Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Thursday, November 30, 2006


New York: Dem deal not closed...
What's an independent voter to do?
Jim Webb - are independents attracted to "brash"?
Midterm Results Point to Increased Volatility Among the Electorate
Independents and the Election

New York: Dem deal not closed...

Cudos to Sen. Chuck Schumer for this candid analysis of the Nov. 7th election:

Daily News: How do you read the midterm election results?

Sen. Schumer: I think that 65-75% of this election was a repudiation of Bush and of Iraq and everything he stood for, and 25-35% was, "We're going to give Democrats a chance." Anyone who thinks we've closed the deal is crazy.

What's an independent voter to do?

More from the media about who independents are:
"Independents and undecideds don’t care about dogma, but about what makes sense to them at a given moment." Unsolicited Advice -- Eight Marketing Lessons For '08 -- from Marc E. Babej and Tim Pollak in Forbes....

Of course we all like to see our names in lights.... but with all due respect to the many interesting and even sometimes possibly accurate descriptions of independent voters, it will be independent voters who define what an independent voter is. In many many conversations I've had with independents across the country, the main characterization I've heard of independents by independents is that they're, well.... independent..... They don't like the poison partisanship that the political parties have devised, and they're concerned about the crisis in our democracy we're experiencing where the American people have little voice in determining public policy. I have never heard an independent claim to be pragmatic, far from it--at the moment, it's hardly "pragmatic" to be anti-party. -NH

Jim Webb - are independents attracted to "brash"?

In Following His Own Script, Webb May Test Senate's Limits, from the Washington Post -- "Webb was narrowly elected to the U.S. Senate this month with a brash, unpolished style that helped win over independent voters in Virginia and earned him support from national party leaders. "
Whether it was Jim Webb's style (brash) that won over independent voters, or whether this is just another way of pidgeon-holing independents, time will tell.... -NH

Midterm Results Point to Increased Volatility Among the Electorate

Independents are a significant bloc (RealClearPolitics)


O Hankster De ONDE OS INDEPENDENTS SÃO ..... alimentação diária da notícia de A, e para por Independents através de América.
If you haven't noticed the new little "gadget" on the Hankster - go down to the bottom of the page and click on the map to see where in the world the Hankster is....

Independents and the Election

Link to dcat (Your one-stop shopping place for semi-informed opinions about History, Politics, Sports, Travel and Pop Culture.) and an article by Independent Texan Linda Curtis, who has written a provocative piece on the independent insurgency and the recent Texas gubernatorial race over at Harvey Kronberg's Quorum Report. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Things fall apart, the center will not hold
Instant Runoff Voting
California: Will Schwarzenegger run for Senate?

Things fall apart, the center will not hold

From Ben Smith's Daily News blog: New York Dem Sen. Chuck Schumer said "We're in better shape than [Republicans] are, because they don't realize that Reaganomics is dead, that the reagan philosophy is dead," he said. "We realize that New Deal democracy, which is still our paradigm, which is sort of appeal to each group ... that doesn't work any more."...

E.J. Dionne advises the Repubs to go for a more innovative, more pragmatic (?) tact in his Washington Post article Can the GOP Find Its Center: "The party's credibility on national security has been shattered by the failure of the Bush administration's policies in Iraq. Many Republicans know this, which is why President Bush's biggest problem in his last two years will be not the Democratic opposition to the war but the growing ranks of Republican political pragmatists who want to separate themselves from Bush's Middle East venture...."

As an independent, I would say it's not the paradigms we need to be concerned about, as the parties shuffle back and forth back and forth trying to win elections. And the answer, to the extent that we can create one, will come about through out of the box, on the ground organizing.

Instant Runoff Voting

California Progress Report reports on progress in California on IRV.... and both the Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune endorse IRV in Minnesota

California: Will Schwarzenegger run for Senate?

"Schwarzenegger is touting his win as reflecting a new political paradigm -- centrism and bipartisanship -- that should be emulated at the national level...." (Dan Walters-Sacramento Bee)

Monday, November 27, 2006


Centrists, Independents and the End of History
New York: Let's Third Party
Who will get us out of Iraq?
Virginia: Whither the Repubs?
California: Partisan differences
Reviving the Bull Moose tradition?
New England is breeding independents

Centrists, Independents and the End of History

Some of the on-going dialogue about what the November 7th vote means:

Jonathan Chait observes in his article "After GOP loss, right turn is wrong" that "All the GOP losses occurred in the center..."

Pete Abel links articles on Huffington Post, Austin Centrist and The Moderate Voice in his post
The Hard-Core, Radical Middle on Central Sanity...

And Susan Page tells us that "The growth is not with either party, it's with the mass of independents." in her article "Election '06: Lessons learned by dissecting votes" in USA Today.

Last week's Talk/Talk:
Salit: One of the framings that numbers of commentators have been using in analyzing the election is that there's a new pragmatism in American politics, ideology is passé, ideological labels are passé. Newman: That, by the way, was said 20 years ago by a whole host of people, including the neo-cons, including Francis Fukuyama. Salit: Right. Newman: That's what The End of History thesis is really about. That's back when Fukuyama was still a neo-con. Salit: Yes. Before the neo-cons became passé. Newman: Or, put another way, before the neo-cons became history. Salit: Right. Is there a trend towards pragmatism in America? Newman: I can't answer that because it depends on what you mean by pragmatism. The folk philosophy of America is pragmatism. But, what version of pragmatism are you talking about? How are you using pragmatism? When they speak of pragmatism, I don't know what they're talking about....

New York: Let's Third Party

The Albany Times Union reports that the Green Party may sue to win easier ballot status requirements and Federal court ruling lifts ban on financial support for primary candidates

Who will get us out of Iraq?

John Nichols writes in The Nation that A Republican Takes the Lead on Iraq... Here's Repub Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel's Washington Post op/ed on Leaving Iraq, Honorably

Virginia: Whither the Repubs?

Independent gov candidate Russ Potts says the neo-cons got their heads handed to them. (Augusta Free Press)

California: Partisan differences

Repub Schwarzenegger won by courting Dems and independents (AP)

Reviving the Bull Moose tradition?

Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut has hired Marshall Wittmann (Arizona Republic) who "supports the Kerry-Edwards agenda"...

New England is breeding independents

A G.O.P. Breed Loses Its Place in New England by Pam Belluck (New York Times)

Sunday, November 26, 2006


National: What role will independents play in 08?
Arizona: The Independents are here!
Washington: Watching citizen initiative

National: What role will independents play in 08?

Where did the Dem victories come from? From independents.... (Washington Times editorial)

Watch out in New Hampshire - independents vote in the Primary and voters are anti-war and anti-politician! (David Broder in Miami Herald, and local wire story)

Independents can participate in this process at every level... (Talk/Talk)
Salit: So you have this big turn of events in the political world. And independents are a big part of these changes. What would you put on the list of things that independents need to focus on now that the 2008 presidential election has begun?
Newman: I’d take off the agenda as the dominant question Are we going to run an independent for president? Or, Can we elect an independent for president? The answer to the latter is Probably not. The answer to the former is We don’t know, unless someone has a hell of a lot of money. But there are things to be done. Independents can participate in this process at every level. We can try to influence the issues around which these candidates run, as we did with the war, and candidates like Howard Dean, to some extent with Al Sharpton, and Ralph Nader. We have to participate in the political process without thinking there’s going to be anything resembling immediate electoral gains for independents. Because elections just cost too much money. But that doesn’t mean you can’t influence a process.

