Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Monday, October 31, 2011

three gorgeouses

holy yangtze river

occupy harlem

Demand for Open Primaries and Congressional Hearings on Status of Independent Voters Appears at Occupy Wall Street Protests

  • Start by listening (Star Press - Indiana, Written by AUDREY KIRBY, Muncie) Not every person lining Wall Street is a jobless hippie or just another loquacious liberal. Many of those protesting are independent voters with no commitment to one political party. They're exercising their First Amendment right, and quite frankly, they are sick of the extreme imbalance of the nation's wealth as well as the dishonesty associated with those who have most of it.
  • Occupy Harlem Campaign launched (By Donna Lamb, Black Star News) Two political proposals sought endorsement of the Occupy Congress campaign to occupy the local offices of members of Congress unless they sign a pledge to vote down any proposed cuts to working people's programs and for a congressional hearing in Washington, DC to address the second-class status of independent voters, which make up 41 percent of the electorate.
  • Local Occupy Wall Street chapter targets lobbyists (By JASON NEVEL, State Journal Register IL) On Saturday, about 300 Occupy Springfield protesters marched through downtown before placing a notice of eviction for corporate lobbyists inside the east-side doors of the Statehouse… Cahnman, who is a candidate in the 96th District legislative race, told the crowd that lawmakers ignored the majority of their constituents when they voted against having open primaries in Illinois.

Haley Ahrendt - Grassroots independent campaign for Mayor of Fort Wayne IN

Third candidate also on the ballot (Benjamin Lanka | The Journal Gazette) “I’m the only person who stood up and said ‘Enough’s enough,’ ” said D. Haley Ahrendt, Fort Wayne’s independent candidate for mayor.

Efforts Underway in at Least Six States to Lobby for Better Ballot Access Laws in 2012

Efforts Underway in at Least Six States to Lobby for Better Ballot Access Laws in 2012 (Ballot Access News) In New York, Harry Kresky has been diligently working for a bill to replace mandatory petitions for candidate ballot access with filing fees. Kresky is chair of the election law committee of the New York County Lawyers Association. That association, as well as the New York City Bar Association, has already approved the idea. Now the work will begin to persuade the State Bar Association, and then to find a sponsor in the legislature.

Voters should be given the option to vote on whether Newark OH should eliminate political labels

Election is important to Newark, Ohio (Written by Marc Guthrie, Newark OH Advocate) A few words about nonpartisan local elections: Well more than 50 percent of Newark voters are registered "independents." The majority of Ohio's charter communities have eliminated partisan labels from local elections. Voters should be given the option to vote on whether Newark should eliminate political labels. Council doesn't need a majority leader and a minority leader because Ohio's sunshine law prohibits political caucusing about legislation, outside of public view. Newark needs eleven council members who are committed to serve citizens, without regard to partisanship or personalities.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Citizens Against Politics As Usual Urges NC Voters to Go Independent

  • Let's start by reforming Congress (Blue Ridge Now Times News) The desire for reform is evident here and across the nation. Several hundred residents attended three meetings Wednesday of a Hendersonville group calling itself Citizens Against Politics As Usual. Times-News columnist Mike Tower and Lee Goldman, a Henderson County resident and former Times-News columnist who now writes for the Asheville Citizen-Times, organized the meetings. They urged those who attended to register as unaffiliated voters and step away from “partisan political dialogue.”
  • Citizens organize, seek solutions to ‘mess in Washington' (By Jessica Goodman, Times-News Staff Writer) Mike Tower took an unofficial poll Wednesday at the Citizens Against Politics As Usual meeting. The crowd of 165 shared their political affiliations, with most identifying themselves as unaffiliated.

Independent Voters Important in Local Races in NJ and PA

  • Dems Hope to Tap Big Reserve of Independents - Most people in Morris County aren't affiliated with a political party. (By Jane Primerano, Chathan Patch) Montville Democrat Daniel Grant said that in his successful runs for council in his northern Morris County township, he received a good deal of support from independent voters.
  • Video: Independent Philadelphia Mayoral Candidate Wali “Diop” Rahman Answers Your Questions (By Catherine Brown, NBC Philadelphia) Rahman is President of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement in Philadelphia. He came to Philadelphia about ten years ago to work with the Uhuru movement as a community organizer. The local office now doubles as his campaign office.

