Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Friday, January 30, 2009

Post-Election Independent Movement Conference on C-SPAN soon!

CSPAN covered the January 25th CUIP national conference in which 500 independents from around the country participated.
They are expected to broadcast their coverage of the conference of independents shortly. You can check the schedule on this link to see when it will be broadcast.
CSPAN only schedules a few hours in advance so keep an eye out -- and let us know when it goes up.

changing the past

(photo by Judy Jorrisch)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hankster Top 10 Posts Since Obama's Election

Since Election Day, November 4, 2008

If you can imagine that independent voters are this eclectic, have a nice adventure:

189 visits

72 visits

66 visits

56 visits

28 visits

25 visits

25 visits

22 visits

21 visits

19 visits

19 visits

twittering for you


Committee for a Unified Independent Party January 25 conference brought scant attention from the MSM or the blogosphere, but Azi Paybarah twittered the conference (as did The Hankster) and covered Doug Schoen's talk on PolitickerNY, and Anglico went out on a limb to post a note on Daily Kos drawing fire for using the word "independent"!

Deliberations go on about where to put Obama's vast online network, and here's a bit on how they found those coveted swing voters...

Everyone's trying to peek behind the curtain on the Gillibrand Senate appointment in New York. The Repubs are eyeing the vacancy, the Dems are thinking independent, and in the meantime, Mike Bloomberg is doing well in the polls and US District Court says term limits sacking by City Council is ok by them...

Monday, January 26, 2009

How the Independents Speak

The Post-Election Independent Movement
* Principles Intact
* Paradigms in Transition
* Obama in the White House


California considers a constitutional convention -- can open primaries save this state? Dan Walters thinks a convention might be the only way out of this mess...

NY Gov. Patterson has his hands full with the appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Hillary's US Senate seat. Ahhh, the mysterious ways of New York state politics! The media seem to agree that Gillibrand has appeal to critical independent voters.... and here's a pack of politicians and pundits trying to figure out cross-endorsement in New York state...

Most people think that the teachers union is more interested in maintaining teachers' jobs than in the quality of education. (Rasmussen Reports) You gotta wonder why there's a difference....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Conversations on the Post-Election Independent Movement Conference

About 600 independent activists and grassroots leaders gathered today in NYC to consider what we've achieved and where we're going as a movement.

I found what Fred Newman, my close friend and colleage of 25 years, had to say about Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness to be most provocative. Newman said we have to go beyond the American Dream. 

That simple and yet very demanding statement made me think about where we're at right now. I grew up in the South under segregation. My dad was a young Arkansas National Guardsman who was called to Little Rock to escort the Little Rock 9 into Central High in September 1957. I remember the "whites only"/"colored only" water fountains at the courthouse in the early '60s. I remember the day they did away with the poll tax that kept black people and poor people from voting.

I spoke to my father on November 4th, just after 11pm Eastern time, and we agreed that we never thought we would see the day that a black man was elected President of the United States. It's a very big deal.

It's part of the American Dream. The same American Dream that promised us a chicken in every pot, and a car or two in every garage.

But that American Dream is not only increasingly out of reach for most people, but also increasingly unhealthy and even inhuman on the global level. The American Dream, as beautiful as it is, requires that too many of the world's people be relegated to being poor, sick and dying.

We have to change the past if we are to move forward, Newman urged. And changing the past is not something that the "powers that be" take lightly. This is a fight.

But, as Newman said, we're a revolutionary country. Something about Americans -- we toil in obscurity, and we take big risks. We re-make ourselves again and again, through hard work. We are the folks who just changed American history by electing Barack Obama president.

Over the past couple of years, as independents were the first to speak out against the war in Iraq, and the first to step up to the plate for Obama against the Clinton machine, I have been reminded of the civil rights movement that I witnessed, and participated in, as a child. I hear the segregationists (and these were the good moderate ones) calling for "gradual integration".

Gradual didn't get it. Particle politics won't get us where we're going. We need quantum politics, and it's clearly independents who have the vision to make that leap. As Idaho activist Mitch Campbell put it, it's not fixing the problems we need, it's creating new answers.

