Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Thursday, January 31, 2008

More independent endorsements for Obama

The Idaho-based American Independent Movement and United Independents of Illinois have both endorsed Barack Obama in the upcoming primaries on Feb. 5. More on this tomorrow....

California: 3 million independent voters won't be wrong

California Independents Are Clinton Nightmare says Terrierman's Daily Dose

California's Independent Voice is working to reach as many independent voters as possible and let them know they CAN cast a ballot in the Democratic Primary -- if they ask.... CIV has endorsed Barack Obama: Creating Change from the Bottom Up – Independents Swing the Primaries to Obama

Obama's speech after South Carolina primary

Click here for Barack Obama's speech after the South Carolina primary

The Oklahoma 3: The right to petition our government

The video at the top of The Hankster is Paul Jacob talking about the indictment of three organizers of an Oklahoma state-wide citizen initiative. “This prosecution will have a chilling effect on those petition rights of the folks who live in this state and, through spreading fear, perhaps on the rights of citizens all over the country…"

Kim Wright, spokesperson for Oklahoma Independent Voters, called the prosecution an attempt to intimidate voters from exercising their right to petition their government.

“The initiative process provides ordinary citizens, regardless of political party, the opportunity to bring issues to the voters, issues that legislators might not be willing to support or pursue,” said Wright.

h/t Third Party Watch


Tuesday's primary vote breaks turnout record (Herald Tribune)

  • N.Y. Republicans endorse McCain (Ithaca Journal)
  • Obama builds consensus (LETTER to Ithaca Journal)
  • No Clinton-Giuliani `rematch' in NY (AP) Neither McCain nor Obama will be able to lean on independent voters who propped them up in Iowa and New Hampshire. New York's 2.4 million independents can't vote in primaries.
  • Who is Best For Our Community Obama or Clinton” (Meeting), Grand Council of Guardians Inc. Presents a Community Town Hall Forum “Who is Best For Our Community Obama or Clinton” (from the Obama website) Also, see "Let the People Decide" on hankstertube part 1 and part 2 -- marchers for the Committee for a Harlem Debate between Clinton and Obama.....

  • WNEC poll focuses on Mass. vote - 48% of indies undecided, If the general election were tomorrow, 30 percent said they would support Clinton and 16 would vote for Obama. (WNEC MassLive)
  • Mitt miss dismissed, Weld: Romney doesn’t need Mass. (Boston Herald) unenrolled or independent voters - who outnumber Republicans and are key in the Bay State primary because they can cast ballots for either party - prefer McCain 47 to 20 percent.

  • Obama emerges as primary pick (Truman State University Index) 26 percent of Missourians who intend to vote do not identify themselves with a political party. Comparatively, 60 students in the Index survey indicated that they do not identify themselves with a political party
  • Open Missouri primary offers voters a candidate buffet, and no trail (By Jo Mannies, St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Busted for Petitioning the Government for Redress of Grievances: Paul Jacob Update (Third Party Watch) Kim Wright and Oklahoma Independents defends citizen initiative

Stanton: Clintons' toxic turn doesn't faze Obama (Tucson Citizen)

  • New Poll: John McCain Would Beat Either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama ( Rasmussen: McCain holds leads in part because he does well with independent voters. McCain does better than either Democrat with independents in the new survey, but especially when Clinton is his opponent. Against the former First Lady, he leads 52% to 31% with unaffiliateds.
  • NH: Traditional Polling Methods Do Not Work for Nontraditional Candidates (Huffington Post)
  • The Fight Goes On! (The Conservative Voice) independents are leaning left and voting McCain

EDITORIAL: Utah vote may make big impact (University Journal Editorial Board)
Campaign spotlight to shine on Wisconsin, Calendar, tight races raise state's profile (Journal Sentinel)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Obama, Clinton, Edwards, McCain, Giuliani and the beginning of the end

Hey, was it something we said??? One minute folks are voting in the Florida primary, the next minute candidates are dropping out. Rudy Giuliani never seemed to have actually been running, at least for President. (As someone on CNN said, "He forgot to campaign!") John Edwards it seems to me has nothing to lose by staying in and yet he quit. They talk about "voter fatigue", but in this highly unusual campaign, voters seem to have more staying power than the candidates....

More observations of the moment by Ariel Alexovich "Blogtalk: Flordia Shuffles the Deck" on New York Times The Caucus, and below from Salit and Newman for Talk/Talk:

Salit: Peggy Noonan observed in the Wall Street Journal that she was initially concerned that Obama might be holding back from fully engaging the Clintons in a fight because he was worried that he might destroy the Democratic Party. But, she said, what's actually happening is that Bill Clinton is the one who's destroying the party, just as George Bush is destroying the Republican Party.
Newman: Obama's not holding back. The speech he gave last night in South Carolina was all about the Clintons. That's not holding back. If you're holding back, you're not giving that speech. Obama recognizes - and I think correctly - that that's the fight they have to have to be in the game. If you're going up against the establishment elements of your own party, you've got to go up against them full force. You can't hold back. I don't think he's going to unnecessarily provoke them. But, he's got to go up against them because that's who he's running against. He has to find the right tone: Hillary, I don't want to berate you. I know you're in line to become the first woman president. But, you represent a way of doing politics, which produces a set of decisions which come out of that way of doing politics, which is not where the American people are at. You're old. Your time has passed.... (Talk/Talk with Fred Newman and Jacqueline Salit, "No Holding Back")


  • Robust turnout suggests GOP has no lock on state (Herald Tribune - Sarasota) But the key challenge for the Democratic nominee is winning over independents. One in five voters in Florida is not affiliated with either party, meaning they will form a substantial swing vote.
  • Fla. win cements McCain's front-runner status (By Jill Lawrence, USA TODAY) Among voters who were registered GOP but called themselves independents, McCain won 2-1.
  • For McCain, Momentum That May Be Hard to Stop (By Dan Balz, Washington Post) While not the darling of the conservative establishment, McCain is seen by many rank-and-file Republicans, and some party leaders, as their most electable nominee. They also consider him the one with the greatest opportunity to reach beyond the party's base to draw independent voters, who have swung toward Democrats in the past two years.
  • Large Turnout But Few Problems (WFTV Orlando) The biggest problem, Browning said, was voters who had not declared a party affiliation showing up expecting to vote for a presidential candidate and being told they could not.
  • Sarasota County voters head to the polls (WWSB ABC 7 Sarasota) Another problem: irate Independent voters. "There have been several people come out disgusted. They were all registered Independents. They came here thinking they would be able to vote and it's voter confusion," said voter Ken Wingate.
  • Democrats shut out of Florida (By Mark Potter, NBC Field Notes) For local Democrats there was the sickening realization they may have just shot themselves in the foot with many of the state's famously independent voters come November.
  • Leon doesn't follow state voting trends (By Julian Pecquet, Tallahassee Democrat) Carlos Verney, a member of the College Democrats. He called for the state to adopt open primaries.

  • Hulshof joins governor race (By Virginia Young, St. Louis Post Dispatch) Hulshof projects himself as an outsider; his district is a "haven for independents" ...


