politicians on both sides of the aisle honest and committed to principled actions on behalf of regular Americans." While the progressive tradition included third party candidates, liberalism is more closely tied to the Democratic Party and Democratic presidencies."
LOCAL INDEPENDENT NEWS
Barkley's short Senate tenure cited as example for Blago pick Burris (By CHRIS STELLER, Minnesota Independent) Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura appointed Barkley, a fellow Independence Party stalwart, to fill out the remaining weeks of U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone’s term after his death just days before the 2002 election. Barkley was a third-party candidate for the office this year, drawing enough support (15 percent) to affect the result. But it’s still unclear whether Coleman or his Democratic rival Al Franken will be the ultimate electoral beneficiary of Barkley’s participation....
NEW YORK POLITICS/INDEPENDENCE PARTY
Now Advertising With Fulani's Group... (BY AZI PAYBARAH, NY Observer) This one is from Pedro Espada, the incoming state senator who is a Democrat but who, during a previous stint in the State Senate, had a close relationship with Republicans. Other politicians with ads in the journal include Democratic Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Republican State Senator Marty Golden and Democratic State Senator Diane Savino....
Can Obama Sustain the Interest of His Online Constitutents? So Far, Yes, Says Pew Study (By Adriel Bettelheim, CQ) The question is whether efforts to webcast the president-elect's weekly addresses and solicit online supporters' advice by offering interactive features on the transition Web site Change.gov are actually giving voters a chance to drive the administration's agenda or merely providing a forum to feel more involved.