Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Friday, May 30, 2008


  • California's Democrats shift into Obama's camp, Field Poll finds (Sacramento Bee)
  • The Conversation (By David Brooks and Gail Collins, New York Times/The Caucus) they debate the primary rules and which party’s approach to the nomination process works best.
  • Obama’s Favorability Ratings Take a Hit (Wall Street Journal/Washington Wire)
  • Western Voters Value Independence, Looking Ahead (CBS4)


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Goodbye, Harvey Korman -- see you now and again!

Harvey Korman, thank you!


INDEPENDENT VOTERS: * Oklahoma Independents Want More Candidates on the Ballot (Oklahoma City Business News) Oklahoma Coalition of Independents -- OKIES

REFORM: * Mississippi: Court overturns voter ID ruling (Clarion Ledger)

LIBERTARIANS: * Independent Presidential Nominee Bob Barr (Fox News - Neil Cavuto)

COMMENTARY: * The great cracker debate (The Society for the Advancement of Thinking) Blacks won’t leave the Democratic Party for another, even black candidate (just ask Lenora Fulani) and rural whites just might buck the party, if there were a black candidate who made them itchy and nervous and felt like burlap against their soft, white Ivory-soaped skins.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"The two parties have combined against us to nullify our power by a ‘gentleman's agreement' of non-recognition, no matter how we vote ... May God write us down as asses if ever again we are found putting our trust in either the Republican or the Democratic Parties." -W.E.B. DuBois, 1922

A Mirror on America

You Can't Change the Political Game Unless You Change the Political Rules

Independents are now 40% of the electorate and are playing a major role in national and local politics.

The following are a set of political reforms favored by many independent voters that address the institutional barriers to theirparticipation and to greater democracy.

Open primaries: This was the year of the Open Primary. Independents flocked to vote in the primaries and established that they are an engine for a new politic. Support for open primaries is very high among independents. CUIP’s polling puts it consistently at above 90%. Consequently, independents would value efforts to further institutionalize this practice.

Open Primaries is a general category which has taken a number of different forms. Whatever the approach taken, open primaries would allow some 40% of American voters to participate in the critical first round of elections for public office from which closed primaries bar them. Moreover, as this year’s presidential primaries demonstrate, open primaries maximize the influence of younger voters, anti-machine voters and voters more open to change. Thirty-three states have some form of open primaries (or caucuses) at the presidential level. Only a handful have them for other federal or for state offices (though many cities have nonpartisan municipal elections, including 60 out of 75 of the nation’s largest cities as of 1991). ....... (read more)


  • Allow independents to vote (Kim A. Wright, Argus Leader) South Dakota independents should be allowed to vote in primaries
  • Where Are The "Big" Issues? (CBS) It’s among Independent voters where the war issue could matter most.

  • Stop Me if You've Heard This One Before (Spot On) And if you buy the notion that independent voters, frozen out of the Democrat primary in Florida, may have registered as Republicans in significant numbers, consider that McCain's thin margin of victory over Romney (36 percent to 31 percent) in the winner-take-all Sunshine State contest might have instead been an thin Romney win...
  • West might be where it's won (The Denver Post) One of the reasons the candidates have targeted the region is the very same reason their strategists will find it particularly difficult to get a clear bead on the place: unaffiliated voters.
  • Questions of how much Obama can redo the map (Boston Globe) Colorado: If the state does tip to Obama, it will be because of unaffiliated voters.
  • 2008 hopefuls focus on West (By Susan Page, USA TODAY) Among the factors reshaping the battlegrounds: a prospective flood of young voters in the West, growing numbers of Hispanic voters in the Southwest and the serendipity of popular candidates running for the Senate or governorship in Virginia, Oregon and elsewhere.
  • N.J. adds 500,000 new Democrats in '08 (Politicker NJ) Although some of those previously unaffiliated voters would have probably already wound up targeted by Democratic campaigns, Reed said this could make them easier to identify.
  • Ron Paul Tattoo in Jeopardy (Political Machine) Chance for Ron Paul supporters and Dems to work together
COMMENTARY * A kosher guide to pork and politics (Daily Freeman NY)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Talk/Talk: The Rove View

Sunday, May 25, 2008
Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, The Rove View. Every Sunday CUIP's president Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogue on Sunday, May 25, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos".

Salit: Stephanopoulos asked Rove to give some free advice to the Obama campaign. Rove says: 'Here's how I look at it. There are two main pillars of the Obama campaign. One is the appeal for a bipartisan coming together to solve the country's problems. And the other is his appeal to the Dr. King concept of the "fierce urgency of now."' Rove says: 'If he wants to move the ball down the field for himself, he's got to find a way to link those two things for real, not just in speeches. Consequently, what he has to do is take some initiatives now that show that he can really produce that kind of bipartisanship.'

Newman: And Stephanopoulos correctly says, 'Wait. He can't do that. There's no time.' I think that was somewhat disingenuous advice on Rove's part.

Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.

Obama vs. Clinton: Will the Real JFK please stand up?

Eminem + Hillary Clinton + Barack Obama + John F. Kennedy + The Real Slim Shady hip-hop political music video Mash-Up featuring special comment by Chris Matthews
by AntiConformist911
(check it out y'all)



  • Attention Oklahoma Independent voters! ( Jacqueline Salit, founder and political director of the national organization, Committee for a Unified Independent Party, commented, “With 70% of Americans saying that the country is on the wrong track, the problem is not just that our policies have gone wrong. It’s that our political process isn’t working.

  • Independents are pivotal to both McCain, Obama (NY Newsday)

  • Permanent early voting list confusing some voters (Prescott Daily Courier) some voters on the list are confused about having to declare a party affiliation before they can receive an early ballot.

  • The White Working Class: Forgotten Voters No More (by John Harwood, NY Times The Caucus)

  • Republican candidates dwindle in Massachusetts races (by The Republican Newsroom) Voters not affiliated with either party make up slightly more than 50 percent of registered voters. These unaffiliated voters helped elect Weld and two other Republican governors and could again tilt toward the GOP, according to party leaders.


