Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Monday, August 31, 2009


Unrest among voters has implications for midterm elections; Watch those polls - but watch those polls carefully!




Saturday, August 29, 2009

BlogTalkRadio Sunday night 8:30pm Eastern Time

Poli-Tea author Damon Eris, independent political blogger, talks with The Hankster about independent and third party politics, the rise of independent voters in the face of an entrenched political duopoly, and what it all means to American politics circa 2009 and beyond.

Click here to sign in to the show You'll be able to access the call online and make comments, ask questions and give your opinion!

And you can also call in by phone between 8:30 and 9:00pm Eastern Time at (347) 884-8634!

Please join us!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Join The Hankster on Sunday night 8:30pm NY Time with Poli-Tea

I hope you will tune in to a special BlogTalkRadio show this Sunday at 8:30pm Eastern Time, a conversation with Poli-Tea and The Hankster

Poli-Tea author Damon Eris, independent political blogger, talks with The Hankster about independent and third party politics, the rise of independent voters in the face of an entrenched political duopoly, and what it all means to American politics circa 2009 and beyond.

Click here to sign in to the show You'll be able to access the call online and make comments, ask questions and give your opinion!

And you can also call in between 8:30 and 9:00pm Eastern Time at (347) 884-8634!

Talk or not, but please join us for the converation!

It's BlogTalkRadio!


Thursday, August 27, 2009


Independents are playing a key role in the debate on health care. Centrist commentator John Avlon says indies are social liberals/fiscal conservatives; James A. Morone, seeming to speak for the Demo-(We-Are-Not-Socialists)-Crats says indies are moderate, fence-sitting, frightened and don't vote in midterm elections... Independent strategist and public philosopher Fred Newman says "the most right wing voices are saying in their appeal to a base: We don’t want to have any or more or all of our money spent on poor people. It’s not more complicated than that."
  • Commentary: Obama losing independent voters (By John Avlon, Special to CNN) All this is evidence that Obama's election did not represent a liberal ideological mandate, as House Democrats and their partisan cheerleaders might wish. More than 70 percent of independents now disapprove of Congress.
  • Why the Health Care Debate Is So Explosive (James A. Morone, Washington Post/Short Stack) Many Democrats are moving to whittle back health reform in order to win over moderate, fence-sitting, frightened independents. Big mistake...
  • The Ant and the Grasshopper Revisited (Fred Newman and Jackie Salit, I’ve always felt that the long term debate over health care is the societal form of the “socialism or capitalism” debate. That’s what it’s meant. That’s writ large in the current circumstance and Obama is bearing the brunt of that debate right now, while trying to lead the way forward, without using the language of socialism, and almost certainly overworking the language of capitalism. That’s what the raw emotions are about. The right wing is aghast, not by how much money we’re spending. I think that’s ludicrous. Nobody worries about how much money we’re spending, as long as it’s not their money.
  • Polling shows uncertainties about 'public option' insurance in health reform (Portland Business Journal - by Neil Westergaard) Couple that with diminishing support for Obama from independent voters who were key to his election last year, and Cook said, "I don't know that there's an ending that the president is going to like."
  • Reasoned arguments win more debates (Tim Hadachek, Kansas State Collegian) Actually, there’s a reason Obama has made only the feeblest of efforts to debunk these crazy claims. Independent voters are the kingmakers of American politics. Roughly the same number of Democrats and Republicans will vote and cancel each other out. But the candidate that can capture the most people in the middle of the political spectrum usually wins.

Open primaries is probably the most democratic reform that could be implemented right now, one that would allow 40% of the electorate to have a voice

Watch Chris Daggett's independent campaign for governor in New Jersey -- he's raised enough to qualifiy for public funding and is in the debates:

Dems talk amongst themselves... Bloomberg leads in NYC Mayoral race

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BlogTalkRadio Sunday night: The Hankster and Poli-Tea

I hope you will tune in to a special BlogTalkRadio show this Sunday at 8:30pm Eastern Time, a conversation with Poli-Tea and The Hankster

Speak to you soon!


