Saturday, June 02, 2012


Justice Department tells Florida to stop looking for noncitizen voters (By Marc Caputo, Miami Herald, in Tampa Bay Times) About 58 percent of those flagged as potential noncitizens are Hispanics, Florida's largest ethnic immigrant population, a Herald analysis found. Hispanics make up 13 percent of the 11.3 million active registered voters. Independent voters and Democrats are the most likely to face being purged from the rolls. Republicans and non-Hispanic whites are the least likely. Under the Voting Rights Act, Florida needs federal approval before it makes changes to voting because five Florida counties — Hillsborough, Monroe, Collier, Hardee and Hendry — had minority-voting troubles decades ago.
Volatile independents rocking polls (By David Hill, The Hill) The best thing about the November vote for president is that we are finally returning to a “normal” ballot scenario. Most voters will turn out, partisans will vote for their party’s nominee and independents will decide the result. The worst thing about November’s balloting is that pre-election polls will provide an imperfect and erratic prediction of the result because of the pitfalls associated with polling those pivotal independents. Tighten up those seatbelts, poll-watchers. It’s going to be a wild ride.
Moderate candidates may be buoyed by open primary - New system could create as many as 34 races throughout the state with same-party opponents in general election runoff. (By MARTIN WISCKOL, HE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER) Under the new system, voters in Tuesday's primary can vote for any candidate regardless of party affiliation, with the exception of president and the parties' county central committees contests. That means, for example, a Republican in the primary can court Democratic voters - and the natural advantage liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans had in the past is diluted.
Be ready for new age of politics (Santa Maria Times) However, until we see some actual results, this is all speculation — and fear —  being  expressed by those who believe they will be treated badly under the new system. There is certainly the potential for that to happen. But we prefer to view this change as part of the evolution of California’s political landscape, at a time when something needs to change. So, when you get to the polls Tuesday and find yourself confronted with the 24 candidates, of all parties, hoping to unseat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, just focus on the objective — voting for the person who will best represent your interests.
Go Ahead: Throw Your Vote Away (By Damon Eris, IVN) This year will be the first in which we witness how California voters take to the state’s new top two style primary system. Under the top two primary, all candidates for a given office participate in the same primary election, regardless of their party affiliation, and all eligible voters may cast a ballot in that primary election, regardless of their party affiliation.

STATE ELECTORAL REFORM
Editorial: Redistricting reform needed so politicians don't pick voters (By: Journal Editorial Board | Winston-Salem Journal) When North Carolinians voted in the May 8 primary, many found that they were in new districts with new candidates running to represent them. The once-a-decade redistricting, for the first time engineered by a Republican-led legislature, had redrawn voting maps across the state. And, in short, our politicians had once again chosen the voters they would serve.
House approves bill allowing state candidates to combat 'super PACs' (By DAVID THOMAS, The State Journal-Register) If a person or a political action committee spends a certain amount of money in independent expenditures in a race, the campaign contributions would be lifted for everyone in the race. For a statewide race, that threshold is $250,000. For other races, it is $100,000.


2012 PRESIDENTIAL
Is Dismal Jobs Report the Signal Independents Are Seeking? (by Matthew Dowd, ABCNews.go.com) So in this extremely tight election environment, with each partisan side lined up solidly behind their candidate and independent voters liking and disliking elements of both candidates, those voters are looking for those signals. They’re looking for moments that give them an indication of what the right choice is.
Buddy Roemer, Who Few Knew Was Running for President, Is No Longer Running for President (Matt Negrin, ABC News) Faced with the impossibility of getting the nomination from either of the country’s two main parties, Roemer sought support from the overhyped third-party group Americans Elect, which folded up shop recently after promising that it would change the way candidates get elected. Roemer announced on his website today that he’s done. And refreshingly, he didn’t bury the lead.
Governor Charles “Buddy” Roemer Suspends Campaign (Buddyroemer.com) We ran like we would serve – Free to Lead. To protect that freedom, we fully disclosed every contribution. We accepted no contributions above $100. We accepted no PAC money, no Super PAC money, no corporate money, and no lobbyist money… The enemies of reform are powerful and entrenched, but this is a struggle that America must win. The key is to realize that I cannot beat them alone. This will take a team effort. We must work together, setting aside inevitable differences on other issues in order to build a reform team. We must dare to look at a total reform package including contribution reform, reapportionment reform, and term-limit reform. I cannot do this alone. True and thorough reform will not occur solely as a “me” effort. This must be a “we” effort.
Buddy Roemer quits 2012 race (By ALEXANDER BURNS, Politico) After failing to get access to the GOP primary debates last year, Roemer had decided to run as an independent and seek the Reform Party and Americans Elect nominations. Then, Americans Elect folded earlier this month, while Roemer continued to struggle to draw attention and interest to his campaign. In his statement, Roemer said he would create a new organization -- details TBD -- focused on his core issue of getting corporate and special interest money out of politics.
Americans Want Big Business Out of Politics (By Ned Smith, senior writer at BusinessNewsDaily, FOXBusiness) An overwhelming majority of Americans think our nation would be better off if small business had greater power and influence in Washington, a new survey suggests. Even in this election year, this is one area where Republican, Democratic and independent voters tend to agree. Only one in 10 respondents from all three political parties thinks small business has too much power and influence in the nation's capital.
It's a general election tie in three battlegrounds (CNN Producer Gabriella Schwarz, CNN/ PoliticalTicker) Obama held a one-point advantage in Colorado, where he received 46% to Romney's 45%, a margin well within the poll's sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. Obama led among independent voters, 48% to 38%, in the state he won in 2008 by nearly 9 percentage points over then-Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain.

