Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Polls, polls, polls: Slowly I turn, "Niagara Falls"

  • Unaligned N.H. vote a test for Mitt Romney- Independents could change the momentum in GOP (By Sarah Schweitzer, Boston Globe) Undeclared voters - who are commonly called independents, and who account for more than 40 percent of New Hampshire’s registered voters - don’t appear poised to derail Romney’s longtime lead over his rivals in New Hampshire. With 39 percent of the overall vote in the UNH Survey Center/Boston Globe poll released Sunday, he had a comfortable margin, and significant support among the independents. Among those independents who have declared their allegiance, 32 percent say they back Romney.
  • Youth vote won't return for Obama in 2012, report says (By Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio) In a report on Wednesday, Curtis Gans, director of the Washington-based Center for the American Electorate, predicted voter turnout overall (as a percentage of the eligible voting population) would be lower than in 2008 or 2004. He argued those two elections fired up voters, particularly Democrats, in a way neither party will in 2012.
  • New Iowa Poll May Understate Paul’s Support (By NATE SILVER, NY Times/ FiveThirtyEight) The recent Public Policy Polling survey, for instance, estimated that 24 percent of Iowa caucus participants are currently registered as independents or Democrats and will re-register as Republicans at the caucuses. This month’s Washington Post/ABC News poll put the fraction at 18 percent. There is room to debate what the right number is but it will certainly not be zero, as the CNN poll assumes.
  • Democrats Lag in Voter Registration (By LAURA MECKLER, Wall Street Journal) Today, far fewer people are registering, and the enormous Democratic advantage among new voters in North Carolina has vanished, according to new data from Catalist, a group with Democratic ties that studies voter rolls. That illustrates a broader challenge for the president's party. Democrats still hold an overall registration advantage in many states, but Obama campaign officials and other Democrats say it is important to bring new Obama voters onto the rolls—both to replenish voters who drop off and offset possible losses among independent voters, who have been skeptical of Mr. Obama's job performance.

The electoral system has morphed to the point where the vast majority of congressional general elections are no longer relevant


  • Linbeck: Holding Congress accountable through primary elections (By Leo Linbeck III, Alliance for Self-Governance, Special to the Star-Telegram) Today, voting in the general election is not enough. The electoral system has morphed to the point where the vast majority of congressional general elections are no longer relevant. Because more than 80 percent of congressional seats are in one-party districts, the decision is not made in the general election -- it is made in the primary of the party that controls that district.
  • Libertarians and Greens seek to intervene in top two open primary lawsuit (Posted By Damon Eris, IVN) Two candidates and two voters from the Green and Libertarian parties are seeking to intervene on the side of the plaintiffs in Chamness v. Bowen, one of three lawsuits pending against California’s top two open primary system. In their motion to intervene, filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month, the Greens and Libertarians argue that unless the top two primary system is struck down, they will be deprived of their rights to participate in the June primary election (of their respective parties), as well as the November general election.
  • Political reform 'godfather' ignites career in Bakersfield (BY DIANNE HARDISTY, Portrait of Robert Stern, Center for Governmental Studies at Stanford: Primary elections will now see all candidates for an office on a single ballot, regardless of political affiliation. The top two vote-getters (even if from the same party) will advance to the general election. "I started out as a big proponent. But after I studied it, I was undecided. I barely voted for it," said Stern, who believes the "jury is still out" on the affect the top-two primary system will have on reforming the political process. "The affect is likely to be more on Democrats than Republicans."

Independents 2012: Don't Bet Your House

  • Unaligned N.H. vote a test for Mitt Romney - Independents could change the momentum in GOP (By Sarah Schweitzer, Boston Globe) Undeclared voters - who are commonly called independents, and who account for more than 40 percent of New Hampshire’s registered voters - don’t appear poised to derail Romney’s longtime lead over his rivals in New Hampshire. With 39 percent of the overall vote in the UNH Survey Center/Boston Globe poll released Sunday, he had a comfortable margin, and significant support among the independents. Among those independents who have declared their allegiance, 32 percent say they back Romney. 
  • Youth vote won't return for Obama in 2012, report says (By Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio) In a report on Wednesday, Curtis Gans, director of the Washington-based Center for the American Electorate, predicted voter turnout overall (as a percentage of the eligible voting population) would be lower than in 2008 or 2004. He argued those two elections fired up voters, particularly Democrats, in a way neither party will in 2012.
  • New Iowa Poll May Understate Paul’s Support (By NATE SILVER, NY Times/ FiveThirtyEight) The recent Public Policy Polling survey, for instance, estimated that 24 percent of Iowa caucus participants are currently registered as independents or Democrats and will re-register as Republicans at the caucuses. This month’s Washington Post/ABC News poll put the fraction at 18 percent. There is room to debate what the right number is but it will certainly not be zero, as the CNN poll assumes.
  • Democrats Lag in Voter Registration (By LAURA MECKLER, Wall Street Journal) Today, far fewer people are registering, and the enormous Democratic advantage among new voters in North Carolina has vanished, according to new data from Catalist, a group with Democratic ties that studies voter rolls. That illustrates a broader challenge for the president's party. Democrats still hold an overall registration advantage in many states, but Obama campaign officials and other Democrats say it is important to bring new Obama voters onto the rolls—both to replenish voters who drop off and offset possible losses among independent voters, who have been skeptical of Mr. Obama's job performance.

NY Times Invitation to Dialogue: Time for a Third Party?

  • Invitation to a Dialogue: Time for a Third Party? (LETTER NY Times) A centrist third party could prosper in today’s political environment and end the stalemate in Washington. There is a large body of moderate Republicans, disaffected Democrats and dissatisfied independents looking for the kind of political home that this party could provide.
  • Is California Ready for a Third Party? (By Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, NBC Southern California) The implementation of California’s new “top-two” primary could allow an early test. Will candidates filing for legislative and Congressional offices choose to list Americans Elect as their “party preference” on the ballot?” Can these candidates, unlike those of California’s long-established third parties, overcome the major parties’ massive registration edge and make it into the November run-off?
  • Third Party Hazy as California Smog (By Larry Gerston, NBC Southern California) The unfortunate aspect of this charade is that someone will actually appear as a candidate in states where the "party" has qualified--someone who has not gone through the public vetting process known as primaries and caucuses. In a state with a closely fought race, that person could get enough votes to sway the outcome one way or another.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sameh Abdelaziz: After Spring, any thing can happen!

by Sameh Abdelaziz

After Spring, any thing can happen!

