Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

occupy raleigh

Race and Occupy Wall Street: Blacks and Independents in America

Race and Occupy Wall Street

 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.

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We need to transform the current presidential nominating process

People powerless to party politics (By Jessica Wolfe, UWM Post - University of Wisconsin Milwaukee) There is much discontent with the current two-party political system, and as a result, we need to transform the current presidential nominating process. We may not be able to change the two-party system, but we can change the quality of candidates these two parties bring to the voting booth. The time has come for voters to transcend beyond traditional party politics and choose candidates who mirror our own ideologies.

Poll: More than half of Arizonans support a nonpartisan ballot in primaries

  • Poll: More than half of Arizonans support a nonpartisan ballot in primaries (By Joanne Ingram, Cronkite News) More than half of Arizonans support switching from partisan primaries to a nonpartisan ballot that would send the highest-polling candidates on to the general election regardless of party affiliation, according to a poll released Monday by a public policy research group.
  • S.C. high court hears arguments over how to finance GOP primary (By NBC's Ali Weinberg, msnbc) The Supreme Court today heard arguments in a lawsuit, brought by four South Carolina counties, claiming that the South Carolina Republican Party should cover the entire cost of conducting the 2012 primary election. Until 2008, the primaries here were considered private affairs, funded by state parties. But during 2008’s wide-open primary, the legislature approved a law authorizing the use of taxpayer funds for the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.

Indiana’s current ballot access laws are reprehensible.

Indiana’s unfair ballot access laws (By Sheldon Dance, Indiana Daily Student) Indiana’s current ballot access laws are reprehensible. I urge the state legislature to enact electoral reform to allow for fair ballot access for all candidates and all parties. Readers interested in learning more about ballot access laws should Google Electoral Reform Act of 2012 or learn more about ballot access issues at

Nonparty Party for 2012: Use your browser to build a dream ticket for President

Crashing the Party - Hate all the presidential candidates? Use your browser to build a dream ticket. (by Andrew Romano, Daily Beast) “A nonparty party isn’t how you gain power,” says Princeton historian Sean Wilentz. “It just hasn’t worked that way in American politics. You have to stand for something very clearly—not ‘we don’t like parties’ in the abstract.”

Opposing Crony Capitalism

  • Ron Paul's Real Electability: Stopping The Third Party Threat (Written by Thomas R. Eddlem, The New American) Electoral Fact #4: Ron Paul is the only Republican who can win voters who oppose "crony capitalism." While Ron Paul is not the only Republican who opposed the TARP and other bailouts (Michele Bachmann and Gary Johnson also opposed it), he's the only GOP candidate currently polling in double digits to have done so.
  • Republicans Lose Way Misreading Bush History (By Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg News) It seems much more likely that Republicans lost in 2006 because of the bleeding in Iraq, corruption in Washington, wage stagnation and the lack of any agenda by the party to do anything about these or other problems. Some of these issues had faded in importance by 2008, but in that year voters were also ready for a change after eight years of Republican control of the White House and, above all, dismayed by the economic crisis. In 2008, 60 percent of voters said the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, wasn’t “in touch with people like them” -- and 79 percent of people who felt that way voted against him. That’s what defeated Republicans, not a perception that they were doctrinally impure.
  • Is Smart Money Leading GOP Off Cliff Again? (By THOMAS SOWELL, Investors Business Daily) The smart money inside the Beltway says that the Republicans need to pick a moderate candidate who can appeal to independent voters, not just to the conservative voters who turn out to vote in Republican primaries. Those who think this way say that you have to "reach out" to Hispanics, the elderly and other constituencies. What is remarkable is how seldom the smart money folks look at what has actually been happening in presidential elections.

