Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Georgia Independents Go Up Against Fulton County Incumbent John Eaves


GIV Objects to Abuse of Election Law by Major Party Candidate

Tuesday June 29th, Georgia Independent Voters sent the below letter to Democratic incumbent Fulton County Commissioner John Eaves. Eaves’ campaign has begun an effort to disqualify more than 8,000 ballot access petition signatures collected by independent candidate Mary Norwood (as an independent candidate for Fulton County Commission Chair, due to Georgia elections law, Norwood must collect more than 20,000 signatures in order to have her name on the ballot) on the basis that the word “Fulton” in the county field on ballot petitions is pre-printed and not handwritten.

Competition is good for everything — except the Georgia ballot  10:30 am June 25, 2010, by Jim Galloway in the Atlanta Journal Constitution/Political Insider

"Wingnuts" book review

A couple of weeks ago I was traveling on one of the more remote stretches of the Interstate Highway System between Fillmore and Nephi Utah. There isn’t a lot of FM radio reception to be had on this stretch, so I flipped the dial over to AM where I can tune stations from more distant locations as the sun sets lower. On this particular evening, I was able to pick up a right leaning independent radio host who was interviewing the Constitution Party candidate for U.S. Senate from Utah. I can appreciate a healthy skepticism of candidates of the Big 2, but the gist of the Constitution Party tenets seem polar opposites to me.

The radio show guest, Senate Candidate Scott Bradley more or less stated that we need to get back to the constitution in its original form (I'm paraphrasing from memory). He went on to postulate that every public or civic action could and should be settled by an examination of the U.S. Constitution. And therein is the paradox. This approach would mean city governments could be done away with and that state legislatures would only need to carry out those duties specifically detailed within the constitution. However, the constitution was a framework for a system of self-governance “by and for The People”. The Bradley plan is kind of a throw it out and embrace it at the same time kind of logic.

As for me, I support a different paradox, one embraced by the authors of the constitution; a system of by the people government that envisioned competing and divergent interests which made allowances for amendments and for differences to be voiced and settled. The Big 2 have embraced a very partisan model of what Mr. Bradley thinks will work; a top down autocratic inflexible application of the constitution as they understand it. Wrong. Though there are vast portions to be rigidly adhered to, the whole of the mission and intent is to establish a republic to be governed by the people—a statutory state of rigid flexibility if you will.

When I sat down to begin writing this, the Scott Bradley interview synopsis was supposed to be a segue into a review of John Avlon’s book Wingnuts, How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America, so I better get started.

John Avlon is clearly an independent and a successful writer, but I started the book not looking for something to disagree about, but not wanting to be the centrist version of a super-ultra-mega-dittohead if you know what I mean. I would say I like 90% of the book. It is for the most part an insightful chronicle of the inciteful (its in the urban dictionary, good enough:). From a literary standpoint, Wingnuts is heavy on inflammatory quotes that are admittedly way over the top and problematic as the book indicates. I found the quotes overwhelming. They shed light on the crazy talk crowds, but I had a hard time keeping up with who was currently shouting.

My 10% disagreement was probably the first 10% of the book, predominantly his criticism of and "Bush Derangement Syndrome". I'm not defending, I am not even sure I've ever visited that website, but Mr. Avlon portrays radical reactions to Bush administration policies as "wingnutty". I was independently incensed by a number of Bush administration blunders, and I mean livid mad--and I voted for the guy......twice. Oops. I'll give you my personal stories.

First, I was in Iraq with the Army in 2004 and I was well, quite unimpressed about stories emerging about prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and torture and injustice at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I was particularly concerned about these abhorrent acts because it could and did elevate my personal risk of injury or death, though thankfully I came through unscathed.

Second, and this is still a very disturbing insult to me. I was driving to work in Draper, Utah, just listening to NPR when they broke a disturbing story that a U.S. Army and Navy whistleblowers revealed, without meritable dispute from the NSA, that NSA personnel were recording, transcribing, distributing and mocking intimate conversations between GI's in the Middle East and their spouses or partners here in the states.
So, on this point, I will disagree vehemently with Mr. Avlon, I don't think any vociferous objection to that breach of the law and decency is vociferous enough. It is crazy and wingnutty NOT to be incensed by such immoral and illegal activity directed against the real warriors and their families in these wars.