Even optimists are starting to have second thoughts about the Arab Spring, which is quickly turning into blood showers. The numbers of dead and injured are astounding and the prize so far is confined to three bad possibilities. An extension of a dictatorial corrupt regime such as the case in Egypt, the election of an Islamist party that the West don’t understand nor trust, as the case is in Tunisia, or an endless insane killing as the case seem to be in Syria, Libya, and Yemen. This bleak picture is unfortunately true.

Consecutive American administrations based its policy in the Arab World, on the need for stable regimes that can maintain the critical oil supply, while ensuring the safety of Israel. The American partners in this policy have been corrupted and autocratic regimes that control their countries with iron fists.

The premise of stability was shattered on September 11. However, instead of reassessing our policies and trying to understand the cause and effect we started an endless debate about an imaginary clash of civilization. None of our think tanks stopped to argue that in the age of the internet there is only one civilization with different levels of restrictions imposed on its inhabitants.

This year, our politicians were shocked, as usual, to discover that the people of the Arab World, wearing headscarfs or jeans and sometimes both, demanded freedom and were willing to die for democracy. The so-called Arab Spring surprised the world and especially America.

In the case of Egypt, after a few days of confusion, the American government supported at least publicly handing Mubarak’s power to the second in command, a junta of Egyptian generals. In Libya, our government participated in the physical removal of Gaddafi. In Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria Obama’s administration shut in different degrees their eyes on the ongoing brutality.

Ten months after the initial spark, demonstrations are igniting once again in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The Syrian revolution that started peaceful is sliding slowly into an armed conflict, and Yemen is disintegrating. The Arab revolutions are moving to a next phase that is impossible to defined, but will clearly reshape the region and impact American interests for years to come.

The first step to deal with this challenging environment is to understand that stability built on autocracy is over, because the genie is already out of the bottle. The options left for America in the Middle East are either to stand idle, which will definitely elongate people’s struggles, or to support the revolutionary movements to the dismay of some old allies.

In such turning points, history can provide NO guarantees. But, logically an elongated struggle will most likely bring extreme religious factions. These extremists are already presenting themselves as the alternative to the secular institutional corruption supported by America and the West. On the other hand, a shorter struggle can enable the real actors of the revolution, mostly liberals and moderate Islamists, to provide a reliable alternative.

It is in America’s interest to support a peaceful and speedy power transfer.

America has developed the Egyptian military apparatus over the last forty years and even handpicked their leadership. This influence is the result of 1.3 billion dollars in military aid that goes mainly to buy loyalty through fancy long training engagements and huge commissions permissible by Egyptian laws. This is the time to use this capital.

I’m quite confident that the American administration is able, if not so willing, to advise/ pressure the Egyptian generals in private to share power with a civilian leadership representing all the major political factions. Such a move will bring immediate calm to the explosive situation in Egypt and should be a first step towards a complete and real power transfer to elected civilians. The new Egyptian administration might be less loyal to America than Mubarak and his cronies, but the people of Egypt and the rest of the Arab world can and will support America if the American administration is smart enough to support freedom and democracy.

A resolution to the Egyptian crisis will serve as a model to bring back stability to other countries within the region. America should support the Arab revolution because of principles, but it is also good for business.

Sameh Abdelaziz is an Egyptian American born in Alexandria. He immigrated to the US in the late eighties, and works as an IT manager. He blogs on OpEd News.

Mass. Coalition of Independent Voters Hits the Street With Request: Congress Should Hold Hearings on Status of Independent Voters!

Evelyn Dougherty is a clinical therapist in the Boston area, and key organizer for Massachusetts Coalition of Independent Voters.

LETTER by Evelyn Dougherty: Thoughts on what is going on in Washington (Taunton Gazette) (Also in Jewish Journal North Shore) In the course of an hour, dozens signed postcards.  Among them were a political science student, a mom, a grandfather and several peace activists. Members of our group, MA Coalition of Independent Voters, have already met with Congressman Michael Capuano to ask for his help in bringing about hearings and have requested a meeting with Scott Brown.

The Unity of Independent Voters: Not a Partisan Pleasure

Randy Schultz, writing for the editorial page of the Palm Beach Post, doesn't see dissatisfaction with the major parties as a uniter of independent voters. He's got some interesting observations here about the need for organization -- the "volunteers who staff phone banks, stuff envelopes and drive voters to the polls," the stuff of electoral politics in America.

But unity? In my opinion, unity is not a declaration of belief in some abstract principle. Unity gets built person by person, partnership by partnership, challenge by challenge. That's how organization gets built and what organization is. That's the very (revolutionary) foundation of our country. Our founding fathers (and mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, cousins, and neighbors and their mothers, etc.) did not come together over a neat programmatic issued by an established authority on July 4, 1776.

But the naysayers never tire of saying that independents don't stand for anything and Mr. Schultz is dead wrong when he says "nothing really unites them."

What unites independents - now (at least) 40% of the electorate - is, well, their independence. But if that isn't enough for you, for starters there's also the visceral distaste for partisanship that has clear partisans, according to USA Today, leaving the parties to the tune of 2.5 million since 2008.

And what's organizing independents right now is the fight for a nonpartisan level playing field for anti-party voters to participate in our political system. That's a big cultural change for America, one that is badly needed if we are to continue to progress as a people and as a nation.

And it just might not mean a third party.

Jackie Salit and have been organizing independents on the ground since the implosion of the Reform Party. And they are having success. They have affiliates in 40 states, a small but very committed staff that raises around a million dollars a year to train activists all over the country, conduct grassroots campaigns such as the current push to get Congress to hold hearings on the second class citizenship of independent voters who are denied ballots in primaries in 33 states, and generally seeks to "diminish the regressive influence of parties and partisanship by opening up the democratic process."

Ultimately Mr. Schultz's message is: stay in the party system.

If people vote with their feet, the message is: We beg to differ!


Schultz: Forget third party. Demand major change from major parties (Opinion blog, By Randy Schultz, Editor of the Editorial Page, Palm Beach Post) One big problem is that all those No Party Affiliation voters became disaffected for different reasons. Some think that the Democrats are too liberal. Some think that the Republicans are too conservative. Some would register with the Cynics Party, if one existed, because they can't stand either major party. Some are younger voters who, because the parties' old identities have shifted, don't identify with Republicans or Democrats. In other words, nothing really unites them.


Voters leaving Republican, Democratic parties in droves (By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY) A USA TODAY analysis of state voter registration statistics shows registered Democrats declined in 25 of the 28 states that register voters by party. Republicans dipped in 21 states, while independents increased in 18 states. The trend is acute in states that are key to next year's presidential race. In the eight swing states that register voters by party, Democrats' registration is down by 800,000 and Republicans' by 350,000. Independents have gained 325,000.

