Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kentucky Coffee Party Hosts "Rise of The Independent Voter" Panel

Link to live-stream clip from "The Rise of The Independent Voter" workshop last week at the Coffee Party gathering at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky.
Gwen Mandell and Michael Lewis


 Independent voters are the fastest growing segment of the American electorate. There has been much conjecture by the media and political pundits about which way independents will swing, but less is being written about the up from the bottom political reform movement against partisanship that is growing across the country. This workshop will focus on the Rise of the Independent Voter. Who are independents? What does this political reform movement look like and where is it headed? On this panel, Gwen Mandell and Michael Lewis of Independentvoting.org will discuss important fights independents are waging for political reform around the country. Linda Killian, award-winning journalist and author, will discuss her recent travels swing states researching her book on Independent and Swing voters.

Reach Michael Lewis at Independent Kentucky. Reach Gwen Mandell at IndependentVoting.org.

Also see A Trans-partisan Dialogue moderated by Joseph McCormick (Amy Kremer of Tea Party Express, progressive blogger Elisa Batista, Michael Lewis of Independentvoting.org, Annabel Park of Coffee Party USA, Lawrence Lessig, Mark McKinnon)

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS 9/30/10

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • The Sweep: Vikings, voters and the charge of the Militant Middle (By Tom Foreman, CNN) Part of the problem cited by everyone I talked to is the primary voting system. Despite some highly publicized upsets, in most cases the parties still steer the early selection process toward faithful partisans. Such candidates are easier to raise money for, easier to differentiate from the opposition in ads, and more likely to do precisely what moderates do not want: Toe the party line. [piece quotes Kathleen Curry]
  • National Review: The GOP Can Win The Northeast (by ANDREW STILES, NPR) Interestingly, more Northeast independents are breaking for Republicans than their counterparts in the Midwest or the West.
  • More Voters Likely To Vote Independent This Year (Fox New York) Republicans are in a more rebellious mood than Democrats. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of GOP voters say they are more likely to vote for an independent candidate this November, compared to just 17% of Democrats. Perhaps not surprisingly, 47% of those not affiliated with either major party are more inclined to vote for an independent.
  • GOP agenda lacks punch - Both parties too often feign commitment (The Tennessean)
  • An Increasing Number of Voters are Registering as Independents (Alexandra Hill, WJHG Channel 7 -  Bay County FL) Bay County election officials say countywide they’ve also seen a recent rise in the “no party affiliation.” in 1988, voter registration logs show just under 5 percent were registered outside of the two party system. Now, the statistic is close to 18 percent , which factors out to mean almost one in five of Bay County voters. 
OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Our Opinion: Rauschenberger case shows need for open primary (THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER - IL) Rauschenberger in 2009 had voted in a Democratic primary because his sister was on the ballot in a township race. This, the Democratic Party said, made Rauschenberger a Democrat and ineligible to run as a Republican.
  • Al Hein calls on state to rule on ballot integrity (News Record, Bluff Country Newspaper Group - WI) "It's so unfortunate that the recent stories have diverted attention away from the issues - term limits, open primaries and the elimination of special interests' participation in elections," said Hein.
THE WHITE HOUSE
COLORADO
  • Write in Kathleen Curry (LETTER Aspen Times) However, being affiliated with a party does not stop me from being an independent thinker and educating myself on issues and candidates prior to casting my vote each election. 
NEW YORK
LAST WORD

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the rolling stone obama interview


TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS 9/29/10

OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Runoff elections wave of the future?  (LETTER The Republican - MA) As the political parties decline in power and favor, the day may come where we see one ballot with all the names for each position and the voter makes his choice of one for each office and after votes are tabulated there will be a runoff for the two top vote-getters. The day that comes, politics as we know it will be gone. 
NATIONAL
MAYOR BLOOMBERG
  • Bloomberg to address House GOP (By Molly K. Hooper, The Hill) Bloomberg, considered a possible presidential candidate, will speak at the weekly House GOP Theme Team meeting on Thursday morning.
NEW YORK
BLOGOSPHERE
  • W.H. scorecard: MSNBC up, bloggers down (By: Keach Hagey, Politico) Glenn Greenwald: “As we head into a November election that looks more and more like Democrats are going to get slaughtered, I think they are trying to set up a villain, someone to blame other than Obama,” he said. “And that villain will be the left.”

