Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Federal judge rejects councilwoman's challenge to NJ primary system

Federal judge rejects Morristown councilwoman’s challenge to New Jersey primary system

A federal judge has upheld New Jersey’s closed primary system, rejecting a legal challenge from Morristown Council President Rebecca Feldman and others who contended the taxpayer-funded primaries unfairly exclude nearly half the state’s voters, who are unaffiliated...
Community Activist Tia Williams talking to voters in Jersey City


“The Supreme Court has drawn an important distinction between casting a ballot in a general election, which implies the ‘fundamental’ right to vote, and nominating a candidate for general election, which does not,” wrote Judge Chesler, granting New Jersey Secretary of State Kim Guadagno’s motion to dismiss the case.



Harry Kresky, one of the lawyers representing Feldman and eight other plaintiffs, said they are weighing an appeal.

Harry Kresky, Councel for independentvoting.org
“We think the Court misunderstood our argument. The judge addressed this as a case of Independents wanting to participate in party politics. That’s not what this case is about. It’s about whether the state of New Jersey can fund and administer a system that’s for the parties and not for anyone else,” said Kresky, adding he was surprised that no oral arguments were heard in the case.



Morristown NJ Council President Rebecca Feldman
Photo by Kevin Coughlin


“This is only the first round,” said Feldman, an Independent on the town council, in a statement. “The other plaintiffs and I never thought it would be easy to get beyond the hold the major parties have on our election system.”







Go to independenvoting.org for more information about the national movement for a fair and open -- and nonpartisan -- primary election system.

A tip -- you can read more from Harry Kresky about our current constitutional crisis here.

- NH

Federal judge dismisses law suit challenging NJ primary election system

Aug. 18, 2014
Federal judge dismisses suite challenging NJ primary election system
by Karen Sudol in The Record


...“By denying over 2.6 million New Jersey voters the right to cast a vote in primary elections, the state has disenfranchised nearly half of its electorate, thereby, giving private political parties a state subsidized advantage and partisan voters greater and unequal access to the voting franchise,” the lawsuit contended.

Harry Kresky, one of three lawyers representing the plaintiffs, said they were considering an appeal.

“Judge Chesler treated the case from a vantage point that the plaintiffs who were mainly independent voters were seeking to vote in the primaries,” he said. “That’s not what they’re seeking – it’s whether the state can fund and conduct an election system that gives favorable treatment to voters who are members of major parties.”...
Harry Kresky, one of three lawyers representing the plaintiffs, said they were considering an appeal.
“Judge Chesler treated the case from a vantage point that the plaintiffs who were mainly independent voters were seeking to vote in the primaries,” he said. “That’s not what they’re seeking – it’s whether the state can fund and conduct an election system that gives favorable treatment to voters who are members of major parties.”
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/federal-judge-dismisses-suit-challenging-nj-primary-election-system-1.1069358#sthash.77x0Bn8J.dpuf
Harry Kresky, one of three lawyers representing the plaintiffs, said they were considering an appeal.
“Judge Chesler treated the case from a vantage point that the plaintiffs who were mainly independent voters were seeking to vote in the primaries,” he said. “That’s not what they’re seeking – it’s whether the state can fund and conduct an election system that gives favorable treatment to voters who are members of major parties.”
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/federal-judge-dismisses-suit-challenging-nj-primary-election-system-1.1069358#sthash.77x0Bn8J.dpuf
The Record
Independent voters who challenged the constitutionality of New Jersey’s primary election system by claiming they had a right to vote in elections that nominate candidates for general runoffs received a blow last week when a federal judge determined that the system will remain intact.
Judge Stanley R. Chesler of U.S District Court in Newark wrote that while the plaintiffs in the suit believe the fundamental right to vote extends to primary elections conducted by political parties of which they are not members, that is not the law established by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court has drawn an important distinction between casting a ballot in a general election, which implicates the fundamental right to vote and nominating a candidate for a general election, which does not,” he wrote in his 12-page decision that dismissed the suit on Thursday.
The lawsuit was filed in March by seven registered voters – four unaffiliated, including one from Bergen County, and three registered with a party – and two non-profit organizations that represent independent voters. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who serves as the acting secretary of state, was named as the defendant because she administers the state election system.
The plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of New Jersey’s primary election system that allows political parties the right to use taxpayer money to pay for the elections. By appropriating public money for private purposes, it forces unaffiliated voters to pay for an election process that denies them full participation, according to the lawsuit.
“By denying over 2.6 million New Jersey voters the right to cast a vote in primary elections, the state has disenfranchised nearly half of its electorate, thereby, giving private political parties a state subsidized advantage and partisan voters greater and unequal access to the voting franchise,” the lawsuit contended.
Harry Kresky, one of three lawyers representing the plaintiffs, said they were considering an appeal.
“Judge Chesler treated the case from a vantage point that the plaintiffs who were mainly independent voters were seeking to vote in the primaries,” he said. “That’s not what they’re seeking – it’s whether the state can fund and conduct an election system that gives favorable treatment to voters who are members of major parties.”
Representatives of the governor’s office could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday evening.
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/federal-judge-dismisses-suit-challenging-nj-primary-election-system-1.1069358#sthash.77x0Bn8J.dpuf
The Record
Independent voters who challenged the constitutionality of New Jersey’s primary election system by claiming they had a right to vote in elections that nominate candidates for general runoffs received a blow last week when a federal judge determined that the system will remain intact.
Judge Stanley R. Chesler of U.S District Court in Newark wrote that while the plaintiffs in the suit believe the fundamental right to vote extends to primary elections conducted by political parties of which they are not members, that is not the law established by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court has drawn an important distinction between casting a ballot in a general election, which implicates the fundamental right to vote and nominating a candidate for a general election, which does not,” he wrote in his 12-page decision that dismissed the suit on Thursday.
The lawsuit was filed in March by seven registered voters – four unaffiliated, including one from Bergen County, and three registered with a party – and two non-profit organizations that represent independent voters. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who serves as the acting secretary of state, was named as the defendant because she administers the state election system.
The plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of New Jersey’s primary election system that allows political parties the right to use taxpayer money to pay for the elections. By appropriating public money for private purposes, it forces unaffiliated voters to pay for an election process that denies them full participation, according to the lawsuit.
“By denying over 2.6 million New Jersey voters the right to cast a vote in primary elections, the state has disenfranchised nearly half of its electorate, thereby, giving private political parties a state subsidized advantage and partisan voters greater and unequal access to the voting franchise,” the lawsuit contended.
Harry Kresky, one of three lawyers representing the plaintiffs, said they were considering an appeal.
“Judge Chesler treated the case from a vantage point that the plaintiffs who were mainly independent voters were seeking to vote in the primaries,” he said. “That’s not what they’re seeking – it’s whether the state can fund and conduct an election system that gives favorable treatment to voters who are members of major parties.”
Representatives of the governor’s office could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday evening.
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/federal-judge-dismisses-suit-challenging-nj-primary-election-system-1.1069358#sthash.77x0Bn8J.dpuf