All that being said, I am going to give Wingnuts 3.5 stars on my review for being better than average but not great. And now I have a new book to add to my booklist--"The Shadow Factory" by James Bamford.

Talk Talk: McChrystal: He'll Always Have Paris

Sunday, June 26, 2010

Talk/Talk will be off for month of July and resume in August.  

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, June 27, 2010 after watching selections from "PBS NewsHour, "The Charlie Rose Show," "The Chris Matthews Show" and "This Week."

Newman: Everyone did what they did knowing that it would probably have these consequences. And it did have these consequences. So, it's sort of an exercise in utter predictability.

Salit: I appreciate that because this whole affair does have that quality to it. On one hand, it's presented as this great drama, and it is. In American history, it is dramatic when a president relieves a general of a command in the middle of a war. It doesn't happen that often. But when it happens, it is a dramatic event. And, at the same time, as you say, this one does have a quality of everything that happened along the way seeming to be very predictable. I feel like someone's already writing a script for a Hollywood movie called "McChrystal" and they've already cast it. Maybe Bruce Willis is going to play McChrystal.

Newman: Well, it might seem like a movie because it's about the military. Military movies are very popular for a reason.

Salit: Which is?

Newman: It's all about doing the right thing.
Read Talk/Talk in its entirety here.

Rolling Stone's "The Runaway General" by Michael Hastings here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the river

Rankin: Eliminate Party Primaries for County Offices in Mississippi

Steve Rankin (Free Citizen), third party advocate and one of the country's leading experts on state party primary structures, responded to columnist Bill Minor in the Jackson Mississippi Clarion Ledger from last week "Maybe Miss. is ready to install open primary system," June 18) with a letter in which Rankin calls for nonpartisan elections at the county level.
Since the Legislature refuses to make this change, we citizens will have to do it through a ballot initiative. Why do we need party primaries for local offices anyway? [more]
Rankin says more in his post from Feb. on Free Citizen "Greater Choice For Mississippi Voters"
Nonpartisan elections are popularly called "open primaries" in Mississippi. In such an election, there are no party primaries, and all candidates, including independents, run in the same election. If no one gets 50-plus percent in the first round, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, meet in a runoff.
The Voter Choice Plan would provide greater choice for our state's voters by changing to nonpartisan local (county and municipal) elections.
We need more third party voices like this for open primaries!


  • N.C. Families First will try again in 2012 (Charlotte News Observer) The union-backed group first attempted to collect enough signatures to form a third political party but fell short. It then collected signatures to put a candidate on the ballot as an independent.
  • Lamont channels Weicker in new TV ad (By Keith M. Phaneuf, CT Mirror) It's an unusual strategy for a candidate in a primary, where success often depends on motivating the party base.
  • Brown is state's most popular pol. (Jackie Brousseau, According to a new Boston Globe poll, U.S. Senator Scott Brown is the most popular politician in Massachusetts. The results of the poll say that 55% of independent voters view the Republican favorably. In addition, he is seen favorably by 79% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats...
  • Indy big's spouse got biz 'break' (By DAVID SEIFMAN, NY Post EXCLUSIVE) Frank MacKay insisted his wife's firm was not hired because of his connections to the Republicans, many of whom were being cross-endorsed by the Independence Party.
  • History May Repeat Itself in Upstate New York (By Jackie Kucinich, CQ-Roll Call)
  • I warned mayor: Ragusa - Queens GOP chair says he told Bloomberg not to deal with Haggerty (By Howard Koplowitz, Your Nabe Queens) Ragusa said he did not understand why Bloomberg would choose Haggerty to run campaign activities. “I am the chairman of Queens,” he said. “They should’ve run the campaign through the different counties, not through political operatives. We never saw any of Bloomberg’s people out on the street. He should have come to us and let the Haggertys go someplace else.” The Queens GOP chairman said the Haggertys have made repeated attempts to control the borough party through the legal system.

Friday, June 25, 2010


ozark mountain daredevils


INDEPENDENT ROUND-UP: The specter of open primaries has party bosses shaking in their boots. Independent candidates Joelle Riddle and Kathleen Curry in Colorado have been ruled out of bounds by a US District Court Judge.

