Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010!


INDEPENDENT VOTER EXTRA: Revolution Breaks Out in Colorado!

Not since the Western Federation of Miners has there been such an outbreak of spirited independence as what we are witnessing now in Colorado. Today's backdrop is an increasingly anti-partisan and independent electorate, a stupidly partisan Congress and a beloved President who can't seem to win for losing (his Party loyalty straining credibility on all fronts....); today's battle cries are "Open Primaries!" "Non-Partisan Elections!" "An Independent on the Federal Elections Commission!"

I hope you enjoy this lively round-up.

Wishing all of you the best (independent of course) New Year ever!

--Nancy

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Give Independents a Voice (LETTER NY Times) from Jackie Salit and Harry Kresky
  • Five steps to recovery for Dems (By: Steve Rosenthal, Politico) Now, take a few moments and listen to candidate Obama's stump speeches from 2008 to remind you what attracted millions of new voters, including Independents, to the Democratic Party.
  • The end of the Democratic Party (Joseph Farrah, World Net Daily/Between the Lines)
  • Democrats Do Not Need to Become More "Moderate" to Win in 2010 - Four Rules for Victory in November (Robert Creamer, Huffington Post)
  • With new priorities, Obama and Democrats can recover in 2010 (By Dan Balz, Washington Post)
  • The Obama Way (By ROSS DOUTHAT, NY Times) He’s a bipartisan bridge-builder — unless he’s a polarizing ideologue. He’s a crypto-Marxist radical — except when he’s a pawn of corporate interests. He’s a post-American utopian — or else he’s a willing tool of the national security state.
  • Poll: More Americans prefer Democratic policies (CNN) "But independents will be the key to the midterms, and the numbers among independents spell bad news for both parties among that important group."
OPEN PRIMARIES
COLORADO
NON-PARTISAN MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS
KENTUCKY
  • Deadline for voters to switch parties is this week (By MELINDA CHARLES, Maysville Ledger Independent) Voters who are already registered in Kentucky have until Dec. 31 to change their political affiliation, according to a release from office of Secretary of State Trey Grayson. The deadline also affects candidates who wish to switch political party affiliation and run in their new party's primary election, or those seeking ballot access as an independent, the release said.
  • Independent Kentucky Chairman Michael P.W. Lewis was a special guest on "My View Matters" Radio show on December 17th. If you happened to miss it, you can listen to it on Ed Springston's Blog.
REDISTRICTING
FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
  • Decade Brought Change To Campaign Finance (by PETER OVERBY, NPR) Former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley Smith says that's it for public funding. "Participating in the public financing system is now considered the mark of an unserious candidate," he says.
INDEPENDENT VOTERS, OBAMA AND HEALTH CARE
STATE RACES

Monday, December 21, 2009

columbus stars


Open Primaries, Independent Parties, and the Authorities

Must read on Redding News Review -- Lenora Fulani explains why she did not support Bill Thompson in November's mayoral race in NYC.... *******   With more than 40% of the country being independent, opening up the primaries is an important democratic (small "d") electoral reform that would promote non-partisanship and allow independent voters access to the first round of voting. Californians will vote in June 2010 on a "Top Two" version of open primaries, and while this concept is very popular at the grassroots, the loudest opposition is coming from minor party spokespeople like Rich Winger of Ballot Access News. However, Jon Fleichman at Fox & Hounds Daily (a news site dedicated to the principle that "an economically healthy California is a boon for all citizens") unintentionally makes the best argument in support of open primaries.   *****   And speaking of third party voices, I was glad to see that the Independent Political Report picked up The Hankster's coverage of the attacks on the Working Families Party--maybe one day IPR will recognize the NYC IP as well....   ******* Mike Bloomberg apparently has something else in common with Fred Newman (in addition to their both being independents): neither of them gives grades!  *******  NY Post's Frederic U. Dicker has really lost it -- he seems to be living in a place where up is down....  *******   And finally, lots of interesting analysis of health care, Obama, independents, and the current nature of our political culture.  ******  Oh, and one more thing! Technorati's got itself a brand new bag. See why I care at The End.