Monday, July 28, 2014

An Open Letter to Sen. Charles Schumer: End Partisan Primaries, Save America


Dear Senator Schumer,

Thank you for writing “End Partisan Primaries, Save America” in the July 21st edition of The New York Times.  You are right---closed party primaries do “poison the health” of our democracy, and we need to move to Top Two Open Primaries all across the country, including here in New York.  As you described, in a Top Two open primary system, all voters can vote and choose from all the candidates.  The top two vote getters would then appear on the November ballot. 
 
In your oped, you call for the formation of a national movement to bring this reform to all the states in the country.  There is one, led by forces such as IndependentVoting.org, Endpartisanship.org, and many others across the country.  This fall, a Top Two Open primary initiative will be on the ballot in Oregon.  Plans are underway to put it back on the ballot in Arizona in 2016.

Here in NYC, the NYC Independence Party, former Mayor Bloomberg, and the Citizen’s Union have championed this reform.  Right now in NYC, there are more than a million voters independent of the two major parties who are locked out of our primaries, where most elected officials are actually chosen.  In New York State that number is over 4 million.

We applaud and welcome you to the movement for nonpartisan primary reform, Sen. Schumer.  Yours is an important voice.  We call on you to help make Top Two nonpartisan primaries a reality here in New York.

Yours truly,
The Hanksteristas

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ohio Independent Voters Protest Voting Restrictions

Independent voters across the country are protesting exclusion from party-run private primaries. In Ohio check out their website at http://independentohio.org/ or email Cynthia Carpathios at ccarpathios@independentohio.org http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2014/05/independent_voters_protest_ohi.html


Rick Robel at protest in Columbus.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Jackie Salit: Something's Rotten In...

...New York State politics?

No! That couldn't be! "...Don’t miss the latest drama about the Independence Party in which Governor Cuomo is cast as Hamlet, deciding whether “to IP or not IP.”  Independents must consider our alternatives.  Here’s the backstory..."


Independence Party founder, Jacqueline Salit weighs in on

the Governor's race and

the fate of the Independence Party in

 
Jackie Salit just posted an opinion piece on the NYC Independence Party website calling for Lenora Fulani to challenge Gov Cuomo in 2014.  In it, you'll get her take on the Governor's race and the political gamesmanship and controversy currently surrounding of the New York State Independence Party.
Jackie Salit helped establish the Independence Party in 1994 and managed all three of Mayor Bloomberg's campaigns on the Independence Party line.  She is the author of Independents Rising.
 