It's clear from today's conference that this new creativity revolution is going strong. Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country. So pick up your development tools and pitch in. Let's build a new America, and a new world, and change the past.


Jackie Salit on the US Independent Movement and Foreign Policy

From The Post-Election Independent Movement
January Conference, NYC
January 25, 2009
Sponsored by the
Committee for a Unified Independent Party

Images from The Post-Election Independent Movement

Principles Intact * Paradigms in Transision * Obama in the White House
Sponsored by the Committee for a Unified Independent Party

The Post-Election Independent Movement

A panel of grassroots activists


Look who's covering the Jan. 25 national conference of independents in NYC! btw -- The Hankster will be Twittering the conference today, so check the left side of The Hankster or check out my Twitter account throughout the day. Happy Independence Day!

The Montana state legislature is not impressed with a bill to require partisan registration

Georgia Independent Voters posts open primaries petition to Barack Obama 

Kirsten Gillibrand, the new upstate NY Dem insurance policy...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friends from all over!

Independent activists gather in NYC this weekend to talk movement strategy


Pennsylvania independent activist and Green Party US Senate candidate '06 Carl Romanelli

Idaho and Mississippi

Idaho independent activist Mitch Campbell and Mississippi Reform Party Chair Ted Weill


Queens County Independence Party Chair Molly Honigsfeld and Manhattan Chair Cathy Stewart

New York/Oregon

Independent attorney Harry Kresky and Oregon activist (former Sec. of State) Phil Kiesling. 
The Oregon Open Primaries initiative won 30% in November
  (Sorry, Harry was actually awake for the photo, but I missed!)

New York/Florida

Brooklyn activist Luvenia Suber and Florida independent Fran Strickland


Al Bartell and Audrey Mowdy of IMove with Murray Dabby

Chicago/South Carolina

Chicago independent organizer David Cherry with founder and chair of the 
South Carolina Independence Party Wayne Griffin

South Dakota

Missouri/Oklahoma/South Dakota independent activist Kim Wright


Iowa Independents Larry Reinsch and Belinda Lawler 

The Post-Election Independent Movement -- January 25 Conference Kick-Off

Just back from the reception tonight at the 57th Street Holiday Inn in Manhattan for folks coming in for the national conference tomorrow of independent activists and leaders.

The Post-Election Independent Movement:
Principles Intact · Paradigms in Transition · Obama in the White House

The Hankster will be blogging from the conference tomorrow, so stay tuned. And in the meantime, enjoy some photos from the reception!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Conversations on Must Reading for Political Independents in 2009

Where are we? What happened? I have been studying the following articles...

Job well done!


Do you know where politics is goin? Six million “millennials” in California and they're independent...
East Multnomah County Oregon shifts independent 
Cleveland County NC going independent...

Partisan registration bill gets no support in Montana
Daniel Weintraub suggests many useful political reform issues including open primaries

Thursday, January 22, 2009

hi mom!

GeoEye has it


First New York City Mayor won his first election in 2001 with his margin of victory coming from the New York City Independence Party. Then he won re-election in 2005 with a solid independent-black alliance in the city. Then he disaffiliated from the parties altogether. Looking pretty independent, huh?

Well, not recently! He's turned his back on the black and independent voters who elected him by strong-arming City Council (not a particularly difficult thing to do....) to over-turn term limits that have been approved twice by the voters in the city. Now he's looking for some backing for his third Mayoral run.

Dan Janison has an interesting piece in Newsday and NBC New York picked up the story about the two billionaires looking for a party to control... The Queens Gazette (my home boro) also bit... And of course where Mayor Bloomberg dares to tread, there goes his pre-shadow....


Wednesday, January 21, 2009



More Freedoms Needed For Independent Voters (Anthony Leone, The Times Observer blog PA) For example, the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, Inc. works tirelessly to have politicians to commit themselves to work on behalf of independent voters.

  • Kentucky Bill to Let Independent Voters Vote in Partisan Primaries (Ballot Access News) Kentucky Representative Jimmy Higdon (R-Lebanon) has introduced HB 17, which says that independent voters may vote in any party primary.
  • Richard Winger joins board of Free and Equal Elections Foundation (Independent Political Report) The Free and Equal Elections Foundation is a non partisan, non profit 501c(4) organization dedicated to eliminating restrictive ballot access laws that target Independent and Third-Party Candidates.

