CORRECTION: As California independent Jon Blankenship points out, it pays to "do the math" when it comes to statements by politicians and the media. And it certainly pays to "read between the lines." For example, what gets left out of most reporting and editoralizing about the new Top Two open primary system that Californians adopted last summer, amid all the chatter about party labels and giving the minority party a better shot at getting their candidates elected, is the simple fact that 3.4 million independent (decline-to-state) VOTERS will be able to have a voice. THAT is the change that's needed if we are to move forward as a country. [A previous version stated that Jon Blankenship said it pays to do the math when it comes to Top Two, which was erroneous.]
- Jon Blankenship, Red Bluff: Do the math (LETTER to the Red Bluff Daily News) As an independent, I try to stay as informed as possible. Both major parties are prone to make mistakes, but sometimes they do it on purpose. I would like to correct mistakes by checking out the truth.
- GOP brand pronounced dead in deep-blue California (Carla Marinucci,Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle) Some believe the open-primary law California voters passed in November could breathe new life into the party. Under the law, the top two finishers in the primary - no matter what party they're from - will move on to the general election. Some believe the new system will allow more moderate Republicans to prosper in districts that now swing Democratic.
- With California election reforms, state GOP might rebound (By Tom Elias, LA Daily Breeze) The new system will let all voters opt for anyone they like in primaries, meaning Democrats can cast ballots for Republicans if there is no serious contest in their own party's race - as when Gov. Jerry Brown ran last spring - and Republicans can vote for Democrats. Party registration may not mean so much anymore, even in fall runoff elections, for study after study has shown that when people vote for a candidate once, they are comfortable doing it again and again. This bodes extremely well for two Republicans who lost last year: Steve Poizner and Abel Maldonado.
- Sample Ballot Released for First California “Top-Two” Election (Ballot Access News) In May 2010 CA Lt Gov Abel Maldonado was on television in New York city, being interviewed, and he said under the California top-two system that he sponsored, any candidate could choose any party label. He said, for example, that a candidate could prefer the Farmer Party. Also, in December 2010, when he received an award from IndependentVoting, he told the group that under his plan, all candidates can choose any label they wish.
- Editorial: Let others in on the redistricting (The MetroWest Daily News) The advantage of an independent commission is that it can keep purely political considerations out of the process by ignoring certain factors, like party registration, precinct voting histories and the addresses of potential opponents. In Iowa, where an independent body has drawn the district lines for decades, such data cannot even be put in the computer.
- State of the Union a 'fundamental moment' for Obama (By Peter Nicholas and Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau, LA Times) Obama has been moving steadily to the political center since his midterm election drubbing two months ago, agreeing to extend tax cuts for the richest Americans, calling for business-friendly regulations and attempting to repair his relationship with the business community. His speech Tuesday is an opportunity to showcase that transformation, especially to independent voters.
- Mitt Romney tops New Hampshire presidential straw poll; tea-party favorite Jack Kimball elected state GOP chair (By Felicia Sonmez, Washington Post/The Fix) The New Hampshire presidential primary is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 14, 2012 and is open to registered Republicans and independent voters. While straw polls such as today's set expectations and indicate early support, they're typically worth taking with a large grain of salt, as they sample a small cross-section of the New Hampshire primary electorate.
- Kentucky Independent Gubernatorial Candidate Invited to Forum with Major Party Opponents (Ballot Access News) Galbraith was the Reform Party gubernatorial nominee in 1999, when he received 15.42% of the vote.
- Mayor Lashes Out at Judge (By MICHAEL HOWARD SAUL, Wall Street Journal) On Thursday, Judge Emily Jane Goodman issued a temporary restraining order preventing the city from laying off nine deputy sheriffs and demoting three supervising deputy sheriffs.
- Education Secretary Duncan says Minnesota can do better to bridge achievement gap (AP, St. Cloud Times) He said Minnesota, like other states in the nation, was becoming more racially diverse but wasn’t doing enough to help students on the wrong side of the achievement gap catch up.