This is all sad commentary on the Independence Party’s fate.  All the players in this drama, either directly or indirectly, propped up MacKay as he did their bidding, stripping away the party’s independence and vision.  Now, it’s time to kill it off, they say.  Just as the child who murders his parents and throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan, these anti-independent schemers beg for justice.
The climax will star the embattled Cuomo, who, in Hamlet-like fashion, must resolve whether “to IP or not to IP.”  Either he does business with MacKay or becomes a full-fledged Working Families Party-allied Democrat, even as the WFP is going through its own public handwringing.  He is caught between the Devil and deep blue sea.
- See more at: http://www.ipnyc.org/home/opinion-somethings-rotten-in/#sthash.6tGQcfte.dpuf
This is all sad commentary on the Independence Party’s fate.  All the players in this drama, either directly or indirectly, propped up MacKay as he did their bidding, stripping away the party’s independence and vision.  Now, it’s time to kill it off, they say.  Just as the child who murders his parents and throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan, these anti-independent schemers beg for justice.
The climax will star the embattled Cuomo, who, in Hamlet-like fashion, must resolve whether “to IP or not to IP.”  Either he does business with MacKay or becomes a full-fledged Working Families Party-allied Democrat, even as the WFP is going through its own public handwringing.  He is caught between the Devil and deep blue sea.
- See more at: http://www.ipnyc.org/home/opinion-somethings-rotten-in/#sthash.6tGQcfte.dpuf
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Must read for independents everywhere!
 
 
- NH
 

Don’t miss the latest drama about the Independence Party in which Governor Cuomo is cast as Hamlet, deciding whether “to IP or not IP.”  Independents must consider our alternatives.  Here’s the backstory. - See more at: http://www.ipnyc.org/home/opinion-somethings-rotten-in/#sthash.6tGQcfte.dpuf
This is all sad commentary on the Independence Party’s fate.  All the players in this drama, either directly or indirectly, propped up MacKay as he did their bidding, stripping away the party’s independence and vision.  Now, it’s time to kill it off, they say.  Just as the child who murders his parents and throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan, these anti-independent schemers beg for justice.
The climax will star the embattled Cuomo, who, in Hamlet-like fashion, must resolve whether “to IP or not to IP.”  Either he does business with MacKay or becomes a full-fledged Working Families Party-allied Democrat, even as the WFP is going through its own public handwringing.  He is caught between the Devil and deep blue sea.
- See more at: http://www.ipnyc.org/home/opinion-somethings-rotten-in/#sthash.6tGQcfte.dpuf

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Alex Myers Gets Revolutionary with Politics for the People April 13


RevolutionaryAlexMyersBookCover

So what else is new in the independent political movement?

Not exactly new, but Cathy L. Stewart is hosting the next P4P Book Club conference call with author Alex Myers.  Read his book Revolutionary and call in for the book club call with the author on Sunday, April 13th at 7 pm EST.

Revolutionary by  Alex Myers 

“In 1782, during the final clashes of the Revolutionary War, one of our young nation’s most valiant and beloved soldiers was, secretly, a woman. When Deborah Samson disguised herself as a man and joined the Continental Army, she wasn’t just fighting for America’s independence—she was fighting for her own."

This is Alex Myers' first novel. Born and raised in Paris, Maine, Alex was raised as a girl and attended boarding school at Phillips Exeter Academy.  In his senior year, Alex came out as transgender, the first ever at Exeter.  After Exeter, Alex earned his bachelor’s at Harvard University, also the first openly transgender student at Harvard, and worked to change the University’s nondiscrimination clause to include gender identity.

Very timely on all accounts. Highly recommended!

NH

Sunday, March 16, 2014

RT America with #EndPartisanship's Chad Peace on Breaking the Party Grip on Our Democracy

Hey hey Hanksteristas!

Lots of breaking news in the independent movement lately! If you have not seen this piece by RT America, check it out now:

RT America invited #EndPartisanship’s legal counsel, Chad Peace, on their ‘Breaking the Set‘ segment to discuss the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars that have been used to conduct closed partisan primary elections.

Host Abby Martin [Move over, Rachel Maddow, WAY over!] discussed the record low turnout rate in states like New Jersey and New York where less than 5% of eligible voters ultimately decide who can be their state’s next Governor or even Senator.



Stay tuned -- more to come from America's growing independent movement!

NH

Monday, February 10, 2014

Una solución a la polarización en los Estados Unidos

BI PARTIDISMO UN PROBLEMA EN NUESTRA POLITICA

Disculpa que me haya desaparecido. He tenido un invierno muy dificil y mucha nieve. Estoy de regreso porque creo que es importante en el 2014 educar a la gente sobre nuestra politica.

Aqui le dejo en enlace para que entiendan un poco sobre como los partidos controlan todo y una de las muchas soluciones en los que ellos no quieren ejercer. 


