Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Talk/Talk: Is There a Big Bopper in the House?

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, July 29, 2007 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show”, "Meet the Press” and "The McLaughlin Group.”


Salit: The lead story on every show was the Hillary/Obama fight at the CNN/YouTube debate and the follow-up rounds in the days after the debate. This is one description of what the fight was about: New vs. Old, continuity vs. change, war vs. anti-war. How would you define what the fight’s about?

Newman: Obama vs. Clinton/Bush.

Conversations on Independence

Cindy Sheehan will announce her Independent candidacy for Congress in San Francisco on August 6th. I read it on the Smirking Chimp...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Conversations on Independence

  • Leapin' lizards, Batman! Where are the independent centrists?
  • Weekly Standard on the weekly question of will Fred Thompson do it--and is Iowa John Edwards' turf?
  • Obama girls and cleavage seem to be the Point and Controversy, but hopefully not forever...
  • Skewiring the Chimp - is there any better compliment to the Smirking Chimp? P.S. - one reason the polls show Hillary effective among independents is because she does the dirty... Not exactly a fatal attraction.... (Call me, Craig Faanes!)


Sunday, July 29, 2007


Saturday, July 28, 2007


  • Urban League forum (The Associated Press, News Leader)

  • NEW HAMPSHIRE: Paul Hodes endorses Obama, will independents follow?... (Chris Cillizza-Washington Post)

  • PENNSYLVANIA: Watch your independent back in Oil City (The Derrick)

Friday, July 27, 2007


Thursday, July 26, 2007


  • California - who is supporting independent redistricting and who isn't (LA Weekly)

  • Mike's got a brand new bloom

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Are you an independent voter with something to say? Send The Hankster your video or your comments and I'll post them! You can still see my video invitation at HanksterTube! Be sure to see Jaime from Teluride, Colorado...


  • More on the YouTube/CNN debate: * John Edwards reached independents on health care (Forbes) * Obama is black enough, but is he anti-Clintonian enough? (Weekly Standard) * S.C. blacks don't want to see fewer candidates in the debates (NPR from SC)

  • Urban League forum this week in St. Louis: * Bloomberg to address luncheon, candidates in forum tonight (St. Louis Dispatch) * The Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton Thursday on whether the black vote will be taken for granted and whether the Pope is Catholic (Columbia Tribune )

  • South Carolina: * Obama hits radio waves today(Pioneer Times Journal ) * Black leaders see top-tier contest (CNN Washington Bureau)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Read Joe Gandleman's post Are Bloggers Merely Bullies With Computers on The Moderate Voice. It goes a long way toward the kind of discourse we need in politics.

And... I hafta say -- I LIKE Mirror on America. Maybe it's the rakish photo of WEB DuBois, or maybe the link to the Sports Illustrated article about Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron. Maybe it's that I miss canvassing for independent voters' signatures in a black sea of hot asphalt at this time of the season (petitioning)... Ahh, The Season: It's hot, it's July, I knock on an independent voter's door, I ask for a signature... They invite me in for a bottle of water... The Game is on.... I have to tear myself away to go to the next door!... Maybe it's something I learned from Fred Newman about life and baseball. Call me crazy, but I just hafta say --- I LIKE Barry Bonds.... and I like Hank Aaron too... Smart. Independent. Anyway, I have to take a shower... back to the blog: Check it out!


How did you think the candidates did last night on the YouTube/CNN debate answering questions from ordinary voters? What was your favorite question? What question would you have asked? Oh, wait! You can still ask a question! Send The Hankster your video or your comments and I'll post them! You can still see my video invitation at HanksterTube!

UPDATED: 7/24/07 Be sure to see Jaime from Teluride, Colorado


  • Harri Poll: Americans would consider an Independent for President ( * Bloomberg Boosts Democrats' Fortunes In Florida, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; McCain Fades In Republican Primary Race (Quinnipiac from The Moderate Voice) * Poll: Bloomberg bid could help Clinton in Florida (Miami Herald) * Giuliani holds lead in Florida, poll finds (Tallahassee Democrat)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Independents Are Watching

Let's see what develops at the YouTube/CNN debate tonight!

Watch, comment....