Arizona: The Independents are here!

Ranks of independent voters have doubled to 300,000 in the past 10 years... (Arizona Republic)

Washington: Watching citizen initiative

But who's watching the Citizen Iniative watchers? (Seattle Times)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Jackie Salit's Election Analysis

A preview from the upcoming Neo-Independent Editor's Note:

.....CNN’s Bill Schneider credits independents – who broke two-to-one for Democrats – with the Democratic Party taking control of Congress. He’s right to do so, but he does not credit independents with defining the issue that drove the realignment. That’s not unusual. How many articles have been written about the 1994 Republican Revolution which omit that the GOP takeover of the House was accomplished by deftly recasting itself in the mold set by the Perot movement two years earlier? Too many.

Independents had a good year. Closer to the American people than the major parties are, they helped voters find their anti-war voice. They showed the neo-cons the door. They developed some grassroots organization, “ordained” new rank and file leaders in dozens of states, attracted some quality candidates, and won some fights to keep the independent movement multi-racial and inclusionary. They even brought some old independents back into the game and got them talking to one another for the first time in years......

Today's Blogs for Independent Voters

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
California: Voting quandries
Third Parties Fight for American Democracy
Gawker, Washington Post, New York Times, Allbritton Communications and political news coverage...
Independent voters - a new political cooperative?

CALIFORNIA* Do as Schwarzenegger did
TEXAS* Dems blame Repub redistricting for losing committee positions
Arizona* Mix of factors in Dem wins includes shift of indies
Colorado *1 mil independents
Pennsylvania* Repubs may need to soften message to win back indies
NATIONAL * Ideology and the midterm elections * Repubs allowed Dems to cash in on war issue

California: Voting quandries

Here's some food for thought:
"If you are liberal, conservative, moderate or thoughtfully anti-label, vote for candidates who best represent your views. If you find none, just say no. Never vote for the lesser evil. That is surrendering to election machinery designed to disenfranchise you."
From GT SLADE "liberty equality eternity" - check it out!

Third Parties Fight for American Democracy

Third Parties Fight for American Democracy
By Joel S. Hirschhorn author of Delusional Democracy
Posted on Uncommon Thought Journal
....What is really needed by third parties is a shift away from all the usual issues that the majors talk about. Instead, what would resonate with the public is an emphasis on structural or systemic political and policy reforms to revitalize our democracy. This requires acknowledgement that our system is broken, has become a plutocracy, and no longer serves ordinary people. Something the majors can't admit, because they broke it. Why fix a system that they control?
Also, some collaboration among third-parties would be useful, such as working together at times to back a candidate to create a better chance of success. This year, for example, Kevin Zeese was listed in many places as a Green Party candidate for the Senate from Maryland. In fact, he also was backed by the Libertarian and Populist Parties and ran a "unity for change" campaign. He reportedly had only about $60,000 to compete against the intense multi-million dollar campaigns of his Democratic and Republican opponents, so his message never reached many people....

Gawker, Washington Post, New York Times, Allbritton Communications and political news coverage...

I haven't quite figured out what New York based Gawker does exactly, but I picked up this item from their site linked to the New York Times, and I appreciate that: John Harris, The Post’s political editor, and Jim VandeHei, a national political reporter, said yesterday that they were leaving The Post to join Allbritton Communications to create an Internet-focused news organization, as yet unnamed, that will include a politics-only Web site. It will be affiliated with the company’s new newspaper in Washington, The Capitol Leader, which is to start print publication in January. The departures were in the works before The Post, which like many other newspapers is experiencing a drop in circulation and advertising revenue, announced last week that it was making sweeping changes in its newsroom staff.

Independent voters - a new political cooperative?

Breaking the Two-Party Stranglehold from Political Cortex ....Clearly, voters need to organize in larger numbers, as formal associations or cooperatives, devoted solely to representing voter interests, not to futhering the careers of politicians. Such an organization could develop communication efficiencies allow it to counter the expensive but short-term ad campaigns supported by industry donations. With its finger on the pulse of millions of voters, the cooperative would not have to guess if supporting a third party candidate would be practical. The ability to promise in advance a large block of votes would give the organization considerable ability to influence Congressional and political party decision making. Without the expense of fielding its own candidates, the organization could grow more quickly and could use its resources more efficiently by exerting pressures on existing political parties....


CALIFORNIA* Do as Schwarzenegger did (CNN Schneider reporting on midterm elections) (NewsBusters)

TEXAS* Dems blame Repub redistricting for losing committee positions (Mercury News)

* Arizona: Mix of factors in Dem wins includes shift of indies (Mohave Daily News)

* Colorado: 1 mil independents (Denver Post)

* Pennsylvania: Repubs may need to soften message to win back indies (Bloomberg)

NATIONAL * Ideology and the midterm elections (Harold Meyerson - Tallahassee Democrat) * Repubs allowed Dems to cash in on war issue (Washington Times)

Monday, November 20, 2006


MyDD: Pew poll says Americans want non-politicians to run
Ethics? A Shell Game Coming.
Pennsylvania: Redistricting on the table
Oregon: Those prickly independents!
Louisiana: Challenge to politics as usual from non-affiliated voters
Montana: Balance of state power now lies with independent voters
Connecticut: Where independent voters connect
Texas: They're not wacko in Waco...
New York: Who's on D?

MyDD: Pew poll says Americans want non-politicians to run

New Pew 2008 Poll MyDD ...The lists of potential presidential nominees for both parties mostly consist of veteran politicians, but the public wants more people from different walks of life to compete for high political office. About six-in-ten Americans (57%) say they would like to see more non-politicians run for high office, compared with 33% who think it is important to have experienced politicians running for office. Comparable percentages of independents (59%), Democrats (59%) and Republicans (56%) say it would be good for political outsiders to run for high office. "...

Ethics? A Shell Game Coming.

Ethics? A Shell Game Coming.Vote Out Incumbents Democracy (VOID), David Remmer: ...Exit polls from Nov. 7's elections revealed that voters ranked ethics and corruption in government as their greatest area of concern beating out the war in Iraq by 1 percentage point at 40%. Only 39% of respondents indicated the Iraq War was their primary concern. Logically, the voters are right to put ethics and corruption as their top concern, because it affects all other legislation and policy making government more expensive, more inefficient, and less able to address the nation's and the people's needs. ...

Democrats Split on How Far to Go With Ethics Law By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, New York Times, WASHINGTON — After railing for months against Congressional corruption under Republican rule, Democrats on Capitol Hill are divided on how far their proposed ethics overhaul should go.
Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate, mindful that voters in the midterm election cited corruption as a major concern, say they are moving quickly to finalize a package of changes for consideration as soon as the new Congress convenes in January. ...The Republicans who took over the House in 1994 adopted some of the same policies the Democrats now propose, including a ban on gifts and travel, only to relax the rules later. In 2002, Senators John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, pushed through a bipartisan law to restrict campaign donations and spending. The advocates of that bill are now pushing to close loopholes around so-called 527 groups....

Pennsylvania: Redistricting on the table

Pennsylvania Initiatives: Redistricting, Pocono Record ...As state lawmakers welcomed a bumper class of newcomers this week and elected new House leadership teams, there was talk of reform. House Minority Leader Bill DeWeese said his Democratic colleagues are interested in pursuing redistricting reform and campaign finance reform....

