Friday, February 04, 2011

Kentucky SB 41: A Dent in the Armor

Semi-open primaries are better than completely closed primaries, and that's what independents in Kentucky are going to have to settle for for now as Kentucky's SB 41 was approved in the Senate allowing independents who are registered the year before a primary to vote. Not quite there yet but it is a crack in the wall.

Headway is being made in Utah as well, as prominent Utahans such as their former Gov. Olene Walker are calling for redistricting reform for the upcoming drawing, specifically, an independent commission to do the job. Utah has been long considered to be one of the least competitive states due to favorable GOP districts.

OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Kentucky Bill for a Semi-Closed Primary Passes Committee (Ballot Access News) On February 2, the Senate State and Local Government Committee passed SB 41, by Senator Jimmy Higdon (R-Lebanon). It says that independent voters, and also members of unqualified parties, may vote in partisan primaries.
ELECTION REFORM
  • Don’t make it harder to vote in Wisconsin (Cap Times editorial - WI) Thanks to open primaries and a tradition of ticket splitting, our parties have historically been more ideologically and regionally diverse than in other states. Thus, Republican governors like Tommy Thompson and Scott Walker have been able to find former Democratic legislators to serve in their administrations.
OBAMA
  • Prez tops Palin, Newt in S.C. — not Mitt, Huck (By JUANA SUMMERS, Politico) Obama doesn’t do well with South Carolina’s independent voters, who make up 22 percent of the electorate. Obama has a 39 percent approval rating with unaffiliated voters, compared with 54 percent disapproving.
UTAH
  • Group proposes independent panel to study Utah redistricting (BY LADD BRUBAKER, The Salt Lake Tribune) A nonpartisan group of prominent Utahns is calling on the Legislature to create an independent commission as part of the upcoming redistricting — a redrawing of political boundaries that happens every 10 years… Buoyed by a recent Salt Lake Tribune poll indicating that 73 percent of Utahns support an independent redistricting commission, organizers plan to draw up their own redistricting proposals and hold statewide public meetings to generate pressure on legislators.
  • Don't Count Out Moderate Republican Jon Huntsman (By Solomon Kleinsmith, WNYC/It's A Free Country - Read. Argue. Listen. Act.) The trick will be getting those voters to the primaries and caucuses in enough numbers to at least keep him in the game, and use the open primary states, where independents can vote for him without changing registration, to put him over the top. With no contest going on for the left or moderate independents, those states will be much more likely to make their voices heard for him.
NEW YORK
  • Gresham and Mulgrew, two top labor leaders, broken faith with Gov. Cuomo and New Yorkers (EDITORIAL NY Daily News) Gresham and Mulgrew joined fully aware that Cuomo was committed to closing the state's $10 billion deficit by cutting out-of-control spending, and without resorting to tax hikes. But when Cuomo kept his pledge Tuesday, Gresham and Mulgrew abandoned theirs.A Senate flashback (Albany Times Union) Why, it was June of 2009, the summer of the coup and the counter-coup. Richard Ravitch had yet to be appointed lieutenant governor. So Sen. Pedro Espada -- remember him? -- was claiming that, as president pro tempore, he effectively could cast two votes on behalf of the Republicans to whom he'd temporarily defected. He would vote as a member of the state Senate. And then he would vote again, as the acting lieutenant governor. The GOP would rule, all right.
  • Independence Party Chimes In On Budget (Posted by: Nick Reisman, Politics on the Hudson) The state Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay gave his thumbs on the budget proposal released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week.
  • Big money, small issues (By Dylan Matthews, Washington Post/Ezra Klein) Tom Golisano isn't a particularly big name with people who aren't New York political junkies. He's basically Ross Perot writ small. He's a billionaire who founded a third party (the Independence Party), ran for governor a few times and did surprisingly well, and holds idiosyncratic but generally center-right views. His latest project has more national ramifications. He's apparently bankrolling efforts to implement the National Popular Vote plan, a work-around meant to abolish the Electoral College without amending the Constitution.
  • A Senate flashback (Albany Times Union) Why, it was June of 2009, the summer of the coup and the counter-coup. Richard Ravitch had yet to be appointed lieutenant governor. So Sen. Pedro Espada -- remember him? -- was claiming that, as president pro tempore, he effectively could cast two votes on behalf of the Republicans to whom he'd temporarily defected. He would vote as a member of the state Senate. And then he would vote again, as the acting lieutenant governor. The GOP would rule, all right.
EDUCATION REFORM

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