As an independent, you get used to seeing things shut down during an election season. The closer to the election, the more the Dems scream that any vote for a Repub is tantamount to a vote for the Devil, and any vote for a third-party candidate (and there have been more and more of them....) is also tantamount to a vote for the Devil by way of not voting for the Dem... You know the drill.

So an interesting development in the 2008 campaign: Billary and Edwards The Populist seem to think that cutting out anti-war and insurgent candidates like Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson 17 months out will bring out their natural abilities to lead the country in a more Democratic direction.

Howard Dean got an earfull on that from voters...

Watch the YouTube/CNN debate and email The Hankster with your comments for publication on Tuesday.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Conversations on Independence

  • Peggy Noonan sees a role reversal going on between POTUS and American people as the ghost of Richard Nixon haunts a new era...

  • Gail Collins, the ex-brains behind the New York Times editorial page, thinks Hillary could have done a better job of CYA after the live mic hoopla between her and John Edwards. Describing the "overcrowded debate platform" (Irony is Gail's best feature...) as "one of those minor, nagging irritants in American democracy..." she downright waxes poetic: "Let America Decide," cries the guardian of the Fourth Estate...

  • It's all in the family: Dan Gerstein on The Politico talks about the debate within the debate within the Democratic Party between the DNC and the membership, with Pelosi and Sheehan up next. (By the way, Cindy Sheehan left the Family... )

  • And Cindy Sheehan has something independent to offer and she's getting support...


  • Google is holding town hall "job interviews" for prez candidates open to 12,000 employees (Washington Post)

  • The AP headline reads "Giuliani's Mayoral Record Is Complicated"... -- if by "complicated" you mean racist and riddled by police brutality cases... Giuliani was David Dinkins' clean-up man in New York City (AP - Casper Star Tribune)

  • With 73% of the country saying the US is going in the wrong direction, partisan politics is the real spoiler, but for those looking for a Safe Alternative without giving up winning, there's "nothing to lose with Unity08 candidacy" (Post Bulletin, Rochester MN )

  • Obama was in the poor community of Washington DC talking "tough love" to black voters this week (Gannett News Service Salem Statesman Journal) and gained Mayor Fenty's endorsement (Redding News Review)

  • Lenora Fulani was talking some tough love to New York's black establishment (Amsterdam News)

  • Consider the "filibuster threat" -- In a 50/50 partisan Congress, what would you expect--conversation? (Forbes)

Independent Debate Watch Monday July 23

Tune in to the YouTube/CNN Democratic Presidential Debate Monday, July 23rd and join independents around the country for an Independent Debate Watch

Download the questionnaire and fax back, or fill it in online as you watch... Answer some of these questions:
  • Did any of the candidates acknowledge the role that independents will play in the election or speak to independents in any way? If so, who and how?
  • Do you think the participation of those candidates labeled second-tier broadened this debate? How? (second-tier usually is used to refer to Kucinich, Gravel and Richardson)

Friday, July 20, 2007

A note to Hankster friends:

Check out the independent blogosphere on the Hankster sidebar!

Hankster Poll: Independent Voter Preferences, July 2007

Thanks to everyone who voted on The Hankster Poll! Here are the results. Watch for the NEW Hankster Poll -- everyone wants to know....

As an independent voter, I would like to see:
  • Barack Obama reach out to independents as a partner to change American politics - 15%
  • Chuck Hagel run as an independent - 8%
  • Michael Bloomberg run as an independent - 13%
  • An independent ticket with prominent candidates willing to take on the failure of US domestic and foreign policy - 13%
  • Rudy Giuliani recognize independent voters as an agent for change - 7%
    Independents talking to independents - 16%
  • More philosophical dialogue about America's role in international politics - 9%
  • All of the above. Independents can have an impact everywhere - 15%
  • None of the above--it's hopeless - 1%
  • What can I do? - 2%
(This poll has a margin of error of 1%)
Methodology: Systematically publish a poll of Hankster viewers. (Everyone's a Pollster these days, Madison.)

Conversations on Independence

The Political Realm has a thoughtful post about "electability": The 2008 landscape seems to favor the Democrats, with unrest of the Iraq War growing, Bush's popularity falling, and polls showing a big lead for a generic Democrat over a generic Republican. However, head-to-head match-ups also show a dead heat between the frontrunners of both parties. In the end, the election could come down to the party that nominates the more electable candidate.