  • California Independents Like Obama, But Will Have Trouble Voting For Him (Max Follmer, The Huffington Post) "Independent voters are making an unprecedented impact on primary elections across America this year. But in California, if you don't know to ask for a Democratic ballot, you don't get to vote for President," said Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign, a progressive grass-roots organization in California that has launched an effort to inform independent voters about voting in the presidential primary.
  • Calif. Independents Barred from GOP Primary (by Ina Jaffe, NPR)
  • Commentary: You May Have Your Ballot, But You May Not Be Able to Vote (By Constance M. Piesinger, Berkeley Daily Planet)

  • Obama Team Sets Sights On Post-Super Tuesday Prizes (Huffington Post ) ..among the 22 Super Tuesday states are 16 "where decent attendance from undeclared and independent voters" would favor Obama. This is the conventional wisdom. This is why that massive phone bank for Obama last Saturday in the California field offices (220,000 calls made) targeted those voters.
  • Useful Brennan Center Article about Deadlines for Independent Voters to Re-Register, if they Want to Vote in Presidential Primaries (Ballot Access News) SEE REFERENCED ARTICLE BELOW
  • Shhh, Or Independents Might Actually Get to Vote (By RenĂ©e Paradis, Brennan Center blog)
  • INDEPENDENTS GO HOME-Open Primaries Are Killing Democracy (Ted Rall, Yahoo News) NOTE: Ted thinks polarization is good for democracy...... he's a real fighter, but he's on the wrong side of the issue...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida: Republicans, Democrats and Independents

CNN has called Florida for Hillary Clinton who has 48% with 24% of the precincts reporting. John Edwards has 15% and Dennis Kucinich (CNN posted Mike Gravel's name instead of Kucinich's for a little while....) has over 5,000 votes, about 2%. Of course this is where the DNC put the state Democratic Party into receivership for changing the date of the primary.... So neither Obama nor the Clintons campaigned there. Obama is winning the black vote with 70%+, while the Clintons are winning the non-black vote, according the the latest exit polls.

The more interesting action is the Repub primary where John McCain and Mitt Romney are neck and neck. Giuliani is running a "John Edwards third" -- about 15%. So apparently America's Mayor is not Florida's first choice for America's President..... Giuliani is expected to withdraw if he doesn't do well tonight, having put all his eggs in the Sunshine basket. Ron Paul has about 3% -- over 31,000 votes so far.

There are no stats for independents because independents cannot vote in the primaries in Florida. Independents make up about 22% of the electorate in Florida, and are disenfranchised by the rules.

Independents should be able to vote in primaries in all the states. Independent voters should have all the rights of citizenship in our democracy, including being able to vote in public elections.


  • Three indicted TABOR petitioners make their 1st court appearance (by Marie Price, The Journal Record) Kim Wright, with Oklahoma Independent Voters, said prosecution of the “Oklahoma 3” intimidates voters from exercising their right to petition their government.
  • Independent voters can't vote in primary (Sequoyah County Times)

  • California’s Unaffiliated Voters Are Sometimes Unreachable (By JENNIFER STEINHAUER, NY Times)
  • Thousands switch or join parties ahead of primary (By Craig Gustafson, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE)
  • McCain, Clinton have big leads in California (By Cathleen Decker, Los Angeles Times)
  • Yes, You Can... Vote for President in California! (Rick Jacobs, Huffington Post)
  • Term limits debate heated by Prop. 93 (By Bill Hoban INDEX-TRIBUNE, Sonoma News) * McCain, Clinton lead in California (CNN Political Ticker)

  • Without independents, will McCain, Obama falter? (BY REID J. EPSTEIN, Newsday)
  • Independent Voters (WMBB - Gulf Coast West FL)
  • More than 44,000 Florida voters switch parties (Tampa Bay Local News 10)
  • GOP race in Florida is Romney vs. McCain-The two candidates are running neck and neck before the Republican primary Tuesday. (By Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor)
  • GOP candidates look for Florida win (By From Wire Reports, The State)
  • More Floridians shun major political parties (WWSB ABC 7 Florida, Associated Press)
  • Florida voters show growing independent streak-More voters are registering, but they are increasingly turning away from the major parties. (Mark Schlueb, Sun Sentinel)

  • Poll: Colo. independents siding with Dems (UPI)

  • McCain and Clinton top choices among Missouri voters (By The Associated Press, Columbia Missourian)

  • Who Voted for Obama? (WLTX S.C.)


  • Sharpton On Bill Clinton: "It's Time For Him To Just Be Quiet" (Huffington Post VIDEO from The View)
  • The Inconvenience of Democracy (Deepak Chopra, Huffington Post)
  • Reclaiming the Notion of a “First Black President” (Monique W. Morris)

Monday, January 28, 2008

We need open primaries in all states!

From today's Wall Street Journal:
On Feb. 5, voters in 22 states will cast ballots. More than half of all Democratic delegates and over 40% of Republican delegates are at stake in a pair of races that remain far from settled.
Strategists must consider not just state-by-state polling, but also the widely varying rules governing each contest. Some states allow independents to vote in partisan primaries; others are closed. Some are caucuses more likely to attract activists; some are primaries where early voting is already under way. In the Democratic field, Sen. Hillary Clinton has the advantage when only registered party voters are allowed in. Sen. Barack Obama, with an extensive field organization, is expected to do well in caucuses. (Strategizing for Super Tuesday, Wall Street Journal)

And likewise, independent voters must strategize for Super Tuesday. For some of us in closed primary states like New York, anyone who isn't registered in the Dem or Repub parties can't vote in the primaries. That's one reason some people stay registered with a party so they can vote in the primary that determines the candidate that runs in the general election. About half the states however have open primaries, some with nonpartisan registration and others that allow voters to pick the primary they want to vote in.

Read CUIP's Independents Will Make the Difference on February 5th. On the political calendar, February 5th is a date that looms large. Twenty-two states hold presidential primaries or caucuses. No wonder it’s been dubbed not only Super Tuesday, but in some quarters Tsunami Tuesday. What is the Super Big Wave that could sweep through 15 of those 22 states? .... and
INDEPENDENTS ACTION ALERT!Let's call for Open Primaries in Every State
In recent weeks, CUIP has received many calls and messages from independents around the country asking whether they can vote in the upcoming presidential primaries. Each state has different procedures for their elections, and the political parties in each state determine who can vote in the primaries, so the answer varies.

The Hankster totally agrees! We need open primaries in every state for presidential elections. Open primaries give voters some say in an otherwise partisan and often clubhouse system. Let the people decide!!!


  • Independents to Help Pick Nominees (By BEN EVANS, AP)
  • AZ: Thousands party-switch in AZ to vote in primary (Kingman Daily Miner)
  • MA: Area getting excited for presidential primaries (BY JIM HAND SUN CHRONICLE - MA)
  • CA: Venice Dials In for Obama (Venice Paper)
  • FL: More Floridians shun major political parties (WWSB ABC Florida)
  • MO: Independents side with Dems on key issues (St. Louis POST-DISPATCH)
  • CA: President Hillary (By Paul Craig Roberts, Online Journal)
  • Independent voters may be the key in Massachusetts GOP primary (MetroWest Daily News - MA)
  • S.C. rout revives Obama's quest (Charlotte Observer)
  • NY: No Party Changes Allowed (Gotham Gazette)
  • MO: Democrats set sights on Missouri (KWMU PBS)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Action Alert: Open Primaries

An Ordinary Person has a great post on an organizing effort for open primaries, with lots of background....

