Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Friday, June 29, 2007


  • Edward J. Rollins, a campaign manager for Ross Perot's 1992 presidential run, writes in the Washington Post that Mike Bloomberg is no Ross Perot, and that's the good news--Perot ignored millions of volunteers...
  • Nick Rivera comments on Unity 08 on The Moderate Voice, saying that third parties coalesce around issues, that the basis of a party can't be "all 'independent-thinkers' who have grown tired of the polarization in Washington"...
  • The New York Times overlooks the Perot vote to point out that independents vote for partisan candidates...
  • R.J. Eskow writes at Huffington Post: A lot of independents don't want "bipartisanship." They're antipartisan. ...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Conversations on Independence

"...Both major parties have major image, perception, and baggage problems - rightly so, given their track records of reneging on promises and sidestepping the hot-button problems. Is it surprising that “DEM” appears to be “Deny Election Mandates” and “GOP” now appears to be “Grab Overseas Petroleum? ..."

That's Fred Cederholm and he's been thinking. You should be thinking, too. See the Smirking Chimp, now on the Hankster sidebar!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Rock the Debates - now!

Larry Reinsch, Robert Sullentrup and Seth Cohn in Iowa have done a great job at bringing independents together and getting in front of the candidates -- Larry asked Hillary Clinton to commit to debating independent candidates and including other voices in the debates. Look for the video coming soon. In the meantime, please see Rock the Debates, now on the Hankser sidebar! Thanks, Iowa independents!!! Rock the Debates

Rock the Debates

The Hankster recommends Rock the Debates. Click on the link and read more! This is an activist blog!

Never before in American history has it been more vital to have an open, honest, and innovative examination of America’s problems and solutions.
The best way to sparking the minds of Americans is to open up the presidential debates beyond the Democrat and Republican parties. Rock-the-Debates seeks to include third parties who will energize the presidential debates placing their ideas into the mix, without endorsing or opposing any particular candidate. We just want the ideas out and let the American people decide.
You can play a key role in this unprecedented, historical endeavor. ...

Sunday, June 24, 2007


For independent voters -- and many partisan Dems and Repubs -- it was a Bloomberg Week. Does the Mayor's re-registration as an "unafiliated" voter lay the groundwork for an independent run for President? Is Kevin Sheekey the mastermind of a grand scheme to capture the White House?

One thing the media doesn't want to talk about is the fact that, whether or not Mayor Bloomberg runs for the top office in the country, the way he got elected in New York City was with the support of the New York City Independence Party organization.

A sophisticated game plan put experienced independent operatives in the field to pull 60,000 votes on the IP line for his margin of victory in 2001, and another whopping 47% of the black vote out of the Democratic Party in a coalitional effort between independents and black voters in 2005. If you haven't already, read Jackie Salit's "The Bloomberg Story" - Salit was also quoted in the Boston Globe this week - the story the New York Media won't run....
  • Bloomberg's America is different from Ross Perot's (CNN commentary)

  • Bloomberg Sounds Like Independent Candidate (The Nation)

  • Maybe Bloomberg is really running for Kingmaker (New York Times Week in Review)

  • Third Party Candidates don't win in a Two Party System (Wall Street Journal)

  • Bloomberg by a hair--the country is there (By David S. Broder, Washington Post)

  • Lowell Weicker Jr. thinks a Bloomberg candidacy wouldn't just be a novelty (Greenwich Time)

  • Bloomberg won't get voters to sign on (Michael Goodwin, Daily News)

  • Cash alone won't clear 3rd-party hurdles (Indianapolis Star)

Friday, June 22, 2007

New York Independents with Integrity

This just in for independent voters!

