Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Candidates, candidates, candidates everywhere.... Daily Kos has an interesting poll going that is currently showing 265 votes for Al Gore (is he running? Djneedle83 points to a "strengthening volatility" among the "democratic/independent electorate"... ), 88 for John Edwards and 61 for Barak Obama. Hillary comes in at 15.... Meanwhile An Ordinary Person and Politics in America "Fixing a Broken System" points out that one of the big problems in the approach that Unity 08 takes is that it only appeals to people who identify with one of the major parties.


  • CALIFORNIA REFORM Poll: Term Limits (Capital Notes-KQED)
  • WASHINGTON STATE REFORM Ranked Voting: Working out the wrinkles in a new way of voting (Tacoma News Tribune)
  • Time For A Third Party Candidate? How About Ron Paul Squared? (Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs - The Moderate Voice)
  • Taking Ron Paul Seriously (Bruce Bartlett - RealClearPolitics)
  • Tennessee Two-Step: Thompson, Gore And The Grass Is Always Greener Syndrome (CBS News, Dick Meyer)
  • Dodd a long shot worth listening to; Connecticut senator keeps common touch (Concord Monitor)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Some Dems continue to shun her, but Green Party activist Myles Hoenig on Dissident Voice applauds Cindy Sheehan for leaving the Dems.... and Jack E. Dunning over at The Dunning Letter takes it a little further: we need an Independent Party, he says... speaking of which, think Michael Bloomberg should run for President as an independent? Jackie Salit, president of the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, has some thoughts on that very thing.... And The Angry Independent on Mirror on America reminds us that a lot of folks just stay out of politics... If the independent movement speaks on behalf of -- and organizes -- the left-out, locked-out, all the people that the Dems and Repubs don't want -- we can change the direction our country is going. Let's get busy!

More on Cindy Sheehan: UPDATED 5/31/07 Eli Pariser, executive director of, responds to relevancy issue in a CNN interview on Raw Story..... and here's a link to a long but interesting interview with Cindy Sheehan on Democracy Now. She's not quitting, she says. She's going to come back and do something "independent".

To: Independents in the CUIP Networks

Fr: Jackie Salit
Re: The Bloomberg Story
Date: May 30, 2007
The continuing stories about a possible independent presidential candidacy by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg prompt me to brief all of you on Mike’s history with independent voters and the independent political movement. The media assumes that if Mike decides to seek the presidency that he will automatically have the support of independents. My view is that nothing is automatic. Even a billionaire has to prove himself to independents....

Stop. Just Stop.: Guys Who Might Run

The Hankster takes note of Stop. Just Stop.: Guys Who Might Run which talks about Bloomberg, Unity 08, tradition and the meaninglessness of ideological labels. Am I being too generous?


  • Six in 10 independent voters want troops out by 2008 (CQ Politics)
  • We do need a new independent political movement. The good news is that there are now more registered independent voters than there are voters in either major political party. The bad news is that it will take a long time to develop such a movement. (Rochester MN Post Bulletin, Opinion)
  • Delaware Bill to Ban Fusion (Ballot Access News)
  • Clarence Page: (Chicago Tribune) Third party? Extremely possible

Monday, May 28, 2007


  • California independents vote "issues and people, not a party"... (Contra Costa Times)
  • California "Rumpocracy"--a majority of adults are not registered with either of the two major parties and say that California needs another major political party... (California Progress Report)

Conversations on Independence

Writing on the wall in California: Swiftspeech! is "seriously considering" changing party affiliation because of the failure of the Dems to carry out an anti-war agenda. I say, Go for it, Swiftspeech! The California Progress Report tells us that nationally in 1961 independents (or in California, make that "decline to state", in New York unaffiliated voters are called "blanks"...) were 1.6% of the electorate--now independents are 21%. As a matter of fact, a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll put the number of self-identified independents at 42% on the day before the midterm elections in 2006. How closely is that increase tied to an anti-war vote? Plenty. But it's also tied to the fact that we keep electing Dems and Repubs and Dems and Repubs don't do what we elected them to do, whether it's fiscal responsibility or stopping "unpopular", illegal or immoral imperialistic wars...

Independents don't care for parties either--big or small. That's why Swiftspeech! rightly proclaims: Welcome to the independent movement!

