Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Monday, June 30, 2008

Help! We've been algorithmed again!

For both candidates, the best running mate is Colin Powell, a former U.S. Army general and former secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, according to the survey, which was powered by an Affinnova algorithm it calls "evolutionary optimization." ....

Conversations on Ralph Nader's Misbegotten Run for the Presidency

I voted for Ralph Nader in 2004. I'm an independent, I didn't like the direction that the country was going in, and the Democratic Party leadership seemed intent on supporting the war in Iraq no matter what their membership thought.

And it did seem that Nader was beginning to build a coalition between progressive independents and the black community (at least he did speak in Harlem at the invitation of Lenora Fulani). Half of his national vote came from New York City. He never even called to say thanks.

Ralph Nader talks tough (and he's right about the structural issues of power in this country). But the fact is, he can't back up his rhetoric. He hasn't built a serious base. He hasn't reached out to voters. He hasn't built any coalitions that are working on election reform that would increase the chances of ordinary people having a voice in this country.

And now he's criticized Barack Obama for trying to "talk white".

I think Nader has spent too much time trying to "talk left", and not enough time building organization. Nader's "lack of trust or faith that anyone else is capable of doing the right thing" is poking out and it's not very pretty.
THE NEO-INDEPENDENT magazine is the only media outlet in the country produced by and for independents.There is a recognizable shift taking place in American politics, propelled in no small part by the growing independent movement. THE NEO-INDEPENDENT offers a gateway into this movement - the leaders and activists across the country who who are working to insert the voice of America's independents (42% of voters*) onto the political playing field.

Along with the right to bear suitably restricted and registered arms,
shouldn't we also have the right to initiative and referendum???


Ritter on 'Meet the Press': Obama has 'great opportunity' to win Colo. (9 News Colorado) "I don't know really if it'll help or hurt. What I can tell you is if you think about the play in the West, independent voters - independent registered, not registered Democrat or Republican - they're really where the play will be."


Sunday, June 29, 2008


  • Obama has head start in Oregon (Statesman Journal) About 70 "Obama organizing fellows" have poured into Oregon in the past week, out of 3,600 volunteers dispatched nationwide.
  • Colorado: Middle-of-the-road voters steer state (The Denver Post) The state's pragmatic and progressive unaffiliated voters are largely credited — or blamed, depending on whom you ask — for the political conversion.
  • Lawrence voters will play pivotal role in races (Lawrence Journal World) As of June 1, there were approximately 1,645,703 registered voters in Kansas. Republican registration stood at 739,070; unaffiliated at 448,745; and Democrats, 447,419.

  • MN: Petition was sound, council's obligation clear: Let the people vote (
  • FL: Lake County Republicans thwart public's right to vote (Orlando Sentinel) Monkeying with the democratic system is just wrong, regardless of how some Republicans try to justify it.
  • WA voters get first shot at Gregoire-Rossi rematch (Seattle Post Intelligencer) "The voters of the state of Washington have historically believed deeply that it is the people who should be controlling this process, and nobody else," Secretary of State Sam Reed said.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Rocky footing for candidates without independents (The Denver Post)

  • 'Independent' voters don't need state's help to vote in party primary (Delaware Online) Chief sponsor Rep. J. Robert Valihura Jr. says voters registered outside the two main parties have been unfairly cut out of the election process because they can't cast votes in party primaries.
  • Elliott Stonecipher: Closed, open, closed primaries, and other political tricks (Shreveport Times)
  • Voters still have questions about open primary (Pinal County Recorder)

Friday, June 27, 2008


Indie Talk Launches General Election Coverage with 'The Fight for Independents' Special Broadcast Exclusively on SIRIUS (Financial News USA) July 8. Mark your calendar!

  • Obama, Clinton won't leave them laughing (Concord Monitor) Obama's real concern in purple New Hampshire is not bitter Clintonistas but the independent voters here who have long swooned for McCain.
  • Obama Leads McCain In Four Battleground States (Quinnipiac Poll)
  • Inside The LA Times Poll (Houston Chronicle) Independent voters - In a two-way race McCain has an 11 point advantage, in a four-way race that lead goes down to 3, within the margin of error.

HERALD POLL: How to fix Utah voting (Daily Herald)

Say no to partisan primary elections in Clinton Twp. (Recorder Community Newspapers/Hunterdon Review)

Election-map initiative helps voters, state progress (Sac Bee)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Hankster Recommends: Hysterical Blindness

Please check out this blog by a talented young writer, Scott Pewenofkit. And read his recent post Zero Tolerance For Stupidity, a sharp critique of the popular public school policy aimed at reducing violence in schools.

Hysterical Blindness is now on The Hankster sidebar.

Independent voters in the polls

From the L.A. Times blog: Polling, and how people pick their party
Today's poll story showing Barack Obama with a 12-point lead over John McCain drew almost as much reaction from readers for what it had to say about voters' party affiliation as for what it said about the candidates' popularity. The questions centered on this passage in the story: "In this national poll's random sample of voters, 39% identified themselves as Democrats, 22% as Republicans and 27% as independents. In a similar poll a year ago, 33% identified themselves as Democrats, 28% as Republicans and 30% as independents."....


Pew Study Finds One in Five Atheists Believe in God ( --Atheists and agnostics also have higher ratios of independent voters than most other groups in the study.