Judge Dismisses Arizona Attorney General from Redistricting Case

Judge ousts Arizona attorney general from redistricting case (by Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic) There are other pressures on the commission, which continues public hearings on its draft maps today in Yuma. Hearings run through Nov. 5. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer set an 8 a.m. Monday deadline for the commissioners to respond to questions she said will help her determine whether they have committed "substantial neglect of duty and gross misconduct in office." If so, she could start proceedings to remove some or all of them.

Gary Byrd to replace Gil Noble on "Like It Is"?

  • Like It Is: Activists Seek Gary Byrd to carry torch from Gil Noble (Special To The Black Star News) Members of CEMOTAP, DECEMBER 12th Movement, National Black United Front, The Original Black Panther Party, Board For the Education of People of African Ancestry, People's Organization for Progress, Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence and The Freedom Party  were there in full force. They were united in their demand that Byrd be given the opportunity to replace the recently retired Gil Noble, host of  the award winning series "Like It Is."  Noble holds the copyright to the title "Like it Is”, so the station was planning to change the title of a new show to "Here and Now."
  • The pension deal: What does John Liu walk away with? (By Colby Hamilton, WNYC/ The Empire) That being said, the most interesting thing is that the agreement essentially strips the Comptroller’s office—this or future ones—of one of its main duties.

Occupy Wall Street Weathers the Storm

  • Occupy Harlem! No One Has Suffered More Than Us From Plutocracy (Glen Ford, Executive Editor of
  • #OccupyWallSt Roundup, Day 42 (By JILLIAN DUNHAM, NY Times/ City Room) with links to main stream media including a piece from NY Observer called "A POPS Up Gallery: Aritsts to Occupy Midtown Plaza Sunday"
  • WFP lauds David Soares on Occupy Albany (Posted by Jimmy Vielkind, Capitol bureau, Albany Times Union/ Capitol Confidential) Demonstrators at Occupy Albany have also shared praise with Albany Police officials for resisting the eviction edict, and, it seems, rightfully so. But Soares is perfectly positioned to pick up the endearment of the left-leaning supporters of Occupy Albany, including the WFP, which is composed of labor unions and progressive groups.

Friday, October 28, 2011

socrates, you pompous ass

Fred Newman: To Listen and Experience What the Other Experiences

Dr. Fred Newman speaks about listening. Another great direction to Congress. Not that they are listening... Americans are working to create a conversation. It's a simple activity!

Postmodernity Considered Comedy

I warmed up to this, hope you enjoy:

Marian Rich: Musings on business leadership and performance -- a word from the wise to our Congress

Good morning, Hanksteristas!

On a personal note, I happened to catch up briefly this morning with my dear friend Marian Rich and I wanted to share a bit of our history with you. Marian and I "came around" together (as we say) to the development community in the mid-eighties. Michael Jackson, compromised/ failing marriages, the end of the left as we knew it... Well, you get the picture!

Marian and I persevered.  That's our trademark.

And I was inspired when I read her latest entry today on her website, I thought that Congress could take a note from Marian. Not that they are listening... But maybe someday, somewhere....

If you haven't already, please do subscribe to Marian Rich Musings on business leadership and performance. I highly recommend this new performance-oriented blog that offers fresh, innovative and practical advice and philosophy about navigating today's world.

Marian -- thanks for all you do!!

Marian Rich
To wit>

Marian Rich is President of Career Play, Inc. - executive coach, trainer, researcher, recruiter and performing artist. Grounded in an innovative performance-based approach to human development with over a decade of experience as a retained executive search consultant, Marian has unique experiences in building and growing innovative, out-of-the box organizations. She is an Artistic Associate of the Castillo Theatre, where she regularly performs musical improv comedy with The Proverbial Loons.

Here's her latest:

Improvisational magic
Not surprisingly I am an improvisation advocate.  This week I had a series of conversations with a diverse grouping of executives, friends, and colleagues about various life challenges.  In almost every case I found myself advocating on behalf of the basics of improvisation: 

Say yes
Actively listen
Focus on the ensemble and/or the other
Stay postive
Build and create with others

I've been reading a few articles this week that brought improvisation to mind. One article in the HBR this week -- How to Really Listen by Peter Bregman -- has much to say about listening that I agree with.  Sadly Bregman leaves out play, performance and improvisation and offers readers a cognitive behavioral approach to developing better listening capabilities.  