Donald Trump Is Now in the Lock Box

New York election law makes the term 'byzantine' seem like a good thing. The Empire State has what's called a "lock box," which is a rule that requires voters to register in a party almost a year before the next primary election -- actually the rule sets registration time by the general election, but in fact the biggest impact in on the ability of voters to vote in a primary election. If you change parties, you must wait until after the next general election to be recognized as a member of your new party.

Trump leaving the GOP?...not in a New York minute (By Kerry Picket, Washington Times) Trump could run as an independent, even if he was still a registered Republican. He would just need that party's permission and meet that state's particular requirements from whatever line he chooses to run on. For example, if he wanted to run on the Independence Party line in New York state, he would need a Wilson-Pekula (a New York legal term granting permission to run on a party's line that you are not a member of) from that party.

Clooney's Ides of March: How we elect our officials, not who we elect

I have not yet seen 'The Ides of March' -- the George Clooney movie that captures the corruption of today's political system. Hoping to see it this weekend or next. In the meantime, here's a nice quote from Clooney: "I think the secret to the film has been the fact that Republican and Democrats who work within the political system who have seen the film have all felt that it's really a discussion about how we elect our officials, not who we elect. I think that's why it's had the success it's had."

From 'The Ides of March' could have voters playing politics (By Gary Goldstein, Special to the Los Angeles Times)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays from The Hankster!

The Hankster

Happy Holidays
and Best Wishes
for a healthy, developmental and independent
New Year
from The Hankster!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Utah's own Abel Maldonado--Sheryl Allen

I think Utah may have found it's own Abel Maldonado. Sheryl Allen who appears in this KCPW radio program was a Republican representative in the Utah legislature. She did not run for re-election in 2010 but instead ran as a Republican Lt. Governor with Democrat Peter Corroon for Governor. Corroon did not support open primaries and predictably lost. In this program Allen indicates that just like the 17th amendment allows the people to directly elect US Senators, the voters now are plentifully informed and grown up enough to vote directly on who will appear on the general election ballot. podcast link 15DEC11

Thursday, December 15, 2011


PHOTO: Mike Pickering

Independent voters should not be silenced in primary elections

  • Independent voters should not be silenced in primary elections (Jeremy R. Stinson, Gazette.Net Maryland Community News Online) Independent voters in the network — a national association of independents with organization in 40 states — are spearheading a campaign to persuade Congress to hold hearings on the second-class status of Independents and to shed light on the ways that partisanship has become so hard-wired into the political process, the American people can’t be heard.
  • Poll: Independents Are Angry, Despairing (By Steven Shepard, National Journal) Twenty-nine percent of respondents have “a lot” or “some confidence” that the federal government will make progress over the next year on the most important problems facing the country. But among independents, just 18 percent express that level of confidence. A whopping 80 percent of independents say they have “not much confidence” or “no confidence at all” in the federal government to make progress next year.
  • Anger With Congress Reaching New Levels (By Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic) In recent decades, the closest America has come to a true "throw the bums out" election was the scandal-shrouded, recession-colored redistricting year of 1992, when 13 Republican and 30 Democratic House incumbents were ousted and another 65 members retired. This survey highlights the possibility that incumbents in both parties could face similar risks in 2012, another redistricting year shaped by economic and political discontent.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kelleher’s Account of Cyber Bullying in Connecticut Confirmed!

December 11, 2011
The Charleston Gazette
By Phil Kabler


Secretary of State Natalie Tennant isn't one to get bullied very often, but does admit she felt set up at a recent conference on Internet voting in New Britain, Conn.

Tennant was invited to the symposium to discuss West Virginia's pilot project to allow members of the military and others living overseas to vote in statewide elections via the Internet. She noted that 2010 tests of the system had worked flawlessly, and were well received by the participants.

After her presentation, two other panelists, MIT professor Ron Rivest and University of Michigan professor Alex Halderman, teamed up against her, blasting Internet voting, contending it is impossible to design a secure, hacker-free online voting system.

Rivest, according to news accounts, called Internet voting an oxymoron, like "safe cigarette."

Political scientist William Kelleher, who has an Internet blog "Internet Voting for All," titled his account of the exchange, "Cyber Bullying in Connecticut."
Not being a computer expert, Tennant said she could defend online voting from a policy standpoint, but not on the technical issues.

Tennant said, at first, she assumed that the panel was balanced, and that there would be computer experts who could offer a positive perspective on online security, but said she quickly realized the panel was stacked against her.

Nonetheless, Tennant stands by her position that states should continue to pursue online voting as a way to assure that residents serving on active military duty overseas don't end up being disenfranchised.

Reach Phil Kabler at or 304-348-1220.

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, author, speaker,
CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund, a CA Nonprofit Foundation
Twitter: wjkno1

Author of Internet Voting Now!
Kindle edition:
In paper:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Independent Presidential Run in 2012

  • Antsy Voters Look for a Third Way - When Perot First Ran, 39% Were Dissatisfied; Today It's 81%. 'Something Is Going to Explode' (By NEIL KING JR., Wall Street Journal) So far, no national figure has stepped forward to run outside the two-party system. But some veteran pollsters say public disenchantment is so strong that someone is bound to try to fill the vacuum. And the opportunity is only likely to grow, they say, with the collapse this week of Congress's bipartisan deficit-cutting committee, which many read as another sign of Washington's inability to solve problems.
  • Democrats should fear a third-party challenge in 2012 - Independent runs by Ron Paul or Sarah Palin could cripple the GOP — but they're unlikely. A presidential bid by Michael Bloomberg, on the other hand... (Edward Morrissey, The Week)

Maloney Could Replace Frank on Finance Committee; Williams Might Challenge Rangel

  • Carolyn Maloney could get Barney Frank's job, even at risk of 'Armageddon' (By Azi Paybarah, Capital New York) Maxine Waters of California has the most seniority, but is under investigation for allegedly violation House ethics rules. Next in line is Carolyn Maloney, whose district is in Manhattan and Queens. One Waters supporter within the Congressional Black Caucus said there'd be "Armageddon" if she doesn't get the spot, according to The Hill.
  • Potential Rangel Foe Claims Strong Poll Position (BY Celeste Katz, Daily News/Daily Politics) Clyde Williams, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton with ties to President Obama, didn't want to blindly challenge the 42-year incumbent. So Williams hired one of Mayor Bloomberg’s pollsters, Whitman Insight Strategies, to ask 600 likely Democratic primary voters in the district if they would re-elect Rangel.