Another Day in the Empire is flabbergasted that folks think there's a difference between Dems and Repubs and that the DP is the anti-war party--Pelosi's a sell-out....
Back in November, besieged with emails imploring your humble blogger to at minimum urge Americans to vote for Democrats, in order to grease the skids to get rid of Bush and the neocons, I responded by declaring my long held belief there is absolutely no difference between Democrats and Republicans—a vote for either side is a vote for tyranny and feudalism—a fact left out in the open for all to see. Now we have Nancy Pelosi pedaling a “freshened” version of NAFTA, that is to say a brand of neoliberal globalism that will eventually turn the planet into a slave labor gulag based on the Chinese “economic miracle” (or a miracle for loan sharks and financial sector swindlers).

I wholeheartedly sympathize--that progressives keep voting for the Dems because of the Dem message that the Repubs are scary, and then being really put out when the Dems escalate bad wars is not enough. But I daresay independents didn't go to the polls on November 7, 2006, "swinging" the election to the Dems, thinking that the Dems were going to lead us to the promised land of democracy and accountability. It was a statement, not a blank check. And that's what being an independent affords.

And speaking of checks, There Is No Blog in "Democrats: The Party of Pork!" gives this analysis of the current state of the Dems:
So amazingly spinelss was the the Democratic stance in essentially giving away the store to Bush and his merry band of Neocons that some in the traditional media have been forced to look at this bill not as a dead giveaway, but rather as some sort of compromise. After all, why capitulate so dramatically on an issue where the will of the people is so clear? As best as they can tell, the apparent "compromise" was in ramming through some "domestic spending" priorities--which the vast majority of Americans will read as Pork, regardless of its inherent legitimacy or lack thereof.

As skippy says on Independent Bloggers' Alliance (thanks for everything, kos) of the unofficial appologists:, we don't think markos is to blame for the dems' caving on the iraq funding bill (he is, however, obvioulsy responsible for the virginia tech massacre). but we do think that his pointed efforts to "play to the middle" at the expense of actual convictions, plus his obvious work for getting anyone elected that claimed to be a democrat, is indicative of the core problems with the entire party....

Right. Ultimately, it's the American people who are responsible. We've tried, god knows we've tried. The good old fashioned General Strike has become turn-of-the-millenium Office Space (riseupeconomics has some wise advice on MyDD: "I actually think that it would be easier to build a movement for economic security than it would be to take on the corporations head on and force them to give us good jobs....")

Yeah, Politics sucks, make Politics suck less...

Friday, May 25, 2007


  • Oregon Senate nixes open primaries: "We have created a system of exclusion." (Statesman Journal)
  • The wooing of N.H. independents (Politico, by Ben Smith)
  • Blacks debate impact of Obama's race on campaign (Chicago Tribune)
  • Mike Bloomberg "California Schemin'" (New York Post)

Conversations on Independence

Let's talk about some of the psychological/cultural issues of the day. Ish has many good points in Three Scenarios posted on The Seminal, commenting on The Forgotten Reality in Reality-Based Politics by Kagro X on The Daily Kos--Ish's premise:
"Many in the Democratic base feel trapped between a party elite that has all but betrayed them on the one hand, and on the other a gaping political void whose depths they are reluctant to explore...."
Outlining 3 scenarios, 2 likely, and one that many independents are beginning to wish for, Ish goes on:
"The bind that Kagro X and many other Democrats find themselves in is real: the Elite doesn’t care if they are unhappy. The only way to make them listen, it may turn out, will be to vote for someone else en masse."

But, Ish says, grassroots Dems and Dem elites alike are afraid to move left....

Well put! At what point does someone decide to get out of an abusive marriage? Is what's "out there" more scary than staying put and putting up with continued abuse? Will your sister let you come live with her? Is there a knight on a white horse coming to take you out of there?

Fred Newman talks about independents and movement building this way this week in Talk/Talk "Apocalypse Now" :
"The fight going on is the people on the outside, whatever you want to call them – the people who are doing something new – to establish their group existence. It’s partly a psychological issue. In social therapy, we always talk to the group about building the group. But that’s very hard to do, because the individuated members are concerned with themselves, so creating a group is hard, even from the point of view of the people who are trying to build it. So, if you multiply that by millions, it’s hard to build a movement. The individuals – Perot, Bloomberg, whomever – who come and go for their own purposes aren’t going to build a movement. It’s got to come, somehow, from the millions of people “on the ground.” How do you acomplish that? How do you get independents to function as a mass movement? That’s very hard. And the Establishment is not going to give an inch on this. Not an inch. Independents are 40% of the electorate today. It could go up to 50%, 60%, 90%. It won’t make a difference...."

