Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Monday, December 31, 2007



Why McCain is losing independent votes to Obama in N.H ( Q: What's the "outsized effect of independents"? A. That's the effect where independent voters are closer to where the American people are than the parties....

In the battle for a hook, 3 articles today on John McCain's 2000 primary run (Bob Benenson, CQ Politics Editor) (Alec MacGillis, Washington Post) (Hugh Hewitt,

Austin Cassidy of Third Party Watch wonders why something called the Texas Independence Party would petition to put Ron Paul on the ballot as an independent in one of the toughest ballot access states for independents when the Libertarian Party has automatic ballot access.... There's more than meets the eye in the Libertarian/Constitutionalist Parties fight over the spoils of Ron Paul's "spoiler" campaign...

Could Montana primary process help Paul? (MATT GOURAS – AP Google)

There's a whole lot of press here about "Bloomberg inching toward an independent run..."

For my money, the upcoming meeting in Oklahoma is a business meeting of politicos who are concerned about the hemorrhage of voters from the parties. An electorate that's becoming independent because they feel that divisive partisanship is increasingly dangerous to the future of the country is dangerous to partisan politics. Is there a bi-partisan solution? Who knows.

So I don't think this meeting is a calculated prelude to an independent run for president by Michael Bloomberg. The independent mayor of New York is in my mind--to his credit--not enough of a politician and too much of a businessman to invest $1 billion in a losing campaign....

As Azi Paybarah noted on the Politicker, independent strategist Fred Newman thinks this is a party election: “War vs. peace. As I see it, that's what the vote's going to look like a year from now on Election Day. It's going to be war vs. peace. The Republican is going to be the war candidate. The Democrat is going to be the peace candidate. And people will vote party, in my opinion.”

Personally if I had access to a billion dollars, I'd invest it in building the independent movement at the grassroots so we could inch our way towards participatory democracy in America. The independent movement needs rich people and big names who will do what ordinary people want them to do, and not cave into grandstanders and hack third party opportunists....

But here you go:

  • Oklahoma University’s Boren seeks revised campaigning (By JIM MYERS Tulsa World)
  • Bipartisan group to explore independent presidential bid at OU meeting (AP-Joplin Globe)
  • Bloomberg Moves Closer to Running for President (By SAM ROBERTS, New York Times)
  • Independents To Challenge Repubs & Dems On Unity (By Justin Gardner Donklephant)
  • Independent candidacy weighed-Centrists, including Bloomberg, to discuss need for an independent presidential candidacy (AP Newsweek)
  • Former Sen. Nunn wants candidates to address issues (By JIM GALLOWAY, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • Bloomberg Inches Yet Closer To Running As Centrist Independent (By Joe Gandelman, The Moderate Voice)
  • Iowa and New Hampshire? Look to Oklahoma instead. (Al Eisele, Huffington Post)

Black voters in North Carolina are watching the primaries with anticipation -- Obama could win the presidency (Raleigh News & Observer)

Joe McQuaid, publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader: Voters sometimes ignore the polls (that's what campaigns call upsets, comebacks and surprises....)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lincoln asks the candidates

Will you debate third party candidates if you win the nomination?

Conversations on Radicals in the 2008 Presidential Campaign

As an independent residing in New York, I won't be huddling with fellow citizens to show my support for any of the major party candidates on January 3 in the Iowa caucuses. (btw -- the word caucus, Iowa Caucus 2008 tells us, is a North American Indian word, thought to be of Algonquin origin, meaning a gathering of the ruling tribal chiefs.....)

But I'll probably be glued to the tv by 9:30 to see what the first voters have to say about these guys and gal. One of them will most likely be our next president....

Last week Fred Newman and Jackie Salit talked about Ron Paul's appearance on Meet the Press. [msnbc transcript and video] Newman pointed out that Paul is a longtime independent, and a "left-wing conservative".... Kucinich, says Newman, is the most radical voice in the Dem primary.... See Talk/Talk: Ron Paul and America's Sea Change.

The Hankster interview with Iowa voter and founder of Rock the Larry Reinsch drew a favorable review from Ron Paul supporter boratFAN999 .... Larry interviewed Ron Paul and is one of the few major party candidates who gave an immediate and unequivocable YES to debating an independent candidate should he win his party's nomination-- see the video here.

Likewise, the Hankster interview with New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice activist Betty Ward was applauded by Dennis Kucinich supporter clearchoice2008 -- personally I think this ad by clearchoice is very clever!

And here's what Newman had to say about Hillary Clinton's campaign:
In some ways, Hillary has to deal with the fact that she should have been able to articulate a message of “take a risk, put a woman in the presidency.” But she couldn’t because she chose to shape the campaign around the idea of being the inevitable nominee, as it were. Those two don’t fit together. You can’t put those together. I think that Howard Wolfson and Bill Clinton and the people who put her campaign together put her in a bad spot because they didn’t position her as part of the sea change. She was actually anti-sea change. And that’s turned out to be a tough spot. I know the official line is that her biggest chance of winning is being the most experienced. But I don’t see yet that’s been proven right.....

Obama made note of the rock and a hard place that Hillary is in when he said in his so-called Closing Argument speech that "you can’t at once argue that you’re the master of a broken system in Washington and offer yourself as the person to change it."

The speculation over whether Mike Bloomberg is going to run as an independent will end sometime in March when the requirements for ballot access for independent candidates raise their ugly heads. I don't think he's going to run. I think he's doing what he wanted to do--being influential without running.

There are any number of Draft Mike ploys out there that seem to want to capitalize on the speculation. Maybe they actually think Bloomberg will run and give them all big jobs with bigger salaries, who knows? Political hacks can be found under every rock. But the black and independent alliance that got the Mayor re-elected in 2005 with a landslide knows what it takes to go up against the Dem and Repub machines and win. It takes an electorate organized to act on its own behalf. That's radical.