Should Philanthropies Operate Like Businesses

Should Philanthropies Operate Like Businesses? (DEBATE Wall Street Journal) Charles R. Bronfman and Jeffrey R. Solomon, chairman and president, respectively, of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, favor businesslike thinking. Michael Edwards, a distinguished senior fellow at Demos, a social issues think tank, argues that social values should take precedence.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

hey congress, 40 % of americans are independent

Politics 2012: Watch Out for the Independents

Lawsuit argues top-two open primary system is unconstitutional (By: Damon Eris, US Independent Voter Network) At this stage, mainstream and corporate media coverage of challenges to the top two system seem to be misinformed.  For instance, In its report on the lawsuit from November 23rd, The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the plaintiffs in the suit are seeking the preliminary injunction “in hopes of preventing the new system from being used during next year’s presidential contest.”  In fact, there is no mention of presidential elections anywhere in the lawsuit’s complaint, and the top-two open primary system does not even apply to presidential elections.

Why it's worth paying attention to Michael Bloomberg, even when he's just posing (By Steve Kornacki, Capital New York) As rote as it seemed, it was still interesting to watch Bloomberg execute his latest gimmick, not because it suggested the 69-year-old mayor will actually seek the White House (he almost certainly won’t, next year or ever) but because the idea that he might seemed to generate an unusual level of interest from the political world. This is something you might want to get used to, at least for the next few months, not just because Bloomberg undeniably has the financial resources to mount a national campaign if he really wants to, but because for only the third time in 32 years it appears that next year’s election will feature the three ingredients that are most conducive to the emergence of a credible third party candidate.

Ron Paul Rising (Brian Doherty, Reason Online) "I could very well see Ron Paul coming in second place," said longtime pollster Andy Smith, who runs the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.


Who Believes The U.S. Is Bailing Out Europe? (Forbes) “Since we’re controlling for partisanship and education, it seems like there really is something about watching Fox that makes people less informed on this issue than they would be otherwise,” said Dan Cassino, a political science professor at FDU. “Given that Fox’s ratings are well above their competitors, the findings are very troubling.”
Who is bailing out Europe? Independent voters are least likely to answer that correctly. While 36% of Republicans can, followed by 33% of Democrats.  Only 26% of political independents name Germany, with 30% of them thinking it is the U.S.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ron Paul, New Hampshire Open Primaries, and the Future of the Nation

What is Americans Elect All About? (CHARLES ELLISON, Politics 365) Some observers are speculating that it’s a front for a potential Independent bid from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who 1) has lots of cash and 2) is not a big fan of President Obama. And who has the most to lost from this effort?

  • Ron Paul’s strategy for winning: Independent and cross-over voters (By Brad Knickerbocker, Christian Science Monitor) Still, the same one-on-one fake elections show other Republican presidential hopefuls in the field – Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Michele Bachmann – losing to Obama among independents. Only GOP front-runner Mitt Romney comes close, tying Obama among such partyless voters (but losing overall, as do the others). Why is this important? It’s because independents are the fastest growing segment of our nominally two-party system, swelling the ranks of voters as the Democratic Party and the Republican Party alike lose trust and loyalty.
  • Do New Hampshire endorsements really matter? (By ADAM SILBERT, Nashua Telegraph) The state’s open primary allows independents to vote in either party’s contest. This makes a state already known for its independent streak even more unpredictable. And party-affiliated voters tend not to listen to what party leaders tell them to do. Sure as their snow-covered mountains, they certainly don’t obey what happens one week prior in the Iowa caucuses.
  • The GOP’s Supercommittee Backlash (by John Avlon, Daily Beast) This corresponds with a CNN poll taken the week before the supercommittee decided to wave the white flag. It showed that 40 percent of independent voters would blame Republicans more for a supercommittee failure, while 24 percent would blame the Democrats. Likewise, 47 percent of self-identified centrists said they would blame the GOP, while 25 percent said the Dems would be most at fault.

Labor Showdown in Ohio

How Progressives Won the Labor Rights Showdown in Ohio (By Amy B. Dean, United Steelworkers) “In Wisconsin the only means available to us [for opposing Gov. Scott Walker] were partisan elections,” Booth said. “In recall elections, you have to overcome the bias against recalling sitting officials. And because of the constitutional framework in Wisconsin, we could only run recalls in districts that had been won by the Republicans in 2008, not the swing districts they seized in 2010. So it was a heavier lift. In Wisconsin, a very high percentage of the people who voted for Walker voted against the recall of their state senators.” Ohio, Booth noted, presented a different situation: “Doing a ballot measure is a non-partisan exercise. So 30 percent of the people who voted for Kasich in 2010 voted ‘no’ on the referendum. While we split the independent voters in the Wisconsin recall elections, we got a solid majority of them against Senate Bill 5 [in Ohio].”

Doug Schoen: Random Comments About Occupy Wall Street

  • Polling the Occupy Wall Street Crowd - In interviews, protesters show that they are leftists out of step with most American voters. Yet Democrats are embracing them anyway. (By DOUGLAS SCHOEN, Wall Street Journal)
  • What we learned from Occupy Santa Ana’s failed Wal Mart flash mob (New Santa Ana - blog) Douglas Schoen, a Democratic pollster, reported in the Wall Street Journal that “Occupy Wall Street is a group of engaged progressives who are disillusioned with the capitalist system and have a distinct activist orientation. Among the general public, by contrast, 41% of Americans self-identify as conservative, 36% as moderate, and only 21% as liberal. That’s why the Obama-Pelosi embrace of the movement could prove catastrophic for their party.” WITH VIDEO

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2 parties no voice

2012: Who Has a Better Chance?

  • The Choice Ahead (By JIM MCTAGUE, Barron's Cover) The election, however, is not until November 2012, and it would be na├»ve to write off a skilled campaigner like President Obama -- and we haven't. Independent voters will determine the outcome of the election. This electorate's current gloomy mood could swing to cheer if our trial-and-error president's luck changes and the languid economy's pulse strengthens. 
  • Bloomy for Prez? - Mayor plainly eyeing a run (John Podhoretz, NY Post) Meanwhile, independents dislike everybody. And that’s where Bloomberg might come in. Perot, another billionaire businessman with mythical technocratic prowess, rode a wave of independent disaffection to a historic 19 percent of the vote in 1992. Bloomberg has similarly unlimited resources — and he would come at the race from a stronger position as a man with real governing experience.