Monday, September 27, 2010

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS 9/27/10

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Independents Abandon Democrats Ahead Of Midterms (by JOEL ROSE, NPR) Still, Bullock says she supports President Obama. So do Mark Balsam and Yvone Vazquez of rural Bucks County, Pa. They both voted for Obama two years ago, but neither seems excited about the candidates in this election. I will vote for somebody, probably," Balsam says. "I don't feel highly motivated, I guess." "I might not vote at all, period," Vazquez says.
  • Tired of 'tea party' sniping, moderates organize (By James Oliphant, LA Times) The No Labels effort, expected to launch later this year, is backed by Republicans such as McKinnon, the former Bush advisor, and Nancy Jacobson, a powerful Democratic fundraiser married to pollster Mark Penn. Another Washington group, think tank Third Way, advocates "a moderate ideology" built around such issues as free trade and clean energy.
  • Obama looks to youth vote for a late midterm surge (By Philip Ruckerand Anne E. Kornblut, Washington Post) NOTE: Independents voted in 2008 for Barack Obama, not the Democratic Party. And there's really nothing the Dems can do about that. When you're a Dem, you're a Dem all the way. That's what partisanship IS! And that's what independents don't like. Looks like a nice little political trap for the parties. Good luck fellas! - NH  PS -- About 45% of youth under the age of 25 consider themselves independent. But knock yourselves out!
OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Power plays: Propositions 25 and 26 - they're both bad policy dressed up as reform (EDITORIAL LA Daily News) There is a solution to this abuse of government and partisan political fights, and that is to elect a better class of leaders. That's why we support structural reforms such as independent redistricting and open primaries that we think will help elect politicians who put the public's interest before their own. But these two propositions, while dressed up as reforms, will do nothing but make our political problem worse. Vote no on Propositions 25 and 26.
  • Perspectives: Bipartisan - or nonpartisan?; What if we rid Congress of petty party politics? (By William J. Kelleher, San Gabriel Valley Tribune) In 2003, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg strongly supported a referendum that would change city election practices from highly partisan to almost completely nonpartisan. If passed by the voters, the law would have opened primary elections to all voters by eliminating the partisan ballot.
MIDTERMS
2012
COLORADO
  • Analysis: Curry’s Long-Shot Election Bid Grows Longer (By Brad Jones, FACE THE STATE, State Bill Colorado) Curry said she’ll press on with her legal fight, but after U.S. District Judge Philip Brimmer turned down her motion last Thursday to block the state campaign-finance law in time for the November election, even an eventual favorable outcome will do her little good in raising contributions toward her re-election bid. It’s also little solace to voters who might want to support her or other candidates outside the GOP-Democrat loop.
  • One legal hurdle down, about a dozen more to go (By Marianne Goodland, THE COLORADO STATESMAN) In June, Judge Marcia Krieger ruled in favor of Buescher and co-defendant Linda Daley, clerk of La Plata County on the ballot access issue. Under state law, a person who wants to run as an unaffiliated candidate must disaffiliate from a political party within a specific time before the next general election. Curry and Riddle sought an injunction against that law, stating that it violated their 1st Amendment and 14th Amendment rights. That case is now on appeal with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
NEW YORK
  • Where Have All the Political Parties Gone? - Working Families swoops into the void. (By Chris Smith, NY Mag) That the WFP, the biggest institutional local political success story of the past decade, finds itself wobbling between enormous influence and extinction is emblematic of a larger drama: the highly fluid state of the New York political Establishment not named Michael Bloomberg.
  • Cuomo Facing Criticism From Blacks (By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE, NY Times) Mr. Cuomo is also being challenged from the left by Charles Barron, a black city councilman in New York who is running on the Freedom Party line.

Midterms: Dems damned if they do and damned if they don't...

From Obama looks to youth vote for a late midterm surge By Philip Ruckerand Anne E. Kornblut (Washington Post)

With polls showing independent voters swinging toward Republicans in Wisconsin and the nation's other battlegrounds, Democrats are turning elsewhere to make up ground. So on Tuesday in Madison, Obama will stage the first in a series of rallies on college campuses designed to persuade what some call his "surge" voters - the roughly 15 million Americans who voted for the first time in 2008 - to return to the polls this fall.
But without Obama on the ballot this year, his grass-roots network is a shadow of its former self. And with just five weeks before the midterm elections, Obama's political advisers acknowledge that transferring the goodwill he cultivated over a historic presidential bid to an array of other Democrats has proved difficult.
"A lot of these voters feel very strongly about the president, but still a lot of them aren't showing enough predilection to vote," said David Plouffe, Obama's 2008 campaign manager and an architect of the Democrats' midterm strategy.

Independents voted in 2008 for Barack Obama, not the Democratic Party.  And there's really nothing the Dems can do about that. When you're a Dem, you're a Dem all the way. That's what partisanship IS! And that's what independents don't like. Looks like a nice little political trap for the parties. Good luck fellas!