JACKIE SALIT on C-SPAN Saturday morning, June 23rd
Watch Jackie Salit, CUIP’s president and editor of The Neo-Independent
Topic: Bloomberg Goes Independent and the 2008 Presidential Elections
Saturday, June 23rd
9:30 to 10:00 am
The show is live and takes calls


  • Ralph Nader thinks Bloomberg has a shot (MSNBC)
  • Bloomberg cuts party ties; would voters do the same? (EDITORIAL Austin American Statesman)
  • If Unity'08 Builds It, Will Bloomberg Come? (Hotline)
  • MD court explains disparity for independent candidates (Daily Times )

Thursday, June 21, 2007


  • Independent political consultant Jackie Salit says Bloomberg "would need to prove a genuine commitment to nonpartisanship" to get support from indies (Boston Globe)
  • "This election will be determined by independent voters who want change, not business as usual." (LETTER: Francis Warman, Hopkinton, Concord Monitor)
  • Others have tried Leaving the Two-Party Bind that ties (The Atlantic)
  • What did Bloomberg and former Democratic senator David Boren of Oklahoma talk about this week?? (Concord Monitor)
  • Is Kevin Sheekey the Wizard?(Newsday Spin Cycle)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bloomberg, Obama: Don't take independent voters for granted

Don't take independent voters for granted by Betty Ward, Concord New Hampshire Monitor

Michael Bloomberg's Independence

"I have filed papers with the New York City Board of Elections to change my status as a voter and register as unaffiliated with any political party. Although my plans for the future haven't changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our City," -- Michael Bloomberg said yesterday...

Don't miss the back story on Bloomberg's independence in Jackie Salit's The Bloomberg Story. Salit ran the Mayor's Independence Party campaign in 2001 and 2005. She says:

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. [AND WE MIGHT ADD, EVEN AN INDEPENDENT HAS TO PROVE HIMSELF TO INDEPENDENTS!]
I helped Mike do this in New York City twice, as I ran both of his mayoral campaigns on the Independence Party line. He ran twice as a fusion candidate—on the Republican and Independence Party tickets. In his first run in 2001 independent voters provided his margin of victory—the 59,000 votes on the Independence Party line put him over the top. In his second run, in 2005, he polled 59% of the total vote. Independents and black voters (an astonishing 47% of African American voters broke with the Democratic Party) were key to that landslide.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Bloomberg Story

Here's a little something substantive to chew on as the MSM are eating The Bloomberg Story...

Talk/Talk: What's Plan B?

What's Plan B ? Washington is starting to prepare for the return from Iraq of General Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker (who was on “Meet the Press”) in September. They will present to the Congress on the progress being made in the war and on the “metrics” of how the situation is, or isn’t improving...

You can subscribe to Talk/Talk via weekly email on

Registered Independent

"Being an Independent is about thinking for yourself." Read Registered Independent, now on the Hankster sidebar. In the R's just below Redding News Review. It's worth the trip. The Hankster recommends Registered Independent.

PS - Does Mayor Bloomberg know what it really means to be "registered independent"? We'll find out!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Ok, here's what I think is interesting about the attempt by the Dems to co-opt the independent movement: they don't know what they're talking about--concretely. Basically the Dems have no positive relationship to the "Swing and Sway" motion of independents. And they really don't care about issues -- only votes. Which brings into question whether they have the talent and the wherewithall to do it. Case in point:

...The other group that has come to make up the Democratic majority is political independents. These voters, who identify themselves to pollsters and public opinion surveys as "independents," represent an ideology rather than a social group, but they overlap with some Democratic constituencies and also set limits on the politics of a Democratic majority. According to the American National Election Studies, they make up about 38 percent of the potential electorate and 33 percent of actual voters. States with the highest proportions of independents are concentrated in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and far West (including Alaska and Hawaii), plus several mountain states (Colorado, Idaho, Montana) and North Dakota. Interestingly, there is considerable overlap between these states and states where Ross Perot polled more than 20 percent in 1992.... (American Prospect, "Back to the Future: The re-emergence of the emerging Democratic majority", by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira, June 18, 2007)

And from Time Magazine's latest "Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger: The New Action Heroes" They're also doing big things. Specifically, they're doing big things that Washington has failed to do."