One thing that Bergman wrote in this article jumped out at me and it is this simple statement:
Listening, it turns out, is magic. 
I think there is a magic that comes with creating conversation and a key ingredient is active listening. This made me think of the wonderful work that my colleague, Cathy Salit the CEO of Performance of A Lifetime, does with corporate executives.  Cathy is an expert at helping people actively listen and create new conversations.  Here's a wonderful excerpt to an interview Cathy recently gave with Michelle James on her blog, The Fertile Unknown
What mindsets and behaviors do you see as essential for effectively navigating the new work paradigm?Cathy: Improvise. Perform. Relate to every conversation, meeting, and interaction as an improvisational scene in which you are a performer, writer and director. Break rules and make up new ones — not just in coming up with ideas, but in how we organize what we do together and how we do it in the workplace. Become a creative artist whose medium is everyday life.
We can all become a creative artist "whose medium is everyday life" -- now that's magic!

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE: 85% of Americans Support Dem Agenda; Dem Party Withering on the Vine

  • The once-proud Southern Democratic Party (By Bob Livingston, Southern Political Report) This last Saturday, Louisiana held her primary elections, and a trend that has become evident throughout the South was once again made glaringly apparent.  The once dominant Democrat Party is withering on the vine and may soon find itself less relevant in some state and local political contests than independent voters.
  • Underwater - President Obama will struggle to win reelection if his approval rating doesn’t rise. (Charlie Cook, National Journal) It’s worth noting that in the Oct. 17-23 aggregation of Gallup tracking, Obama’s job-approval rating among independents was only 38 percent. This was a group he carried by 8 percentage points over John McCain in 2008, 52 percent to 44 percent. Among “pure” independents, those who don’t lean toward either party when pushed, the president’s approval rating was 32 percent.

Americans Elect: In states where party affiliation is required for primary participation, independent voters can't vote at all

Overcoming Old Obstacles to Democracy in 2012 (Elliot Ackerman, Chief Operating Officer,, Huffington Post) Unfortunately, the Electoral College is not the only part of our system for picking a president where some peoples' votes count more than others. In our primary process, voters in states with early primary dates have disproportionate say. By the time voters in states with late primaries head to the polls, the race is often decided. And those voters are the lucky ones. In states where party affiliation is required for primary participation, independent voters can't vote at all.

Arizona, New York: Where is the Independent Redistricting?

  • New York voters want independent redistricting: Quinnipiac (By Colby Hamilton, WNYC) According to the poll, 48 percent said they wanted a completely independent commission drawing lines, while 28 percent said one with some legislative input was prefered.
  • Brewer Takes Aim at Indepedent Redistricting Commission (Posted by Jim Nintzel, Tucson Weekly) Time is also running out for these maps to be completed, since they still need approval from the U.S. Justice Department before the 2012 election season can begin. Does the process start all over, or does the GOP have some sort of maps that they'd like to just thrust onto the IRC for rubber-stamping?

Last Word: The Re-Formation of Hillary Clinton

How Hillary Became Likable (Alana Goodman, Commentary) Once seen as a divisive far-left opportunist, Clinton owes a lot of her newfound respect to her position as secretary of state. Before she took office, Clinton was mainly known for her domestic policy views. But foreign policy tends to be less visibly partisan, which likely helped soften her image with Republicans and independent voters.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

among the gowanus

PHOTO: Cathy L. Stewart

Christopher Moraff: Why I Am (Still) Not a Democrat

  • Why I Am (Still) Not a Democrat - American voters need to stand up against the tyranny of two-party rule (By Christopher Moraff, Philly Magazine/ The Philly Post) So I changed my affiliation to nonpartisan (which in Pennsylvania means sacrificing my vote in either primary—a story for another time) and low and behold, a funny thing happened during the general election: The candidates, both of them, started talking to me—well not me individually but all those unaffiliated “independent” voters, like myself, who were suddenly so important. For the record, I voted for Obama, but not once during the campaign could he take that vote for granted. And as far as I was concerned that gave my vote power.
  • Independents could hold key to Obama victory in AZ (by Herman Cain and Mitt Romney may be leading the polls in Arizona, but independent voters could push current President Barack Obama to victory in Arizona.
  • Cain, Romney top Arizona GOP poll - but Obama could ride independent tide to carry state (msnbc) What makes the difference, de Berge said, is that Obama is backed by 50 percent of independents, against just 33 percent who said they would vote for Cain. And with independents actually outnumbering registered Democrats in the state — and closing in on Republicans — that could make all the difference.
  • Poll: Romney & Cain on top in Arizona (Posted by CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser) Among independent voters, Cain and Romney are tied at 15%, with Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 14% and everyone else in single digits and 28% undecided. Republicans and independents are allowed to vote in Arizona's GOP presidential primary.