California registered voters rise 7 percent in four years-Voters who decline to state party affiliation rise by 24 percent (Almanac - Menlo Park CA)

Strength in numbers-Debbie Gibbons, Brookline supports Betty Ward's independent voice (Letter to Concord Monitor)

Here's a rather upbeat take on this year's Presidential campaign (Patriot Ledger) I half agree -- voters are taking a shot they don't usually get to shake up partisan lockstep politics

The ground war and the hunt for independents (By ADAM NAGOURNEY and JEFF ZELENY, New York Times) and Finally voters will get to vote-- Oh, the possibilities (By ADAM C. SMITH, St. Petersburg Times) Pundit, football and actual voting (By Mark Shields, Green Valley News & Sun) The caucuses -- how it works (Newsday) Obama says he can draw more independent voters (Des Moines Register)

McCain Begins New Hampshire Blitz (By Marc Santora, The Caucus, New York Times) Ron Paul Could Do Well in New Hampshire (NPR blog) Clintons relying on N.H. for victory (By KEVIN LANDRIGAN - Nashua Telegraph) A guide to keeping your 'primary' sanity as national media takes over (Portsmouth Herald, By Dean Spiliotes) A Biracial Candidate Walks His Own Fine Line-mention of Harlem appearence, Sharpton (New York Times) McCain losing votes to Obama in N.H. (Los Angeles Times)

Talk of third-party bid intensifies-Bloomberg, others will meet on eve of N.H. vote (By David S. Broder, Concord Monitor) Will It Be Bloomberg And Unity In Independent Bid? (The Moderate Voice-By Joe Gandelman) Iowa, New Hampshire still crucial for candidates (Newsday) Finch gets advice from Big Apple mayor (Bridgeport News - CT)

Special election will close La.'s open primaries-March 8 vote to replace Jindal could cause confusion in state (Times Picayune)

Toward a Militant Populism-Greens Gone Wild (By JOHN MURPHY, CounterPunch)

Saturday, December 29, 2007


  • Is Bill costing Hill votes? (Washington Times editorial)
  • Clinton Doesn't Get It (We the Purple - Marcia Ford)
  • More change ahead-Mark Penn's trend analysis includes independent voters (Florida Times-Union)
  • Ron Paul beginning to be considered a Repub "spoiler"--i.e., he's getting support from voters who don't like partisan politics..... (Brockton News)
  • Kucinich the Surprise Winner in Virginia Dems Poll (press release)
  • Kucinich Back in New Hampshire Through Primary Day (press release)
  • Undeclared, undecided -- and everyone's target-Candidates covet the ultimate N.H. wild card (By Jill Zuckman Chicago Tribune) -- btw, Andy Smith works for a survey center that claims to be nonpartisan, however upon closer inspection they're all either Dems or Repubs..... Hmmmm...... Actually there's no such thing as a nonpartisan polling operation.....

Friday, December 28, 2007

Actually, independent voters care a lot

by Donna Lee Richards, Nashua
For the Concord Monitor
December 28. 2007

Dear President Clinton:

Your comment in the Concord Monitor regarding your perception of independent voters was distressing to me and my fellow independents in New Hampshire ("Bill Clinton: Hillary has resilience," Monitor front page, Dec. 21)

Independents make up 44 percent of the voting population in New Hampshire and represent the largest segment of voters in the country. Independents do not label themselves as belonging to a political party. This does not mean that they are not interested, informed or involved in politics and government. This simply means that they do not limit their views, issues or votes to those favored by one political party.

Much attention has been focused on independent voters in New Hampshire, but there seems to be a fundamental confusion as to who these independents are and what our votes represent. We are not snoozing between presidential elections only to be woken and wooed by candidates, returning to our slumber in between because we "don't like politics."

To deny that a majority of voters "cares" is, with all due respect, a rather arrogant partisan view which does a disservice to this majority of voters and to the public servants who represent us and could benefit from knowledge of our views. Knowing and caring what is important to independents should be of vital importance to candidates, elected officials and public servants at every level.

I invite you to help us lead the charge to a better understanding of independent voters in America. We are not just voters in the primaries - we are citizens of this great country.

(The writer is a member of the New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice.)


  • Actually, independent voters care a lot (Donna Lee Richards, Concord Monitor)
  • If independents don't care about politics, why are the candidates wooing them in New Hampshire? (Arizona Central)
  • ‘Long shot’ Kucinich scores 77% in independent voter poll (Daily Scare blog)
  • The Huckmonster Returns to Another Monster: Dick Morris- local Little Rock reform activist talks dirt on Huckabee (by Skip Cook, OpEdNews)
  • When blacks run for president (CBS News) News)
  • Bill Clinton's negative attacks on Obama not appreciated (Black Star News Editorial)
  • Calling The Kettle Black--Clinton's attacks on Obama (Black Voice News)
  • Arizona Presidential Preference Election Limited to Republicans, Democrats (KTAR)
  • The Path to a National Popular Vote (By David Sirota, Truthdig)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

More Conversations on Arizona Independents

On the same topic, The Hankster also received this from Arthur DeFazio

I and thousands of other Independent Arizona voters need your help. I have just been informed that individuals who are registered as Independents in the State of Arizona (such as myself) will NOT be permitted to vote in the upcoming presidential primary. Our current governor, Democrat Janet Napolitano, apparently made this decision back when she was the (elected) Arizona Attorney General. However, no one (including myself) seems to have really been aware of this until recently. This is significant, since the number of Independent voters has nearly doubled in recent years. Currently, there are 755,000 independent voters registered in Arizona, while the Democrats have 855,000 registered voters and the Republicans have just over one million registered voters.

You may find information on this situation in the Tucson newspaper, the
Arizona Daily Star

Arizona has a direct primary election law (as required by the Arizona Constitution) that allows independents to “vote in the primary election of any one of the political parties that is qualified for the ballot.” The Constitution (Article 7, Section 10) refers specifically to elections “for all elective State, county, and city offices, including candidates for United States Senator and for Representative in Congress.” However, the office of President is not mentioned. For this reason, then Attorney General Napolitano decided in 1999 that the presidential primary election was specifically excluded from the provisions of Arizona’s “Open Primary” law. The text of her decision may be found

I don’t believe it is fair to force Independents in one particular state of the Union to choose between either maintaining their Independent status or being excluded from one of the most important presidential primaries in the history of our nation.

