Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Sunday, February 28, 2010

CNN's Don Lemon with Independent Panel TONIGHT: Omar Ali, Joe Gandelman and Nicole Kurokawa on Broken Government

7:20pm -- Ok, just heard from Don Lemon, independent panel pushed to 10pm because of Chili earthquake. (Thanks, Don) donlemoncnn @NancyHanks independents at 10p. got moved because of chili breaking news this weekend.

Please stay tuned!

7:15pm -- Well, I got myself set up here with peanuts and Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream in my friend and neighbor's apartment (she gets CNN and I don't....) Jack Cafferty is on talking about lobbying and the powers that be. Still waiting for the ordinary independents...

Heads up from The Moderate Voice:
NOTE: CNN’s Don Lemon is going to do another independent voter panel discussion today (the most likely topic wil bel panelists’ reaction to the health care reform summit). As was the case in weekend segments over the past four weeks, I’ll be on a panel with Omar Ali, the historian and independent voting analyst and Nicole Kurokawa, an independent voting analyst in Washington.
And watch for Hankster live-Twitter at 7pm NY times...

JP Avlon -- Photo-op centrism is not enough: Can centrists and independents come together on systemic policy issues?

A round roundup of what's on the minds of independent pundits and voters from Florida to Massachusetts to New York. Starting out with a little ditty from newly acquisitioned Daily Beast/former New York Sun journalist John P. Avlon (John P. Avlon is senior political columnist for The Daily Beast and author of the new book "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.")

Avlon says in his CNN post yesterday "Why centrist voters are fed up":

But photo-op centrism is, of course, not enough. It must be followed by substance. To really change the culture of Washington, we need to change the rules that reinforce this predictable partisanship.
The quickest policy cure would be to change the rigged system of redistricting that creates congressional 'safe seats' and replaces competitive general elections with closed primaries, where party activists reign supreme. Nonpartisan redistricting and open primaries would reward politicians who reach across the aisle, and would empower independent voters.
Can centrists and independents come together on these systemic policy issues? I think so! And because independents do (NOT) = centrists, we have a shot. (-NH)

And while you're here on The Hankster, don't skip Florida's redistricting issues, or a possible new Massachusetts independent party.

And as for New York -- what's going on in the Empire State? Well, the first independent mayor of New York City (Michael Bloomberg), backed by the NYC Independence Party county organizations (When does the county count more than the state? HINT: When the NYC IP is involved...) (Full disclosure, I'm the Treasurer of the Queens County Executive Committee of the Independence Party of New York, and a long-time activist for independent politics) gave money to the NY State Independence Party, which gave money to a local Repub operative who gave money to ____? Where will it all end? Hopefully, in the hands of the people.

Not really sure about this. But NY media is really excited. And a note about the "other" third party, the Working Families Party, which (having played a major role in the election of the "other" city-wide offices City Comptroller (former Queens City Councilmember John Liu) and City Advocate (Betsy Gotbaum's old job) is now under attack from the official election regulation bureaucracy. Small wonder...

Read on!


Friday, February 26, 2010

snowed out from in

California Prop 14: Independent Voters Fight for Open Primaries

Why Independents Support Open Primaries

by Harry Kresky

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Richard Winger’s statement, “Why Independents are Better Off With More than Two Choices on the November Ballot.”

Most of us share Richard’s desire for a politics in which new ideas take priority over political careers. The issue is how to achieve this. He thinks the answer is to protect the status of minor parties on the grounds that they drive new ideas and social change into the mainstream. But the role of third parties as incubators of political change is limited. History demonstrates that social movements which impact the major parties are more effective in producing sweeping change than third parties. One recent example is the civil rights gains of the sixties which came about through a mass movement that forced the major parties to take long overdue measures to redress employment and other forms of discrimination. It also forced Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act which provided an effective remedy against persistent efforts to deny African-Americans in the South full access to the ballot. Third parties played little if any role in these accomplishments.

Americans don’t look to the third parties as instruments for reform, in no small part because they don’t like parties, major or minor. And they don’t like partisanship. Some minor parties without the pressures of “big tent” coalitions, have become even more calcified and rigidly ideological than the major parties. And while minor parties’ share of the electorate is shrinking, that of independents is growing. In California, the percent of the electorate enrolled in minor parties fell from 5.2 percent in 2001 to 4.4 percent in 2009. The percent registered independent grew from 14.4 percent to 20 percent.