Why an effort for open primaries now?

Because: More than half the states holding presidential contests next month on Super Tuesday allow unaffiliated voters to participate, giving millions of independents a chance to shape what is usually an insider affair among Democratic and Republican loyalists.
Two of those states — California and New Jersey — together have nearly 6 million unaffiliated voters who will be allowed to cast ballots. Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts and Alabama are among other prized catches with millions of independents eligible for the Feb. 5 contests. (Independents to Help Pick Nominees, by Ben Evans, AP)



  • CO: Nonparty voters are swinging to Dems-Unaffiliated voters side with one party on major issues, but who the candidate is matters. (Denver Post)
  • AZ: Obama can unite nation (endorsement) (Arizona Republic)
  • WI: Choice 2008: Voters here may be heavily courted (Wisconsin State Journal)
  • TX: Kinky Friedman Mulls Second Run For Governor-as Dem (Fort Bend Now)
  • MO: Are primaries really worth the time and effort? (Lakes Sun Leader)
  • Obama Wins South Carolina Primary (By JEFF ZELENY and MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM, NY Times)
  • Black voters help Obama trounce Clinton in S.C. (By Karen E. Crummy, The Denver Post)

South Carolina: A "beat-down" for Obama

With 99% of precincts reporting:
Obama 295,091 55%
Clinton 141,128 27%
Edwards 93,552 18%
Kucinich 551 0%

  • 42% of independents voted for Obama
  • 23% of the voters in South Carolina are independents
  • 18% of Obama's total vote came from independents

RECORD TURNOUT: In 2004, about 294,000 people voted in the presidential primary here. More than 530,000 people voted yesterday.

For more results see

Saturday, January 26, 2008

South Carolina: Independents, turnout and the Democratic Party

Exit polling data showing a higher than expected vote by independents could benefit Obama and the Democratic Party, which is trying to claim the independent vote. (The State)

Bob Herbert's column in the New York Times this morning has some choice words about the Clinton surrogates, and the endorsement of Obama by Charleston SC mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr.

In 2004, the makeup of the Democratic primary electorate in South Carolina was 51% white and 47% black. In that contest, Edwards won over 50% of the white vote and narrowly won the black vote over Kerry, 37%-34% with Sharpton getting 17%. Overall, Edwards beat Kerry, 45%-30%, followed by Sharpton at 10%. Turnout was just under 300,000 in 2004. Also of note, 24% of the 2004 Dem electorate was independent. What does that mean for today? Well, the most recent MSNBC/McClatchy/Mason-Dixon poll anticipates an electorate that's 55% African-American and 42% white. (MSNBC's First Thoughts)


Friday, January 25, 2008

South Carolina: Polls, Yard Signs and Beauty Shops

An American Research Group poll of likely primary voters conducted over the same period showed a similar lead for Obama. In that poll, Obama led Clinton 45 percent to 36 percent, with Edwards coming in third with 12 percent. (CNN)

Mr. Obama is trying something many observers say has never been done here: He is circumventing entrenched local leadership and building a political machine from scratch. (Brad Warthen's Blog at The State)

In South Carolina, as in Iowa, the Obama campaign has out-hustled, out-innovated, and outorganized its competition. (Marc Ambinder on The Atlantic)

The Obama campaign's innovative Barbershops and Beauty Salons (B&B) outreach program (AFP)

Clinton attacks on Obama in South Carolina are no surprise

The Clintons are busy triangulating the primary vote in South Carolina, racism in full view, now that the campaign has moved down south. Some Dems "expect" this from Repubs ("the enemy"), but are "surprised" to see these attacks from "one of their own." The Clinton attacks on the Obama campaign are no surprise. The Clintons think they own the Democratic Party, they think they own the black vote, and they're upset that they're being challenged so successfully by a black Democrat. What could be less surprising? They're not even worried they're offending anyone! But isn't that politics as usual?

Darryl Fears said in the Washington Post yesterday: "Even with the criticism of Clinton, however, some in the black community believe that it will make little difference. Black voters will overwhelming support the Democratic nominee, no matter who it is, they say." (Black America Feels the Sting of Ex-President's Comments)

Peggy Noonan had this to say today in the Wall Street Journal: "But the Clintons are tearing the party apart. It will not be the same after this. It will not be the same after its most famous leader, and probable ultimate victor, treated a proud and accomplished black man who is a U.S. senator as if he were nothing, a mere impediment to their plans. And to do it in a way that signals, to his supporters, How dare you have the temerity, the ingratitude, after all we've done for you?" (Breaking Up Is Hard To Do)

The grassroots has an opportunity to show some muscle, and some moxie. We'll see tomorrow if Obama has done enough to reach out to independents and independent Democrats -- black and white -- and which way the winds of change are blowing in 2008.

Independents Run Radio Ad in South Carolina in support of Obama


Wayne Griffin, an African American business man and long time independent chairs the Independence Party of South Carolina. Griffin has a radio ad running statewide describing the growing trend towards independence among black voters, reminding independents they can vote on Saturday in the open primary, and giving reasons why black independents are supporting Obama.

Kucinich bows out

Dennis Kucinich abandoned his presidential bid today to focus on a tough race for re-election to Congress (AP)

How's It Going? An Independent Look at the Presidential Process

CUIP National Conference Call, led by Jacqueline Salit, Editor of the Neo-Independent magazine and president of CUIP. Coming right after the key primaries and caucuses in IA, NH, NV and SC, and on the eve of Super Tuesday, the call is an opportunity to hear Salit's up-to-the minute analysis of how independents directly figure into the current presidential equation.
When: Sunday, January 27th
Time: 7:00pm EST, 6:00pm CST, 5:00pm MST, 4:00pm PST

If you are interested in joining the call, email Nancy Ross at or call 800-288-3201/212-609-2800.


  • Arts Education Partnership touts independent voters as backers (Press Release)
  • They Like Mike (by Michah Sifry, The Nation) It also didn't help that Unity08 wasn't really about enabling independent voters, or dissatisfied Democrats, Republicans and independents, to hammer out an agenda. The big decisions about the agenda were made in advance, by its founders.
  • How Do You Elect an Unpopular Nominee? (National Ledger) Repubs not doing so well
  • Oregon Independent Party Grows (The Oregonian)

  • Tip: Closed primaries favor establishment candidates (Jackson Sun - TN)
  • Unaffiliated Connecticut voters are "partying up for the primary" (Ridgefield Press)
  • Obama could win open primary in Alabama (Tuscaloosa News)
  • California Repubs have pushed out Independents in closed primary (Paradise Post)

  • Major parties have co-opted minor party demands: Black and Women candidates for president! (NPR)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Meet the Press - Barack Obama the best chance against McCain

Ron Paul holds forth in Repub debate

Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence live-blogged the Repub debate tonight (Thursday) in Florida for USA Today. Not surprisingly, Ron Paul was the only candidate to say US involvement in Iraq was a mistake. "...Paul gets cheers when he says it was a very bad idea and it was not worth it. He says there were no WMDs, no connection to 9/11 and no al-Qaeda presence before the United States invaded...."