Oregon: Those prickly independents!

Why Republicans Got Thumped in Oregon, Russell Sadler, BlueOregon ...Oregon Republicans are reluctant to accept the reality that their party is simply not nominating candidates who can attract the independent votes they need to win statewide office. As a result, they have no one in the political pipeline who has the experience the public expects of someone who is running for governor.... Those independents are a prickly bunch. Polls show they have almost nothing on common -- except their contempt for Republicans and Democrats. ...

Louisiana: Challenge to politics as usual from non-affiliated voters

New Orleans, Democrats Losing In State Political Power Louisiana Author: Dan Juneau, BayouBuzz ...If Orleans can’t be counted on as a mother lode of votes for Landrieu and Governor Blanco, they are going to have to mine votes where the votes are: in Jefferson, East Baton Rouge, Caddo, and St. Tammany. The problem with that scenario is that most of those areas are experiencing a mass exodus of white voters from the Democratic Party to join the ranks of Republican and non-affiliated voters....

Montana: Balance of state power now lies with independent voters

Reporter's Notebook: Balance of state power now lies with independent voters By MIKE DENNISON Gazette State Bureau
...Republicans complained loudly three years ago when legislative districts were drawn up by a Democratic-controlled panel, saying the districts were rigged in Democrats' favor.

There's no doubt that the new districts are more advantageous to Democrats than the districts that were in effect from 1994 to 2002, when Republicans controlled both houses of the Legislature. Those districts were drawn by a Republican-controlled commission.

Yet the current districts offer no slam-dunk victory for Democrats. They offer a fairly even split, with control of the Legislature going to the party that can win the most swing seats.

Some argue that this makeup more accurately represents a state where at least one-fourth of voters call themselves independents and vote depending on the candidate. Win this sector of voters, and you control the state politically.....

Watch out, politicians! The continuous corruption of electoral reforms is being challenged by independent voters who are organizing on the ground, without candidates, parties or traditional political structures...

Connecticut: Where independent voters connect

Connecticut independents make state politics unpredictable says Chris Bigelow...

Texas: They're not wacko in Waco...

Carole Keeton Strayhorn beat Perry in McLennan County and Kinky Friedman tied Perry in one district....

John Kanelis in the Amarillo Globe News says Rick Perry should thank the independent candidates....

New York: Who's on D?

Working Families Party and the Conservative Party still waiting to see who gets row D and who gets row E. The Independence Party, the third largest party in New York state, maintained its row C by pulling over 146,000 votes on Nov. 7th...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Did you vote yet?

Do the Hankster poll (on the sidebar)
"Results" so far:
It was an anti-war vote. 7 votes
It was an anti-incumbent vote. 8 votes
There aren't enough independent candidates. 5 votes
It was the lesser of the current two evils. 6 votes
Independents try to vote responsibly regardless of party affiliation of the candidate. 7 votes


National: Parties are strong, but who's controlling the action?
National: McCain pulls to the right
Texas: Local results strong for independent gov candidates
New York: Mayor Bloomberg - will he or won't he?
New York: Dem-Repub coalition?

National: Parties are strong, but who's controlling the action?

David W. Rohde argues in the New York Times in Political Command and Control that "The midterm elections have been widely viewed as a sudden change of direction, with Democrats seizing the wheel from Republicans. While that may be true, the big electoral news — news that has gone largely unnoticed — is this: After decades of weakness, after sideswipes from independent candidates, the two major parties are back. Indeed, they are more potent and influential than at any time in the past century....."

That the two political parties are out of sinq with the American people is not surprising. The question now is what will the independents do.

For Fred Newman's comments see last week's Talk/Talk: Independents are Controlling the Action: Newman: I’d take off the agenda as the dominant question Are we going to run an independent for president? Or, Can we elect an independent for president? The answer to the latter is Probably not. The answer to the former is We don’t know, unless someone has a hell of a lot of money. But there are things to be done. Independents can participate in this process at every level. We can try to influence the issues around which these candidates run, as we did with the war, and candidates like Howard Dean, to some extent with Al Sharpton, and Ralph Nader. We have to participate in the political process without thinking there’s going to be anything resembling immediate electoral gains for independents. Because elections just cost too much money. But that doesn’t mean you can’t influence a process.

National: McCain pulls to the right

MediaMatters says: National Public Radio's Mara Liasson uncritically reported his argument that "his brand of maverick conservatism ... is what voters are looking for now" and asserted that the "role of independent and moderate voters" in the midterm elections "reinforces McCain's appeal as a general election candidate." She did not mention that McCain is at odds with a majority of voters on Iraq -- including most independents -- who disapprove of the war and favor some type of U.S. troop withdrawal. ...

Dan Balz of the Washington Post says: On the day when he filed papers to set up a 2008 presidential exploratory committee, McCain served notice to rivals for the GOP nomination that he intends to move aggressively to put his stamp on a party that is rebuilding after losing the House and the Senate in last week's midterm elections....

Texas: Local results strong for independent gov candidates

Armstrong County voters turned out over 50% for independents Carole Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman in the gov race...

New York: Mayor Bloomberg - will he or won't he?

The press continues to consider a potential independent run for president in 2008 by New York Mayor Bloomberg. Will he or won't he? George F. Will says he can't.

New York: Dem-Repub coalition?

Political writers like AP's Marc Humbert in the New York Newsday and Wayne Barrett in the Village Voice are discussing the mystery of the lack of Dem showing in the state races amidst the national sweep....

For a look at the collusion of the two parties, see Walter Karp's classic Indispensable Enemies: The Politics of Misrule in America

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Oregon: Independents, not parties, hold hammer
New Hampshire: Presidential primary as wide open as ever
Texas: Hispanics make presence felt in midterms
New York: Who "Lost" the State Senate?
Election 2006: What Happened and What Does it Mean?
The Unpredictability of an Unhappy Electorate

Oregon: Independents, not parties, hold hammer

by Jerry Boone in The Oregonian:
....Nearly 61,000 independents comprise a group that is roughly two-thirds the size of either the Republican or Democratic parties in [Washington] county.
It is almost like having a third political party, but without the funny hats, the candidates and the computer-generated phone calls. ... [H]ow long before Washington County's most formidable political party is no party at all? When that happens, will elected officials be forced to have a conversation with the people who really determine if they get elected? And, how will they find them? ...

New Hampshire: Presidential primary as wide open as ever

Concord Monitor Editorial:
...This time, McCain comes as the favorite, not the maverick truth-teller, and he comes with a record on the Iraq war that voters - independents in particular - will scrutinize.... The independent vote in New Hampshire is not McCain's for the asking....

Texas: Hispanics make presence felt in midterms

...In the governor's race, Democrat Chris Bell picked up the largest chunk of support, with 39.5 percent of the Hispanic vote. He was followed closely by independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn, with 28.6 percent, independent Kinky Friedman with 14.3 percent and Republican Perry with 13.9 percent, exit polls show.....

New York: Who "Lost" the State Senate?

by Ben Smith on The Daily Politics blog (lots of comments too)
If there's a blame game to be played, even this year, Democrats will be playing it, and the local obsession is who to blame for the pickup of "merely" a single seat in the New York State Senate in an election that saw apparently safe Congressional Republicans lose and saw the top of the ticket pull nearly three quarters of the vote....

Election 2006: What Happened and What Does it Mean?