“Top-two” is an important step towards non-partisan governance. It does away with party primaries altogether.  If the Proposition 14 initiative passes, all voters vote in a first round in which all candidates are listed on the ballot with their party preference next to their name, and the top two go on to the general election which is also open to all voters. Voters will be voting for candidates, not parties, and there is a real opportunity for building coalitions of independents and party members in support of reform-oriented candidates who place the interests of their state and country before that of any party. For those concerned with party building – major or minor – having effective spokespersons in the first round will help parties enlarge their base.

A key issue for independents is full participation in every phase of the electoral process. Top-two is a way to achieve that. Under the current system in California, each party holds its own primary election, and only members of that party have a right to participate. That means that 3,466,855 registered voters in California are not guaranteed the right to participate because they have elected not to register into a political party. They can only vote when a party allows them in its primary. They are not guaranteed a say in who appears on the general election ballot. Passage of Proposition 14 will give all voters the right to participate in every phase of the electoral process.

In 1996 the State of California had adopted by referendum an open primary system in which each party, major and minor, had its candidate on the general election ballot. However, the minor parties joined with the Democrats and Republicans in a lawsuit, Democratic Party, et al. v. Jones, 530 U.S. 567 (2000), which invalidated that system on the claim by the parties that it permitted people who were not members of a party to vote in its primary. Passage of Proposition 14 will achieve full participation by the means that are legally available. The State of Washington’s top-two system, on which Proposition 14 is modeled, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Wash. State Grange v. Wash. State Republican Party, 128 S.Ct. 1184 (2008).

Third parties do, of course, provide voters with more choice. Proposition 14 will not deny them that. Candidates of all parties will be on the ballot in round one. American voters, pragmatists that they are, are more likely to express support for a third party candidate in the first round, where the outcome does not send the winner to Washington or Sacramento. As things stand now, while the minor parties are assured a place on the ballot in the general election, they remain largely marginalized by the small percentage of the vote they receive.

As Richard notes, third parties have been unable to gain access to the presidential debates or obtain significant coverage for their candidates. This is so despite their having a place on the general election ballot in California and most states. Improvements in this regard will surely not come from maintaining the status quo. Top-two shakes up the existing partisan arrangements. It is a system under which voters focus more on candidates than parties. And it will bring with it new arguments for media coverage and debate inclusion, just as it will bring new opportunities for voter- driven electoral coalitions that can impact on the political mainstream.

Harry Kresky

Harry Kresky is counsel to, and the City organizations of the New York Independence Party. In 2002 he was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve on New York City's Charter Revision Commission and is representing independent voters in a precedent-setting case defending open primaries in Idaho. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Want to Fix Broken Government? Independents Say Structural Political Reform

Everyone wants to know what independents want. The short answer is structural political reform. Some of this weeks top stories below:

  • Paul Silver (Austin Centrist) recommends that independents get behind the "bipartisan" Fair Elections Now bill. The Fair Elections Now Act (S. 752 and H.R. 1826) was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and in the House of Representatives by Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Walter Jones, Jr. (R-N.C.). The bill would allow federal candidates to choose to run for office without relying on large contributions, big money bundlers, or donations from lobbyists, and would be freed from the constant fundraising in order to focus on what people in their communities want. SEE ALSO: Last week's cover story for The Nation by Change Congress's Lawrence Lessig "How to Get Our Democracy Back"...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Independents are Better Off With More Than Two Choices on the November Ballot

By Richard Winger

Thanks to Nancy Hanks for giving me a one-time shot to explain why I oppose California's Proposition 14, the "top-two open primary."

The United States desperately needs political leaders who are committed to new ideas for solving our problems, and who are more interested in advancing those new ideas than they are to just advancing their own personal political career. We need someone, or an entire group, to run for office on a platform that explains why, in their opinion, a single-payer system is the answer to health care. We need someone, or an entire group, to run for office on a platform that make its best case for why the United States faces financial ruin if it doesn't sharply cut back on spending on war. We need someone, or an entire group, to run for office on a platform to make the case that marijuana prohibition must stop. We need someone, or an entire group, to run for office while making their best case for altering the dominance of the Federal Reserve in our banking system.