  • Tulsa Independent Voters a Growing Voice (By CHARLES CANTRELL, GTR News Tulsa) According to Perkins, pragmatic, creative, successful solutions to local problems are better achieved in an environment free of the parameters set by political party affiliations.
  • The Democrats Should Stick Together On Health Care Reform (The Chattanoogan/Opinion) Most of the independent voters who voted Democratic in the last election voted for: removal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, a public health plan option, increased education spending, and accountability in government.

  • Independent Chris Daggett proposes 'luxury tax' on gubernatorial campaign spending (by Trish G. Graber/Statehouse Bureau, NJ Star Ledger)
  • Run, Jackie, Run! (By Marie Lakin, Ventura County Star) Speier recently held a town hall forum on health care in her district which was peaceful. "There is no point in pursuing health care reform without a public option," she said. What would she do to fix California politics? Get rid of term limits (which give us a perpetual crop of rookies) or limit each legislator to 12 years, jettison the two-thirds vote needed to pass a budget and bring on open primaries (which will encourage moderates).

  • The 63rd Senator (Gotham Gazette, by David King ) Whether it springs from his generous sponsoring of Senate Republicans, the weight Mike Bloomberg's opinion carries with the public or the spite some lawmakers feel toward him, Bloomberg has the ability to drastically affect the direction of discourse in Albany.
  • Puerto Rico Gov. For Bloomberg (Liz Benjamin, Daily News/Daily Politics)
  • Bill Thompson: Contender? (New York Magazine, By Jacob Gershman) Six strategies to beat Bloomberg: Again, Mike Bloomberg, the post-partisan plutocrat and technocrat, liked but difficult to love, is opposing a Democratic-machine candidate with a built-in ethnic base but little fund-raising prowess, whose campaign message revolves around painting the mayor as out of touch.... Sure, today Bloomberg’s a registered Independent who supports gun control and gay marriage, but he did bring the 2004 GOP convention here, and he’s on that party’s ballot. The trick is to shackle him to the right wing. Says a senior Thompson aide: “It’s just Republican philosophy to say ‘Don’t tax the rich.’” Look for Thompson to employ catchphrases like “the Bush-Bloomberg economy.”


Monday, August 24, 2009

Measuring the independence of independents

Guest Post by d.eris

With the ranks of self-identified independents swelling across the country, and, hence, renewed media attention devoted to the group as a bloc, a number of recent studies and commentaries have questioned received notions of the independent voter, arguing that 'the independent voter' is little more than a myth. This position holds that, since a large percentage of independent voters "lean" toward one major party or the other, and vote in a manner consistent with that preference, independent voters are in effect no different from "weak" partisans of the duopoly parties. To put this in other words, when made to choose between the Republican and Democratic Parties independents tend to side with one over the other, whichever that one may be for a given individual. However, this does not necessarily imply partisanship on the part of the voter, but does suggest that independents are not an ideological monolith. To gauge the independence of independents, the crucial question is where their preference lies and how they vote, not when they are forced to choose between the lesser and greater of two relative evils, but rather when they are offered a choice between a Democrat, a Republican and someone else – a third party candidate or even another independent, imagine that. That this may not be immediately apparent is likely just one more effect of bi-partisan bias in academia, the media and polling organizations.

Certainly, though, one of the more perplexing paradoxes of two-party politics is the chasm between the number of people who describe themselves as independents and the number of people who vote for candidates other than those representing the Republican and Democratic Parties. There are numerous potential explanations of this contradiction. It is supposed that many voters are simply not as independently minded as they think they are; or that they practice a form of defensive politics by voting for the lesser of two evils, or against the greater of two evils. Yet many people say they would support or even consider voting for a "viable" third party or independent candidate for office, if there were one. This is the infamous viability hurdle.