The growing "conundrum" here is that electability is a partisan game, and independent voters, who will determine the outcome of the election, don't play by partisan rules.


  • Iowa voter registration forms will include third-party groups--for 850 signatures in 5 counties-- good for democracy
  • Change your voter registration in New York but wait till next general election...
  • Dem Strat: When speaking at southern barbeques, talk Poverty Policy
  • FOX/Congressional Black Caucus Debate--never has so little been so controversial
  • The Harry Potter 2008 presidential connection lives in Ohio, and partisans run as independents
  • Camden NJ Council take back on nonpartisan elections

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Independent Debate Watch Monday, July 23

The next Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate is on Monday, July 23rd . It is sponsored by YouTube andCNN and will feature video questions from Americans who have submitted them to You Tube.

Please join independents around the country for an Independent Debate Watch. Let’s see what happens: Do any of the candidates challenge the record of Clintonism? What role do the insurgent candidates play?

Download the questionnaire, fill it in as you watch, and fax to CUIP at the number on the form.


  • Party-line voting is killing soldiers-protesters call for unity on Levin-Reid amendment (Paradise Post)
  • Republican Hypocrite Caucus Keeps George Bush's War Going (The Nation blog)
  • Republican or Democrat? A mix will do (Globe and Mail)
  • Zogby: Dems ahead in general election prognostications (BBSNews (NC)
  • Suit Against Clinton Pollster Dropped (Townhall)
  • Desire for change drove Macon GA primary results, watchers say (
  • Increasing diversity of New Hampshire electorate (Concord Monitor)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Some of what's shakin' on the independent blogosphere:

  • See Michael Drucker's The Independent View for an up-and-coming independent blog source!
  • From Alternative Tulsa GOP Dissenters Take On Bush Policies: Republican legislators are getting an earful from heartland voters on the Iraq war. A scan of the blogosphere this week shows that even in Kansas and Iowa, more voters are expressing their unhappiness over the Bush Administration's handling of the war.
  • Robert B. Winn has been fighting a partisan voter registration form in Arizona [17] Specify Party Preference... for a while now. In 2005 The Arizona legislature sent to the governor of Arizona Senate bill 1218 which was signed into law by the governor requiring a new voter registration form. The wording for the new form was included in the bill, which was essentially the same as far as the information a voter would give except that the option to register as an independent voter had been removed, leaving only a space marked Specify Party Preference. Small issue? The impact: Here are the statistics for registrations of new independent voters in Arizona from 2000 to 2006.2000-2002 107,7152002-2004 165,7712004-2006 26,4832006-2007 30,738. Hmmmmm........ According to the Charlotte Observer: "Another way in which false allegations of fraud have affected policy is in the movement to get states to adopt strict voter ID laws, which adversely affect low income citizens, especially among racial minorities, students and the elderly. Battles to require voters to show a government-issued photo ID or proof of citizenship in order to register and vote have been adopted in Georgia, Missouri, Arizona and Indiana." Something to pay attention to!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Talk/Talk: Check Your Analysandum

Newman: The question is not, were the Clinton years good in themselves? George Washington had eight good years. Why not go back to where George Washington was? You have to take into account how things develop off of what came before. The analysis, therefore, has to tie together in some appropriate way, not just the last four years or eight years, but the last 16 years. And when you analyze it that way, it’s a somewhat scary picture. And it’s not just semantics, it’s not just Was it good times or bad times? The unit to be analyzed here – the analysandum is the Latin word for it – is critical, otherwise you’re not looking at the right thing.... [From Fred Newman's and Jackie Salit's Talk/Talk]

The Hankster recommends Talk/Talk, a must read for independents and independent minded people in the US and world-wide, where every Sunday CUIP’s political director Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss. I read it when it comes out Tuesdays on email, and usually discuss with some of my colleagues. In our partisan culture, it's a welcome nonpartisan voice on what's in the news.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Conversations on Independence

  • Something About Hillary in the Post Chronicle says "If Hillary is able to keep the debate and the campaigning on her terms, she will make the 2008 race about changing direction from Bush -- returning to the good part of the Clinton years when the economy was perceived as growing and the world was perceived to be at peace. "

That's as good a definition of Clintonism as I've seen recently! Control the debate, create the perception that the economy is growing and the world is at peace.... Hmmmmm.....

