- Tom Eblen: Coffee Party prepares for national convention in Louisville - Group responds to Tea Party effort (Lexington Herald Leader) Another discussion topic will be independent voters. "Why is it that so many people are leaving both parties and registering as independents?" Park wondered. "To me, it's a statement about the two-party system itself, not just the state of the two parties." Park said Coffee Party organizers, who promoted get-togethers in coffee shops across the country in March, wanted to hold their first convention in the Midwest. "We wanted to get away from the East Coast-West Coast mentality," she said.
- Independents’ vote vital to state’s House race (Kevin Woster, Rapid City Journal) NOTE: Recommended by Kim Wright
- CT: Open Primaries To Unaffiliated Voters (LETTER Hartford Courant) I think California has figured it out.
- FL: Don't shut out independent voters (EDITORIAL Daytona Beach News Journal) A lot of potential voters are shut out of the decision-making on key primary races. Independent voters may cast ballots in nonpartisan races, but usually they can't play a role in choosing Republican or Democratic nominees. Florida should open the party primaries to independents. The parties would benefit from giving this growing part of the electorate a say in their nominating process. Independents represent a crucial voting bloc in the general election in November. Party nominees would better represent the electorate as a whole if the No Party helped choose them.
- LA: Early Voting Begins For Aug. 28 Primary - La. Voters Can Cast Ballots Through Next Saturday (WDSU NEW ORLEANS) Registered Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians may vote only in their party’s primary. Independent voters or those belonging to an unrecognized party can participate in either the Democratic or Libertarian primaries. Voters registered with the Green or Reform parties are not eligible for the primary.
- OK: Pointless election (by: WAYNE GREENE Editorial Writer, Tulsa World) Excluding independent voters doesn't serve the political process..
- CA: Marin Voice: California's open primary - a real voice for a change (WILLIAM T. BAGLEY, Marin Independent Journal) That fact is worth acknowledging because of the recent strange action by the Marin Republican County Central Committee, ousting its chair Sashi McEntee for supporting the "Open Primary" initiative.
- LA: Closed-primary to be last, low turnout expected (By William Johnson, Opeloupus Daily World - LA)
- Two Different Electorates (Wall Street Journal/CAPITAL JOURNAL, By Rhodes Cook) A basic rule of thumb for midterm elections is that the turnout is smaller, older and whiter than that for a presidential election.... But party officials are hoping to offset the lack of energy evident among Democratic loyalists by making a big effort to motivate the 15 million or so first-time voters in 2008. Many of them are young, African American or Hispanic, and at least two years ago were ardently pro-Obama.
- Liberal criticism of Obama is out of tough-love (By Robert Kuttner, Boston Globe) With his temporizing, Obama has left independent voters perplexed and the Democratic base dispirited. Democrats are now at risk of an epic legislative defeat this November, leaving Obama with even less running room to provide the recovery program that the country needs.
- Obama and Independents: What Happened? (Posted by Sarah Dutton, POLL CNS News) But his support among independents - those Americans who don't identify with either the Republican or Democratic party - has dropped significantly since last year. In the CBS News Poll conducted in July, the president's job approval rating among this group was in net negative territory. Just 38 percent approved of the job he was doing as president, while more, 46 percent, disapproved.
- AP-GfK Poll: Independent voters sour on Democrats (By ALAN FRAM and TREVOR TOMPSON (AP) Poll results here http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com/
- Democrats face uphill battle in midterm campaign (By Dan Balz, Penninsula Qatar) Through Organizing for America, the offshoot of Obama’s massive 2008 grass-roots network, Democrats are bombarding those first-time voters with e-mails and following up with conversations at their doorsteps. On Aug. 28 they will kick off their fall push, in conjunction with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The goal is to knock on 400,000 doors that weekend in targeted states and congressional districts.
- CNN Poll: Who's on top in hunt for 2012 GOP nomination? (CNN/Politicker, From CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser) Full results here http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/13/rel11d.pdf
- The Battle for America 2010: Signs of a Gathering Superstorm in November -- The forecast is getting ominous for Democrats as the trends continue to tilt toward a GOP wave that will inundate the majority and bring Republicans back to power. (by Scott Elliott, Pajamas Media)
- NOTE: Pajamas Media is a right-leaning purporting to be a nonideological hybrid left-right "citizen journalist" major blog started in 2005 by Johnson and Simon (who insist that ideology does not play a role in their quest to locate the best blog posts. Both are former liberal Democrats who turned to the right after 9/11. For background see National Review article from 2005...
THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES
- INDEPENDENT AND THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES STILL FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN AMERICA'S DEMOCRACY (by Damon Eris, CAIVN) If a group of people told you that elected officials, influential civic groups, the mainstream media, and independent polling organizations were all engaged in a systematic effort to effectively silence them by ensuring that the wider public was not exposed to their views and opinions, you might conclude that this was nothing but an elaborate conspiracy theory. Yet, this is the reality faced by third party and independent candidates for elected office all across the United States.
- Georgia Independent Congressional Candidate, Denied Ballot Access, Will Pursue Strong Write-in Campaign (Ballot Access News) Comment: An Alabama Independent Says: Filing fees in lieu of petitons is the only way. When will we ever learn?
- Voters Think Gov. Christie is Stubborn but Independent and Smart (POLL Rutgers) Asked how strongly they agree with a random list of four positive (smart, independent, strong leader and reformer) and four negative traits (stubborn, uncaring, arrogant and bully) to describe Christie, three-quarters say stubborn “very” (42 percent) or “somewhat well” (34 percent).... Independents are mixed; a majority agrees that all the positive traits apply at least somewhat to Christie, as well as two negatives – stubborn (76 percent) and arrogant (69 percent).
- Tenants bi-partisan endorsements (by Rick Karlin, Albany Times Union/Capitol Confidential) New York City-based Tenants PAC is targeting Pedro Espada Jr. for defeat, and they’ve rescinded endorsements of three Democratic Senators: David Valesky, Brian Foley and Darrel Aubertine.... The tenants also are crossing party lines, backing longtime GOP Sen. Frank Padavan as well as Democrat Bill Perkins.
NYC CHARTER REVISION
- Bloomberg says he won't spend any money to campaign against two-term limit for city politicians (BY FRANK LOMBARDI, DAILY NEWS) The November ballot will ask city voters whether to approve a two-term limit and ban the Council from ever extending its own terms again, but allow incumbent politicians to still run for three terms. Voters had twice approved the two-term limit for city politicians before the Council extended it. Bloomberg said he was disappointed the Charter Revision Commission he appointed will not ask voters whether to make city elections nonpartisan - a crusade he spent $7 million backing in 2003 before it failed 70% to 30%.
- $110K grant kept Rev. Al Sharpton quiet about Mayor Bloomberg changing term limits (ADAM LISBERG, Daily News)
- 2010 NY politics: The spirit is weak (By Greg David, Crain's New York) Mayor Michael Bloomberg's dispirited retreat from his plans to push nonpartisan elections represents one large red flag about the prospects for the rest of his third term. His entire handling of the City Charter commission, which rejected the idea, seems to have been half-hearted—hardly the strategy of someone determined to leave important legacies during his last term in office. There is also the news from the Post that First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris is spending most of her time working on the mayor's foundation, a telling development.
- 'California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It' by Joe Mathews (a fellow at the New America Foundation) and Mark Paul (a UC Berkeley visiting scholar and a former deputy state treasurer) - (REVIEW Newsweek)