Perhaps posting this information in your blog will help to get the word out about this terrible act of discrimination.

Arthur DeFazio

Conversations on Arizona Independents

The Hankster received the following, reprinted in full, from independent activist Robert B. Winn in Arizona:

As things stand here in Arizona, the news media continues to say that people here are still registering independent in large numbers after being sent the correct statistics that since 2005 independent voter registration has dropped from 80,000 per year to 13,000 per year. Actually, this serves a good purpose even though the news media has chosen to cover up for party politicians because it informs people in Arizona that they can still register as independent voters even though the voter registration form tells them that they must register as members of political parties. The reason why independent voter registration dropped by almost 70,000 per year was because when people look at the voter registration form it tells them they have to be members of political parties.

My assessment of the situation is that political parties will never be able to get rid of independent voters. What they will continue to do is to claim that independent voters are not interested in government because they do not run for office and do not vote as often as party members. They never mention the fact that they have prevented independent voters from being candidates by disproportionate nomination petition requirements in any states where independent voters are viewed as a threat. Here in Arizona I have to get 20,000 signatures to get on the ballot as a candidate against Governor Janet Napolitano; she has to get 4,000 signatures to be on the ballot. Federal District Court has consistently held that this is fair and Constitutional. So since party members never see any independent candidates, they believe independent voters are uninterested in government. Then any they do see are eccentric billionaires who have enough money to buy ballot access or party mavericks who raise campaign money as party candidates and then use it to buy ballot access as independent candidates, such as Lieberman just did in Connecticut. While it is good that independent candidates of some kind do exist, these people do not really represent independent voters. Independent voters are voters who just want to be registered to vote without endorsing some great party agenda. This is how all voters in the United States originally registered to vote. All voters in the United States until the election of 1800 were independent voters, which is why there are still independent voters today.

The propaganda that comes from political parties is a poor reflection of European politics and has nothing to do with the United States. The two-party system is written into English law. What party politicians say about two-party government here pertains to England, not to the United States. When a party loses a vote of confidence in England, the government dissolves and an election is held, as just happened to Tony Blair. When a party loses a vote of confidence in America, an unpopular President continues on with his unpopular policies for another two years, as George W. Bush is now doing. This does not mean that America has a worse system than England has. It means that the American system was not intended for political party control. The only way to break out of the political stalemate that now exists is through independent voters, the people who are registered to vote the correct way.

Independent voters will eventually control the government in America again just because party politicians are so incompetent. In the meantime, party politicians will use every dishonest practice, every unfair advantage, every form of deception, and all of the money from public revenues they can get their hands on to try to retain the political power they now have. With political parties trying with everything they have to stop independent voter registration, independent voters now outnumber members of either political party. All we need to do is keep the pressure on at certain places, especially on the party-controlled news media. Here in Arizona we did a couple of things with the news media. Having the experience of being shut out when independent deputy registrars in the state were dismissed in 1988, we went directly to the Capitol Press Corps with the information when we discovered that the option to register independent had been removed from the Arizona voter registration form. They, of course, ignored that information. We then registered a petition to recall State Attorney General Terry Goddard. Members of the Capitol Press Corps contacted us by phone inquiring about the reason for this petition. We re-informed them about the change in the Arizona voter registration form.

"Do you really think that you can get 370,000 signatures in 120 days to recall the Attorney General,' they asked.

"No," we said. "We just registered the petition so that you would call and ask about it."

Then every time an article about independent voters appears in the Arizona news media publications, we send the editor of that paper the correct statistics for independent voter registration obtained from the Secretary of State and tell them that the news media has just as much ability to obtain these correct statistics as independent voters do, so there is really no reason for them to be publishing party propaganda the way they do. We have freedom of the press here in Arizona. They can print the truth if they want to.

Actually, they cannot. Reporters from various newspapers have tried to write stories about this change in the Arizona voter registration form, and their editors will not let them do it. So then they come back saying they will give us an opportunity to be in this or that column if we will write it ourselves.

"No, thank you," we say. "If you do not want to print the news, go ahead and print party propaganda. It is your newspaper. We sent you the correct information."

Now I do not want to give the impression that there are a large number of independent voters doing this. Most independent voters in the state still do not even know they have been taken off from the voter registration form. The news media is paid by the two major parties to try to keep it that way. It does not really matter if they do. Every time they write another story about independent voters registering in large numbers, citizens of Arizona are informed that they can still register independent with the voter registration form that says, Specify Party Preference. According to statistics, independent voter registration is already back up to 40,000 per year. We do not mention that in our correspondence with the news media. Their cover-up of the illegal actions of party politicians in this state is backfiring in a big way.

What we would like to do in Arizona is what we did to get the attention of party politicians back in 1986, go to college campuses and register voters, which really started this whole chain of events. I think we will be doing this before the election happens. It will be interesting to see what the parties do this time. They are sort of running out of options here. I do not think they are ready yet to try to stop an election.

Robert B. Winn


  • Jason Olson of Independent Voice in California, an advocacy group that helped launch, says open primaries result in more voters going to the polls--something the major parties don't care for... (Amador Ledger Dispatch)
  • "Too Independent To Vote" -- Arizona independents can vote in the primaries unless it's a presidential election (KOLD News 13- AZ)
  • Mike Huckabee makes Wall Street nervous (Bloomberg News)
  • It's true that the Lieberman endorsement will help McCain - but with conservatives more than independents. (BY JAMES KIRCHICK, Be Our Guest column - NY Daily News)
  • Clarence Page says Andy Young should stay away from microphones... (Daily Journal - Kankakee IL)
  • Texas Independence Party tells Secretary of State it will try to qualify (Ballot Access News)
  • Maine Green Party WANTS YOU! (Ellsworth American)
  • "Just say maybe" -- I think, therefore I punditize... (By John Brummett, Arkansas News)
  • Who's Wrong On Race? -- interesting discussion of Dem and Repub history relative to race (By Steve Benen, CBS News)
  • "If you want to pull the major party to what you're thinking, YOU MUST, YOU MUST show them that you're capable of not voting for them..." - Lawrence O'Donnell from "Gitlin, Alterman and the Anti-Nader Democrats - Two Unreasonable Men" (By JOHN WALSH, CounterPunch)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Which candidates have reached out to independent voters?