And, oh yeah -- I saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this weekend and liked it quite a bit. At the end of the school day, the kids will have to figure out on their own how to fight the good fight. Here's a good read on The Moderate Voice Harry Potter and the Snooty Cultural Snobs by Jason Steck...

Caught On Tape - Hillary Clinton and John Edwards Plot

Action Alert: Email Howard Dean at to express your outrage at this undemocratic attempt to eliminate insurgent voices from the debates!


  • More on Clinton and Edwards' plan to "narrow the field" in the Dem debates: The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier picks up a whisper from Obama about who should be included... Rich Galen pipes up on, and says it's an "assult on democracy"... Kucinich spoke out early and angrily (CBS News) and Gravel sticks with his new talking points (CBS News)
  • Newsweek considers the Web 2.0/MSM collaboration -- Dem debate hosts in South Carolina next Monday...
  • From the Washington Post: The Problem with the Problem with the Popular Vote

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Debate Watch July 23

YouTube and CNN are holding a debate next Monday, July 23rd. You can create your own video question for the candidates!

You can also join the CUIP debate watch where independents will tune in to see if any of the candidates have learned anything about reaching out to independent voters. For more information about this, call 212-609-2800, or email The Hankster (on the sidebar).

And if you haven't already, email Howard Dean at or call him at 202-863-8000 to tell him that Hillary's and Edwards' plan to "narrow the field" for upcoming debates is an outrage. Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel must be included in the debates. To exclude them would be anti-democratic and would shut down important dialogue. Urge Dean to make sure the debates remain open and inclusive of all the candidates.


  • Edwards, Clinton discuss limiting debates (Boston Globe)
  • Kucinich Lashes Out at Limiting Debates (By BETH FOUHY - Forbes)
  • Dodd Rips Clinton, Edwards for Remarks (By BROCK VERGAKIS - Forbes)
  • One Democratic candidate’s courageous stand-Gravel (Oregon Statesman Journal)
  • A GOP comeback strategy Way behind in the polls, the party should exploit the anti-politician mood and offer a hopeful message. (Frank Luntz - LA Times)
  • Looking to independents and away from the GOP, McCain presses on (Boston Globe)
  • Illiniois Independents still face hurdles getting on ballot (Springfield State Journal Register) * Alabama: If you're a Democrat or Republican, you're assured a place on the ballot. If you're anything else - Libertarian, Socialist, Fried Green Tomato or even independent - good luck. (Alabama Live) * OH: Independent Candidates Won't Be On November Ballot (WTOV 9 - Steubenville, OH)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Blogger Action Alert! Keep Independent Voices In Debates

This just in from -- Did you hear Hillary and John Edwards in a private conversation at the recent NAACP forum about excluding independent voices from the most wide open presidential campaign in American politics in a century? Click here for the video! Clinton and Edwards discuss the need to eliminate "unserious" candidates from future televised debates...

Now what?

Complain? Curse? Call your neighbor? YES! And also, you can DO SOMETHING with other independents that makes a difference:

Here is how you can take action:
1. Call/E-mail/Fax Howard Dean (and please cc me on any letters you send) to let him know that you support the continued participation of ALL the Democratic candidates in the debates. Below is a sample letter and information on how to contact Dean.
2. Contact people in your network and ask them to do the same. Forward them this e-mail so they can express their support for keeping the debates open.
3. If you are new to CUIP, sign up to be a part of the independent movement and receive regular e-mail updates.
Please send your e-mail or letter today and start your outreach to your networks. If you have questions or thoughts about other ways to help, please call Nancy Ross at CUIP at 212-609-2800.

Sample E-mail, Fax, or Letter
Dear Chairman Howard Dean,
I am outraged at Senators Clinton and Edwards' conversation at the close of the NAACP forum about narrowing the field for upcoming debates.
In my opinion, candidates such as Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel play a very important role in broadening the debate on crucial issues. Their exclusion would be bad for the democratic process and would shut down important conversation.
I urge you to make sure the debates remain open and inclusive of all the candidates.
Your Name and State
To contact Howard Dean and the Democratic National Committee:
Phone: 202-863-8000
Fax: 202-863-8174

Caught on Tape: Clinton/Edwards to Shut Down Debates

Go to California's Independent Voice (thanks to IV communications director Jason Olson)

Hillary Clinton and John Edwards "privately" discussed removing other candidates from future debates. The discussion took place after the July 12th NAACP Candidate Forum in Detroit. But they forgot they were still on camera and miked! The discussion quickly found its way into the media and onto YouTube. Clinton and Edwards are clearly trying to eliminate any dissenting or independent voice from the debates.