Column: The Dream: Before and after (By David Snow, Demopolis Times) It is a day that perhaps Dr. King could not have fully envisioned. The first African-American candidate for President for a major party came in 1972 — four years after King's assassination — when Shirley Chisholm ran for the Democratic Party. Jesse Jackson followed after that in 1984 and '88 for the Democratic Party, and Lenora Fulani ran as an independent in 1988 and 1992.

Independence Day (Elizabeth Benjamin, NY Daily News/Daily Politics) Fred Newman, a controversial figure who is a committeeman for the state Independence Party and the ally/mentor of Lenora Fulani, was unsurprisingly not pleased to learn of Mayor Bloomberg's new alliance with party founder and retired Paychex billionaire Tom Golisano. Newman panned the plan by Golisano and Bloomberg to "revamp" the Indy Party as an "outrageous and tyrannical attempt" by the mayor to "control what he can't control." As for any attempt by Bloomberg to land Row C for the third time, Newman vowed: "It's going to be very difficult for him to get the line...We're not going to be bought off."

Monday Morning Mindfuck (Bill Campbell, Tome of the Unknown Writer) "I used to be all radical, and shit..." What happened??

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Text of Obama's Inauguration speech

Seems the Washington Times was first up. Read here

Three Cheers to our new Independent President Barack Obama!

What a beautiful moment for the American people! Barack Obama is about to be sworn in as the 44th President -- and the 3rd Independent President -- of the United States. When you think about it, George Washington not only wasn't a partisan, but warned us against the baneful effects of the spirit of party which only serves to divide us. Abraham Lincoln was barely a Republican, that suddenly successful third party that rose to the part of a transition vehicle for a young nation in crisis. 

Thanks to independent voters, who voted in open primaries in 33 states and determined the nominees of the major parties, and who went on to vote significantly for Obama (53%). The mandate is clear: nonpartisanship and inclusion. We won't make good on the promise of America until we shed the skin of partisanship and insist that everyone has a place here.

Congratulations, America!!!!!

We have made a step forward

Monday, January 19, 2009

Independent leader Fred Newman to Bloomberg/Golisano: We're not going to be bought off.

Independence Day 
January 19, 2009
11:33 am
Elizabeth Benjamin

Fred Newman, a controversial figure who is a committeeman for the state Independence Party and the ally/mentor of Lenora Fulani, was unsurprisingly not pleased to learn of Mayor Bloomberg's new alliance with party founder and retired Paychex billionaire Tom Golisano.

Newman panned the plan by Golisano and Bloomberg to "revamp" the Indy Party as an "outrageous and tyrannical attempt" by the mayor to "control what he can't control." 

As for any attempt by Bloomberg to land Row C for the third time, Newman vowed: "It's going to be very difficult for him to get the line...We're not going to be bought off."  (read more)

what the doctors ordered


  • A Long Climb To Power Nears Its Pinnacle: Barack Obama's Path To The Presidency Paved By Decades-Long Struggle Of Black Politicians And Activists (CBS News) When Powell crossed party lines to endorse Mr. Obama late in the campaign, he held considerable sway over independent voters.
  • Obama 'standing on ancestors' shoulders' (By Patti Mengers, Daily Times, Delaware Co. PA) A self-described "staunch independent," Virgilette Gaffin, who has chaired Cheyney's department of communications and modern languages since last September, sees Obama as an inspiration to her students.... Gaffin became "sold" on Obama after hearing him speak at the 2004 Democratic national convention.

Quote Of The Day: Was Bush's Internal Battle Between Reaganism And Chenyism? (By JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief, The Moderate Voice) The Bush/Cheney/Karl Rove concept of governing meant you had government of the base, by the base and for the base. But this isn't the United States of the Base. It is the United States of America which includes independents, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, centrists and some others not included in these categories. 