The Committee for a Unified Independent Party (CUIP) in collaboration with the New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice (NH-CIV) are running a statewide advertising campaign to promote the independent movement and to inform the public which presidential candidates have invested in connecting to independent voters. If you'd like to participate in the media blitz, click here. This isn't about endorsing candidates, it's about promoting the independent movement and letting independents voters in New Hampshire know that independents around the country are supporting THE VOTERS!


  • IndependentPrimary.Com Releases Internet Poll Results (Ballot Access News)
  • Grace Vuoto thinks Obama is the best anti-Hillary candidate (Washington Times)
  • Steve Sailer thinks it's 1957 (Washington Times)
  • Congressional Black Caucus Split Between Clinton and Obama (by Hazel Trice Edney, Amsterdam News)
  • Black vote split in Alabama? (Stevenson Blog-Tuscaloosa News)
  • McKinney Seeking Green Party Presidential Nomination (Christian News Network Crosswalk blog)
  • Registration deadline nears-Independent Party regisrants can't vote in primaries (Florida Today)
  • Minneapolis: Instant runoff voting has its first hurdle - a lawsuit (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
  • Santa Fe : City voters to weigh instant runoffs-Charter amendment on March ballot calls for ranking candidates in municipal elections (The New Mexican)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Conversations on Ron Paul

Rob Kall (OpEdNews) endorsed Ron Paul for the Repub nomination and makes a good case for Why Progressive Dems Should Support Ron Paul with the observation that a strong showing by Paul's campaign early in the primaries can make him a contender for independent votes in a contest with Hillary or Obama, forcing those campaigns leftward. I'm all for that!

In my opinion, Ron Paul's statement on foreign policy on Meet the Press on Sunday (msnbc video here) was one of the most progressive statements we've heard yet in this campaign. More people need to be talking about whether the US should continue to be the Policeman of the World. To his credit, Dr. Paul has followed independents for at least 2 decades.

It was independent voters who raised the bar in 2006 in the midterm elections, making the war in Iraq the make or break issue, and leading the country in a mandate for the Dems to change the direction of our country. A mandate they have been unwilling or unable to fulfill.

Fortunately, the American people are leaning into this election, creating the basis for a real shake-up.


In New Hampshire, independent voters turn to alternative media: NH-CIV speaks! (Christian Science Monitor) And speaking of alternative media, check out the video at the top of The Hankster to hear New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice's Betty Ward talk about what independents can do to build independent politics!
  • California commentator Tom Elias reminds the parties: "During the four years since the last presidential primary voting, Democratic voter rolls in California have dropped 124,000, while Republicans lost 224,000. Both parties are down about one percentage point in their portion of the state's voters - roughly 43 percent for Democrats today and about 34 percent for Republicans. But decline-to-state voters are up by 496,000, now amounting to almost 20 percent of all California voters, compared with 16 percent four years ago... (Long Beach Press Telegram)
  • Paul B. Hertneky compares the records of Clinton and Obama in "doing for others" (Union Leader)
  • Ron Paul says he's not running as an independent but WaPo says he Won't Rule Out Run as Independent (Washington Post The Talk)
  • 5th Circuit Expedites Mississippi Democratic Party Open Primary Case (Ballot Access News)
  • University of Arkansas Law Review Publishes Election Law Issue (Ballot Access News)

Candidates Set for a Marathon -GOP Primary Is Seen as Lengthening (NY Sun): ...A delayed nomination fight on either side could also complicate the entry of a potential independent candidate like Mayor Bloomberg, who is likely waiting for the two major party choices to be determined before deciding on a White House race. Mr. Bloomberg would face state filing deadlines as early as May and June to qualify for the November ballot, and the still-unlikely possibility of an contested party convention could flummox his plans altogether.

Although fund-raising would not be an issue for the billionaire mayor, more than 100,000 signatures are needed to qualify for the ballot in states like Florida and California that would be key to Mr. Bloomberg's chances. In New York, 15,000 are required. Though petitioning has historically been both time- and ground-intensive, the hurdles are far from insurmountable. "It's not as hard as people think," the editor of the newsletter Ballot Access News, Richard Winger, said.
A candidate must petition for the ballot in Texas by May 8 — the earliest such date in the nation. But the vast majority of state deadlines are not until July, August, and September. And the potential to organize supporters on the Internet may make the process much easier. "The Internet has taken all bets off," the interim dean of Boston University's College of Communication, Tobe Berkovitz, said. 'You can build an almost instant cyber-community."...

  • A Date To Watch Out For-March 5 key date for any would-be independent presidential candidate (Daily Politics)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Betty Ward and Russ Ouellette from New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice


The hunt for independents in freshly blue New Hampshire (Providence Journal) --be sure to watch the video from hankstertube at the top of The Hankster to hear from Betty Ward of the influential New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice.....