Independents want a real debate, not an "insider" made for TV production.
Click here to watch the video and make your voice heard>

And while we're at it, Iowa independent leader Larry Reinsch confronted Hillary about including independents in the debates at a recent appearence -- don't miss this at Rock The Debates....

Independent Voice and Rock the Debates are both on The Hankster sidebar. They are both important sites to check in with!

Dear Mr. Obama: You need independent voters for progress!

I received an email yesterday from Barack Obama's campaign. Here's the message I sent:

Mr. Obama:
I agree that we need to end the war in Iraq, and as an independent, I am watching all the candidates closely to see who will have the guts to take on, not just the Bush administration, but the complicity of the Democrats as well. So far, only Mike Gravel, Ron Paul and Dennis Kuscinich have come close to that. I am watching your campaign and hoping that you will dialogue with independents around the country and use us as a source of strength. The Democratic Party ultimately will not save this country. Independents need to know that you are serious about putting America above the interests of your party. THAT would be progress!

Nancy Hanks
The Hankster


  • 43% in the new survey identify as independents (Susan Page-USA Today)
  • Latino group aims to mobilize voters (Miami Herald)
  • New Mexico Election Reform (OpEd News)
  • Boxborough resident runs for Congress as independent (Bolton Common - GateHouse News Service)
  • NAACP Forum: Obama, Clinton in a tight battle for black vote (Boston Globe)
  • Sec of State nixes protest over Lieberman party (Stamford Advocate)
  • It's Not Easy Being Green -Pennsylvania discrimintes against independents (WFMZ )
  • Virginia - a top tier swing state with lots of indies (Hotline)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Talk/Talk: Gravel, Paul, Kucinich: Independent Voices

Newman: As I’ve said before, I don’t think that Clintonism has been challenged, but I think it’s beginning to happen more. In these interviews with Gravel and Paul you see that happening. But neither Gravel nor Kucinich nor the independent movement can afford to wait until it narrows down to just one or two candidates. Hillary and Clintonism – she doesn’t just stand for Clintonism, she is Clintonism – must be taken on now, tactically speaking. So, when I saw these interviews, I felt positive about them... "GRAVEL, PAUL, KUCINICH: INDEPENDENT VOICES" TALK/TALK


  • Impeachment advocates eye independent candidate to challenge Welch (DANIEL BARLOW Vermont Press Bureau, Rutland Herald)
  • Code cracking under development pressures-Jennifer Coffey, independent candidate for Township Committee, said the code is at the heart of all the debates in the township regarding revising the master plan and other related issues. (Freehold Examiner)
  • Independent candidate Mitch Allen wants Mason Municipal Court candidacy certified, Says he'll file writ with Ohio Supreme Court (Western Star)
  • Independent Mayoral candidate Barbara Ripston sues over rival's petition (North Jersey Media Group)
  • Republicans not the only ones taking heat on Iraq-Pete Gavlin, of Eden Prairie, who has voted for Democrats in the past, says he is open to voting for an independent in the next election (Minnesota Public Radio)
  • BIG NEWS: Politician put humanity over party!!! Gov Crist is well aware his warming initiative is unpopular with some in his party. (St. Petersburg Times)
  • Those pesky peaceniks; CodePink -- an anti-war group founded by Bay Area activists and known for colorful and theatrical protests -- is turning up the pressure on congressional Democrats (SF Chronicle)
  • New York Registration Data (Ballot Access News)
  • Shifting Populations Will Impact '08 Senate Races-indies seeking new options (By Reid Wilson-RealClearPolitics)
  • McCain's Other Problem-disaffected voters flocking to Obama (REID WILSON-RealClearPolitics)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Conversations on Independence

