Sunday, May 15, 2011

Independents Lead Fight for Structural Political Reform, State by State, Nationally

INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING

  • The rigged game of redistricting (By John Avlon, Special to CNN) At least 15 states have citizens groups fighting for redistricting reform 
  • People’s election (Salt Lake Tribune) We support this quiet insurgency. The caucus system, in which comparatively moderate Republicans such as Bob Bennett and Olene Walker — who are willing to work in a bipartisan fashion — can be ousted without the consent of a majority of Utah voters, should be changed. It creates a governing elite and contributes to Utah’s embarrassingly low voter turnout.
  • Mathis: Engage voters in redistricting plan - Panel chair wants public connected to process of redrawing boundaries (by Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic) Q: Why are you an independent? A: I like being able to approach things issue by issue. Being an independent allowed me the freedom to operate as I wanted.

PENNSYLVANIA INDEPENDENT VOTERS

  • In Montco, 3,000+ improperly registered as independents (By Jeremy Roebuck, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER) Beginning in 2008, Hoeffel said, a (Montgomery) county employee added those names coming through without prior registrations to the voter rolls as independents because there were no party affiliations for them on file. The worker should have discarded them since they had never officially registered to vote in the first place, Hoeffel said.
  • Looking for independent voters in Pennsylvania: Independent Pennsylvanians

COLORADO INDEPENDENTS

  • Businesswoman announces run for Congress (By JEFF TUCKER, Pueblo Chieftain - Southern Colorado) Tisha Casida is running for Congress as an independent candidate.  "There are things I like about all the parties," she said in her announcement Friday. "But the problem is the two-party system is not doing anything to solve our current economic problems."
  • Looking for independent voters in Colorado: Independent Voters for Colorado

UTAH CAUCUS SYSTEM

  • News Analysis: A Political System for a Select Few? (By Con Psarras, KSL Salt Lake City) There's a lot of debate on the caucus system after it was used last year to boot Sen. Bob Bennett from his incumbency. On one hand, it was a sterling example of how citizens can mobilize and be self-empowered to the point of knocking a three-term senator off the convention dais. On the other hand, it may have also been a textbook case of how the nominating system can be overtaken by a well-organized contingent whose views are not necessarily in sync with the party or the population as a whole.
  • Looking for independent voters in Utah: Utah League of Independent Voters

NEW YORK

  • Procedural Victory in New York Vote-Counting Case (Ballot Access News) On May 10, U.S. District Court Judge JedRakoff issued an 18-page opinion in Conservative Party v Walsh, southern district, 10 cv-6923. This is the lawsuit in which the Conservative Party of New York, the Working Families Party of New York, and the Taxpayers Party, sued to overturn a discriminatory New York state election policy on counting votes.
  • Cuomo: NY Legislature doesn't want ethics reform (AP, Wall Street Journal) In a news conference later, he said, "If a law is not passed, then I will appoint a Moreland Commission," a reference to an historic anti-corruption panel. "It is unacceptable to have no progress on ethics." He said if an ethics bill isn't passed by the June 20 end of the legislative session, he will appoint an investigative commission.
  • Donors to G.O.P. Are Backing Gay Marriage Push (By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and MICHAEL BARBARO, NY Times) The donors represent some of New York’s wealthiest and most politically active figures and include Paul E. Singer, a hedge fund manager and top-tier Republican donor, as well as two other financiers, Steven A. Cohen and Clifford S. Asness. At the same time, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman and philanthropist who has been a major contributor to Senate Republicans in New York, plans a significant push for same-sex marriage: giving at least $100,000 of his own money, hosting a fund-raiser at an Upper East Side town house, traveling to Albany to lobby lawmakers and giving a speech on the issue.
  • Conservative Republicans bankrolling gay marriage campaign in New York (By Scot Kersgaard, Colorado Independent) The Colorado Independent in the past has drawn attention to the fact that Barbara Bush has cut a video supporting the measure. Turns out, though that GOP support for freedom and liberty in New York could be more than a dog bits man sort of story. It could be the story.
  • Looking for independent voters in New York: New York City Organizations of the Independence Party of New York

2012
Huntsman seeks to break into GOP pack - Former Utah governor to make first N.H. swing (By Matt Viser, Boston Globe) As Huntsman edges closer to a presidential run, he shares another similarity: an early strategy that emphasizes the influential moderate and independent voters in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.

MEDIA & POLLS
INDEPENDENT-MINDED VOTER SAMPLE LARGELY MIA IN POST-BIN LADEN AP POLL (by Christopher A. Guzman, CAIVN)

INDEPENDENT CULTURE/ YOUTH
Ben Vereen To Attend Charity Talent Show (Look to the Stars) “The All Stars is taking the arts into the community and developing a bridge that allows us to see a better way to a future for all of us. When All Stars comes into the poor community, opportunity is built.” states Ben Vereen who was recently awarded the All Stars Project’s 2011 Bridge Building Award for Leadership in Community Relations.

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