Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Monday, November 30, 2009

sign of the times

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS - Gaining Influence in Atlanta, Utah and NYC

Atlanta Mayoral candidates Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed fight for Tuesday's African American, gay and independent vote. Utah is 39% independent. And the New York "All-The News-That-Money-Sees-Fit-to-Print" Times chooses to report the NYC Independence Party's 150,000 vote in the mayoral race on Nov. 3 in a Sunday editorial yesterday about NY state campaign finance laws... Go figure! Oh - plus, NY press continues to go after the WFP...

  • Georgia Independent Voters Announces Support for Kasim Reed in Atalanta Mayoral Race (Press Release) Georgia Independent Voters (GIV) – a state-based association of independent voters will hold a press conference announcing endorsement of Atlanta mayoral candidate Kasim Reed. Monday, November 30, 2009 - 10:00 a.m., Atlanta City Hall, 68 Mitchell St SW, Atlanta, GA.
  • Atlanta runoff neck and neck (By Errin Haines, Associated Press, Philadelphia Inquirer) "What it comes down to is if she gets more black votes than he gets white votes," said political strategist Tom Houck. "When people say race doesn't matter, obviously it does. There is no dominant issue that distinguishes these two other than she's a white woman and he's a black guy." While the folksy Norwood, 57, contrasts with the more serious and polished Reed, 40, both have focused in their campaigns on public safety, transparency, and accountability. Norwood, who says she is an independent, has been accused of being a closeted Republican, and Reed, a Democrat, has challenged her for the votes of another key minority, gay Atlantans.
  • Black-white turnout key in Atlanta mayoral runoff (By ERRIN HAINES (AP)
  • Debunking Some Runoff Myths As Atlanta Prepares For The Next Round (By Dr. Charles Bullock, Insider Advantage Georgia)
  • Atlanta Mayoral Hopefuls in Dead Heat (By COREY DADE, Wall Street Journal) Meanwhile, Mr. Reed and his supporters have ratcheted up their attacks on Ms. Norwood, highlighting her inability to get a single of her proposals passed by the council in eight years as a member, challenging her record of supporting gay rights, and forcing her to defend her political affiliation as independent (and not Republican, as the Reed campaign and state Democrats have alleged).
  • Atlanta mayoral candidates appeal to gay vote (By Richard Fausset, LA Times)

  • UTAH: Peter Corroon a step closer to race for governor (By Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News) Only 13 percent of the respondents identified themselves as Democrats, while 39 percent said they were independent voters and another 39 percent, Republicans. 

  • It’s All About the Money (NY Times Editorial) Mr. Bloomberg won by a scant 50,000 votes, and he got at least 150,000 votes on that Independence line. That is very tidy housekeeping.
  • Still Outnumbered, but Council Republicans Count on More Clout (By DAVID W. CHEN, NY Times) The new Council is expected to be more unpredictable, given the prospect of new, loosely fitting blocs like the Republicans and the candidates who opposed the rewriting of term limits and were powered by the Working Families Party.
  • All In The Family Part 1 (By Edward-Isaac Dovere, City Hall) Using The Working Families Organization, The Working Families Draws Uncapped, Unrestricted Money And Lobbies The People It Helps Elect
  • Oddo Still Top Dog (Strictly Political, By Tom Wrobleski, Staten Island Advance)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Georgia Independent Voters Announces Support for Kasim Reed in Atalanta Mayoral Race

Georgia Independent Voters (“GIV”) – a state-based association of independent voters will hold a press conference announcing endorsement of Atlanta mayoral candidate Kasim Reed. Monday, November 30, 2009 - 10:00 a.m., Atlanta City Hall, 68 Mitchell St SW, Atlanta, GA.

Independent voter organization, Georgia Independent Voters (“GIV”), screened mayoral candidates over the summer and endorsed Kasim Reed who won a spot in the runoff election with 36% of the vote in the general election. GIV activists will reaffirm their support and urge Atlanta independents to vote for Reed in the runoff scheduled for Tuesday, December 1st.

Reed won the endorsement of GIV because of his commitment to work with independent voters if elected, as well as his support for political and electoral reform issues that are the primary concern of independents. Independents comprise 39% of the electorate nationally according to a recent Pew research poll.

For more information, contact Mike Pickering, Co-founder, Georgia Independent Voters
Cell: 404.513.9074 - Email:

Monday, November 23, 2009

fall wardrobe

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS - Independents have a lot to be thankful for!