HANKSTER SPECIAL REPORT: Dr. Omar Ali, Professor at UNC Greensboro Speaks Out About Occupy Wall Street and Need for Political Reform

SPECIAL REPORT: Omar H. Ali Speaks Out About Occupy Wall Street and Need for Political Reform

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Representative Darrell Issa Leads List Of Wealthiest Member Of Congress (Written by USA Today) VIDEO: Ali on CBS discussing money and politics, emphasizing the need to increase the political participation of the 99% through structural reforms as opposed to trying to regulate the 1% (which has not worked since McCain-Feingold).
NC Occupy movement takes stock - Occupy movement in NC takes stock after 2 months (WAVY NBC Channel 10 - Portsmouth VA) NOTE: Above AP article also picked up by Boston Herald
Race and Occupy Wall Street (by Frank Stasio and Ginny Mueller, WUNC North Carolina Public Radio) AUDIO The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread across the country and captured the attention of millions of Americans. The movement deals with national issues, but it doesn't necessarily represent all factions of society. Are minorities being well represented in the revolution of the 99 percent? Host Frank Stasio talks about Occupy Wall Street and race with Derrick Johnson, president of the Mississippi NAACP; Omar Ali, an African-American studies professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and Marcella Robinson, an Occupy Raleigh protester and member of the group Mortgage Fraud in North Carolina.
A New Poll Reveals Only 17% of Americans Are Happy With The Direction Our Country Is Headed (Written by Rosemary Plybon, CBS Good Morning Show, WFMY News 2)
Occupy Greensboro Movement discusses social equality (by Yasmine Regester, Carolina Peacemaker) The Occupy Greensboro Movement stemmed from the Occupy Wall Street protests that began in New York in early September directed against economic and social equality. The protests have since spread across the U.S. The slogan for the movement has been "We are the 99%" which according to Dr. Omar Ali, University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) Associate Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and panelist, it refers to the 99 percent that are not wealthy and have been hit hard with the downturn in the economy.

Occupy Greensboro

Dr. Ali, a long-time activist in the independent political movement in the US and a founder of  is an Associate Professor of the African American Studies Program & Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is the author of In the Lion's Mouth: Black Populism in the New South, 1886-1900 (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2010), foreword by Robin D. G. Kelly and In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third Party Movements in the United States (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008), foreword by Eric Foner, among other books.

'The New Tammany Hall' (By MATTHEW KAMINSKI, Wall Street Journal) Fred Siegel: The institutional barriers to change have grown, too. The Working Families Party, founded in 1998, is the political arm of government unions and a driver of turnout in local elections. Though little known outside New York, the influence of this third party can be seen on the City Council, which has come to tilt heavily left. So far, says Mr. Siegel, the party has a better political track record than Tammany. "With the exception of Giuliani, they've never lost an election. No matter who wins, they're OK."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cyber Bullying in Connecticut: A Lesson in Empathy

Fellow Independents!

Internet voting can be used as the ideal substitute for our current two-party dominated system of conducting elections. But the progress toward that goal is being stymied by a crafty and powerful opposition. For example, recently, in Connecticut, some anti-Internet voting meanies set a trap for West Virginia Secretary of State, Natalie Tennant. They led her to believe that they wanted her advice on how to set up an Internet voting system for that state’s overseas military voters, like the system West Virginia has. As you will see, that’s not what happened …

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Twitter: wjkno1
Author of Internet Voting Now!
Kindle edition:
In paper:

Bill King: Party System Blocking Meaningful Change

  • King: Party system blocking meaningful change (By BILL KING, Houston Chronicle) To get any meaningful change in the current system, we are going to have to return to the Founders' view of political parties and start thinking differently about them. Instead of being proud to be associated with a political party, it should be an embarrassment. After this week's debacle with the so-called supercommittee, that sentiment should not be much of a stretch.
  • Community Impact of Supercommittee Failure (by Yanick Rice Lamb, Special to the AFRO) Among independent voters surveyed, seven in 10 favor cuts in domestic spending and increases in taxes on corporations and wealthy people. About six in 10 of all respondents are against reductions in defense spending.

Bloomberg pivots to slamming D.C. (By: Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman, Politico) “My suspicion is he hasn’t quite figured out what his next act is, but the one thing he knows he wants is to stay relevant and continue cultivating his brand as the independent, sane, grown-up voice in American politics,” said Democratic strategist Dan Gerstein, a veteran of Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman’s independent 2006 campaign. “This plays into his sweet spot: It’s the intersection of independence, adult leadership, and finance and economics.”

Is the Stage Set For a Third-Party Presidential Candidate? (By Amy Bingham, ABC News) “We are not a third party,” said Elliot Ackerman, the group’s chief operating officer. “The country has enough special interests and goofy ideologies out there. We are a second way to nominate our leaders.” By gathering enough petition signatures, the group has already secured a spot on the ballot in nine states. Ackerman said that number will jump to 28 by the end of the year and before November 2012, he said the group will have secured the remaining 22 states.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

happy turkey day

CA Prop 14 Under Attack From Third Parties

South Carolina Supreme Court turns back challenge to presidential primary (By Jim Davenport, Associated Press, Augusta Chronicle) Election officials in Beau­fort, Chester, Greenville and Spartanburg counties said county taxpayers would be left with more than $1 million in costs the state wouldn’t cover for the Jan. 21 contest.

  • Lawsuit: Prop. 14 violates California minor party voters' rights (Sac Bee/ Capitol Alert) "By limiting access to the general election ballot, Prop. 14 effectively bars small political parties, their candidates, and their members from effective political association, precisely at the moment when the highest number of voters are engaged in the electoral process," the complaint reads.
  • Proposition 14 Lawsuit (VIDEO, KCRA Channel 3) with CT Weber, Chair, Peace & Freedom Party
  • Open primaries: 3rd-party backers sue over law (Marisa Lagos, San Francisco Chronicle) "This is really a lawsuit about keeping the field of political debate open," said attorney Michael Siegel. "Proposition 14 narrows the political debate by saying only two candidates can participate in general elections, and we think that's unconstitutional because many Supreme Court cases have said you can't have a barrier to small parties competing in the general election."

Mayor Bloomberg Criticizes Washington for Failure of Super Committee

  • Shame On Us, Washington (By Ron Fournier, National Journal) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, blamed Obama and lawmakers in both parties for the failure of the so-called super committee to reach a deficit deal, calling the stalemate a "damning indictment of Washington's inability to govern this country."
  • Cuomo says Bloomberg's criticism of Obama 'misses the point' (By Azi Paybarah, Capital New York) But unlike Bloomberg, an independent who periodically blames both parties in Washington for federal-government dysfunction, the Democratic governor said that it wasn't Obama's fault that Washington lawmakers didn't come up with a plan.
  • Bloomberg Blasts Obama, Congress Over Deficit Deal Standstill (By: Josh Robin, NY1 Staten Island) "Washington's inability to get its fiscal house in order and work in a bipartisan fashion to create jobs represents a fundamental failure of government that has bred frustration and anger among the people and prolonged the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression," Cuomo said.

