Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Harry Kresky: HOW MUCH TRANSPARENCY IS TOO MUCH?


by Harry Kresky

An important dialogue is taking place around the issue of disclosure by certain non-profit organizations that support or oppose candidates for federal office.  While the issues may seem technical, they impact on how our electoral process works and how we participate in it.

The American Bar Association (ABA) is considering a resolution that would require Section 501(c)(4) organizations that spend money supporting or opposing a candidate for federal office to disclose the names of their contributors.  A 501(c)(4) is a tax exempt advocacy organization such as the League of Women Voters, the National Rifle Association and IndependentVoting.org.  The last-named is my client.

Under present law, such organizations are allowed to spend funds from their general treasury to support or oppose candidates, so long as those expenditures do not constitute a significant portion of their budget.  The ABA resolution recommends that an organization which does so be required to disclose the identity of anyone who has contributed $200 or more to it.  The proposal is similar to H.R. 4010 (pending legislation in Congress regarding these issues), which mandates that a 501(c)(4) that uses funds from its general treasury to support or oppose a candidate for federal office must disclose the identity of all persons who gave more than $10,000 to the organization from the beginning of the calendar year prior to the date of the disclosure in question.  The ABA threshold for disclosure is significantly lower. 

I am wary of the presumption in the press and in the heat of the current presidential campaign that 501(c)(4) organizations exist only for purpose of evading campaign finance regulations.  The proposed disclosure and reporting requirements would impose a significant burden on such an organization should it choose to participate in the federal election process. 

Now, should a 501(c)(4) allow itself to become a conduit for wealthy people seeking to use it as a “pass through” for money spent to elect candidates, then this activity and the source of its funding should be disclosed.  It might happen, however, that in the course of a campaign, a candidate for Congress makes a statement on an issue related to the 501(c)(4)’s mission that prompts the organization to speak out against the candidate, even though the organization had not planned to do so, and had not and did not contemplate participating in the electoral arena. 

Under the ABA’s proposal, such expenditure would trigger disclosure of the identity of all contributors of $200 or more, including those who did not intend and had no knowledge that their money would be used for such expenditure.  This might discourage persons form contributing to the organization at all.  Consider a person living in a small, conservative, rural community who is strongly pro-choice.  Such a person might not contribute to a pro-choice 501(c)(4) for fear that her support would be disclosed and make her a target of hostility in the community where she lives and works. 

In First Amendment legal parlance, this is called "a chilling effect."  A person is less likely to exercise her right to free speech and free association for fear that doing so would cause her harm. 

Isn’t it enough to require that the organization making the expenditure disclose its identity?  That might cause a past contributor who did not agree with the expenditure to not give again.  But it would not discourage contributions for fear of possible disclosure and retaliation against the contributor. 

Sometimes, too much transparency can be a bad thing.

Harry Kresky blogs at Legal Briefs

Hankster News of the Day for Independent Voters - July 31


NATIONAL
Political parties turn to independent voters for edge in November (By Jim Angle, FoxNews.com) David Winston, a Republican strategist, said such independents made up 22 percent of voters in 2002. "In 2010, they had grown to make up about 29 percent of the electorate," he said. "So clearly as the exit polls have shown, they've grown quite a bit." And a Gallup poll recently reported that independents account for 35 percent or more of voters in most recent elections.



ARIZONA
Opponents ask court to toss out initiative on Arizona open primaries (Howard Fischer, Arizona Daily Star) A judge will hear arguments next week on whether Arizona voters get to decide if they want to scrap the current system of partisan primaries. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain will consider claims by foes of the open-primary initiative that it unconstitutionally asks voters to make too many changes in the law with a single vote.