Thanksgiving is this week. Time to clear out the leftover stalks from the harvest. All those dried leaves from the NJ and VA gov races and the NY-23 congressional race... And the pods from the NYC mayoral (by the way, the final count including paper ballots is 150,000 votes on the Independence Party line). Do we pile them up, burn the field, or mulch and wait? Some of the most interesting things in the field right now are the roots -- nonpartisan elections, open primaries and independent candidates in local races -- as independents prepare for the next season. We have a lot to be thankful for -- let's celebrate a bountiful harvest!







Thursday, November 19, 2009

independents steal home

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS -- Is it too early to talk independent in 2012?

The parties will continue to open or close their primaries depending on what they stand to gain or lose in the next election based on media polls. That's why we need national policy that supports a primary voting system that allows independents the right to participate.

Interesting speculation brewing on Mayor Bloomberg's prospects for an independent run at the White House in 2012. While Katie Connolly imagines that independents are "too fickle, picky and non-committal" to provide a base of support for such a run. She also snarks that maybe Mike could pay people to stand on street corners. (What Connolly either doesn't know or chooses to ignore is that hundreds of volunteers stood on street corners on November 3rd, doubling the NYC Independence Party vote.) Meanwhile, Mark McKinnon on The Daily Beast makes a very good case for that 2012 run. I'd say the race is on!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

here's lookin' at you(rself) cat

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS - Of Third Parties and Con-fusions

Chatter continues about where independent voters are in the countdown to the 2010 midterm elections, this week's theme being the subjective/emotional "state" of independents -- indies are angry, frightened and turning right, say the pundits -- oh, yeah, and anti-incumbent. Poli-Tea started a very interesting and I think important dialog in several posts last week about the impact on independents of the rules the major parties enact to prevent the rise of a competitive third party in The Dialectic of the Subjective and the Objective in the Reproduction of the Two Party-State. In the meantime, a state chapter of the Working Families Party has been formed in Vermont... Surely the success of in NYC (both NY and VT have a form of fusion voting where candidates can run on more than one party line) of both the Independence Party and the WFP deserve some investigation in light of the formidable barriers that exist? More on this later. And on a final note, there's fusion and then there's fusion -- Doctor Zero's fusion is, well, CONfusion... -NH

  • Polls: Voter/Independent's ire for incumbents reaching critical mass (Wichita Independent Examiner, Geoff Caldwell)
  • Edward Achorn: Frightened independents send Washington a message (By EDWARD ACHORN, Providence Journal)
  • The Silver Lining of the Left in Power (by Dennis Prager, Townhall) It is difficult to overstate how important this is. For decades, the left has largely controlled the news media, the arts, the universities and the entertainment media. And vast numbers of Americans have imbibed these leftist messages and the leftist critiques of conservatives. What these Americans have never been able to do is to see what the left would actually do if in power.
  • Independents Turning Right (By Sarah Gravlee, KULR 8 Billings MT)
  • Poll: Beau Biden Grabs Lead in Delaware Senate Race (By DAVID WEIGEL, Washington Independent)
  • Barack Obama Proves He’s No Bill Clinton (By Ron Nehring, Chairman of the California Republican Party, Fox & Hounds Daily - CA)
  • Rasmussen delivers more the-sky-is-falling-on-Obama spin in the WSJ (by Eric Boehlert, Media Matters) Since when do serious, 'independent' pollsters write columns urging the president to "shift right"? While you’re at it, tell the City Council that you want them to appeal the U.S. Department of Justice’s ridiculous decision to overturn our vote on nonpartisan elections.
  • Constitutional convention initiative moves toward ballot (By Gary Quackenbush, North Bay Business Journal) “Redistricting authority should be given to a nonpartisan commission and not be left to legislators. Open primaries would allow voters to vote for anyone during the primaries and the two highest vote-getters for each position would then appear on the general election ballot, regardless of party affiliation.”
  • A fond farewell to Buddy and Jimmy (Bryan C. Hanks, ENC Today) Article mentions the Justice Department's decision to deny voter-approved nonpartisan municipal elections...
  • So much for the power of incumbency (By The Monday Fix, Washington Post) What's clear from this and other national polling as well as a variety of state data is that there is a widespread belief that politicians are not acting in the best interests of those they represent. This sentiment isn't terribly new, but the depth of these anti-incumbent feelings -- particularly among political independents -- makes it newsworthy.
  • Christie versus Booker must wait, as mayor intent on building upon their alliance (By MAX PIZARRO,
  • An insider's view of Christie's N.J. victory- During "that roller-coaster ride," the campaign focused on independent voters, and the issues. (Russ Schriefer, Philadelphia Inquirer)  NOTE: Russ Schriefer is a 20-year Repub consultant
  • Working Families Party forming in Vermont (By Nancy Remsen, Burlington Free Press) Vermont is one of 10 states that allows candidates to run with more than one party affiliation noted on the ballot and those are the states that the Working Families Party have targeted. The party was founded in New York in 1998 and then spread to Connecticut. Vermont has three major political parties -- Democrats, Republicans and Progressives. A political party is considered "major" in Vermont if one of its statewide candidates received more than 5 percent of the vote in the most recent election. Vermont also has had three minor parties in recent years -- Liberty Union, Libertarian and Constitutional.
  • Lopez’s Legacy Looms Large (By Aaron Short, Your Nabe Brooklyn)
  • The Essential Fusion (BY DOCTOR ZERO, Hot Air) The part of the conservative movement broadly defined as “social” is essential to defeating the moral argument of the Left. Electoral victory requires persuading moderate and independent voters, and even some liberals who are still open-minded enough to give the other side a hearing. Such persuasion is impossible without a compelling moral argument, because conservatism does not seem coherent without it. Say what you will about the fundamental argument of collectivism, but you can’t deny it’s simple and consistent: give us your vote and we will take care of you, at the expense of people whose greed is worthy of your hatred.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