  • New Hampshire: Whither the undeclared voter? Campaigns sizing up independents' role (Concord Monitor)

  • New Hampshire: Dem staffers double population of state--it's like Christmas in July... (Concord Monitor)


  • Washington State: Independent voters feel a bit nervous: Will moving the primaries move independent voters??? Why partisan showdowns don't impress non-partisans... (Columbian)

  • Is The West turning lib? Are libertarians leaning Dem? What's a serious "independent streak"... West is Best for '08 Strategizing (Fox News)

Sunday, June 17, 2007


  • The wrong game plan, Giuliani's terror strategy ignores the fact that offensive tactic failing-critical independent voters are against the war (Newsday)
  • Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Black Vote (ABC News)
  • Obama keys on family, middle class-"conservative message would appeal to independents"-WRONG ANALYSIS OF INDEPENDENT VOTERS? (Spartenburg Herald Journal's GoUpstate-South Carolina)
  • Innocent visit-Michael Bloomberg came close to taking himself out of consideration for a 2008 run as an independent candidate on Friday (Nashua Telegraph)
  • Mapping the Causes of Corruption (New York Times)
  • California: Redistricting within reach (Sac Bee)
  • Michigan lawmakers propose new way for drawing district lines (South Bend Tribune)
  • Virginia: Sometimes, a free pass at the polls is good-Locally, two long-serving independent delegates face opposition, all other party delegates running unopposed (Lynchburg News & Advance)
  • Florida local political parties cater to surfers, poor people and even some new Whigs (NW Florida Daily News) Okaloosa independent voters by party and race

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Attention Arizona independent voters:

Independent voters were established in the United States by the writing of the Constitution.

Political parties are self-created societies which exist for the purpose of securing special rights and privileges in government to their members. There were no organized political parties in the United States government until the election of 1800 when a political party took over the government. They wasted no time in passing laws at state level to exclude and limit participation of independent voters. Independent voters exist in the government today not because political parties allow them to exist, but because political parties have been unable to eradicate them in spite of their best efforts.

In 1988 the Arizona legislature passed a law requiring that deputy registrars in Arizona be recommended by the chairman of a political party. Accordingly, on December 31, 1988, all independent voters who were serving as deputy registrars were sent a letter informing them that they could no longer serve in that position. An independent voter filed a lawsuit seeking re-instatement of independent deputy registrars. To nullify that lawsuit, the legislature met and passed a bill doing away with the position of deputy registrar, allowing any person to go to their County Recorder, obtain voter registration forms, and register voters.

In 2004, leaders of the Republican Party in Arizona circulated an initiative called Proposition 200 because, they said, illegal aliens and convicted felons could register voters. When Proposition 200 was passed by the voters it required the state to make a new voter registration form. There was only one real change in the new voter registration form other than instructions requiring identification to be shown at the polls, etc. The box marked No Party Preference was taken off from the form, leaving only a space marked Specify Party Preference. A Party spokesman now in the state committe of his party has boasted in a newspaper interview that the purpose of this change was to stop a rapid increase in the number of independent voters in Arizona which took place between 2000 and 2004. Now, he said, people were registering as Democrats and Republicans.

A group of independent voters brought this violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the attention of the state Attorney General. His response was, "Discuss it with your state legislator."We are therefore going to register a petition with the Secretary of State on July 5th to recall the Attorney General. The state of Arizona requires a period of six months in office before a state official becomes eligible for recall. His present term of office began on January 5, 2007.

We are going to register voters, including those who support the Attorney General, in our petition drive. The percentage of registered voters in the state is somewhere around 50% of those eliglble to vote.

Anyone who wants more information about this recall petition drive please contact:
Independent Voters
P. O. Box 1445
Maricopa, Arizona 85239
Robert B. Winn

Conversations on Independence

"The polarization and poisonous atmosphere that have infected the House of Representatives for the past two decades or more can be traced -- in large part -- to the manner in which district lines are drawn in most states."
- Les Francis, former Exec Director of the Democratic National Committee

--From The ReDistricting Game -- Yes, it's really a game. And it's free - The Redistricting Game was created at the USC Game Innovation Lab - part of the USC School of Cinematic Arts', Interactive Media Division.