FLORIDA
  • Florida voter registrations: a rising tide of independence (By Christine Stapleton, Palm Beach Post) The number of independent voters has climbed steadily in Florida since 1972 — when Democrats had an overwhelming majority with 68.5 percent of voters, Republicans had 28.2 percent and independents, only 3.4 percent. But since since the infamous November 2000 election, the number of independent voters in the state has swelled more than 75 percent, from 1.5 million in 2000 to 2.7 million today, making up 23.8 percent of the statewide voting electorate.
  • All voters should elect leaders (EDITORIAL News Chief) In Miami-Dade County two voters have gone to federal court in an attempt to force the Democratic primary for state attorney to be open to all voters. In their lawsuit, Republican Armando Lacasa and independent Vincent Mazilli claim that close to 700,000 Republicans, independents and third-party voters should have say in the election, not just the county's 525,890 registered Democrats. We hope they win -- and that the ruling comes down before the Aug. 14 primary.
  • Judge Rules SAO Race Will Be A Closed Primary (CBS Local) A federal judge has ruled that only Democrats will be able to cast ballots in the Miami-Dade State Attorney race in the August primary. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Zloch denied a motion from two voters who sought to open up the election by becoming “write in” candidates, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
  • Write-ins used to close Florida primary elections (Written by BILL KACZOR, South Florida Times) If the winner of a Democratic or Republican primary in Florida won't face opposition in the general election, then that primary is open to all voters without regard to party registration under a state constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly in 1998.

COLORADO
Former state Rep. Kathleen Curry makes HD 61 ballot as an unaffiliated candidate (By Tim Hoover, The Denver Post) Former state Rep. Kathleen Curry of Gunnison, who famously bolted from the Democratic party in 2009 to become unaffiliated, has made the ballot for House District 61, a seat that sprawls across several mountain counties, as an unaffiliated candidate.

OHIO
Redistricting overhaul would ensure that each vote counts (BY MARILOU JOHANEK, Toledo Blade) To stop the remapping by Republicans in Ohio, who gamed the system to their advantage, a coalition of nonpartisan organizations, known as Voters First Ohio, came up with a sane solution. It's a constitutional amendment that would put district mapmaking in the hands of a 12-person citizen commission.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Jackie Salit's Independents Rising: Conference Call August 7

Jackie Salit, President of IndependentVoters.org, holds a conference call every six weeks for investors and stakeholders in the independent movement. I want to urge you to make a point of including yourself in the upcoming August 7th call. You can call 1-800-288-3201 or email national@independentvoing.org to register for the call.

On August 7th, Jackie Salit's new book Independents Rising: Outsider Movements, Third Parties and the Struggle for a Post-Partisan America will hit the shelves (pre-order now at your favorite online bookseller!) -- a must read for independent activists and voters across the country.

The Hankster has described Independents Rising as an "intimate, open and powerful portrait of the past two decades of the American independent political movement," which struck a deep chord with me. I am proud to have worked with Jackie for the past 30 years to build a grassroots up-from-the-bottom alternative to the two-party monopoly that has increasingly dominated our political, social and philosophical life. I am astounded that we have had any success at all, and humbled by the response to our success.

Read more with us as Utah League of Independent Voters founder and activist Randy Miller and Kentucky Independents founder and activist Michael Lewis and yours truly share our on-the-ground experiences as we read Jackie's book.


NH




 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: Independents Rising by Jacqueline Salit


From the first words of Jackie Salit's upcoming book Independents Rising: Outsider Movements, Third Parties and the Struggle for a Post-Partisan America (out in stores on August 7, pre-order from Amazon) "For Sema/ Fiercely Independent" to the last "...George Washington warned that political parties can 'become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government.' The American people want that power back. That's why independents are rising," this intimate, open and powerful portrait of the past two decades of the American independent political movement struck a deep chord with me.

Maybe that's because I've been working with Jackie since 1984 when I came on board the independent political train. Literally!  And while many of the stories were familiar to me, Salit locates them in the historical immediacy of 2012 making them thrilling while, in the process, helping to demystify a movement that has suffered from much punditry, speculation and conjecture.  Finally! An independent, an insider in a movement of outsiders, has spoken!

