Showing posts with label Utah League of Independent Voters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Utah League of Independent Voters. Show all posts

Monday, August 13, 2012

Independents Rising Chapter 2 review


In 1992 I was not a seasoned independent grassroots organizer, but I knew a thing or two about knocking doors and building a movement. I was 20 years old and serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Yes, coincidentally that is the 'Mormon' church to which Mitt Romney belongs, and no, I won't be voting for him, but that is another story*.

My parents and their friends and community were basically conservative Republicans. I was young and naive. I believed what I had heard---I had little or no exposure to any contrasting political views and I was focused on theology. I would not say I was skeptical. I wouldn't say I believed all the rhetoric I was exposed to, but I did feel like there was a home team under constant anti-American attack. Perhaps I was a well-trained partisan. Even in my bitter-about-the-war years, I defended the Utah Legislature in conversation over their 2000 gerrymandered redistricting plan. Corruption in my mind was unique to liberals in far off places like Chicago and New York. I don't know entirely how my eyes were opened, but I'm glad they were and I'm certain Jackie Salit and Nancy Ross had something to do with it.

I recall just a few thoughts of my political thinking in 1992:
  1. I remember thinking (perhaps due to Perot raising it to the fore) that debt was an omnipresent issue that the two parties were powerless to overcome.
  2. Something, anything new (seeds of independence?), even Jesse Jackson might represent a "new face" approach that was needed. I wasn't an ardent supporter of that, just open to the idea. I was doing a lot of listening in the months and years running up to November 1992.
  3. I remember thinking how unconscionable it was that my missionary companion from Oregon was a supporter of that 'pot smoker' Bill Clinton. Boy have I done a lot of growing up since then!
Nancy's introduction to this chapter by chapter project says "This is your story, our story--the story of the rise of independents". I have read a number of fiction and non-fiction thrillers with great anticipation of 'how it ends'. But it is surreal as I read through this narrative of independent history. I remember that past, our past...our present. It wasn't that long ago and it is how I arrived here. I know how this book ends before I've read it! The compelling draw is what will fill the pages of the subsequent sequels.

Chapter 2--Populism versus Centrism

Centrism is a meaningless abstraction. Those are my words not Jackie's. My local political conditions will partially illustrate this.

Candidates in Utah are screened through a caucus / convention system and if they score high enough, a primary election is avoided. This arrangement has become a practice that can be manipulated and misused. There are voices within the parties and even more voices without calling for an end to the caucus / convention / closed primary system. Party leaders of at least the Democratic and Republican parties predictably support the current arrangement. If centrism is vaguely defined as somewhere between left and right, is it squeezed out when the parties are in unison as in this example? Is left / center / right even relevant to an electoral equity issue?

Chapter 2 chronicles not ideological positions as problematic, but ideology generally as problematic and this often includes 'centrism' as the obstructive ideology of 'centrists'. This is the stark contrast and the chapter's namesake of populism versus centrism.

Populism is power to the people through pro-democratic institutions without a bias or preference as to what the voice of the people might say. Centrism is an advocacy of ideological noise not (a) pro-left or (b) pro-right, but (c) for bipartisan centrist middle. It is ideologically oriented. Populism is institution oriented.

*A story that I'd be happy to tell those who are interested. Drop me a line--http://www.facebook.com/RandyNMiller

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




 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Independents on the Move in Utah and Iowa


INDEPENDENTVOTING.ORG NETWORKS

Political parties challenged to race to register voters (By Lee Davidson, The Salt Lake Tribune) While Republicans and Democrats already have said they plan major voter registration drives this year, Randy Miller, president of the Utah League of Independent Voters, appeared at the news conference to say his group also will push to register more people as unaffiliated voters.

Did Independents Make a Mark in Iowa? (Jacqueline Salit, President, IndependentVoting.org) Insofar as participating independents expressed a preference in Iowa, they sided with the anti-establishment Ron Paul. But the notion that the Iowa results provide a read on the sensibilities of independents overall is false.




Wednesday, July 06, 2011

California Budget: Kudos to the Voters!

CALIFORNIA
California budget: A sign that the Golden State (By Daniel B. Wood, Christian Science Monitor) Whatever kudos are due probably go to Golden State voters themselves. Last year they approved a suite of reforms intended essentially to reboot the state's political structure – after a decade marked by the recall of a governor, legislative gridlock, huge budget deficits papered over with dubious fixes, state-issued IOUs in lieu of payment, and a trashed credit rating.