New political battleground: Voters in the middle (Chicago Daily Herald)

  • Results of new poll surprising-The Midwest Democracy Institute has taken a new poll of 400 Michiganders, and it predictably strikes a dismal note — but one that contains some surprising grounds for optimism. (Hometown Life MI) lots of folks are interested in reforming the system and willing to work hard to do it.
  • 'Reform' petition is a grab for control of the courts (The Detroit News Editorial) It is far too radical a rewrite of the state Constitution to be done in a ballot measure pushed by anonymous funders and masked in salary cutting language
  • Voters may be asked to downsize Lansing-GOP says Dems gain in petition to cut leadership (Detroit Free Press)
  • Groups criticize Perata for opposing redistricting measure (Contra Costa Times)
  • REDRAWING THE MAP ON DEMOCRACY (Philadelphia Daily News) As you can imagine, the power to guarantee themselves great jobs means it will be hard to pry this power out of lawmakers' hands.
  • 21st century gerrymander is biggest threat to system (By DAVID S. BRODER, The Washington Post)
  • Keep electoral college (LETTER Tampa Bay Weekly) It is every liberal-socialist’s dream that this be done so that heavily populated states such as New York and California can dictate who the U.S. president is going to be.

Lengthy Washington Post Article on Ralph Nader (Ballot Access News) WaPo article here

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Talk/Talk: A Brand New Brand

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, A Brand New Brand. 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, June 22, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos".

Newman: Everyone said that Bloomberg would be discredited because he wouldn't participate in the New York City campaign finance program. That didn't happen. Americans are quite used to inequality of money. We've been living with that inequality for a very long time, so if you have a candidate who has something going for her or him, people quickly forget about who's paying for the campaign. I don't think that that critique can be effectively used against Obama by McCain, because the American people will say: What's your point? You're saying he's got more money than you? That's OK with me. He seems to be doing something. If he's spending his money, that's helping the economy. And he has a right to spend more money because he's got more money. He's raised more money. I don't think the American people feel that strongly about public financing of campaigns. I think Americans do care about the issues you mention about fairness. But Americans don't care about equalizing the amount of money that people have. If they did, we'd have a very different kind of economy, wouldn't we?

Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.


Indie Talk Launches General Election Coverage with 'The Fight for Independents' Special Broadcast Exclusively on SIRIUS (SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Press Release, Sun Herald)

  • Leveling the playing field-A conservative solution to big labor’s dominance in the political process (Independence Institute, Colorado Libertarian Think Tank, Denver Daily News)
  • Restore faith in government (Ponoco Record Editorial) Instead of supporting much-needed redistricting reform, party powers-that-be are abusing a publicly funded office by using it as a campaign support system.
  • They did nothing (Bob Heisse's blog in CentreDaily/Back in Happy Valley) Redistricting deadline passes in PA legislature

Indies are SIRIUS

Indie Talk Launches General Election Coverage with 'The Fight for Independents'
Special Broadcast Exclusively on SIRIUS
SIRIUS Satellite Radio
Press Release
Sun Herald
NEW YORK, June 25 -- SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) today announced that Indie Talk, the first radio channel for independent voters, will broadcast "The Fight for Independents" -- a live, town hall style roundtable discussion program. As the candidates and the nation prepare for the general election, political maverick Ron Silver, comedian Pete Dominick, and former Court TV anchor Vinnie Politan, all hosts on Indie Talk, will hold a live open-forum call-in broadcast with independent voters to find out how they plan to cast their votes and why.

The one hour broadcast, airing at 1 pm ET, Tuesday July 8th, will also feature top political analysts from prominent blogs covering the election season, from The Huffington Post to Newsweek's The Stumper to, who will share their insight on how the candidates are appealing to independent voters on the campaign trail.

"The Fight for Independents" kicks off Indie Talk's season of campaign coverage designed exclusively for independent voters, including "Indie Watch," weekly segments highlighting independent voters from across the country and the issues most important to them....... [read more from SIRIUS ]

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sh*t, P!ss, F%ck, C#nt, C%cksucker, M@therf$cker, T!ts


  • Young Obama voters may not help down-ticket Democrats (Seattle Times) So far, initial evidence for this election points to young people behaving more like ticket-splitting independent voters than true partisans.
  • Obama Tilts Toward Center, Irking Some Activists (Wall Street Journal) general-election season will put increased pressure on both candidates to attract moderate and independent voters.
  • Election 2008: New Mexico Presidential Election-Obama Holds onto Lead in Land of Enchantment (Rasmussen Reports)

  • McGrath: All Ravalli County residents are 'qualified voters' (Missoulian) The opinion released Monday notes that Montana law directs the legislature to extend "initiative and referendum powers" to the qualified electors of each local government unit
  • NATIONAL VIEW: Maybe, in January, it'll be time to rethink Electoral College (South Coast Today - MA)
  • Editorial: The national popular vote alternative (Daily News Tribune - Waltham MA)
  • Instant runoff voting poses problems (News Observer)
  • The Groundhog Day Election in Los Angeles (California Progress Report) IRV prevents nasty runoff elections

PERSONAL DEMOCRACY FORUM -- Is there a role for independent voters???

Monday, June 23, 2008

What's irritating about the baby Alex ad

Well, I don't know for you, but for me, I see this ad and I think Yes, that's right, I don't like war, that's CORRECT. I don't want Baby Alex to go to war in Nixon's/McCain's army. I'm a child of the 50s and 60s. I graduated college in 1974. I'm officially a Baby Boomer. I slept with draft-dodgers just because I wanted to...

I am anti-war in my core, which has become somewhat fat, however, I've never flip-flopped on this issue... but then what's that about...?