our relatives

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS -- A pox on both your parties!

Terry Hurlbut comes closer than most to capturing the true character of independent voters, if from a conservative view (tipoff -- he talks about NY 23, but not the election of NYC's first independent mayor on the Independence Party line), and questions the major pollsters' analysis. Independents, organized, is what will give independent voters more say in politics and policy...  One stop on that road is open primaries, on the ballot in California for 2010.....  Henry Stern (Yonkers' own) gets it right -- and then gets it wrong.


  • Independent voices (Essex County Conservative Examiner, Terry Hurlbut) An independent voter, called an "unaffiliated voter" here in New Jersey, is one who does not identify with either of the two major parties.
  • Sabato: The Democrats Aren't Doomed (By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers, US News & World Report)
  • Obama Is Losing Independent Voters (By SCOTT RASMUSSEN AND DOUGLAS E. SCHOEN, Wall Street Journal)
  • Lou Dobbs for president! The former CNN host sounds like he's running for office -- and if so, he's a GOP nightmare (BY JOE CONASON, Associated Press, Salon) Mr. Independent is a star-spangled superhero, dazzling enemies with his ferocious smile as he restores truth, justice and the American Way to a grateful "independent nation."



  • Polls Predicted a Bloomberg Blowout, but Expert Knew Better (By SAM ROBERTS, NY Times) Mr. Gyory, a lobbyist, political consultant and aide to three New York governors, was convinced that the race would not be the blowout predicted by numerous polls, precisely because of what the polls themselves consistently revealed: The percentage of New Yorkers who said they would vote for Mr. Bloomberg barely climbed above 50. Apparently, the only people who listened worked for Mr. Bloomberg.
  • New York Civic: E-Day Plus 10 - What Happened, and Why? (By Henry J. Stern, Yonkers Tribune blog) City-wide, voters cast 142,817 votes on the Independence Party line for Bloomberg, In 2005 his total on the Independence line was 74,655 and in 2001, his first race for mayor, his Independence total was 59,091. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Talk Talk: Independents, Organized

Sunday, Nov. 8, 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, November 8, 2009 after watching selections from "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" and "Hardball with Chris Matthews."

Newman: Because I don’t know what “it” is and I don’t know what “power” is in this context. Look, you have what you have. That’s what you have. And you organize what you have.

Salit: Yes.

Newman: When I say I don’t know what “it” is, I mean that it’s still very embryonic, very new. And it’s emerging at the rate that it’s emerging at. And it does the things that it does. So, when you say that they’re looking for trends, that’s not quite accurate. They’re looking for trends which they take to be comprehensible and possible, but only from a two-party point of view.

Salit: True enough.

Newman: So, they’re not looking at trends at all. They won’t look at our trends. They’re not even looking at trends in the same way that we consider trends. We know that there are two dominant major parties. But we also know that there’s something else going on. It’s a “becoming,” if you will.

Salit: Yes.

Newman: And they don’t consider that when they analyze what the elections are all about. It’s all swing, swing, swing, swing. Last year they swung one way. This year they swung another. Well, what if what you’re calling a “swing” is the emergence of a new kind of political movement?

Read Talk/Talk in its entirety here.