By John McIntyre
...That [the mid-term election was a vote of no-confidence by the country on the Bush administration's Iraq course of action] is the reason Democratic gains are potentially far softer and less far reaching than many Republican or Democratic partisans appreciate. This election was not a vote in favor of Democrats, nor was it a blanket repudiation of the Iraq war as some on the left have mistakenly assumed. The only consensus in the country is the "stay the course" policy in Iraq had to change, but the shape that change takes moving forward is where it will start to get very tricky for Democrats....

The Unpredictability of an Unhappy Electorate

By Derek Catsam, History News Service
....If some Republicans are drawing the wrong historical lessons from the election, Democrats could learn a true one from the last seismic midterm shift, the one that came with the Republican takeover of Congress after the 1994 elections. In the wake of that overwhelming victory, Republican leaders mistook the mood of the population for one calling for a "Republican revolution." But Americans rarely desire revolution. As a consequence the Republicans quickly overstepped their bounds and this led to Democratic gains of eight seats in the House in 1996 and eventually to the modest Democratic gains in the 1998 elections.....

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Challenging the establishment

Godwhacker? Yes, Godwhacker... Please check out this blog:
...To my friends on the left who automatically assume that because the Republicans are anti-gay, the Democrats are the obvious choice, I suggest that you re-examine your beliefs. ....

What's Next?

Dennis Sherrard writes about the results of the November 7th election at Watchblog:
It was an important symbolic change however, because as the exit polls have indicated the two areas of importance voters spoke most loudly about were the Iraq War and the corruption in Washington. My question is what happens over the Next Two Years?

John V. Walsh writes about The War Loses, Voters Win, Rahm's Losers at CounterPunch:
Had the campaign rested on [DCCC fundraiser Emanuel] Rahm's choices, there would have been only 8 or 9 new seats, and the Dems would have lost. In fact, Rahm's efforts were probably counterproductive for the Dems since the great majority of voters were antiwar and they were voting primarily on the issue of the war (60% according to CNN). But Rahm's candidates were not antiwar.

Meanwhile, Fred Newman and Jackie Salit discuss how Independents are Controlling the Action in Talk/Talk: Salit: So, everybody’s looking at the numbers. Independents broke 2-1 for the Democrats. The latest polls show that 65% of independents disapprove of our position in Iraq. Newman: More importantly, it was the independents that made the war the issue of the campaign. Where else did it come from? It didn’t come from the Democrats. It didn’t come from the Republicans. It came from the independent movement.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Welcome, independents. What's next?

California: Dems debate Schwarzenegger's victory

The Sacramento Bee held a roundtable with some California pundits in which there was scant mention of independent and decline-to-state voters (not to mention scant represtation of independents on the roundtable panel). Here's a glimpse of the discussion:

Bill Carrick, senior adviser to the Angelides for Governor campaign: ...We settled on whomever the opponent was going to be, and during the spring as we were attaching the race, we both, Matthew and I both believed Phil Angelides was going to be the nominee. Even when Westly had the big leads coming through. Fundamentally, no one knew really either one of them. Neither one of them was defined. A large portion of the state didn't know anything about them. And Angelides had the institutional support of labor and the Democratic Party. And in a low turnout election we just always believed he would be nominee. But no matter who it was, we had made the decision on the first night we were in the state together on Feb. 1 that the construct of the race was going to be a choice between going forward or going backward....

Steve Schmidt, campaign manager for the Schwarzenegger reelection campaign: ...The governor focused relentlessly on the [eduction] bonds during the final couple of weeks of the campaign. I do think that made a difference. It was certainly very helpful for getting that passed, certainly among declined to state and independent voters, I think he played a critical role on that. I think on the education bond, I think the teachers made a decision early on that was the right and smart decision and responsible for passing it....

For a more independent take on California politics, see FROM THE GRASSROOTS: Independents: Vote Yes on Prop 89 By Harriet Hoffman on --
Independent voters are the engine for political reform. We have to take the opportunity to support every reform measure – win or lose. That's why we're supporting Proposition 89 – known as the Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, -- will be on the ballot this November....

Independent, win or lose. That's something to bank on! And as some wise philosophers have said: We lose, and lose and lose and lose, until we win.

Dems: Don't waste your money on activists!

A long and interesting article How Rahm Emanuel helped end an era of Republican rule, by Naftali Bendavid from the Chicago Tribune on the DCCC chief fundraiser -- just in case you forgot that the Democrats are -- well, Democrats....

.....On a late-spring day in 2006, Emanuel and Charles Schumer, the New Yorker in charge of winning the Senate for the Democrats, walked into the office of party Chairman Howard Dean. Emanuel, once again, was ready for a fight. For months, he and Schumer had been imploring the iconoclastic former presidential candidate to channel more money into congressional campaigns. Dean had been pushing a "50-state strategy" to build a Democratic operation in every part of the country. The national party usually spent millions to help House candidates, but Dean was instead using the money to build this far-flung operation, to Emanuel's immense frustration. He felt Dean's strategy wasted money in unwinnable places. According to Emanuel, the meeting devolved into a confrontation over resources. Emanuel said that the Republicans planned to heavily fund key races and that if Dean refused to do the same, it would amount to unilateral disarmament. Dean replied that he was fielding activists in every corner of every state. Ridiculing the effort, Emanuel told Dean that he had seen no sign of it. "I know your field plan. It doesn't exist," he recalled saying. "I've gone around the country with these races. I've seen your people. There's no plan, Howard."The tongue-lashing was another example of how Emanuel took a sledgehammer to intraparty niceties, making plenty of enemies along the way.

The gravitational center of Democratic antagonism toward Emanuel was the Congressional Black Caucus. Many of the caucus' 43 members complained that Emanuel had not hired enough African-American staffers. They also protested that when he harangued lawmakers to pay their DCCC dues, he did not recognize how hard it was for black politicians, many of whom represented poorer areas, to raise money. The protests often erupted into shouting matches. "If a person says, 'Danny Davis, where are your dues?' I may have a particular difficulty getting my dues that you don't know about or you don't relate to," Rep. Danny Davis, the West Side Democrat, said last summer. "Rahm don't take no prisoners.".....

Monday, November 13, 2006

Two parties out of touch with the mainstream...

From the Sacramento Bee:
Did election signal a shift from conservative era?
By Steven Thomma - Mcclatchy Washington Bureau
....In an Election Day survey, Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen found 53 percent of voters said the Republicans didn't share their values, and 47 percent said the Democrats didn't share theirs.
"There's a strong sense that the two parties are out of touch with the mainstream," Schoen said.
Thus the country enters the next two years with no dominant ideological or partisan consensus, unable or unwilling to coalesce into a solid majority behind either party......

A note from the north

The Desert Beacon (Progressive blog for those interested in Nevada and national politics) takes issue with Jon Ralston in his Las Vegas Sun commentary on why Democrats serious about winning state races shouldn't waste their time in rural Nevada Will Democrats ever learn?

Desert Beacon says:
189,386 people in Nevada are registered as non-partisan voters. There are 3,979 registered non-partisans in Douglas County, another 3,041 in Elko, and 3,840 in Lyon. This isn't to argue that all of these independent voters will lean toward Democratic candidates, but it does speak to the need to address all citizens, not merely those already secured in a particular partisan camp....

Why do you think independents voted for Democrats in this election?