UTAH
Poll: Tea party fatigue among independent Utah voters (BY ROBERT GEHRKE, The Salt Lake Tribune) Monson said now, it appears, that the tea party is becoming "an even more Republican phenomenon," more rooted in the GOP than simply a group of conservative activists. Jensen, however, said that has always been the case. "The tea party has always been completely absorbed," he said. "It didn’t get absorbed. It has always been a part of the Utah Republican Party."
Utah League of Independent Voters: Independents vary widely on different ideologies, so it seems unlikely independents could ever be united. In fact, despite our many individual differences, on this wide reaching tenet we agree--"Get the parties out of the way and let the people decide!"

NEW YORK
Staking Out Slot In Race for Mayor (By MICHAEL HOWARD SAUL, Wall Street Journal) City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and former Comptroller Bill Thompson—each potential nods for the Democratic nomination—are also looking at ways they can attract voters who might have been leaning toward Mr. Weiner.

INTERNATIONAL
Report from Juarez (East Side Institute News) Our last newsletter included updates from Miguel Cortes, class of 2008, a youth development worker and psychologist at CASA in Juarez, Mexico.  Since our last report, 16 high school youth were tragically massacred at a party -- the most recent tragedy in a city that has drawn worldwide attention for its drug-cartel fueled violence.  Miguel reports that the community was overwhelmed and shocked, then later outraged by the response of military authorities who dismissed the killings as "gang-related." Miguel immediately organized a community-education class where the young people were encouraged to give their pain in letters, poems and therapeutic conversation that might transform the community's loss. He continues working with the young people and is active in the varied committees and coalitions that have formed in the wake of the violence.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Fight Against HB477

A rally took place yesterday at the Utah capital in hopes of repealing HB477 which pushes changes to Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) after being introduced just three days ago.

UTAH LEAGUE OF INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Groups launch petition drive to repeal HB477 (Deseret News) HB477 largely exempts the Legislature and several forms of electronic communication from GRAMA, increases fees for records requests and removes language favoring openness…… Participants who spoke at the rally or are listed as opposing the bill included the Utah League of Women Voters, Utah Foundation for Open Government, the American Civil Liberties Union, Utahns for Ethical Government, the Utah Democratic Party, Heal Utah, the Utah League of Independent Voters, Utah Moms for Clean Air, Common Cause and the tea party. The Society of Professional Journalists is also opposing the bill, though no media organizations spoke at the rally.
  • INDEPENDENT PUTS STATE POLITICIANS FOR SALE ONLINE (by Damon Eris, CAIVN) Bidding opened early last Friday on an eBay auction for Utah State Sen. Jerry Stevenson. The seller was Randy Miller, founder and president of the Utah League of Independent Voters. Judging from the original listing, which has since been deleted by eBay, Miller was not confident that he would find a buyer. Indeed, he even warned: “Buyer beware. This toy is broken. I wish it would be recalled. It is a representative that does not represent.” The opening price for Sen. Stevenson was just one penny, and the seller stated that he would even consider a simple trade for a representative that represents the people of its district rather than the interests of its party.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Utah State Senator Gets Sold On e-Bay

As reported on The Hankster last night:

UTAH LEAGUE OF INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • For sale: One Utah State Senator, gently used (Sean P. Means, Salt Lake Tribune/Culture Vulture)
  • Such a deal (by Paul Rolly, Salt Lake Tribune/Utah News) Davis County resident Randy Miller has placed his state senator, Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, for sale on eBay.
  • Tired of your lawmaker? Try selling them on eBay (Deseret News) Randy Miller, a land surveyor and president of Utah League of Independent Voters, said he got the idea to list his representatives on the auction site after a financial seminar motivated him to sell some things around the house. 


Jerry Stevenson Utah Senator District 21
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Bid history:
Current bid:US $305.00
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Shipping:Local pick-up offered.  |  See all details
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Monday, December 06, 2010

One 2010 election debrief (mine)

I now have a life experience that I share with a very small group of people; I ran for public office as a non-partisan candidate in a partisan race. (and I polled over 20% in doing so, even 39% and 42% in the 2 highest precincts)


Utah is home to 1.5 Million registered voters, 51.5% of which selected "unaffiliated" on their voter registration. Not to come off as a statistician, but I postulated that the votes cast in my race would not deviate far from a representative sample of voter identification (which for Davis County is 49% R, 42% u, 8% D and 1% all others)*----
*From memory, not authoritative