Por favor lean, vamos a educarnos. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

"Hold Your Horses on the Partisanship, Boys! Our Revolution for Independence didn't include political parties!"

That's what George Washington said as he was leaving office as our first and thus far only nonpartisan President. Captured here on Wall Street, Geo. W.


 Check out independentvoting.orgIVN and the coalition called EndPartisanship.org

Yes, the movement for independence in America did not end in 1776!

Let's continue the revolution, and let's develop!

-NH


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

An Independent View of NJ's Gov Christie "Traffic-Gate" Scandal

From Cathy L. Stewart's Politics for the People blog:

An Independent View of NJ’s Christie scandal

Imagine my delight on Saturday morning, when reading the editorial page of the New York Times, I came across a letter by a dear friend and independent activist, Dr. Phyllis Goldberg.  She was the lead letter to the editor under the heading “Christie’s Efforts at Damage Control.”

Here is what Phyllis had to say:

To the Editor:

Re “ ‘Very Sad’ Christie Extends Apology in Bridge Scandal” (front page, Jan. 10):
As an independent, I look at the politically engineered traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J., as a product of the partisan political culture. The email exchanges between a member of Gov. Chris Christie’s staff and his Port Authority appointee speak volumes about the norms and values of this culture, in which political operatives’ overriding obligation is to their own side’s interests....

Read more to see what the (all the news that fits the party bosses) Times left out...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

FELICIDADES !!!!!!

UNAS FELICES NAVIDADES Y PROSPERO 2014


Ha sido un 2013 lleno de cosas buenas. Es mi primer vez escribir un blog, y encima de eso un blog en espanol. 

Gracias a Nancy Hanks que me ha permitido participar en esta pagina. 

En el 2014 mucha salud, en especial. 

En el 2014 mas independencia, mas democracia mas inclusion para el votante. Es nueva mision y necesitamos la ayuda de todos.

Feliz Navidad Y Prospero Ano Nuevo.
It has been a 2013 full of good things. My first time writing a blog, on top of that a blog in spanish.

Thanks to Nancy Hanks who has permitted me to participate on her blog.

In 2014 lots of health, which is the most important thing.

In 2014 more independence, more democracy more inclusion for voters. This is our mission and I need everyone', chans help to reach that goal.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years.

Happy Chanukah 


Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Feeling distracted? Might be time to get back to basics...

From "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Partisanship" by SydneyAnne Stone on HuffPo

It is time to start focusing on collective solutions for the greater good. Instead of being a nation divided, we need to come together to find answers or we risk losing a great deal more...

 Hear hear! - NH


Monday, December 02, 2013

Google, Facebook: No Room for Change

From "Blame the Internet for partisanship" by Megan Ellisor in Technician Online:

In a March 2011 Ted Talk, Pariser talked about how he noticed that his conservative Facebook friends’ posts began to “disappear” from his News Feed. Because Pariser clicked on more of the links posted by his liberal friends than his conservative friends, Facebook filtered the conservative posts out of his News Feed. 

[Eli] Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble, demonstrated how Google is filtering search results in his March 2011 Ted Talk by showing screen-shots of what his friends found when they Googled “Egypt” on the same day. Both were Caucasian men located in New York, yet Google gave them very different results.

Pariser said Facebook and Google are using algorithms to act as gatekeepers, making information that we are most likely to agree with the easiest to find. But as Pariser pointed out in his March 2011 Ted Talk, these algorithmic gatekeepers do not have the “embedded ethics” that human gatekeepers did.

The algorithms are different than gatekeepers in that they aren’t preventing us from seeing any information. They are, however, making it more difficult to find different opinions. We all have access to the same information, but sites, such as Google and Facebook, are propelling us all to information that seems to only affirm our views. 

**********

I have noticed this for a while with Google and it really really bugs me. They decide what I want to see based on what I have looked at in the past. Talk about no room for change!!!! - NH

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You should not have to join a party to exercise your right to vote.

Over 90% of elections are decided during primaries, but because of restrictive elections laws only 10% of people participate.
 
Is it any wonder why Congress has a record low 10% approval rating?

You should not have to join a party to exercise your right to vote.

END PARTISANSHIP!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Voters Demand for Open Primaries Increases Nationally


NONPARTISANS/ OPEN PRIMARIES
INDEPENDENT VOTERS
Morning Consult Poll Results on Politics of Healthcare Reform Shows Shift in Independent Voters (Sac Bee/ The Morning Consult) The poll reveals a significant shift in Independent voters heading into a midterm election year. 58% of independent voters now trust Republicans more on handling healthcare. Among all registered voters, President Obama receives a lot of the blame from more than 50% of respondents for the insurance cancellations, and over 60% say the president deserves a lot of the blame for the insurance exchange challenges.