Americans Elect: What Impact?

McManus: The third-party wild card - There is likely to be a wild card in the 2012 election with the group Americans Elect planning to hold a national primary election on the Internet. (By Doyle McManus, LA TIMES)

American voters have fired two modern presidents after just one term, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992. Both suffered because the economy was in poor shape, and both faced disaffection within their own parties. But there was another thing those candidates had in common: They both faced relatively strong third-party candidates in the November election.

John B. Anderson in 1980 and H. Ross Perot in 1992 both ran as independent centrists, and while they weren't the only reason the incumbents lost (Ronald Reagan won a majority of the popular vote in 1980), they were certainly a factor.

Philadelphia Has an Independent Mayoral Candidate


Working Families Party to Dismantle Campaign Consultant Firm

Working Families Party Settles DFS Case (BY Celeste Katz, NY Daily News/ Daily Politics) “This is the death knell of DFS and a great day for our democracy because the Working Families Party will longer be able to so blatantly ignore our local campaign finance law,” Randy Mastro, the lawyer for the plaintiffs (who will collect $100,000, although he did the case pro bono) told our Erin Einhorn.

Here's the settlement document

Occupy Wall Street Letter-Writing Campaign

Occupy Wall Street barrages banks with letters - Joined by foreclosure victims and activists, protesters Friday will deliver more than 6,500 personal letters collected in less than two weeks to bankers across the city. (By Daniel Massey, Crain's New York) The Occupy the Boardroom website, a collaboration between Occupy Wall Street and the advocacy groups Alliance for a Greater New York and New York Communities for Change, has received international attention since it launched earlier this month. “Just got evicted while your banker gets bonuses?” the site asks. “Share your special story with someone who ought to know.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Obama: 'What folks are fed up with is putting party ahead of country'.

President Obama delivered a very complex message on Jay Leno last night. You can also see more of the segment here...

Take-away for independents is the interference of the parties: 'What folks are fed up with is putting party ahead of country'.

americans in china

PHOTOS: Kim Svoboda

Obama: Whether You Are Democrat, Republican, independent...

Obama replied that, "the things that folks across the country are most fed up with, whether you are a Democrat, Republican, independent, is putting party ahead of country or putting the next election ahead of the next generation.”
- Obama on Leno Show last night

Federal Judge: South Carolina Open Primaries Are Constitutional

  • U.S. judge allows S.C. primary challenge arguments (By JIM DAVENPORT, The Associated Press, Bluffton Today) South Carolina requires no party registration to vote in primaries. Republicans argued open primaries infringe on their constitutional rights to associate with people of their choosing. But the state’s lawyers countered that people voting in a primary are picking a party with which to align. U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs ruled the state’s open primaries are constitutional. However, the GOP’s lawyers have asked Childs to alter her opinion.
  • Lawyers making additional arguments in challenge to SC's open primaries (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, The Republic - IN) Closing a primary to only people who have registered by political party would be a major shift in a key presidential primary state that now allows all voters to participate in the contest they choose.

KY Lt. Gov. Debate Features Tax Reform, Independent Candidate

At debate, candidates for lieutenant governor disagree on tax reform (By Jack Brammer, KY Herald Leader) Independent candidate Riley, a Frankfort marketing consultant who is Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith's running mate, called Kentucky's tax system unfair and said economic development was the answer to creating jobs.

For information on independents in Kentucky, see here...

Virginia Independents Have Lower Approval Rate of Obama

As Obama visits Virginia, independent voters cast critical eye (By James Hohmann and Glenn Thrush, Virginian Pilot-Hampton Roads) With a recent Quinnipiac University poll showing Obama’s job approval continuing to fall among Virginia’s independent voters — they disapprove 62 to 29 percent, compared with a 56 to 38 percent disapproval among independents nationally — several explanations are offered up.