Well, needless to say, I did not prevail in the race. It was hard not to take disappointment personally when the results didn't even match a reasonable projection of a point spread. Near record low voter turnout clearly did not help. Initially I wanted to write something like losing doesn't feel good no matter how unlikely a victory was at the outset. Upon closer examination of the results I can make a more realisitic even optimistic assessment by comparing the experience to scrimmaging an NFL team with close friends and family, some borrowed dirty practice jersey and no pads or helmets. While we took a shellacking, we put some numbers on the board against the pros, and that feels pretty darn swell!


it took over 70 years of organizing to enfranchise women



So, since Nov. 2nd until now, I have had to pinch myself daily to remind myself that it (the election) never was about me. It was about people having representation without a party obstacle in an admittedly very obscure office.


I am positive I am not the first or last independent just this year bemoaning the fact that a better, more pro-active, better qualified candidate could not surmount the illogical sole support for a candidate based on partisan affiliation.


Personal relationships are paramount


After working so hard distributing flyers and posting engaging content (facebook.com/Davis.PLS), writing white papers, speaking at meet the candidate nights and filling out candidate questionaires for a handful of groups and newspapers, the week following the election was somewhat of a personal vacuum. That and the pay cut I have taken in this economy will now persist for the forseeable future.


But, it is what it is, and 0-1 is a record for quitters. And it is only a loss if I forfeit for nothing worse than being a little behind at halftime against a professional party machine.

Lessons learned



  1. "There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come" Victor Hugo. While that may be true, I have learned to expect to slow down. Just because the public is ready to promote systemic political reform does not mean it will burst onto the scene just like that. (It took 13 years to ratify the constitution and over 70 years of organizing to enfranchise women).


  2. Personal relationships are paramount. In a recent conference call with independent organizers, Jackie Salit, President of CUIP stated 'the media has figured that the internet will change everything. Not so. People change things.' While I agree with that, I will add that the internet is simply another arrow in the quiver to sustain connections. The internet is not the end-all-be-all, but it can be a powerful component in networking. And the internet is turning the advertising revenue model of media outlets upside down. Traditional media now has millions of competitors just like that--including me!


    I'm convinced that personal relationships are the untapped power of an independent force in our wayward and exclusive politics. It is also the crutch many partisan candidates lean on--the personal relationships of others in the party that they did not cultivate themselves.


  3. Don't quit
  4. Success is how you define it
  5. Never stop networking


Happy Holidays


Randy










Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pennsylvania Courts Make Third Parties Outlaws

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Independents decide on their candidate for Governor in the 2010 election (Baltimore Independent Examiner, Hassan Giordano) Independent voters are slowly becoming the State’s most powerful voting bloc, well behind Democrats yet barely trailing Republicans. In fact Independents have more registered voters in the City of Baltimore than do Republicans and are close to outpacing them in Montgomery County (behind by only 821 voters). As Independent voters in this state equal a little more than a half-a-million registered voters, the question still remains as to how many will actually turnout to vote this fall and to which party’s candidate they shall pull the lever for?
PENNSYLVANIA
  • Some political parties remain outlaws in Pa. - The courts have effectively kept them off the ballot. (By Oliver Hall, Philadelphia Inquirer) Pennsylvanians may notice something unusual when they go to the polls in November: Their choices for governor, lieutenant governor, and U.S. Senate will be limited exclusively to Republican and Democratic candidates. Only four other states' 2010 general-election ballots are so restrictive.
UTAH
h/t to Randy Miller the Utah League of Independent Voters for these:
NEW YORK

Friday, October 08, 2010

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES FOR INDEPENDENT VOTERS 10/8/10