PS -- About 45% of youth under the age of 25 consider themselves independent. But knock yourselves out!

Friday, September 24, 2010

from the bottom up!


Michael P. W. Lewis, founder of Independent Kentucky, is running as an independent for State Representative from Kentucky's 35th.
We need true Political Reform!!!
It starts from the bottom up! We don’t need politicians to navigate the capital and our legislative process. We need the people to regain the power, and we have the chance to eliminate special interest in the form of lobbyist and corporate funding and restore the people as our only special interest!

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES FOR INDEPENDENT VOTERS 9/24/10

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Harry Kresky: Political Reform and Human Development (By Harry Kresky, The Moderate Voice) What we are facing is a crisis of development. Human beings do not appear to have the capacity to address and organize themselves to do what needs to be done. The development gap must be addressed and overcome. And that is not the same thing as finding the right answer. In fact the search for the right answer takes you in the wrong direction. Can we develop so that we act to do what is best for our species, to work with others to create that collective performance? Can this be done?
  • Could US elections see the rise of the powerful centre? (The Daily Maverick - South Africa) Taken together, these broad trends have increasingly meant that in the general elections (as opposed to primary elections where party loyalists or voters with strong feelings about a particular issue are crucial) are won by the votes of Americans with weak (or even no) party identification and loyalty. Pre-eminently, such voters often live in the country’s sprawling suburbs and the exurbs beyond, rather than in the country’s urban cores or its increasingly depopulated rural landscape.
  • State sees increase in Independent Party voters (Anthony Pura, KHAS TV - NE) It's a slight increase of independent voters, but when you get down to it it's about 12,000 people more than the 2008 general election that don't have a party identity, and both Republican and Democratic candidates want their vote this November. Red or Blue, Republican or Democrat – less Nebraskans want to wear the label.
  • Pew: Independents now for GOP (By: Jeanne Cummings, Politico) “For the third national election in a row, independent voters may be poised to vote out the party in power,” Pew concludes after its study of 2,816 registered voters, including 1,069 independent registered voters.
  • Independents Oppose Party in Power ... Again  - More Conservative, More Critical of National Conditions (Pew Research) For the third national election in a row, independent voters may be poised to vote out the party in power. The Republican Party holds a significant edge in preferences for the upcoming congressional election among likely voters, in large part because political independents now favor Republican candidates by about as large a margin as they backed Barack Obama in 2008 and congressional Democratic candidates four years ago.
  • Kansas voters leaving the Republican Party (Dome on the Range blog)
OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Primary change would increase interest (Tiffin Advertiser Tribune - OH) More recently, some members of the city council and review commission discussed switching to nonpartisan primaries. This could boost voter turnout in the primaries, because independent voters could cast ballots on candidates as well as issues.
  • Open debate on closed primaries (My Maryland | Blair Lee, Montgomery County Gazette - MD
  • Voters shortchanged by system  (by Keith Nathan, UNLV Rebel Yell) The closed primary is more exclusionary, as only citizens registered with the primary-associated party can choose a nominee — one who must be from that party. Nevada politics remain tarnished by the closed-primary system, which severely limits the candidate spectrum for the general election.
THE PARTIES
COLORADO
NEW YORK
  • What about those NY Gov poll numbers? (By Azi Paybarah, WNYC/The Empire)
  • Paladino Campaign Claims Cuomo Lying On Debate Outreach (By Edward-Isaac Dovere, City Hall) Brooklyn City Council Member Charles Barron, who successfully won a spot on the ballot as the Freedom Party gubernatorial candidate, also joined the fray, claiming the 43,000 petition signatures he collected, compared to the 25,000 Paladino collected, gives him more of a right to debate Cuomo than the Republican nominee has. Paladino’s past statements only strengthen that argument, Barron said.
  • The Truth About Ethics and the State We’re In (By MICHAEL SCHENKLER, Queens Tribune) But the history of the Legislature shows apparent crooks are supported by their caucus until convicted of a felony. The list of unethical crooks that should have been abandoned by their colleagues is long, starts with former Senate Leader Joe Bruno and runs straight on til morning. Without prejudging any member of the Legislature, it is clear to me that the ethics oversight of the members by the Assembly and Senate is a political self-serving process to protect those in office.
  • Press Focuses on Vito Lopez, Brooklyn County Leader - ‘It’s Yet To Be Demonstrated That Any of His Acts Are Crimes’ (By Henry Stern, Brooklyn Eagle)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kresky: Political Reform and Human Development

POLITICAL REFORM AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
(September 23, 2010)

Going into the Congressional midterm elections, the focus is on contests between Democratic and Republican Party candidates who have come out of the partisan primary system. On the Republican side, this has produced a set of candidates in Alaska, Kentucky, Nevada, Florida and Delaware who, more or less, line up with the Tea Party wing of the GOP.