And then for some reason it begins to grate on my nerves.

So in grand Left tradition, what's wrong with this ad?

What's wrong is that it's anti-McCain, and by extension, anti-Republican.

Our country has been taken over by partisan politics. Are you a Republican or are you a Democrat? Well, shouldn't there be a wider playing field of discussion for this election in particular?

Here we are at the brink of destruction/creation, and we still have to abide by the rules of the Democratic and Republican Parties?.... Hmmmm... Somehow, I think the American people are a little more creative than that... Call me crazy....


Performing the World 2008


Performing the World 2008 Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

A unique conference/festival of performance activists from around the world

New York City

Thursday evening October 2 - Sunday afternoon October 5, 2008

A three-day "happening" of performances, workshops, panel discussions, lectures, community tours and improvisation. Performing the World 2008 (PTW '08) brings together activists, artists, educators, young people, practitioners and scholars from dozens of countries, all of whom are involved in the emergence of performance as a new way of relating to, understanding and changing the world. Open to all.

In the midst of this exciting Happening, The Hankster will be hosting a workshop called "Blogging the World: An Online Stage for Activists (Or Performatory Blogging for Everyone)". "Blogging the World" will be both a session which addresses Performing The World's themes of community-building, performance and development, as well as a performance within a performance--a "happening within a happening", broadcast throughout the blogosphere. Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


The float vote (Frank Luntz, LA Times) Gone are the days when the candidate most successful in turning out his loyal partisans inevitably won.

  • In Jacksonville, African-Americans find inspiration in Obama's promise (St. Petersburg Times) The Obama campaign this month deployed 400 specially trained volunteers to launch a statewide voter registration and mobilization drive
  • THE DEMOCRATS DARE TO DREAM (San Francisco Chronicle) Is post-partisan era to be one-party rule???
  • Bloomberg Decries 'Whisper Campaign' Against Obama (Washington Post/The Trail)


Saturday, June 21, 2008


Friday, June 20, 2008


Thursday, June 19, 2008

'Skewz Us!

Another Hankster-recommended website is Skewz. The Hankster was contacted by Skewz with an invitation to be a guest on their weekly podcast. Sarah Coles did a nice job of laying out the raison d'etre for Skewz -- kind of a "media watch" for everyone.

We're probably all concerned about an increasingly corporate media that doesn't report news as much as deliver product.

One thing I like about them immediately is that they aren't trying to be centrist. Yummy! Stay tuned!!! And check them out. -NH

Cudos to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

The Daily Show was particulary funny tonight, I thought. What with the fake Obama clips, the Gitmo puppet, the Bush gaffe on how he's going to bring about peace in the Middle East in his last few months in office -- I tell you, I was laughing out loud...

I wanted to send Jon Stewart an email to say how much I liked the show, but didn't see any way to do that.... Anyway, I have nevertheless linked The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on The Hankster sidebar. Enjoy! -NH
(perhaps to reward many years of service to the party).



  • Battle for independent voters begins (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Obama Leads McCain In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds (Quinnipiac)
  • Obama, Clinton to join forces for fund-raising pitch in D.C. (Palm Beach Post-Cox News Service) Florida's independent voters, who favored McCain by a 45-36 percent margin a month ago, now prefer Obama by a 47-37 percent margin.
  • Analysis: Independents split over McCain, Obama (CNN)
  • Swing Lobby Politics-Obama's Genuflections (CounterPunch)

IDAHO * Will Rex Rammell’s Run Ruin Risch? (New West Network) However, independents are at odds with Rammell’s strong support for closed primaries, an issue which dominated the recent state GOP convention. With that issue, they line up with LaRocco, who supports open primaries and more government transparency, another issue dear to the hearts of independents.

OREGON * Macpherson back to support open primary (Politicker OR)

CALIFORNIA * California is branded among a 'Dirty Dozen' on gerrymandering (LA Times)

NEW YORK * BLOOMBERG'S BLUES, why our billionaire mayor might not want to become our billionaire governor. (NY Press)


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hankster Top Cities

Ok, we're down to the hard core! Obama clinches the Dem primary. McCain is pretty much a dud, neither fish nor fowl. No independent stepping forward. What next?
Political reform.
If the American people don't have a voice, nothing will change in this country.
Personally, I don't see how Obama doesn't win the general election. Too much on the plus side. Committment to getting out of Iraq. Interest in "reaching across the aisle" -- even an interest in reaching OUTSIDE the aisle... And what a great statement by the American people (as my friend Sameh Abdelaziz noted today on his OpEdNews piece ) to side up with the progressive, anti-war, anti-machine, African American candidate!!

We independents would do well to be mindful right now about the desire of the Democrats to take this people-based movement into their partisan orbit. Hopefully we have learned something over the past umpteen years about that.

As Jackie Salit, President of the Committee for an Independent Movement, put it recently: "This is an exciting time and a challenging time for independent voters and for the independent movement. Independents are now 40% of the electorate. Polls show that 41% of college students consider themselves indies as do 35% of African Americans under the age of 30. Independents have been participating in the presidential primary process in record numbers and have played an integral role in shaping the presidential season...."

We'll see -- in the meantime, keep on keepin' on!