  • They hear freedom ring when he speaks-RON PAUL: An eclectic group of supporters rallies around the presidential candidate. (Alaska Daily News)
  • Clinton gets lots of help from her friends-Emily's List, AFSCME, AFT foot the bill (Los Angeles Times)
  • The Ron Paul Movement Makes Polls Irrelevant (by True American blog)
  • Democrats need to jettison Lieberman as a troublesome traitor (The Enquirer-Cincinnati)
  • Political match dot com.... (Seattle Times)
  • Primary incompetence-Michigan primary SNAFU (Toledo Blade)
  • McCain closing gap with Romney-In N.H. poll, Obama inches ahead of Clinton (Boston Globe)
  • Nashua Telegraph endorses Barack Obama
  • Sen. Barack Obama is a formidable alternative to Sen. Hillary Clinton, the prospect of whose presidency he describes, though using kinder terms, as "been there, done that." (Concord Monitor)
  • Obama reaches deep into S.C.-His political machine could break through the state's longtime barrier to black candidates. (St. Petersburg Times)
  • New Orleans North shore voters likely to decide congressional race-politics of the white affluent district of N.O., 24% independent (Times Picayune-NOLA online)


  • Call It Independents' Day-Unaffiliated voters can take either party's ballot in New Hampshire (US News & World Report)
  • Let's End This Two-Party System! (by Timothy V. Gatto-OpEdNews)
  • Boston Herald lines up with Joe Lieberman's choice for Prez (Boston Herald) -- we'll find out who the real independents in New Hampshire support on Jan. 8
  • Who'll be the maverick in 2008? Obama, Edwards Go Long (Wall Street Journal)
  • McCain surging up on Romney, polls in New Hampshire show (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Clinton losing ground in California, but Obama isn't gaining (Mercury News)
  • New Georgia poll: Obama, Clinton even; Huckabee far ahead (Savannah Morning News)
  • Clinton Lands Seasoned Operative for S.C. Effort (The Fix Washington Post)
  • James Pinkerton: The case for Michael Bloomberg--"satire" (Dallas Morning News)
  • Mike Gravel Announces Third Party Bid; Why Ron Paul Will be Next (OpEdNews)

Independent Voters May Determine Winners In New Hampshire

This reporter and politial pundit Andy Smith think independent voters are "squirrelly"... Here's to a King of Hearts primary in 2008!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Larry Reinsch talks about

If you haven't seen the video of Larry Reinsch talking about after the Anti-Corruption Awards on Dec. 18th, it's not too late! Click here on hankstertube....

Obama Targets Independents -- But Is He Listening???

A Hankster Editorial

Sen. Obama needs another lesson in talking with independent voters!

Here's a link to the CNN piece on Obama talking with New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice activist Russ Ouellette

This was Sen. Obama in "dialogue" with independent voters in New Hampshire. Sen. Obama seems to confuse talking with independent voters with using the word "independent" in a sentence, hence his urgency in creating an "independent energy" plan....

When Russ Ouellette of the influential New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice tried to point out to the Senator on a CNN piece last night that "crossing the aisle" does not constitute reaching out to independent voters, Obama cut him off at the pass. I'd say the Senator, who I regard as an important voice in this election, needs to work on his listening skills -- particularly when it comes to independent voters.

PS -- Russ Ouelette and Betty Ward accepted a well-deserved Anti-Corruption Award on Tuesday night from the New York County Independence Party on behalf of the New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice. They don't get star-struck, they keep their eyes on the grassroots, they're part of the independent movement's secret weapon!

Photos from the 2007 Anti-Corruption Awards.


NOTE: The MSM coverage below notwithstanding, I caught a few minutes of Obama chatting with a group of voters in New Hampshire on CNN last night. The group included Russ Ouellette, one of the key organizers of the influencial New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice which was awarded a 2007 Anti-Corruption Award this week by the New York County Independence Party. When Sen. Obama was talking about his willingness to "cross the aisle" as a testament to his appeal to independents, Russ pointed out that appealing to Republicans by reaching "across the aisle" is not the same thing as reaching out to independents. Obama cut him off with a little bit of a "oh yes it does" attitude.... So much for reaching out to independent voters... Sen. Obama needs to work much harder to learn how to talk to AND LISTEN TO independents!
  • Obama taps independent voters in N.H. (Nashua Telegraph)
  • Obama talks solutions with voters at Loaf and Ladle (Seacoast Online Exeter News-Letter)
  • Obama criticizes 527s (MSNBC)
  • Obama appeals to important NH independents (Boston Herald)
  • Guess Who's Coming to Des Moines and various other racist arguments against Obama's candidacy.... (American Spectator)

  • Bloomberg talks shop with 15 new mayors -- one topic: party affiliation and voter loyalty(Newsday)

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Over 200 supporters packed the Woolworth Tower Kitchen Restaurant Tuesday night for the 8th Annual New York County Independence Party Anti-Corruption Awards. The Anti-Corruption Awards is the signature event of the New York City Independence Party, that to celebrates independents' success and honors political and civic leader figures who are activitely building bridges to independent voters and the independent movement. The event, one of two major fundraisers for the IP each year, raised over $56,000. Tuesday night's awardees included Michael Hardy, Al Sharpton's long-time attorney; Bob Sullentrup and Larry Reinsch accepted on behalf of Rock the Debates, Betty Ward and Russ Ouellette accepted on behalf of the New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice, and other community activists. [Look for more awardees over the next several days here on The Hankster....] Past awardees have included Michael Bloomberg, Mike Gravel, and local elected officials such as Senator Charles Schumer, State Senator Joseph Bruno, State Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, and Councilman Leroy Comrie, in addition to grassroots builders of the Independence Party of New York City. [Check The Hankster for photos from the event, and see the video at the top for Larry Reinsch's remarks on]

  • What does the MSM call an anti-war libertarian Republican candidate for president who is raising millions from the grassroots? How about Spoiler? (CBS News)

  • Ron Paul's "revolution"--“Maybe I’m more in the mainstream,” he said. “Maybe the extreme is what we’ve been living with.” (Portsmouth Herald News Seacoast Online)

  • Mayor's 2008 Move Depends on Primaries: "The conventional wisdom says Mr. Bloomberg wouldn't run against Senator McCain because he's a centrist, Governor Romney because he's a fellow businessman, or Senator Clinton because they share so many of the same natural base of supporters. But conventional wisdom can't tell us how voters will feel about any of the nominees once their opponents have finished slicing and dicing them during the next 10 weeks of campaigning. Name any pair of candidates, and there is a scenario that allows Mr. Bloomberg to conclude he has a decent shot at winning. But decent does not mean likely, and odds are Mr. Bloomberg will sit out the race.... "(New York Sun)

  • Three Nader Ballot Access Cases from 2004 Are Still Alive (Ballot Access News)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Yesterday Elizabeth Benjamin found another Independence Party of New York fundraiser to write about -- the New York County IP Eighth Annual Anti-Corruption Awards, honoring Al Sharpton attorney Michael Hardy, (Elizabeth Benjamin, Daily Politics -- Daily News) SEE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT ABOVE.... more on this in coming posts...