In the summer of 1984 I traveled with  my two very young daughters, Lucy and Rena from our home in Fieldsboro New Jersey, to the Big Apple, they to camp out at the offices of the New Alliance Party, then located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, while I went out with a team of professional grassroots organizers to promote the independent movement and sell the National Alliance newspaper on the New York City subway.  I loved it and with my NAP outreach partner, Rich Sokolow, we raised a helluva lot of money that day! Maybe $35 in quarters, dimes and singles?

In Independents Rising, Salit, President of IndependentVoting.org, a long-time grassroots organizer, thought leader and troublemaker, details the shift in the American political landscape that independents have been creating over the last two decades. In doing so, she speaks to us and with us--the activists, the politicians, the big shots, the middle shots--and most importantly us ordinary people who are fed up with politics as usual, feel betrayed by our political process and its exclusion of regular people.

Salit begins her story not in 1984 but in 1992, “a year of awkward contradictions.” Against a backdrop of growing economic globalism, an increasingly irrelevant left, and a calcified and about to become thoroughly centrist Democratic Party, a voter rebellion was gathering force. A journalist by trade, Salit treats us to a “You Are There” blow-by-blow account of the confrontations, conversations and actions that produced the current independent movement.

...Presidential candidate Bill Clinton hunkers down in the back seat as his car crosses a picketline of 400 independents protesting the exclusion of two candidates from the primary debate in Manchester, New Hampshire on a frigid February night in 1992...  Michael Bloomberg faces a heated 90-member Executive Committee of the NYC Independence Party organizations to ask support for a controversial third term in 2009... The wildfire expansion of a new anti-party movement, a national network of activists organizing on the ground and working for structural political reforms such as open primaries and independent citizen-controlled redistricting, brings to the stage grassroots leaders like Utah League of Independent Voters founder Randy Miller and Independent Kentucky founder Michael Lewis, and many more.

I highly recommend this book -- which you can pre-order from your favorite online bookseller. Independents Rising will hit the shelves on August 7.

In the meantime, Randy Miller, Michael Lewis and I will share some chapter reviews in the next several weeks.

Stay tuned, and hang onto your seat -- you are in for a great ride!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Guest Post: Homo Contradictus - Postmodern Psychological Questions


As you know, The Hankster seldom covers psychology, education, or anything other than grassroots politics and how the media reports on grassroots politics. However, it's all political!

So, back by popular demand, this satirical post by Evan Hanks, one of The Hankster's favorite occasional contributors. I highly recommend visiting his site at OutlawPsych. Additionally, I have asked him to weigh in on the controversy over DSM-5. Hopefully we will hear more from OutlawPsych soon!

Cheers!
NH


Homo Contradictus

The proposal before congress to change the taxonomic designation of Homo Sapiens to Homo Contradictus that resulted in a firestorm of controversy three years ago — once again finding our lawmakers deadlocked in indecision — has been reviewed by the Super Committee appointed to resolve it. It, too, has reached a stalemate. The next step in the process will be the selection of a Really Super Committee which will review the procedures employed by the Super Committee to determine the reasons for its failure. It will consist of eight Dimocrats and eight Redoublicans in strict contradistinction to the six appointees from the respective parties comprising the Super Committee.

The proposal was first introduced by Dimocratic senator, Sheeza Throbak, and was originally intended as a personal response to legislation penned by her sister and Redoublican counterpart, I. Emma Throbak, which proposed changing the designation to Homo Digitalis. While the latter raised some eyebrows in their home state, most of the electorate there assumed it referred to the new digital media age. When informed that Digitalis actually designated the opposable digit, or thumb, as the main distinguishing characteristic that separates humans from animals, it was tabled amid the confusion. 

The former, however, rapidly went viral and soon swelled into a national call for action. An overwhelming swarm of petitions generated by internet advocates, Constant and Unremitting Causes, in alliance with Ms.Throbak, prompted the consideration of it by the nation’s decision-makers, though it has since bogged down and stalled in the political process.

