Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Independents on the Rise

So long, Ben Westlund, thanks for your contribution!.... "Total Resistance and 'talk of' Revolution" from major party insiders... zzzzz..... sorry... whaaa? Oh, that's right -- Repubs are trying to close open primaries in Arizona to independents.... Keep on keepin on....!

  • Republicans trying to change Arizona election laws (Maricopa County Libertarian Examiner, Darell Tapp) Matt Roberts, spokesman for the state Republican Party said, “The Party believes that shutting out registered independents from their primary is a way “to encourage independents to join the Republican Party.”
  • Getting ready for statewide vote on sales tax (Arizona Republic) The growth of independent voters appears to be a trend nationwide, especially in Western states such as Arizona. I don't see this trend abating anytime soon. Public polling shows voter frustration with both major political parties, and Arizona's system of open-primary elections gives little incentive to register as a Republican or Democrat for the purpose of voting.
  • SDLD SPEAKER CONFIRMED: SENATOR ABEL MALDONADO (Written by  California Special Districts Association, Public CEO)
  • CALIFORNIA GREEN PARTY CONCERNED ABOUT OPEN PRIMARY INITIATIVE (by Christopher A. Guzman, CAIVN) From the Green Party’s perspective, its gradual extinction in California is disheartening. Let’s face it, no one likes to die in a political sense.  At the same time, it’s a normal part of the political process for particular political parties to transform or pass on as the voter demographic changes over time. In actuality, the top two open primary initiative could force incumbents and candidates from all parties to actually discuss matters that are most relevant to the state’s struggles.  It might compel them to reach broader audiences by going beyond the regional confines of strictly Northern, Southern, or Central California.
  • California Legislative Hearing on Proposition 14 Can be Watched (Ballot Access News)
  • NY-23: Hoffman Runs Again (By Naftali Bendavid, Wall Street Journal/Washwire) Hoffman’s renewed entry into the race, this time hoping to win the Republican as well as Conservative and Independence party nominations, reaffirms that hard-hitting fiscal conservatives and candidates supported by the tea party movement intend to play a big role in the upcoming election. What their impact will be is less clear.
  • New York School Closings Move the Angry to Action (by Megan Behrent, Labor Notes)
  • Ben Westlund, Former Oregon Independent Senator, Dies (Ballot Access News)
  • Ben Westlund Passes Away (Kari Chisholm, BlueOregon) 
  • A Time of Limits (by William Galston, Democracy Journal - Spring 2010) Other structural features of American politics had shifted in ways that deepened the disanalogy between the New Deal/Great Society eras and the circumstances that Obama faced. In the first place, far more Americans identified themselves as conservative than as liberal. This was true the day Obama was elected, and it is more so today. By the end of 2009, conservatives held a two-to-one edge over liberals and had surged ahead of moderates to form the largest ideological block in the electorate. This fact alone makes it implausible to characterize the election of 2008 as the evidence of a swing to the left. More likely, it reflected widespread public discontent with the economic and foreign policy performance of the Bush Administration, and the willingness to give a promising young leader a chance to prove he could do better. And as disappointment with the new Administration has set in, the dominant response has been not a swing towards Republicans, but rather "a plague on both your houses."

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