  • Two Billionaires Show Renewed Interest in New York Independence Party (Ballot Access NewsNot everything in the article seems completely accurate, but the gist of it seems to be that both men desire to wrest control of the New York City Independence Party away from Lenora Fulani and her political allies.
  • Billionaires team up to "revamp" the New York Independence Party (Independent Political Report) Tom Golisano is a billionaire businessman from upstate New York who helped found the Independence Party of New York. Michael Bloomberg is a registered independent in the State of New York, a billionaire businessman, and the mayor of New York City. What do these two titans of industry have in common?

Obama Adopts Lincoln's Legacy (By Choi Yearn-hong, Korea Times) "...My case is thrown exclusively upon the independent voters of this county, and, if elected, they will have conferred a favor upon me, for which I shall be unremitting in my labors to compensate...." - A. Lincoln

Sunday, January 18, 2009

martin luther king jr


  • Don't underestimate your power as an Independent (Lee Brocher, Get Involved, Make a Difference) 40% of Wisconsinites (including me) consider themselves Independent. In fact, for the first time in several years, Wisconsin Independents far outnumbered Republicans (25%) of Wisconsinites, and Democrats (29%).  links to
  • Holbrook's been 'Twain' longer than Clemens was (By Amy McRary, Knoxville News Sentinel) One new routine discusses the power of the independent voter, a topic he says is relevant with the 2008 election.
  • Locals to witness history at Obama inaugural (BY TOM TOLEN, The Livingston Community News/Ann Arbor News) Karaska became a devotee of Obama after reading his book "The Audacity of Hope.'' However, she votes independently. "Both my husband (Brian) and I are independent, or to use the new term, swing voters,'' she said. "I consider the person and how they stand on issues.''

Minneapolis voters can start thinking 1, 2, 3 (By Lori Sturdevant, Minneapolis Star Tribune) District Judge George McGunnigle's clear summary judgment ruling should give those opponents pause. He dispatched all of their legal objections with apparent ease, and allowed that in a democracy, much weight must be given the will of the people in matters such as voting method. Minneapolis voters approved the use of instant-runoff voting in 2006 by roughly a 2-1 margin.

  • POLITICS & POWER: Not everyone endorses this deal (Rick Brand, Newsday/Long Island) While cross endorsements are not new, what makes this deal unusual is that it involved four parties and affects every countywide race this November. It took place before any party even held screenings to see if other candidates were interested in running. And the pact was consummated without incumbents appearing before the other parties.
  • Peeved Republicans may deny Mike Bloomberg GOP line for third run (Elizabeth Benjamin, NY Daily News/Daily Politics) Bloomberg has been cozying up to Democratic elected officials and county chairs even as his aides are reaching out to Republican leaders. The mayor also is positioning himself to make a play for the Independence Party line, which he had in both of his previous campaigns. He needs permission to run on that line, too, and city Independence Party leaders are so far lukewarm about providing it. NOTE: "lukewarm" is putting it mildly!
  • Billionaires Bloomberg, Golisano Bond Over Third Party (Gothamist) Bloomberg has gotten flak for supporting the city's Independence Party—and implicitly Fulani, who made anti-Semitic remarks. Pigeon claims the partnering isn't related to the 2009 mayoral election.

Dopamine Made Me Do It (By Sally Satel, M.D., American Enterprise Institute) In a November 2007 New York Times piece three FKF executives and three professors from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience at UCLA observed the brains of swing voters. Brain scans showed that areas linked with feelings of anxiety lit up when voters were shown photos of Mitt Romney. The scans revealed mixed emotions about Hillary Clinton and disgust when subjects looked at John Edwards.

Friday, January 16, 2009

my view


Why the Youth Vote Is the Big Story -- For 2008 and for Decades to Come (Eric Greenberg and Karl Weber, Huffington Post) It seems doubtful that the impressive success of the Democratic get-out-the-vote effort, which had so much impact in such swing states as Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, would have been possible without Obama's army of Millennials.

