Thursday, January 27, 2011

2012: It's All About the Independents


Six states and the District of Columbia have already passed the "National Popular Vote Plan", a plan in which the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in all 50 states and the District of Columbia would win the election. Discussion below by FairVote ED Rob Richie of a 2012 scenario where the election gets thrown into the House of Representatives. Who would you rather picks the President of the United States?

Speaking of which, President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012 might be easier than everyone thinks. Why? Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEightBecause says because he has far fewer crucial decisions to make and now can refocus his efforts towards the independent voters who will determine the next president.

OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Tennessee Bill to Establish Registration by Party, and Also to Lower Petition Requirement for New Parties (Ballot Access News) Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) has introduced SB 129 which provides that the voter registration form ask voters if they wish to register into a party, and provides that voters would not be allowed to vote in a primary unless were registered members of the party. Currently, Tennessee doesn’t have registration by party.
  • Charter panel OKs 10 proposals (By Nick Dutro, Tiffin OH Advertiser Tribune) They also discussed open primaries, which would allow candidates to run with or without party affiliation. Under the proposal, the top candidates who garner the most votes in the primary would move on to the General Election regardless of party affiliation.
NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE
  • Ties Go to the Loser: A 2012 Electoral College (Rob Richie - Executive director, FairVote, Huffington Post) Earning bipartisan support in states around the country and grounded in constitutional powers given to the states, the National Popular Vote plan would guarantee election of the president who wins the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Every president, every election, would be determined by the votes of ordinary Americans.
REDISTRICTING
  • Shuler to introduce bill mandating bipartisan redistricting commissions in each state (By Aaron Sarver, Washington Independent) Detractors of the bill say redistricting commissions just shift the political process into different hands. But in the Knoxville News Sentinel article, Shuler decries the partisan nature of the process, saying, “you have elected officials whose jobs are to make sure their political party gets more of an advantage over the next political party.”
  • Rep. Shuler introduces Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act (Posted by David Forbes, Mountain Xpress blog - Asheville and Western NC) An equal number of commissioners would be appointed by the minority and majority floor leaders in each state’s legislatures. The appointed commissioners would then elect, by majority vote, the commission chairperson.
OBAMA
  • Obama’s Paradox of Choice (By NATE SILVER, NY Times/FiveThirtyEight) But here is the worry that I would have if I were a Republican. Precisely because there aren’t likely to be as many pressing political decisions before Mr. Obama in the next two years as there were in the last two, he will have more time to attune his message to independent voters and to concentrate on his re-election efforts, all the while branding them as bipartisan comity.
DEMOCRATS
  • Haven't the Democrats been here before? (By: Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner) What is disturbing about the Democrats' present condition is that America needs two healthy, vibrant major parties capable of attracting moderate and independent voters. But there is nothing moderate or independent about the agendas of the Four Horsemen of Big Labor, Big Green, Big Lawyers and Big Insiders.
NEW YORK
  • New York State Sen. David Valesky: 'Frustration with leadership' led to split (video) (Oneida Daily Dispatch, By MATT POWERS) New York State Sen. David Valesky, D-49 said the “hyper-partisan nature” of the Senate has not served the people of the state well. “So this Independent Democratic Conference gives us a much greater ability to work in a bi-partisan fashion — in this case with the new Senate Republican majority,” he said. “It has an opportunity to create a new way of doing things in the state Senate.”
  • Diaz Wonders: Where's The Outrage? (By David Freedlander, NY Observer) "I'm listening hard but I don't hear even a whisper from any Democratic leader of their criticism of those Senators who have abandoned the Democratic Party. Is the snow muffling any outcry? Will the Daily News' Mr. Bramhall render this new caucus as the new Cosa Nostra? Are the actions of Hispanic legislators held to a different, higher standard? Has the Democratic Party decided those non-Hispanic Senators should determine what's best for all New Yorkers with no accountability?"
  • Maziarz is number three (by Jimmy Vielkind, Albany Times Union/Capitol Confidential) Maziarz was a principal legislative architect of the Republicans one-month alliance with Democratic Senators Pedro Espada Jr. and Hiram Monserrate, who sparked a stalemate with their defection on June 8, 2009.
POLITICAL THEATER
  • Lenora B. Fulani Makes Her Acting Debut At The Castillo Theatre (By Deardra Shuler, Black Star News) "Mr. Hirsch Died Yesterday” at the Castillo Theatre, located at 543 West 42nd Street in Manhattan, but lives on spectacularly through the lively cast consisting of Lindsay Arber, Dana Berger, Zoe Geltman, Ben Prayz, Debbie Buchsbaum, Joseph Mallon, Katya Pucci, Moshe Yassur, Reynaldo Piniella and community activist Lenora Fulani, in her debut role. Renowned producer Woodie King, Jr., also makes his debut as director in this production. King skillfully etches a course through history and the nature of human kind which makes the show a thought provoking piece of theatre.


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