MIDTERMS
  • David Plouffe: 2010 Election Won't be Like 1994 (Posted by Robert Hendin, CBS News/Political Hotsheet) As for the chances of keeping the House and Senate in November, Plouffe said that the Democrats are making progress but need to continue that trajectory. He doesn't see another surge by the GOP in the last few weeks, though he admits Republicans are in a better position with independent voters than they were in either of the last elections.
CALIFORNIA
  • California lieutenant governor candidates trade sharp barbs (By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times) In a dramatic 60-minute debate in Silicon Valley, Republican Abel Maldonado, the incumbent, and Democrat Gavin Newsom trade accusations of pampering criminal illegal immigrants and slashing public school funds.
MASSACHUSETTS
  • Shaking it up - State needs diversity in its congressional delegation (By Ann Murphy, Boston Globe) The largest party affiliation in Massachusetts, as in many other states, is “unenrolled.’’ This group of independent voters without a party makes up 51.44 percent of all registered voters in the state and it’s growing.
UTAH
  • Utah media shuts out independent candidates (Examiner Salt Lake City Political Buzz, Alison Peek) Following an investigation by the Utah League of Independent Voters (ULIV), it seems some stations have specific policies about how well a candidate is doing in the race before they are invited to the debate. KUED only allows candidates with poll numbers of at least 5%.
BLOOMBERG 2012
  • Draft Michael Bloomberg Committee Press Conference (PRESS RELEASE PR Newswire) Thursday, October 14, 2010.Combine Independents, Independence and Green Parties to create critical mass to create America's Third Major Party
  • Bloomberg: A Liberal in Moderate’s Clothing (by Mark Impomeni, Human Events - Leading Conservative Media Since 1944) New York City Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, the former communications director for Hillary Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential campaign, summed up Bloomberg’s national appeal. “He's an independent who comes to his positions, not based on an ideology or a party identification,” Wolfson said. “We live in a political moment where people are tired of partisanship, and the mayor is a leading independent in this country. Candidates are very eager to have his endorsements, from both parties.”
  • Poll: Republicans remain revved up about Nov. 2 elections (Miami Herald, Steven Thomma) Marist: In a 3-way Obama-Palin-Bloomberg race, Bloomberg would take 11 percent of Democrats, 21 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of independents. His strongest base: independent men, 29 percent. His weakest: Democratic women, 11 percent.
NEW YORK
  • Fulani espouses the mantra of ‘two good choices’ (By STEPHON JOHNSON, Amsterdam News) As a founder of the Independence Party of New York, Fulani has promoted the political entity’s causes for two-plus decades. Looking for another option for politically minded Black folks, Fulani believes that the key to challenging the current two-party dominance is investing in independence. “It is a vehicle to challenge the partisan and corrupt self-interests of the state’s Democratic and Republican parties and bring reform to our judicial system, which is so desperately needed,” said Fulani.
  • New York City Independence Party Files Amicus in Support of Conservative/Working Families Lawsuit Over How to Count Certain Ballots (Ballot Access News)
  • Trail Mix (By JENNIFER FERMINO and DAVID SEIFMAN, NY Post) Democratic gubernatorial nominee Cuomo, GOP rival Paladino and all minor-party contenders are now scheduled to debate Oct. 18 at Hofstra University for the campaign's first televised slugfest. That Battle Royale, to be carried by News 12, NY1 and YNN, will include Howie Hawkins of the Green Party, the Anti-Prohibition Party's Kristin Davis, Jimmy McMillan of the Rent is Too Damn High Party, the Freedom Party's Charles Barron, and the Libertarian Party's Warren Redlich.
  • Q Poll: Cuomo Pulls Away (By David Freedlander, NY Observer) "After the dust settled from Paladino's big primary win, the big switch was in the independent vote - a small edge for Paladino two weeks ago turns into a small edge for Cuomo this time," said Quinnipiac Poll director Maurice Carroll.
LAST WORD(S)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Partisan politics: "We're being told we can afford it, but frankly we can't.

BlogTalkRadio/Hankster:

Worth repeating: Friday Nite Hankster Chat Randy Miller Utah League of Independent Voters speaks out about partisan politics, Iraq, and grassroots organizing for independent voters.

Miller got on the ballot as an independent for surveyor, and is coordinating a debate among ALL candidates for the upcoming

51% of voters in Utah are independents. AND among the lowest voter turnouts.

Greetings Tonight to Utah League of Independent Voters!

The Hankster wishes the Utah League of Independent Voters continued success in your important grassroots work to bring diverse communities together and build the independent movement. To quote Randy Miller in his wonderful statement Why I'm an Independent -- "Talking to myself is ineffective."

There is no "path" to history -- we are making it together right now -- in Randy's backyard, in the New York City fight for nonpartisans, in the fight for open primaries in California, and in more places than we can count.

The Hankster is pleased to be with you tonight!

-Nancy Hanks

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Partisan Politics is Anti-Progress and Anti-Youth

The rules affecting voters in the primaries vary from state to state. In Connecticut, voters have to be registered in the party for at least 3 months in order to vote in that party's primary. In New York, voters have to wait until the next election cycle, called being in a "lock box". California independents ("decline-to-state") are at the mercy of  party bosses when it comes to voting in the Dem and Repub primaries. Why is this important? Upwards of 40% of voters who consider themselves independent -- and 45% of voters under the age of 30 -- are currently disenfranchised in states that allow the parties to decide who votes. At a time when we desperately need new solutions, new ideas, new ways of looking at our problems, the voices and votes of independents are vital if we are to move forward. Partisan politics is anti-progress and anti-youth.


INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Improved Picture Isn't Lifting Outlook for Democrats (By JONATHAN WEISMAN, Wall Street Journal) Democracy Corps, a Democratic polling outfit with close ties to the White House, released a memo Thursday saying independent voters, blue-collar white voters and white seniors prefer Republicans by wide margins.
UPCOMING PRIMARIES, OPEN OR OTHERWISE
  • Primary registration deadline nears (Wilton CT Bulletin) Aug. 10 will be Primary Election Day in Connecticut. Wilton’s registrars of voters, Tina Gardner and Carole Young-Kleinfeld, anticipate both major political parties will hold primary elections on that day. They also report that Wilton has 4,040 electors who are not affiliated with any political party. Connecticut law requires voters be enrolled members of a political party for at least three months in order to vote in that party’s primary election.
  • 3 GOP hopefuls seek attorney general nomination (Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau) Decline-to-state voters in California, who are allowed to choose which primary to participate in, last month hit an all-time high, rising to 20 percent of registered voters.
  • Local Races Draw Interest In Tuesday’s Neb. Primary (BY RANDY DOCKENDORF, Yankton Pres & Dakotan)
  • Editorial: Vote for reform (Providence Journal Editorial, RI) It’s not too much to ask voters to actually vote for the candidates they put in office, rather than mindlessly voting by party.
  • Freilich to keep options open on independent run (NEAL P. GOSWAMI, Bennington Banner VT)
PROP 14/CALIFORNIA
UTAH/UTAH LEAGUE OF INDEPENDENT VOTERS

JOHNS HOPKINS COLLEGE INDEPENDENTS

KENTUCKY
  • Kentucky Poll: Majority want health care bill repealed (By Halimah Abdullah, Lexington Herald Leader Kentucky.com) “The independents are going to play a key roll in the midterm as they did in the general for Obama,” said James Thurber, a political scientist at American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies. “If you find a great number (of independents) not agreeing with the policies being passed ... that’s a significant problem for Democratic incumbents and candidates running in Kentucky.”
MASSACHUSETTS
MONTANA OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Limits of the Two-Party Primary (By Kellyn Brown, Flathead Beacon) Most of us consider Montana’s primaries to be “open” in that anyone can vote by simply choosing to fill out a Democratic or Republican ballot on June 8. But there are limits to that openness since, while you don’t have to register with either political party to participate, you are still pigeonholed into picking between the two. Well, what if you weren’t?
MINNESOTA IP
NYC CHARTER REVISION
LAST WORD(S)
  • Poison Penn (Jonathan Chait, The New Republic)
  •  h/t to Salon Mark Penn is wrong about literally everything BY ALEX PAREENE
  • From the U.S. to the U.K., new political winds (By Mark Penn, Washington Post) In the United States, two mainstream movements have tried in recent years to capitalize on strands of dissatisfaction: John Anderson, a Republican congressman from Illinois who adopted liberal social and environmental views, got a modest amount of support from better-educated voters and college students as an independent presidential candidate in 1980. Barack Obama did particularly well with what would have been Anderson constituencies. The second attempt was by independent tycoon Ross Perot. His voters were primarily concerned about reducing the size of government and the deficit (large aspects of today's Tea Party agenda). At its core, the movement behind Perot was anti-government, while Anderson voters were for restrained but activist government. [NOTE: Actually, the second attempt was Lenora Fulani's historic run in 1988 when she became the first woman and first African American to be on the ballot for President in all 50 states. She ran as an independent and laid the groundwork for both Ross Perot's run in 1992, as well as for Barack Obama's win in 2008.]
  • Political Animal (Steve Benen, Washington Monthly) First, Penn characterizes "independents" as a relatively cohesive group of like-minded centrists, turned off by liberal Dems and conservative Republicans. That's both lazy and wrong, as has been made clear over and over again.
  • British elections: Why U.S. should care (By John Avlon, Special to CNN)

Friday, May 07, 2010

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS 5/7/10

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
OPEN PRIMARIES
PROP 14
FLORIDA
LAST WORD

Friday, April 30, 2010

Randy Miller, Utah League of Independent Voters: Why I Became an Independent



by Randy Miller


Well, I was born that way. We all were. Partisanship, like its cousin Prejudice, is learned.