There are at least two conditions to the perception of viability, both of which presuppose name recognition of the candidate in question: 1) others deem the candidate worthy of consideration, and 2) the individual agrees with this estimation. Bipartisan, duopolist bias then introduces the additional supposition that only representatives of the Democratic and Republican Parties are viable candidates for office. But there is some amount of resistance to this presumption. This year has witnessed a growing discontent with both Democratic and Republican leadership and a decline in identification with both of the major parties. The
rise in independent identification has been documented by numerous polling organizations over the course of 2009, and is already apparent in voter registration rolls. These developments have certainly figured into the political calculus of the many independents who have launched or are currently exploring promising campaigns for office at all levels of government. The elections of 2009 and 2010 will thus put independents to the test.

Take the Northeast, for instance. Though it is considered a Democratic bastion, the region has an independent streak. In the last thirty years, Maine has had two
independent governors and Connecticut has had one (kind of). Both Vermont and Connecticut have sitting independent Senators. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg withdrew from the Republican Party and registered as an independent. In New Jersey, independent candidate Chris Daggett has raised a significant amount of money and obtained a place in the state's gubernatorial debates. There is wide array of gubernatorial candidates lining up for Maine's 2010 contest, among them independents Alex Hammer and Sam Bailey. Legislators in New Hampshire are reportedly considering independent runs for office next year. Lincoln Chafee is running for governor of Rhode Island as an independent. There is speculation that state Treasurer Tim Cahill is planning an independent run for the same office in Massachusetts. And this trend is not confined to the Northeast. Jana Kemp has launched an independent campaign for governor in Idaho and Trevor Drown is exploring an independent run for Senate in Arkansas. If these candidates can capitalize on the public's discontent with the two-party system, and voters, in turn, resist falling prey to the steady diet of duopolist propaganda fed to us by the major parties and their enablers in the mainstream media, independents could dispel the myth of 'the myth of the independent voter' in 2009 and 2010.

Thanks to Nancy for inviting me to guest post here at The Hankster.

You can see more of Poli-Tea's independent political views at Poli-Tea. Poli-Tea is highly recommended by The Hankster. -NH

Sunday, August 23, 2009

reporting from chicago



In 2008, there were 33 open primary states in which independent voters could participate in the presidential primaries and caucuses. In these states, 2.7 million independents voted for Barack Obama, giving him the margin of victory to secure the Democratic Party nomination. Party insiders (both Republican and Democratic) are attempting to eliminate open primaries and reassert their control of the electoral process. Sign the letter to President Obama in support of Open Primaries

August campaign is about money: who's got it, where it came from and who's gettin' it...
  • Thompson, Bloomberg Bicker About Political Contributions (Jen Chung, Gothamist)
  • Thompson's People Call Foul on Bloomberg's Donations (By Azi Paybarah, PolitickerNY) NOTE: This article relies on a separate Gothamist article from January 2009 about a contribution to the NY State Independence Party and has very little if anything to do with the Mayor's race 2009. By virtue of NY State law, which was decided in the highest NY court, the NYC IP organizations, and not the State party, hold the right to endorse city-wide candidates. The NYC IP endorsed Mike Bloomberg for Mayor in April 2009 after intense negotiations between Mayor Bloomberg and independent strategists Fred Newman and Jackie Salit, and the duly-elected executive committees of the five NYC IP county committees. The NY Times went on record in February saying "Last year, Mr. Bloomberg and his aides stepped into a messy battle between factions of the Independence Party." Then in March, the Times continued on record saying "For a brief time, Mr. Newman and Ms. Salit considered offering the Independence Party line to Mr. Thompson, inviting him to their home for a conversation. But Mr. Thompson, who opposed nonpartisan elections in 2003, again refused to back the concept, they said. “The talks went nowhere,” Ms. Salit said.
  • Finger pointing on campaign spending: Bill Thompson and Mayor Bloomberg call each other out (Adam Lisberg, Daily News/Brawl for the Hall) NOTE: Brawl for the Hall is a new Daily News blog specifically on the Mayor's race classified under Election 2009
  • Bloomberg proposes new campaign rules that wouldn't apply to him (BY Erin Einhorn, DAILY NEWS/Brawl for the Hall) Bloomberg's team quickly pointed out Thompson donated $6,000 to the Working Families Party in 2002 and 2003 that he never reported as campaign spending.
  • Mike Bloomberg, Independent for Mayor: Campaign questionnaire (Daily News/Brawl for the Hall) Q: Why are you the best person for the job? A: I’m an independent, results-oriented leader with a plan to fix the economy, create jobs and help middle class New Yorkers who are hurting right now.