Can we build somewhere else to go? Can independent voters, who "swung" left and put the Dems in control of Congress in the midterm elections, join with grassroots Dems to lead America to a new place?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Yesterday on The Daily KOS, commonscribe points out the gains that the Dems made from independent voters in the midterm elections and comments that those gains aren't likely in the presidential 08 election if things keep going the way they're going in Congress. As an independent, I'll add that independent voters are used to determining elections only to be forgotten in the interim. Let's face it, the pols are looking for votes, not loyalty....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Bloomberg News says New Hampshire independents are party crashers...

The Oregon state legislature doesn't want open primaries that would include independents...

And in other spots on the planet:
Leftists to the right, rightists to the left in Turkey... and of course in Canada....

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Hankster Test


New York Times through the Congressional Quarterly reports that Oregon Dems see Repub Gordon Smith "vulnerable" on his left from independents...

Tony Blankley sees a third party freak show in Dem primary (Philadelphia Daily News)...

Mother Jones wonders if the Dems should be wary of Mike Gravel a la Ralph Nader...

Andrew Sullivan talks about Christianism...

Conversations on Independence

Dear Hanksteristas: The Hankster just had a very productive meeting with the newly emergent Hankster Board of Directors at Mayrose (21st St. and Broadway in Manhattan, where I once had a "siting" of Jimmy Smits -yes, he's tall and good-looking... and yes, celebrity sitings are very important in New York...) to get some direction (and yes, I was bored with my own Hankstering...). The Board advised me to blog (that's why we call them the Board--to keep an eye on mission drift...) -- so here's some new stuff for conversation:

Instapundit, gotta give him credit - how does he do it? -- so many posts, so little time... AND how very interesting -- anyway, Instapundit says Pelosi is yada yada with reform. Couldn't agree more! Two parties - too late... Look for Porkbusters update...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Just a New York conversation without independent voters...

They'll quote former New York mayor Ed Koch, they'll interview Rev. Al Sharpton (who calls Michael Bloomberg "Ross Perot with a resume"...(The Economist). But they won't call two-time independent presidential candidate Lenora Fulani, or president of the Committee for an Independent Party Jackie Salit (who ran Mayor Bloomberg's independent 2001 mayoral campaign in New York, giving him the margin of victory and winning him the election), nor will they pick up the phone and call independent voters... It's a curious world where empty conversations rule the day in the media.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Groovin' in the 21st Century

David Belmont, one of my favorite artists and one of the foremost independent ballot access experts in the country, has a new album out: On it you'll find a link to their first YouTube video at . Groovin' in the 21st century...

Let's boost that sucker!
Enjoy! - NH

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Duality: Simple and easy to preach....

If you haven't already, please read:
Waiting for an Independent
by sameh abdelaziz

Walk into a restaurant with a menu of two dishes, and you will leave immediately unless you are starving and it is the only one in town. Duality is an integral part of life; it is simple to understand and easy to preach. ...

Obama and the Civil War...

Janet Elder asks New York Times readers: Will There Be an ‘Obama Effect?’ So much for headlines looking to grab voters who were born between 1830 and 1867... On the other hand, the polling suggest that we have moved beyond the Civil War.... But when? And more importantly, where do the independents line up?

Hagel, Bloomberg, Hagel-Bloomberg, what is the question....

Whether 'tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows.... Hagel as Hamlet -- or the Third Man? in the Washington Post

California independents: The fastest growing segment goes left...

* While Arnold grabs the center and gets props, California’s GOP bosses rush right-The rightward swing follows a period of several years in which California’s GOP leadership embraced appeals to independent voters — the fastest-growing segment of voters in the state (LA Weekly)

The Hankster Poll

Have you checked out? Check in on The Hankster Poll--it's not just an opinion... It's a voice for independent voters!

Go to the sidebar, and here are the early results:

As an independent voter, I would like to see:

Barack Obama reach out to independents as a partner to change American politics
2 votes
Chuck Hagel run as an independent.
2 votes
Michael Bloomberg run as an independent.
2 votes
An independent ticket with prominent candidates willing to take on the failure of US domestic and foreign policy.
3 votes
Rudy Giuliani recognize independent voters as an agent for change.
1 vote
Independents talking to independents.
1 vote
More philosophical dialogue about America's role in international politics.
1 vote
All of the above. Independents can have an impact everywhere.
3 votes
None of the above--it's hopeless.
0 votes
What can I do?
0 votes


Sunday, June 3 – Democratic Party Debate
Tuesday, June 5 – Republican Party Debate
Sponsored by CNN and WMUR, New Hampshire
Aired nationally on CNN from 7:00 to 9:00 pm
St. Anselm College, New Hampshire

This note from the CUIP:
Thank you for participating in Debate Watch! It was very successful. 200 independents from 30 states filled out surveys after watching the debates broadcast from South Carolina on May 3rd (Democratic Party) and from California on May 10th (Republican Party).