Dennis Kucinich drops presidential bid

Kucinich spoke with the Cleveland Plain Dealer today. He will make a statement about a different direction he's taking on Friday at noon.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

“State of Independent Politics in the South” Summit Thursday, Jan. 24

South Carolina, Tsunami Tuesday and The Independent Vote

The “State of Independent Politics in the South” Summit will be held, Thursday, January 24, 2008, 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Augusta Marriott Hotel in Augusta, Ga. The Summit will be broadcast live on NewsRadio 1230 AM WNRR and online at

Summit organizer Helen Blocker-Adams noted, “Independent voters represent over 30% of the registered voters in Georgia and South Carolina. This Summit is designed to address how the Independent vote will impact these Primaries and Caucuses and give Presidential candidates or their Surrogates an opportunity to state their positions and platforms to this vital bloc of voters.”

Two morning panels will feature noted political analyst and pollster, Dr. Ralph Walker, Professor at Augusta State University; Dr. Chris Grant, Professor, Mercer University; Dr. Zaphon Wilson, Professor, Armstrong Atlantic University; Mary Ellen Cheatham, Bureau Chief, Georgia Public Broadcasting; Augusta Chronicle Editorial Page Editor Michael Ryan; Jim Welcome, Publisher, Newsmakers Journal; Maynard Eaton, Editor-in-Chief, Newsmakers Journal; Bill Mayberry, Columnist, The Oconee Leader; and News 12 Anchorperson Richard Rogers as they discuss Independent Politics, voters and their impact on the upcoming Georgia and South Carolina Presidential Primaries from the perspective of Pollsters and the Media.

The Summit is free and open to the public. Space is limited and tickets are required. Tickets can be picked up at NewsRadio 1230 WNRR located at 1286 Broad Street. Or call 706.284.6854.

Media Coverage: The event is open to the press. For credentials, please RSVP to or

The ‘State of Independent Politics in the South” is sponsored by The HBA Group, Intl. and Newsradio 1230 WNRR ( and more information, call 706.284.6854 or e-mail

Playing the Race Game: Clinton and Obama in South Carolina

...The “controversy” over Clinton’s Martin Luther King Jr. comment (“it took a president to make the dream a reality”) was, if anything, a setup to push Obama to talk race, something he has taken pains to avoid. Talking race in a white media echo chamber works to Clinton’s advantage. First, it is a subtle nod to subconscious and not-so-subconscious racism. Secondly, it gives her the chance to expound upon the Clintons’ fictional race history with blacks....
(Playing the Race Game: Neither Clinton Nor Obama Addressing Key Race Issues, by Kevin Alexander Gray, Columbia SC Free Times)

.....In fact, with its January 26th voting, South Carolina becomes the first state to showcase the Black vote and an Obama victory there would force Clinton to have a strong showing on Super Tuesday or fold her tent. That’s why she’s racing to play the race card..... (“Billary” is playing the race card, by George Curry, Hudson Valley Press, NY)

....Obama has done everything he possibly could to keep race out of this election. And the Clintons attracted national scorn when they tried to bring it back in by attempting to minimize the role Martin Luther King Jr. played in the civil rights movement. But here they have a way of appearing to seek the black vote, losing it, and getting their white backlash, all without any fingerprints showing. The more President Clinton begs black voters to back his wife, and the more they spurn her, the more the election becomes about race — and Obama ultimately loses.... (How Clinton will win the nomination by losing S.C., by Dick Morris, The Hill)

Newman: You can see the soul-lessness of the Democratic Party. Forget the Republican Party. I don't regard myself as having any expertise on the Republican Party, except that they believe in the soul. But if you take a look at what's going on in the Democratic primary, it seems to me to be utterly fascinating. Here's the former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, the "first black President" so called, who's track record of accomplishment for black people when he was in office many people feel is highly questionable. Nonetheless, he has a great reputation among African Americans. But the first time someone comes along who threatens to stop a political victory for a Clinton, and suddenly he's Mr. Snide and Nasty – towards the first viable black presidential candidate in the history of the United States. That's a little revealing.
Salit: And what does it reveal, do you think?
Newman: It reveals that he is into winning, period. It undercuts the idea that he is a deep believer in civil rights and economic rights for black America.
(Bill Clinton Off His Leash, Talk/Talk with Jackie Salit and Fred Newman)


  • Independent voters could tip Maine caucus results (Seacoast online)
  • Parties' days numbered? (Montgomery Advertiser)
  • Thousands of Ariz. voters switch parties for primary (The Arizona Republic)
  • The Neo-Independent (An Ordinary Person)
  • Clinton Taps Reiner, Obama Touts Roots in California (
  • Democrats’ eyes on prize (The State) “We were attracting independents and some Republicans,” Obama said of rural Nevada voters. “You know, this is the same way that I was able to win the election in Illinois, going to downstate Illinois.”
  • McCain Gains, Romney Close Behind (Forbes)
  • Rocking the vote (The State) Youth and independents in the Palmetto State
  • Voters Not Clamoring for Third-Party Candidacy This Year (Gallup)
  • Fate of Idaho's Republican primary still unresolved (Times-News Magic Valley)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Barack Obama needs independents to take on the Clintons

John Kerry, who has endorsed Barack Obama, warns of the "disgusting lies about Barack Obama that are being circulated by email. These attacks smear Barack's Christian faith and deep patriotism..." He calls it "Swiftboating". Tom Daschle and others have formed a "South Carolina Truth Squad" to fend off Clinton attacks. Daschle says the kind of back-biting we saw last night in the CNN/Congressional Black Caucus debate from Myrtle Beach will "destroy the party". The Democratic Party, that is.

Well, that's only true, it seems to me, if you think that the Democratic Party belongs to the Clintons. They surely think so. You have to give it to Bill, though. He's so passionate about holding onto the Democratic Party and the White House for himself, that he's willing to run around the country making a complete ass out of himself. (Oh, that's right -- nothing new there.... In fact, maybe his White House parlor games while in office made some of us forget that he high-tailed it back to Arkansas during his 1992 campaign to oversee the execution of a mentally ill black man.)

If this is a fight over the Democratic Party, I would urge my partisan brothers and sisters to resist. I think there's a bigger fight to be had. It's a fight over the direction the country is going. It's a fight over whether the party establishment (of whichever party) or the American people are going to determine policy. That's the fight that Obama is supposedly leading. Will he get enough support for that fight from within the Democratic Party? We'll see. In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt for him to reach out more seriously to independents.

Independents welcome that fight.

Barack Obama, Dennis Kucinich, and Who's Calling the Shots

South Carolina's biggest newspaper The State has endorsed Barack Obama for the Dem primary on Saturday, citing Obama's unifying style of leadership ("He’s not neglecting his core values; he defends his progressive vision with vigorous integrity. But for him, American unity - transcending party - is a core value in itself.") vs. Clinton's restoration campaign ("the Clintons’ joint career in public life seems oriented toward securing victory and personal vindication.")