Mission 1: Fundamentals--Learn the basics of redistricting in the State of Jefferson.
Mission 2: Partisan Gerrymander--Gerrymander the State of Hamilton in your party's favor.
Mission 3: Bipartisan Gerrymander--Create a bipartisan gerrymander in the State of Madison.
Mission 4: Voting Rights Act--Ensure minority representation in the State of Hamilton.


  • Dumb People Choose Presidents (Charlotte Conservative)
  • Presidential Politics (TPMCafe - Reed Hundt - argument for third party run in 2008)
  • Woodruff: Young people are plugged into politics (Fosters online)
  • Robert D. Novak: Pelosi in hot water with the left - more on a possible Bloomberg run (Union Leader)
  • LA Times Question: What is more important to you in choosing a candidate for president: a candidate who bridges partisan divides, or a candidate with long experience in government and policymaking? (LA Times)
  • The Harris Poll: In Race for Democratic Nomination, Obama Closes Gap with Clinton (Wall Street Journal Online)
  • Our View — America flounders on big issues--Partisanship, cynicism, failure to lead — is this why so many Americans are pessimistic about the future? Is this why so many voters say the country is on the wrong track? (The Free Press-Mankato MN)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Conversations on Independents

I've been talking with independent voters for a long time now. What is an independent?

Independent (voter) from Wikipedia, is one of the best definitions of an undefinable uncatorgorizable category that I've seen.

Wikipedia says that 27 states allow independents to vote in primaries. Email The Hankster with a source that confirms this number (or gives a different number) and you'll receive a free copy of The Neo-Independent magazine...


  • IDAHO: Ring worries about GOP split-closed Repub primary will alienate independents (Idaho Press)
  • It ain't Hillary-Chris Matthews cites only 25% indies are for her (Townhall)
  • Status of Pending Lawsuits Filed by Minor Parties, Independents (Ballot Access News)
  • Upper-income black donors back Obama over Clinton (USA Today)
  • Black community leader backs Clinton in Florida (Chicago Tribune)
  • OHIO: Judge's race field might shrink-if officials declare that Parker or other independent candidates aren’t truly “independent.” (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • NEW JERSEY: Coffey heats up Township Committee race in U.F., Planning Board member files to run as independent (Freehold Examiner)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Talk/Talk: Was He Used?

Every Sunday CUIP’s political director Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogue on Sunday, June 10, 2007 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show”, "Meet the Press” and "The McLaughlin Group.” Below is an excerpt from Talk Talk. To read it in its entirety, go to:, or click on the link below.

Salit: Colin Powell was a guest on “Meet the Press.” Powell is a very interesting and enigmatic figure in American public life. I was struck by the quote from Powell’s wife, Alma, that Russert presented to Powell from a book written about him. She said, basically, that her husband had been used by the Administration to sell the war to the American people, because he was the person that people would believe. Then Russert asked Powell if he felt he had been used. Powell said no, that he didn’t feel that he was used, that he was part of an administration and part of formulating the policy and that he had expressed his views along the way. When he went before the United Nations, he made the best and most accurate case that he thought could be made for the war. And he said, repeatedly, that he would have preferred not to go to war. Do you think he was “used”?

Newman: No. He was a member of the team. That’s what the team came up with. His wife has a right to her opinion, and I can see, from her point of view, it might look like he was used. But he was a voluntary member of that team. He could have left that team any time he wanted to. But if you’re on the team and you have input, and the team position is what you come up with, then you’re not used, you’re just a part of the team.

You can subscribe to Talk/Talk via email. Sign up with Or send The Hankster an email and I'll make sure you get signed up. It's free. It's independent! The Hankster recommends it!

Conversations on Independence

Worth a look:

After the South Carolina debate, Mike Gravel was the 15th most popular search on the Internet. (Stories in America)

Cindy Sheehan does well to recognize that the American two-party system is a sham and a snare (The Seminal)

Here's an interesting take on the recent increase in Obama's poll numbers … which counters mistakes in methodology as an excuse. Hint: Independent voters are the key. From Keith's Blog on Zaadz. Pro-Obama without reserve, but a good round-up.