Citizens Union Presents New York Redistricting Plan

CITIZENS UNION PRESENTS COMPREHENSIVE CASE FOR REDISTRICTING REFORM (PRESS RELEASE, Citizens Union) The report entitled ReShaping New York: Ending the Rigged Process of Partisan Gerrymandering with an Impartial and Independent Redistricting Process highlights how uncompetitive elections have become because the two majority parties, the Democrats in the Assembly and the Republicans in the State Senate, have colluded for decades to draw safe districts that protect incumbents and maximize their seats in their respective house of the legislature.

Partisanship - the Failure of the Super Committee

  • The Supercommittee Fails—and That's Good for Obama (—By David Corn, Mother Jones) Obama: In addition to my [deficit-reduction] plan, there were a number of other bipartisan plans for them to consider from both Democrats and Republicans, all of which promoted a balanced approach. This kind of balanced approach to reducing our deficit—an approach where everybody gives a little bit, and everyone does their fair share—is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans—Democrats, independents, and Republicans. It's supported by experts and economists from all across the political spectrum.
  • A Failure Is Absorbed With Disgust and Fear, but Little Surprise (By MICHAEL COOPER, NY Times) Does the American political system even work anymore?
  • The new age of uncertainty: Does the world seem more volatile than ever? Get used to it, experts advise (By Douglas Brown, The Denver Post) People who study politics, financial markets and the media say it has been decades since so many consequential events and trends have emerged simultaneously around the globe, from the decline of many economies to the rise of organized dissent to the spread of the independent voter.
  • Obama targets GOP in New Hampshire as he pushes for extension of payroll tax cut (By Associated Press, Washington Post) It’s been nearly two years since Obama visited New Hampshire. And on Tuesday, he’ll find a state that has shifted distinctly to the right since his 2008 victory. Recent polls show that, if the election were held today, Obama would lose by roughly 10 percentage points to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
  • Analysis: End to debt gridlock is not in sight (CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press, Albany Times Union) Nathan Daschle, who heads a political networking firm called Ruck.Us, and whose father was a Democratic Senate leader, said the only way he can envision "really changing the incentives of our political system" is to have huge numbers of Republican and Democratic voters switch their affiliation to independent.
  • U.S. Voters Say Almost 3-1 Super Committee Will Fail, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; More Blame Republicans (Quinnipiac) Expecting failure are Democrats 54 - 36 percent, Republicans 84 - 14 percent and independent voters 71 -22 percent, the independent Quinnipiac   University poll finds.

Obama, Paul Face NH Indies and Dems

  • Obama on Tuesday to face NH voters now sour on him (By Steve Peoples, Associated Press, Boston Globe) In a likely nod to independents, Obama is expected Tuesday to prod Congress to extend a temporary cut in payroll taxes that has enjoyed bipartisan support. The tax cut will expire at the end of the year unless Congress extends it again.
  • Brooks: Country needs a ray of hope (BY DAVID BROOKS, NEW YORK TIMES in Albany Times Union) The era of the two moons is a volatile era. Independent voters are trapped in a cycle of sour rejectionism -- voting against whichever of the two options they dislike most at the moment. In policy terms, the era of the two moons is an era of stagnation. Each party is too weak to push its own agenda and too encased by its own cocoon to agree to a hybrid. The supercommittee failed for this reason.
  • Anti-war Ron Paul attracting support from local left (By Michael Kitch, Laconia Daily Sun - NH) Lynn Rudmin Chong, former chair of the Belknap County Democratic Committee, has publicly endorsed Paul and said that "I have found other kindred souls." The Sanbornton resident said that she left the Democratic Party and changed her voter registration to "undeclared" in anticipation of  taking a Republican ballot in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary and casting her vote for Paul.

Monday, November 21, 2011


PHOTO: Nancy Hanks (View Out My Window)

Bill Schneider: False Promises and Third Party Efforts

The False Promise of a Third-Party Candidacy (Bill Schneider, Distinguished Senior Fellow and Resident Scholar at Third Way, Huffington Post) Most of the money for Americans Elect is believed to be coming from wealthy Wall Street hedge fund managers who want to get rid of President Obama but can't abide Tea Party Republicans. (The organization keeps its donors secret.) Those donors may find themselves pleasantly surprised if the Republicans repudiate the Tea Party and nominate Mitt Romney. Romney's one of them.

Mississippi Open Primary Drive Goes to the Next Level

Tea party meet hears of open primary effort (Daily Leader - Brookhaven and SW Mississippi) Now, Marla Nottingham is moving from a petition to a full ballot initiative. Her goal is to bring a constitutional amendment opening up Mississippi's primaries to a statewide vote. Nottingham appeared Monday night at the first meeting of the Brookhaven Tea Party. Organizer Kendall Boutwell praised Nottingham's efforts and voiced support for them.

Independent Redistricting: Create American Nonpartisanship


Sonoran Alliance Warns of "Independent" Label

  • Poll: Voters pessimistic on supercommittee deal (By Jonathan Easley, The Hill) The pessimism among voters is not specific to any party. Eighty-eight percent of Independent voters, 84 percent of Republicans and 82 percent of Democrats are doubtful that a deal would be reached… Sixty-seven percent surveyed are in favor of increasing taxes on the wealthy. That breaks down to 83 percent of Democrats saying they're in favor of raising taxes on the highest earners, 64 percent of Independents, and 53 percent of Republicans.
  • Sonoran Alliance Website is an extreme far right Republican website (by Hispanic-Politico, Tucson Citizen) Only in “extreme” Arizona.  Shane Wikfor’s Sonoran Alliance website has gone too far for communicating that using the label Independent is a branding strategy.
  • Beware the ‘Independent’ Label, Democrats Use New Branding Strategy (By Sonoran Alliance) Using the label “Independent,” Democrats are now attempting to fool voters by taking the “new & improved” branding strategy.

Occupy Redistricting Pennsylvania


"What makes you more uncomfortable: children starving or gay marriage?"

  • Winner in Redistricting Is Still to Be Determined (By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, NY Times/ The Caucus) If you listen to officials at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, things are looking up for their candidates. They point to states like California, Illinois and Nevada, where independent commissions or legislatures under Democratic control have increased the party’s chances of gaining seats… Both parties are also watching the process in Virginia and Pennsylvania, where the legislatures are still not finished with their maps.