  • Centrists are not popular (Times Argus VT)

  • Luring New Hampshire's independent voters: Edwards' populist message, Bonnie Rait, Jackson Browne -- well, it couldn't hurt..... (Nashua Telegraph)

  • Independent voters, African Americans and youth will impact S.C. primaries (Orangeburg Times and Democrat)

  • Here's how Florida is shaking down on the presidential races... (Southern Political Report-Florida Insider)

  • The New New Hampshire Voter (Washington Post The Trail)

  • Kucinich signs Edwards petition (Cleveland Free Times)

  • Praise is the new negative campaigning: Clinton supporter Bob Kerrey on Obama's Muslim heritage (By Joe Gandelman - The Moderate Voice)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


  • Why This Independent May Not Sway the Ones that Matter -- quotes Jacqueline Salit and Donna Richards (Campaigns & Elections)
  • Cracks In The Facade Of A Vaunted Voting Bloc (Washington Post reprinted in Hartford Courant)
  • Independents may lift McCain, not Obama, in N.H. (Boston Globe)
  • Pennsylvania voters -- including independents - shut out (Editorial, Pocono Record)
  • McCain endorsed by Lieberman (Union Leader)
  • What "Independent" means --NOT Joe Lieberman...(NJVoices blog)
  • Paul credits stance against war as sparking fundraising boost (Mason City Globe Gazette)
  • Is America Ready for an Independent President? (By Harry C. Alford, Louisiana Weekly)
  • Feb. 5 primaries could decide between Clinton and Obama (By Hazel Trice Edney, NNPA Louisiana Weekly)
  • Entrance surveys and how the Iowa caucuses work (Politico)
  • Term-limits turmoil debate between Steve Poizner and Steve Westly (LA Times)

Monday, December 17, 2007


Ron Paul's 2007 Boston Tea Party--instead of dumping tea, he raised another $5 mil (Boston Globe) and while you're at it, check out the godwhacker graphic....

Obama, Paul, Gravel active in Alaska (Anchorage Daily News)

Liz Halloran says the war in Iraq momentarily not The Issue for candidates... but don't count on that after the primaries or if the casualty count goes up... (By Liz Halloran, US News & World Report) I agree voters are increasingly wary and weary of the rhetoric, having been taken through the wash by the Dems after the 2006 midterms. Personally I think the electorate is not responding so much to individual issues--whether foreign or domestic policy--but rather is making a statement about how policy gets made. American voters seem to be saying "Insider partisans beware!"

Lieberman has apparently come full circle in his political meanderings... (The Trail - WaPo) and love this headline in Alaska Report

Dan Abrams welcomes change in Justice Dept Civil Rights Division saying "from 2001 to 2006, not one voting discrimination case was brought on behalf of African-American voters." (Huffington Post) and that includes a complaint filed in 2005 by Lenora Fulani and others from 11 states on the voting rights of independent black voters. See Rob Redding's report from 2006 here....

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Wisconsin independent voter and community leader Kevin Rector sees need for party cooperation (Wausau Daily Herald)

Ohio independent Patrick Saunders says candidates who pay attention to independents will upset the status quo--EXACTLY! (LETTER Sandusky Register)

Coffee mugs and videos: Leave no gimmick unturned to pull voters to the Iowa caucuses (Missouri Valley Times)

Minnesota volunteers headed for Iowa fields hoping to influence independent voters (Post-Bulletin)

In Waterloo Iowa African American community, it's "Obama, Obama, Obama" (Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier)

Frank Rich column "Latter-Day Republicans vs. the Church of Oprah" -- which is the least offensive religious approach to the campaign of 2008??? ( NY Times)

Illinois Democrats favor Obama 2-1 (Chicago Tribune )

Single women make up the latest group coveted by politicians (The Oakland Press)

Cokie and Steven V. Roberts' column considers a Bloomberg run, which they think may have more weight now that things are getting shaken up again by voters. They add a little disclaimer which, if you like irony, you'll enjoy: "this country is too big and diverse to tolerate an array of splinter parties" ( - IL)

President Mike? David Andelman says Bloomberg IS going to run. (Does that mean he'll win?) (Forbes)


Independence Party leader Lynette Clark says Alaska should do its own corruption probes (Fairbanks Daily News Miner)

In case you weren't sure how much of an independent movement opportunist Kinky Friedman might be, here are some new quotes (Herald Zeitung)

Austin is a stronghold for Ron Paul campaign (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Naivete? Short-term memory loss? Too many years in Albany? Someone should remind Newsday's Elizabeth Benjamin that Mayor Mike Bloomberg gave the Independence Party of New York City a quarter of a mil for capacity building in 2004, money that was well-spent in helping to create a new political alignment in New York City -- a coalition between black and independent voters that revolutionized city politics in 2005.