Occupy Wall Street Hits a Stride

  • Tent Pressure (Gotham Gazette/ Wonkster) It is getting cold out there and the protesters at Occupy Wall Street are starting to notice. So, Bill Lipton of the Working Families Party sent out an e-mail to supporters this morning asking them to put pressure on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to allow tents  in Zuccotti Park.
  • Occupational Therapy (By Lisa Fabrizio, American Spectator) However supportive he may be of their aims, Barack Obama and his messiah-like campaign of light did much to erase the memory of the left's propensity to participate in angry demonstrations against the American Way of Life and so attracted many independent voters to his side. But riding to the rescue like so many socialist cavalrymen come the largely unoccupied occupiers of Zuccotti Park, just in time to remind America what a nation where 99 percent of its population consisted of slackers and malcontents would look like. And if the Obama Administration makes the critical mistake of hitching their wagon to this group of losers, he will soon join their ranks.
  • Poll: Election 2012 Shaping Up To Pit Doom Against Gloom (by Frank James, NPR) Seniors, who gave Romney an advantage in August, have begun to desert the Republican front-runner, who is now losing these voters by a 3-point margin. More dramatically, Romney was winning 52 percent of independent voters in August; he is now at 45 percent with this key bloc. His biggest drop has come among independent women—who swung for Romney by a 22-point margin in August. Obama is now winning independent women by 2 points.
  • Occupy Politics (Democracy Corps, Carville-Greenberg) The biggest shift against the Republicans has come from independents, who are increasingly turned off by what they see and hear out of Washington.  According to exit polls, Republicans won independents last November by a 19-point margin.  Their advantage had narrowed to 17 points in August.  Strikingly, Republicans are now winning independents by just 7 points. Seniors have also pulled back from these Republicans in big numbers.  In last November’s exit polls, Republicans won seniors by a 21-point margin.  This advantage has completely disappeared, with the vote among seniors now basically even (45-46.)

Dr. Fulani Interviews Pedro Noguera in Harlem on Friday

The Global Search for Education: Change Leader (C. M. Rubin, Author, The Real Alice in Wonderland book. Blogger at, Huffington Post) Michael Fullan: The greater urgency the U.S. places on competing internationally, the more that becomes an obsession in the wrong direction. The U.S. school systems have been losing ground since 1980 with growing gaps between high and low performers, and poor rankings internationally. The U.S. needs to take PISA benchmarks seriously, they need to get behind the numbers and realize that the top performers got there by building the collective capacity of teachers in the country -- all the teachers…. We have too many tests, so one way to reduce stress is to have fewer tests. I agree we have to reduce the stress on kids. Enabling them to have more success would be a great stress reducer. So, I would rather ask first what goals we are striving for. Let's build those goals into the learning experience. And those goals have to include the well-being of our kids…

Next Friday, October 28th, 6pm

Dr. Fulani Interviews  
Pedro Noguera, Ph.D  
Professor of teaching and learning at New York University, and a national leader in Urban Education.   

Pedro Noguera 

Dr. Noguera is an Urban Sociologist and a distinguished professor at NYU. He has looked at the achievement gap, youth violence and the failure of our education system. He is widely published and has written 5 books, over 150 articles and is a regular commentator on educational reform issues.

Dr. Noguera and Dr. Fulani are colleagues who have  both stepped outside the boundaries of traditional scholarship and education reform to create unusual and innovative partnerships with poor, urban communities. Dr. Noguera's focus is on creating stronger bonds between social service organizations and poor families. Dr. Fulani has created the All Stars Project which employs a performatory approach to development and learning.  
 For more information call 212.962.1699

Friday October 28th, 6pm
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building 
163 W. 125th Street, second floor

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Independent Analyst Dr. Omar H. Ali Speaks on Recent Obama Visit to North Carolina

  • Independent Voters Want President's Attention (NPR, WFDD FM 88.5, North Carolina) On Tuesday, October 18, he heard President Obama speak in Jamestown. According to Dr. Ali, while the President and other politicians talk about how they plan to create new jobs, unaffiliated voters are frustrated with bipartisan politics. He tells WFDD's Kathryn Mobley there are about 1.5 million unaffiliated voters in North Carolina. But he says he believes that number would be higher if there were open primaries.
    Ali speaks to WFMY about Obama visit (UNC Greensboro University News, Posted by Dan Nonte)  SEE VIDEO BELOW
  • NEW: North Carolina Independents website 

South Carolina Repubs Challenge Open Primary in Courts

APNewsBreak: SC Supreme Court to hear primary case (JIM DAVENPORT, Associated Press, Seattle Post Intelligencer) It is the second major challenge this year for the way South Carolina handles primaries….South Carolina requires no party registration to vote in primaries. Republicans argued open primaries infringe on their constitutional rights to associate with people of their choosing…. U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs ruled the state's open primaries are constitutional. However, the GOP's lawyers have asked Childs to alter her opinion. In August, Childs told lawyers on both sides to file papers with the court by Dec. 15.