  • Check out Associated Content, The People's Media Company (thanks to Ron DeYoung)... Here's a post by Sundance McGee "America Should Eliminate Partisan Politics--We Deserve More Than Two Choices "
  • And Registered Independent has a good post from yesterday: Today's Dynamic The most popular dynamic in politics these days isn't Republicans vs Democrats. It's not capitalists vs socialists. It's not libertarians vs communitarians.It's the people vs the government.
  • "Put down your guns and vote" – How fusion moves swing voters to the Democrats (By Dan Cantor-TPM Cafe) For some more information, be sure to see The Bloomberg Story by Jackie Salit...
  • Minnesota IP leader Tammy Lee meets with NY independent leaders (Minnesota In the Middle )
  • Chris Weigant ponders an independent run by Mike Bloomberg and the 2008 election getting thrown to the House... (Huffington Post)


  • Independent voters have been saying "no" to John McCain, now his top aide quits (Detroit News) and waiting in the wings - who else? Rudy Giuliani (Newsday)
  • In the year of the Independent, small political donors become a badge of good campaigning (USA Today) but Sen. Majority Whip Richard Durbin doesn't think Obama's small donors end the war in Iraq any time soon... (Washington Post)
  • Nicholas von Hoffman (the mondoweiss) wants Mike Bloomberg to run (NY Sun)
  • Cindy Sheehan Will Need 10,198 Signatures If She Runs (Ballot Access News) and she is set to to Lead Rally in Charlottesville, Va July 20 (Scoop - New Zealand)
  • And speaking of the impeachment movement -- Vermont activists are targeting Peter Welch for an independent challenge next year (Montpelier Times Argus)
  • Other independent challenges coming from Camden NJ police chief Venegas (Courier Post Online) and Macon GA's Veronica Brinson for mayor (13 Eyewitness News Local-Macon GA )
  • Ballot access fights for independent candidates continue in Oklahoma and Ohio...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


  • Sheehan Threatens to Run Against Pelosi (Washington Post)
  • Antiwar Mom Issues Challenge to Pelosi (By Michael Falcone, The Caucus-NY Times blog)
  • A Third Party President: The Twenty Year Countdown (Andrew Evans, chair of American Centrist Party-American Chronicle )
  • No incumbent. No favorite. Anything could happen (US News & World Report)
  • Issue of healthcare heats up (by CEO of Kaiser Foundation - Boston Globe)
  • Obama's views not always what some expect (By Jill Lawrence, USA TODAY)
  • Obama out-fundraising Hillary (Newsweek)
  • IN: Two independents, one Libertarian running for city office (Terre Haute Tribune Star)
  • MI: Independent redistricting commission (Michigan Live)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Welcome to the independent movement, Cindy Sheehan!

Cindy Sheehan announced on Sunday that she will run as an independent against Dem Speaker Nancy Pelosi if Pelosi doesn't move for impeachment against President Bush. (Washington Post) And if she decides to run, I think Cindy will find plenty of support among independents, grassroots Dems and probably Repubs as well. My advice to her is to run as an independent whether or not Pelosi files for impeachment. Welcome to the independent movement!


  • Latest Poll on Impeachment of the President Bush and Vice President Cheney-indies significant (Associated Content - CO)
  • Begging your pardon in advance-Independents knew best about pardons and hypocricy (The Columbian - WA)
  • Chuck Hagel not running - or is he? Here on UPI, and Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, and New York Sun
  • Top Dems threaten Scooter investigation - Sunday talk show round up - Hagel, Gravel, Paul (Politico)
  • Paul pulls even with McCain financially (

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Left of Centrist caught my attention today, pointing to John Good's Left in Aboite (cross-posted at Blue Indiana) talking about independent voters leaning left, which they think is a good thing for the Dems.... Cyberhillbilly in Kentucky was talking with Gatewood Galbraith the other day and reports that the former Reform Party candidate says that indies will determine the winner of the gov race. Cyberhillbilly (gotta love that name!) also points us to a Huffington Post article by Thomas B. Edsall talking about indies leaning to the Dems. Independents Unbound thinks "independents and disaffected conservatives will push Democrats to a landslide victory in 2008, barring another "new Pearl Harbor," and maybe because of one...."

As Virginia blogger Jerry Fuhrman From On High cautions: "Of course, the Democrats won't be nominating someone named "A. Democrat" for president; they'll be nominating the Beast From The East. Let those Washington Post pollsters substitute that name (Hillary!) for "A. Democrat" and see how those independent voters' opinions run...."

Yes, the jury's still out on this one! And lest we forget -- independent voters are notorious for not supporting parties at all....