  • Religion & American politics: This is our moment, this is our time (by Robert Bellah, Social Science Research Council) For the reasons I have just suggested, radical individualism is what I call the default mode of American culture.  It is where we go when things are relatively stable and we face no enormous challenge, or are denying that we do.  It is the power of this core tradition that has given rise to American exceptionalism, what makes us so different from most other advanced nations in the world, none of which share this strand to the same extent.
  • Obama's Grand Bargain - The principles and promise of Obamaism. (By Bruce Reed, Slate) While pragmatism has been a hallmark of most successful presidencies, post-partisanship is mostly uncharted territory. As Ron Brownstein writes in his history of partisan division, a president is the only person in Washington with the power to disrupt the inexorable, bipartisan slide toward partisanship for its own sake.

  • Not so democratic - Jeers for the cross-endorsement deal (Newsday) Call it the Full Employment for Politicians But Limited Choice for Voters Act of 2009. Actually, it's not a law at all, just a convenient agreement among political leaders that leaves you with no real choice for three countywide offices.
  • With Nod to History, Bloomberg Sees Recovery (By DAVID W. CHEN, NY Times) And as is often the case, Mr. Bloomberg tried to cast himself as an independent and nontraditional politician.
  • Full text of Mayor Bloomberg's State of the City Speech (by Staten Island Advance) We will get New York City through these hard times with the same approach that has always worked for us. Independent leadership based on facts and pragmatism - not politics and ideology. Innovative thinking that embraces new solutions to old problems - and an insistence on accountability, always.

  • Top Independent Candidates for U.S. House in 2008 (Ballot Access News) Comment: Lesson to third parties and independents: Run someone who is respected and has name recognition.
  • The Minnesota Recount Was Unconstitutional (By MICHAEL STOKES PAULSEN, Wall Street Journal) If Messrs. Franken and Coleman agreed, an absentee ballot could be counted. Either campaign could veto a vote. Dean Barkley of the Independence Party, who ran third, was not included in this process. Thus, citizens' right to vote -- the right to vote! -- was made subject to political parties' gaming strategies.

  • Obama memorabilia displayed in homes (Deborah Netburn, LA Times) For some, the idea of having a pictorial representation of a national leader in one's living space brings to mind communist mandates of the 1950s. The home is the place for family portraits, or art that defines one's tastes. So when Obama shows up next to a landscape painting of the old summer home by Uncle Max, one might wonder if displaying a picture of the president is an invasion of politics in what should be a propaganda-free space.
  • The Big Blue Wall (Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic) Since his days at the Los Angeles Times, Brownstein has been a principal expositor of the idea that electoral coalitions are built around and sustained by culture, rather than economic well-being. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Obama and The Movement

Retooling Obama's campaign machine for the long haul (By Peter Wallsten, LA Times) The organization, known internally as "Barack Obama 2.0," is being designed to sustain a grass-roots network of millions that was mobilized last year to elect Obama and now is widely considered the country's most potent political machine.

Be sure to read this article. And if you haven't already, be sure to read The New Politics: Barack Obama, Party of One

by John Heilemann in New York magazine: Without entirely realizing it, America elected its first Independent president. The implications for how the country will be governed are profound, exhilarating, and loaded with risk.

And while you're at it, you definitely should not miss Jacqueline Salit's "How the Independent Movement Went Left by Going Right"...

Happy reading!

That Hankster

coney island

by robert wilson


Zogby Poll: Obama Increases Favorable Rating Amid Modest Expectations (By JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief, The Moderate Voice) Among independents, more than 50% express positive opinions in their ratings and confidence in Obama, his transition and every issue we asked about, with the exception of taxes.

Obama Should Act Like He Won (By THOMAS FRANK, Wall Street Journal) There is no branch of American political expression more trite, more smug, more hollow than centrism.

  • N.C. voter participation swelled in 2008 (News Observer) One of the state's most prolific bloggers has gone old-school. Liberal blogger James Protzman, one of the founders of the influential progressive group blog BlueNC, has written a novel called Jesus Swept.
  • Daily Kos Affirmations (Hotline On Call) Franken has improved moderately among Dem and GOPers and seen a massive swing among Indies.... Barkley's 15% remains constant in hypothetical rematch.