The situation on the DP side is a little more complex. Incumbents, like Chet Edwards in Texas, Michael McMahon in New York and Walt Minnick in Idaho have been permitted by the Party to tack right so as to have a shot at winning in districts where polls show that voters are unhappy with the current Democratic leadership in Washington. Nonetheless, all of the DP candidates are, like it or not, aligned with an administration and a Congress that has used its majority to enact or attempt to enact traditional liberal Democratic Party legislation in the areas of health care, energy, taxation, environmental regulation, financial regulation, etc.

What we are facing is a crisis of development. Human beings do not appear to have the capacity to address and organize themselves to do what needs to be done.


So we have an election in which the American people are being asked to choose between an aggressively promoted right wing agenda – less regulation, smaller government, tax cuts, hawkish foreign policy – and a soft social democratic agenda that is unsure of its popular support. Obama and the Democrats are using the success of the Tea Party elements in the partisan GOP primaries as an argument as to why moderates and independents should vote DP in November.

While the candidates on both sides of the ideological divide are seeking the support of independents, neither group has directly addressed the political reform issues which animate the independent movement – open or nonpartisan primaries, nonpartisan redistricting, nonpartisan administration of elections, and parity between major party and independent and minor party candidates. Despite independents having been a key part of the coalition that elected him, Obama has failed to speak directly to these concerns. Indeed, he began his administration with an appeal to bipartisanship, not nonpartisanship.

The party driven electoral framework and the choices voters have in November do not auger well for significant progress in Washington’s ability to tackle the manifest problems facing our country.  What distinguishes independents is that they see the party based structure of our elections and government as a barrier to accomplishing this. It has created a zero-sum framework in which each party views a legislative accomplishment by the other as a loss to them. We have stalemate or legislative compromises that don’t approach the magnitude of the problems they purport to address. There is every reason to believe that will continue through the next Congress, particularly with the 2012 Presidential election on the horizon.

 Breaking the stranglehold of the parties is a necessary condition for social progress; it does not, however insure it. A policy debate, even without the parties, would still have to address the competing interest groups with a stake in any given outcome. And it is an open question as to whether rational dialogue among even the most intelligent leaders can resolve the differences in a way that moves the country forward. After all, Obama’s appeal to rational policy dialogue and transcending self interest and the partisan divide has not worked. How do you convince a city worker to accept a reduction in his or her salary, health benefits or pension when they are having a difficult time making ends meet as it is? Most of us would agree that it is not right that some people live in poverty. But is it in your or my self-interest to do what is needed to eliminate poverty? It would seem to be in the self-interest of the poor, but many poor individuals opt for the possibility of striking it rich over improving their lot and that of others who are poor. The elimination of poverty requires a reordering of our economic and values framework.

There is no lack of awareness of the problems we face. Most Americans would agree that the country is in worse shape than it has been at any time during their lifetimes. And most could give an accounting of areas where improvement is needed – health care, education, foreign policy, intractable poverty, jobs, and the environment. Rational understanding notwithstanding, our species seems, like the dinosaurs, to be marking time (the human equivalent of munching grass) while the conditions for its continued existence are being destroyed. 

What we are facing is a crisis of development. Human beings do not appear to have the capacity to address and organize themselves to do what needs to be done. The development gap must be addressed and overcome. And that is not the same thing as finding the right answer. In fact the search for the right answer takes you in the wrong direction. Can we develop so that we act to do what is best for our species, to work with others to create that collective performance?  Can this be done?

For the past 35 years I have worked with others in a broad development community led by Stanford trained philosopher turned organizer Fred Newman. In the areas of politics, culture, education and psychology we have sought to reignite development by organizing people to perform ahead of themselves and, in particular, to focus on the development of the collective as the measure of success. Our flagship project is a youth development program called All Stars Project, Inc. It is an alliance of activists, leaders in the financial and professional communities, and poor inner city youth. It has developed a group based performance approach to overcoming the underdevelopment of inner city youth. All Stars recently launched a new initiative, UX. All Stars President, Gabrielle Kurlander wrote:

“UX is a unique development institution, free of cost, forward thinking and open to people of all ages and backgrounds who want to grow and develop. It incorporates the ongoing programs and activities of ASP, including visits to Broadway theaters and other cultural institutions, and numerous workshops, classes and lectures by guest artists, business professionals, community and educational leaders”

UX Dean, Dr. Lenora B. Fulani, the distinguished African American psychologist and independent leader added:

“You see, because UX is a development institution, it isn’t about teaching you what happened in the past or training you in skills to get a job. We can do that but what we’re really interested in is all of us creating something new together. UX has trained development coaches to help you customize specific programs and activities. You can even be trained to be a development coach yourself!