  • Congress Hits 10-Year Low Popularity Rating but GOP Gets No Boost; Time for a New Party? (Washington Examiner)
  • Why Thompson and not the others?-new formula: try to attract just enough support from independents to win (Arkansas News) AND THEY DO MEAN "JUST ENOUGH"...
  • Union hosts Lincoln-Hayes Banquet-It was concerns about similar less-delicate issues, like taxes, rather than prominent ones like Republicans' handling of Iraq War, that strongly contributed to Republicans losses in the elections, Portman said. "Voters were disappointed, especially independent voters" (Bolling Green News) REPUB ATTEMPT TO DEFINE 2008 ISSUES--IT'S THE ECONOMY, NOT THE WAR?
  • Connecticut for Lieberman Party head lambastes Lieberman on Iran (Connecticut Post) A CASE OF TOO LIEBERMAN, TOO LATE?
  • Carefully crafting the Obama 'brand' (Chicago Tribune)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Marc Ambinder "Andy Smith Doesn't Poll New Hampshire Without Independents" has corrected his earlier blog saying that Andy Smith excluded independents from his poll that shows Clinton leading Obama... and Ben Smith "About that UNH Poll" at Politico takes careful note, even posting a pdf press release from the pollster to prove it. Taegan Goddard's Political Wire "Clinton Leaps Ahead in New Hampshire" adds his two cents (only 8% of Dems have made up their minds...).

What's the Big Deal? Plenty! New Hampshire independents comprise 44% of the electorate and they can vote in the primaries. And USA Today polls show Obama does well with independents. Plus, independents on the ground in New Hampshire are becoming well-organized and won't be taken for granted. Betty Ward and Russ Ouellette will testify to that.


  • Why Poll New Hampshire Without Independents????? (Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic)
  • Obama, Thompson Gain on Clinton, Giuliani, Poll Shows-Independents voting in the Democratic primary say they favor unity over experience by more than 2-to-1. (Bloomberg News)
  • MS: Primary ruling a mixed bag for Dems: Victorious in lawsuit, party sees ID measure they oppose tacked on (Clarion Ledger)
  • Mike Bloomberg could buy the White House (Salon)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Conversations on Independence

CROWD: The attempt by a player to match or adopt an opponent's position in a marketplace or to affiliate with a trend, idea, or issue. (Politico's commissioned politics game The Playmaker's Table) ...In case you thought politics was a HUMAN activity......

In the "I coulda told you that for the price of a cheesburger...." category, Rasmussen tells us the results of their newest Poll: "56% Believe Most Congressmen Willing to Sell Their Vote" with 59% of those not affiliated with either major party agreeing. Interestingly, 60% of Repubs agree. Are the Dems (49%) naieve, and do the Repubs just have more experience? Any partisan or non-partisan way you cut it (and let's not forget about the 50% of us who choose not to participate....), most Americans don't think their representatives are representing them. I picked this up from The Drudge Retort.... Thanks, Drudge!

Matt Jerzyk on Rhode Island's Future (of the Providence Phoenix) ran this recap of the Washington Post's Chris Cizzilla's take on The Bloomberg 08 Possibility. Matt thinks the independent mayor of New York could be the first serious independent presidential candidate in a "long, long time".... As an independent and a New Yorker, I thank Matt for drawing attention to the potential independent run for President by Mayor Bloomberg. Little known fact: It was the ground operation of the Independence Party of New York (specifically the NYC faction) and the savy of independent political consultant Jacqueline Salit that got Mike elected in the first place in 2001 (and the added weight of Lenora Fulani's Outsider Coalition that swept 47% of the black vote for his re-election in 2005. BTW - he did NOT run as a Dem... (We have fusion in New York, where candidates are allowed to run on more than one line) If you haven't already, you might want to check out Salit's "Bloomberg Story"... My take: If Bloomberg is willing to work with the "unwashed" at the national level, it would be an interesting campaign... One thing we know for sure is that the American people are expensive!