Independent strategist Jackie Salit talks about where the independents are today

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Unfortunately, conservatives are much quicker to claim independents as their kin than progressives:
  • Young endorsement a coup for Kasim Reed 's mayoral bid (By Ernie Suggs, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) “Endorsements are important and welcomed by all campaigns,” said Borders’ spokesperson Liz Flowers, adding that her candidate was endorsed Tuesday by iMove, an independent voters organization.
  • The Myth of the Independent Voter Revisited (Alan I. Abramowitz, Center for Politics/Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball)
  • When Boulder Starts Rolling Away -Obamacare's in trouble in an Obama town. (By Mark Hemingway, National Review Online) “For a long time, Republicans made the mistake of believing Colorado was a Republican state, but the truth is that it’s an independent state with a lot of swing voters,” observes John Ransom, chairman of the Douglas County GOP. (Douglas is a fast-growing, Republican-leaning county just south of Denver.) “My feeling is that Obama’s losing those independent voters who really don’t look at things through an ideological prism,” he adds.
  • Who’s Got the Power? Progressives find themselves outmaneuvered on healthcare reform. (By David Moberg, In These Times) More importantly, longer-term possibilities have been created by the failure of the Bush administration, the narrowing Republican base, the economic crisis, the shift of independent voters toward liberal Democratic views and the demographic trends favoring a growing progressive bloc of voters.
  • Gingrich Predicts Anti-liberal Eruption (by Jed Babbin, Human Events) Just like 2007, Washington isn’t listening. But this time it’s the Democrats, and they are not only refusing to hear, they’re insistently insulting their constituents.
  • Health Care Reform Closely Followed, Much Discussed - 86% Hear of "Death Panel" Claims (Pew Research Center)
  • More See White House and GOP Leaders at Odds - Democratic Favorable Ratings Slide (Pew Research Center)
  • Daggett says he's in it to win (By Matt Friedman, Reporter)

Mike Bloomberg won the endorsement of the NYC Independence Party, and petitioned separately for an additional line

More court action on who controls county organizations -- local leaders or state officials.


Monday, August 17, 2009


Marist poll shows 34% of independents approve of President Obama's health care reform plan, with 15% unsure.

What percentage of your salary goes to charity?

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Alabama independent thinks party politics should be outlawed and the debate over where independents stand on health care reform stands...
  • Time for independents to reform system (LETTER to Montgomery Advertiser)
  • GOP seeks its revival in the revolt against Obama's healthcare plan (By Janet Hook and Peter Wallsten, LA Times) Others are still trying to figure out how to balance the desires of the base with the need to appeal to moderate swing voters who might be turned off by high-volume rhetoric. Whether they find that balance could determine whether the Republican Party can win back independents who voted overwhelmingly for Obama last year but now, according to several polls, are questioning their commitment to him.

Lots of election reform coming up in California

Dems think Bill Thompson is a bad investment? Apparently not DC 37 and the Working Families Party. Meanwhile Mayor Bloomberg is financing his independent campaign from personal funds, and is being backed by the NYC Independence Party and also running on the Repub line...

IP of Saratoga is fielding a full slate

  • Right Wing Strategy Successful in Disrupting Health Care Debate (Carol Forsloff, DigitalJournal) "Some writers who have examined the information and misinformation, as well as poll results, have been particularly concerned that the pushback by liberals has not been sufficient to educate the American public and that in fact liberals may not have been dramatic enough to get enough attention on the evening news.Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight bemoans the media’s lack of responsibility in skewing or not reporting correct information so the public can make informed decisions...."

