Thursday, September 13, 2012

News of the Day & Notes for Independent Voters - September 13

NOTE: Thanks to all who noticed that I put "August 5" on my September 5 post! Apparently, time's a-wastin'!

ANOTHER NOTE: Big shout-out to Jackie Salit on her national book tour with Independents Rising (Palgrave)! Check out the delightfully energetic review by The View Point below: "Independents Rising is all at once a history book, a mystery/thriller, a soap opera and a textbook on grass-roots political movements. Salit’s writing, crisp and descriptive, takes us through her first-hand journey of becoming involved in politics as a kid, working “both sides of the fence”, working for democrats and republicans in the mid to late 1960’s and early 70’s. She worked in the news business for part of the mid 1970’s for a while and then became involved in the birth of a political party: The New Alliance Party. Fred Newman, the patriarch of this party established in 1979 and Salit remain life-long friends and traveling companions as they both made the somewhat surreal journey through the ups and down of the independent political movements over the next 3 decades."

AND ANOTHER NOTE: Morton Kondracke says Prez Obama ignored independents in his acceptance speech at the Democratic Party convention (see below). Personally, I don't think he ignored independent voters -- worse, he has no idea who independents are and therefore addresses independents mistakenly. This is especially disturbing given that independents were his margin of victory, in open primary states, in a hotly contested Democratic primary against Hillary "My Turn" Clinton in 2008, and went on to become his margin of victory in a ruthlessly honest and proud battle against the powers that be in the general election. Fortunately, independents are not depending on the President to fight for us. But he would be smart to call for Congressional Hearings on the state of independent voters, now 40 percent of the electorate, who suffer all manner of indignities and infringement of voting rights.

INDEPENDENTS RISING
  • Political books to get readers ready for the campaign (By Jean Marie Brown, Forth Worth Star Telegram) Mickey Edwards also looks at Washington's gridlock and how it is harming the country in The Parties Versus the People: How To Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans. Yale University Press, $25. Meanwhile, Jacqueline Salit's Independents Rising: Outsider Movements, Third Parties and the Struggle for a Post-Partisan America puts a face to the independents who, she says, were the key to Barack Obama's win in 2008. Palgrave Macmillan, $25
  • Book Review - Independents Rising (The View Point) If you do not know who Jacqueline Salit is and you care about politics, then you need to get yourself introduced to her and her writings. Ms. Salit, along with many others who are discussed in her book has been saving our “political backsides” for the last 30+ years. Without Ms. Salit’s work, we would likely all be political serfs giving favor to our noble lords and masters in the two major political parties and receiving only paltry scraps of progress in return.

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
Majority of Central Mass Voters are Independent - Why It Matters (Adam Joseph Drici, GoLocalWorcester Contributor)  According to new data released by the Massachusetts Secretary of State's office, 289,202 primary voters registered as unenrolled in Worcester County. This group of unenrolled voters represents 57.59 percent of the roughly 500,000 total voters registered in the county. 145,252 voters, or 28.92 percent, registered as Democrats, and only 64,505, or 12.85 percent registered as Republicans. 705 voters registered as Green-Rainbow.

OBAMA
  • Obama's Speech Ignores Independent Voters (By Morton M. Kondracke, Roll Call Senior Editor) Heading into the Charlotte, N.C., convention, President Barack Obama was in trouble with independent voters. But instead of winning them back with appeals to national unity and promises of  compromise, he told them: You've got a stark choice - so choose. He tossed them (us) a few rhetorical bones - a reference to the Simpson-Bowles debt commission he previously ignored, a bow to free enterprise as a jobs engine, acknowledgement that government can't do everything and needs reform.
  • September 13, 2012 - Obama Tops Romney Almost 2-1 In New York, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Gillibrand Does Even Better In Senate Race  -- In today's survey, President Obama leads 94 - 4 percent among Democrats and 58 - 37 percent among independent voters, while Republicans turn to Romney 89 - 10 percent. Obama has big leads among all income and age groups.

OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Primaries Decide Statehouses as Arizona Weighs Top-2 Plan (By Amanda J. Crawford, BloombergBusinessweek) Many states, including Arizona, have sought to change the electoral process through measures ranging from public financing for campaigns and term limits for lawmakers, to overhauls of redistricting. The move to scrap partisan primaries, a more pronounced shift in how elections are conducted, comes as hundreds of statehouse races nationwide are uncontested and there is little or no competitiveness in many districts, including for the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Judge: Open-primaries initiative qualifies for November ballot (Howard Fischer, Arizona Star)
  • Arizona Supreme Court Upholds ‘Top 2’ Initiative (By Shawn M. Griffiths, IVN) “The problem is people are expressing some kind of dissatisfaction with government,” Dr. Downing replied. “Specifically, they feel that government doesn’t express the consent of the governed.”

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