From the Rothenberg Political Report: "From a purely political point of view, Democrats had their cake and ate it too." I would agree. Ever the more reason for independent voters to speak out on behalf of everyone. Independents broke 2-1 for the Dems and empowered them in Congress and some suggest for the 2008 national election. But, independents are -- independent. Looking for change of direction.

And finally, thanks for his post "Future Strength of Independent Voters Predicted by FDR", and congratulations to my new friend Jack Dunning, (The Dunning Letter) a personal information consumer advocate. Jack is very well the Ralph Nader of the information age! The Dunning Letter is very informative AND political!)


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Lost in the Wilderness says a lot about what it means to be independent! Daniel Larison on Eunomia has a great idea -- more choices! American Taino warns Democrats they have a lot to prove to Latino voters...


  • Don't take independent voters for granted (Betty Ward, LETTER TO Concord Monitor)
  • Debates in June? ...a question about how the Republican party can attract independent voters needed to win was left hanging. (Concord Monitor)
  • Silver Lining in GOP's Dark Cloud-While voters will want an un-Bush in 2008, it's by no means clear they'll want a Democrat. (RealClearPolitics)
  • State of the Race: The Republican Presidential Candidates-Giuliani's admirable record and his appeal to independent voters—which may prove vital in what may be a close election—may outweigh some of his more questionable traits. (The Stanford Review)
  • The latest on Gallup (ScrippsNews)
  • CT: Mayoral race gets bizarre with new party (Connecticut Post)
  • MT: Recent election signals new day in Ravalli County-Independent Carlotta Grandstaff trounced incumbent Commissioner Howard Lyons (Missoulian)
  • OH: Voting in a party primary invalidates independence, according to the Ohio AG. (The Vindicator)
  • VA: Sheriff's primary race gets crowded (Potomac News)
  • Illinois Legislature Likely to Pass Timid Ballot Access Bill (Ballot Access News)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

And if you haven't checked out An Ordinary Person... times 'awastin'!

Thoughts on Independence

I can't help it. Suburban Guerilla is really interesting. And she's from Philly! Double marks. Cudos on an independent view... What do you think?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Steve Soto on The Left Coaster thinks Mitt Romney may be positioning himself as an alternative for independent voters.... Nathan on MySpace thinks a bi-partisan ticket would appeal to independents.... RJ Eskow's piece Play-It-Safe 'Centrists' Are Weakening the Democratic Party is posted at his interesting blog Night Light... and Dick Arney at Time magazine's blog Swampland thinks independents will be voting their pocketbooks in '08.

'Independent' means no party links

I wonder what Ohio Sec of State Jennifer Brunner (Columbus Dispatch) would have to say about Sen. Lieberman's campaign last year? (See The Hankster from May 25 "When partisans run as independents")

Independents Rule New Hampshire

Partyless, Unpredictable Voters Could Sway Primary...Again
This article in ABC News Go, By Rick Klein, June 4, 2007 , is definitely worth a read. With the media blitz about the candidates (and that's ok - it's an American election, and that's what American elections are all about....), it's nice to see a little attention paid to the voters! See what New Hampshire independents Betty Ward and Russ Ouellette had to say....


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Conversations on Independence

So, how are independent voters doing? MRF Buckley at NewsPopping: Internet Journalism Blog had this astute analysis of the debates and the candidates. LiberalArtsGuy at An Ordinary Person and Politics in America has developed a very interesting schmooze strategy for meeting other independents, and while you're there, check out Fence Sitter (Not!). And where can a passionate anti-war activist get a break? On CNN? No, baby -- On Swiftspeech! This is a great blog - not to be missed. And you'll want to read Jackie Salit's statement posted here on The Independent View: "Contrary to the statement by Senator Clinton, Iraq is not George Bush’s war. It is Washington’s war—signed, sealed and delivered by both political parties."

I'd say independents are doing quite well. What do you think?