Friday, August 14, 2009


Independent voters are at the center of the storm about health care reform.
  • Rahm’s “Opportunity in Crisis” Strategy is Failing (Fox News) Fast-forward a few months and polls now show how independent voters are drifting away from the president. -- As the guns of August sound over health care policy, Obama's government takeover of health care is on the ropes and being met with grassroots intensity not seen since the immigration debate. So how are Obama and his fellow Chicago politicos in the White House confronting the dropping polls and increased angst among the electorate? They're attacking Americans protesting at town hall meetings, attacking debate, essentially attacking free speech.
  • Will They Still Love Him Tomorrow? (By DANIEL HENNINGER, Wall Street Journal Online)
  • State Gets Tarnished - New Survey Documents Three Decades of Change Among California Voters (By Jerry Roberts, Santa Barbara Independent) From their demographics to their disposition on cultural issues, the state’s voters have grown substantially more diverse, more independent, and more socially tolerant, according to a just-released, in-depth report about California voter attitudes produced by the Field Poll.
  • Town hall protests winning over independents? (Salon/War Room) Still, there is an issue for Democrats in the numbers Gallup found among self-identified independents. 35 percent said the protests have made them more sympathetic to the protesters views, while only 16 percent said they've gone the other direction.
  • Katrina Swett: Democratic Party has plenty of room for moderate voices (NH Union Leader, By KATRINA SWETT) As a lifelong Democrat who is proud to be considered part of the vibrant and effective heart of the party, I strongly disagree. It is certainly true that increasing numbers of voters are choosing to identify themselves as independents. But, if anything, that trend only underscores the growing strength and numbers of those voters who are seeking practical, achievable solutions to the many challenges that our country faces.

Independent Pennsylvanians have been effective in bringing political reform to the forefront

Independent Mayor Bloomberg is fighting for every vote...

NOTE: Fair and Unbalanced is a small independent blog recommended by The Hankster

  • Jackie Salit on WLRN Radio Aug 19th. Jackie Salit will be the guest on WLRN's “Topical Currents” show serving Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Marathon and Key West with host Joseph Cooper to discuss the role independent voters are playing in reshaping American politics. ( Listen Online

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Independent Voters
  • NOTE: Without much fanfare, the WaPo introduced a new blog just about around a year ago. Funny, this is the first mention of "independent voters" an article about Sarah Palin's "downright evil" comment about President Obama's healthcare plan. Sarah Palin Calls for...Restraint? (Stephen Stromberg, Washington Post/Post Partisan)
  • IMHO Marc Ambinder is one of the more anti-independent pundits around. However, he does write about independents, even if his understanding of independent voters is based on partisan conservatism. How Conservatives Are Blowing Their Chance (The Atlantic/Politics, Marc Ambinder)
  • Is corruption a problem? (By WALLY EDGE, NJ Politicker) More than nine out of then (93%) of New Jerseyans say government corruption is a "somewhat serious" or "very serious" problem and 65% of voters say the recent wave of corruption arrests embarrasses them as New Jersey residents.
  • N.J. Voters Say Corruption Major Issue, Poll Finds (By Stacie Servetah, Bloomberg) Voters say 50 percent to 15 percent, with 34 percent undecided, that they associate Democrats more than Republicans with political corruption in New Jersey. Independent voters blame Democrats 56 percent to 9 percent, while 28 percent of Democrats blame their own party, the poll found.
  • Poll finds Corzine closing on Christie in governor's race (New Jersey News Room) In the two-way face-off, Corzine leads 83-10 percent among Democratic likely voters, compared to 76-19 percent in July. Christie leads 89-7 percent among Republicans and 64-29 percent among independent voters, both unchanged.
  • Garden State Gubernatorial: Three reasons that Republican Chris Christie can win in New Jersey. (By Jennifer Marsico, National Review Online)
  • Playing It Safe (By Charlie Cook, National Journal via Government Executive) The public's go-slower attitude is coming through not just in surveys but also in focus groups, such as one that Democratic pollster Peter Hart conducted in Towson, Md., recently for the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Columnist Mark Shields, who watched that focus group of a dozen independent voters from behind the glass, notes, "Even those who are rooting for Obama think that he is moving too fast. They feel the nation needs a time-out. They urge him to slow down." Shields quoted one participant as saying, "I hope he has learned that everything does not work at the speed of light," and another as advising that the president "needs to develop a bit of patience."