Independents are getting a look at the presidential terrain, and what a terrain! Eight Democrats and ten Republicans participated in the debates in South Carolina– and at least five more major players are considering entering the race. Independents who participated in Debate Watch did not feel there was any clear winner in either debate, nor did the political pundits who commented afterwards.

It’s an unpredictable campaign season. As one McCain staffer noted recently, “the only thing certain about this presidential election is the level of uncertainty!” With the presidential campaign beginning 18 months earlier than previous races, many states are now moving or threatening to move their primary dates to earlier in the primary season, meaning almost half the states’ primaries will be over by February 5! Candidates and their campaign teams are scrambling to figure out their next moves. Moreover, nobody can safely predict who the ultimate candidates will be, including if there will be a significant (read: wealthy and well-known) independent to enter the race.

All this instability can be a good thing for independents. We don’t need to pick a candidate or a winner in the debates. Rather, we’re insisting that the candidates talk to and include independents and address our concerns about partisanship and corruption and their negative effects on the political process.

99% of Debate Watch respondents noted that neither the Democratic or Republican candidates acknowledged or spoke directly to independent voters. Indeed, only two Republicans – and no Democrats – even mentioned the word “independent.” In addition, 98% of independents surveyed believe that political reform and partisanship are important issues to be addressed, and that the candidates failed to do so.

Not one independent who watched the Republican debate felt that Senator John McCain did anything in the debate to regain the support he lost from independent voters because of his position on the war.

Independents’ advice to the candidates about how to speak more effectively to independent voters? Here’s a few highlights:

Acknowledge our existence and our numbers. Admit that most Americans are now independent voters, reflecting our dissatisfaction with partisanship;
Speak to fixing our broken election system;
Admit that the parties are corrupt – they continue to stack the deck against independents.

On the media front:

Sarah Lyons, Communications Director of CUIP, has been speaking with the media about Debate Watch – and some media outlets are listening.

In South Carolina a local daily newspaper, The Greenville News, invited chair of the South Carolina Independence Party Wayne Griffin to view the Democratic Party debate in their offices to get his reactions to the debate in “real time.”

Morris News Service, which owns 12 weekly newspapers in 6 states, spoke with Helen Blocker-Adams after the debate to get her “Debate Watch” reactions. See the story

In Iowa, WHO-TV invited independent Larry Reinsch to submit his responses to the debates on the state’s Iowa caucus website -

Now the focus of the presidential campaign is moving to New Hampshire, as Democratic and Republican Party debates are set for June 3 and June 5, respectively. The chair of the New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice, Betty Ward, is planning a Debate Watch party at a local bar. The debates will be broadcast by CNN from Manchester, New Hampshire. We’ll send everyone a new survey towards the end of this month, and we’ll keep you posted!

Plan your next Debate Watch for June 3!

Contact Nancy Ross or Fran Miller at 212-609-2800

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Scientific Formula for Measuring Uncertainty

New Hanskster Poll

Here's the New Hankster Poll:

As an independent voter, I would like to see: Obama, Hagel, Bloomberg, none of the above?

Where are independents headed? Who are we?

Not so easy to define.

Go to the side bar.

Say something....

Obama? Hagel-Bloomberg? Hmmm......

"....If you believe that the 2008 election is above all about change and that voters fed up with the tone of American politics are hungry for something new, Obama, 45, is the ideal candidate. Hillary Clinton sure doesn't look like a fresh face to bridge the partisan divide.... (The easy case for President Obama, by Adam C. Smith in the St. Petersburg Times)

In "Hagel-Bloomberg In '08? You Never Know" by CBS News says: a New York boy and a Nebraska boy to be teamed up leading this nation." But prospects for a third-party victory don't appear to be strong.

It's the most interesting presidential election in recent memory! Where do independents count?

WMUR candidate debate June 3

Look for the New Hampshire debate June 3 with independent bloggers on the panel...

Rasmussen reports

Poll: Most Americans think a third political party would be good for U.S. from Blogger News Network

America is starving for a leader.

Read Waiting for an Independent by Sameh Abdelaziz: I think America is ready for a female, a Black man, a Mormon, or an independent for president.