#1 Washington DC
#2 Sacramento CA
#3 New York NY
#4 Atlanta GA
#5 Greenfield WI
#6 Letona AR
#7 Allentown PA

Conversations on the power of ordinary people

The answer in the pictures by sameh abdelaziz on OpEdNews:

I found the answer to all America's questions, the ones that eluded our think tanks and professional politicians for decades. How should we proceed in Iraq? Why do people abroad hate us? How can we solve the Middle East crisis? How should we bring gas prices down?
Among all the places where a man with the humble stature of myself can have this eureka moment, it was in the High Museum of Arts in Atlanta, where it all came together. .... read more
New York State Senator Frank Padavan and
Queens Independence Party Chairman Jerry Everett


Old Media’s Election Centrism-It’s not their party and they’ll cry if they want to (FAIR)




Tuesday, June 17, 2008


  • Poll Finds Independent Voters Split Between McCain, Obama (Washington Post)
  • Poll indicates rising Obama electability (UPI) A Gallup Poll released Monday indicates most U.S. independent voters said likely Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama will win the White House.

Semanko promises unity as Idaho GOP leader (Magic Valley Times News) A separate 199-192 vote among delegates in Sandpoint that supported retaining the state's open primary is indicative of just how divided this convention was.

  • FL: City Strips Penalties From Nonpartisan Election Rule (THE LEDGER Lakeland FL)
  • PA: Democrats blocking vital legislative reform (Towanda Daily and Sunday Review - PA)
  • PA: Redistricting = Democracy (Philadelphia Daily News)
  • CA: Gray Davis Endorses California Redistricting Initiative (Rose Report)
  • Florida: Redistricting Reform Efforts (Rose Report)
  • FL: Group Files Suit to put growth vote on ballot (Orlando Business Journal) Blackner has hired Gary Sinowski, a noted ballot access attorney, to serve as the group's lead counsel in the lawsuit.
  • N.C.: Libertarian runs for serious attention By Mark Binker (News Record - Greensboro)
  • US: Should we eliminate the Electoral College and count only popular votes? (OpEdNews)

ALASKA: Important Case on Political Party Control Over Nominations May be Heard by 9th Circuit in August (Ballot Access News)

Monday, June 16, 2008

What Happened?

by Jeffrey M. Freeman, Colonel, US Army Reserve (Ret.)
A review of Scott McClellan’s What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington Culture of Deception by a political independent.

It is obvious from reading Scott McClellan’s What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington Culture of Deception, that he still admires and respects George W. Bush. That said, McClellan’s basic premise in the book is that Bush’ greatest mistake was turning away from “candor and honesty when those qualities were most needed.” (P.xii)

McClellan makes the argument that Bush came to Washington fully intending to reach across party lines, as he had done in Texas, to bring civility back to Washington government. However, along the way Bush and some of his closest advisors got caught up in a sordid trifecta that pervades Washington politics: government as a permanent campaign, the scandal culture, and politics as war.

The case that McClellan uses to chiefly illustrate this point revolves around the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concerning yellowcake and the disclosure of Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA agent. In what seems to be an act of self-vindication and contrition, McClellan details who knew what and when, and how he was duped. In the process, he reveals some of the nastiness pervading the Bush White House.

To recap, a major factor in selling the Iraq war was the oft-repeated claim by Bush and the administration that Saddam Hussein was aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons. That claim had its basis in the NIE of October 2002, which erroneously reported Saddam had been trying to buy fissile uranium concentrates, known as yellowcake, in Niger. Prior to the NIE, Vice President Cheney asked the CIA about an intelligence report on the same subject. In February 2002, the CIA sent former ambassador Joe Wilson to Africa to investigate. Wilson discounted the report. CIA later admitted publicly that the report was based on forged documents. In July 2003, Wilson went public with his assertion that the war was based in part on information which the administration knew to be false. McClellan asserts that Cheney led the attack to discredit Wilson and possibly to retaliate against him. In the ensuing debacle of secret leaks to selected reporters, Wilson’s wife’s (Plame) identity as a CIA agent became public knowledge; potentially a felony offense. Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, was subsequently convicted of obstructing justice in the investigation which followed. However, Libby’s sentence was commuted by President Bush.

According to McClellan, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and Andrew Card were all involved either in falsely discrediting Wilson, outing Plame, or deceiving McClellan regarding the case, who unwittingly passed false information to the press.

Karl Rove is portrayed as the most Machiavellian of the group. While McClellan has unkind words for Donald Rumsfeld, he also paints an unflattering picture of Condoleeza Rice. McClellan states that, as National Security Adviser, she preferred to carry out Bush’s plans rather than educate him on facts. She initially blamed the CIA for allowing the yellowcake misinformation to be used in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union speech. Later, when she discovered that her office was responsible for the error, she allowed her deputy, Steve Hadley, to take the blame, unlike CIA director George Tenet who publicly took full responsibility for anything his agency reported.

There is a chapter devoted to Hurricane Katrina.

Of Bush, McClellan describes him in various places as:

  • having a vision to recreate the Middle East by forcing democracy on Iraq and Afghanistan;
  • possessing an understanding that “only a wartime president is likely to achieve greatness,” (P.131);
  • being an instinctive rather than an intellectual leader, basing decisions on gut reactions and deeply held convictions;
  • confident, quick-witted, down-to-earth, stubborn, and sincere.

McClellan himself comes across as somewhat na├»ve, particularly with his experience with politics, which he discusses at length. He grew up in Texas politics. His grandfather taught law at the University of Texas, where his grandmother was a law student. His mother served on the Austin board of education and was once mayor of Austin. McClellan himself worked on several campaigns in Texas, including running his mother’s first successful attempt at state office. Given his background and all that was going on in Washington, one might have expected more skepticism from McClellan.