Pew Poll: What's Wrong with This (Presidential) Picture??

Polls are reporting "fast-breaking" mood changes among the American electorate and pundits relate our perception of the "down-to-earthness" of President Obama and Repub heir-apparent Mitt Romney to their "popularity."  Hmmm.... The fact that ordinary Americans have very little say in politics seems absent from this picture. What do you think?

"October is the worst time of the year for a cold!"

  • Poll: Mitt Romney trails President Obama by 2 percent (The State Column) The poll, conducted by Washington D.C. based Pew Research Center, revealed that Cain is neck and neck with Romney. The Pew poll gave Romney 23 percent of the votes and Cain 22 percent of the votes. However, the survey focused primarily on the head to head match ups between President Barack Obama and the eventual Republican presidential nominee. Obama holds a slight advantage over Romney at 49 to 47 percent, and a 49 to 42 percent advantage over Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
  • Obama Gets a GOP Gift for the 2012 Presidential Campaign (Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast) Unlike Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, “one of the president’s problems is he has a detached and analytical way of talking—which Romney has, too,” Olsen said. Obama’s professorial loftiness and Romney’s buttoned-up boardroom style don’t endear them to these independent voters. The election could well turn on which man is better able to connect with these disaffected Americans.

Maine: Eliot Cutler and Americans Elect

Independent Just Like Maine
Cutler seeks to shake up presidential race (By David Carkhuff, The Portland Daily Sun) Today, Cutler is a board member for Americans Elect, a national group spearheading an online nominating process that aims to give voters the power to choose a presidential candidate in 2012. Cutler seeks to shake up presidential race.

Sean Reardon: Education Income Achievement Gap

2010 Census: 1 in 7 Americans live in poverty
“Income achievement gap” almost double black-white achievement gap (By Louis Freedberg ~ EdSource Extra-Engaging Californians on Key Education Challenges) The report by Sean Reardon, a Stanford professor of education and sociology, shows that the income achievement gap—the difference in the average standardized scores between children from families at the 10th percentile of income distribution and children at the 90th percentile—is now “nearly twice as large as the black-white achievement gap.” A half century ago, the situation was just the reverse. The black-white gap was one and a half times as large as the income achievement gap as defined in the report, Reardon found.

Friday, November 18, 2011



Oregon Sec of State Candidate Knute Buehler Supports Open Primaries

  • Bend surgeon kicks off Republican campaign for secretary of state (Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian) Knute Buehler, a Bend orthopedic surgeon who backs tight campaign finance limits and open primaries, kicked off his Republican campaign for secretary of state on Wednesday.
  • M. Julian Bradley: Election process needs (By M. Julian Bradley, vice chairman of the La Crosse County Republican Party, La Crosse Tribune) To further protect Wisconsin and our electoral system, we need to eliminate open primaries.
  • Mandatory voting: An idealistic inefficiency (Kim Tran, Opinion Editor, Los Angeles Loyolan) For busy citizens, there need to be more convenient voting methods available, such as absentee ballots, early voting or same-day registration, that would ease the process for those who want to vote but do not have the time. Unaffiliated citizens should be allowed to participate in open primaries of their choice.

Virginia Senate Candidate Sues for Access to Debates

Senate candidate files lawsuit seeking to join December Kaine-Allen debate (By Ben Pershing, Washington Post/ Virginia Politics) Modica’s lawsuit argues that excluding him from the December debate ”based on standards, defined and created behind closed doors, that, theoretically and practically, only two former Virginia Governors can meet is like excluding your youngest son from Christmas celebrations just because he lives in Northern Virginia.”

Colorado Discriminatory Campaign Contribution Case Riddle v Ritter Back to U.S. District Court

Colorado Case on Discriminatory Campaign Contribution Limits Returns to Federal Court (Ballot Access News) The lead plaintiff is Joelle Riddle, who wanted to give more than $200 to Kathleen Curry, an independent candidate for the Colorado legislature in 2010.

Arizona Supreme Court Reinstates Independent Redistricting Commissioner

In win for Democrats, Arizona redistricting commissioner reinstated (By Cameron Joseph, The Hill) The state supreme court's decision that Brewer did not meet the constitutional requirements for removing a commissioner will reinforce the views held by some in the state that Republicans crossed the line on this issue.

Obama, Paul, Third Party, Millionaire's Tax Up in Polls

  • Obama Job Approval Edges Up, GOP Contest Remains Fluid (Pew Research) Obama continues to trail Romney by a wide margin among independent voters. Currently, 53% of independents favor Romney while just 41% support Obama. In matchups with other leading GOP candidates, Obama leads or runs about even.
  • Ron Paul takes 2nd in an Iowa poll for 2nd time in 4 days (The State Column) Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, garnered 20.4 percent of the votes to secure 2nd place in a ISU/Gazette/KCRG poll of 1,256 registered Iowa Republican and independent voters.
  • The GOP’s third-party nightmare scenario - A poll shows Ron Paul doing shockingly well as an independent candidate. What would make him take the plunge? (By Steve Kornacki, Salon) In reality, of course, this probably won’t happen — because he’s been shunned by the GOP, Roemer would likely be just as anonymous as an independent candidate. But Roemer’s third-party flirtation is a reminder of another potential spurned candidate revenge scenario that the GOP should probably be much more worried about: What if Ron Paul decides to run as an independent?
  • Political Intelligence - Top Rank Beltway Pundit Will Offer 2012 Election Forecast at UCSB (By Jerry Roberts, Santa Barbara Independent) Independent Candidate: Gergen said that in Washington, there is “increasing talk about a third-party” challenge for president. While potential candidates like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg or Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz may have the resources to mount an independent effort, the practical logistical requirements, coupled with the difficult challenge of Electoral College calculus, make such a bid unlikely.
Poll: New Jerseyans support a Millionaire's Tax by a 2 to 1 margin - Poll finds they also strongly support Occupy Wall Street movement (BY TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM) Voters support a tax hike on the rich by 64 to 28 percent, up from a high of 55 to 34 percent in a Feb. 10 poll, according to a Quinnipiac University poll made public Thursday. Current support is 82 to 13 percent among Democrats and 67 to 25 percent among independent voters, while Republicans are opposed 54 to 38 percent.

NY: Charles Barron Set to Challenge Rep. Ed Towns

Charles Barron on the rise of Moammar Khadafy and the fall of Herman Cain (By Reid Pillifant,
Capital New York) "We don't need the [Hakeem] Jeffries and the [Ed] Towns there. Because look what happened with David Paterson. He has a chance to select a black senator, the black senator for this state, and he gives us Gillibrand, because he's trying to win an election that he's not going to run for. You know, just having black people in certain positions, without black consciousness and black commitment to black agendas and black issues, is a problem."