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, registered as unaffiliated, is running as an independent for a third term on the Independence Party line in November. PS -- Mike twittered today!
  • Indys Defend Bloomberg As One Of Their Own (NY Daily News/Daily Politics/Liz Benjami)
  • Working The Jewish Vote For Bloomberg ‘09 - Mark Botnick: Mayor’s liaison grew up in political family. (by Adam Dickter, The Jewish Week) At 24, Mark Botnick is in charge of outreach to the Jewish community for Mike Bloomberg’s third mayoral campaign. The Yonkers native, an alumnus of Westchester Day School and Westchester Hebrew High School, worked on Bloomberg’s last campaign while still at Queens College and afterward went to work at the city’s Community Assistance Unit until this year. A Democrat, he lives on the Upper West Side.
  • Special Election: NY Democrats Go With Rookie (By Emily Cadei, CQ Politics)

Talk Talk: Bill's Back

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Every week CUIP's president Jacqueline Salit and strategist/philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogues compiled on Sunday, August 9, 2009 after watching selections from "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," "Hardball with Chris Matthews," and several Charlie Rose interviews.
Yes. So, on to the Clinton hostage release.

Newman: Good job, Bill.

Salit: Bill goes over, meets with the North Korean leader.

Newman: Smiles only when off-camera.

Salit: Smiles only off-camera, exactly. And brings the women home.

Newman: Exactly.

Salit: It was really a good play.

Newman: He was the obvious person to go to resolve this.
Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.

The Twittering Mayor of NYC

@mikebloomberg Go Mike! NYC's first independent and technology-saavy mayor!! Congrats from The Hankster!

Monday, August 10, 2009


  • Chafee On Ballot Would Complicate Rhode Island Race (By Emma Dumain, CQ Politics)
  • Why Indie Voters Don't Make California Purple (Jerry Roberts, Huffington Post) Others, like Dave Lesher and Mark Baldassare of the Public Policy Institute of California, have made the case more subtly, arguing that because California's independents combine strains of social liberals and fiscal conservatives, "their vote is up for grabs." "Independents' attitudes, in contrast to that of Democrats and Republicans, don't fit neatly into traditional liberal and conservative camps," the two wrote in a LAT op-ed in 2006, adding that this made for "a surprising degree of uncertainty and volatility."

  • Polarization is paralyzing California-The path to moderation starts with an open primary and the end of gerrymandering. (George Skelton, Capitol Journal, LA Times) What's going on is that moderates have been abandoning the two major parties and registering as nonpartisan independents, or "Decline to State." In 1978, about 8% of voters were independents. In 1992, it was 10%. Today it's 20%. "The fastest growing segments of non-partisans are Latinos and Asians," DiCamillo says. "We're talking about first-generation citizens with few ties to a party."

Mike Bloomberg's campaign (he's an independent running on the Independence Party line -- Column C on the ballot) could have big significance not only for New York City, but for the nation -- AND the independent movement. What are the political parties do to?! Read local press at your own risk!

Long-time independent and nemesis of the formidable Bronx County Dem Machine is one point up on (so far so good....) the Machine. Now the NY State Senate Majority Leader, Espada fights the good fight! Witness the (really) bad NY press... Cherche le source!
Hey did you know there's an independent running for Gov in NY?? Keep watching the state-wide and local races for the rise of significance of indpendent voters!