Dennis Kucinich was denied inclusion in the CNN debate last night by the FCC because he's not a "major presidential candidate". The fact is that the media big shots who have been holding these debates this year are making up the rules as they go along and the FCC has nothing to say about it and doesn't even pretend to care about a fair debates process. More and more people are disillusioned by the exclusionary clubhouse culture of our political process. "Independent" is the fastest-growing political status in America, thanks to cynical, destructive rules like these.

Bill Clinton Off His Leash

Read Talk/Talk with Jacqueline Salit and Fred Newman:

Newman: I'm the last one to deny the skill of the Clintons and the Clinton people. I think they're very skillful. On the other hand, if you strip away the decorations, I think they have the skills of bullies. That's who they are. Are they skillful bullies? Yes. But I don't think you can focus on their "skills" without pointing that out.....


Salit: So, what should Obama do?
Newman: Obama should make a very strong and serious public bid for the independents.
Salit: He can't afford the luxury, even in the primary season, of giving independents away to John McCain or to anybody else.
Newman: He's got a natural relationship to the independents. But, he's got to push that all the way. And I think there's some indication that he's trying to do that. But, he's got to do that and he's got to do it fast.


  • Political independents undermine primaries (Mercury News) NOTE: Or, who needs democracy when you have partisan control?
  • Candidates face closed primary in Florida-Florida's vote is the first of this race in which independents have no say (Herald Tribune)
  • Fate of Idaho's Republican primary still unresolved (Times-News Magic Valley)
  • Clinton, Obama go for the jugulars (each other's) (LA Times Top of the Ticket blog) Many Democratic leaders might have been left wondering how many independent voters this kind of squabbling -- the mention of Wal-Mart, the reference to Rezko -- might drive away from the eventual nominee later this year. NOTE: I have to agree with this. Better to address the American people with your message....
  • Oklahoma Independents can’t vote in primaries (Alva Review/Courier OK )
  • California Party Lines Changing (KFSN)
  • Dems eye boost from Calif. primary rules (
  • Independence Party considering changes to its rules (Minnesota Public Radio)
  • Clinton-Obama contest divides S.C. by race, gender, age (Star-Ledger)
  • POLL: NY DUO IN FOR A SHOCK (NY POST) NY African American voters going for Obama
  • Siena Poll: Bad News For Rudy In NY, Good News For Spitzer (Elizabeth Benjamin, NY Daily News Daily Politics blog)
  • A black president or woman president? A happy dilemma for some (YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Live-blogging the CNN/Congressional Black Caucus Dem debate from Myrtle Beach S. C.

They all look really good. Is anyone going to speak to independents? Let's see. [More recent posts are at the top, working down to the beginning....]

10:06: There's the answer to my question: No reference to independent voters.

10:03: Q: Why would Dr. King endorse you? Obama says change does not happen from the top down. Hillary is giving a history of the civil rights movement. Hillary is working to make Dr. King's legacy real.

The End

9:54: Hillary is saying that if John McCain is the Repub candidate, she's the best candidate to go up against him based on military issues. Edwards goes back in saying that John McCain is known for campaign finance reform and says unlike the other 2, he doesn't take money from corporate lobbyists.... Hillary thinks she's independent and tough enough to withstand corporate lobbyists... Hillary wants to get the money out of politics.... Obama says nobody's hands are completely clean in politics. He answers Hillary's stance on military issues -- "national security" -- he says we have to overcome the politics of fear in this country, we need a new foreign policy of negotiation, can't play to the same fear mongering from 9/11....

9:40: Now asking Hillary about Bill's role in her campaign and should he quiet down?.... Hillary takes the opportunity to say that she is the best candidate to take the heat from the Repubs. Obama says Bill gets outsized attention bec. he is a former president, but that re-drawing the political map is important. Dems haven't had a working majority in a while, that could be effective in Washington. Obama says he can appeal to folks who have lost faith in their government. Unique opportunity. Expand the scope of the electorate. That's why we see record turnouts in the primaries. Edwards says S.C. voters are determining the candidate who will run against John McCain in November. Edwards says Dems need to be competitive in rural areas, and he's the best candidate to be able to do that, having grown up in the rural South.... Edwards is independent of special interests he says.

Quick break....

9:31: Q: Was Bill Clinton the first black president? Hmmm... that's a little joke there. They're all taking the high road here. Talking about that we have a ways to go for the dream of MLK to be fully realized....

9:18: Wolf references Charlie Rangel of NY (a big Hillary supporter).... [I thought they were going to talk about the issues.... oh well.....] Now Wolf is baiting Obama quoting Rangel saying that black voters should vote for who's best for the black community not who "feels good" (i.e. Hillary) Edwards thinks the black community is hurt worse by poverty than other communities.... Hillary is talking about her volunteer work.... Obama says they media has been too focused on race in S.C. unfairly. Ok, Edwards definitely gets the prize for platitudes on poor people.

9:07: Iraq, they all agree to get out. Edwards brings them together on this. Commercial break..... They are resetting the stage for a "no rules" discussion of the issues, as Wolf promises.

8:56: Now the topic is health care. Hillary and Edwards again going after Obama. Hillary is very passionate about Dems being for universal health care - that's what Dems stand for... as opposed to affordable and not mandated, which is what Obama is proposing. Obama is on the defense and seems to be taking the bait regularly.

8:30: It's a fight now. They were asked some questions by Wolf Blitzer about the economy and each spoke a little bit about NAFTA and tax rebates and now it's becoming a knock-down drag-out between Hillary and Obama, with John Edwards trying to play the Good-Humored Voice of Reason. He won't get any points for that, but that's ok.

Obama said the Dems have to reach out to independents and Repubs, same message he's been sending. Nothing new there....

Are sub-prime lending laws based on race? Edwards - yes. Hillary - need a work out not a bail out. Obama - people need access to money, banks are setting terms in Washington.

The audience is quite active here -- applauding, booing... Hillary and Obama kinda have their attack routines going. They have no new attacks that I can hear. Edwards seems to be going after Obama. Now they're spending 5 min. on Obama's voting record in the Illinois Senate. Maybe they have nothing else to say by now.

USA Today's Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence are also live-blogging this debate here.

8:54 To be continued above.....

Independents, Black Voters and US History

Tonight's Dem debate in Myrtle Beach South Carolina is about to kick off. Hosted by CNN and the Congressional Black Caucus, on the day we celebrate as Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, in a state where 30% of the population is black and 50% of Dem voters are black, and in the first presidential election with a black candidate who might actually win the nomination of the Dem party.

S.C. debate to highlight Democratic fight for black vote says CNN. Apparently, the Clinton campaign has already conceded South Carolina to Obama. (NY Observer Politicker) I wouldn't be surprised to see Bill hop onto the stage tonight... Jackie Salit, President of the strategy center committed to building the independent movement, the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, posted a message for Obama on the front page of called Independents Will Make the Difference on February 5th.