The Hankster incorrectly ran a headline yesterday "North Carolina Repubs Fight Open Primary" GOP suit seeks closed primary - Questions linger about who can vote, who will get bill (By Eric Connor, Greenville Online) U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs has given the state Republican Party and the State Attorney General until Dec. 15 to file arguments over whether the state’s open-primary laws are constitutional.

The headline should have read "South Carolina Repubs Fight Open Primary"

Thanks to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News for the correction.

Inclusion of Independents, Latinos at Heart of Arizona Redistricting Fight

  • Objectors call for ouster of IRC member (BY HOWARD FISCHER - CAPITOL MEDIA SERVICES, Yuma Sun) And Ken Moyes, who is doing work for the possible congressional campaign of state Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, charged that the commissioners created a “Trojan horse” district that they claim is politically competitive but actually tilts Democratic if the voting patterns of independents are considered.
  • Arizona Latinos at Center of Redistricting Process (by: Valeria Fern├índez, New American Media, Truth Out) “The legislative draft map adopted today by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission lacks competitive districts and is a giant step backward, as drawn. Without more competition, extremists will continue to get elected and will discourage Independent voters from having any say in Arizona's future,” said Luis Heredia, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party.

Old Parties, New Politics: Will Obama Get the Message About Political Reform In Time?

Everybody has advice for President Obama. The message that the organized force of independents is trying to get through to him is: we need structural political reform. Unless independents are allowed to participate fully in the political process through changes like open primaries, citizen initiative and referendum, participation on the Boards of Election and the Federal Election Commission, change will not come to America.

  • The Fighter Fallacy (By DAVID BROOKS, NY Times) Democrats do not have that luxury. The party of government cannot win an orthodox vs. orthodox campaign when 15 percent of Americans trust government. It certainly can’t do it presiding over 9 percent unemployment. It’s suicide. Yet this is the course the Obama campaign has chosen. He’s campaigning these days as the populist fighter, the scourge of the privileged class.
  • Will voters kick out all incumbents in 2012? Probably not – even though most Americans dislike both political parties. There are three scenarios for 2012. The most likely: If the economy remains weak and the GOP picks an acceptable candidate, voters will kick out both Obama and Democrats from power. (By John. J. Pitney Jr., Christian Science Monitor) Most Americans already dislike both major parties and think that a third party is necessary. It would be difficult to translate this sentiment into political change. New parties face tough barriers, including state laws that hinder their access to the ballot and campaign finance rules that put them at a fundraising disadvantage.
  • How they get away with obstruction (By Steve Kornacki, Salon) Then there are the actual swing voters, authentic independents who don’t have a strong loyalty to either party. They are a smaller bunch than most people realize, but in theory Obama should have more luck getting through to them with his jobs crusade. But, like most other voters, they don’t pay close attention to Washington or to politics in general. If they even hear about last night’s filibuster, it may be through a 20-second news summary they half-listen to on their way to work, or through a headline on a newspaper article they skim or don’t read at all. But instead of falling back on party loyalty to form their judgments, these voters tend to rely on the state of the economy — something that spells disaster for Obama right now.