“The ‘X’ in UX stands for the unknown. What exactly our UX is or might become is unknown. It depends on what you – its students, teachers, researchers and donors – create together.”

At UX’s opening day, attended by a diverse group of over 600 New Yorkers, my friends Cathy Stewart, Sarah Lyons and I attended a play reading workshop and did a reading of a scene from Fred Newman’s Left of the Moon. In it Prof. Paul Heller decides to attempt to right an injustice at the request of one of his students, Holiday Hill. Heller acknowledges that the advice of his “rational” wife is probably correct – the effort will fail and it is likely to get him fired. Heller decides to go forward while acknowledging that his decision to do so is mad. Professor Heller’s decision and Cathy, Sarah and my doing the play reading was not a cognitive activity designed to find an answer. It was accepting an invitation, taking a step together to perform, in front of other people, touching, intimacy, creating and being ridiculous. Professor Heller made his decision as the 1960’s was unfolding. We have worked to continue the spirit of the 1960’s and to learn from its failures.

Can we succeed? Even if we accept that there is such a thing as development and there are ways to foster it, is there time for humans to develop before the problems we face – war, poverty, the destruction of the environment – overcome us?  I don’t know.

 Harry Kresky blogs at Legal Briefs

united nations of non-conforming new yorkers

photo by Marian Rich
dedicated to the ones i love...

Live coverage of Pres. Obama's address at the United Nations

LIVE-STREAMING FROM WHITE HOUSE HERE


September 23, 2010 11:30 AM EDT


Seniors and the Affordable Care Act

Audio Only
Vice President Biden and Secy. Kathleen Sebelius, HHS, host a grassroots conference call with senior citizens on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act
The White House
September 23, 2010 1:00 PM EDT

National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the Latino Community

The White House Office of National Aids Policy holds a forum with representatives of the Latino Community
The White House
September 23, 2010 1:00 PM EDT

Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

Audio Only
New York City, New York
September 23, 2010 3:50 PM EDT

The President and The First Lady join President Bill Clinton to address the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative

Audio Only
New York, New York




Obama to U.N.: Embrace peace (By: Carol E. Lee, Politico) 

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS 9/23/10

INDEPENDENT VOTERS


OPEN PRIMARIES

  • Reasonable choice: Lisa Murkowski (LETTER Homer News - AK) Joe Miller says he is a person that follows the Constitution, so I don't understand why he and especially Dan Fagan (radio talk show) oppose Sen. Lisa Murkowski giving all the people a chance to vote for whomever they want in the general election.
  • Op-Ed: Michigan becoming ungovernable (By PHIL POWER, Traverse City Record Eagle - MI) Much better would be the open primary system now being tried in California and Oregon, in which the two top finishers in the primary, regardless of their party affiliation, run against each other in the general election. This system gives both finalists an incentive to court the center. Naturally, the leaders of both major parties hate the idea.
  • Marin Voice: Should parties get involved in nonpartisan contests? (Richard Rubin, Marin Independent Journal) A majority of voters increasingly disgusted with an electoral process that favors partisan hegemony and legislative paralysis over individual responsibility opted in June for Proposition 14, which ushers in the new era of the Open Primary. This will enable the top two voter getters of any party emerging from the primary to go head to head in the general election.

INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES


DEMOCRATS


REPUBLICANS

Jackie Salit national conference call for independents set for October 12

American Independent MovementWayne Griffin at Conference

                 What Do Independents Have to Say to Obama?


                                         


You are invited to join Jackie Salit
on a national conference call for independents.
Date: Tuesday, October 12
Time: 
8:30 pm ET
    (7:30 pm CT, 6:30 pm MT, 5:30 pm PT)
 
.