In democratic countries all over the world, when a leader, or a group, is determined to persuade society that it's time for a particular change in social policy, the traditional way to do that is to form a political party committed to that idea. The party's candidates then campaign to persuade people that their particular idea is a good one. Parties are the means by which ordinary people can organize, come together, and work for particular changes.

Unfortunately, in the United States, the ability of people to organize into a new political party and take their case to the voters has been trampled upon. Exclusion into the presidential debates, restrictive ballot access laws, and discriminatory campaign finance laws have all severely injured this road to social progress. But, significant progress against discriminatory campaign finance laws and restrictive ballot access laws is being made. A federal court in Connecticut recently ruled that public funding of campaigns must not discriminate against independent candidates. Ballot access for independent candidates for president is substantially easier than it was in the 1960's and 1970's. We haven't made any headway yet against the locked-down presidential debates, but that doesn't mean we never will.

Proposition 14, the "top-two open primary", has already been tried in two states, Washington (in 2008) and Louisiana (used for Congress 1978-2006, and state office ever since 1975). We know what happens in that system. In Washington, in 2008, for the first time since Washington became a state, there were no independent or minor party candidates on the November ballot for Congress and statewide state office. In Louisiana, no minor party member has ever qualified for the second round. That is why independents, or independent-minded people, who have been elected to important office, such as Ron Paul, Lowell Weicker, Jesse Ventura, and John Anderson, are opposed to a system that leaves just two candidates on the November ballot. New parties, representing movements, can't get a foothold in a system that allows only two candidates on the November ballot.

I believe that it is very desirable that independents be allowed to vote in major party primaries. My opposition to Proposition 14 is not because I am opposed to letting independents vote in major party primaries.

Richard Winger is a leading ballot access expert and is founder and editor of Ballot Access News.

CNN's Don Lemon with Independents Omar Ali, Joe Gandelman and Nicole Kurokawa on Broken Government


"How to Talk, a Revolutionary Conversation with Fred Newman" NYC, March 28

As the independent movement grows, it's important that we get better at talking with one another. The Hankster highly recommends the upcoming workshop offered by my long-time colleague and political mentor Fred Newman. Please join me on March 28 in New York City.

How to Talk

A revolutionary conversation with Fred Newman.

Fred Newman — who co-hosts the weekly online political dialogue Talk Talk — presents what he’s learned over 40 years as a therapist, teacher, playwright, director and community organizer about the art of talking with people.

In this age of endless chatter — speculation, prediction, opining and Monday-morning quarterbacking — can talk be redeemed as a creative force? How do we talk to get closer to people? Create community? Develop the world? Take a philosophical/political journey with the founder of social therapy as he shares his approach to creating good conversation.

A Stanford-trained philosopher, Newman has long been concerned to liberate the study of philosophy (and philosophical dialogue) from the confines of academia and to make it useful and accessible for ordinary people in everyday conversation and everyday life.

Sunday, March 28, 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.
$50 ($25 youth/unemployed)
New York University School of Law
40 Washington Square South
(between MacDougal and Sullivan)
Classroom 210

To register call Melissa Meyer at
212.941.8906, ext 304 or email
To register online, go to

Click here 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Attention Queens NY Independents!

Hey Queens NYC Hanksteristas. I need a small favor. One of my Queens independent colleagues Bryan Puertas has just started a MeetUp group for independent voters. 

The more members it has, the more likely people are to join. Could you check it out and join if you like it? And tell your friends? Even if you don't live in Queens, it's still ok. This is the only goup of it's kind in NYC on the site.

Thanks! -NH

upright for now

Independents and Washington's Magic Show, NYC Charter Revision and Nonpartisan Elections, California Prop 14

If you haven't yet read Jackie Salit's Independents See Through Washington's Magic Show, here's a link to Chicago online SWNewsHerald, and keeping up with CNN's Broken Government series, transcript of Don Lemon's panel last Sunday on TMV.... And in the area of election reform, Liz Benjamin of the NY Daily News linked Harry Kresky's Hankster piece "Bloomberg Charter Revision Commission Should Address Nonpartisan Elections", while the discussion of Prop 14 continues. Speaking of Prop 14, Richard Winger will write a guest post for The Hankster later this week delineating his position on Prop 14 and open primaries.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Harry Kresky: Bloomberg Charter Revision Commission Should Address Nonpartisan Elections

The Hankster invited NYC attorney Harry Kresky to comment on the recent Citizens Union forum on the impending Charter Revision Commission.