Do the Hankster poll! (on the sidebar - you can choose more than one answer)

Three ways that Rove went wrong

Lawrence R. Jacobs, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Among the big losers on Tuesday was Karl Rove, President Bush's principal political adviser. Rove's long-term strategy to build an enduring Republican majority by playing to the base of loyal partisans and by using party ties to fuse the lawmaking branches of government failed utterly. Celebrating Democrats, however, should not miss the sobering lessons of Rove's downfall....

Trend toward centrist candidates may transform parties

Voters appear to be less tolerant of arrogance
By Bill Lambrecht
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Deseret News)
WASHINGTON — White House hopefuls can expect to find an altered campaign trail more favorable to moderate candidates and less tolerant of those who seem arrogant or prone to ethical lapses. Reading the results of the Democrats' midterm election takeover of Congress, campaign experts also say presidential aspirants can expect to be pinned down on their strategies for ending the Iraq war. The path to the White House is strewn with failed aspirants who ran presidential campaigns with battle plans based on past elections. But the results last week were so decisive and voter preferences so unmistakably clear that the current candidates had better take note, analysts say....

Voter turnout, anti-war theme a mixed message for McCain

BY CRAIG GORDON, Newsday Washington Bureau ....But on the single biggest issue in the campaign, the war, McCain's position is out of step with much of the nation. Some analysts believe that it will take the shine off the self-styled maverick who fluttered Democrats' hearts last time and expose the inner hard-liner come 2008....

National: Independent voters no ideological conversion

From Casper Star Tribune: Democrats Now Look to Sustain Majority, By JIM KUHNHENN - Casper Star Tribune (AP) ...Voters gave Democrats control of Congress but did not undergo an ideological conversion. The Democrats' success had more to do with anger toward President Bush, weariness over the war and contempt for the corruption and scandal in Congress _ a confluence of negatives that became a political force..... "I don't think what you saw on Tuesday was a major political realignment," said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. "A lot of people are saying Republicans stayed home. I think we really lost it among independents. The takeaway from it is you have to have a motivated base and you have to have a strategy to get to those independent voters."....

National: Dem Pragmatism - play the "middle"

From CQ Weekly: Swing Voters Change Course, By Bob Benenson...Far from flying a banner of a Liberal Restoration, the Democrats succeeded this year in what’s better described as the Push-back of the Pragmatists. They won their majorities by proving they can play in the middle of the political spectrum and the middle of the country.
If nothing else, they have successfully — if perhaps only temporarily — re-engineered the nation’s electoral paradigm by laying bare the tired and trite distinctions between Republican “red” and Democratic “blue.” This election turned, as will the next one in 2008, on self-described independent voters who predominate in “swing” districts and states. Last week, they turned away from President Bush and his GOP allies in Congress, in search of something else....

New Hampshire: Independent voters a plurality

From Concord Monitor: Will Dem gains affect primary? Big changes in state could encourage national party By ERIC MOSKOWITZ ...Despite the Democratic gains, local leaders of both parties said they continue to believe New Hampshire is an independent state - a "purple state" that blends Republican red and Democratic blue, Rath said. As of Nov. 2, more New Hampshire voters were registered undeclared (43.3 percent) than Republican (30.5 percent) or Democratic (26.2 percent). ...

South Carolina: Minor parties against tradition

From GoUpstate (Spartanburg)
... 876 people voted Independence Party, 91 voted Green, 94 voted Libertarian and 99 voted Constitution....

Doug Friedline, a mastermind of Ventura's win dies

Doug Friedline, campaign manager of Jesse Ventura's successful 1998 "shock the world" campaign for Minnesota governor, has died...

California: Independent voters express anger of Iraq war and political scandal

From Heraldnet/LA Daily News: ...The conflict underscores the challenge facing presumed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, the next Senate majority leader, who have pledged in recent days to "govern from the center" following a campaign in which anger over the Iraq war and GOP scandals helped Democrats attract some unusually conservative candidates and a large share of independent voters....

National: Independent voters exercise political muscle

From Kansas City Star: Tuned-in turnout
...Indies go Democrat
Democrats won independents 57 percent to 39 percent, particularly in the East at 63 percent, Midwest, 56 percent, and the West, 58 percent. do the young
Thirteen percent of those voting were under 30, and more than half chose Democrats. It’s the largest young voter turnout since 1982, though still just 24 percent of young people registered to vote....

Drop ideology and start fixing the problems

Democrats now have opportunity to move beyond partisanship
E.J. DIONNE, Washington Post Writers Group, Charlotte Observer
WASHINGTON - It's over.
American voters, in their wisdom, ended an era on Tuesday. They rejected a poorly conceived war policy in Iraq that has weakened the United States. They rejected a harshly ideological approach to politics that cast opponents as enemies of the country's survival. They rejected a president so determined to win an election that he was willing to slander his opponents by saying: "The Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses." The voters decided there was no decency in that....

Border Politics

by Leigh Graham in TPM Cafe
I have always maintained that I’m waiting for the revolution before running before political office. The nasty, costly midterm elections that wrapped up this week renew my faith that I’m witnessing a slow but radical overhaul of our antiquated and insular two-party political system. While the Democrats certainly have cause for celebration, there is a different trend emerging beneath this debilitating, once-a-decade, one-party sweep of Congress....

New York: Independence Party retains Column C

From Newsday: Dems top GOP to win back Row A and catchy slogan By MARC HUMBERT(AP)...Spitzer also won more than 146,000 votes on the Independence Party line, apparently protecting its Row C ballot position, according to Daghlian.
The state board spokesman said the only real question mark about ballot position involves the Conservative Party, which currently has Row D, and the labor-union backed Working Families Party, that now has Row E. Daghlian said unofficial results show Faso won just over 128,000 votes on the Conservative line while Spitzer collected just under 127,000 on the Working Families' line. ...

From New York Daily News: Dems get taste of top shelf BY DAVID SALTONSTALL...The new order, based on unofficial results from this week's election, will be the Democratic Party in Row A, the Republican Party in Row B, the state Independence Party in Row C, the state Conservative Party in Row D and the Working Families Party in Row E.
The Green Party fell short of its bid to gain an automatic spot on the ballot; its gubernatorial candidate, Malachy McCourt, got 40,504 votes - shy of the 50,000 votes required.
The fast-growing Working Families Party - a left-of-center coalition founded only eight years ago - nearly surpassed the much more established Conservative Party. ...

California: Independent voters back Schwarzenegger, Gov backs redistricting

Gov Schwarzenegger gets almost 60% of independent vote and vows to push for redistricting again next year....

Oregon: Democrats shouldn't take independent voters for granted

From The Oregonian: Ore. swing counties go Democratic, but will that hold in '08? By JULIA SILVERMAN The Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's two key swing counties swung decisively to the Democrats on Election Day, a potentially ominous sign for Republicans seeking statewide office in 2008 and beyond.
But analysts cautioned that Democrats shouldn't take such gains for granted, for fear of alienating the independent voters who sided with them, and galvanizing Republican opposition....

Virginia: Independent voters key to Webb victory

From WRIC - Richmond: Moderates, independents help give Webb victory
Independent voters and self-described moderates helped Democrat Jim Webb in his razor-thin victory over Republican Senator George Allen.
An Associated Press exit poll shows that the majority of self-described moderates and independents favored Webb.
Webb's opposition to the war in Iraq also helped him win over Democrats and centrist voters.
About 44 percent of Virginia voters considered themselves moderates, and of those, 60 percent supported Webb.
And of the quarter of voters who said they were independents, 56 percent voted for him.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Congrats to independent voters!