  • Mike Gravel Given 30 Seconds to Answer Each of 10 Somewhat Irrelevant Questions (Absurd Realities)
  • McCain still commands attention from voters (Concord Monitor)
  • Running the Realm of Red & Blue in Nonpartisan Elections (The Texas Blue)
  • A New Poll Suggests That Play-It-Safe 'Centrists' Are Weakening the Democratic Party (RJ Eskow, HuffingtonPost)
  • Connecticut Green Party Court Hearing (Ballot Access News)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

More Conversation on Independence and the Dem debate

Lots and lots of type on the Hillary/Obama question relative to the polls and Iraq. Seems right. There’s a lot going on. And not so much…

Here's my take:
Starting off with Fred Newman and Jackie Salit's Talk/Talk "Back to the Future", read about this tautology and by the way, if you're an independent, you might want to send an email to the author of any post talking about Bloomberg's 08 independent run. Let them know what it takes to get the support of independent voters—it’s not automatic, whatever that is. Neo Independent editor Jackie Salit says that independents don't want to be a third party -- they want to be a third force in US politics (ABC New York indies made that clear and got a non-partisan municipal elections ballot referendum.

I was totally taken by Andrew Sullivan's "Has She Come Undone?" I agree that Hillary was "luminescent (What’s the”almost”????) Now what? Joe Gandelman suggests that Hillary might not be over. And if Obama tries to get votes with a corrected position on Iraq, he'll lose. Independents are not interested in the correct position. Independents are interested in politicians who step out and say what has to be said. And not just independents but grassroots Dems and Repubs.. Even the New York Times noticed: “America Is Not Safer Since 9/11,” Obama’s clarification of his position regarding the Iraq war. Sen. Obama – if you’re going to run against Hillary, don’t trail, lead, please!

Speaking of Obama, and living in Sunnyside Queens as I do, I can’t help but notice this article in the Irish Echo calling Obama “wildly courageous”—let’s hope so! Barak Obama clearly is a challenge to business as usual, says Terry Golway...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Referring to the recent USA Today poll showing Obama neck and neck with Hillary, Jonathan Singer on MyDD takes note of the power of independents to determine the outcome of elections... What he misses is the power of independents to create a national dialogue on what the issues are. It is independent voters who are sufficiently on the outside to be able to say the unsayable as they did in the midterms when they led the move to challenge US foreign policy. Independent voters are doing much more than getting major party candidates elected. We're challenging partisan politics and the culture of winning.


  • New Hampshire: This year, some independents are joining forces to make sure their concerns are heard. (ABC News)
  • Texas: Just about every organization is disappointed with its officials, Russell Pruitt said, and his group believes the independent movement could help. (Victoria Advocate)
  • Obama now virtually tied with Clinton, poll shows (USA Today)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Memo: Voter Referendum on Education from DC Independents for Citizen Control

The Hankster received this email from DC ICC:

MONDAY 4 JUNE 2007 —
TO: DC & US Media
FROM: Miriam Moore, Vice Chairperson, District of Columbia Independents for Citizen Control (DCICC)
ABOUT: Commentary on Voter Referendum on Education

Teach Our Children by Practicing Democracy
Mayor Fenty believes the District of Columbia parents and average citizens who are fighting for a voter referendum on his proposed school governance plan are hurting children. That's the new Big Lie for 2007. They would rather have us put democracy on our children's "just say no" list, and allow a speedy coronation of mayor Fenty as king of D.C. schools.
Many District citizens and I certainly agree plenty is wrong with our public school system. However, can we also agree that the success of our children has less to do with a top-down governance structure, and is more related to real community control of our schools? A genuine partnership between superintendent Clifford Janey, the D.C. school board and local school communities produced our master education plan. This plan will be in effect regardless of who runs DCPS.

Dedicated teachers will still educate our children with available resources. They will do it in the same developer targeted crumbling buildings caused by long-term multilevel D.C. government incompetence and politics. We will still send our kids to school and be involved in their education while working full or part time jobs, fighting poverty, avoiding violence, surviving D.C.'s coming fiscal imbalances, and challenging self-serving elected officials on decreasing citizen rights.
My child will still get educated, whether through DCPS, charter schools, low-cost tutors, or a more family-friendly area outside of D.C. While parents may not do it perfectly, we will do our best. The needs of our children will always trump the phony rhetoric and plagiarized plans of District bureaucrats .