Pollsters and Pundits Jockey to Control 'Occupy Wall Street' Message

You can follow global Occupy Wall Street livestream here

  • NOM trying to appeal to anger over Wall Street to raise money for its N.Y. PAC (By Sofia Resnick, American Independent) A banner reads: “Same Sex Money Dance for the NY GOP Four – Fundraiser Sponsored by Billionaires.” The ad was in response to an Oct. 13 fundraiser held for the aforementioned senators, hosted by Republican supporters of gay marriage, such as Mayor Bloomberg, hedge fund managers Paul E. Singer and Daniel S. Loeb and software entrepreneur and philanthropist Tim Gill, who founded the LGBT-rights organization the Gill Foundation in 1994.
  • Protests Present Dilemma for Democrats Views of Some Occupy Wall Street Demonstrators May Turn Off Moderates Party Seeks to Attract (By DOUGLAS BELKIN in Chicago, TAMARA AUDI in Los Angeles and DANNY YADRON in Washington, D.C., Wall Street Journal) Of the protesters interviewed by Journal reporters at random in New York, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area, about a third said they are unemployed and nearly three quarters said they have college degrees or are pursuing them. About a quarter identified themselves as Democrats. Most called themselves independent or unaffiliated. The median age was 26.
  • Swing voters respond better to ‘99 percent’ than ‘Occupy Wall Street’ (Posted by Suzy Khimm, Washington Post/ Wonkblog) So far, it’s not “Occupy Wall Street,” but its companion slogan, “We are the 99 percent,” that most effectively captures independent support, according to preliminary findings by Celinda Lake, a leading Democratic pollster…. By contrast, “ ‘We are the 99 percent’ had a much more immediately political, values-oriented connection. ‘That’s me, that’s what’s wrong, the 1 percent is greedy,’ ” Lake explained. (She adds that the slogan was explained to focus groups as pitting the 99 percent against the 1 percent.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

vanderbilt beach, naples

North Carolina Repubs Fight Open Primary

  • GOP suit seeks closed primary - Questions linger about who can vote, who will get bill (By Eric Connor, Greenville Online) U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs has given the state Republican Party and the State Attorney General until Dec. 15 to file arguments over whether the state’s open-primary laws are constitutional.
  • Editorial: Invite All N.M. Voters (By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board) Nearly one in five registered New Mexico voters doesn’t declare a major party allegiance — a number that has grown significantly. And while that status as an independent voter keeps them from having to swallow the so-called dogma of the D and R extremists in partisan primary elections, it also keeps them out of the voting booth until the general election rolls around.
  • What’s wrong with Washington? Two perspectives  (By Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post) Interviews with Mickey Edwards [How to turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans] and David Walker [president and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative] Walker: But how are we going to get it done because we have a dysfunctional democracy? Our politics have been taken over by the wingnuts — on both ends. And they are dominated by career politicians who may or may not have had a real job in their life but once they get elected they don’t have one and they want to keep it for life. And so the fact is is that we’re going to need political reforms, too. We’re going to need redistricting reform. We’re going to need integrated, open primaries. We’re going to need campaign finance reform. And we’re going to need reasonable term limits, 12 to 18 year term limits. And we better do it sooner rather than later.
  • A biting look at D.C. in 'Patriocracy' - 'Patriocracy' will have its 'world premiere' on November 5. (By PATRICK GAVIN, Politico) Seventy minutes into the 90-minute film, some daylight appears in the form of former Rep. Mickey Edwards, whose “insider’s six-step plan to fix Congress” published in the Atlantic earlier this year, serves as the basis for a way out of the wilderness. The plan involves greater civic participation, reform of the campaign finance laws, increased transparency, open primaries, non-partisan congressional districting, a reform of committee appointments and a forfeiture of party allegiance.
  • La. Gov. Bobby Jindal wins re-election (USA Today) The 40-year-old Republican overwhelmed nine competitors in the open primary, where a candidate wins the race outright if he or she receives more than 50 percent of the vote. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Jindal had received about 66 percent of the total vote.

Stop Marginalizing Independent Voters Through Election Laws Set by Partisan Legislators

  • Obama Shouldn't Use Bush's Reelect Strategy - Bush-Cheney '04 may have scraped through a victory, but the same tactics won't work for Obama. John Avlon on five reasons 2012 is different. (The Daily Beast)
  • On the Agenda: Independent voters still up for grabs in 2012 (By: Harvey Kronberg, YNN Austin) Independent voters broke left in 2008, galvanized by a visceral dislike of Sarah Palin combined with anxiety that John McCain was over his head facing the possible financial apocalypse. While there is not yet a Republican candidate to contrast, the 2012 independent voter is now deeply unhappy with Barack Obama.
  • Discrimination denies independent voters fair access (By OMAR H. ALI, News Record Greensboro NC) Across the world, here in North Carolina, where my own little family now lives and where I teach history at UNCG, I am part of a different movement for democracy. I am part of a movement of independent voters who do not want to be marginalized through election laws and regulations set by Democratic and Republican legislators.