I just wanted to take a minute to congratulate independent voters and activists throughout the country on our becoming a major force in American politics. Even a few months ago we were struggling to "keep going" and to bring out a strong independent voice for anti-partisan voters who refuse to be pigeon-holed in a bi-partisan culture.

We're changers. We talk to everyone we know. We have even begun a small but active independent blogging community of independent voices who are diverse, open, inclusive and speaking out. From Indie Castle to Inside Zebster to Central Sanity, Throw the Rascals Out, V.O.I.D., Independent Texans, Independent Voice in California, the new national, WatchBlog's third column, and Austin Cassidy's Third Party Watch, and Hammer of Truth, we're developing a unique position in American history.

Keep up the great work! -NH

Texas: Strayhorn takes 27% in Milam County

From the Cameron Herald:
Republican Gov. Rick Perry garnered 30.76 percent of the Milam County vote, but that was more than any of the major candidates against him. Democrat Chris Bell had almost as much as Perry, garnering 29.66 percent of the Milam County vote. Independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn took 26.61 percent of the vote here and Kinky Friedman had 14.27 percent.

Friday, November 10, 2006


The Era of What’s Next
Independent voters vs. the Two-Party system
Have an RC Cola--it's good for democracy!
Hankster Poll
Ballot Access News

The Era of What’s Next

New York Times op/ed from October 26, By DAVID BROOKS
"If you look at the political landscape, identification with the Republican Party is falling but identification with the Democratic Party is not rising. Instead, there is a spike in the number of people who do not identify with either. People correctly perceive that neither party has a coherent agenda this year."

Independent voters vs. the Two-Party system

The great divorce By Gary J. Andres, Washington Times:
"Independent voters got fed up and figuratively walked out on Republicans on Tuesday, resulting in a Democratic takeover of Congress. It's too late to stave off this great divorce, and rekindling a romance down the road is a complicated proposition. But the first step in picking up the pieces means figuring out what went wrong.... "

With all due respect to the aging instutition of one man/one woman till death do them part, Gary Andres just got it wrong. Independent voters were never married to the Repubs, and didn't jump into the arms of the Dems in this election. Too late for divorce? Did someone forget to wake me for the wedding???

Have an RC Cola--it's good for democracy!

Third-Party Cola Demands Ad-Campaign-Finance Reform. The Onion: "There's no real difference between the two brands," Sunderland said. "When you get down to it, Pepsi is really just Coke Lite. What does it say about our country when you step up to the vending machine and there are only two choices?"

Hankster Poll

Why do you think independents voted for Democrats in this election? On the Hankster sidebar. You can choose more than one answer....

Ballot Access News

Now's the time to check in with Richard Winger's Ballot Access News (on the Hankster Blog Log) for lots of state election news, like Model Ballot Access Law or California Voters Reject Anti-Minor Party Ballot Initiative or New York State Ballot Order Remains Unchanged, except for Democrats and Republicans .... Well worth a visit!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

But what if independent voters were voting for the best person??

Gallup gives us this take on Tuesday's election in an article called Democrats' Election Strength Evident Across Voter Segments, Independent support a key to Democratic success by Frank Newport, Jeffrey M. Jones, Lydia Saad, and Joseph Carroll:
...A major factor in the Democratic Party's strength this election was the solid support for its candidates among political independents. According to Gallup's final pre-election poll, a 55% majority of independents (who comprise 27% of the "likely voter" pool) planned to vote for the Democratic candidate in their district, while only 38% planned to support the Republican. This represents a change from the last midterm election four years ago, when independents were more closely divided in their preferences: 46% voted Democratic and 43% voted Republican....

My guess is that independent voters were trying to cast their votes for whoever they thought was the best person regardless of party affiliation. But it wouldn't occur to partisan interests in a two-party system that independents are non-partisan -- that just doesn't make sense in their world.... -NH

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


National: It's November 8 - do you know where independents are?
New York: Spitzer's reform -- independents will be watching him
California: 25% of African Americans now independent
Texas: Carole Strayhorn corrals 18%, independents turn in 30%
Minnesota: Ellison, Tammy Lee, Hutchinson, independents oh my!
Massachusetts: Fusion voting Question 2 gets 34%
Connecticut: Lieberman no clean sweep of independent voters
Florida: Growing number of independent voters key to elections

National: It's November 8 - do you know where the independents are?

NOTE: In the bi-partisan world of the major media, the Dems won and that was because of independent voters around the country breaking and making elections. While the pundits continue to analyze this midterm election, some independents will be planning the next moves to change the political culture in our country so that the voices of ordinary people can be heard. November 8 is just the beginning -- stay tuned! -NH

Democrats Take House Washington Post:
...A national exit poll of voters in House races, conducted by Edison/Mitofsky for the National Election Pool, showed Democrats carrying independent voters, who emerged this fall as a critically important constituency in the midterm elections, by a wide margin. Meanwhile, about 90 percent of Republicans and Democrats were supporting candidates from their own parties, but independents were siding decisively with Democrats.....

Why The Democrats Won Bush, Iraq War And Congressional Corruption Badly Hurt The GOP, By CBS News Political Consultant David R. Jones:

Fast Fact: Forty-one percent of voters said that corruption and scandals in government were extremely important in their House vote, with an additional 33 percent saying these were very important. (CBS)

...Perhaps the biggest effect of the national tide this year could be seen among independent voters. Independent voters were even more pessimistic about the Republicans’ handing of the legislative and executive branches than the average voter was. Only 33 percent of independents approved of Mr. Bush’s job performance, and only 28 percent approved of Congress’ job performance. The result of this pessimism was that independents made a key difference in determining control of the House this year. While in 2002 Independents were almost evenly split between Republicans (48%) and Democrats (45%), this year Independents favored Democrats by a whopping 18 points, 57% to 39%, easily providing the margin of victory across multiple contests. ...

New York: Spitzer and the mandate for reform -- independents will be watching him

...The Democratic landslide turned Republicans out of the governor’s office after 12 years under George E. Pataki. It also left Republicans in control of only the State Senate, and the Spitzer camp confident that it had a mandate to reform a chronically dysfunctional state government....

It's Governor Spitzer, As expected, he rolls to victory, but now he must fulfill his promises, Albany Times Union:
Almost from the start of this year's gubernatorial campaign, there was no doubt that Eliot Spitzer would prevail. The only question that remained to be decided on election night was the margin of victory. If it was huge, as anticipated, then Mr. Spitzer could claim a mandate. And with a mandate, he could stand up to the fractious Legislature and Albany's special interests as he pushed for his agenda for change....

It will be days if not weeks before the results of Mr. Spitzer's vote on the Independence Party comes in, but whether it was 5% or 50%, independents in New York are expecting him to make good on his reform agenda. -NH

UPDATE: Ooops! Ben Smith "Minor Parties - Nothing Changes" on his Daily Politics blog for the Daily News found this item from Elizabeth Benjamin's "Minor Party Madness" on her Capital Confidential blog on the Albany Times Union with the statewide results (she called the board of elections...)