MUST READ
INDEPENDENT VOTERS
OPEN PRIMARIES/ POLITICAL REFORM
GOVERNORS RACES
  • Independent candidate to join Senate debates (By DAN RING, Mass Live/The Republican) Brown, Coakley and Kennedy will face off in the first televised debate on Tuesday. The debate will be taped, and it is scheduled to be aired on WBZ-TV Channel 4 in Boston from 8 to 9 a.m. on Dec. 27 and on WSBK-TV Channel 38 in Boston from 7 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 28.
  • Decision-making publicity suits Goodman just fine (By Michael Mishak, Las Vegas Sun) Goodman was changing his party affiliation from Democrat to nonpartisan, a necessary step if he decides to run as an independent candidate for governor next year — something he’s been hinting at for months.
REFORM PARTY
WORKING FAMILIES PARTY
BLOOMBERG
BLOGS: RECOMMENDED READING
  • Dean's Blind Spot (Ronald Brownstein, the Alantic)
  • GROWING CLOUT OF INDEPENDENTS IS A GOP NIGHTMARE (American Opinion, by Jackie Salit)
  • The Flawed Logic of William Kristol (By: SJGulitti, FireDogLake/The Seminal) To date, had independents firmly embraced the principles of the conservative movement generally or the G.O.P. in particular, the percentage of voters identifying as Republicans would show a marked increase and so far that is not the case. I would argue that the shift to the right among independent voters is far from solid and is conditional, being subject to a set of factors that will likely change by the time of the 2012 election.
  • Why Obama Is Failing (By Robert Parry, Consortium News) By failing to do the hard work of building institutions, the progressive community has largely sidelined itself, sitting in the stands and booing the players on the field.
THE END
On the 3rd anniversary of The Hankster, I complained in a post that I was losing authorities on Technorati. Well, I'm not sayin' somebody was listenin', but... Technorati has changed! They changed the way they  calculate authorities and guess what -- we're doin' swell! Watch out, HuffPo, The Hankster's gaining on you! And here's the reason: independents are the fastest growing political constituency in the country. Keep up the great work, indies! And keep challenging those authorities, wherever you run into them!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

LEGENDmag


Independents Angry White Men? What about all the angry progressive black, white, Latina and Asian women and men?

Media discussion of a return to 90s "angry white male" profile of independent voters BIG OMISSION -- the face of independents is increasingly black, Latino, Asian, female, and progressive.... but let 'em rant! [See section 6 of Jackie Salit's How the Independent Movement Went Left by Going Right]  Whoever independents are, Mark Silva got it right -- they dislike both parties. Independents don't like partisanship. Period... ****** Discussion of open primaries (there's a "Top Two" referendum on the ballot in California in June 2010) is really heating up! Proponents think open primaries is good for democracy, opponents think minor parties won't be able to hold onto their 2%... What do YOU think??... ******* The Working Families Party is taking the heat for becoming relevant in NYC's recent election... ****** And here's the good news: Frank MacKay's maneuver to take over the Reform Party by conference call was deemed outside the law by a US District Court judge..... Now, there's a wise decision!

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
OPEN PRIMARIES and ELECTORAL REFORM
  • Cornyn Optimistic But Wants RNC Help (By Reid Wilson, National Journal/Hotline) "If there's any lesson that people should have learned about New York 23, it's that when you have closed primaries and a closed-door selection process, people are going to find a way to express their will," Cornyn said. "I think the answer to all that is contested, open primaries, and our goal of course is to, hopefully the Republican nominee, whoever that is, will not be bloodied and broke at the end of the process, because ultimately the goal is to win the general election. I think through that open primary process, all that will be resolved in a satisfactory way."
  • Senate Approves Bill Allowing Non-Partisan Municipal Elections To Move To November (NJ Today)
  • KY: Time running out to change your political party affiliation (Thomas McAdam, Louisville City Hall Examiner) NOTE: BR 222, the open primary bill that newly elected State Senator Jimmy Higdon pre-filed in the state assembly last March, would: “permit a registered independent to vote in the primary of one party for each primary…provide that a primary candidate shall not be a registered independent [and] provide that electronic voting machines be reprogrammed to allow a registered independent to vote for a party’s candidates in a primary.”  Higdon was elected with support from Michael P.W. Lewis and Independent Kentucky.
  • ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Three Nebraska Ballot Access Restrictions (Ballot Access News)
  • Letter [Richard Winger]: Problems plague open primary (Appeal Democrat - CA)
STATE RACES
WORKING FAMILIES PARTY
REFORM PARTY
  • Federal Court in New York Issues Ruling in Internal Reform Party Dispute (Ballot Access News) On December 16, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph F. Bianco, a Bush, Jr., appointee, issued an opinion in MacKay v Crews, eastern district, 09-cv-2218. He ruled that the 2008 national convention of the Reform Party in Texas was a valid convention. Therefore, the national officers elected at that convention are the rightful holders of the party’s trademarks and logos. Those officers are: chair David Collison, vice-chair Rodney Martin, secretary Janelle Skinner-Weill, and treasurer Beverly Kennedy.
  •  DECISION PDF