LOCAL STATE POLITICS
ME: Dodge qualifies as independent U.S. Senate candidate (By John Richardson, State House Bureau, Kennebec Journal) Dodge is the fourth independent candidate to qualify for the November ballot.
WI: RNC Says a Tuesday Walker Win Means ‘Lights Out for Barack Obama’ (Shushannah Walshe, ABC News) Despite their tough talk, it’s not so cut and dry that a Walker win would automatically mean an Obama loss. The same survey also shows President Obama over Mitt Romney 51% to 43%. The RNC said they have made “over two million voter contacts” and identified “nearly every Wisconsin voter” ahead of Tuesday’s vote, on a conference call the committee held Wednesday. That date will then in turn be quickly used for get-out-the-vote efforts ahead of November.

NYC POLITICS
NY lawmakers want to keep Big Gulp (The Hill) “What kind of public education you do around it is also very, very important, because the reaction, at least where I’m from, would be negative right away,” Grijalva said. “So I think it’s a good policy. It’s how you phase and implement it over the course of time.
In a House Battle, The Bronx Factor (By Alex Kratz, Norwood News) Following a disputed and contentious redistricting process this past winter, the northwest Bronx now makes up 26 percent of the newly constituted 13th Congressional District (19 percent of the registered voters) and Rangel, a House legend, but frail and embattled at 81, is now running for his life… Aside from Espaillat, two other prominent names have thrown their hats into the ring — Clyde Williams, a former aide to Presidents Clinton and Obama, and Joyce Johnson, a Democratic district leader in Harlem. But many believe it will come down to a two-horse race between Rangel and Espaillat.
Nanny Bloomberg strikes again: Target soft drinks (RT- Russian TV) “He decided we are all too fat in NYC and since he thinks of ourselves as our Daddy, he’s going to control us,” said Sara Noble, a blogger for the Independent Sentinel. She continued to state what she sees as the bigger picture, “Nannies think they have the right to intrude on every aspect of our lives – obesity is the reason this time but there is always a reason.”“Do they think people are so stupid that they don’t understand that large portions are higher in fat and calories? Who knows, maybe they are that stupid – they keep voting for guys like Bloomberg,” wrote the Lonely Conservative.
Bloomberg backs candidate for San Diego mayor (Associated Press, Wall Street Journal) Bloomberg followed a similar path in 2007, when he left the Republican Party to become independent. He had been a longtime Democrat before turning Republican in 2001 to run for mayor of New York.

PHILANTHROPY
Conservatives and Liberals Respond Differently to Fundraising Pitches, Study Finds (By Caroline Preston, Chronicle of Philanthropy) Among participants who said that “morals” were very important, those who identified as Republicans were nearly three times as likely to donate when the charity was described as aiding everyday working Americans who follow traditions and help their communities. Democrats were twice as likely to donate when the charity was described as ensuring the protection of a home for every individual.\
Liberals versus conservatives: how politics affects charitable giving (Amy Hodges, PRESS RELEASE Rice University) “We found that while both Republicans and Democrats tend to equally value justice and caring for the vulnerable, Republicans place a much higher value on issues of purity and respect for authority,” said Karen Page Winterich, study co-author and assistant professor of marketing at Pennsylvania State University. “Given these differences, Republicans are more inclined to donate to a charity when these values of purity and respect are met, whereas Democrats are more inclined to donate when the emphasis is purely on equality or protection rather than respect or purity.”

REAL LIFE DOGOODERS
Real Life Lessons from Real Life DoGooders: Step Through the Uncomfortable and Into the Unknown (Marc Ozburn, Founder and CEO, TheDoGooder.com, HuffPost/Impact) Development Officer and former ASP participant, Antoine Joyce, recalls how the program was life-changing for him as an adolescent. After growing up as the "smart kid" in an all black school, he was discouraged when he had trouble joining a diverse high school. Joyce contemplated joining a gang to help fill the void of his lost identity as the smart kid. "When my cousin allowed me to be a part of their group, it saved my life in a sense," recalls Joyce. He explains how the ASP program expanded his worldview beyond his environment and allowed him to thrive onstage and through volunteer work.

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