  • Like independents nationally, independents in Virginia are held together bya rejection of partisan labels, not an overriding shared ideology. (Washington Post)
  • 'Billary' treads with much caution, independents lean Dem (Detroit Free Press weekly roundup)
  • Mississippi court says indies must register with a party to vote in primary-Dems in trouble--the result of those decisions will be to send many white independent, unaffiliated voters scurrying to register in the GOP. (Clarion Ledger)
  • With polls showing both the Republican president and Democratic Congress mired in the 30 percent approval range, it's not surprising that a renewed effort has been created to break the two-party stranglehold on U.S. politics... Senate Bill 506 could be called the anti-Lieberman bill (Las Cruces Sun News Report)
  • In Virginia, an unfavorable trend (Power Line )
  • Could It Get Any Worse for Bush? Sure, Just Watch-Half of Virginia independents named Busher the worst president since 1960. (Blog Critics )
  • BTW, Independents are not all "middle of the road"- In fact, many independents appear to be to the left of the Democratic Party, particularly when it comes to how to handle the behavior of the criminal Bush administration. Or maybe left isn’t the right word. They are more concerned about preserving democracy than the Democratic Party is. (OpEd News)
  • Border Security-About two-thirds of Democrats and independents said they were not confident about the government's performance, as did about half of Republicans. (Washington Post)
  • Bloomberg candidacy would help Clinton (Washington Times)
  • Across the divide: How Barack Obama is shaking up old assumptions about what it means to be black and white in America. (Newsweek)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Conversations on Independence

  • A late but interesting news items: Ron Paul is excluded from Iowa debate--not considered 'credible' (Des Moines Register)...
  • The Hankster received this press release from Tom Tancredo's office calling for Paul's inclusion...
  • And speaking of Tancredo--American Taino says he's the most principled of the Repubs...
  • Central Sanity thinks Obama is rather the Howard Dean of the 2008 election, not the Ross Perot...
  • Checking in on Independent Texans--the Trans-Texas Corridor is still alive...
  • Registered Independent has a follow up to his first post on the Washington Post study of independent voters...


  • Bloomberg continues to support Repubs in New York despite nonpartisan stand (Jonathan Singer on MyDD blog)
  • Bloomberg in a great position to affect public discourse (
  • Bloomberg's Insistent Call for Partisan Disarmament (Gay City News)

  • Obama's Tightrope: the closer to ordinary black folks, the further from the nomination... (Washington Post commentary)

  • OH: Ruling on independent candidates has partisans dropping petitions as independents (Salem News)
  • AL: Court backs Alabama's ballot laws, Independent candidates say requirements too tough (Decatur Daily)
  • AL: Ballot access laws for independents now the toughest in the country (Montgomery Advertiser)

  • Independent Voters 'Not a Homogeneous Group', Poll shows greater diversity within political affiliation (Harvard Crimson)

Thursday, July 05, 2007



  • It's Not the Economy, Stupid-professional politicians try to figure out the independent vote (Dan Henninger-Wall Street Journal)
  • Interesting feature article "Independent's Day-Republicans, Democrats, whatever. This Fourth of July, we salute the real American politician — the independent." (Style Weekly, Richmond's Alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion.)
  • Hillary can't take women's vote for granted-Obama leads among indies (Denver Post)
  • Leftist call for impeachment has limited appeal (Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times)
  • Hillary's unpopular, if Republicans have the wit to nominate a candidate with appeal to independent voters, they can retain the White House in 2008 (Naples News)




Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Molasses to Rum





  • NJ: Doing away with election spoilers-IRV is the answer (NJ Times)
  • DE: Victory for Open Government; Death of the Fusion ban. (Stop Taxing blog)
  • NJ: Legislative override makes initiative and referendum meaningless (Asbury Park Press)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Conversations on Independence

  • Thanks to Pete Abel's Center of Attention on The Moderate Voice for mention of The Hankster, AND for taking us to Jim Satterfield's blog where he revisits the age-old question, “Does money equal speech?” and considers what democratic dialogue is...
  • And while you're there, be sure to read Joe Gandelman's post on the Washington Post study "Study: Diverse Independent Voters Could Swing 2008 Race" where he says of The Moderate Voice: ...Please note that we’ve repeatedly said this about reaction to this site: being a “moderate” or “independent” does NOT mean coming down lockstep on an issue with other moderates. Some may be center, center-left and center right and vary, depending on the issue. And there is not an opinion poll that shows that independent voters and/or moderates think totally alike on any given issue...
  • Meanwhile, Steve Perez at A New America wonders what good fusion voting does...
  • And Paul Scott, an Iowa independent voter, tries his hand at blogging with a post about independents' interest in Barack Obama on