  • Poll: State is on track, country isn't (The Missoulian) 92 percent of Democrats and 78 percent of independents saying they felt the country was headed in the wrong direction.

  • Obama Holds Big Lead in Montana Poll (New West Network) It’s probably true that an Obama loss here would do some serious damage, calling into question his appeal to independent voters and his ability to redraw the electoral map in the fall by winning in at least some Mountain West states.

LIBERTARIANS * Dogfight in Denver (The American Spectator)

Saturday, May 24, 2008


  • Obama's running mate hunt. (Chicago Sun Times blog, Lynn Sweet) As part of the hunt for those GOP and independent voters, Obama could look at Sen. CHUCK HAGEL (R-Neb.) and New York Mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, now an independent.
  • Jeremiah Wright vs Barack Obama (And The Question Is..... blog) I have been terribly disturbed by the vilification of Jeremiah Wright, and even more disturbed by the things Barack Obama has had to do, say, and answer for because of it......


Friday, May 23, 2008


  • Independents Unite (Frederick News Post) Free State Independents
  • McCain and the black vote (Washington Times) If Mr. McCain wants to rebrand himself and the party, he can't do so in lieu of addressing its base of black conservative and independent voters who are swaying toward Mr. Obama.
  • Obama's Independents Problem (US News & World Report)
  • E-mail attacks show 'Net's campaign power (UPI)
  • Obama ‘within reach’ as historic nomination nears (St. Louis American) He also has more independent voters backing him than McCain, holding a solid 48 percent to 32 percent margin.


  • Swing State Polls Have Bad News for Obama (Politico) tracking the independent vote
  • New Poll Finds Big Shift Toward Obama-Californians give Obama a significant edge over Clinton and McCain (US News & World Report)

  • The Fall of Conservatism, Have the Republicans run out of ideas? (by George Packer-New York Magazine)

  • Independents Talk About Obama (with poll for independents) (by Free Spirit - Daily Kos) Excerpt from Talk/Talk with Fred Newman and Jacqueline Salit

Thursday, May 22, 2008


  • Sen. McCain or Sen. Obama? (Gary Andres, Washington Times) Independents angry with incumbents after failure to deliver on campaign promises
  • Not the ticket of dreams (Boston Globe) Obama's appeal to independent voters and disgruntled Republicans rests on the promise of a nonpartisan approach.
  • FOX TV Rasmussen Reports: Obama Leads McCain In Colorado ( Fox News Springfield IL) Among unaffiliated voters, Obama leads by twenty-one percentage points. A month ago, Obama had a ten-point lead among unaffiliated voters.
Cynthia McKinney goes green (News Review Sacramento) “All political parties should be able to select their own candidates,” McKinney said, decrying her state’s open primary system.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Live-blogging Larry King with Jesse Ventura, Charlie Rangel, and Robert Wexler: And the fight is on!

I'm watching Larry King and live-blogging the show.

The fight is on:

In this corner, Jesse Ventura, former independent governor of Minnesota elected on the strength of same day registration and the youth vote in a predominantly progressive liberal Dem state who really hasn't been doing much politics lately. Hey Jesse -- we hardly knew ye!

And in this corner, Charlie Rangel, senior New York City politician, a former black Dem insurgent who made it (and in all fairness, voters in his district like him...) and the foremost reason that Barack Obama DID NOT win the Harlem districts in the New York primary. Charlie, you had the white lady, but nothin sticks to teflon!

And in this other corner, Congressman Robert Wexler (FL Dem-- wikipedia says Wexler was born in Queens, NY, to Sonny and Sandra Wexler. He and his family moved to South Florida when he was ten.), the Dems need to be more active in ending the war in Iraq, which is why he's supporting Barack Obama. Wexler says Obama is a strong supporter of Israel, and is an advocate of impeachment (of Bush)....

9:37pm: Katrina Vanden Heuval, of the Nation magazine, and Defender of Obama's Bitterness, up now. Let's see how she goes after the independents: We need a new foreign policy. [And how...]

Jesse: Absolutely we should talk to Raul Castro, etc. I went to Cuba over the objections of my government under Ronald Reagan.

clip of Obama talking about our failed foreign policy...

Michael Reagan (the son of Ronald?) is speaking for the Repubs advocating for a conservative foreign policy... He's defending gas prices bec. they're making 8% profits..... [hmmm..... let's see, 8% of ........]

9:46pm: Jesse takes on Michael Reagan talking about the misleadership of the Repub party on war...

Katrina VH thinks it's offensive to hold up a doll of Jesse Ventura as a defense of the war policy...

Jesse objects to Reagan's chicken-hawk policy...

Katrina thanks Jesse....

They're all very passionate!

Katrina Vanden Heuvel is now on Anderson Cooper saying that Democracy has been the winner so far in this primary season....

Hmmmm.... I know she's trying to make a connection between the increased participation of voters and the outcome of the primary now being in Barack Obama's favor. However, as a note of caution, independents are not allowed to vote in Dem primaries in 18 states.... To credit the Obama campaign with increased democracy misses the mark. We will find out if the Democratic Party is more concerned about Democracy or about the Party. Stay tuned! -- NH

Kentucky Blue Blood


  • Democratic voter turnout is heavy: 43% (Kentucky Herald Leader) the only problems she'd experienced Tuesday morning were voters at the wrong precinct and independent voters who did not have anyone on the ballot in that district. [UPDATED FROM YESTERDAY]
  • More Than 1 Million Oregonians Vote In Primary (KPTV - Fox News) [UPDATED]
  • Holmes: What Democrats have done right (Daily News Tribune Waltham MA) Schwarzenegger told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Let's let the party come all the way to the center," grabbing independent voters with more moderate positions on issues like global warming and immigration reform.
  • VCU poll finds McCain leads among Virginia voters ( McCain also leads Obama among registered independent voters, 44 to 34 percent
  • Number soup - Some general election polling shows Democrats commanding most issues (Charlie Cook, MSNBC) In this poll, McCain ran much stronger than Clinton among independents, 48 percent to 36 percent, but trailed Obama among the same group, getting 37 percent to Obama's 44 percent.