For More Information, please contact:
Nancy Ross and Gwen Mandell
Independentvoting.org/Committee for a Unified Independent Party
national@cuip.org,  800-288-3201   www.independentvoting.org



Date: Tuesday, October 12
Time: 
8:30 pm ET
    (7:30 pm CT, 6:30 pm MT, 5:30 pm PT)
                           To register 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS 9/22/10

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Values the Key to the Independent Vote (By Heather Higgins, National Review/The Corner) Asked on what issue the current Democratic leadership’s actions have been most dismaying, the economy and job creation (22 percent) rank first, followed by the health-care legislation (17 percent).
  • Loyalties shift in vote-rich suburbs (By Philip Rucker, Washington Post) In 2008, independent voters went for Barack Obama over John McCain 52 percent to 44 percent...
  • More registering nonpartisan in Neb. 2nd District (Associated Press, Columbus Telegram - Nebraska) More than one in five registered voters in the 2nd District are not affiliated with a party. Independent voters in the district have increased by nearly 10,000 since 2006 to more than 82,600 by mid-September _ a 13 percent jump.
  • Independent voters need to save us (LETTER Payson Roundup - AZ) Since those of us that are registered as Independent voters aren’t beholden to party doctrine, dogma, or propaganda, it behooves the increasing percentage of Independents in our state to save Arizona from the political swamp we seem to be wallowing in at this point in time.
OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Primary system here worked as it should (By Bill Christofferson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) The open primary was one of the progressive reforms of Fighting Bob La Follette a century ago, designed to let the voters choose the nominees, rather than have the party bosses decide in a caucus, convention or back room.
THIRD PARTY
COLORADO
  • Riddle to press lawsuit after defeat - Law limits per-person donations to $200 for unaffiliated campaign (by Joe Hanel, Durango Herald Denver Bureau) It could be six to eight months before the case moves forward, Zimsky said. Brimmer might send legal questions to the state Supreme Court.
SOUTH DAKOTA
  • Tea party unlike true independents (Kim Wright, Rapid City Journal) The independent movement should not be confused with the tea party Movement although the members of both groups are unhappy with the two major parties. Independents are those voters who do not support a political party and seek to restructure the partisan political system. With a broad spectrum of Americans at the base, independents wish to reorganize the status quo and reform the partisan political practices. Independents use political alliances to support candidates who represent main stream America. NOTE: Kim Wright chairs SD Voice of Independents and can be reached at sdindvoice@gmail.com.
NEW YORK
  • Minor Parties Challenge 'Fusion Voting' in NY (By JEFF D. GORMAN, Courthouse News Service) The problem, according to the parties, is that double votes for a candidate are credited to the party that gained the most votes in the previous election.
  • Andrew Cuomo Looks to Abraham Lincoln for Campaign Strategy (NY Magazine/Daily Intel) Cuomo would prefer to debate Paladino and Conservative Party nominee Rick Lazio, but reportedly believes that Paladino wants the debate to include City Councilman Charles Barron, running on the liberal but anti-Democrat "Freedom Party" line, and Kristin Davis, the Client 9–linked madam running on the "Anti-Prohibition Party" (as in, marijuana) line.
  • Ex-Madam Kristin Davis Wants To Debate Cuomo, Paladino (Gothamist) Davis, whose platform includes both legalizing prostitution and legalizing marijuana, said that City Councilman Charles Barron, who is running as a Freedom Party candidate, should be able to debate, too, "Excluding blacks and women just because we lack access to huge special interest campaign contributions is just wrong. I favor letting all legal candidates debate." NOTE: Pictures are worth a thousand words! (She just might get my vote...)
  • Randy Credico Expects to Sue Over New York Fusion Restriction (Ballot Access News) Randy Credico has been nominated for U.S. Senate, full term, by both the Libertarian Party, and the Anti-Prohibition Party.  But the State Board of Elections has told him his name can be listed only once on the ballot, and that he must choose one line.

Independents to Speak at Coffee Party Convention Saturday, September 25

This weekend, the national Coffee Party is holding its first convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Independentvoting.org is a sponsor of the event and has been invited to do a workshop.


Gwen Mandell, a national organizer with Independentvoting.org and Michael Lewis of Independent Kentucky will present a workshop on "The Rise of the Independent Voter." on Saturday, September 25 at 1pm.


Mandell commented, "In these times of political upheaval, we're happy to have the opportunity to talk with and work in coalition with others who want to do something about the extreme partisanship of our political process and to report on the important fights independents are waging for political reform around the country."


The Independentvoting.org workshop is on Saturday, September 25 at 1pm.


The GALT HOUSE
140 North 4th Street
Louisville, KY 40202-4227


The conference will be held Friday September 24 through Sunday September 26.


Use the promotion code"collaboration," and get 25% off the advertised price. Please contact Gwen at gmandell@cuip.org if you plan to attend.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

we swagger!