The Removal at Zuccotti Park

Whose Police? (Posted by Philip Gourevitch, The New Yorker) The N.Y.P.D. descended on the park with deafening military-grade LRAD noise canons and several stadiums’ worth of blinding Klieg lights, and while they worked, they drove journalists steadily back further and further from their area of operations.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

rat boy

Why are there more independent voters today than perhaps ever before?

  • Appeal to Voters... Presidential (By Bill Miller Sr., Missourian Editor) Political experts in increasing numbers say that the independent voter is the one who will decide who our next president will be. Why are there more independent voters today than perhaps ever before? Is it because people are fed up with the party first and the nation second mentality of incumbents? Are people weary of professional politicians and that’s why a Cain with money can be a viable candidate?
  • Study Conducted To Determine Where 2012 Election Ad Dollars Should Go (Sarah Novotny, Adotas) Bizo has partnered with Vizu to conduct a joint campaign to characterize, in real time, the party alignment and political donation plans of business executives, a highly coveted audience for presidential hopefuls in the 2012 election.

Independents Disapprove of Congress by 89%

Congress' Job Approval Entrenched at Record Low of 13% - Congressional rating similar among Republicans, independents, and Democrats (by Frank Newport, Gallup) The disapproval cuts across party lines. Democrats have the highest approval of Congress this month at 15%, while independent voters are on the low side at just 11%.

2012 Presidential Election: Ron Paul, The Economy, Obama, and Two-Party Politics

  • Overshadowed by the Cainwreck and Newtmentum, Ron Paul Climbs into Second Place (By Alex Altman, Time/ Swampland) In a Public Policy Polling survey this week, the Texas Congressman leads President Obama 48% to 39% among independent voters — the only Republican hopeful to earn that distinction.
  • The Economy Isn’t Obama’s Only Challenge (By MATT BAI, NY Times/ The Caucus) Simply put, Mr. Obama now has to run for president as a conventional Democratic nominee. And this, at least in the modern political era, isn’t an especially easy thing to do. Mr. Obama did not have to deal with this in 2008, when a bunch of mitigating factors came together to make him something more than his party’s choice for the presidency. The war in Iraq, the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the market, the erupting fury at Washington’s impotence, the way Mr. Obama himself seemed to embody generational change and a renewal of the American story — all of this made it possible for him to run, essentially, as an independent candidate who rarely talked in terms of party.
  • Two-party presidential race faces challenge (By Richard McGregor in Washington, Financial Times) Michael Toner, a former head of the Federal Election Commission, said third-party candidates have traditionally struggled to get over electoral laws and ballot-access rules to allow them to run. “A third-party candidate likely would need to be a major self-funder to be potentially viable, someone capable of contributing $100m-$200m of their own money into their campaign,” he said. “In short, someone like Michael Bloomberg.”

San Francisco Mayoral Race Rasies Questions About Ranked-Choice Voting

Critics Aim to End Ranked-Choice Voting After SF Mayoral Race (Posted by Lance Williams, KQED) “Regardless of its merits, ranked-choice voting will probably be repealed,” he said in an interview. Ordinary voters struggle with the system because “it’s complicated,” he said. And politicians and political professionals quickly grew to dislike it because its results were so unpredictable.

Wisconsin Recal Gov Walker Makes Way for Better Politics?

Recall Walker campaign begins (BizTimes Daily) If the recall is successful, Walker would become just the third governor in the country's history to be recalled from office. California Democratic Gov. Gray Davis was recalled in 2003, followed by Arnold Schwarzenegger besting 134 other candidates to win the seat.  And in 1921, North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier was ousted amidst economic turmoil and a dispute between his progressive Nonpartisan League and the opposition Independent Voters' Association.

New York City Local Round-Up: John Liu Down, Charles Barron Iffy, Independent Redistricting Nowhere to be Found

  • New fundraising arrest raises more doubts about Liu’s future (By Colby Hamilton, WNYC/ THE EMPIRE) “It doesn’t look good for a city comptroller to now have two sets of investigations going on over his campaign fundraising,” said Dick Dadey, the executive director of the good government group Citizens Union. “For a citywide elected official, and an aspiring mayoral candidate, it raises questions that he can’t afford to have asked.”
  • Towns Faces Opponents in 2012 Primary (by Harold Egeln, Brooklyn Daily Eagle) Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Crown Heights/Bedford-Stuyvesant), who has already started a campaign web site and a fund-raising effort, and Councilman Charles Barron (D-East New York/Brownsville/Canarsie), who is just now exploring a possible run for Congress, are his contenders at this point.
  • Charles Barron has already decided where to announce his run for Congress (By Reid Pillifant,
    CAPITAL NEW YORK) After a "very positive" meeting on Friday night, Councilman Charles Barron said he's "moving closer and closer" to running for Congress, and he's already settled on when and where he might announce a second challenge to Representative Ed Towns.
  • Lawmakers Already Drawing Up Special Session Wish Lists (By Andrew J. Hawkins, NY Capitol News) Sen. Joseph Addabbo, who has been advocating for a special session since the regular session ended in June, said redistricting during the special session amounted to “wishful thinking” at this point, especially since it lacked budgetary implications.

Occupy Wall Street Gathering, Losing Support

  • Fascination and Fear (Rick McGahey, an economic policy adviser to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, is a professor of professional practice in the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School, NY Times/ Room for Debate) Democrats want to tap Occupy’s energy, but there's a risk of losing independent voters.
  • Poll: Occupy Wall Street movement losing America’s support (Matthew Borghese, Gant Daily) Where the movement begins to lose support most dramatically, is among independent voters. A month ago, independent voters supported the movement (39 percent) but now a majority (42 percent) oppose the protests.
  • Poll: Tea party trumps OWS (by Kyle Wingfield, Atlanta Journal Constitution) If a recent opinion survey by Public Policy Polling is any indication, the end of the full Occupation of Wall Street might have been the best thing that could have happened to the movement. Not because it will earn them public sympathy, but because the occupation itself had become the least sympathetic thing about the group.
  • Buddy Roemer Slams Mike Bloomberg for Cops Clearing Occupy Wall Street (Kevin Derby's blog, Sunshine State News) "The mayor of New York City is standing on the wrong side of history. His actions in the midnight hours against the Occupy Wall Street protestors are unjust, uncalled for, and unconstitutional," said Roemer in a statement on Tuesday. “The First Amendment right of assembly and speech exists to protect America from this kind of government power abuse.