With Mayor Bloomberg’s appointment of a new Charter Revision Commission imminent, good government types and others are focusing on what the agenda for a Commission should be. At a forum jointly sponsored by Baruch College and the Citizens Union on February 9th, the panel addressed such issues as strengthening the City Council, the Public Advocate and the Borough Presidents, and, of course, restoring a two term limit to elected officials.  Baruch Professor Doug Muzzio presided over the panel which included Hofstra Law Professor Eric Lane, Former Comptroller William Thompson, Columbia Professor Esther Fuchs and Richmond County Clerk, Stephen J. Fiala.
      Their presentations made no mention of non partisan municipal elections, an issue that was put to a referendum by the 2003 Charter Revision Commission and went down to a 3:1 defeat. Much has changed since then. Independents have grown and were the decisive factor in the recent round of federal, state and local elections. 150,000 of them voted on the Independence Party line to re-elect Michael Bloomberg as New York’s first independent Mayor. More than 40 percent of Americans now self-identify as independent. In New York City there are 758,997 voters who are not enrolled in any party. They are of course, barred from New York’s closed primary system. And in races for local office like City Council Member and Borough President, to be barred from the Democratic Party primary means to be be barred from the election that counts in all but a handful of competitive districts. There are some 1,405,636 voters who are not enrolled Democrats and cannot vote in that primary.
      When the floor was open for questions, I asked the panel where they stood on the Commission again taking up the issue of non partisan elections. I asked how they can expect voters to consider giving more power to the highly partisan (and too often corrupt) City Council without changing how it is elected to a non partisan system. The panel did not address the issue directly. Muzzio said it couldn’t pass, look how badly it went down in 2003. Fiala said it was a good reform and he was open to revisiting it. Surely, New Yorkers are as fed up with partisanship as other Americans, and the Charter Commission process provides them with a chance to do something about it.
Harry Kresky 

Harry Kresky is counsel to, and the City organizations of the New York Independence Party. In 2002 he was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve on New York City's Charter Revision Commission and is representing independent voters in a precedent-setting case defending open primaries in Idaho. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Independent Voters: Yes, Government is Broken. Now What?

Independents have had a busy week! CNN appears to be developing an independent track with the Don Lemon independent panel of Dr. Omar Ali, Joe Gandelman and Nicole Kurokawa --- looking forward to tonight's broadcasSunday (6:20-6:40), February 21st, to discuss "Broken Government" from an independents' perspective ... Wish I could easily find a link but you might have to Go Fish....

And then there's the OpEds by Jackie Salit, a leading independent activist-analyst in the Christian Science Monitor "Tea Party Activists: Don't Confuse Them With Independents" and Huffington Post "Independents See Through Washington's Magic Show" about the independent movement relative to both Barack Obama's base of support and Tea Party Republicans...

A critical issue for independents this year is: Will we or won't we be invited to the party? (HINT: Don't hold your breath! Most independents don't like parties, partisanship and the rules that come with them.) Open primaries is on the political reform agenda in no less than 8 states, with nonpartisan independent activists on the ground challenging and chipping away at discriminatory legislation and party rules that prevent independent voters from participating, AND not an insignificant point, prevent innovation in our dysfunctional democracy. 
  • Be sure to read up on the fight in California over Prop 14, the so-called "Top Two" Primary referendum. The fight boils down to whether the parties or the people have the legal right to determine our voting process. Unfortunately, IMnsHO (In My not so Humble Opinion) Richard Winger, the country's premier ballot access expert, opposes open primaries because minor parties (he speaks for the Libertarian Party) would have to run against the 'big guys' in the first round of voting. Richard is not alone -- Bob Cuddy writes (presumably) from a Libertarian Party perspective, and Michael Rosenattorney in Carmel Valley and the secretary of the San Diego County Republican Party. 

And finally, is the Tea Party independent? Well, no. But they might well pull the Repubs more to the right...



TEA PARTY/CBS News/New York Times Poll

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lenora Fulani, Sara Palin, Jackie Salit, Conservatives, Republicans and Independents -- and Shaun White and Michael Lewis...

and the beat goes on....

Hi to all you Hanksteristas!