I asked Stooges For Democracy spokesperson, Ella Fyno, of the effort to upgrade the scientific classification and make it more reflective of actual human behavior. “I’m undecided.” she stated flatly. “It seems a bit ambiguous, though I will say that I half considered signing the petition myself by the time I’d received the seventeenth e-mail.” She scratched her head. It must be a cheap, generic medicated shampoo she is using, I thought to myself, as I watched the unsightly flakes of deceased epidermis fall onto the shoulders of her Italian wool, custom-tailored black sweater. It looked as if her hair had died as well. I was fascinated with the depth and implications of her response, however, and I ignored her disconcerting hygiene, determined to comb her mind for a more precise and discursive amplification of her widely spaced views.

“Our political system seems to have gone awry.” she observed solemnly, “The ideologies of the two parties have grown so far apart that each seems engaged only in gainsaying the other. What was designed to give dissent and argument a proper hearing, a willingness to compromise in the exercise of our constitutional freedom for the benefit of the greater good of society seems to have been lost.” She considered further and then declared with certainty, “I don’t know whether or not we can maintain any direction at all in the face of such extremes.” I pictured a human head with two faces on it, and I knew intuitively what she was referring to... Read more here...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

cityscape




Hankster News of the Day for Independents - July 18


OBAMA AND THE INDEPENDENTS
Is Obama's Problem With Independents Actually a Problem with the General Electorate? (Nate Cohn, The New Republic) So is it useful to say that Obama has an independent problem? A little—it helps clarify the importance of Democratic turnout to Obama’s chances. It also might help explain the behavior of one critical swing state, which I’ll explain in the next post. But Obama’s independent problem isn’t much different than his problem with the electorate as a whole.

THIRD PARTIES
  • On Greens and Libertarians (Peter Ubertaccio, Director, Joseph Martin Institute for Law & Society, Stonehill College, Huffington Post) Attempts to offer real third party choices reached their zenith with the independent candidacy of Ross Perot in 1992. Since then they've largely fallen flat, most spectacularly with the collapse of Americans Elect earlier this year. Yet choices remain in the form of the Green Party and Libertarian Party, two hearty entities that continue to go nowhere electorally. Neither has the organization, fundraising, or name recognition for its nominees to do much more than a few percentage points this fall, if that.
  • Guest Column: Presidential alternative fizzles: What went wrong with Americans Elect? (By Jacqueline Salit, Rock River Times) In this, Ackerman and company misread independent voters, the self-declared engine for a new direction in American politics. Independents want to root out systemic partisanship. They don’t want to ameliorate it with appeals to centrism, bipartisanship or a better brand of candidate.

ARIZONA
Attention registered independents: independent voter candidate Mike Stauffer for Sheriff signs available August 4 (by Dee Dee Garcia Blase on Jul. 17, 2012, Tucson Citizen) As many of you may already know, the reason why Stauffer doesn’t have his signs out now is because election law does not allow him to put signs out until 90 days before the general election date. I know some of you are seeing other candidate signs out and that is because they still have to vie for their spot on the general election ballot. Mike is already going to be on the general election ballot…even though Penzone people attempted a petty lawsuit against him.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independents - July 17


INDEPENDENT VOTERS
Independent Voters of America Seeks to Reduce Gridlock (By johnschneideR, IVN) At the end of May the team at Independent Voters of America announced the launch of the most inclusive ongoing study of independent voters’ opinions with our iVoter Project. Our goal is to build the most comprehensive database of how independent voters really feel about a diverse range of political issues, and to use the analysis of this database to challenge the narrative perpetuated by the mainstream media, major polling organizations and the two mainstream political parties regarding the role of independent voters in elections and our political system.

ARIZONA
  • Highly Influential registered independent latino voter – Carlos Sierra writes Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallegos (by Dee Dee Garcia Blase, Tucson Citizen) He is a registered Latino independent voter now.  He was the national campaign advisor for Independent candidate –Buddy Roemer who ran for President, too.  In addition to that, Sierra worked for Sen. John McCain for almost a decade in community outreach and made many, many friends and worked with grassroots leaders in the Democratic, Republican and Independent Party here in Arizona … which puts him in the highly influential category for the State of Arizona.
  • Arizona elections may bring Democratic-majority delegation (by Rebekah L. Sanders and Dan Nowicki, Tucson Citizen) Republicans hold the voter- registration edge in Arizona, about 1.2 million to 1 million Democratic voters. Independents make up roughly another 1.2 million.