Sunday, August 09, 2009


Coverage of independent voters from a more progressive viewpoint:
  • Wisconsin: Health Care Vital Issue (By Cecily Wu, CQ Politics) Thus, enactment of health care legislation that can draw solid public support could enable Kagen to maintain the backing of independent voters, who Scattergood said comprise upwards of 20 percent of the 8th District electorate.
  • What's Bad for the GOP Is Good for Fox News (By John Cook, Gawker) But while cable news is niche, politics is mass. The chart above shows GOP party approval in as reported by New York Times/CBS in national polls going back to 2006 and Fox News' total primetime audience, in millions, over the same time period. Fox News can and does thrive with a primetime audience of 2.5 million, many of which are the aforementioned zealots. The Republican Party needs more than that to function electorally. And the aforementioned angry zealotry that's in vogue on Fox News is distasteful to the independent voters that the GOP needs to court.

What's the LP's problem with an "open primary"???

Mike Bloomberg is running for Mayor of NYC as an independent on Column C, the Independence Party line....

Friday, August 07, 2009


More from Quinnipiac and Field polls on independent voters' views

Mayoral control of schools seen as important to education

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Wherever independents fall on the supposed political "spectrum", if they are on the political "spectrum", don't we have to admit that they do exist!? Many MSM publishers seek increasing irrelevance if they don't see the direction that the American people are headed.... While it's clear that independents are "all over the map" on social issues, they increasingly come together on the need for political reform. Stay tuned!
Thanks to Peter Allen for this:

Mayor Bloomberg became an independent in the summer of 2007 (2 years ago...), having been elected in 2001 with his margin of victory on the NYC Independence Party, and again in 2005 which saw the emergence of an influential black and independent alliance -- 60% of the independent vote and 47% of the black vote. Mike Bloomberg has been endorsed by the NYC Independence Party for re-election this year.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Open Letter to Charlie Crist on Open Primaries

TO: Governor Charlie Crist
FR: Peter Allen
DA: 8/5/09
RE: Open Primary Elections

Last month I had sent you a letter asking you for your help in the quest to reform Florida's Elections, and I had asked you to help me in my quest to promote an open Primary Election in Florida. I do understand that this will take an action of the Florida State Legislature to get it on the Ballot in 2010,
Governor Crist, in your bid for the US Senate, you are going up against other Republicans who are going to be in the Primaries. A Closed Primary Election system, such as the one currently in used in Florida, only allows Republicans to vote for Republicans.

As an example, if there are four Republican candidates on the ballot, and you are not the party favorite, you stand far less of a chance of winning than the favorite, or so called front runner. Same with the Democrats. In an Open Primary Election, all registered voters can vote for a candidate, and better the chances of a fair Election and a level playing field. After all aren't Campaign Finance and Election Reform some of your major goals?
Governor Crist, when the People of the great State of Florida see that you are instrumental in getting this legislation passed, and that you are for an open Government approach, I am sure that your new job will be in Washington DC as our next Great Senator.
I ask you Governor Crist Please help me and support my cause, because it is the right thing to do.
Peter Allen
Candidate for Governor of the Great State of Florida

Have a cup of Poli-Tea!

Long day? Battling lots of bi-partisan duopolistic either/or choices? Relax, get creative, and go visit the new independent blog Poli-Tea. You'll be glad you did!

(Now on The Hankster side-bar!)


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Every week CUIP's president Jacqueline Salit and strategist/philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogues compiled on Sunday, August 2, 2009 after watching selections from "Hardball with Chris Matthews," "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" and several Charlie Rose interviews.
Newman: There are so many definitional questions to be asked here, that it makes approaching the question very, very difficult. What you said is correct. The objective is to make it less of a terrorist base from which to target both the region and the world. But the cultural assumptions embedded in the approach can get you into trouble. Those assumptions might not bear any relationship to how the Taliban, or Al Qaeda, or ordinary Afghans look at this situation. Take the notion of "nation building." Well, the insurgents probably say: We already have a nation. This is our kind of nation. What you mean by a nation is having democratic elections, the outcome of which favor Washington, DC. That's not our definition of a nation. Arguably, this is them being realistic. It's them saying:This is what we have. Force has always played a major role in who controls the land. And land is the primary source of wealth and power. Throw in the religious traditions and the long history of resisting any kind of centralized rule, and the bottom line is that you can't relate to this situation as if it were Painesville, Ohio. This is not Painesville, Ohio. This is so far from being Painesville, Ohio that even the talk about nation building comes off sounding comic.