Real leaders create partnerships, not adversaries among the citizens that elect and pay them. A partnership with the citizens in the education trenches should begin with a civics lesson to our children on real democracy and due process. Supporting the voter referendum on school governance may earn mayor Fenty a B+ among citizens and children .
Mr. Fenty, you cannot afford to fail this important lesson in "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

Miriam Moore, Vice Chairperson,District of Columbia Independents for Citizen Control (DCICC)

Miriam Moore

Conversations on Who won the debate

Kevin Drum, on the Washington Monthly's Political Animal, reported that the "left blogosphere seems to be virtually unanimous that Hillary Clinton won (for whatever definition of "won" you prefer)"and a number of comments are worth looking at. As an independent, I agree and I'd say "winning" in this case is losing unless you're a party boss. Take a look at some like comments on SCORING THE DEBATE...

I also like what Ben Smith, newly of The Politico, said--he'd rather hear what others think. Also worth a read. Spin Me! Similarly, Ron Gunzburger at Politics1 was in France on vacation, but his eyes were 151 comments on the question....

So let me know what you thought!! If you're an independent voter, the Hankster wants to know your opinion on the debate...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Conversations on Independence

One thing you can say about tonight's (Sunday's) Dem debate from New Hampshire, where independents outnumber both Dems and Repubs, is that it was NOT a conversation on independence. Other than the point where Obama challenged the premise of the question on whether English should be our "official" language, it was the Dems running against Bush in the language of political campaign rhetoric.... and on those terms, I guess Hillary wins... Random Jack has a point system and he's rated them, ending his post with a call to "Vote independent. End the war."

Interesting post by brent called "A bunch of donkeys": Barack looks pretty presidential. He really IS articulate. And black. It's a shame that he's a democrat. If he were independent with some better principles behind him, he'd do very well." Yes, I agree--Obama started his campaign by articulating at least the need for a new vision for America and a new politics. For all we know, he's still doing that at the grassroots but that kind of talk doesn't translate well on national network tv... This goes to the point that we independents need to work that much harder to show ourselves, to speak out, to come together so that if any of the candidates want to break out of the party line, they will have our support.


  • DEBATE SUNDAY: Iraq, Economy May Be Key Issues In Debate (WMUR)
  • Mackinaw Policy Conference: Who will be next president? D.C. pundits unsure-In the last election, when Congress' control swung to the Democrats, independent voters favored Democrats by an 18-point margin, largely because of the war. (Detroit News)
  • Rasmussen Poll on How Voters Self-Identify (Ballot Access News)
  • Texas Governor Vetoes Voting Rights Bill HB 770 (Ballot Access News)

Friday, June 01, 2007

News EXTRA for Independent Voters

  • Number of Republicans in U.S. Hits New Low, Number of Democrats Also Decline (Rasmussen Reports)
  • 27% Likely to Vote for Bloomberg as Third Party Candidate (Rasmussen Reports)

EXTRA Conversations on Independence

The Moderate Voice was among several blogs today to feature the May Rasmussen poll showing the decline in party identifiers. Independents Rising--Sort Of by Chris Bowers on MyDD shows the long-term independent voter registration figures from 1961 to 2004 rising from 1.6 to 21.7%. Chris also shows the decline in third party registration. American TaĆ­no (nice blog, by the way) tells us that "Fifty-eight percent (58%) of American adults say it would be good for the United States to have a truly competitive third political party."

A new political reality in America (or is that one of the "original" American realities?) is that most people don't like political parties. I don't think the 58% figure contradicts this. Given the dismal record of our political parties (corruption, coersion, control), it's no wonder we're not so hot on the party structure as a way of representing US. But if there was another party that could take on the Big Guys, we love a good fight. That's what happened in 1860. Tragically, that played out in a costly Civil War in this country. Will it ever happen again? Maybe. I suspect the "lives" lost will be more like the political "jobs" lost, as in a patronage system that is so deep we can't begin to imagine. In the meantime, check out a national network of independent voters who are not counting on a party structure, or the Big Shots, to carry the ball to the finish line.....