  • Lobbyists: This is our thanks? (Politico) Both campaigns are using the issue to compete for independent voters in November by claiming to be distant from the special interests in Washington.
  • Awaiting Word From The Big Easy (Steve Rankin, Free Citizen) it's strange that Barbour is promoting voter ID as a tool for closing primaries
  • Siena Poll: NYers Oppose Judicial Pay Raise (North Country Gazette) ”Democrats want to see the Democrats in charge and Republicans want to see Republicans keep control. Independent voters are evenly divided.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Independent voters: Are you down for the fight?

Ok, now that Barack Obama is the decisive candidate of the Democratic Party, let's consider how this scene might develop.

The Field Negro suggests an interesting running mate for the "O" man... And if you think THAT'S interesting, you'll want to attend the Performing The World conference in October. More on this at a later date....

Hillary is still "fighting" -- hmmm..... For the life of me I can't understand why the pundits are insisting that the Dems (now in the person of Barack Obama with the backing of that scalawag Minister Rev. Wright Farrakhan) need to watch out for the conservative white vote... But hey, maybe it sells papers....

Everybody knows that not only are the Idaho Republicans In Disarray, but the whole party is .... well.... kaput? When there’s trouble in Idaho for Republicans, you know they’re hurting everywhere. We’ve already seen the grassroots revolt in the works on the part of Ron Paul supporters. But the fissures in the Idaho party run deeper..... (New West Politics)

The thing to pay attention to in what will be a fashionable tracking of independent voters is, who are the independents? Are they radical? Are they modern-day US Sandinistas? Are they really just grassroots Democratic Party registrants who go to church 3 times a year? Are they fiscally conservative/socially liberal Reagan Democrats who lost their way? Are they middle-aged Peroistas who won't give up the fight for a squeeky-clean glimering white America? (Ooops, not) Keep tuned to The Hankster for a front row seat to the Dirty Fight... And since you're an independent, get smart quick!

Shaun Mullen at Kiko's House says: "Clintonistas are deeply in denial about the overriding reason that Obama will be the first to cross the finish line, probably as early as tonight after Kentucky and Oregon vote: Obama has earned the nomination by getting more voter and more delegates without having to resort to appeals to break mutually agreed upon party rules like Clinton has. He also has run a much better campaign, and everything flows from that......(Kiko's House)

We seem to live in interesting times, and that's good.

Hillary: To Twitter, Too Late?

As Primaries End, Clinton Appeals Directly to Blogs

She held her first blogger-only conference call on Friday, phoning in to about 40 bloggers from the campaign trail in Oregon. And the campaign has stepped up its use of Twitter, a social-networking service that sends short, text-based posts, to make real-time calls to arms..... (New York Times)

Talk/Talk: A Dirty Fight

Sunday, May 18, 2008
Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, A Dirty Fight. Every Sunday CUIP's president Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogue on Sunday, May 18, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" and "The McLaughlin Group".

Newman: If Obama clinches the nomination and wins the presidency, I think there will be a very complex tactical move on their part.

Salit: On the part of the Democratic Party?

Newman: Yes. Put in the most stark terms, it's basically going to be Capture as many independents as you can into the Democratic Party and then destroy the rest.

Salit: Destroy anybody who won't come along.

Newman: That's going to be the Democrats' play. And that might be a substantial mass.

Salit: That won't come along.

Newman: So, it's not going to be all fuzzy and warm.

Salit: No "Kumbaya Moment" between the Democrats and the independents.

Newman: No. It's going to be a dirty fight.

Salit: Thanks, Fred.

Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.

Kentuky, Oregon voting today

Kentucky turnout could be 30%
the only problems Tuesday morning were voters at the wrong precinct and independent voters who do not have anyone on the ballot in that district..... (Herald Leader)

Oregon Vote Expected To Top A Million
Independent voters have so far turned in about 95,000 ballots, 20 percent..... (KPTV)


  • Billings Montana Gazette Opinion: Face-to-face visits excite local voters (Billings Gazette) Montana has an open primary
  • Guest column: Put Open Primary on November ballot (By Phil Keisling, The Daily Astorian)

Watch the unaffiliated voters!

Ten years in North Carolina history (Asheville Citizen Times) Democrats still outnumber Republicans in voter registrations, but the most dramatic increase is in unaffiliated voters who often determine the outcomes of elections.

Monday, May 19, 2008


  • FLORIDA: Obama Seeks Decisive Turnout (The Tampa Tribune) Independent voters, who for years have been the fastest-growing cohort in Florida, are heavily concentrated in the corridor, but could go for either McCain or Obama.
  • OREGON: A Shift in Voters, but Oregon Still Embraces the Unconventional (New York Times) Oregon voters’ deepest allegiance may be to independence. The number of unaffiliated voters more than doubled in the last two decades, and many Republicans and Democrats insisted in interviews that, as Mr. Rivers, the commission chairman, put it, “I vote for issues and the person.”

  • GOP struggles to reinvent without losing itself-The party agrees it must change or face catastrophe in November. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Primary trouble for both parties (The Digest, Patriot Post) Republicans chose a middle ground, punishing Michigan and Florida for moving their primary dates by cutting delegates from those two states in half. The Democrats, in a completely undemocratic response, left 100 percent of the votes in those two states uncounted.

ARKANSAS: Primaries Lack Big Attractions (THE MORNING NEWS) This year, however, there is no legal bar to voting in the Republican presidential primary in February and the Democratic primary for state and local officials.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Year of the Independent Voter---Obama and McCain Appeal to the Non-Partisan (Washington Independent) When Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) all but wrapped up the Democratic nomination last week, the focus of both his and Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential campaigns is shifting to general election strategies. Unsurprisingly, both are targeting independent voters, which these candidates appealed to this primary season -- McCain, with his almost trademarked maverick persona, and Obama, with his post-partisan message of unity and hope.