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

totally non-partisan


Major Parties, Minor Parties and Anti-Parties

Momentum continues to build for open primaries in California, and most but not all partisans (including minor partisans like Libertarians and Greens) don't support primaries that would allow everyone including nonpartisans to participate in the first round of voting... NYC Independence Party (aka the "anti-party Party" because of its support for nonpartisan elections and open primaries) brought in $65K at Monday night's Anti-Corruption Awards recognizing grassroots activists. Not a bad follow-up to the final count 150K votes in November's citywide election for Mayor... Meanwhile, the Working Families Party is under the gun....

OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Make party bosses cringe by voting for open primary (By thomas d. elias, Mercury News)
  • The problem with open primaries (By Richard Winger, San Fransisco Bay Guardian) Washington used top-two once, in 2008. Out of eight U.S. House seats, 8 statewide state races, and 123 legislative races, only one incumbent was defeated in the primary. The only real change in Washington in 2008 was the elimination of minor party and independent candidates from the November election.
  • Low turnout? Of course, because primaries are a farce (LETTER Boston Globe) Why do we hold publicly funded elections for private political parties? Why can we not belong to more than one political party at a time? Why is one’s political party affiliation a matter of public record? Does this not violate the premise of the secret ballot?
  • Misguided move to the middle (By STEVEN GREENHUT, Special to the Orange County Register)
2009 ELECTIONS
GOVERNORS RACES
NYC IP
  • Islander hailed for work on behalf of Independence Party (By KIAWANA RICH, STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE) The Tenth Annual Anti-Corruption Awards ceremony was held last night at Wolfgang's Tribeca Steakhouse, Manhattan, and the honorees included a Stapleton resident who was recognized for her efforts on behalf of the Independence Party.
  • Course Of Bloomberg's Charter Commission Still Uncharted (By Chris Bragg, City Hall) And as he sought the Independence Party line this spring, Bloomberg told party leaders he was open to again looking at non-partisan elections, which is also a pet cause of party activists.
  • New York City Council Races Get More Competitive (by Rachel Fauss, Gotham Gazette) Incumbent Kendall Stewart did not fare as well in District 45. In the Democratic primary, six candidates appeared on the ballot, and Jumaane Williams won by a margin of 11 percent, getting 3,426 votes to Stewart’s 2,392. Stewart remained on the ballot for the general election on the Independence Party line, and Williams won by a margin of 60 percent.
WORKING FAMILIES PARTY



Monday, December 14, 2009

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS - 12/14/09

  • Rasmussen's fictional "Tea Party candidate" bested the Republican in a recent survey...
  • If Abel Maldonado is confirmed as California's lt. gov., he will put people ahead of party...
  • Walter Moore, former independent candidate for mayor of LA talks about voter turnout and partisanship...
  • Repubs in Virginia's 5th CD decide on primary over convention...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

6 am


TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS - 12/12/09


Monday, December 07, 2009

nyc council reform now!


Lenora Fulani Supports Barron-Avella Reforms for New York City Council Legislative and Budgeting Processes


Dr. Lenora Fulani spoke in support of reforming City Council at a press conference Sunday on the steps of City Hall held by NY City Councilman Charles Barron to announce his candidacy for Speak of City Council and to announce the Barron-Avella NYC Council democratic reform movement.



For video, click here.

Fulani said that while "Charles and I have our differences tactically, we have a strong connection to fighting against poverty." She said she supports reforming the government, but that one difference that she has with Councilman Barron is that he believes you can reform the Democratic Party from inside. "I don't, which is why I'm an outsider, which is why I'm an independent."

Fulani noted that had the Democratic Party had the 150,000 votes [final count] that the Independence Party won on November 3rd in the Mayoral election, they would be preparing for their inauguration.

She emphasized that this is a time for everyone -- "the Mayor, the Council and the citizens" -- to work together.



For Councilman Barron's response, click here.

Reforms are aimed at decreasing the power of the Speaker. Currently the Speaker determines the selection of Chairs to Committees; what Committee Council Members will serve on; how much capital and expense funds each Council Member receives for their districts, and whether a Council Member's legislation with be drafted, be granted a hearing, or receive the light of day for a vote or die in Committee.