Looking for the beat

Garrison Keillor has written a lovely piece called "Mainstream is marching to same beat as Obama", in which he says, "Time for the big dogs to move over and let the skinny dog run."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Independent Voters Surveyed on Presidential Campaign Views

For Immediate Release: May 7, 2007
Contact: Sarah Lyons

Independent Voters Surveyed on Presidential Campaign Views;
Highest Favorability Ranking to Barack Obama;
Giuliani Leads Among Republican Contenders;
Indies Back “Open Primaries”

New York, NY— Results of polling done by the CUIP, an organizing center for independent voters with networks in 35 states, show Barack Obama receiving the highest favorability rating among independent voters. Forty-five percent of independents have a favorable view of Obama, followed by Hillary Clinton at 39% and John Edwards at 38%. Rudy Giuliani is viewed favorably by 28% and John McCain by 24%.
The results echo the latest Rassmussen Report national survey which also found Obama leading among independents receiving 38%, followed by Clinton at 19% and Edwards at 18%. (Additionally, 10% of independents selected “some other candidate,” 9% were not sure, 4% picked Richardson, and Biden received 2%.)
CUIP has so far polled 800 independents from 28 states in an ongoing survey dubbed “Indie2Indie” in which independents volunteer to call voter lists of fellow independents to elicit their views on the presidential campaign. CUIP’s Independent-to-Independent polling began in March and will continue throughout the election season.
“Independent voters are looking to see which candidates are reaching out beyond their own party’s base to acknowledge and include them,” said Jacqueline Salit, the president of CUIP. “Everyone agrees independents will decide the election in 2008. We’re helping to inform and shape their decision-making process.”
Of the independent respondents to CUIP’s poll, 63% are white, 26% are African-American, 6% are Latino or Hispanic, 2% are Asian, 1% are Native American, and 2% identified as “other.”
Forty percent of respondents are between 41-56 years old, 37% are 56 and over, 5% are 18-25 years old and 18% were 26-40 years of age.
While only half of the states currently hold open primaries allowing independents to vote in the either major party primary, 84% of independents surveyed say they would like to see open primaries in all states.
# # #

Talk/Talk: The Unvarnished Truth?

THE UNVARNISHED TRUTH? Sunday, May 6, 2007

Every Sunday CUIP’s political coordinator Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogue on Sunday, May 6, 2007 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show” and "Meet the Press.” Below is an excerpt from Talk Talk. To read it in its entirety, go to:

Salit: George Tenet, former CIA director, was on “Meet the Press.” Tim Russert tried to discover whether Tenet was an honest broker in the run up to the war or an enabler, someone who crossed over into politics, into marketing, into the business of selling the war to the American people, rather than being an objective analyst of the conditions in Iraq and Iraq’s role – if any – in 9/11. Let me begin by asking you whether you accept that framing, that bright line distinction between honest broker and enabler.
Newman: I don’t accept that distinction. Doesn’t he work for him?
Salit: Doesn’t Tenet work for Bush?
Newman: Last I heard that’s how it was. That doesn’t just blur the distinction. It seems to me it destroys the distinction.
Salit: Yes, he works for the president. He’s appointed by the president and he serves at the pleasure of the president. But there’s this idea that he’s supposed to deliver honest, unfiltered information and assessments to the president.
Newman: Well, on the one hand, in my opinion, there is no such thing as “honest, unfiltered information.” That doesn’t exist. All presentations of this kind – giving the “facts of the matter” – are going to be, in some critical ways, subjective. To me, the serious question is: are they going to be subjective in this direction or subjective in that direction? And if you’re giving this to someone you work for, it’s probable that the subjective direction will be consistent with the fact that this is the guy you work for. This notion of a god-like objectivity is, it seems to me, outlandish. You could raise the question of whether there was an excess of collusion between Tenet and Bush, between the CIA and the White House. I don’t know how you could ever prove that.........

The only certainty is uncertainty

Read this article: New political game, new primary rules by John Aloysius Farrell, a Denver Post staff writer, and tell me what you think about living in a world of indeterminacy...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hankster Poll: Dem Debate

Which Democratic candidate spoke most strongly to the issues of independent voters in the South Carolina debate?

Here's the short answer from (no doubt Hard Core Debate Watchers! -- not an insignificant grouping!) Hankster readers over the past week:

Joe Biden - 0 votes
Hillary Clinton - 1 vote
Chris Dodd - 0 votes
John Edwards - 0 votes
Mike Gravel - 0 votes
Dennis Kucinich - 1 vote
Barack Obama - 1 vote
Bill Richardson - 0 votes
None of the above - 0 votes

Enough said!!!


And now for the Repubs: Independent Debate Watch!


There is an independent Debate Watch. Download the survey and fax or do it on line at