Independent voters could be pivotal in November. While membership in traditional parties has weakened in recent decades, independent voters increased -- the number of people registering as "unaffiliated" or "other" since 1987 jumped from 16 percent to 24 percent. For example, in Florida, an important battleground state, the number of "other" voters has more than quadrupled, surpassing 20 percent of the electorate. In another key state, California, since 1988 the percentage of voters "declin[ing] to state" a party preference rose nearly 8 percentage points -- to almost 18 percent.....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Nebraska is unique in that all 49 members of its one-house State Legislature
are nominated and elected on nonpartisan ballots.


  • NEW HAMPSHIRE: Officials hope to clarify primary process in Exeter (SeacoastOnline) Independents declare which party primary they want to vote in and then "undeclare" on their way out of the poll
  • NEBRASKA: Preparing for the Primary Election (KHGI Nebraska TV) Independents not allowed in partisan contests


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Black Candidates, White Voters

Just came across this post:
"It’s Ok To Vote For Obama’s Skin Color Because He Is The First Legitimate Black Candidate"
By Rob on May 14, 2008 at 02:08 pm
I guess Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, Lenora Fulani, Alan Keyes, Carol Mosley Braun and Al Sharpton weren’t legitimate candidates then. At least according to syndicated columnist and member of the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune Ruben Navarrette Jr. ..... (Say Anything: North Dakota's Blog)



  • The Republican Panic (Wall Street Journal) There's nothing independent voters hate more than the self-dealing and incumbent protection that earmarks represent.

  • RNC: Obama's Underperforming (Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic) Among independent voters, most polling shows Senator McCain running equal to or ahead of Barack Obama – even while independent voters are said to be the strength of Obama's coalition.

  • LA County redesigns confusing ballots (San Jose Mercury News)

  • Independents split on choice (Dallas Morning News)


Obama and Oregon: More in common than 'O' (AP Google) Obama has done better than Clinton among self-described independents in competitive primaries this year, 54 percent to 40 percent

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


  • Obama defeat amplifies race, rural problems (By BEN SMITH, Politico) “Nationally, Obama is running stronger among Independent voters than any winning Presidential candidate since 1988 and is significantly outperforming Sen. Clinton among these voters as well in general election polling,” the memo said.
  • Obama May Have His Work Cut Out for Him to Draw Independents (Wall Street Journal)
  • Obama in Missouri as W.V. decided (MSNBC First Read)
  • The Obama camp's memo on WV (MSNBC First Read)
  • Independents Make Impact (WVNS-TV)

OREGON * Poll shows Obama leads (The Gresham Outlook)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Talk/Talk: The Almost Winners

Sunday, May 11, 2008
Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, The Almost Winners. Every Sunday CUIP's president Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogue on Sunday, May 11, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos".

Salit: Since you brought up Bill's negative role in Hillary's campaign, can I ask you to imagine what they are saying to each other in private these days? If you were writing a vignette for a new theatre piece this week and the scene is that they are sitting in the living room together in Chappaqua, what are they saying to each other?

Newman: They're probably saying something like How are we going to exit the primary while maximizing our chances for the future?

Salit: And, maximize our chances for the future means what? A 2012 presidency if McCain wins and they get a second shot in four years? Some other career tracks that were being tossed about today, like Senate Majority leader?

Newman: It means maintaining their level of influence in the party as the Almost Winners. You could make a case that their assessment is Well, we didn't win and we have to recognize this fact. But, at best, Obama can claim something resembling co-control of the party. He can't claim total control. So, that's a very significant role we have. We're the co-leaders of the Democratic Party.

Salit: The party in power, presumably. No small thing.

Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.

West Virginia: How independent are you?

West Virginia's Democratic primary was open to independent voters for the first time, and election officials were expecting a strong turnout. More than 76,000 West Virginians cast ballots during an early voting period that ran from April 23 to May 10, easily surpassing the previous record of 27,000 early ballots set in 2004. More than 70 percent of those ballots were cast in the Democratic primary, officials reported. (Free Internet Press)

More than half of registered voters in the state are Democrats, under 30 percent Republican, but more than 14 percent are registered independent according to Secretary of State Betty Ireland. (WVNS-TV Beckley, Bluefield and Lewisville)

Independent voters just need to request a Democratic or Republican ballot at the appropriate polling place. ( WOWK-TV Charleston and Huntington)

Independents vote today in West Virginia

For the first time ever, Democratic and independent voters headed to the polls in Charleston with two different yet historic options for president.... ....."No more Clintons, no more Bushes," said Brooks, coming out of his polling precinct at Garnet Career Center on Dickinson Street. "I voted for Obama because we need a change." ..... (Jake Stump, Charleston Daily Mail)


Monday, May 12, 2008


  • A Declaration of Independents: A New Kind of Politics (Pacific Free Press)
  • Americans Trending Toward “The Middle” (By Justin Gardner, Donklephant)

CAMPAIGN * McConnell: Democrats will 'turn us into France' (Washington Times) He said the Democratic Party's push to the far left has opened the door for the maverick, who will attract independent voters and is arguably the strongest candidate Republicans could field at a time of widespread dissatisfaction with Washington.

WEST VIRGINIA * West Virginia savors moment in spotlight (USA Today) So West Virginia Democrats and unaffiliated voters — who together make up more than 800,000 registered voters — find themselves debating Iraq withdrawal plans and the benefits of universal coverage, as the campaigns blanket the state with ads and rallies.

NORTH CAROLINA * Seeing blue in N.C. (Charlotte Observer) If the Democrats can keep their coalition of 1.5 million primary voters together and win a substantial number of unaffiliated voters -- not even a majority -- who tend not to vote in primaries, they should have no problem beating McCain easily in Chatham, and they could even win North Carolina.

REFORM * Don't pin it all on electorate (Asbury Park Press) "The only thing a politician understands is losing."