Grading the Media on Coverage of Independent Voters

I've decided to give out grades today on the media coverage of independent voters.

John Fund gets a D for his midterm paper. While he recognizes that independents are in revolt, he simply regurgitates Repub spin about independents' lack of support for Dems and draws a questionable conclusion: But independent voters are clearly swayed by arguments that the Obama administration and Democratic Congress are moving too far to the left too quickly. Mr. Fund needs to think harder about this and possibly get some help. 

John Zogby gets a B+ on his paper for drawing attention to the fact that ""Moderates" and "Independents" are not the same thing". This is a very good start to correcting some of the misinformation that Mr. Zobgy has been spreading about who independents are.

And Wendy Kaminer gets an F for anti-independent thinking for her piece in The Atlantic today and for referencing Nancy Rosenblum's claim that "partisanship, not independence, is the morally distinctive political identity of representative democracy."

Overall, this is a mediocre class of journalists this year who don't seem to understand that independents have an agenda of political reform and just don't like parties. Period.



  • Barnes Backs Fellow Democrat for ATL Mayor (By Susanna Capelouto and John Sepulvado, Georgia Public Broadcasting) Party affiliation has become an issue during this non-partisan election runoff election, scheduled for December 1... “The party machine system is dead,” Barnes told GPB after the rally. “It’s been headed that way for a long time, and it’s not [a motivating factor for my endorsement].


  • Colorado Independent Candidate Will Sue to Overturn Ballot Access Law (Ballot Access News)
  • Riddle takes on state election law (The Durango Telegraph/Quick and Dirty)
  • Press Release Announcing Lawsuit (Joelle Riddle, Independent Commissioner blog)


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where the Independent Voters -- and Independent Candidates -- Are in 2010

You'll never see what happened last Tuesday looking through a two-party microscope! Nope. You need an independent historyscope to get this one!

I had the pleasure of hearing independent strategist Jackie Salit give her analysis of the November elections on Sunday night on her regular national conference call which is attended by around 150 activists around the country every six weeks.

Jackie is a long-time independent activist based in New York City, the president of the Committee for a Unified Independent Party (aka, the executive editor of the Neo-Independent Magazine, and the campaign manager of Mike Bloomberg's Independence Party campaign. She's someone I follow very closely -- and so should you if you care about independent politics.

A statement released by the campaign via email on Wednesday after the election said: This year, the IP delivered 13% of the total votes cast - the largest percentage ever by a minor party for a cross-endorsed mayoral candidate.

The Hankster (my blog) and Donklephant (where I am a guest blogger), in addition to The Independent View (NYC IP activist Michael Drucker's blog) and the NY Daily News' Brawl for the Hall blog seemed to be the only media outlets that even referenced this astounding result from the election. And then today, I caught Maine's independent mayoral candidate Alex Hammers' post on The Moderate Voice "Independents are a Sleeping Giant".

In the CUIP conference call, Jackie emphasized that, far from being the "margin of victory" for Bloomberg's win as an independent in NYC, the vote on the IP line was the foundation of the campaign. At a time when the votes of both major parties Dems and Repubs went down, the 15 year old grassroots Independence Party doubled its vote.

It is indeed wonderous that no other media picked this up.

But if your framework is a bipartisan -- indeed partisan -- system, you don't pay a lot of attention to the margins, no pun intended! You don't see what's happening on the horizon. You're not looking to the future -- you're looking to the past and how pollsters have been able to parse the vote based on prior elections. Polls are supposed to be predictive. They're interesting, and we all follow them. But predictive?

You'd have to have a 6-billion-person polling operation to figure that one out. And still, you'd get it wrong because what the NYC mayoral race points to is the power that independents have as an organized force. It's something like what the unions used to call "strength in numbers" when we still sang Solidarity Forever and meant solidarity forever for everyone.

Old-fashioned as it may be, independents in NYC have banded together, we have talked with each other, we have made endless phone calls night after night year after year, we have fought back against a stupid and vicious state party chair, we have constituted 5 county committees under state law that are directed by a collective 94-person executive committee, and have inched our way forward into NYC politics as players.

We just led New Yorkers to elect our first independent mayor.

In my book this is something that ordinary people can be proud of. And that ordinary people -- nonpartisans -- all over the country can learn from and emulate.

And indeed they are. Take Joelle Riddle in Durango CO, a former chairwoman of the La Plata County Democratic Party who won her post in 2006 with party support and decided to go independent in August, would have to run as a write-in candidate after inadvertently missing a deadline to change her registration.