Overall, it is an easy and interesting read, though limited in scope, offering insight into the character, or lack thereof, of several prominent people in the George W. Bush administrations, including the president.

For more understanding on how and why we went to war with Iraq, read James Bamford’s, A Pretext For War, and Bob Woodward’s, State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III.

Jeffrey M. Freeman is the author of Wrong Enemy, Wrong War. He served the Army and Army Reserve for thirty-three years including thirteen years at the Pentagon. Jeff was recalled from retirement from 2003-05 to work on the Joint Staff history of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

It is disappointing that the court is not as resourceful when it comes to protecting voters' rights.


  • Softer-Touch Marketing Woos Cross-Party Voter (CQ Politics)
  • Obama’s Down-Ballot Effect (New York Times/The Caucus) With all the talk and worry about the potential “Obama effect” on races down the ticket, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee believes it has identified a very positive one – Senator Barack Obama runs strongly with independent voters.

Idaho Republican Party May Drop Lawsuit Against Open Primary (Ballot Access News)

NC: Instant voting beats a runoff (News Observer)
OH: Brunner discusses election, staying nonpartisan (News Herald) "The legislature has changed a lot of the requirements for statewide initiative and referendum petitioning, making it much more difficult for citizen initiative legislation or constitutional amendments to occur, so oftentimes these efforts start but they don't come to fruition because the legislature has made the requirements much more difficult than before."
UT: Muzzling the people: Legislature should not take lawmaking petitions away (Salt Lake City Tribune Editorial) Why would the Legislature do this? To help developers, of course. In the delicate balance between private property rights and community interests, the Legislature is putting its thumb on the scale to favor property.
PA: No reforms for this Legislature (Erie Times News) The "reform-minded" Legislature, three-quarters through its two-year term, with 55 freshmen in the aftermath of voter anger over the noxious 2005 pay grab, hasn't exactly brought revolution.
MI: State ballot proposal seeks broad reform (Detroit News) A potential ballot proposal for the November election is rattling some of Michigan's political establishment, especially the Republican side.
NY: Public financing is the only real reform (Albany Times Union) Paterson may be off to a somewhat slow start where reform is concerned, but as the journey of 1,000 miles goes, this is still a mighty big first stride.
US: Text of Senator Nelson’s Proposed Constitutional Amendment for Direct Presidential Election (Ballot Access News)
PA: Independent Candidate for Pennsylvania Legislature Files Ballot Access Lawsuit (Ballot Access News)
US: Will states topple Electoral College? ( American)
US: American apathetic toward government-Bigger changes are needed to fix this nation (The Daily Evergreen) The only way to get the politically apathetic portion of the American population involved in politics is to institute widespread political reform.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


  • Can McCain Remain Competitive? (American Thinker) How McCain-Feingold is holding McCain back
  • Democrats’ Vote Drive in Louisiana Stirs Concern (New York Times) Registrars have reported that as many as a third of the applications cannot be entered into the system, and many of the rest require more information. The state Republican Party called the operation “the Dems’ phony registration drive.”
  • Obama Surges Ahead (Democratic Underground)

  • Riven by factions, Idaho GOP picks Semanko as new leader (Seattle Times) As Semanko takes the reins, he'll have to figure out a way to manage libertarian-leaning Ron Paul supporters; social conservatives such as anti-abortion activist Bryan Fischer; and Rod Beck, the chief advocate for shuttering Idaho's GOP primary to Democrats and independents he blames for picking Republican candidates only lukewarm to party ideals.
  • Semanko ousts Sullivan at divided GOP convention (Fort Mill Times)
  • Idaho GOP reverses course, votes to keep primary open (Local News 8 - Idaho Falls, Pocatello)

  • The Republican “Voters First” Initiative (Calitics) “The Citizens Redistricting Commission shall consist of 14 members, as follows: five who are registered with the largest political party in California based on registration, five who are registered with the second largest political party in California based on registration, and four who are not registered with either of the two largest political parties in California based on registration.”
  • It's time to eliminate the Electoral College (Chicago Post Tribune)
  • Cheers, jeers at the state Democratic convention in Spokane (The News Tribune Spokane)
  • Bob Barr makes his case at Texas Libertarian convention (Dallas Morning News)
  • Time to Fix the Electoral Process, Panelists Say (Legal Times Blog)
  • Should the side with the most votes always win? (St. Petersburg Times)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Idaho: Score one for independent voters!

Idaho GOP reverses course, votes to keep primary open, from Seattle Post Intelligencer: SANDPOINT, Idaho -- Republicans at their state convention voted to recommend keeping the GOP primary open to all voters, a reversal of efforts the last two years to close the party primary.


  • Politics in Utah: Is it a caucus or a cacophony? (The Spectrum) Is it time to dismantle the political machinery of Utah and reclaim the empowerment of citizens' votes by having open primaries, whereby scrutiny of candidates is encouraged?
  • Board of Education protests process (Deseret News) "We would support either an open primary or a return to district committees but state that partisan elections and the present state selection committee are both detrimental to the oversight of the education of our children and that the current process subverts the Utah constitutional requirement that members of the State Board of Education be generally elected."


The Ron Paul Vote: A Headache for John McCain? (Wall Street Journal/Political Perceptions)

The Lou Dobbs Primary? Media, not voters, push immigration issue (FAIR)

The Black Progressive Leadership Void (BlackState)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Let's Develop Politically and Culturally: Performing The World

Check here frequently for a cutting edge independent cultural experience!