Sunday, May 11, 2008


  • Marion County officials expect higher-than-normal voter turnout (Times West Virginian) "No party" voters can vote in party primaries for first time
  • Already, Obama and McCain Map Fall Strategies (BlueRidgeNow)
  • West Virginia Independent voters must ask for party ballot to vote in partisan races (The Herald-Dispatch)
  • Obama Leads New Iowa Poll (WHO-TV Des Moines)
  • Obama Edges McCain In The Middle (The Atlantic)

Saturday, May 10, 2008


  • Clinton, Obama Top McCain on Handling the Economy, Poll Shows (Bloomberg)
  • Clinton's Post-Mortem (The Nation)


NORTH CAROLINA* Crossover voting? No! (Charlotte Observer Editorial)

LOCAL* Unafilliated voters can take part in California’s June direct primary (Granite Bay Press Tribune)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Conversations on Civil Disobedience

Watch Lindsay Campbell's coverage of the Sean Bell protest Wednesday....

NEW YORK, NY May 09, 2008 —Gov. David Paterson said he'll let federal officials and the NYPD finish up their investigations into the fatal shooting of Sean Bell before implementing his own changes, like the use of a special prosecutor. (WNYC)

More details of Gov Paterson's statement on NY1

Posted May 9, 2008 – Wednesday’s massive rally denouncing the acquittal of three NYPD detectives who killed Sean Bell, an unarmed young Black man, was just the beginning, says the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has promised to bring New York to a standstill until justice is served. (BET)

And more from BET here......

and from i live in my truck, more footage....

Sean Bell Protest at Brooklyn Bridge 5.7.08


  • Senators to test McCain's independent clout (USA TODAY)
  • Democrat registrations on the rise (KHAS-TV - Nebraska)


SEAN BELL PROTEST * Sharpton: 'Conyers Wants To See For Self'- Congressman To Visit Scene Of Bell's Death, Sharpton Says At Rally (WNBC)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

50 Shots. No Justice, No Peace.

I shared a cell last night with Lindsay Campbell, host of MobLogic.TV's daily program, after being arrested at the entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge just yards away from One Police Plaza in the Sean Bell protest organized by Rev. Al Sharpton. Tune in tomorrow for a glimpse of the mass arrest of 216 protesters.



  • Clinton continues despite dire predictions (USA TODAY) David Parker, a Democratic National Committee member and lawyer in Statesville, N.C., said letting the race continue is "good for the party because it brings those white independent voters over to the Democratic side, and we will need them in the fall."
  • Clinton looks like a winner in West Virginia. Obama hopes pinned on independent voters (CHARLESTON, W.Va. Prime Buzz)


  • Primary prods a few superdelegates (News Observer) The Obama campaign estimated it knocked on 500,000 doors, including 200,000 on election day.
  • Non-Democrats Influenced Ind., N.C. Vote (CBS News)

Redistricting: Making it fair (Jacksonville Times-Union)


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

You do not have the right to shoot down unarmed, innocent civilians


  • Dems buoyed by new voter sign-ups in Az, U.S. (Tucson Citizen) That 18 percent jump in total voter registration includes 108,000 new Democrats, 116,000 additional Republicans and 196,000 voters affiliated with no political party with ballot status.
  • Students, Nuns, Denied RIGHT to Vote in Indiana Today Following Supreme Court Approval of State Photo ID Restrictions (The Brad Blog)
  • Libertarian trio seek Boulder County seats (Longmont Times-Call)
  • It's another big night for Obama (Detroit Free Press)
  • So far, a split (Philadelphia Daily News/Associated Press)

  • Day of protest over Bell case may mean potential nightmare for commuters (DAILY NEWS)
  • Officials prepare for Bell verdict protests (Newsday)
  • In wake of acquitals, anger simmers New York (Final Call)
  • Detectives Union Heads To D.C. To Discuss Bell Verdict (WNBC)
  • Bell Supporters Plan Civil Disobedience Acts Across The City (NY 1)

She's too much of a centrist

"I think [Hillary is] just more of the same. She's too much of a centrist," she said. "I just want to be with someone whose vision I can embrace. And both she and Bill have showed me who they really are, and it makes me not want to support them." (Detroit Free Press)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Hankster takes a personal moment: Holy Crap!

I'm watching the results of the Indiana primary. Obama has been declared the winner of the Democratic primary in North Carolina by 13 points.

And the interesting thing is that Indiana is still up for a 4% grab. Are voters in Gary getting off work and going in to the polls yet? We'll see. The media is working on Lake County and Gary.

Oh, the personal moment: I have been at once riveted to the TV and the knowledgeable pundits like Joe Scarborough, and at the same time, what the f--k are they talking about? In the battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- I do feel compelled to say: How could you even consider a vote for Hillary given her commitement to the establishment? Who knows? Hmmmmmm........

I do believe that independent voters are the future of the country. I do think that regardless of the outcome of the Barack/Hillary contest within the Democratic Primary, the primary issue of this 2008 presidential election is the war in Iraq. The people want to get out. Do the best we can.

Another thing I was thinking about is the cultural political situation in our country. It's not that I'm such a supporter of Barack Obama, it's that I'd like to see us, the American people continue to speak out on behalf of ordinary people. We have to speak out.


Conversations on independent voters in Indiana and North Carolina

What can't be ignored about Ohio & Pennsylvania is that while they are "swing states" and Hillary is crowing that Obama's "losses" there reflect badly for November (where, admittedly, it is winner take all) they were also closed primaries. There were stories of independent voters being turned away from the booths in PA (they didn't know they couldn't vote that day; not helping the stereotype of 'swing voters' as thick). A win in a closed primary means that the candidate has strong appeal to the identified members of the party. But that's it. That fact has comparatively little information about how well a candidate will do in the "open" voting of November. (Life in the Styx)

Independent voters (who have claimed no party affiliation) can vote in today's primary as well. Estimates are that 1.5 million people will be casting votes here in NC. (You Kick The Door - Exercising the right to vote)
Tyra Cohen speaks out for North Carolina Independents for Change: Vote for Barack Obama, we need radical reform of the political system.


