Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independent Voters - August 29

It's not too late: What should Obama do to appeal to independents? Step out in favor of structural political reform!

INDEPENDENTS RISING
Must-Reads for the Rabble-Rouser (By Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair/Just My Type) Jacqueline Salit’s Independents Rising (Palgrave Macmillan) surveys the political impact of the grassroots groups stirring up trouble on both sides of the mainstream.

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Independent voters are a growing part of Arizona's electorate (by Rebekah L. Sanders, The Republic) From June to the most recent count on Aug. 14, voters opting for no party preference ticked up 1.5 percent, or 18,757, to nearly match Republicans' 1.25 million registered voters, according to figures from Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett's office. Democratic and Republican registrations grew by less than 1 percent. Jacqueline Salit, president of the independent-voter advocacy group IndependentVoting.org, said more voters are turning away from the two major parties because they don't feel their views are represented… She champions the Open Elections/Open Government initiative in Arizona as a way to get more independent voters, who historically have low primary-election turnout, to get more involved. [ALSO SEE OPEN PRIMARIES BELOW]
  • Opinion: Obama’s best argument for reelection (By Lanny J. Davis, The Hill) Obama would enhance his chances to win the crucial undecided independent vote by endorsing the bipartisan recommendations of his own Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Commission — increasing revenues through closing tax loopholes, cutting spending and undertaking entitlement reform.
  • Romney readies final stage of campaign (By Christian Heinze, The Hill) Disgruntled, undecided independents voters are ripe for the picking, yet many haven’t made up their minds. According to the TPM aggregate, Romney is leading Obama among independents, 43 percent to 41, but he has the chance to go much higher, thanks to Obama’s low approval rating with the group.
  • Floridians voted for Obama in 2008, will again in 2012 (By Dava Castillo, AllVoices) In 2008 the “no party affiliation” (NPA) outnumbered the Independents, with NPA at 1,957,049 and Independents at 272,313, which is quite a spread according to the state of Florida voter profile. While some are saying focus on the Independents, if the numbers resemble 2008 the NPA is where the undecided voters are located. This, however, is an unwieldy demographic, and Independent/no party affiliation voters swing between parties depending on which candidates they think will serve their interests. But they also don’t vote as often as people committed to a party, which is all the more reason for the Democrats to work at the grassroots level in key counties to make sure people are registered and can get to the voting booth in November.

OPEN PRIMARIES [ARIZONA]
  • Open-primary suit headed for hearing (by Mary Jo Pitzl, The Republic) But in the complaint to be heard Thursday afternoon, attorneys for the Open Elections committee argue the staffers validating voter signatures made errors, such as disqualifying people for not being registered voters when they actually are. They also fault the formula elections officials used to determine if there were adequate signatures. In all, the campaign attorneys argue they have 4,900 more signatures than necessary to gain a spot on the ballot.
  • Will the Open Primaries initiative be on the Nov 2012 ballot or not? (video) (by Pamela Powers Hannley, Blog for Arizona.com) As of mid-August, Open Primaries was back on the ballot, until this week, when Maricopa County said that there were an extraordinary number of bad signatures. The latest news is that the Open Primaries/Open Government folks have filed a suit to get the initiative back on the ballot. Supporters claim that Maricopa County erroneously rejected.
  • Open primaries could encourage more competition (Yuma Sun) The state's high court ruled last week that the open primary system met constitutional muster. A lower court had said it was illegal because it contained two separate proposals, which is not allowed under the Arizona Constitution. The Supreme Court said that is not the case. Now it turns out the legal dispute may not matter anyway. Questions are being raised by county election officials about whether the initiative has enough signatures to be put on the ballot. The outcome will not be known until the signatures are all verified.
  • Open primary would force political shift (By Today’s News-Herald - Nogales International) An open primary would make the process more straightforward. It would also tend to tone down the long primary campaigns based on party purity and force candidates to consider how best to show they can represent their whole constituency.

LAST WORD
GOP voters get 12.45 percent of Colo. letters questioning citizenship (IVAN MORENO, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Colorado Springs Gazette) U.S citizens are among those who received letters from Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler questioning their right to vote, the American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday… The vast majority of registered voters who received letters were Democrats or independent voters. Of the nearly 4,000 letters, 1,566 went to Democrats, and 1,794 went to unaffiliated voters. Another 486 letters were sent to Republicans, which equals 12.45 percent of the total.

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