Independence Party/Eliot Spitzer: 146,456 (4 percent)
Conservative Party/John Faso: 128,007 (3 percent)
Working Families Party/Eliot Spitzer: 126,797 (3 percent)
Green Party/Malachy McCourt: 40,346 (1 percent)
Libertarian Party/John Clifton: 14,799 (0 percent)
Rent Is Too Damn High Party/Jimmy McMillan: 13,712 (0 percent)
Socialist Workers Party/Maura DeLuca: 762 (0 percent)

California: 25% of African Americans now independent

GOP Could Learn from Arnold Effect on Black Voters -- for '08
New America Media, News Analysis, Earl Ofari Hutchinson:
...The ranks of the independent voters have swelled in recent years and many of them aren’t tightly corralled in any ideological camp. Their votes can spell victory or defeat in the key battleground states. Schwarzenegger could mobilize many of these voters for the GOP, and many of them are black.

In 2000 nearly three-fourths of African Americans identified themselves as Democrats. By 2002 that number had dropped to slightly more than 60 percent, according to a recent survey by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a research group devoted to African American issues. But an increasing number, especially those 18 to 35, identify themselves as independents. One-fourth of black adults now characterize themselves that way....

Texas: Carole Strayhorn corrals 18%, independents turn in 30% plus...

Perry pulls out victory as vote against him splits, By KELLEY SHANNON / Associated Press Dallas Morning News:
...With most precincts reporting, Perry had 39 percent, compared with 30 percent for Bell and 18 percent for independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn. Comedian and musician Kinky Friedman, also an independent, had 12 percent....

Exit poll shows splintered opposition was key to Perry's win, By DAVID KOENIG / Associated Press Dallas Morning News:
...Nearly one-third of those who backed the two independents in the race, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn and author Kinky Friedman, said they would've stayed home rather than vote in a Perry-Bell election. On top of that, Strayhorn and Friedman siphoned off critical support that Bell needed, including such traditionally strong Democratic blocs as Hispanics and blacks. ...

Minnesota: Ellison, Tammy Lee, Hutchinson and independents oh my!

Pawlenty swims against anti-GOP tide to gain 2nd term, by BRIAN BAKST, Associated Press Pioneer Press:
...Hutchinson didn't do as well as the Independence Party candidate of four years ago, but his 6 percent was a possible difference maker. Exit polling suggested that Hutchinson's strongest support came from young voters in the Twin Cities, home to a sprawling University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis and several small liberal arts colleges in the St. Paul. It's also a base of DFL voters....

Ellison breaks ground as Muslim, black, BY ARON KAHN Pioneer Press:
Keith Ellison was a minor figure as a two-term state representative from Minneapolis. Now, across the nation and the world, he might become Minnesota's best-known voice. The 43-year-old fiery stump speaker, an easy winner Tuesday in the 5th Congressional District, becomes Minnesota's first black congressman and America's first Muslim on Capitol Hill. As a result, he dons the mantle of ambassador to the world's second largest religion. With 91 percent of the vote counted, the Democratic candidate and champion of liberal issues garnered 56 percent of the vote. Republican Alan Fine and Independence Party candidate Tammy Lee were tied at 21 percent, and seat-of-the-pants campaigner Jay Pond, a Green Party candidate who rode his bicycle to campaign stops, was polling 2 percent....

Massachusetts: Fusion voting Question 2 rejected with 34% support

State questions rejected, The Associated Press, Berkshire Eagle:
... Jim Fleischmann of the Yes on Question 2 Committee said the committee's goal was to increase the political muscle of smaller parties without forcing third-party voters to make the difficult choice of voting their party and siphoning votes away from their second choice, thereby effectively helping their least favorite candidate get elected.

Question 1 defeated By David Weber/ Associated Press, MetroWest Daily News:
... With 90 percent of precincts reporting, voters opposed Question 2, 66 percent to 34 percent...

Connecticut: Lieberman did not pull a clean sweep of independent voters

Menendez Retains Senate Seat; Lieberman Prevails Over Lamont By ANNE E. KORNBLUT, New York Times:
...Mr. Lieberman did not pull a clean sweep of independent voters, who held the key to an overwhelming victory: Only about half of the independents voted for Mr. Lieberman. But some 30 percent of the state’s Democrats voted for Mr. Lieberman, as did about 70 percent of Republicans....

Florida: Growing number of independent voters hold key to elections

Crist overcomes big South Florida deficit to capture governor's race, By Linda Kleindienst and Mark Hollis, Sun Sentinel Tallahassee Bureau
...In the waning days of the campaign, both sides crisscrossed the state in a desperate battle to excite their voter base and win the favor of the growing number of independent voters who hold the key to statewide elections....

Monday, November 06, 2006



Independent voters
are 42% of the electorate
Massachusetts: Fusion voting gives power to people
Texas: Carole Strayhorn - the independent Rosa Parks of Texas!
Texas: Independent voters a serious state-wide force
Minnesota: Independent voters will be heard loud and clear
New York: Independents may tip congressional races

Independent voters are 42% of the electorate

From the Wall Street Journal:
In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll, 42% of registered voters said they were "independent," compared with 28% who called themselves Democrats and 24% who called themselves Republicans. Often, independents, with less attachment to the political process, vote less than partisan loyalists. Given the number of large and emotional issues, this year could be different......

Massachusetts: Fusion voting gives power to people

Point:Fusion voting gives power to people
Charles Tontar
Passage of ballot Question 2 would reinstate the open ballot (also known as fusion voting) to Massachusetts. Under this form of voting, a candidate can be endorsed by more than one party and all votes would be counted toward the candidate's total. Up until the late 19th century, this ballot form was utilized throughout the United States and currently is used in seven states, including New York and Vermont.....

Letter: Vote yes on 2
Letter to the Editor, Stoughton Journal
I am writing to urge everyone in Canton to vote YES on Question 2 ( on Election Day.
Under a system of "cross-endorsement" voting, third parties will have the option of endorsing a major party's candidate. As it is now, third parties can run only their own candidates and are blocked from endorsing a Democrat or Republican. If Question 2 passes, you might see a major party candidate listed on the ballot more than once - first as the Democratic or Republican candidate, then again as endorsed by a third party.
This voter-friendly style of allowing citizens to vote for a major party candidate through a third party has been available to New Yorkers forever, and used to be legal here in Massachusetts (the great Massachusetts abolitionist Charles Sumner was first elected to the U. S. Senate as the candidate of both the Democratic and Free Soil parties), before it was banned in 1912 when the two major parties sought to strengthen their control of state government.
And so we are left with our current system, where voters who vote for a third party do so with the queasy sense that they're throwing their vote away or, even worse, helping to elect the candidate they least prefer. "Cross-endorsement" offers the opportunity to send a more customized, meaningful message with our vote.
Whatever your political bent, vote YES on Question 2 for opening the political process up to new ideas and honest choice.
Ben Healey

Texas: Carole Strayhorn - the independent Rosa Parks of Texas!

From Governor candidates crisscross state. Churches, rallies, phone banks, all for votes.
By Jason Embry, W. Gardner Selby, AUSTING AMERICAN-STATESMAN:
"The margin is so close that if we go to the polls and vote, Wednesday morning will seem like Juneteenth," Tatum said, referring to the day in 1865 that news of the slaves' freedom reached Texas. "We have a governor that's arrogant, we have a chamber that's greedy, but we have a grandmama that's tough and ready to shake up the place." .....

Candidates worship, run, eat in effort to sway voters, Minister's words draw criticism from Perry foes By PEGGY FIKAC and GARY SCHARRER, Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau: ....Strayhorn won rousing endorsements from Fort Worth black ministers, who compared her to Barbara Jordan, the late Gov. Ann Richards and a civil rights icon.....