Independents have been speaking out for some time now against the partisan political culture that is so destructive to our country's future. The Dem primary is becoming a contest between the establishment and the forces for change, in which the Clintons treat the black and Latino vote as their private property. Next Saturday we'll hear from African American voters.

It's a Perfect Storm of US history.


  • South Carolina’s Black Vote Can Decide Future of Obama’s Purple Revolution (Washington Hotlist)
  • Presidents can reduce stigma of party loyalty; by appointing independents (Canton Repository LETTER)
  • Open primaries to independent voters (Lincoln NE Journal Star)
  • Independents count (Tulsa World)
  • Term limits, swing voters could spice up legislative races (Great Falls Tribune MT)
  • Utahns eager to cast ballots (Deseret Morning News) Indies vote in primaries without registering into a party
  • League official decries young voter rule as 'outrageous' (Baltimore Sun) Parental controls for registering independent????

  • Fueled by Nevada Caucus Results, Democratic Candidates Set Their Sights on South Carolina (By: Associated Press and
  • The Clinton show goes on (The Economist)
  • Ben Windham: Black vote carries heavy history in the Deep South (Tuscaloosa News)
  • CNN Political Ticker: Tonight, CNN and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute host the final Presidential Debate before the South Carolina Democratic Primary
  • Wrong focus on campaign coverage (Miami Herald)
  • Obama Echoes King's Call For Unity at Atlanta Church (Washington Post)
  • The Endorsement Game - Why so many prominent African Americans in South Carolina support Hillary--and why it probably won't matter. (The New Republic)
  • Nation moves closer to fulfilling a dream (Redding Eagle blog Editorials)

'The Party's Over' (Newsweek) How's it going with the Repubs.....

Obama, Clinton pitch from famed pulpits (NY Daily News)
In Harlem, a Pastor Endorses Clinton (By C. J. Hughes, New York Times The Caucus)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

South Carolina, Tsunami Tuesday and The Independent Vote

“State of Independent Politics in the South” Summit Jan. 24

Augusta, Ga.—Independent voters have impacted election results in the Primaries and Caucuses in the Northeast, played a critical role in South Carolina last Saturday and will continue to do so in the southern region. The “State of Independent Politics in the South” Summit will be held, Thursday, January 24, 2008, 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Augusta Marriott Hotel in Augusta, Ga. The Summit will be broadcast live on NewsRadio 1230 AM WNRR and online at

“Independent voters represent over 30% of the registered voters in Georgia and South Carolina. There is limited, to no, conversation about the power of the Independent vote and it’s impact on the 2008 Presidential elections here in the South. With Georgia and South Carolina having Open Primaries, these upcoming elections are critical. This Summit is designed to address how the Independent vote will impact these Primaries and Caucuses and give Presidential candidates or their Surrogates an opportunity to state their positions and platforms to this vital bloc of voters,” said the Southeast regions’ leading voice for Independent Politics and Summit Organizer, Helen Blocker-Adams.

All Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates have been invited.

The Late Morning session to be held 11:05 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. is entitled “’Independents Decide in ‘08”. The committed candidates and/or their Surrogate replacements have the chance to speak to Independent, Republican and Democratic voters during this session. Later in the day, each of the participating candidates will have an opportunity to attend the internationally known Augusta Futurity while they are in the city.

Two morning panels will feature noted political analyst and pollster, Dr. Ralph Walker, Professor at Augusta State University; Dr. Chris Grant, Professor, Mercer University; Dr. Zaphon Wilson, Professor, Armstrong Atlantic University; Mary Ellen Cheatham, Bureau Chief, Georgia Public Broadcasting; Augusta Chronicle Editorial Page Editor Michael Ryan; Jim Welcome, Publisher, Newsmakers Journal; Maynard Eaton, Editor-in-Chief, Newsmakers Journal; Bill Mayberry, Columnist, The Oconee Leader; and News 12 Anchorperson Richard Rogers as they discuss Independent Politics, voters and their impact on the upcoming Georgia and South Carolina Presidential Primaries from the perspective of Pollsters and the Media..

The Summit is free and open to the public. Independents, Democrats and Republicans are invited. However, space is limited and tickets are required. Tickets can be picked up at NewsRadio 1230 WNRR located at 1286 Broad Street during normal working hours. Or they can call 706.284.6854. For security reasons, bags are not allowed inside the event. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners are permitted. Further details will be announced as they become available.

Media Coverage: The event is open to the press. For credentials, please RSVP to or

The ‘State of Independent Politics in the South” is sponsored by The HBA Group, Intl. and Newsradio 1230 WNRR ( and

For more information, call 706.284.6854 or e-mail

Jackie Salit: Independents Will Make the Difference

.....Barack Obama has connected with independent voters in many states but has yet to close the deal, even though his campaign manager, David Plouffe, has observed “Independents are obviously the pathway to the presidency.” Obama needs to appeal to independent voters in a nationally televised debate with this message...






  • Some of the ins, outs of the flurry of parties' primaries (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
  • In Harlem, tough choice: Clinton or Obama? (by Elaine Rivera, WNYC)
  • Supreme task for Silver (NY Daily News)

  • The Coalitions Form (Politics Blog, Matt Cooper, Conde Nast Capital Portfolio)
  • Organizing matters: the lesson from Hillary's NV win (Zack Exley, Huffington Post)
  • Racial Politics, Clinton Style (Ari Berman , The Nation)
  • In blacks, Obama seeks untapped well of support-Get-out-vote push paying off, polls suggest (By Scott Helman, Boston Globe)
  • New Clarity, for Both Parties (By David S. Broder, Washington Post The Trail)
  • African American candidates in presidential race give voters chance to make history (Augusta GA Chronicle)

Saturday, January 19, 2008


  • Washington: Party ties mean less as voters shift their allegiance (By David Postman, Seattle Times) NOTE: Somebody should tell Mr. Postman that independents are independent because they don't like the parties.....
  • California: Some voters temporarily switch parties (North County Times) NOTE: Indies can vote in the Dem primary, but not the Repub.....
  • Independents' Day (Washington Post LETTER)
  • South Carolina: Independents’ impact key (The State) NOTE: The Repub primary in South Carolina is today.... as is the Nevada caucus

Friday, January 18, 2008

Independents, John Edwards, and Feb. 5

In the face of relentless Republican general election ads decrying “class warfare,” Edwards’ message will not win over sufficient independent voters. Nor will it help that Edwards’ fiery rhetoric does not square with his moderate voting record as a senator.... (Thomas Long, Berkeley Daily Planet)

With our opposition to both partisanship and inbred special interest politics, independents have been setting the pace so far. (Jackie Salit,


  • Here's the PPIC report in pdf:
  • Dan Walters: Two-party structure under fire (Sac Bee)
  • California Democrats Woo Independents (NBC News KNTV San Francisco)
  • Group sees 'post-partisan future'-Ineffectual system driving state's rise in independent voters, institute finds (By Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Inside Bay Area)
  • California independents can vote in Dem primary (San Francisco Chronicle)

Courting South Carolina's Black Vote (Time Magazine)