OHIO
Commenters have plenty to say about independent voting trend (By Gayle Beck, CantonRep.com opinion page editor) All of this is the reason we should have open primary elections for presidential candidates, so we can vote for the best primary candidate regardless of their party. It is criminal that a person in Ohio cannot vote in a presidential primary without choosing one party’s ballot, which then lists you as a Rep or Dem in the public voter registration lists. Then, these voter lists showing Rep or Dem with the person’s name are published online in some counties — which in effect means we have no secret vote, and we have no way of voting for the best candidate who might be of the other party. If we go “non-partisan,” then we cannot vote in the primary. It is ridiculous and un-American.  Thinkingamerican



Monday, July 16, 2012

Hey Independents and Election Reformers!


Listen to the interview of me, Bill Kelleher, on The George Jarkesy Radio Show 5:10 PM EST Tuesday July 17th. We’ll discuss Internet voting in the USA, and my book, Internet Voting Now!

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, author, speaker,
CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund
 a CA Nonprofit Foundation
Email: Internetvoting@gmail.com 
Twitter: wjkno1

Author of Internet Voting Now! 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independents - July 14


"CIVIL POLITICS"
SHERMAN: Film explores civility in politics (By LOLA SHERMAN For the North County Times) Last year, the college staged a public-issues symposium on the subject of "Civility in Our Civic Discourse." It explored what often has become a lack of civility, both in politics and media. A guest speaker was former U.S. Congressman Mickey Edwards, R-Okla., who spoke to a full house at the college's Community Learning Center in Oceanside.

OBAMA AND THE INDEPENDENT VOTE
  • Clear And ‘Independent’ Danger (The Note) (By MICHAEL FALCONE and AMY WALTER) Digging into the crosstabs of this week’s ABC News-Washington Post poll it’s clear that Obama has a significant problem with independent voters. On every measure, independents are significantly more disappointed with the President and more open to a Romney message.
  • Obama holds ‘significant lead’ over Romney in new national poll (By Paul West, Boston Herald/Tribune) A similar shift was reflected among independent voters, a prized target for both candidates, who are now almost evenly divided on who would best improve the economy. In June, Romney enjoyed a 13-point edge among independents on that question. The latest survey, like most polling at this stage of the campaign, did not attempt to narrow the contest down to likely voters. Obama’s lead, Pew found, stemmed from the fact that more voters currently identify themselves as Democrats than Republicans, and that virtually identical proportions of each say they will back their party’s nominee. Put another way, the results of the survey are yet a further indication that voter mobilization will be crucial in determining the winner of this year’s election.
FLORIDA
Judge holds off on ruling in Miami-Dade State Attorney election write-in issue (By DAVID OVALLE, Miami Herald) A federal judge said he will decide Friday whether to force Miami-Dade County to open up the State Attorney’s Aug. 14 primary election to more than 700,000 Republican and independent voters. U.S. Judge William Zloch heard arguments Thursday, but stopped short of deciding immediately. Two voters are suing Miami-Dade’s election supervisor, saying that a “loophole” in the state’s election law that allows write-in candidates to close primary elections is disenfranchising thousands of voters.

ARIZONA
BREAKING: Independent voters surge while Democratic voters in Arizona drop by 52,000 in 2011. (by Dee Dee Garcia Blase, Tucson Citizen/Hispanic Politico) On the other hand, this is good news for the independent voters — and despite fraudulent misconceptions that are out there, indeed independent Arizona voters are able to vote and participate in the Arizona primary election process. As an independent voter, I left the Republican party for good due to their extremism, however, the Democratic Party leadership is also turning off Latino Democratic voters, too, because they are walking a dangerous line.