“I seek to remedy this burden that falls unequally on small political parties and independent or unaffiliated candidates, unfairly discriminating against them and not affording them the same privileges as the major political parties,” she wrote in a statement announcing her decision Tuesday.

Partisan politics isn't the future of our country, but the search for an independent alternative might be.

You/we independents can do it. If we're organized.




  • Independents are a Sleeping Giant (By Alex Hammer, The Moderate Voice) Twenty-six per cent of Mayor Bloomberg’s re-election votes in New York City this past week — well over 140,000 votes — came on the Independence line and not on the Republican line. Think about that for a minute, and why the national media keep it “hush hush". [Alex Hammer is an independent candidate for Gov of Maine]

PHOTO: NYC Independence Party members Ramon Pena, Vito Serra and Yvonne Lee at the City-Wide meeting at Grand Hyatt in Manhattan the Sunday before Election Day.


  • Going To A Party (By Raynard Jackson, - Balt-Wash) Political parties now face the same fate.  They, by their very existence, tend to be static and bureaucratic.  If you believe like I believe, then you can join my party.  But, what these parties are missing is the fact that people now want choices and these choices are constantly changing.
  • The end of independents (By Carl Golden,  NOTE: Carl Golden is a Republican strategist who worked as Gov. Kaine's press secretary (hence the wishful thinking of the title....)
  • Republicans Narrowly Lead Democrats in 2010 Vote (Holly Bailey, Newsweek/The Gaggle) The reason for the slight GOP edge: Republicans now have a 22 point lead over Democrats among so-called independent voters.
  • Republicans Edge Ahead of Democrats in 2010 Vote - Registered voters prefer Republicans for the House, 48% to 44% (by Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup) Independents are increasingly coming to prefer the Republican candidate for Congress, and now favor the GOP by 22 points.
  • Republicans pass Democrats: Swing '09-A 21-point shift in sentiment among independents underlies the swing. (by Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune/The Swamp)
  • Pelosi plays whack-a-mole on health care (By Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst) Indeed, while the two political parties continue to shrink (with the GOP almost at oblivion, at nearly an all-time low of 24 percent), the independents may be the only healthy political entity in the nation.
  • Indie voters nix O's Rx (By GEOFF EARLE, NY Post)
  • The most important number in politics today (Chris Cillizza, Washington Post/The Fix) 44: That's the percentage of independent voters who told Gallup they would advise their Member of Congress to vote against a health care bill while just 22 percent said their elected official should support it...
  • Now, GOP Has The Numbers-Democrats Have Some Crunching To Do After Republicans Turn Their 2008 Deficits Into 2009 Gains (by Amy Walter, National Journal Online) Democrats need to do more than just turn out those Obama "surge" voters of 2008. They need to do as well as he did among those more traditional groups like independents and whites, too.



  • Big Jewish Turnout For Bloomberg (by Adam Dickter, The Jewish Week) Three-quarters of Jewish voters supported Mayor Michael Bloomberg in his narrow third-term victory in last week’s election, according to a New York Times exit poll. If accurate, that would be a sharp increase from the 53 percent of the Jewish vote the independent mayor garnered in 2005, when he was a Republican running against Democrat Fernando Ferrer.
  • Christine Quinn Stands Pat (By Azi Paybarah, NY Observer) “She can’t just continue to stay in the mayor’s shadow,” said Kathy Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. Speaking about the bill, which her group opposes, Ms. Wylde said the question is whether Ms. Quinn “can now steer a course independent of Bloomberg.”


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

kim's blues


Continued wrap-up commentary of November elections with the addition of some of those wonderful non-partisan independent voices from New Hampshire. Up-tick in self-financed campaigns. Rhode Island has a serious independent candidate and a new third party for 2010. New York's fusion election shows media ignoring NYC Independence Party's 142,817 votes (double the 2005 vote) -- in an election where Dem and Repub votes went down -- and going after Working Families Party. And d. eris at Poli-Tea has an interesting post. I hope he'll consider a brief study of what the NYC IP has been able to accomplish within a duopoly ideology!