  • A conservative, but not a movement conservative – And that is a Christie asset (BY ALAN J. STEINBERG, New Jersey News Room) Among independent voters, the Governor scored a sixty percent (60%) approval rating in the aforesaid Rasmussen Poll and fifty percent (50%) in the Quinnipiac Poll of June 17. A struggling economy, a rising number of registered independents and a hostile attitude toward incumbent politicians have combined to put at least seven races in play leading up to November.
  • National bad mood puts Calif. incumbents at risk (By ROBIN HINDERY Associated Press Writer, Mercury News)
  • CNN Poll: Majority angry at both political parties (CNN Political Ticker) The survey indicates that nearly six in ten Independent voters say they are angry at both parties, with only four percent angry only at the GOP and six percent mad only at the Democrats. Just over three in ten say they are not angry at either party. The poll suggests a slight generational divide, with 43 percent of those under age 50 saying they are not mad at either party. That number drops to 15 percent for those 50 and older.
  • Letter: Commissioner's comments show lack of respect for the voters (LETTER TC Palm) Open primaries are a new concept in Florida. They should only be used to determine election winners in unique circumstances; after all other candidate options have been exhausted. 
  • Guest Columnists — Registrars offer primary reminder (Written by George Cody and Robert Shafter, New Canaan Advertiser) The important caveat to remember is that unaffiliated voters must enroll in the party holding the primary of their choice.
  • Maryland Removes Independent Party from Ballot (Ballot Access News) The Independent Party became ballot-qualified in 2008.  It was formed by supporters of Ralph Nader for president.
  • Cohen May Face Court, Not Ballot Challenge (By Benjamin Yount, Illinois Statehouse News, Fox News) “We have conflicting court cases out there, and the question is can a person run in a party primary and then for whatever reason the person {would} resign from that nomination and then run as an independent…And this is probably one reason that Gov. Quinn and others are considering going the judicial route to challenge Mr. Cohen.”
  • Charter Recommendations (Gotham Gazette) Earlier this week, the Women’s City Club, a long-time civic group, weighed in on two of the biggies — term limits and nonpartisan elections — and came out against both.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Closed primaries = subversion + dead rabbits

Freedom is something you assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it away. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free. Utah Phillips
So I came across this op-ed in the small local paper here in Davis County Utah written by the editor Rolf Koecher on the topics of open primaries and the dysfunction of a 2 party duopoly. Mr. Koecher articulated the 2 party shrinking tent problem in a way that I have not been able to, though his concern is directed primarily at the Utah Republican Party.

"I took advantage of early voting last week. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the candidate I wanted in the race for U.S. Senate. And neither could the majority of Utah voters. Utah there has been a concerted, and noticeable, effort to circumvent the voters. And whenever the Clipper has challenged actions by the Legislature or by city officials in Davis County, it has ultimately hinged on this key issue...we are troubled when efforts are made to keep the ultimate decision making from the voters. 
Ironically, that means the party that fancies itself as the protector of the Constitution is in itself subverting this document when it 
(a) sanitizes the process by making sure voters only get to select from hand-picked and approved candidates, and 
(b) tries to do everything in its power to keep citizen-drive initiatives from reaching the ballot box.... 
Some of the world’s most despotic dictators have done the same, keeping themselves in power by offering only sanitized slates of candidates at the ballot box, making sure the public does not get a meaningful choice." wrote Mr. Koecher.

My first afterthoughts were "yes, that is exactly right. The two parties ardently pressing for, in most cases some positive policies, but in being so suspicious of opposition, closed and exclusive as a means to their ideological ends, are subverting the constitution they are loving----------to death." The immediate literary connection I made was Lennie from Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and the poor loved to death rabbits.

Our constitution is a framework for a government by and for the people. The parties are suffocating symbolic rabbits day in and day out.

But what about us? There are two conditions that can handily subvert our ingenius by and for the people system of government. The first and most obvious and most discussed is the 2 party small and shrinking tent syndrome. The other toxic dose is administered by We the People when we allow it to happen, when we don't get involved. It happens when we don't get active, when we don't talk about it with associates, when we do not write letters to the editor, and when we do not connect with neighbors with similar concerns. In short, it happens when a government by and for the people doesn't govern.