OHIO
Attempt to Overturn GOP Redistricting Moves Forward  - Organization submits 450,000 petition signatures to Ohio Secretary of State (City Beat - Cincinnati) On July 3, Voters First, a coalition established after HB-369's inception to combat the bill's Republican-led efforts to deliberately have congressional and legislative districts drawn in their favor, submitted 450,000 petition signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State — significantly more than the 385,000 signatures necessary to obtain a spot on the November ballot. At the end of the month, the Secretary of State will review the signatures and determine which are eligible, after which the coalition will have another set period to obtain more signatures, should the 385,000 not be met.

COLORADO
Unaffiliated candidate running for Colorado House (LETTER Snowmass Sun by Kathleen Curry) The overwhelming positive response and encouragement I received while completing the ballot petition process has energized the campaign and convinced me that voters are ready for the current political system to be reformed and improved.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

or drop your party altogether?


Independents vote in primaries in New Hampshire by temporarily changing their registration. After they vote, they switch back to independent at the poll site.

Hankster News of the Day for Independent Voters - July 11



RISE OF INDEPENDENTS
  • More Arizona voters going independent (by Alex Stuckey, The Republic) Of the 3.1 million registered voters in Arizona, about 36 percent are Republican, about 30 percent are Democrats and about 33 percent are independents, according to the report.
  • Independent Voter Surge Cuts Democrats’ Swing State Edge (By John McCormick, Bloomberg) The collective total of independents grew by about 443,000 in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina since the 2008 election, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from state election officials. During the same time, Democrats saw a net decline of about 480,000 in those six states, while Republicans -- boosted in part by a competitive primary earlier this year -- added roughly 38,000 voters in them, the analysis shows.
  • Analysis: Independents jump in key swing states (By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY) In the 2008 election, Obama won 52% of the independent vote, according to surveys of voters as they left their polling places. He and Republican John McCain both handily won the vote of their party faithful, but the exit polls show it was the independents that made the difference.
  • Swing states poll: Amid barrage of ads, Obama has edge (By Susan Page, USA TODAY) To be sure, Obama's ads have done more to win back Democrats than to win over independents or Republicans: Thirteen percent of Democrats say their minds have been changed by ads, compared with 9% of independents and 3% of Republicans.

NEW YORK POLITICS
Working Families Party Begins to Weigh in on City Council Races (By Colin Campbell, NY OBSERVER/Politicker) With a huge number of term-limited council members leaving open seats behind them, control of the Council’s powerful speakership hangs in the balance, creating a possible opportunity for the WFP to secure the position for a labor ally if they can win enough of these races. Which is likely why they’re weighing in so early.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independents - July 10


INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Gallop Poll- 50% Of US Hispanics Identify as Independent Voters (Hispanically Speaking News) Sixty percent of Hispanic immigrants identify as political independents, compared with 44% of first-generation Hispanic Americans and 43% of second-generation or higher Hispanics.
  • Poll: Most Hispanics Independent Voters (WIBW) Both candidates have released television spots in Spanish, and both spoke in June at a major conference of Latino elected officials in Orlando. The dueling speeches came one week after Obama revealed a new immigration directive that would allow some illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents to avoid deportation.
  • Century Village, long a Democratic stronghold, is changing (By Ana Veciana-Suarez, Miami Herald) Century Village — the largest condo development in Broward County — is now 60 percent Democratic, down from 77 percent in 2002. Meanwhile, registered Republicans have jumped from about 18 percent to 23.6 percent. But it’s the independent and no-party-affiliation voters who can claim the prize: They grew from 5 percent in 2002 to a hefty 16.3 percent today, according to voter registration records from the county’s Supervisor of Elections. Put another way, that’s a 17 percent shift away from the Democrats.
  • Independents: Do they still believe in Obama's change? (By Matt Towery, Florida Times Union - Jacksonville) But of independent voters, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, only 38 percent have a favorable view of President Barack Obama's economic plans.
  • Anna in the Swing States: Colorado's Swinging Suburbs and Untapped Latino Voters (By Anna Sale, WNYC/It's a Free Country) The Colorado electorate is largely broken up in thirds among Democrats, Republicans, and independents. Since 2008, the ranks of the unaffiliated, independent voters have grown in Colorado, and Democrats and Republicans now make up a slightly smaller percentage of registered voters in Colorado than they did four years ago. Much of the registration gains for Democrats and independents has happened in congressional districts with urban areas, contributing to the Democrats' recent success there… Further north along the Wyoming border, the suburban voters in Larimer County backed Obama in 2008 but narrowly split in the 2010 midterms… Independent, unaffiliated voters have the registration edge over both Republicans and Democrats here.

THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES

  • Playing field uneven for third-party hopefuls (by Paul Singer, Source: USA TODAY in Tucson Citizen) According to Richard Winger— editor of Ballot Access News and an expert in the field — there are probably fewer than a half-dozen minor parties that will qualify for the presidential ballot in more than five states: “It will be Democrats; Republicans; Libertarian; Green; Constitution; Party for Socialism and Liberation; Justice; and Socialist Workers Party and no others, probably,” he said in an e-mail. “The Socialist Party has a remote chance.”
  • Goode’s third-party run: Bad news for Romney in Virginia? Ex-lawmaker: I’ll take votes from both (By David Sherfinski, The Washington Times) The latest Real Clear Politics average of polls has Mr. Obama with a two-point lead in the state over Mr. Romney — 47 percent to 45 percent. But figures released in May by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling raised the eyebrows of many poll-watchers and pundits. Mr. Obama topped Mr. Romney by eight points in Virginia, 51 percent to 43 percent, in the PPP poll. If Mr. Goode was on the ballot, however, Mr. Obama’s lead over Mr. Romney increased to 12 points, at 50 percent to 38 percent, with Mr. Goode taking 5 percent of the vote.

Monday, July 09, 2012

LIVE FROM KENTUCKY -- it's Wednesday Night! (July 11th)

"IK LIVE" is Wednesday, July 11th @ 7:30pm ESD
Have you had a tough time finding “IK LIVE!” in the past? Never fear www.IKLIVE.tv is here! As of May 1st 2012 Independent Kentucky has launched IKLIVE.tv that links directly to our Ustream account. That means you can get right to the live or most resent show.  Don’t forget to catch Wednesday night’s show!

Online at http://independentkentucky.com/

Performing the World!

Note: The Hankster has a session on Democracy. B there or B square>



Sunday, July 08, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independent Voters - July8


ARIZONA OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Brewer cancels Legislature's special session (Mary Jo Pitzl, The Republic/azcentral.com) The action, or lack thereof, means the Open Elections/Open Government initiative -- if it qualifies -- will not have to share space on the November ballot with a competing measure. Designed to draw Arizona's growing ranks of independent voters to the polls during primary elections, the measure would allow candidates to run without party labels. If a candidate decides to list a party, it would have to match his or her voter registration form. The option of not listing party affiliation troubled Brewer and some lawmakers.
  • CAPE PAC Reaches Out to Independents in Arizona (PRESS RELEASE PRNewswire) "Unfortunately many of these Independent voters don't realize their rights and that they can still get out and vote for whomever they choose. Our efforts are aimed at helping to spread the word with Independents in Arizona about what a great Senator Jeff Flake will make. We hope to keep a seat in Arizona for the Republican Party, and help Flake become a strong, fiscal Conservative voice for The Grand Canyon State in the years to come," Loyd said.

OHIO REDISTRICTING
Amendment would put Ohio politics back on right path (by Joe Hallett is senior editor at The Dispatch, OPINION Columbus Dispatch) A group of advocates from the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, the Ohio Council of Churches, Citizen Action, the NAACP and other organizations appear to have gathered enough signatures to put before voters an amendment to change the way congressional and legislative districts are drawn.