  • Local voters are the core of the political process ( - Laconia NH) Democrats have been on a roll since capturing control of Congress and it was reinforced a year ago by the election of President Barack Obama. Democratic leaders want to keep the machine well oiled and Republicans are struggling to make a comeback. But looking for partisan gains in nonpartisan elections is a poor exercise in terms of time and energy. It underestimates the intelligence of people who live in those communities. 
  • Idaho races get scrutiny (AP-Idaho Statesman) Steve Shaw, a political scientist at Northwest Nazarene University, noted that nonpartisan elections in Idaho tend to draw much lower turnouts than the higher-profile partisan races for state and national office. Shaw said a switch to partisan races for cities might attract more voter interest. [Waaaat?? Partisan logic has no bounds!]
  • Greg Moore: Tuesday's message from voters: Butt out, party bosses (Union Leader) These two races should be a warning to party leaders nationally. Both the Republican and Democrat brands are tarnished, and voters want ideas and principles from candidates, not a partisan seal of approval.


  • Candidates pour more of own cash into races (By John Fritze, USA TODAY) Driven partly by a growing number of competitive primaries, self-funding in the first nine months of the year outpaced a 14% rise in all campaign receipts. The number of candidates who gave themselves $500,000 or more jumped to 15 from five in 2007, Federal Election Commission data show.
  • Politics & Poker: Self-Funders Could Influence Several ’10 Contests (By Josh Kurtz, Roll Call)


  • Nontraditional candidates spice up 2010 governor's race in R.I. (Ben Schreckinger, Brown Daily Herald) “It has the potential to be a very unique general election,” said former U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee ’75, who is running as an independent. ....The high proportion of unaffiliated voters in the state benefits third parties, Hunsinger said, and the Moderate Party’s statewide organization is already comparable to Republicans’, she added.... 


  • Bloomberg wins third term (By Brian Donohue, Irish Emigrant Online) Many New Yorkers were troubled with this turn of events [overturn of term limits], however the strong Bloomberg supporters including the Irish American community came out in full force and a last minute surge of votes from Bloomberg strongholds in Queens pulled him into a clear lead. [I was at a Sunnyside poll and I'd say not only did the Irish American community come out in force, they also voted on Column C, the Independence Party line!]


  • Who'll dare to probe the WFP? (By JACOB GERSHMAN, NY Post) Spurred by an election lawsuit filed by Randy Mastro, a top aide in the Giuliani administration, Donovan's office has "begun a preliminary review" of Debi Rose's WFP-boosted campaign for City Council, say sources.


Monday, November 09, 2009


A round-up of the most recent stories over the past week or so reveals a heavy emphasis on the performance of independent voters in the Gov races in NJ and PA and a striking omission of the election of the first independent mayor of New York City on the Independence Party line. Clearly organized independents, such as the NYC IP, are a danger to the status quo, so much so that almost all the media, including the blogosphere, is ignoring them.

  • Serious as a Heart Attack: The Independent’s Story (By Jackie Salit (new deal 2.0, A Project of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute)
  • Sucking Sound - Tuesday’s groundswells were less about a GOP renaissance than the return of the Perotistas. (By John Heilemann, New York Magazine/Intelligencer) Yes, that’s right, the Perot voter is back with a vengeance... “If there’s a trend, it’s that independents are anti-incumbent; all sitting leadership officials are polling poorly with independents,” says Daily Kos’s Markos Moulitsas.
  • Both parties feel independents' wrath (By DAVE HELLING, The Kansas City Star) “Independents want more direct participation in the policymaking process,” Salit said. “They want leadership that makes decisions based on what’s good for a community, a city, a state, a country.”
  • Obama transformative? Or Clinton-Lite? (JOHN BRUMMETT, Pahrump Valley Times, Nye County NV) Today's independents tend to be results-oriented, impatient and disdainful. So the nation hangs on to a seesaw they control.
  • Obama's So Speedy, It Looks Like He's Hardly Moved. (Tim Fernholz, American Prospect/Tapped) David Brooks has a column on the independents in the wake of Tuesday's election, deploying his usual technique of communing with them via stereotypes -- "They’re looking for a safe pair of hands." NOTE: While I don't share the political perspective of this article or the American Prospect (far from it), I do appreciate Tim Fernholz calling David Brooks out on relating to independents as some Idealized Form (in DB's mind?) rather than as the real people they are...
  • Is David Brooks Punking Me? (Noam Scheiber, The New Republic) So yesterday I posted an item complaining about the line of argument that attributes Tuesday's election results to the fact that Democrats had strayed too far from the center, had done too much to quickly, were expanding government too far, etc., etc. I argued that it was much more plausible that voters--particularly the independent voters who decide elections--were just pissed off about the economy. To believe the former, you'd have to believe that these voters have well worked-out views about the proper size of government, and that they're supremely self-aware about where they stand on the ideological spectrum, and where politicians stand relative to them at any given moment, which strikes me as a bit implausible.
  • We cannot tolerate intolerance, but how do we avoid the trap of Liberalism? (GBH, Cannibal Planet - Where the Rich Eat the Poor) I've been standing out in Left field for a long time. Watching the game. The infield dominated by the Dems and Repubs. Watching them throw the ball back and forth. The Dems just are trying to keep the game alive while the Repubs just want to keep the ball. Me? Sitting here with the Outfield - Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky, and Lenora Fulani among others.
  • Like the British in 1775: Empire before citizens (LETTER: Free Lance Star - Fredericksburg VA) As for me, frankly, I'm just plain tired of the partisanship and hypocrisy of both parties.
  • Independent Voters and Empty Explanations (by Nate Silver, Independent voters are treated as a cause, when all that they really are is a symptom. 