Dr. Fulani says: Come to UX and grow!
African American Day Parade in Harlem
Sunday 9/18/10
photo by Cathy Stewart

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES FOR INDEPENDENT VOTERS 9/21/10

POVERTY
  • Surprising number of Americans believe government programs increase poverty level (Access News) There is a fundamental difference of opinion on this topic between the nation's Political Class and Mainstream Americans. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the Political Class believe that government programs reduce poverty. But 56% of those in the Mainstream think government programs actually increase the amount of poverty in the United States.
MIDTERMS
  • Diamondstone, Newton run on socialist ticket (By CHRIS GAROFOLO / Brattleboro Reformer Staff) Brattleboro resident and longtime Liberty Union Party member Peter Diamondstone has appeared on numerous Vermont ballots in the last four decades. But for the first time, the party he helped found will not appear next to his name. Diamondstone is seeking public office on the socialist ticket, campaigning for Vermont’s U.S. Senate seat currently held by longtime Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy.
  • Under Fire from Kendrick Meek and Marco Rubio, Charlie Crist Runs TV Ad Targeting Rubio (BY: KEVIN DERBY, Sunshine State News) Mired in third place in most polls, the Meek camp hopes to win over Democrats and liberal independent voters who may be backing Crist as the best option to defeat Rubio.
  • Our view: We'll find out - Senator stakes career on claim that she's Alaska's choice (Anchorage Daily News) With a cry of "Let's make history," and a Dena'ina center rally, she launched an independent, write-in campaign to keep her seat in the United States Senate. Reactions range from "sore loser" to "thank heaven," from the view that Murkowski is putting herself above the party process and breaking her word, to the view that she's defying the party process for the sake of Alaska.
  • Blue strongholds are becoming Democratic graveyards (By Michael Gerson, Washington Post) The Quinnipiac poll produced the single-most startling figure of the midterm election so far: 65 percent of Ohio's likely independent voters now disapprove of Obama's job performance -- a 2 to 1 rejection. Obama has lost the center of the electorate in the center of America.
  • Pennsylvania Voters May Toss Out Dems In Nov. Midterms (By JED GRAHAM, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY) The GOP rebound reflects both the depths to which the party had fallen and an apparent rejection by independent voters of Democratic rule, at least of the one-party type.
NEW YORK

Monday, September 20, 2010

developing canada

photo by Christopher Street

500 and counting independent candidates in 2010

Third Party and Independent Candidates for Office, 2010

From d. eris at Poli-Tea:
Frustrated by recent attempts to locate a single source listing declared or potential third party and independent candidates for office in 2010, I decided to compile one myself, focusing on candidates with active websites in races for governor, the US Senate and House. As with the Poli-Tea Guide to the Third Party and Independent Blogosphere, I will attempt to keep the list current, updating it as the opportunity arises. If there are any candidates I've missed, or just plain old mistakes, or you know some good sources compiling such information, please supply the info or correction in the comments, or send me an email. This list is not complete, but it is fairly comprehensive. To find out about all candidates for office in your state or district, consult your state's Board of Elections. In compiling this list, I have relied upon the Green Papers and Politics 1, which were indispensable resources. 
 Go here for the list

Now THAT's Good Bloggin': Jack Jodell's THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST

If you're looking for some good bloggin' be sure to check out Jack Jodell's blog THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST (featured this week on The Hankster's Now THAT's good bloggin'). Jack has a few choice words for the Tea Party last week. He's also got a great lefty blogger network, which I highly recommend taking a look at as well, that includes The Angry Bear, Man With the Muckrake, Blue in the Bluegrass, Comments from Left Field, Swiftspeech!,  Manifesto Joe's Texas Blues, and more....

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES FOR INDEPENDENT VOTERS 9/20/10