I cringe when I hear lamentations that government is too big. That suspicious perception has missed the point entirely. Sure, our bureaucracies are a bit unwieldy, but until every eligible voter is involved to at least some small extent, our government is not big enough.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free Citizen: Trial in Idaho Republicans' Suit Begins October 12, 2010

Free Citizen: Trial in Idaho Republicans' Suit Begins October 12, 2010

The Idaho Republican Party filed a lawsuit against that state's primary election law in April 2008. The law says that each voter picks a party on primary day, and each party's primary is open to any voter. The GOP wants to be able to enforce its rule that only its party members may vote in Republican primaries.

U. S. district judge B. Lynn Winmill determined that a trial is necessary, and that trial will start in the district court in Boise on October 12, 2010. The Republican Party will present evidence of non-Republicans voting in GOP primaries, while the state will presumably show evidence to the contrary (Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa,08-cv-165).... read more

What are parties good for?

What are parties good for?

Rick Holmes who blogs at the Wicked Local had this to say about open primaries:

I’ve also thought an open primary would help alleviate the one-party domination in Massachusetts. It would mean fewer uncontested races and more competition within the Democratic Party.

Arnold [Schwarzenegger] convinced voters two years ago to take redistricting away from the parties and put it in the hands of an independent commission. The open primary removes even more power from the parties.

Holmes, like others, is "not sure it will work", but isn't the point to open the process to more participation by voters? Democracy doesn't work without voters.

chicago corn


  • Faustus Makes a Deal (By DAVID BROOKS, NY Times) Independent voters in the districts favor Republicans by an average of 18 percentage points.
  • Keith Olbermann's Wisdom - Obama, BP and the crisis of American liberalism. (Wall Street Journal, By JAMES TARANTO) Liberal pundits are not going to decide those outcomes; independent voters are, and those voters will make up their own minds about the quality of leadership the president and his party have offered.
  • Ron Paul says GOP will be more open to libertarian-minded nominee in 2012 (By Alex Pappas -- The Daily Caller) “So if he really wants to make an imprint on the 2012 contest, it would be running as an independent rather than just going from state to state finishing fifth or sixth in Republican primaries,” he said.
  • The rise of the new center (By William Temple, The Daily Caller)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Field Negro and The Hankster

The Field Negro (Wayne Bennett) posted this today with a link to The H (scroll down a little on the right side bar)



I'm thrilled because I have long admired The Field Negro for his outspoken independence in a very controlled environment. If you haven't gone there yet, please do so!

I was just thinking about doing some kind of sidebar thingy like this, so thanks, FN! And keep up the great blogging!! -- NH

Kresky: Rights of Voters v. Rights of Parties

Leading independent attorney Harry Kresky penned a great HuffPo piece up today called Let's Have an Honest Debate About the Role of Parties:
"Proposition 14 abolished party primaries and replaced them with a system known as "top two." All candidates will appear on a single ballot in a primary election in which all registered voters can participate and candidates can list party preference. The two highest vote getters face off in the November general election. A similar reform is now under consideration by a New York City Charter Revision Commission which has the authority to put it before the City's voters in the November 2010 or 2011 election.
The pro-party argumentation - laid out in syndicated columns this week authored by George Will and David Broder, along with Errol Louis' column in the New York Daily News - goes as follows. The political parties, they say, are central to our democracy as vehicles for voter education and mobilization, and the selection of candidates who represent their members' preferences. Their right to do so is protected by the First Amendment, as is the right of citizens to form parties to advance their common interests. Without parties, we are told, billionaires and unchecked special interest groups will come to dominate our political system.
At the core of this position is a legal and logical sleight of hand that conflates the right of the people to form parties (and other associations like labor unions) to advance common interests with the control of the electoral system by the parties. The two are not the same...." [read more]
Errol Lewis called Prop 14 "dangerous" and "un-American."  If you think THAT'S dangerous, read Kresky's piece and forward it to everyone you know.