  • Obama cedes the center (By Michael Gerson, Washington Post) Obama won just under half of Virginia independent voters last year. On Tuesday, McDonnell carried 66 percent.
  • Dems see lessons in defeat of Deeds (By: Jonathan Martin, Politico) Kaine was also an advocate for not watering down the message. “I don’t think there’s a problem with just [saying], ‘Hey, gosh I’m a Democrat, and I’m proud of it, and let me tell you why,’” he said. “I don’t think you need to back away from it at all.” But, seeing swing voters flee the Democratic Party, that’s not what Deeds did.

  • New York City Independence Party Breaks Records (Donklephant)
  • Tuesday’s results on top and down ballot: The closer you look, the worse it was for Democrats (Posted by Brad Smith, RedState) They even gained a couple seats on the New York City Council (in addition to the re-election of their sort-of Republican Mayor Bloomberg). NOTE: Mike Bloomberg is a registered nonpartisan (independent) and ran on the Independence Party line, where he got 26% of his vote.
  • This ‘change’ wasn’t what many expected (Douglas Turner, Buffalo News) Disillusioned independents voted overwhelmingly for Republicans Bob McDonnell in Virginia and Chris Christie in New Jersey, and nudged Bloomberg across the line for the third and last time. 
  • Incumbents bear brunt of voter anger (By IRENE JAY LIU, Capitol bureau, Albany Times Union) In New York City, Bloomberg received the lowest five-borough vote total of any mayoral winner in a generation, with an estimated 25 percent voter turnout.
  • The New Power Generation-Bloomberg may have squeaked back in as king—but now he has two ambitious princes to contend with. (By Chris Smith, New York Magazine) Bloomberg will also face, for the first time in eight years, a sustained challenge from the other two citywide officeholders, De Blasio and John Liu, the comptroller-elect
  • For Judges Standing By, a Quiet Election Day (Corey Kilgannon, The New York Times/City Room) Featuring Ed Brady at the BoE...


  • Kasim Reed has been endorsed by Georgia Independent Voters and is now in a runoff against Mary Norwood

  • Former top judge to lead Working Families Party probe-The labor-backed political organization hires former New York state Court of Appeals Judge Judith Kaye to review its operations after critics charged it skirted certain laws. (By Daniel Massey, Crains New York)

  • Anatomy of an upset-B.J. Murphy's victory Tuesday night still surprising observers (Bryan C. Hanks, ENC Today) Following the DOJ’s controversial decision to keep Kinston’s municipal elections partisan in August, Cousins easily defeated political newcomer Ronnie Isler in September’s Democratic primary and moved on to Tuesday’s election.  NOTE: Murphy supported nonpartisan elections and spoke out during the campaign against the DoJ decision
  • Power to the party--ELECTION '09: Democrats and Republicans in Kinston, N.C., plan their next move against a federal veto of nonpartisan elections (Jamie Dean, World Magazine - Today's News Christian Views) In the small town of Kinston, N.C., B.J. Murphy did something extraordinary on Election Day: The 29-year-old sales director for a local real estate company became the first Republican elected 

  • Failing the Midterms -- Press overplays election results (FAIR - Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) Republican candidates won gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia on Tuesday; meanwhile, Democratic candidates won two special elections for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York and California. But it was very clear which set of elections corporate media wanted to portray as sending an important message about national politics--that voters were discontented with the White House and wanted Democrats to move to the right.