I was 20 years old serving as a Mormon missionary in North Dakota when Ross Perot ran for (and nearly won) President of the United States. I did not vote that year. Missionaries are discouraged from watching television and from discussing politics. I didn't know you needed to register to vote, the constitution doesn't stipulate this. I'm certain I would not have successfully navigated the bureaucracy of absentee voting.


I grew up in a seemingly conservative suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. Without knowing any better, I bought into GOP party loyalty and castigating all 'non-conservative' ideas and figures. I even exercised that most holy and reverent conservative duty -- I joined the Army (National Guard). I served just short of 10 years in the National Guard culminating with a one year tour in Iraq.

IRAQ 
I was sitting in the chow hall one afternoon while CNN droned in the background. I caught a comment from Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld that he had given commanders on the ground everything they had asked for. I about choked on my food. Without going into details, I knew right away there was an enormous disconnect between reality and the Pentagon.

In the adjustment months after the deployment, I learned that the Pentagon disconnect was more likely a criminal deception by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others. I learned that General Officers were resigning and speaking out but that the corporate media was not covering this actual news.

I started looking for ways to channel my frustration and anger and energies. I looked at Iraq Veterans Against War. I was angry with the Republican Party. I was not a Democrat and didn't want to go down that road, it didn't seem like it would produce results. I found a website cuip.org which now redirects to independentvoting.org I don't remember what the hook was but I signed up for their newsletter 'Talk/Talk'.

INDEPENDENT
In September 2008 I invited all candidates on my ballot for Governor on down to state legislature into my home for a meet the candidates night. (By the way, never do this unless you want to run for office someday. Everyone I know who has done this has later run for public office.;)) I printed up a flyer to distribute in the neighborhood. That is my earliest recollection of the term Utah League of independent Voters. CUIP contacted me on a regular basis, usually for fundraising mixed in with invitations to come on their national conference call. I think I donated $25 or something on one of their fundraising calls. The economy steadily declined for my industry and I didn't have the means to donate on subsequent requests, but I remember indicating on 2 occassions that I would be willing to donate some time to their local affiliate if they could put me in touch with them. I had time to give but not much money. Turns out I was the only local affiliate.

ORGANIZATION
Eventually those staff callers forwarded my info to Nancy Ross and Gwen Mandel--national organizers for CUIP and regular contact ensued with Nancy. They twisted my arm into attending the national conference for independents held in New York City in 2009. The conference was remarkable and the keynote presentation can be viewed here.

Why did I become and independent? Hopefully I've answered that question. Why am I an indie organizer? Talking to myself is ineffective I've found. Independent authors and figures like Joe Hill, Marcia Ford, Omar Ali, MLK, Ross Perot, Jackie Salit, Nancy Ross, Damon Eris, Lenora Fulani and many others are very compelling, that's why.



Randy Miller is the founder of the Utah League of Independent Voters. He is also a surveyor by trade, an Iraq veteran, a social media enthusiast. You can reach him at randy@uliv.org


You can hear Randy talking about these issues on BlogTalkRadio/Hankster Friday Nite Chat and YouTube Fair Boundaries - Utah Redistricting Initiative



Friday, January 08, 2010

What Does It Mean to be Independent? (Hint: No Machine Politics Here!)

What does it mean to be independent? Check out the dialog over at Donklephant (where yours truly is a guest blogger)... Gallup is saying more independents now identify as conservative and Dems feel the force... The Chicago Reader reveals that Independent Voters of Illinois is part of the Daley machine (no surprise there)... Repubs in R.I. move to close primaries to indies... Glenwood Springs CO Post Independent supports State Representative Kathleen Curry's new unaffiliated status, and Bertie Arnhols of Aurora UT NC (thanks to Richard Winger for this correction!) leaves the party to run for commissioner as unaffiliated.... And speaking of Utah -- It's Anybody's Game!

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
OPEN PRIMARIES - ELECTION REFORM
COLORADO + UTAH = INDEPENDENT REVOLT!


  • Former Republican candidate defects--Bertie Arnhols of Aurora is circulating a petition she hopes will allow her to run as an unaffiliated candidate for Beaufort County commissioner. (By JONATHAN CLAYBORNE, Washington Daily News)
  • Applauding Curry's decision (Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado)
  • Alone without a party, Rep. Curry hopes to remain effective (by Brent Gardner-Smith, Aspen Daily News) And Curry wants to reduce the length of time before an election that unaffiliated candidates have to declare their candidacy.
NEW YORK
ON THE BLOGS