  • New York Working Families Party executive director Dan Cantor talks about fusion voting and why it's a good thing.
  • Independent Voters Revealed as Anti-War Extremists (Talking Stick Rules blog)
  • Poll: Who Are the Independents? Study of Politically Unaffiliated Bodes Poorly for GOP (TRANSCRIPT - Washington Post)
  • Disconnect Between Candidates And Voters (Internet Financial News)

Monday, July 02, 2007

What is the relationship between Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, Al Sharpton, Lenora Fulani and the independent movement?

These days political “truths” have been turned upside down, in no small part due to independents increased capacity to swing elections. The Neo-Independent magazine’s executive editor Jacqueline Salit weaves together a brilliantly insightful picture of the key players and the strategic choices before them.

Barack Obama: The Real Deal or Just Another Democrat
by Jacqueline Salit

“Barack Obama has good practical arguments for connecting with – even legitimizing – independent voters and the independent movement. But there is also a friction that is not easily overlooked. Independents do not like partisan politics. Obama must persuade them that he is more interested in doing good for the country than he is in empowering the Democratic Party, that he is not just another Democrat but the ‘real deal.’ This is a difficult challenge in a political world where there is no such thing as a ‘real deal’ because everything and everyone in the public square have been molded to maximize the chances of winning.”

Conversations on Independence

Another good post on the Post by An Ordinary Person and Politics in America:

If the Post, Kaiser and Harvard really wanted to get to the heart of the matter on the phenomenon of Political Independents I would urge them to actually start talking with Independent activists and reformers who are trying to change the System. Hey it’s not hard to find them. I only started this blog two months ago and I’ve made plenty of contacts and spoken with many of these types of people.
I agree. Kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Conversations on Independence

In "Let's Tango", Registered Independent comments on Newman and Salit's Talk/Talk picked up by Black Star News about Newman's statement that process and policy can't be separated. RI says independents are as diverse as America is (the Washington Post poll that came out yesterday notwithstanding....) and thus well-suited to coming up with sound policy. I agree. Our current process, because it excludes independents--or tries to--is undemocratic and yields policy that represents the elites.

When I was growing up, my parents were "Kennedy Democrats". I put a lot of faith in the "Party of the People" and considered my views the "correct" ones. But I lost faith when election after election, the Democrats in charge of policy never implemented those policies. The war in Vietnam was escalated, millions of people are today still without health care in the richest country in the world, and our education system has failed horribly. Yes, I think we need to engage the candidates. And I think we will do better to engage them from a position of strength. Independents don't need more position papers from partisan politicans. We need accountability. I think that requires independent voters getting organized and demanding access for everyone, not just the elites.


  • GALLUP POLL: Hispanic Voters Prefer Clinton to Giuliani in Hypothetical Match-Up-33% of black voters are independent (Gallup)
  • Independent voters powerful in 2008-note on WaPo study (UPI)
  • New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is hardly the world's only independent. (Tom Blackburn, Palm Beach Post)
  • Bill Plante: Election '08 still up for grabs (Daily News of Newburyport)
  • Obama can't take blacks for granted, Missed chance to tell what he'd do for African Americans (Chicago Sun Times)
  • Minority focus group says Clinton stands out, Pollster finds senator rated highly in debate, boosted by position on AIDS (Democrat & Chronicle)
  • MT: Three big incumbents fare well in Montana poll-Clinton won in 92 bec. 26% of Repubs voted for Perot (Great Falls Tribune)
  • PA: Pennsylvania Minor Parties Ask US Supreme Court to Take Ballot Access Case (Ballot Access News)
  • In Spitzer/Bloomberg match-up, Spitzer only wins upstate (Brooklyn Eagle)
  • Bloomberg candidacy wouldhurt Hillary (Staten Island Advance)

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Independents defy categories, right? Not according to a Washington Post/HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University study--A political force of many philosophies apparently can be reduced to five types...