Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Hankster Post # 4,000: Today's News Headlines for Independent Voters

It's as good a milestone as any -- this is the 4,000th post on The Hankster.  We've come a long way -- and we have a long way to go. Thank you Hanksteristas! Keep organizing!!

  • Indie groundswell surging against Dems (By S.A. MILLER, NY Post) Independent voters have been key in deciding recent elections, siding with Democrats as they took control of Congress in 2006, and with Obama in 2008. But now, most of those voters -- 59 percent -- say they would prefer to have Republicans running Congress to put a check on Obama's agenda, the poll showed.
Randy Miller, Utah League of Independent Voters, questions the right of party to appoint candidate -- "Do parties have the right to have a candidate on the general election ballot? If the parties can substitute a candidate this late in the game, especially after primaries have been held, why can't the people? One of the legal challenges to California's prop 14 was that the parties have a right to have a candidate on the general election ballot. Yes, laughable, and so thought the judge who allowed prop 14 to go to the public for a vote and it passed... The rules should be universal. If the parties can put a candidate on the ballot at any time, we should just forget the primaries (they aren't effective or worthwhile anyway for partisan races). The parties should surrender this unconstitutional and anti-democratic privilege but they won't until they are stripped of it."
  • UTAHUtah Log Cabin Republicans president enters race for Senate (By Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune)
  • UTAHPaul Rolly: Utah ripe for election manipulation (By Paul Rolly, The Salt Lake Tribune)
  • ILLINOISOur Opinion: Illinois needs open primary system (THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER) Schoenburg on Sunday examined the issue of open primaries, looking also at some of the various methods states use in conducting primary elections. Illinois is among nine states that use a “partially open” primary system, in which the party ballot selected at the polling place is publicly recorded but in which voters can select whichever ballot they want. In 29 other states, primaries are considered either closed — only registered party members can receive a ballot — or partially closed, in which parties can opt to allow independent voters to vote in their primaries.
  • ILLINOISOur Opinion: Illinois needs open primary system (THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER)
  • ALASKAOpening up Alaska's primary system would lead to better ballots (By Rich Moniak | Juneau Empire) So how did Murkowski fail to get her supporters to vote in the primary? Aside from too many voters trusting polls that predicted she would easily win, it may well be a lot of voters dislike our semi-closed primary. After all, almost 60 percent of the electorate isn't registered with either of the major parties. That figure lines up well with the widespread disapproval independents hold for both the Republicans and Democrats in Congress. So it seems reasonable most people would prefer a fully open primary.
  • ALABAMAOur View: No party loyalty on court (Gadsden Times - AL) the case for nonpartisan judicial elections
  • IDAHOIdaho governor’s race hits the airwaves (Betsy Z. Russell The Spokesman-Review) Oddly missing from both ads: Any party affiliation. Otter, with photos of the state Capitol and waving flags along with a scene of him with ordinary Idahoans, focuses on his incumbency. Allred’s ad, with hunting, riding and family photos, notes that he’s “not a politician.” “Both want to reach out to independent voters,” said Jim Weatherby, political scientist emeritus at Boise State University. “We know, at least by historic polling data, that roughly a third of Idahoans are independents.”
  • MASSACHUSETTSThe independent vote next Tuesday will decide the winners (By Walter Brooks, Cape Cod Today) It was the independent voters in Massachusetts who won it for Weld. In this state any registered voter can choose to vote in either primary, and our independents are famous for "crossing over" when the issues are more important in one race than in another.
  • ARIZONA“Unbranding” in the Arizona GOP (By STEPHEN J. DUBNER, NY Times/freakonomics blog)
  • And Now: The Bubble Election (by Gotham Gazette Staff) And Independence Party members -- in Richmond County only -- have an array of local contests to weight in on.
  • Down the Ballot: The Party Posts (by Gotham Gazette staff) Almost every primary also features races obscure to even most of the political cognoscenti. These are contests to fill various party posts. In heavily Democratic New York City, most of these contests involve rival Democratic factions although the Independence Party in Staten Island also has a record -- which will continue this year -- of contested elections for party posts.

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