E-mails show how Dems tied staffers' bonuses to campaign work-extra points for getting Nader off the PA ballot (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Poll: Obama Edges Hillary In New Hampshire, Romney Still Way Ahead-independents key (TPM Election Central)

Poll: Clinton's lead vanishes in New Hampshire (CNN)

Democrats to let independents vote in CAlif (Redding Record Searchlight)

Hawaii Islands need open primaries (Editorial Maui News)

John Edwards' populist message reaching Iowans (By JIM KUHNHENN – AP)

Brokaw Goes Boom! ToBro on Iraq and Vietnam, Left and Right, and Why Bloomberg Might Actually Have A Shot (Huffington Post, Rachel Sklar)

The African American Vote - Hillary Clinton might be losing her lead with African American voters to Barack Obama. (Today's KTHV Little Rock)

Things are tense in Hillaryland these days (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Greens Urge Public Support for Nader and Romanelli Lawsuits Alleging Legal Abuse of Elections by Democrats (Green Party Common Dreams press release)

Conversations on Exclusive Debates

The exclusion of Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel from the Des Moines Register debate last Thursday brought an uproar from the grassroots. The non-partisan Committee for a Unified Independent Party reported being cc'd on close to 100 emails that went to Howard Dean and the paper within several hours of notice to protest the anti-democratic move by the party interests. And The Hankster got this video from Representative Press with the comment "Kucinich is excluded from the Democratic Debate because his Iowa Field Director and State Coordinator, Marcos Rubinstein, works from home!?!"

Doug Ireland sent this letter to the editor:
To the Editor, Des Moines Register:
As a journalist who has covered politics for three decades, I was appalled to discover that you had excluded both Congressman Dennis Kucinich and former Senator Mike Gravel from your presidential debate when I tuned into it today....... (read more)

Of Peace and Politics ran this: Mike Gravel: On Giving Power to the People
Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel were denied from participating in yesterday's Democratic debate. The Gravel Campaign released this video in protest.

The Independent View ran a protest.... and goofballs ran a Call to Action......

Other organizations, mostly Kucinich endorsers, ran protest campaigns:, and We Are Watching You...

Dandelion Salad among several other blogs ran Jean Hay Bright's piece pointing out that "The concept that only landed gentry should be eligible to participate in the political process is an idea that we threw out, not in the last century, but in the century before that."

Gannett Blog (an independent blog about the Gannett Co.) tells us that "a Des Moines Register tipster says the paper has been hosed by protesters after its controversial decision to exclude Rep. Dennis Kucinich (below) from yesterday's Democratic presidential debate."The protest disrupted the newsroom for two days, jamming the phones,'' the tipster writes today. "After the Kucinich Iowa website announced he wasn't being included in the debate panel, Kucinich supporters posted protests on the comment areas tacked on to any news reports or blogs."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Conversations on Big Dem Blogs

Here's a post by Kenneth Anderson on The Brad Blog called Circus Maximus: New Media 'Progressives' Holding Hands With the Corporate Establishment, in a Search for the 'Most Electable'...
Though Dennis Kucinich espouses ideals resonant with most liberal voters, he is as marginalized by progressives as much as the mainstream media as "unelectable," though no one ever seems to understand or explain exactly what that means. Is it his ears?
By all appearances, blogs such as dKos, MyDD, etc, have now simply become another arm of the Democratic party and their backing of the major, big-money candidates simply because they are deemed "electable" entirely betrays the original purpose of their fora.

Personally I think Kenneth's assessment that Daily Kos's Markos is too afraid of the establisment to challenge the Dem Party is a bit generous. I think Markos just doesn't care. It's no skin off his nose whether Obama or Hillary wins the Dem nomination because he's gonna support the Dems no matter who, because, well he's ALL FOR the establishment...

And so on and so on for Jerome Armstrong's piece on MyDD Obama's Fate, and many others responding to a Politico expose that Obama is a liberal... (gasp!)

Meanwhile it seems that the American people themselves have decided to shake up the election. Obama is leading Hillary, Huckabee steps into a void..... We'll see where it all lands....


  • About Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel being excluded from Dem afternoon delight debate yesterday, a few major papers made note of it by saying that they didn't fit the criteria, some blogs made note of it and added the comment "not sure why Allen Keyes was included in the Repub debate since he didn't meet that criteria either...." Here is some of the "coverage", and mind you the only real protest concerning democracy issues was a letter to the Des Moines Register: Leaving candidates out of debate compromises democracy (LETTER Des Moines Register)
  • Kucinich press release on exclusion (OpEdNews) It seems that the Cleveland Plain Dealer doesn't like Kucinich....
  • Keyes in, Kucinich out of Iowa debates (Boston Globe)
  • Thursday’s political round-up-excerpt on exclusion of Kucinich (The Carpetbagger Report)
  • 2 Democrats excluded from debate but Keyes allowed to take part (WCCO - MN)
  • The networks and the debates (
  • Kucinich fans wanted him in debate (Des Moines Register)

  • There are 34 candidates on the New Hampshire ballot-- some spoke at the Manchester Community Access Media broadcast the forum, which will be aired on C-SPAN. (New Hampshire Union Leader)
  • Matt Bai has a new blog on the NY Times' The Caucus called The Primary Argument
  • There's a noticeable shift among black voters in South Carolina from Clinton to Obama (Wall Street Journal) and while the Washington Times calculates the Oprah Factor, it's a little known fact that Wayne Griffin and other independents in S.C. are organizing voters to challenge politics as usual

  • Interesting roundup of blogs on National Journal The Hotline ...Markos Moulitsas, with the political instincts of a 15 year old hounddog, says: "I voted 'Obama' this time, not necessarily because I support him, but because the alternatives are no good. ..... "

Thursday, December 13, 2007


  • Fed up with politics as usual and government paralysis, 60% of the electorate is open to a 3rd party presidential run (Mercury News)
  • Huckabee's upsurge helped by religious conservatives and independent voters (
  • Democratic New Hampshire Primary Too Close to Call (Associated Content)
  • Raw Fisher has a cleverly worded poll (Washington Post Raw Fisher)
  • Obama's ground plan in Iowa (Time Magazine)
  • Bloomberg: will he? won't he? OR WHEN will he....? (Wall Street Journal)
  • Check out for the blogtalkradio discussion of the need for a third party party

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Action Alert: Iowa media excludes Dennis Kucinich from debate

As we come down to the wire for the Iowa Caucus, and polls are shifting, Congressman Dennis Kucinich has been excluded from tomorrow afternoon's Democratic presidential debate, sponsored by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Television.

The Des Moines Register stated today that the criteria for participation in the debate that Congressman Kucinich and Senator Mike Gravel did not meet was 1) candidates must have a campaign office in Iowa and 2) candidates must have employed at least one full time staffer in Iowa.