Senator Bill Perkins at The Committee for A Harlem Debate Between Clinton and Obama meeting. "We successfully helped to create a serious dialogue in the Black community and the primary race in New York State between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is becoming more competitive....." says Lenora Fulani (Barack Obama website)

Sex, Sleep, and Political Reform (We the Purple, Marcia Ford)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Independents, the establishment and the insurgency

Make no mistake about it ~ the Michigan primary was a deadly setback for the Clintons in their determined effort to return to the White House (Allen L Roland's Radio Weblog - a Salon blog)

California: Independent voters are likely to outnumber those who belong to either of the two major political parties by 2025, according to a new report from the Public Policy Institute of California. (Inside Politics Contra Costa Times)

Independent voters in Arizona and California

Thousands of Arizona independent voters changed their registrations in time to participate in the state's Feb. 5 presidential primary, with more becoming Democrats than Republicans. (AP - Arizona Family)

On Feb. 5, some California independent voters (officially known as "Decline-to-State") will be in for an unpleasant surprise. They'll go to their polling place expecting to vote in the primary of their choice - as New Hampshire and Michigan independents were able to do - only to find out that they can vote only in the Democratic or American Independent Party primaries, but they can't vote in the Republican presidential primary. (San Francisco Chronicle)


  • WA: Despite party politics, you make a difference (Tri-City Herald editorial)
  • CA: Group sees 'post-partisan future'-Ineffectual system driving state's rise in independent voters, institute finds (Inside Bay Area)
  • Hawaii Democrats vote to keep open primary (Honolulu Advertiser)
  • NV: Format creates state of confusion-Both parties toiling to answer questions (Las Vegas Review Journal)
  • NJ: Independents could decide N.J. primary (Courier-Post)
  • McCain stumps for Iraq war in S.C. (The Denver Post) And he criticized Democrats for pushing for a firm withdrawal date and saying the war was lost. "I'm asking them to put the country above political party," he said. "Partisanship stops at the water's edge."
  • 'Draft Lou Dobbs' effort launched by 'Legal Immigration PAC' (USA Today)
  • Independence Party activists want New York Mayor Bloomberg to run for president (Pioneer Press)

Memories, Light the Corners of my Mind (Just Out ) In Oregon, Lenora Fulani's Vice-presidential candidate was Harold Moore who was a staff person with Just Out.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Talk/Talk: Hillary Gets Real(ity)

Salit: Here's one thing that I take away from Hillary Clinton's presentation on "Meet the Press." She frames the campaign between herself and Barack Obama as a choice between "rhetoric and reality." Her message, just below the surface, is you can only do so much, and you have to accept the limitations of reality. If you accept the limitations of reality, she's the better choice because she knows how to navigate (i.e. triangulate) reality. Obama knows how to put forth rhetoric, but doesn't really have a grasp of reality. And her unstated conclusion is: Don't think that you can make any kind of dramatic changes of the sort that Obama is envisioning in his rhetoric. This is the way things are and, consequently, I'm your best bet.

Newman: I think what you're saying is surely one valid way of putting it. I might be inclined to put it a little differently. I think she's also articulating a distinction between realities and possibilities.

Read more

The uncommitted and the uninvited


But I’m a little surprised anyway. I didn’t expect much of anyone to turn out for this contest, and it appears that the anti-Clinton sentiment was strong enough to propel “uncommitted” to a strong second place showing, with 40%. Maybe this was a meaningless blip on the political radar, maybe not. Time will tell. (The Carpetbagger Report)

According to CNN exit polling, 68 percent of blacks chose uncommitted, compared with 30 percent for the Democratic front-runner. Forty-eight percent of all voters ages 18-29 voted uncommitted, compared with 43 percent for Clinton. The former first lady took more votes than uncommitted in all other age groups; the older the voters, the wider the margin was. (CNN)


Add "Draft Lou Dobbs" to the efforts by independents to bring another candidate into the presidential race. (USA Today)

NBC's decision to exclude Dennis Kucinich from the debate last night was upheld by court, but Democracy Now! did an interview...


  • Up to 80% new registrants are Independent voters (Arizona Star)
  • Mike Malott: In praise of independent voters (Press & Argus/Livingston Daily MI)
  • Low turnout in Michigan for independents (CNN Political Ticker)
  • Independent votes in Michigan Repub primary spread with McCain leading (Detroit Free Press)
  • Uncommitted wins African American and independent vote in Michigan (Detroit Free Press) and (The Nation)
  • McCain hopes Lieberman will draw independents (Reuters)
  • S.C. will test Obama's crossover appeal (Politico) Look at whether Obama breaks 50 percent of the black vote and 25 percent of the white vote, and whether African-Americans exceed 50 percent of the overall electorate. If he meets all of these measures, Clinton should watch out.
  • Unity08 Founders Now Pushing For Bloomberg Bid (CBS News Horserace )
  • USSC to hear rich Democrat's McCain-Feingold challenge (Legal Newsline)
  • Beyond the Values of the Dolls-And deep into their backstories and political views. Inanimate? Like hell they are. (by Lynn Yaeger, Village Voice)
  • The 'Oops' Factor (by Mumia Abu-Jamal, Indybay) On African American women presidential candidates
  • Hillary v Obama Some Observations (African American Political Pundit)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


  • Primary may depend on independent voters (By: EDWARD SIFUENTES, North County Times) "Clearly, as we've seen in Iowa and New Hampshire, independents are having a profound impact in the primary process," said Jim Mangia, co-chairman of, an organization that supports open primaries.
  • Hillary's Win in New Hampshire (We The Purple, Marcia Ford)
  • Now Replaying: Michigan Independents For McCain? (Washington Post)
  • Independent and determined New coalition lambastes 'criminal' lawmakers (Times Argus)
  • Democrats likely to win presidency, for what it's worth (Ryan Cooper, Springfield MO News Leader) Results in Iowa show that moderate and independent voters are leaving the GOP and voting for Obama.
  • Clinton Drifts Away From Center (Forbes)
  • Obama Picking Up Support in Harlem (By KAREN MATTHEWS (AP Google)
  • Hillary losing support of blacks (Washington Times)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Michigan independents + Uncommitted Dems + Ron Paul + Dennis Kucinich + Mike Gravel = A challenge to the status quo?

In Michigan, the independent voter, long thought to be McCain’s base, could end up making the difference.... (The Hill) Michigan does not have partisan registration. And according to the Detroit Free Press, McCain knows that winning here is contingent on independents showing up at Tuesday's primary. "The variables of what the independent voters do and the Democratic voters do make it very difficult to predict," he said.

Dems are not expected to have much of a turn out since the DNC asked Dem candidates not to put their names on the ballot and is saying the delegates won't be seated at the (national) convention as a punishment to the state Dems who changed the primary to January 15 (tomorrow) -- before Super Tuesday on Feb. 5. Hillary, Mike Gravel and Dennis J. Kucinich are still on the ballot, but Edwards and Obama took their names off. Some Dems are suggesting their supporters vote "uncommitted"..... Here, you can read about it on Blogtalk: An Uncommitted Vote? by Ariel Alexovich on the New York Times blog The Caucus.