Friday, June 18, 2010



  • Poll: Obama Endorsement Poison for Candidates (By: Theodore Kettle, NewsMax) Also significant is the fact that 54 percent of those identifying themselves as “independent” or “other,” rather than Republican or Democrat, now view an Obama endorsement as a factor swaying them against voting for a candidate for office. Only 23 percent of such independent voters said his endorsement would make them more likely to support someone; the remaining 23 percent of independents said it didn’t matter or they didn’t know.
  • The Democrats Strange New Civil War (Peter Connolly, Huffington Post) Barack Obama, an unabashed liberal from Chicago by way of Hawaii and New York, and an African American besides, won an astonishing 52.7% of the vote, carrying such improbable states as Indiana and Virginia. It is this victory, in which young and minority voters played a newly prominent role, which has evidently created such high expectations in the world of left liberalism that a Blanche Lincoln has somehow become unacceptable.
  • Angry Voters Look for Change - Obama, incumbents face unhappy electorate as 2010 elections near (By Kenneth T. Walsh, US News & World Report) "The demand for ideological purity that the Tea Party has imposed on the Republican party," says Brad Woodhouse, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, "has radicalized otherwise mainstream candidates, has resulted in the nomination of candidates whose views will be offensive to moderate and independent voters who are key to success in general elections, and has resulted in Republican officeholders or establishment picks lurching to the right or being purged by the Tea Party." As examples, Woodhouse cites "the increasingly extreme positions" of Whitman and Fiorina.





  • DID using charter revision to get back to roots (BY John Bayles, Downtown Express) District Leader Paul Newell, a D.I.D. member, said he was afraid the entire commission might be used to “shoehorn centralization of mayoral power.”



  • The Big Spill and the Enviro Group of Ten: Why Isn't Their Web Traffic Surging? (Micah L. Sifry, TechPresident/Personal Democracy Forum) Part of the reason may be cultural. Many of these organizations are legacy institutions that still approach the web with a "fortress" mentality, to use Beth Kanter and Allison Fine's useful image. We're the professional environmentalists, they've been saying to the public for years--leave the issue to us! People looking for direct engagement with the problem of the oil spill and what to do about it will go elsewhere.... 

Voters Approve “Top Two” Primary Reform In California — Proposition 14 — Will It Strengthen Or Hurt Democracy?

Voters Approve “Top Two” Primary Reform In California — Proposition 14 — Will It Strengthen Or Hurt Democracy?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS 6/17/10 More Discussion of Open Primaries


  • 'Fierce' Obama to meet BP execs (USA Today/The Oval - Tracking the Obama Presidency) The Democratic National Committee distributed a memo about the results of a focus group of white male independent voters who watched the president's speech. The memo, written by David Binder Research, said the voters liked the president's call for alternative energy and viewed Republican opposition as partisan.



  • FL: Gov. candidate Bud Chiles: BP should offer bounty for oil (Dave Helle, WTSP/10 Tampa Bay)
  • MA: Gov. candidates debate (By John J. Monahan Worcester TELEGRAM & GAZETTE) On education standards, Mr. Baker and Mr. Cahill said they objected to the state signing on to meet new federal educations standards, saying they do not want to lower the state's MCAS testing standards. The governor said the state has not signed on to those standards because they have not yet been established, and he would not lower current standards.
  • IL: Independent candidate Will Boyd Jr. makes it on ballot (Chicago Political Buzz Examiner, Philip Houdesheldt) Will Boyd Jr., an Independent candidate for the U.S. Senate from Illinois has achieved what few other Independents have been able to. He has secured a place on the ballot for this November’s election by gaining the necessary 25,000+ signatures on petitions. 
  • A DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE IN NEW ENGLAND: ELIOT CUTLER'S INDEPENDENT BID FOR GOVERNOR OF MAINE (by Damon Eris, CAIVN) n an interview for Third Party and Independent Daily last week, I asked the candidate why he opted to run for governor as an Independent rather than within one of the major parties.  He struck a note that will likely ring true for many an Independent voter: "I am running as an Independent because I am one . . . the leadership of both parties has become captive to the various special interests that control them and . . . they are both incapable to governing from the moderate center.  I am committed to doing that and to giving voice and representation to what I believe is an overwhelming majority of independent and moderate Maine voters who want to see Maine government work again." 
  • Exclusive: Interview with Eliot Cutler, Independent Candidate for Governor of Maine (Independent and Third Party Daily)



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS: Is Open Primaries Coming to Your State?