Video from 2007 Performing The World

Stay tuned.... Hint: The Hankster is producing a workshop Blogging The World....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Idaho voters should not be forced to join a party to vote!

"Idaho doesn't have Democrats and Republicans, Idaho has voters," attorney Harry Kresky told The Associated Press. "Just like people have the freedom of association - to become members of a group and have closed events - there is also the freedom of non-association. I don't think every voter in Idaho should be forced take part in partisan registration."

"The Republicans really did the Independents a favor - we didn't have a hot button issue until this came along to fire the Independents up," American Independent Movement organizer Campbell said. "It's really helped us as an organizing tool."


  • Idaho independents to intervene in closed primary lawsuit (Fort Mill Times) Either way, American Independent Movement organizer Mitch Campbell said, all the talk about closed primaries has helped the state's independent voters coalesce.
  • Idaho Independents to intervene in closed primary lawsuit (Local News 8) and (Fox 12 News KTRV) The attorney, Harry Kresky, says closing the primary would effectively bar any Independent voters from participating in the primary process.
  • Beck withdraws from GOP chairman race, endorses Semanko over Sullivan (Idaho Statesman) Sullivan supports open primaries. But after the failure in the Legislature, he finally filed a lawsuit challenging the law, as directed by the Central Committee.


Poll Shows Obama Leading McCain in New York (City Room/New York Times) Most New York State Democrats in the new survey said that Mr. Obama should pick Mrs. Clinton as his running mate (53 percent to 35 percent), while Republican voters resoundingly opposed the idea (62 percent to 27 percent), as did most independent voters (53 percent to 41 percent).

  • Politicians are picking voters, instead of the other way around (PennLive/The Patriot News) Redistricting
  • Politics with pancakes, the same day (Sioux City Journal/Politically Speaking) Same Day Voter Registration
  • Hometown Democracy Filing Federal Suit (WMBB TV Panama City FL) Supporters of the FHD Petition, including national ballot-access expert Gary Sinawski, are optimistic that the federal court will object to what the State and its allies in the development industry have been doing to the citizens' right to petition their government through the initiative process, and will redress the balance in favor of the citizens being able to access the ballot with FHD sooner rather than later.
  • Fla. planning amendment sponsors sue (Forbes)
  • Notice of Appeal Filed in North Carolina Ballot Access Case (Ballot Access News)
  • New York's campaign-finance system blasted (Ithaca Journal)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Talk/Talk: New Guard Politics

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, New Guard Politics . 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, June 8, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos".

Salit: The debate now turns to Obama vs. McCain and the general election campaign. McCain's play is to distance himself from Bush. McCain says the only thing I have in common with George Bush is that I support the tax cuts and I'll keep the tax cuts going. But I've gone up against my party. I've gone up against them on immigration, on torture, on energy independence, etc. So, says the McCain campaign, name me one example of Obama going up against the orthodoxy of his own party.

Newman: He got the nomination.

Salit: Good answer.

Newman: If you're running a generational change campaign, that's the only credential that you can have. And it's the only one that you need. You haven't been in power, so how do you have a resume of bucking your party? No, Obama took on his own party establishment and won.

Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.
Attacking the segregationist campaign inside the Independence Party
(left to right, Bob Conroy, Michelle McCleary, Harry Kresky, Lorraine Stevens)


  • Indy Party Control Lawsuit Decided (Elizabeth Benjamin, Daily News/Daily Politics)
  • Top NY court says state party committees have authority (AP/CBS 6 Albany)
  • Highest State Court in New York Rules in Favor of State Political Parties and Against Their Local Organizations (Ballot Access News)
  • New York City Independence Party: Voters, not courts, will decide future of the party (The Hankster) Statement by county chairs of NYC Independence Party

John Frohnmayer quits the race for U.S. Senate, cites lack of support (The Oregonian)

MINNESOTA Independence Party
Fore! Could a Ventura Senate candidacy hang on Wednesday's golf game? (Minnesota Post)

Independent voters seen as crucial for victory (San Diego Union-Tribune)


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New York City Independence Party: Voters, not courts, will decide future of the party

The four county chairs of the New York City operation of the Independence Party of New York released the following statement today in response to the Court of Appeals decision to affirm lower court decisions that grant the State Committee the right to authorize non-IP candidates to run on the IP line in the city of New York in all but citywide elections.

"The New York City county organizations continue to control the Independence Party line in citywide elections, including the 2009 races for Mayor, Public Advocate and Comptroller. With our expanding base of support at the local level and thousands of Independence Party members joining county committees in their boroughs, we will continue the fight for democracy in the party. Ultimately, the future of the party will be decided by the voters, not the courts.”


Cathy L. Stewart, Chair, New York County Independence Party

Robert Conroy, Chair, Kings County Independence Party

Gerald Everett, Chair, Queens County Independence Party

Sarah D. LyonsChair, Richmond County Independence Party

The decision has the practical effect of giving power to the State Committee over duly elected County Committees on local matters.

Reform! Reform! My kingdom for reform!