THE NEW LIBERALISM (George Packer, The New Yorker, from Nov. 17) Obama has his own grass-roots organization, on the Internet and in hundreds of field offices. This is new territory, because those earlier movements had independent identities apart from any President, whereas Obama's movement didn't exist before his candidacy; its purpose was to get him elected. Even so, it has the breadth, the organization, and the generational energy of other movements, and it can be converted into a political coalition if its leader knows how to harness it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

bb berry happy new year


The New Politics: Barack Obama, Party of One - Without entirely realizing it, America elected its first Independent president. The implications for how the country will be governed are profound, exhilarating, and loaded with risk. (By John Heilemann, New York Magazine) Virtually since Election Day, they have been debating the putative shape of what they like to call Obama for America 2.0, with much of the focus on a central choice: Should the network be folded into the DNC or housed within an independent entity? The risk for Obama in pursuing the former path was clear: a possible turnoff for the millions of loyalists who bought into the Obama brand but happened not to be Democrats. On the other hand, though an outside group would have given Obama a power base separate from the DNC, he would also have been less able to exercise control over its agenda... With the selection last week of Obama's friend, Virginia governor Tim Kaine, to chair the party, the question has more or less been answered: Much of the campaign's grassroots operation, I'm told, will reside at the DNC.

POLITISOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS Around The Sphere (By JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief, The Moderate Voice) Glenn Greenwald: The notion that Democrats must spurn their left-wing base and move to the "non-ideological" center is the most conventional of conventional Beltway wisdom (which is why Ignatius, the most conventional of Beltway pundits, is preaching it).

Sunday, January 11, 2009


  • Vice President Dick Cheney divisive? That's probably okay by him (BY THOMAS M. DEFRANK, DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF) His approval rating is lower than his boss' dismal numbers. The McCain campaign considered Cheney so toxic with moderate and independent voters that he never campaigned with the Republican nominee last fall.
  • The American Debate: He damaged party in two fundamental ways (By Dick Polman, Philadelphia Inquirer National Political Columnist) A new analysis by the conservative Hoover Institution deftly frames the GOP quandary: "The decline of Republican strength occurs when strong Republicans become weak Republicans, weak Republicans become independents, and independents lean more Democratic or [are] even becoming Democrats. . . . The problem for Republicans is that their base is slowly shrinking, and they cannot win without the support of moderates" - all of which suggests "an emerging party realignment" to the GOP's detriment, perhaps "a long dry run."
  • Mind the Gap-What the narrowing divide between a center-left nation and a center-right establishment portends (By DAVID SIROTA, In These Times) In fact, with Obama considering converting his campaign e-mail list into something of a state-directed advocacy apparatus, he may have a grassroots machine specifically designed to thwart independent progressive pressure against his government. That's not as far-fetched a possibility as it sounds, considering congressional Democrats' explicit declaration of war against "The Left."
  • RELATED ARTICLE The Center-Right Nation Exits Stage Left (By Tod Lindberg, Washington Post) Hoover Institution colleague David Brady and Douglas Rivers of the research firm YouGovPolimetrix have been analyzing data from online interviews with 12,000 people in both 2004 and 2008. It shows an overall shift to the Democrats of six percentage points. As they write in the forthcoming edition of Policy Review, "The decline of Republican strength occurs by having strong Republicans become weak Republicans, weak Republicans becoming independents, and independents leaning more Democratic or even becoming Democrats." This is a portrait of an electorate moving from center-right to center-left.

  • Reed, others form big plans (Brad Shannon, The Olympian) More changes might be coming to the state's ever-evolving election system. Secretary of State Sam Reed and state Rep. Sam Hunt, the Olympia Democrat who leads a key committee that handles elections issues, both have ideas. They would Limit the party names that candidates can use when running for office under the top-two runoff primary system. Reed wants real party names such as Republican, Libertarian, Democratic or unaffiliated, spokesman David Ammons said. Hunt seeks the same.
  • PD Editorial: Leon Panetta - Obama's pick for CIA chief brings a distinguished record (Charles Dharapak / Associated Press, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT) Panetta and Republican Thomas McKernan are co-chairmen of California Forward, a bipartisan group that helped pass the redistricting measure on November's ballot. Their ongoing agenda includes reforming the budget process and restoring open primaries.
  • Changes needed in light of 2008 elections (BY DEBRA BOWEN, The Reporter - Vacaville CA) Debra Bowen is Calif. chief elections officer: "The primaries also highlighted the confusion faced by the growing ranks of California voters who decline to affiliate with a political party. Some mistakenly believe that to be politically "independent," they should register with the American Independent Party, rather than registering as decline-to-state (DTS) voters. As some nonpartisans discovered when they went to vote, doing so kept them from voting in any other party's "open" primary. I eliminated some of this confusion by redesigning the voter registration card this year, but there is more we can do. I plan to push legislation this year that will make voter registration even more intuitive for California's more than 3.4 million DTS voters."