Recommended viewing: The Hankster on independent voters and the primaries

Hear what The Hankster herself has to say about independent voters and the primary elections. Click on hankstertube, or click on the video at the top of The Hankster! Thanks for listening!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Recommended reading: In the Balance of Power

Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements in the United States
By Omar H. Ali
Ohio University Press and Swallow Press
Foreword by Eric Foner
With the presidential election looming, the “black vote” has been deemed a crucial portion of the electorate. Historically, most black voters have aligned themselves with one of the two major parties—the Republican Party from the time of the Civil War to the New Deal; and, since the New Deal, and especially since the height of the modern civil rights movement, the Democratic Party.However, as In the Balance of Power convincingly demonstrates, African Americans have long been part of independent political movements...

Independents played a big role in New Hampshire Primary

By BETTY WARD and DONNA RICHARDS in the Nashua Telegraph: .....The media, pollsters, pundits and parties chewed their fingernails wondering what independent voters would do. They surveyed, analyzed, predicted, interviewed and “defined” independent voters ad nauseam. They got some of it right – we are looking for fundamental change and trustworthy leadership – and they got some of it wrong by trying to predict exactly what independent voters would do and by making generalizations about independent voters that are not fact-based.....


The partisan wedge (Tony Messenger, News Leader Springfield MO) Those independents, and disgruntled members of both parties, carry a powerful voice.

This just in: Pollsters were right (Union Leader) Some independent Obama supporters who saw his big lead in the polls may have felt free to vote for another candidate -- like Republican winner McCain. [Also see independent strategist Jacqueline Salit's Some Thoughts on the New Hampshire Results]

Making reference to "the messed-up nature of the Democratic presidential primary this year..." the Kalamazoo Gazette has endorsed John McCain and thinks Indies who would otherwise toss a coin should vote in the Repub primary for him.

In what the New York Times calls a "proxy battle" between Hillary and Obama, the Teachers union in Nevada is suing the Democratic Party for setting up precincts in casinos that would enable casino workers (and members of the union that endorsed Obama last week) ... The Times reports that "D. Taylor, the secretary-treasurer of Culinary Local 226, criticized the lawsuit as “despicable” and “disgusting. I never thought we’d have people in the Democratic Party try to disenfranchise women, people of color and large numbers of working people in this state,” he said." NOTE TO MR. TAYLOR: THINK AGAIN! More discussion below:

Hillary Clinton attacks Obama (By: Mike Allen and Ben Smith, Politico) Notes on Hillary on Meet the Press.

S.C. primaries could be pivotal for both parties (By Rudolph Bell, The Greenville (S.C.) News) Charles Bullock, a political scientist at the University of Georgia, said Obama, unlike Jesse Jackson in 1988, has the potential to put together a biracial coalition. If he can appeal to South Carolina blacks while retaining the same level of white support he got in Iowa and New Hampshire, "he wins in a runaway," Bullock said.

Can a black man become president? Some in Triad believe that time is right (By Mary Giunca and Bertrand M. Gutierrez, Winston Salem Journal)

You have primary confusion? Election officials offer help (Charlotte Observer) For the first time in history, the state is operating South Carolina's presidential primaries ..... and voters in S.C. do not register by party.....

Endorsements and voting blocs (Washington Times) The black vote is torn between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, according to polls in South Carolina.... If you pick up a copy of The Neo-Independent magazine, you'll read about Wayne Griffin's South Carolina Independents for Obama who says he thinks the split is a good thing for the African American community: "We need to learn that we have choices," he says....

Kerry Shows Up Late Again (By Jack Kelly, RealClearPolitics) Because I never bet against the Clintons in a close race -- they bring a machinegun to a knife fight -- I think Sen. Obama will win the nomination only if Sen. Edwards drops out of the race and throws his support to Sen. Obama while he still has some support to throw. If the anti-Clinton vote is divided at all, Hillary wins.

Barack Obama leading among New York blacks; Hillary Clinton still leading (BY CELESTE KATZ and IAN BISHOP, DAILY NEWS)

Hillary and Bill lose their hold on black voters (Les Payne, NY Newsday)

Martin Luther King Jr.: Independent Black Politics and Third Party Movements

Dr. Omar H. Ali, history professor at Towson University in Maryland, author of Black Populism in the New South and "Those Who Make The Rules, Rule", and a co-convener for the national conference “Choosing an Independent President,” was invited to speak to a multiracial group of 200 soldiers and their families at Fort Myers military base in Virginia a couple of days ago. He spoke of Dr. King's independent political legacy, locating him in a long line of independent movement-building efforts up until the present. The recent history from Perot to Fulani and recent events in Iowa and New Hampshire were well received in the Q&A. See Pentagram article below. Colonel Laura Richardson (the first female garrison commander in the U.S.) introduced Dr. Ali at the event.

Vol. 55, No. 1,
Thursday, January 11, 2008
FMMC holds King Observance
By Dennis Ryan
Pentagram Staff Writer

Professor discusses life and legacy of slain civil rights leader

Omar Ali, a professor at Towson University spoke to the Fort Myer Military Community yesterday about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The author of the soon to be released In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third Party Movements in the United States said King ‘‘epitomized an American who fights for the rights of all of its citizens.”

The son of immigrants considers King’s accomplishments as part of a movement not just to overturn unequal laws, but to change the way people viewed themselves. He told how his father, who was a Fulbright scholar at Georgia Tech, would relate stories of the Jim Crow era to him as a youth.

The professor sees King as ‘‘essentially an independent. This country was founded on the principle of independence.”

Ali said while the United States was founded on the premise of equality, founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington owned many slaves, yet Jefferson’s words were used to promote democracy, he said.

He gave a brief history of the abolitionist movement, which began in the late 18th century to abolish the international slave trade, the movement of poor white males seeking political power, and the moral righteousness of the Great Awakening in the 1820s.

The Great Awakening sparked people to question what the established churches were doing to rid the world of evils such as slavery, war, and alcohol. The Abolitionist struggle eventually helped lead to the Civil War.

The Towson lecturer described how the war cost more than 600,000 lives, ended slavery and not only gave black men the right to vote, it made legislators of some. He called this the first Civil Rights Movement.

The new laws and rights were gradually eroded by Jim Crow laws. These laws disenfranchised voters and made segregation legal. Jim Crow reigned legally in the South and unofficially in the North, Ali said by 1900.

Service members who fought for freedom overseas were not content to return to racism after the war. Religious leaders led the burgeoning movement in the South. King did not start the Birmingham Bus Boycott, but he was asked by veteran activists to lead it because of his character, intelligence, looks, education, and other sterling qualities.

The professor cited part of King’s famous ‘‘Letter from Birmingham Jail” and the famous line, ‘‘Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.” He talked about how exclusive primary laws limit the independent vote.

This is counter to King’s effort to get more different kinds of people involved in the movement. Independent black churches nurture black leaders, Ali said. Neutrality was impossible in the good reverend’s world view.

‘‘People had to fight for their rights,” he said. ‘‘They were led by independents like Dr. King.”
Omar Ali, a professor at Towson University, speaks to members of the Fort Myer Military Community as part of the Martin Luther King Day observance at the post community center Thursday.