Texas: Independent voters a serious state-wide force

From News 8 Austin Checking the political pulse before Tuesday's election by Harvey Kronberg:

In Texas, independent voters have reemerged as a serious force but are now split up by at least three candidates in the governor's race.

Minnesota: Independent voters will be heard loud and clear

From WCCO Down To The Wire: Candidates' Last Dash For Votes
"A Star Tribune Minnesota Poll released Sunday had Pawlenty and Democrat Mike Hatch about even, with Hatch at 42 percent and Pawlenty at 40 percent. The Independence Party's Peter Hutchinson was at 8 percent...."

New York: Independents may tip congressional races

From the Daily Star, Independents may tip congressional races, by Tom Grace, Cooperstown News Bureau:

"The New York Times released a poll Thursday that indicates independent voters are firmly in the Democratic camp this time. "Fifty percent of independent voters, a closely watched segment of the electorate in such polarized times, said they intended to vote for the Democratic candidate, versus 23 who said they would vote for a Republican," the Times reported...."

Well, this theory might hold water somewhere, but here on earth, we have fusion voting in New York, which the New York Times is alergic to--the very thought of voters going outside the two parties gives them the heebie-jeebies.... Independent voters have the option of voting for the Democratic candidate for governor Eliot Spitzer on the Independence Party line Column C on the ballot--that's a choice that all voters will have tomorrow. -NH

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Trippi in Trib: Indy Voters Will Swing Election

Thanks to The Burgh Report for this: Master of the obvious, I know. But it appears that registered Independents have broke hard for Dem candidates and aren't changing their minds...

Independent voters are the bomb - all the politician want us. What do WE want?

Please check out this site! - NH

Friday, November 03, 2006

Throw The Rascals Out

I just received a call from Jack Lohman at Throw The Rascals Out! Please visit this new site (now part of the Blog Log on the Hanster sidebar) "A Wisconsin Grass Roots Movement for a major shakeup in Madison!" Welcome!!! - NH

Arnold Revs Up The People's Machine

By Nick Welsh, September 21, 2006
Santa Barbara Independent
Book review of Joe Mathews' The People’s Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy
"...The recall and the initiative, as everyone who attended California elementary schools knows, are supposed to be the people’s tools to counter the power of special interests in Sacramento. The problem, as Mathews demonstrates, is that initiatives cost millions to qualify for the ballot and many millions more to win. Only the special interests have the kind of cash available to wage such campaigns....."

Ranks of Independent Voters Rising

by Philip Elliott, Associated Press
About 17 percent of voters registered for next week's election eschew major-party identification, according to a study released Thursday by American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate.....

Bridge To the Center

Washington Post
By David Ignatius
"I asked Clinton at the end of this long campaign day to sum up where she will be going in 2007 and beyond, and her answer sounded like a version of America as Upstate New York: "Americans are primarily pragmatic," she said....."

I daresay Hillary is the pragmatic one! For us New York City voters, this spells a Take-Them-For-Granted-Theyll-Never-Vote-Republican scenario. However, Mrs. Clinton's "bridge to the center" is, in the words of New York based independent political strategist Jacqueline Salit, suspended above the rising waters of independent voters -- now more than a third of the electorate nationally.

For those who dont know, Mrs. Clinton and her slate-mate Eliot Spitzer, who is running for governor of New York this year and will win, fought dirty for the nomination of the Independence Party, Column C, because they need the votes in Republican Upstate.

In the midst of the highly partisan and anti-reform environment of New York State politics, voters in New York City have an option to make a non-partisan, pro-reform statement:

Dont give the Democrats a blank check statement. Vote for Spitzer on Column C, the Independence Party line. -NH

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Jackie Salit on The Heartland with John Kasich

Independent voters take heart! There is life after the partisan bickering of November 7th!

National: Iraq and the midterm election

From the Knoxville News Sentinel, "Mid-terms and war rarely work for sitting party", By BILL TOLAND:

So will American history stay the course? Will the Iraq war define this midterm election?
It seems so, and polls on these specific questions suggest that the Iraq war is issue No. 1 for Democratic and independent voters, the latter intending to support Democratic candidates over Republicans by a margin of 2 to 1. By the same margin, those independents say that the Iraq war is not worth the blood....

National: Quarreling with history

What's happening to the Repubs? Did Karl Rove dig their grave by ignoring "independent" voters? Did Susan Collins from Maine tip the balance by not supporting minimum wage legislation sponsored by the Democrats? Was it the Republicans' success at defeating the centrist and center-right Democrats in the South over the past two decades that has driven the GOP steadily rightward and out of business in this election?

Harold Meyerson tells all in his Washington Post column "How the GOP lost the North"!

Colorado: What bandwagon is he talking about exactly?

Al Knight, a former member of the editorial staff and current columnist for the Denver Post, dashed off a facinating psychological portrait called "Independent voters don't help" He says:

Independent voters make up about a third of the total, and a huge amount of campaign cash is spent on television ads wooing them. It's true that all those nasty ads seem to be aimed not at the voters who have a party affiliation, but rather at the people who don't give a fig about partisan politics, people who most often haughtily claim to "vote for the person, not the party."
This piece packs a real punch with material from "a Stanford University researcher", a reference to Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, and lots of phrases like "less informed and more easily manipulated", "fashionable trends", "whether to hop aboard the bandwagon or not", "superior to those who belong to a political party"....

Al, lighten up - it's only a mid-term election....

Connecticut: Who's on first?

WTNH Channel 8 carried an item this morning titled Lamont narrows Lieberman's lead in Quinnipiac poll. Being the diligent political scout for independent voters and folks who read The Hankster, I clicked and read.

"For Ned Lamont to catch Sen. Joseph Lieberman, he needs Alan Schlesinger to break out of single digits and take away Republican votes from Lieberman. That hasn't happened," QU poll director Douglas Schwartz said in a statement. "Lieberman, the once and future Democrat, is winning 73 percent of the Republican vote."
And then this:

"The poll shows Lieberman getting the support of 73 percent of Republican voters, and 51 percent of independent voters. Lamont leads among Democrat voters 56-to-37 percent."

An enlightening picture of the political landscape, littered with the carcasses of democratic (small d) political principles--after all, there's a US Senate seat at stake here for a big fat political party. I wonder what independent voters will be doing on November 8... -NH

Texas: No allegiance to the Dems or Repubs...

Gromer Jeffers Jr. writes in the Dallas Morning News: DA candidates look beyond party cores "Some analysts estimate that there could be up to 80,000 households in [Dallas] county with little or no allegiance to the Democratic or Republican parties. ..."

California: "For Angelides, they're just voting for the 'D' "

That's what Field Poll (catchy name, there) director Mark DiCamillo said in John Wildermuth's article in the San Francisco Chronicle -- "CAMPAIGN 2006: Field Poll Wide support for governor in last survey before vote"...

And next up was the LA Times blog "Reaction to the Field Poll - Tidal Wave for Schwarzenegger", a post that includes a lot of media verse on the Field Poll.

In the meantime, what should independent voters in California be doing? FROM THE GRASSROOTS:Independents: Vote Yes on Prop 89By Harriet Hoffman
Independent voters are the engine for political reform. We have to take the opportunity to support every reform measure – win or lose. That's why we're supporting Proposition 89 – known as the Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, -- will be on the ballot this November.