  • “18 Million Cracks” (The Rutherford Lawson Blog) It can also be said that Braun, Shirley Chisolm, Lenora Fulani and Elizabeth Dole, each in their own way paved the road for Hillary.
  • November Election in the Hands of the Independents (KCBS) California's senior Senator, Dianne Feinstein told ABC's "This Week," that the race won't come down to color. It will be in the hands of independent voters.
  • Lieberman’s transformation from Dems’ VP pick to McCain mouthpiece (Muckety News) None of the talk of retribution and betrayal fazes Lieberman. He said “the post-2006 chapter of my life” has freed him from “tribal partisanship.”
  • Sunday Snapshot -- Don't Cry For Me, America (Hotline blog/National Journal) Talk show round-up-NBC's Gregory: "I think independent voters are going to be so interesting to watch in this cycle because you've got two candidates who have demonstrated success among independent voters, notably John McCain.
  • Rasmussen: Obama Leads McCain By 6 (By Justin Gardner, Donkelephant)

Mississippians want options at the polls (By The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal) Mississippians clearly want the option to vote in any primary they wish. If anything, they want an even more open system like Louisiana's, where all the candidates are on the same ballot, regardless of party.

  • GEORGIA: Faye Coffield, Georgia Independent Candidate for Congress (Ballot Access News)
  • PENNSYLVANIA: PRESS RELEASE: Dissatisfied Clinton Supporters Flock to Third Party in Droves (
  • WASHINGTON: New ballot option on nonpartisan offices (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Conversations on the Future of the Obama Movement

A lot of people are really excited right now about Barack Obama's clinching the Dem nomination. Indeed we, the American people, can be very proud that we have created this moment.

“I think Barack Obama’s achievements are historic,” Lenora Fulani told, “not simply because he is about to become a major party nominee, but because he tapped into that deep desire that people have to create something new in American politics. The black community has been -- and will continue to be -- a major force in that creative process.” (Dr. Fulani herself ran an historic campaign for the presidency in 1988 as an independent and was the first African American and first woman to be on the ballot in all 50 states in US history.)

David Winer in Blow up the Beltway, talking about whether Obama will turn into an insider once he's in office, says "I don't want to be an insider, I don't want the insiders to rule, I don't want there to be insiders at all. I want to distribute opportunity and acknowledge intelligence and goodness where ever it appears..." Dave credits the Obama Phenomenon -- his victory as an insurgent within the Dem party over the formidable Clinton machine -- to the internet. Dave, after all, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software, according to his blog Scripting News.

Doc Searles agrees with that analysis in "Meet the new boss, nothing like the old boss" at Harvard Law: "But we’re done with that. I think even the talk radio addicts who hate all Democrats by reflex know the old gig is up. The reason has nothing to do with partisan politics and everything to do with Democracy 2.0. That’s the one where the threshold of participation narrows toward zero. We’re not there yet, but we’re headed that way. Obama is leading the way, but it’s not just about him, or his candidacy, or his policies...."

And "Obama's Organization, and the Future of American Politics" by Micah L. Sifry on techPresident, makes a similar point: "There are three campaigns that I've spent a lot of my life in journalism writing about: Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988; Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996; and Howard Dean in 2004. In each case, a charismatic candidate with a powerful message drew a ton of new activist energy into the process. And in each case, the movement and the man faced a moment of truth: is this about you, or the larger movement? If Obama wins in November, the question will loom larger for one critical reason: because his supporters have the capacity to self-organize on a scale never seen before in our lifetimes...."

Sifry goes on to say about the evolution of the Howard Dean campaign, "The Dean campaign list was used to spawn DemocracyforAmerica, and Howard gave the reigns to his brother Jim once he became DNC chair. DfA has kept going, with active chapters around the country, and a respectable amount of organizing and fundraising on behalf of Dean-like candidates for various levels of political office. It's not a game changer, but it is definitely something a bit more like an ongoing, people-powered organization than either the Jackson or Perot successor groups. It's not a game changer, but it is definitely something a bit more like an ongoing, people-powered organization than either the Jackson or Perot successor groups."

No, it's not a game changer. To change the game, you'd have to change the rules. You'd have to include independent voters.

Democracy and political parties are almost polar opposites. George Washington warned us in his farewell speech. Over the next few months and years, we're going to see whether the Democratic Party is more democratic or more party. Independents will be watching, and organizing.


  • CALIFORNIA: Low turnout as most vote by mail (Contra Costa Times) The growing ranks of independent voters who eschew party registration has also drained interest in primaries, where parties select their nominees, Alexander said. "Almost 20 percent of the state's voters are decline-to-state and they literally didn't have a dog in this fight," Alexander added.
  • IDAHO: Demos could storm GOP primary (Deseret News) And 56 percent of all Utah voters are officially unaffiliated

R.I. poll: Most favor scrapping Electoral College, electing presidents directly (Providence Journal)

Voters Give Media Failing Grades in Objectivity for Election 2008 (Rasmussen Reports)


  • BIAW's paid media attack campaign against Governor Gregoire has begun (NW Progressive Institute Official Blog) One ad even attempted to blame Gregoire for the open (or pick a party) primary system first used by the state in 2004.
  • Washington State Primary Has No Function in 3/4ths of Legislative Races (Ballot Access News)
FLORIDA: Kenric Ward: Gaming the system through one-party rule (Treasure Coast Palm) There are ways to get around this disenfranchisement. Many states hold open primaries, allowing voters to decide which contests they want to cast ballots in. An even cleaner alternative would be to make county offices nonpartisan (as they are for cities and school boards).

Sunday, June 08, 2008


  • S.D. keeps gaining independent voters (Argus Leader) Republicans have lost some of their edge in voter registration since 1970 in South Dakota, but the shift largely has gone to independents, not Democrats, election records suggest.
  • Iowa expected to be electoral battleground (Waterloo and Cedar Falls Iowa News) One of the reasons Iowa is considered a battleground state is its large group of independent voters.