  • Gas Tax Moves to Front of Democratic Battle (To The Center) Indiana's Democratic primary is open to Republican and independent voters. While 44 percent polled said they would vote Democrat regardless the winner at the Democratic National Convention, reports the Globe, 38 percent will vote for McCain in November.
  • Clinton and Obama prepare for the primaries, so are the punters (Online Gambling Paper) Odds are...
  • Obama faces big tests in North Carolina, Indiana (Reuters)

  • Three Republicans vie to challenge Shuler (Asheville Citizen Times) registered Democrats (195,661), outnumber registered Republicans (166,546). But another 121,582 voters are unaffiliated, according to the N.C. Board of Elections.
  • Polls open in N.C.; some long lines reported (Charlotte Observer) Statewide, 25,296 registered N.C. voters switched to either Democrat or unaffiliated during the first three months of 2008. Just under 6,000 switched to Republican.
  • Young voters getting engaged with politics (Charlotte Observer) trend shows that young adults are increasingly identifying themselves as "independent" or "unaffiliated."

Conflicting Polls As Obama Clinton Head Into Indiana North Carolina Primary (The Moderate Voice)

Counties throughout W.Va. must clean up their voter registration rolls (The Herald-Dispatch) The counties with the highest percentages of independents are Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan, Mineral and Monongalia.

Voting today in North Carolina

Election Day at a glance:
  • When are polls open? 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Where do I go to vote? Check your registration at, which also tells your voting location.
  • Can unaffiliated voters vote? Yes, in either party's primary, but not both.
(Charlotte Observer)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Independents can vote in the North Carolina primary

Yes, independents can vote in the primary in North Carolina.

North Carolina does have a semi-open primary meaning that independents can vote in either the Democratic or Republican Primary. Currently North Carolina has 2.6 million registered Democrats, 1.9 million registered Republicans and 1.2 million non-partisans. (

Independent voters can participate in the primary, and Ace Smith, state director for the Clinton campaign, predicted Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama would split those votes evenly. “We were getting destroyed with independents in all those early primaries,” Mr. Smith said Friday. (New York Times)

North Carolina's high percentage of African-American residents -- 21.7 percent -- may help Obama, who easily defeated Clinton in neighboring South Carolina by attracting much of the African-American vote. (CNN)

Indiana Primary Rules

For the first time in its history, independents will be allowed to vote in the primary. But you have to ASK for the ballot of the party you want to vote in.

And the primary is open, meaning that independents are allowed to vote in the Democratic primary. Independents have tended to support Obama in previous primaries. (CNN)

Brian Howey: Our polling is showing that the Indiana primary may be decided by Republican and independent voters. Up to 20 percent may be non-Democrats. (Washington Post)

The primary is open to Republicans and independents, which could help explain why only 44 percent of likely voters said they would vote Democratic if their favored candidate doesn't secure the nomination; 38 percent said they would support the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain, in November. (Boston Globe)

Indeed, a poll Howey's newsletter released last week showed that Democrats who planned to vote were split 46%-46% between Clinton and Obama, with Clinton having a slight edge (50% to 44%) among Republicans who said they planned to vote in the contest and Obama holding a wider edge (54% to 38%) among independents. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)


  • Unaffiliated N.C. voters torn, could leave mark (Charlotte Observer)
  • Race for your vote-Analysts expect biggest primary turnout ever (Charlotte Observer)
  • Clinton stumps for wife in N.C. (Winston Salem Journal) Independent voters in North Carolina are overwhelmingly white -- seven times more whites than blacks -- according to state statistics.
  • Insider Poll: Obama, Clinton Tied Within Margin Of Error In NC (Insider Advantage) Independents side with Obama 47 over Hillar 41% Crosstabs
  • North Carolina Already At 8% Turnout (By Justin Gardner, Donklephant)

Bayh hitches star to Clinton (Chicago Tribune) Bayh also said that "Hoosiers are much too independent" for endorsements like his to significantly sway voters, and that Indiana's open primary, allowing independents and Republicans to cast Democratic ballots, also makes it hard for Clinton to win big.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Conversations on Barack Obama and The Sixties: Are you dissin' us, man?

The sixties bite back, from a November 2007 post by Ben Smith on Politico: I'd missed this last week round, but Tom Hayden, the sixties-era leader, wrote an open letter to Obama on HuffPo, a rare Boomer self-defense against his rhetoric of generational change. Hayden attacks Obama's moderate stance on Iraq, but the most interesting bit is his defense of the 60s......

See Tom Hayden's earlier endorsement of Obama in The Nation. In part -- More disturbing is what happens to the mind by setting up these polarities. To take a "centrist" position, one calculates the equal distance between two "extremes." It doesn't matter if one "extreme" is closer to the truth. All that matters is achieving the equidistance. This means the presumably "extreme" view is prevented from having a fair hearing, which would require abandoning the imaginary center. And it invites the "extreme" to become more "extreme" in order to pull the candidate's thinking in a more progressive direction. The process of substantive thinking is corroded by the priority of political positioning......

NOTE TO BARACK: Hi, I am your crazy uncle. My parents, MY proud products of the 1950s, split up in 1963 (thank the Lord for that decision...!) in Blytheville Arkansas, the most recent northeast Arkansas town we lived in, soon after JFK was assassinated, when I was about 11. My stepfather, a poor man from Hendersonville North Carolina, joined the USAF when he was 17 so he could go to college, did his stint in Vietnam, and died from bad choices including alcoholism at age 56. My ex-husband and father of my 2 kids -- adults now -- Lucy and Rena, was visited by the FBI in 1972 because he was a subscriber to The Catholic Worker, and a member of the War Resisters League. My brother was a CO (that's a "conscientious objector" on the basis of a philosophical opposition to killing people). Many young men in our country felt they had to go to Canada to seek political asylum rather than participate in an immoral and unjust war.

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright might not be Rev. Al Sharpton, or Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But they are us. This is our history. We sixties crazies, the Civil Rights Freedom Fighters, the ordinary people of our country, kids, mothers, teachers, everyone, fought against all the odds. Barack, please give us our due. We are with you, but could you please acknowledge the soldiers in the trenches that created your candidacy?

If you just want votes, heave ho -- but if who we are as a people matters to you (and it seems to matter to Michelle), let's be honest. What about our history??