CALIFORNIA INDEPENDENTS FEEL THE HEAT
California voters don't like midyear cuts targeting education, Field Poll finds (Associated Press, MERCURY NEWS) Opposition to the so-called "trigger cuts" is greatest among Democrats -- 79 percent -- but 68 percent of independent voters and 65 percent of Republicans also oppose it, according to the poll.

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • This year, more Americans celebrate Independence Day as independents (Amy E. Black/The Christian Science Monitor in Alaska Dispatch) This July 4th, as Americans celebrate Independence Day, a different type of independence is growing in size and influence – political independents, those voters who choose not to align with either major party. A recent Pew Research Center poll captured headlines with its report that the divide between Democrats and Republicans is widening into a significant gulf. That's indeed noteworthy, but the data reveal an equally important political development that risks getting overlooked. A record-high 38 percent of Americans now describe themselves as independents.
  • Gallop Poll- 50% Of US Hispanics Identify as Independent Voters (Hispanically Speaking News) A majority of U.S. Hispanics identify as political independents (51%) rather than as Democrats (32%) or Republicans (11%). However, once their partisan leanings are taken into account, most Hispanics affiliate with the Democratic Party (52%) rather than the Republican Party (23%). Both sets of numbers shift more decisively in the Democrats’ favor among the roughly half of U.S. Hispanics who are registered to vote.
  • Still Waiting For That Declaration Of Independents (by Ken Rudin, NPR/Political junkie with Ken Rudin) This year a different approach was made. This time, an organization provided not a candidate but a mechanism for one to get on the ballot. Americans Elect raised millions of dollars and already attained ballot access in 28 states (on its way to all 50 states plus D.C.), asking supporters to draft a candidate online. The problem? No "big name" came forward to run, and the leading online candidate, GOP dropout Buddy Roemer, failed to get the 10,000 signatures that Americans Elect demanded. The organization and its effort folded in May. While many third parties appear on the November ballots, some states have tougher ballot access laws than others. (Check out Richard Winger's Ballot Access News for the most reliable updates.)
  • Independents thrilled with neither Obama, Romney health reform plans (Posted by CNN's Gregory Wallace) Only one in four independent voters approve of Romney's plans and only two in five approve of Obama's plans, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Tuesday. It is the third major national poll conducted and released since the landmark Supreme Court ruling on Obama's law last Thursday.
  • Half of Hispanic voters identify as independent rather than partisan (Posted by Kate Riley, Seattle Times) About 51 percent of Hispanic voters identified themselves as political independents in a Gallup poll released Monday. Meanwhile, about 32 percent identified themselves as Democrats and only 11 percent as Republicans.  NOTE: SEE GALLUP ABOVE
  • Half of U.S. Hispanics Identify as Political Independents - But more than half identify as or lean Democratic (by Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup.com) PRINCETON, NJ -- A majority of U.S. Hispanics identify as political independents (51%) rather than as Democrats (32%) or Republicans (11%). However, once their partisan leanings are taken into account, most Hispanics affiliate with the Democratic Party (52%) rather than the Republican Party (23%). Both sets of numbers shift more decisively in the Democrats' favor among the roughly half of U.S. Hispanics who are registered to vote.
  • Independent Voters and The Legacy of 1776 (By Timothy Troutner, IVN) In the midst of Independence Day fireworks, picnics, and barbecues earlier this week, our culture celebrated our political system. Our Founding Fathers made us free, so we celebrate our current system of democracy. The implication is that the system we have now is what the Founders envisioned, and– by corollary– that those who are critical of the system are unpatriotic. The fact is that our current system is not what the men who authored the Declaration of Independence had in mind, and that independent voters are following the true legacy of 1776.

Wile E. Voter

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Is Roadrunner finally done for? More on Monday.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Hankster Pic of the Day


Yes, it's hot, yes we are getting the sigs we need for grassroots control and democracy for the NYC Organizations of the NY Independence Party -- counting down from 4,000. We need to qualify 11 County Committee members tomorrow in the 37th AD. I'll keep you posted!! - NH