Friday, November 06, 2009



  • What Independents Want (By DAVID BROOKS, NY Times) Independents, who are the largest group in the electorate, don’t have any of this. They don’t have institutional affiliations. They don’t look to certain activist lobbies for guidance. There aren’t many commentators who come from an independent perspective.
  • Election message: Voters want results (USA Today)
  • Voters Take Aim at the Status Quo (By GERALD F. SEIB, Wall Street Journal)
  • The Big Question: Will we see the rise of a viable third party? (By Mary Ann Dreas, Sydelle Moore and Tony Romm, The Hill)
  • What Did the Independent Vote Tell Us? (Jeff Alworth, Blue Oregon) And there are independents to the left of the Democratic Party, too... If the Democrats make the mistake of confusing independents for moderates (as Rep. Cooper did), they'll take away exactly the wrong lesson. 
  • Live Election Night Analysis With Marc Ambinder and Matthew Cooper (The Atlantic) Many disassociated with the GOP -- at least in terms of what they tell pollsters -- because of the GOP brand problems and because it's cool to be independent in parts of the country and in parts of states. Don't confuse "moderates" with "independents."  Still, it seems clear that for people who call themselves independent, Republican messages wear better than Democrats.
  • Tuesday's Suburban Vote Swing (By KARL ROVE, Wall Street Journal)
  • What the Voters Said--Tuesday's election results send a very clear message to everyone in Washington: change your tone, lower your voices, get things done. (Doug Schoen, Fox News) Indeed, the only incumbent managing to survive –albeit with a reduced majority – was New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who ran an explicit and avowed centrist campaign, putting progress before partisanship. 



  • NYTimes Results with interactive map
  • New York reelects Bloomberg as mayor; Mayoral contests in Atlanta and Houston are too close to call and may be decided by runoffs. In Pittsburgh, incumbent Luke Ravenstahl wins decisively. (By Richard Fausset and Kate Linthicum, LA Times)
  • Election Remakes City Council, and May Give It More Bite, Too (By SEWELL CHAN, NY Times)
  • NYC mayor's Dem foe might run again (By SARA KUGLER, AP)
  • Queens: White, Sanders easily outpace Council rivals (By Ivan Pereira, Your
  • Bloomberg Declines to Say Whether He Voted R or I (By Azi Paybarah, NY Observer)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

New York City Independence Party Breaks Records


New York, NY-The Independence Party vote for Mike Bloomberg yesterday broke numerous records and re-enforced its ongoing mandate for independent governance and non-partisan reform.

Unofficial returns released by the Board of Elections put the IP total on Column "C" at 142,817 votes, nearly 26% of Bloomberg's total and 13% of all votes  cast. This means that 1 in 4 Bloomberg voters chose to vote on the Independence Party line.

The vote for the mayor on the Independence Party line was an increase of 91% over its total four years ago, when it drew nearly 75,000 votes on its crucial Column "C".

Jacqueline Salit, who has run all three IP campaigns for Bloomberg stated: "The Independence Party's 143,000 votes grows out of the strength of our grassroots organization, the popularity of political independence as a new option and a longstanding partnership with our independent mayor, Mike Bloomberg. This record breaking vote makes plain our growth and our role in the emerging shift in New York City politics. We're a new kind of minor party with an agenda for non-partisan reform. We have a broad and diverse base of support. We gave Mike his margin in a close race. And we made history by electing the city's first independent mayor."

In three consecutive elections, under varying circumstances, the Independence Party has made its mark on the NYC mayoral. In 2001, its 59,091 votes gave Bloomberg his margin over Democrat Mark Green, who lost by 35,000 votes. In 2005, the IP vote for Bloomberg grew by 26%, making it the only political party to demonstrate growth at the polls that year. This year, the IP delivered 13% of the total  votes cast- the largest percentage ever-by a minor party for a cross-endorsed mayoral candidate.

For the last 20 years, other minor parties polled between 32,551 (the Working Families Party vote for Mark Green in 2001) and 62,469 (the Liberal Party vote for Rudy Giuliani in 1993).

Monday, November 02, 2009

Atlanta Mayoral Race: New grassroots video for Kasim Reed

There is a new grass roots support commercial that has been released in support of Kasim Reed.
New video:

concerned citizens





Sunday, November 01, 2009

LETTER: Incredible grassroots support for Kasim Reed in Atlanta Mayoral Race

The Hankster received this email:

Hello All,

I am a concerned citizen of Atlanta and have been following the Mayoral election closely. Out of all the candidates, the incredible grass roots support that Kasim Reed is receiving has particularly struck me. Please take a moment to view these grass roots video that I came across supporting Kasim Reed. Help to spread the word about this support by passing on these videos. Thanks! (From the little people of Atlanta) (From Atlanta voters)

- Concerned Citizen

GO Little People of Atlanta, GO! -NH