If you haven't yet read Jackie Salit's oped in the Christian Science Monitor on Tuesday called "Tea Party Activists: Don't confuse them with independents"..... Well, hey -- time's a'wastin'! Really -- read it -- Hit it here...

AND: The 2010 INDIE AWARD goes to Michael Lewis, founder of Independent Kentucky! Congrats, Michael! Keep up the great grassroots independent work!

Lots more below about the California Top Two Open Primary, (the Libertarians and the Northern Calif ACLU Board of Directors don't support....) and the ever-controversial NYC Independence Party (led by Lenora Fulani)....

Uh-oh! I must be watching too much TMZ! (Harvey Levin's a lawyer, ya know!!)

Or was it the Winter Olympics -- Shaun White's SPECTACULAR  run?... or preparation for the Red Carpet on Oscars' Night? Yikes!

This is The Hankster signing off, or on, or well, whatever....

Have a wonderful independent day -- snowboarding wherever you are!

See ya' soon!





Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Salit: Tea party activists: Don't confuse them with independents

Hey, don't get caught with your pants down around independents if you're going to the tea party...

Great article by Jackie Salit in today's Christian Science Monitor "Tea Party activists: Don't confuse them with independents."

Contrary to some of the spin, the tea party movement is not part of the independent movement. Anyone playing the political game, from the president, to the politicians, to the pollsters, confuses them at their peril.  
Salit, current president of and a veteran of the 80s and 90s national battleground skirmishes to establish a viable independent third party -- and who has since led her minions-turned-tens-of-thousands into a "parties? no thank you!" broad-based non-ideological anti-party pro-independent movement for political reform, goes on to say in this article:

Bursting onto the scene in 1992 with an outpouring for Ross Perot, the independent movement began as largely white, leaning center-right. While the movement was quintessentially anti-establishment, left-liberals wrote it off as hopelessly right-wing.
But a network of unorthodox independent leftists with a base in the black, Latino, gay, and progressive communities, reached out to forge a populist coalition with the Perotistas. Appealing to the need to bring all Americans together against a self-dealing, corrupt two-party arrangement, a new coalition took root inside the Perot movement, which led to the creation of the national Reform Party. 
 Read on!

Monday, February 15, 2010

CNN's Don Lemon Speaks to Independents on Drop in Approval for President Obama

Nicole Kurokawa (Cato Institute), Dr. Omar Ali (professor at Towson University and contributor to and Joe Gandelman (The Moderate Voice) on Obama's positioning relative to independent voters.

If you're in New York, be sure to catch Dr. Ali at Interviews by a Black Independent hosted by Dr. Lenora Fulani on Friday, February 19th at 6pm, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, Harlem (163 West 125th Street, 2nd Floor) RSVP to 212-962-1699





  • Hey voters, it's time to fight back (BY PHIL KADNER, Southtown Star) There's a citizens movement under way to change the way that congressional and state legislative districts are drawn in Illinois. It's called the Illinois Fair Map Amendment campaign.  NOTE: Illinois Fair Map is a good government group


  • Cahill charts a different course (By Eric Moskowitz, Boston Globe) "This race, and people's perceptions of me and this campaign, has changed dramatically since Jan. 19," Cahill told reporters. "Where Scott Brown was defining himself as an independent Republican, I'm an independent independe
  • A political lone wolf (By Adrian Walker, Boston Globe)


Friday, February 12, 2010

workers and an army

Winter Cold, Independent Voters Turn Up the Heat

Weekend reading for independent voters:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

nor'easter becoming night

New York Independence Party: City vs State -- Do We Need Nonpartisan Elections?

Topics of concern: Mike Bloomberg made a contribution to the NY State Independence Party via State Chair Frank MacKay possibly earmarked for the Repubs in Queens, and well, seems to be quite a mess... And a NYC Charter Revision Commission might consider nonpartisan elections for Dem-controlled NYC.



Democracy Report: Open Primaires, Independent Candidates, Petty Partisan Squabbles


Who Owns the Non-Partisan Independent Label?

And who needs a label?