  • Does bailout spree signal the end of democracy? (BY RANDY SALZMAN, A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. 
  • In Obama, many see an end to the baby boomer era (By JOCELYN NOVECK – AP) "It may be technically correct to call him a boomer," says Douglas Warshaw, a New York media executive who, at age 49, is part of whatever cohort Obama is in. "And it's in the Zeitgeist to call him a Gen Xer. But I think he's more like a generational bridge." He adds that Obama got where he was by "brilliantly leveraging the communication behaviors of post-Boomers," with a campaign waged across the Web, on cell phones and on social networking sites.
  • Are Moderates Really Pragmatists? (The New Republic/The Plank) There are knee-jerk centrists who simply take the left-wing and right-wing positions on any given policy question and decide, without any empirical analysis, that the right answer must be somewhere in between. But the example Matt cites isn't a very good one, and is indicative of an annoying tendency on the part of some liberals to impute too quickly bad-faith motives to centrists. 
  • David Ignatius: Obama makes move toward center (Washington Post Writers Group, Memphis Commercial Appeal) Obama talked during the campaign about creating a new kind of post-partisan politics -- and dissolving the country's cultural and racial and ideological boundaries. Given Obama's limited record as a centrist politician, it was hard to know if he really meant it. John McCain had a more compelling record of working across party lines than did his Democratic rival.
  • Obama's Economic Recovery Speech (By Justin Gardner, Donklephant) I'm calling on all Americans – Democrats and Republicans – to put good ideas ahead of the old ideological battles; a sense of common purpose above the same narrow partisanship; and insist that the first question each of us asks isn't "What's good for me?" but "What's good for the country my children will inherit?" from transcript

  • Dueling New York Senate Polls (by: JeremiahTheMessiah, Swing State Project) In the match-up with King, Kennedy gets support from 74% of Democrats and holds a 12-point lead among unaffiliated voters. King is supported by 73% of Republicans.
  • SENATE DEAL Pain vs. gain (Winners & Losers - Crains New York) LOSERS: Frank McKay and the Independence Party. They spent big on Senate Republicans after failing to get Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for president, and they backed John McCain. That's three strikes.
  • Independence Party forms - Overtakes Conservative Party for 3rd party status in NYS (by Patrick Rocchio, BRONX) "For the first time in the history of the awards, which promote good government, we have a county committee in the Bronx," said Bronx County Independence Party chairman Keith McHenry. "Our goal is to fight partisanship."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Talk Talk: Paradigm or Pause

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Every weekend 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, January 4, 2009 after watching selections from "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," "Hardball with Chris Matthews" and "The McLaughlin Group."

Salit: When I first posed Chris Matthews' question to you – is this a paradigm shift or just a pause? – you said that the paradigm shift has already happened.


Newman: Yes.


Salit: So, what are the characteristics of that paradigm shift?


Newman: The world is not uni-polar or even bi-polar. It's multi-polar. There are a lot of powerful countries – China, India, Brazil, etc. And they're starting to relate differently. They're not relating to one common center or to a bi-polar power dynamic, like the U.S./Soviet Union. They're relating more directly to each other. In that kind of world, there's a pressing need to discover what shape things are going to take…economically, socially, politically, diplomatically. Countries all over the world are struggling with that, to figure out what they would like to see emerge and whether they can effect it. And, if they can't effect their ultimate design, then what can they effect? That's what's going on in the world.

Continue reading Talk Talk here.