Hankster CitiVote

......Two average citizens with their cell phones and video cameras show the big media how to make it real in the 2008 Election... watch out CNN!


  • Women likely lead in statewide polls (The Ft Wayne Journal Gazette)
  • Granite Status update: NH Democrats say they're unified (Union Leader) Craig Turk is a writer for the popular television show "Boston Legal." He's also an attorney who was general counsel for McCain's 2000 presidential campaign. An upcoming politically-oriented episode written by Turk includes a fictional Democratic attorney. His name: Steve Duprey. [From Boston Legal Forum: Shirley Schmidt's nephew - a pledged delegate - informs her that he's going to vote for another presidential candidate than the one his state voted for, she enlists the aid of Alan Shore to take him and the Democratic National Party to court. The episode aired Wed. April 30]
  • Voters skip state, local races By Mark Binker (Greensboro News Record) Unaffiliated voters in North Carolina can vote in either the Democratic or Republican primaries. As of late last week, four out of five unaffiliated voters chose Dem ballots
  • Election '08: For Democrats, the waiting is over (Fayetteville Observer) Survey USA says it’s 49 percent for Obama, 44 percent for Clinton. That poll shows Clinton’s numbers rising in the Research Triangle, and the two candidates even among the state’s unaffiliated voters. “We will declare victory if we lose by 15 points or less,” Ace Smith, manager of Clinton’s North Carolina campaign
  • Obama Team Remains Unshaken (Politico/WFMJ) one of the most striking elements of his campaign this week was what's missing: any hint of internal upheaval.

SEAN BELL VERDICT PROTEST * Sharpton plans mass arrests to protest Sean Bell verdict (The Daily Voice)

Ashley Casey gets 4% in Louisiana's 6th special election Saturday

Chris Cillizza missed the story in his column "Democrat Wins La. Special Election" about special election in Louisiana's 6th district yesterday, where independent candidate Ashley Casey won 4% of the votes, the margin of defeat for Repub Woody Jenkins which allowed Dem Don Cazayoux to win. Fortunately, Robert Goodwin got it (see his comment).

More here:
  • Can Youx Believe It? (National Journal/Hotline) A surprising factor in the race for the Baton Rouge-area CD turned out to be conservative/GOPer-turned-indie Ashley Casey, who took 3.7K votes (4.2% - the margin of defeat for Jenkins)
  • Democrat takes Louisiana special U.S. House election (Southern Political Report) small but significant number -- 3,718 (4%) -- of votes cast for Ashley Casey, a no-party candidate and a former aide to last year’s millionaire gubernatorial candidate John Georges.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

George Russell - Ezz-Thetics

Happy 50th. American Poetry and then some...

The Democratic civil war circa 2008: A North Carolina Journal

US elections 2008: In North Carolina, the battle between Obama and Clinton has pitted neighbour against neighbour

Interesting article from Terry Mancour in Durham:

Comparing anything to a civil war is a dicey proposition in North Carolina - the state lost more men than any other, and several bloody battles were fought here. Issues of heritage and hate, slavery and secession are not mere historical artefacts here, but real, breathing factors in people's everyday lives - the war and the Reconstruction that followed bit indelibly into our culture. So the term is used with appropriate caution - and it's fully applicable to the struggle between senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in their quest for the White House.... (Terry Mancour reporting from Durham for the UK Guardian Unlimited/Comment is free)

And somehow, as Barack has noted, we want to move on. As a Southerner born and raised in Jim Crow South, I long ago took Heiner Muller's advice: I TOLD YOU YOU SHOULDN'T COME BACK DEAD IS DEAD.

Whether in US political theater, or Berlin avant garde, the point is to move forward. The American Civil War is over. Let's do something else.

Ashley Casey wants your vote in Louisiana.

Ashley, from Baton Rouge, and a former aide to top Republicans in the state, is running as an independent. She told the Press Club of Baton Rouge this week that her election would send a forceful message to the major parties about the unpopularity of “business as usual” in Congress."
Please feel free to email me at with any questions!


  • Open or Closed Primaries: What is the Answer? Many across the country faced the same situation those in Oregon faced on April 30th, a day known in Oregon as “Lockout Day.” For primaries should there be any such day? (by Gary Wood, Nolan Chart)
  • Sec. of state candidates differ little (Mail Tribune - OR) Support for open primaries

  • Suddenly, North Carolina Is Facing Tighter Race (New York Times) Clinton campaign predicted Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama would split those votes evenly. “We were getting destroyed with independents in all those early primaries,” Mr. Smith said Friday.
  • Downtown packed for Clinton visit (BlueRidgeNow Times-News Online) Hendersonville turns out 2000 for Clinton, Repubs switch to unaffilated to vote
  • Notable Numbers-Statistics from the past week that deserve a doubletake. (News Observer) 42.2% of party switchers have become unaffiliated


Independents could shape primary (The Herald-Dispatch) According to voter registration numbers for Huntington's 36 precincts, there are 27,565 registered voters in the city. Of those, 4,175, or 15.1 percent, are nonpartisan or affiliated with a party other than the Democratic, Republican or Mountain parties.

  • Confronting Hillary (By Bill O'Reilly, Town Hall)
  • Huckabee: '08 Evangelical Voters Unlike Others (Christian Post Reporter) Thus far in the 2008 race, McCain has not been able to coalesce evangelicals who are leaving the party to be independent voters.
  • Former Democratic Party Leader Paul Kirk Backs Obama ( Obama ``has and will continue to expand the electorate beyond the traditional Democratic Party base and bring young and new and independent voters to the Democratic banner in November,''
  • Polls Show Obama Struggling to ‘Close the Deal’ (by former DNC Chairman Paul Kirk Jr., who said in a statement: “Senator Obama is the one candidate who has and will continue to expand the electorate beyond the traditional Democratic party base and bring young and new and independent voters
  • Superdelegate News, or Not (New York Times/the Caucus) Kirk on Obama's ability to bring independents into the Dem Party
  • A Third Former DNC Chief Lines Up Behind Obama (Wall Street Journal/Washington Wire)
  • Rasmussen: 58 Per cent Think Obama Denounced Wright For Political Convenience (Digital Journal) Just 36% of Democrats believe outrage was the motivation for Obama to denounce his former Pastor. That view is shared by 38% of unaffiliated voters and 16% of Republicans.