Independent Redistricting: Look to California


Independent voters and turn-out in a handful of key states are essential for Obama

  • Michael Bloomberg Part 3  (by David Radler is an executive officer of Continental Newspapers which owns several newspapers including The Chronicle-Journal, Thunder Bay Ontario CAN.) I am going to make a prediction here. Michael Bloomberg claims to be an independent. By the time the 2012 election rolls around Barack Obama will be claiming the same thing. Obama has no loyalty to anybody but himself. Joe Biden has become, in some eyes, a bit of a bungler and certainly does not serve the original purpose of reassuring the American people of his competency against the potential rashness and inexperience of the current president. A prediction: Biden goes under the bus and Bloomberg becomes the VP candidate for the Democrats.
  • The 4-Letter Word That Can Boost Obama's 2012 Chances: V-E-T-O (By Ben W. Heineman Jr., The Atlantic) Obviously, to win re-election President Obama must woo back independent voters who currently dislike him. But he must also get significant turn-out, as he did in 2008, from blocs of voters who won't vote Republican but are disaffected, disappointed or disinterested and may stay home -- e.g. large numbers of young, black, Hispanic and women voters. In 2008, 132.6 million Americans voted in federal elections (57 percent of the voting age population). In 2010, 90.6 million Americans voted (37.8 percent of the voting age population) and created a large GOP House majority, a typical large drop-off from a presidential to a purely congressional election year (in this case a decline of 40 million voters). Independent voters and turn-out in a handful of key states are thus essential for the president.

John Haggerty Convicted in NY Ballot Security Scam

  • After Conviction, Haggerty Posts Bail (WALL STREET JOURNAL/ Metropolis, By Michael Howard Saul) The judge said he was unconvinced the e-mail about the Irish passport was a joke and lashed out at Haggerty for misrepresenting himself on his passport application. On the application, Haggerty was asked to list an emergency-contact person; he listed a friend and incorrectly described that person as his uncle.
  • Jury Convicts Consultant of Stealing Campaign Money From Bloomberg (By JOHN ELIGON, NY Times) The jury determined that although Mr. Bloomberg had lost legal control of the money, the party was technically acting as the mayor’s agent, authorized to spend the money on his behalf, one juror, Mr. Conroy, said. So it was the party that was duped, Mr. Conroy said, because its leaders gave money to Mr. Haggerty that he said he would use for ballot security, but did not. Asked about Mr. Conroy’s suggestion that the Independence Party was an agent of the mayor, Mr. Vacco laughed. 
  • Consultant convicted of stealing from mayor Bloomberg (By Joseph Ax, Reuters) Several jurors told Reuters it was actually the money trail that caused them to convict, citing two instances in which Haggerty received payments of $83,000 and $50,000 from the Independence Party for alleged Election Day expenses, only to wire the money that same day as payments on the house.
  • 'Volunteer' day: What is the meaning of Haggerty's guilt, and Bloomberg's independence? (BY HARRY SIEGEL, Capital New York) The Independence Party, which has traditionally profited from the confusion of actually “independent” or unaffiliated voters, still has about $100,000 of Bloomberg’s stolen “gift” that it’s never been asked to return, the defense noted. (Presumably, that loose change was the "wash in" that Haggerty referred to in an email to then-deputy mayor Sheekey discussing the transfer). For years, Bloomberg also funneled campaign and “charitable” money to the New York City branch of the party controlled by Lenora Fulani, the lunatic longtime acolyte of recently deceased psychiatrist-cultist Fred Newman. The pair dominated the city party until 2006, and Fulani continues to control its Manhattan branch. Their rented party line proved crucial to Bloomberg’s tight wins in both 2001 and 2009.

Friday, October 21, 2011

First to 1 million in Utah will be independents

Not to be confused with the party of no, the first bloc of Utah voters to amass 1 million voters will be the unaffiliated or as we prefer independent voters--no party or party of no thanks. On May 31 the independent voter total was 987,244. Today, October 21, 2011 the total is 998,069. Harold Camping may be predicting that the end of the world is today, but Microsoft Excel is telling me that independents will officially reach the 1 million mark at 8:22 am on December 13, 2011.

Independent voter growth was roughly twice that of republican voters during the period.

Snapshot of growth:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Scenes organizer Bryan Puertas gathering support for Congressional hearings on the second class citizenship of independent voters.