Salit: I imagine our military leaders feel the same way.
Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


If by fickle you mean stepping away from the 2-party system, call me fickle any day!
  • 2010: Fight for fickle kids (By: Eamon Javers, Politico) Stanford University political science professor Morris Fiorina is convinced that both political parties haven’t yet grasped the scale of the change that’s happening in society. Republicans, he said, made the mistake of assuming that the divisions they exploited in the 2000-2004 elections were much deeper and more durable than they actually were — and were shocked by vote swings in 2006 and 2008 that would have seemed inconceivable in 2004. Not to mention, he said, “the emergence of Obama out of nowhere.”

Independent-turned-Dem Joe Sestak takes on Repub-turned-Dem
  • Senate candidates from opposite sides use same strategy against Specter (By Reid Wilson, The Hill) Whether it is the outlier result of a single poll or the harbinger of inroads to come, Toomey actually leads Specter by a 46-42 percent margin among independent voters in a Quinnipiac University survey. The poll was conducted July 14-19.
  • Sestak ready to announce he'll take on Specter (By Thomas Fitzgerald, Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Sestak Fires Back: Dem. Specter Makes Republican Swift Boat Attacks On Dem. Military Veterans (By Brian Beutler, TPM, July 9, 2009)

Dem Corzine vs. Repub Christie vs. Independent Daggett

Special elections in NY are nonpartisan and allow independents to vote. They are the best type of election for insurgents and independent candidates...


Continued look at who independent voters are/are not and Obama's poll numbers...

Calif Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger is determined to leave a legacy of reform -- particularly open primaries, which would give more power to voters
  • Schwarzenegger is unpopular but undaunted (George Skelton, Capitol Journal, LA Times)
  • A State of Confusion editorial: State needs fixes to avoid a repeat (Sac Bee) As for the Legislature itself, an open primary in place of the partisan nominating system we have now might help elect more moderate lawmakers and lead to a more consensus-oriented body.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Now Appearing on Donklephant: News Headlines for Independents

Great news for Hanksteristas: We're now blogging on Donklephant

Support independent blogging! Go there.


Lots of stuff on Obama's poll numbers among independents--everybody is weighing in! Independents have been on the cutting edge of elections and national issues for years now. Independents supported Obama mostly over the issue of the war in Iraq. Are we gonna get health care reform? I would venture that independents are not nearly as "conservative" as gets projected in the MSM -- but they are independent. And pragmatic. Stay tuned!


Lots of stuff on Obama's poll numbers among independents--everybody is weighing in! Independents have been on the cutting edge of elections and national issues for years now. Independents supported Obama mostly over the issue of the war in Iraq. Are we gonna get health care reform? I would venture that independents are not nearly as "conservative" as gets projected in the MSM -- but they are independent. And pragmatic. Stay tuned!


Pedro Espada continues to be the hero of the day for NY State politics!
  • 'Identity politics' increasingly shaping NY policy (Newsday) Espada, the force behind this summer's coup, thinks identify politics in too narrow a term to define the action.
  • Bronx group honors gridlock-causing Pedro Espada as 'Senator of the Year' (BY ERICA PEARSON AND LEO STANDORA, DAILY NEWS)

Recommended reading by The Hankster:
  • A Rough Guide to the Third Party and Independent Blogosphere (Poli-Tea)
  • Partisan Voting (Life)

"With reform, insurance companies will have to abide by a yearly cap on how much you can be charged for your out-of-pocket expenses. No one in America should go broke because of an illness." - President Obama