  • Take politics back from the extremes (By John P. Avlon, CNN) Proposition 14 passed with broad support despite the opposition of the two parties. The only two California counties where it didn't pass are symbols of polarization on opposite sides of the spectrum: conservative Orange County and liberal San Francisco.
  • As California Counts More Votes, Proposition 14 Margin Drops (Ballot Access News) Now at 53.8%
  • New math may rule Calif. politics (By: Emily Schultheis, Politico) Proponents of the new system — including California Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — call it a victory for moderate, centrist candidates who appeal to a broader cross section of voters than do the narrow wings of the two parties. 
  • Primary election sets up key races for November (By Ching Lee, California Farm Bureau Federation) “The open primary is another step in making state government more responsive,” [California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger] said. “It will broaden opportunities to elect candidates who will consider all points of view and find compromise. We see the passage of Proposition 14 as a welcome sequel to the passage of Proposition 11 two years ago, which changed how legislative districts will be redrawn. Californians want more representative government, and these measures will help.”
  • California Politics Update With Sacramento Political Consultant Leo McElroy (BY DWANE BROWN, PAMELA DAVIS, KPBS) MCELROY: Well, there’s been a lot of political concern. The minor political parties, like the major political parties, hated this idea. They did not want the primary opened to all voters. Historically, the minor parties in California, unlike the major parties, actually bar, “decline to state,” or “independent” voters, from voting in their primaries. They don’t want more members. They don’t want more people participating. The Republicans and Democrats do allow independents to vote in their primaries.
  • Jerry Brown says Prop. 14 could break Sacramento gridlock (By Jack Chang, Fresno Bee)
  • Looking forward - beyond November (By: Gov. Jack Markell and Jim Kessler, Politico) Governors may have found the answer and are looking to reframe the 2010 midterms. They argue that the most important way to approach November is not as a left-right ideological argument or as an insider-vs.-outsider choice but, instead, to ask people to make a simple decision about our shared future: “Should we go forward with a plan or backward to the failed policies that launched this national recession?”
  • Surge of Independent Candidates In Florida - The number of independent candidates running for statewide office is soaring. So far 27 people have announced their intentions to run as an independent for Congress, state cabinet or the governor’s mansion. Just four years ago, only 11 people ran for statewide office with no party affiliation. (Whitney Ray, WJHG Channel 7)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

  • How Prop 14 Election Overhaul Could Change California (By MAX FISHER, The Atlantic Wire) Victory for Independent Voters The Moderate Voice's Nancy Hanks writes, "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that this will take power away from the parties and put it in the hands of the people, which is what we wanted to do." Hanks cites the statement from an independent voters group: "As a result, the 3.4 million Decline to State independent voters will have equal access to our political process. At the rate voters are choosing to become independents here in California, we expect to be over the four million mark by our next election cycle."
  • Bill Brady Leads Governor Pat Quinn in New Poll (The State Column) The poll also shows Brady leading Quinn more than two to one among independent voters while 10 percent of those polled remain undecided on a candidate. The poll also shows 57 percent of voters disapprove of Quinn’s job performance as governor.
  • Cohen says he has enough signatures (Southtown Star) Scott Lee Cohen said he isn't having trouble collecting the 25,000 signatures he needs to get on the November ballot as an independent candidate for Illinois governor.
  • Maine voters showed us their wisdom (Opinion, Sea Coast Online) But it could well be that the average Mainer, including that wide swath of independent voters, will find problems with both LePage and Mitchell and seek a third choice in one of the three independents who will be on the ballot. One of these, Eliot Cutler, could present a formidable challenge. Cutler's background is as an environmentalist, helping Sen. Edmund Muskie craft the Clean Air Act and then working on energy related issues in the Office of Management and Budget and for President Jimmy Carter.
  • Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America (POSTED BY JOE GANDELMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF IN AT TMV. The Moderate Voice) But that’s the way it goes for centrists, moderates and independents: when people on the left or right agree with them, then they are moderates, independents and centrists. But if they disagree they MUST be “really” on the other side, or liars. If they agree with them, then they have principles; if they don’t, well, then they are “mushy” or “wishy washy.”