  • Poll: Majority want work to continue on health care reform bill (CNN Political Ticker) The survey indicates that 56 percent of independent voters say congressional Republicans aren't doing enough to try and work with the president and Democrats in Congress. Half of independents see the president as too unwilling to compromise and 28 percent feel both parties are not doing enough when it comes to bipartisanship.
  • Poll Shows Voters Abandoning Prez in Droves; Bam Gets Real Kick Indy Ass (iStock Analyst) NOTE: "Kick Indy Ass"?? Whaa? Apparently NY Post writer Geoff Earle wrote that headline for the Post but it didn't get printed, wonder why... Has Mr. Earle ever spoken to a kick-ass indy? Just askin...
  • PARTY SOCIOLOGY: SPURIOUS LEADERS + FURIOUS FOLLOWERS = POWER REDISTRIBUTION (By: David McCleary, The Cypress Times - TX) America’s previous answer to the troublesome aspects of the dual party political system has been the non-partisan “Independent” label. Independent voters often swing elections and encourage less polarizing, govern-from-the-center political leadership. The Tea Party’s recent rapid growth tells us that catering to the Independents and appearing to lead from the center is not enough.
  • Guest Column: And now, a word from the independents (By Jackie Salit, Rock River Times - Rockford IL)



Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Parties on the Left, Movements on the Right: What's an Independent to DO?

Is the Tea Party a party or a movement or just a funding arm of right-wing Republicans? Is the Working Families Party independent or just an appendage of the NYC Democratic Party well-oiled but failing political machinery? And what's the difference between the New York City Organizations of the Independence Party and the State Independence Party of New York? Study up -- if you're independent, you need to know!


Former Kentucky Gov to Independents: Drop Dead!

The fight for inclusion of independent voters in primaries continues to escalate across the country:

In Kentucky, where a bill for open primaries is introduced into the State House by Rep. Jimmy Higdon, newly elected by independents led by local activist Michael Lewis (you won't want to miss Michael's interaction captured on CNN with Dick Mattingly with State Sen. Julian "Love It Or Leave It" Carroll)...

In California, a referendum to make the first round of voting (primaries) open to all candidates and all voters (called "Top Two" and based on a similar system in Washington state) is supported by independents and popular at the grassroots level, but opposed by the official parties -- including minor parties and their spokespeople like Libertarian Party member Richard Winger. Personally I think Winger, who is the country's leading expert and a staunch proponent of fair ballot access for independent and third party candidates, is on the wrong side of this issue. To keep up on pro-open primary news, see



  • Independence for Independents (Louisville Mojo) The Kentucky State Senate voted this week to allow independent voters to participate in the Commonwealth's previously closed primary elections. The measure was split along party lines, with the Republican majority voting in favor.
  • Bloggers berate Sen. Carroll for losing cool on CNN (By Paul Glasser, The State Journal Frankfort KY)
  • CNN: Independents ( like Michael Lewis) fight (politicians like Julian Carroll) to be heard! VIDEO Kentucky House approves bill allowing indies to vote in primary, bill moves to Senate.... STAY TUNED!

Note to Parties: Sarah Palin Does Not Connect With Independent Voters

Sarah Palin doesn't connect with independent voters -- Don Lemon interviews Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice, Nicole Kurokawa of the Cato Institute, and Dr. Omar H. Ali, professor of history and the African Diaspora at Towson University. Video here and here. Dr. Ali says Tea Party is part of conservative, not independent movement...


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Demand for Open Primaries Picks Up Steam

  • Raptakis Proposes Ban on Closed Primaries (Chris Boardman, ABC 6) Raptakis said that no political party in the state should expect taxpayers to pay the bill for a party primary which shuts out 335,288 unaffiliated voters.

New York State Independence Party Politics Makes for Strange Bank Accounts

The New York City Independence Party Organizations received $400,000 from Mike Bloomberg to run his independent campaign for Mayor, which pulled 150,000 votes on Column C, the IP ballot line. Another $1.2 mil went to the State Party, and of that $750,000 went to a company called Special Election Operations. "We have nothing to do with MacKay and Company and we're not the least bit surprised that what they're doing looks fishy, perhaps even corrupt," said Jacqueline Salit, a spokeswoman for the city party and a Bloomberg ally." Upstate IP State Chair Frank MacKay can't recall who or what that money went to... 

Big Questions for Independents: Grassroots, Obama, Parties, and Technology

  • Let's take a fresh look at black history (By Eugene Kane, Journal Sentinel) Is Barack Obama the first black person to run for president? No, in the modern era, black politicians Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Alan Keyes and Lenora Fulani have all run for U.S. president.