  • CALIFORNIA: David Little: Protest vote cast in primary (Chico Enterprise-Record) Blindly going to the polls because the politicians tell us to only makes them believe we lemmings will do anything they say.
  • OREGON: Petitioner scarcity-Voters will still consider as many as 10 initiatives on the ballot this fall (The Register-Guard)
  • IDAHO: Beck, Ron Paul supporter join in bid to oust ID's GOP head (Idaho Press)

Obama Could Conceivably Be Listed Four Times on South Carolina Ballot (Ballot Access News) Probably Dems, SC Working Families Party, United Citizens Party, and possibly SC Independence Party...

Black Americans mark mileston of Obama campaign (StarNewsOnline - Wilmington DE)

On politics and faith/Let's face it: Religion looms large (Boulder Daily Camera) The Pew Forum reports that only about 16 percent of Americans define themselves as "unaffiliated" with any organized religion.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Here comes the sun!


  • Poll finds electorate split between Obama, McCain (CNN) Independent candidate Ralph Nader and Republican-turned-Libertarian Bob Barr are vying with the two major-party candidates for independent voters.
  • Obama will visit Raleigh on Monday (Raleigh News & Observer) one goal of Obama's visit is to reach out to the 20 percent of the electorate that is registered as unaffiliated.
  • Obama, McCain look west - 2008 battleground states include Colo, N.M., Nevada (Rocky Mountain News) Democrats also made huge gains in registration and the breakdown of party affiliation in Colorado could be a cause for concern among Republicans. The percentages still favor Republicans, who lead with 34.6 percent compared to 30.6 percent for Democrats. Unaffiliated voters account for 34.4 percent of the totals.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Conversations on Obama Accomplishment

And what happens to those independent voters who want nothing to do with the Clintons? (Gloria Borger, "It's Not About You, Hillary")

A Barack Obama presidency would not be a continuation of any long and noble crusade by the political Left against racism. If anything, it would atone for the Left’s history of participation in the distant travesties that it now, in such cowardly fashion, blames on others. (Daniel J. Flynn, "America's Racist Left")

The muted euphoria stands in stark contrast to the raw, public elation displayed by black Americans in historic moments past: When Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in 1938, or when the Supreme Court said in 1954 that segregation in public education could not stand. (Errin Haines, "Stifled joy from blacks on Obama win")

Come gather 'round, people...

Bob Dylan has endorsed Obama -- h/t to my friend Arturo, one of Dylan's best fans! -- along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, EMILY's List, the Human Rights Campaign...

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Have you noticed Jesse Ventura on the talk shows lately posing as the "independent"? He's got a book out.... And then there's Dean Barkley who's being backed by a major party consultant... Meanwhile a little-known upstate New York pol (the one trying to dictate to NYC independents) posing as the "leader" of a national network of independents, meets with McCain and waits for Mayor Bloomberg to weigh in on who he should endorse..... Hmmm... And lest we forget, there's still Joe Lieberman.... --NH


  • Obama, McCain vie for Michigan swing vote (Detroit News) This week, the campaign kicked off "Citizens for McCain," which the aide described as an aggressive effort to court working-class Democrats and independents through e-mail and phone solicitations.
  • Bernie Sanders says he'll campaign for Obama among independents (Vermont Public Radio) ``The reason that I think I can play an important role is there are many millions of Americans who frankly are less than enthusiastic about the Democratic Party and are less than enthusiastic about the Republican Party. And I think probably the results of this election will depend upon how those independents will vote."
  • Rasmussen Reports: Obama & McCain Tied In Missouri (KTVI - Last month, McCain had a modest advantage among unaffiliated voters. Twenty-six percent (26%) of unaffiliated voters are not supporting either major party candidate at this time.
  • DNC will refuse funds from lobbyists and PACs (By Matt Kelley, USA TODAY)


Conversations on Obama, Michigan and Lieberman

"(Obama) is the first candidate since Robert Kennedy, who is able to reach across partisan and racial divides," said Troy Zukowski, of Portage, Michigan.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Republican in Democratic clothing with a hastily drawn "independent" sign hanging around his neck, "got some tough talk" from Sen. Barack Obama

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Lenora Fulani comments on Obama historic win

“When I was running, I was running for change,” Jackson told “I was hoping I could win, but what I really wanted to do was to change the national debate."

So did political reformer Lenora Fulani.

“When Americans choose a president, we are making a statement about the person we select. But at certain times in history, we are also making a statement about ourselves. In my opinion, 2008 is that kind of election. I think the American people -- black, Latino, white, immigrant, poor, middle class and rich, are not only looking for a change in the White House. We want to change the way we relate to one another,” Fulani said Tuesday. “When I ran for president as an independent in 1988 and became the first African-American and first female to gain admission to the presidential ballot in all 50 states, I was not running a campaign to win,” Fulani told in an e-mail.

“The chances of a radical black female activist and developmental psychologist being elected president were somewhere between zero and none. I was running to build and to lay a foundation for an independent movement. In that campaign, I saw that Americans from all walks of life and from all communities were beginning to question the old categories, the old paradigms and the old-style of partisan politics.

“I think Barack Obama’s achievements are historic,” Fulani said, “not simply because he is about to become a major party nominee, but because he tapped into that deep desire that people have to create something new in American politics. The black community has been -- and will continue to be -- a major force in that creative process.”