Reforms would include:

  • A predetermined equitable distribution of capital and expense funds for Council Members
  • Reforms in the legislative process
  • Reforms in the process of selection of Committee Chairs and Committee assignments
  • Reforms in the process of budget negotiations with the Mayor

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Independents Reaffirm Support for Reed in Atlanta Mayoral Campaign

November 30, 2009

Atlanta, GA --- Georgia Independent Voters held a press conference on Monday
morning, November 30th, on the eve of the December 1st city runoff election for
mayor. Before taking questions, GIV members gave a brief statement. Here is a
transcript of the statement:




Murray Dabby: “Good morning. Thank you all for coming. As representatives
of Georgia Independent Voters (“GIV”), part of a grassroots network of
independents around the country who are giving voice to the growing strength
of independents, we are proud to have endorsed Kasim Reed for mayor of
Atlanta in the general election. GIV first met with Kasim Reed during the
summer and endorsed him in the weeks prior to the general election. With
this press conference, we are re-affirming that endorsement in this run-off
election.




“GIV sees Kasim as part of a new generation of Democratic party leaders who
see and appreciate the importance of independents in shaping the political
landscape across the country. Independents played a critical role in the
election of Barack Obama, over and above more partisan candidates, and were
instrumental in shaping the presidential race overall. In NYC, independents
just elected an independent mayor giving Mike Bloomberg the support to be
victorious in his recent difficult election. There are also important
actions being organized by independents for independent political
initiatives, and for open primaries and non-partisan elections in states
around the country. We see Kasim Reed as the kind of leader who can
understand the importance of this national debate and who has expressed a
willingness to add his voice to these efforts.”

Mike Pickering: “Over the course of our extensive screening process, and
since then, of all of the candidates in the campaign, Kasim has shown the
greatest level of support and engagement with the concerns and questions
independents are raising nationwide and here in Georgia. In addition he has
demonstrated an awareness of the nature of the developing independent
movement. While Kasim is a strong and progressive Democrat, in our
conversations he clearly committed to working with independents to
understand, address and bring the influence of the mayor’s office to bear to
advocate on issues of importance to independents. In a statement to GIV
several weeks prior to the general election, Kasim stated "I am very grateful
to receive the endorsement of Georgia Independent Voters. A political
process that is open to all is a major concern of mine. Too many voters are
disillusioned and kept out of the political process. As Mayor, I will work
with the Governor and the state legislature towards opening Georgia's
electoral process, and making it more accessible to all voters."

“In Georgia, key electoral reforms discussed with Reed include instituting
same-day or automatic voter registration to streamline the voting process and
increase voter participation; drastically lowering Georgia’s ballot-access
restrictions in order to level the playing field for independent and nonmajor-
party candidates in Georgia; and creation of an independent
redistricting commission for the important upcoming redistricting effort in
response to the 2010 census. Reed’s effectiveness as a legislator and his
openness to these issues of democracy and fairness are a primary basis for
our endorsement.”



Jamel Thigpen: “In addition to these concerns, we are endorsing Reed because
during our second interview with him he stated would move “muscularly” on
youth development. Now, when he said muscularly I think of Hulk Hogan coming
in flexing his 24 inch pythons! Seriously though, Kasim feels youth
development is key and a very important issue. Re-opening the recreation
centers in Atlanta is part of Kasim’s move on youth development. As someone
who has taken part in both city-funded afterschool and independent out-ofschool
programs, I understand all too well the importance of community
recreation centers. By turning Atlanta’s recreation centers into Centers of
Hope, Kasim will give young people a place they can go to be constructive
participants in society.”

Thyrsa Gravely: “A non-partisan election is an important aspect of voting to
independents. Georgia Independent Voters placed priority on candidates who
are independent as well as those who agree with some voting rights issues
important to independent voters. A decision-making factor for GIV in this
mayoral race was not only the candidate with respect for independents but
also the candidate with the most effective platform to implement a strategy
to improve Atlanta. One reason GIV endorsed Kasim Reed is his action plan to
resolve issues of Atlanta. Kasim Reed has laid out a plan to fight crime,
improve our youth, and address budget issues. We believe Kasim is the better
leader whose plan will be implemented and result in positive change for
Atlanta.”

Murray Dabby: “The alliance between Kasim Reed and Georgia Independent Voters
is another example of the ways that progressive major-party politicians, and
grassroots organizations of independent voters can work to generate creative
ways to reinvigorate our democracy. We are proud to throw our support behind
Kasim Reed for mayor, and will be proud to work shoulder-to-shoulder with him
once he is mayor toward the development of the City of Atlanta.”