Friday, May 02, 2008


  • Under the Dome column: Voters make swap for primary (The News & Observer, Raleigh) Of them, 42 percent switched to the Democratic Party and 42.2 percent switched to unaffiliated. Just 15 percent became Republicans.
  • N.C. poll: Obama leads, Clinton gains (Charlotte Observer) By party registration, Obama led 48 percent to 43 percent among Democrats and 55-38 among independent or unaffiliated voters.
  • Campaigns in full swing as voters head to the polls (Carrboro Citizen) Reams said the estimated party breakdown for those who have voted so far shows 7,160 Democrats, 619 Republicans and 2,098 unaffiliated voters.
  • Poll: Obama leads Clinton in N.C. (Greensboro News Record)

INDIANA * Democrats Scramble for Indiana-In Open Primary,Republican Voters Could Decide Victor (Wall Street Journal)

  • White House race helps Democrats lead in early voting (Charleston Gazette) Unaffiliated voters reflect the fastest growing segment of the state's registered voters. Their ranks have swelled by 22,644 since the 2006 general election, and they now account for 13.2 percent of the state's total.
  • Independents required to ask for party ballots (Charleston Gazette) "The polling place is a sacred place," Bailey said. "State law removes from poll workers any opportunity to influence voters."

  • McCain inches up in Harris poll (UPI) Obama has a significant edge with independent voters. While 37 percent would vote for him and 30 percent for McCain, in a Clinton-McCain match-up only 30 percent would vote for her and 36 percent for the Republican.
  • Wright Uproar Boosts Clinton Confidence (The Politico) Associated Press-Ipsos poll showed her beating Republican John McCain 50 percent to 41 percent while Obama was running 46 percent to 44 percent in the same matchup. A Fox News poll Wednesday showed her outperforming Obama among independent voters.
  • Anti-McCain ad seems to work (Baltimore Sun/The Swamp) HCD Reseach Inc., a market research company, found that independent voters went from 50 pecent who saw McCain in a "mostly favorable" light before they saw the ad, to 40 percent after they viewed the ad.
  • Hillary Clinton's camp touts new poll findings (Los Angeles Times/Top of the Ticket)

FEATURE * Clinton and McCain Are Born Again as Populist Candidates (Gloria Borger, US News & World Report)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Conversations on independent voters, African American voters, and independent African American voters

Obama has a significant edge with independent voters. While 37 percent would vote for him and 30 percent for McCain, in a Clinton-McCain match-up only 30 percent would vote for her and 36 percent for the Republican. (UPI)

North Carolina has a modified closed primary, meaning that Democrats and Republicans must vote based on their party affiliation, but unaffiliated voters are free to vote for any candidate. Nearly 12 percent of registered African Americans are unaffiliated, and they make up 11.5 percent of all independent voters in the state, according to the Board of Elections. (Greensboring quoting

Can Hillary Still Win the Nomination? One of the debates around our office these last two days has been whether it's still possible, as a practical matter, for Hillary to win. Or, more precisely, whether it's possible for the superdelegates to override the pledged delegates without provoking the kind of backlash that would doom Hillary. (The New Republic/The Stump)

Conversations on Hillarydelegates

In a poll was conducted April 28-29 for WRAL-TV in Raleigh and WBTV in Charlotte, Obama led 55-38 among independent or unaffiliated voters. ...and.... A leader of the Democratic Party under Bill Clinton switched his allegiance to Barack Obama and encouraged fellow Democrats to heal the party by uniting behind the Illinois senator. (Associated Press Today -- Google News)

Senior Clinton adviser Harold Ickes wants to call superdelegates "automatic" delegates because he thinks it sounds better.... He also says superdelegates should vote for Hillary.... Maybe we should just call them Hillarydelegates and be done with it..... (CNN)


  • FOX News Poll: Wright Ties Hurt Obama Campaign - And, despite that the bulk of independent voters (49 percent) says the issue would make no difference to their vote
  • Health coverage is another reason to wed, poll finds (Nashua Telegraph/Los Angeles Times) "The general election is going to be a contest for independent voters," Altman said.
  • Clinton Exuding Confidence (Washington Post/The Trail) Clinton operatives in both Indiana and North Carolina are targeting independent voters in both states, believing a demographic that heavily favored Obama in early primaries is now shifting to the New York Senator.
  • Primary Confusion (By Tobin Harshaw, Opinionator/New York Times) Independents and open primaries

  • Vote way that serves interests (BlueRidgeNow) Independents should vote exactly how they want to
  • North Carolina voters excited about primary (Pisgah Mountain News/Citizen Times) Of those new voters, 1,010 registered as unaffiliated in Henderson County. More than 800 have registered as Democrats and nearly 760 as Republicans.
  • Primaries have finally arrived (The Cherokee Scout) “It’s just real important that people know that unaffiliated voters must pick a party,” Jones said. “Many unaffiliated voters do not understand that.”
  • Record registration reported leading up to primary (Smoky Mountain News) ready for a paradigm shift

INDIANA * Wild cards could determine deadlocked Indiana (CNN) Open primary makes a difference

  • Independents required to ask for party ballots - Voters registered as independents or nonpartisan can choose whether to cast ballots in the Democratic, Republican or Mountain Party primaries. (Charleston Gazette)
  • Unaffiliated Voters Cast Votes In Election (WVVA) About 5.8 percent of all early ballots cast have been from unaffiliated or independent voters.

REFORM * Fort Worth gets seat on panel (Star-Star Telegram) Many candidates for state office are finding favor with voters by speaking out against toll roads, especially the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor, a proposed statewide tollway network, said Linda Curtis of Bastrop, founder of Independent Texans, a group of independent voters that opposes toll roads.

BLACK PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP * Can “the Black experience” in America produce an acceptable presidential candidate? (John Milton Wesley's Weblog)