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Democrats see opportunity in "Tea Party" rise (By Will Dunham, Reuters) "I think it's become very clear now ... that the control of the Republican Party is in Tea Party candidates who do not speak for independent or moderate voters at all," Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine said on CNN's "State of the Union" program.
  • Unaffiliated voters deserve to have their voices heard in primaries (EDITORIAL Washington Post) we think the council was wrong to treat unaffiliated voters differently than those who have never registered. Why is it okay to register and vote on Election Day, but not okay to join a party and vote on Election Day?
  • In Md., independent voters are disenfranchised (LETTER Baltimore Sun)
  • Oklahoma sees rise in registered independents (By CURTIS KILLMAN, Tulsa World) Although the state GOP has made headlines for its continued increase in voter registration numbers in the state, independent voter registration has quietly climbed to unprecedented numbers. Independent voters now make up 11.3 percent of the total of registered voters - an all-time high percentage in Oklahoma, recently released figures from the state Election Board show. 
  • Republicans Gain Ground Among Independents - But a new poll shows independents still don't trust the GOP on spending. (DOUGLAS E. SCHOEN AND HEATHER R. HIGGINS, Wall Street Journal) A new comprehensive national survey shows that independent voters—who voted for Barack Obama by a 52%-to-44% margin in the 2008 presidential election—are now moving strongly in the direction of the Republican Party. The survey, conducted by Douglas E. Schoen LLC on behalf of Independent Women's Voice in late August, raises the possibility of a fundamental realignment of independent voters and the dominance of a more conservative electorate.
OPEN PRIMARIES
MIDTERMS
  • More on Murkow Ms. Murkowski’s Math (By NATE SILVER, NY Times/FiveThirtyEight) Ms. Murkowski -– although she will surely run toward the center to differentiate herself from Mr. Miller –- might also have more access than Mr. Crist does to voters on her right. This is because, according to the Public Policy Polling survey, 32 percent of likely Republican voters have an unfavorable impression of Mr. Miller, as do 54 percent of independents. In contrast, only 11 percent of Republicans in Florida have a negative view of Mr. Rubio, according to last month’s Quinnipiac poll.
  • House District 61 — Wilson vs. Korkowski vs. Curry (Colorado Statesman) Rep. Kathleen Curry, U-Gunnison, is trying to defend her HD 61 seat by the toughest way possible: as a write-in candidate.
  • Twenty-Year Old Labor Party Runs its First Candidate for Partisan Office (Ballot Access News) Unlike the Working Families Party, the Labor Party does not believe in ever cross-endorsing major party nominees.
  • SC's DeMint bursts onto national stage (WASHINGTON Herald Online) "I really think she's got a good chance of winning," DeMint said. "Independent voters, who represent about a third of Delaware's voters, are looking for somebody who's not tied in with any party establishment. The best pick on that list is going to be Christine."
  • Tea Party Victory Opens Rift Between Moderate and Conservative Republicans (By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN and CARL HULSE, NY Times) The ascendancy of the right is forcing even some of the most loyal Republicans, like Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the No. 3 Senate Republican, to defend their conservative bona fides. And it seems to be dashing the hopes among moderates that the prospect of winning a majority in the House, and a pursuit of independent voters, would push Republican leaders to the middle.
  • As November nears, voters turn backs on both parties (By Chris Cillizza, Washington Post) Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who has conducted a series of House race surveys for the conservative-aligned American Action Forum, insisted that the coming midterms will be a referendum on the party in power, not a choice between the two sides - particularly among electorally critical independent voters.
  • The ten most important House races of 2010 (San Francisco Chronicle)
NEW YORK
  • Voters oust 2 faces of NY's political dysfunction (By Associated Press, TMCnet.com) Espada was at the heart of a raucous year in notoriously partisan and dysfunctional Albany, going from Democrat to Republican back to Democrat over the course of several weeks, flipping majority control of the Senate each time and each time collecting lucrative leadership posts.
  • Michael Barone: Dems at war: Public unions vs. gentry liberals (By: MICHAEL BARONE, Washington Examiner) In each there was a split between the public employee unions that do so much to finance Democratic campaigns and the gentry liberals who provide Democratic votes in places like Manhattan, the Montgomery County suburbs of Maryland, and Northwest Washington, D.C. And in each case the public employee unions won.
  • Paladino the next in line of upstate businessmen running for governor (BY JOSEPH SPECTOR •ALBANY BUREAU, Ithaca Journal) As Paladino embarks on trying to become first governor from outside the New York City-area since Cortland native Nathan Miller in 1921, he will try to follow the same broad strategy as Golisano -- win big upstate and stay competitive in New York City and its suburbs.
  • Bloomberg campaigns for center (UPI Tracker) In an extensive interview, he told the Times the anger displayed by many voters this year is understandable: "Washington isn't working," he said. "Anger, however, is not a government strategy," he added. "It's not a way to govern."
  • Primary analysis on BronxTalk (Bronx News Network) Mr. King and Mr. Perez will take calls from viewers about the defeat of Pedro Espada, Jr. and the victory of all other Bronx incumbents.
  • New York Likely to Have Eleven or Twelve Parties on Statewide Ballot (Ballot Access News) Therefore, these parties will be on the ballot for statewide office:  the five qualified parties (Democratic, Republican, Independence, Conservative, Working Families), followed by these parties:  Anti-Prohibition, Freedom, Green, Libertarian, Rent is 2 Damn High, Tea, and Taxpayers.  Although the Taxpayers Party is on the ballot now, a lawsuit is pending on whether that petition is valid.  The Taxpayers nominee for Governor is Carl Paladino, who is also the Republican nominee.