One problem with this criteria is that the candidates just found out about it! And legally, debate sponsors are required to give pre-existing, objective criteria for inclusion. How else can the candidates possibly work to meet the criteria, or challenge it, if not given notice of it?

The Iowa caucuses are on January 3, and all polls show the race being very close. Kucinich may not be a frontrunner, but he does have support in the state. This is exactly the time when Howard Dean and the Democratic Party are supposed to put partisan interests aside and let the people decide!! Here's what you can do: Contact the Des Moines Register and Howard Dean, chair of the Democratic National Committee, to let them know you protest the lack of democracy expressed by the exclusion of Kucinich and Gravel from tomorrow's debate.

Protest to Howard Dean - call the Democratic National Committee headquarters at 202-863-8000, or email;
Protest to Carolyn Washburn - moderator of the debate, and editor of the Des Moines Register-call her at 515-284-8502, or email;
Please copy The Hankster with your letters.

Tell the news media and the Democratic Party that independent voters protest their violations of democracy!

You can watch and listen to the debate at 2pm EST live on CNN, C-SPAN3, C-SPAN Radio, Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio. It will also be streamed live online at and Check your local listings for more information.

Will I Waste My Vote?

Dennis Kucinich in New Hampshire

Ask Yourself - Mike Gravel

Seattle Weekly: Barack Obama in Seattle

The Ron Paul Phenomenon, a PBS Documentary

On tv December 14


  • If you live in New Hampshire, look for the New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice on Channel 16Public/Education Programming
  • Ralph Nader has something to say to Gail Collins (Dissident
  • Obama's 1996 candidate survey food for the Clinton Attack Machine.... (Chicago Sun Times)
  • Blacks favor Clinton over Obama-at least for now (By James Wright, Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspapers, Frost Illustrated)
  • Hawaii Democrats may sue to close primary (Honolulu Advertiser)
  • Virginia: Repub Wittman beats out Dem Forgit and independent Lucky Narain for vacant Congressional seat (Daily Press)
  • Missouri: Poll--voters back nonpartisan court plan (St. Louis Business Journal)
  • The Anxiety of Hope: Barack Obama is surging in Iowa. Seattle is swooning. Oprah says he’s the one. Could this man be the winner Democrats have been waiting for? (The Stranger - Seattle)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


  • Clinton has the New Hampshire establishment Dem vote wrapped up, Edwards (and Obama) turn to independents--but you have to have a conversation with them, says state Dem chief (News & Observer)
  • With the vast majority of the electorate thinking the country is headed in the wrong direction, Repubs are having a hard time appealing to voters (NY Times)
  • For Congressional Democrats, the train has already left the station--and they're not on board. What happened to the 2006 mandate from independent voters??? (By Dave Lindorff /Coastal Post Online)
  • Ron Paul won't run on the Libertarian Party ticket (Nolan Chart/Pursuit of Happiness blog)
  • Carl Jeffers talks about the effects of racism on political attitudes and "winning, and the "Oprah Factor" (Huffington Post)
  • Is Obama's campaign caught between a (black) rock and a (white) hard spot? Book Review of Shelby Steele's "A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win." (Wall Street Journal)
  • Eugene Robinson discusses improbabilities and impossibilities of the Obama campaign (Washington Post)
  • Florida: Registered Repub to run independent for Congress (Naples News)
  • North Carolina: Comments sought on instant runoff hearing Jan 13 in Raleigh (News & Observer)
  • Minnesota: IRV tactic (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Monday, December 10, 2007


Sunday, December 09, 2007


  • On-Line Presidential Primary Poll Features 3 Sets of Presidential Primaries (Ballot Access News)
  • IFC Poll: 49% independents dissatisfied with current candidates (Multichannel News)
  • Somthing the Media doesn't get: Lou Dobbs (like Mike Bloomberg) is an advocate, not an independent candidate for president -- oh, wait, Lou Dobbs IS the Media! (DETROIT FREE PRESS)
  • Costa Mesa mayor says he’ll endorse Ron Paul--74 comments by libertarians and independents (Daily Pilot)
  • Jim Mangia of Committee for an Independent Voice is holding a fundraiser for Kucinich today (Reuters Press Release)
  • "Civil Rights Icon Andrew Young", according to MyFox Atlanta, says Obama is too young. Or too black. No, that's Bill -- Andy says "Bill is every bit as black as Barack." Hmmm... That's mighty white of you, Andy. And what's the cost of staying Forever Young?
  • Huckabee is the Republican Obama (By FRANK RICH, NY Times) and Obama is closing in on Hillary in South Carolina (The State) while Oprah and Chelsea Clinton Hit Iowa (Washington Post The Trail)
  • Challenges to all Green and all Democratic Presidential Primary Candidates Defeated in Illinois (Ballot Access News)
  • Virginia 1st Congressional District special election on Tuesday includes independent Lucky Narain (Washington Post)
  • Reactionary Loyalist Party plans run against popular Queens Democrat State Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza. The Loyalist platform contains anti-Islamic and stringently anti-illegal immigration ideals. 36 percent of the population here is foreign-born. (Queens Chronicle)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Conversations on Primaries and Caucuses and Independents

The first votes of the 2008 presidential election will soon be cast and we all know that there's more than a bucketful of manure about to hit the fan soon thereafter. Just under the 2-party-winner-take-all system however, something else is brewing. An independent presidential candidate? A grassroots primary where everyone can vote? A national system of ballot access for regular people? If it wasn't politics, this just might be "fun"!

As part of the "Draft Mike Bloomberg" movement, here's a new site called Unite for Mike is running an online presidential primary for independent voters until Dec. 18... Word is that Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich are in a dead heat.... Results will be sent via email to all participants and released to the media after the end of the primary. Log in and vote!

National Presidential Caucus held about 17 grassroots caucuses around the country yesterday.

New Hampshire independents are sticking to their guns

Independent Voters Alliance has a national design for equal and fair ballot access for all citizens