Monday, November 14, 2011

new fall fashion

PHOTO: Nancy Hanks

Hankster Blog Round-Up on Independent Voters

  • The "Myth" of the Myth of the Independent Voter (by Todd Eberly, Assistant Professor of Political Science at St. Mary's College of Maryland, The FreeStater Blog… Where the Old Line meets the On-Line) Of those respondents who self-identified as an independent Democrat in 2000, 31.4 percent no longer identified with the Democratic Party in 2002, nearly as many, 29.8 percent, no longer identified with the party in 2004. For Republican Leaners the results were similar, 27.2 percent no longer identified with the Republican Party in 2002, 26.1 percent in 2004.
  • Independent's Day (RUDNICK for Philadelphia City Council Blog - The web log of BRIAN RUDNICK 8th District, Independent Green, for Philadelphia City Council) I have changed my registration from Green to no affiliaton.
  • OneMaine (Zeb Pike, Inside Zebster) NOTE: Zeb Pike, a Hankster alumnus, has rejoined the independent blogosphere and is now a contributor to The H. WELCOME BACK, ZEBSTER! -- Announcements: The first of my posts for The Hankster is now posted. I will post it here later but please visit that multi-author blog for independent news, newsfeeds and editorials. -- Those of you who know me personally or have read enough of my writing know that I am nothing if not fiercely independent.  That means that not only do I not always vote for one party in elections, it also means that I strongly support maintaining my right to be independent, not affiliated with any political party; therefore, not having pressure from my chosen party to go along with something I disagree with.
  • Rational Irrationality (John Cassidy, Obama’s Mini-Surge, Posted by John Cassidy, The New Yorker) #3. Independents. Obama’s rebound has been particularly noticeable among voters who identify themselves as independents. The conventional wisdom is that this is where elections are decided. In September, Gallup found that among independents Obama was trailing the generic Republican candidate by 27 per cent to 48 per cent—a massive gap. In the new poll, he has pulled back to even. Both he and the generic Republican get 38 per cent of the independent vote.
  • Live Blogging of CBS News/National Journal Republican Debate (Amazing Bloggers - Blog and etcetera) My focus is on how the participants come across in the race and the possible impact on independent voters — who are not a monolithic group — rather than who I agree with or not. These are the reactions of an independent voter who has belonged to both parties. NOTE: This post is a link to Joe Gandelman's post at The Moderate Voice.
  • Research Log 4- UPWARD MOBILITY (by TAZMAN, Why Dems can't lead & Repubs can't govern) Article take from Zakaria, Fareed, "The downward path of upward mobility" Quote: "Most Americans are increasingly concerned over the growing gap between the rich and the poor. The biggest causality seems to be the shrinking American middle-class. In Fareed Zakaria's article, he shows how this argument is quickly divided among party lines with liberals wanting some sort of government intervention and Conservatives saying let the free market find its equilibrium. The all powerful and ever vacillating Independent voters are leaning towards the Liberals."

The Partisan Prism: Ohio Voters' Defeat of SB5

Following SB5 vote, GOP and Dems begin decoding Ohio voters ahead of 2012 (By David S. Lewis, The American Independent) But the Governor was elected in 2010, when Democrats were purged nationwide, the result of a massive effort by the Republican Party to place blame on the Obama administration and cast every Democrat as guilty by association.  Even so, Kasich was only elected by a 2-percent margin, or roughly 77,000 votes, over incumbent Ted Strickland, who was elected by nearly 50 percent more votes than his Republican challenger J. Kenneth Blackwell in 2006.

The Arizona Redistricting Wars

  • Capitol coven stages a witch hunt (by E. J. Montini, The Arizona Republic) Essentially, Brewer and the behind-the-scenes bigwigs pulling her strings didn't like the way the maps were being redrawn under Mathis. Some Republican Congress members were no longer in "safe" districts. There might have been some actual competition. That could not be tolerated, so Brewer rallied the Republican townsfolk at the Capitol and they brought out the torches and pitchforks.
  • Arizona recall vote energizes Democrats (By JERI CLAUSING, Associated Press) Last week's recall election defeat of the Republican legislator who wrote Arizona's tough anti-immigration law and the seating of Democratic mayors in Phoenix and Tucson have given Democrats renewed hope for picking up the state in next year's Senate and presidential elections. Combined, the outcomes underscored the diversity of voters in what many view as a conservative state even though voters here are split nearly in thirds among Republicans, independents and Democrats.
  • Russell Pearce recall may indicate new political climate - Some see pushback on conservatives' influence (by Alia Beard Rau, The Arizona Republic) A multipartisan group also is working on what it believes will be a more long-term solution to lopsided primaries. It would abolish party primaries in Arizona, instead allowing all voters to vote on all the candidates. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, would then go on to the general election. The goal is to encourage more independent voters to participate and attract more moderate candidates who appeal to a broader range of voters.

Indies Prefer Obama Over Romney

Dem poll analysis: Competing visions (By: Celinda Lake and Daniel Gotoff and Kristin Pondel, Politico) More encouragingly, independents’ appetite for either of the current Republican frontrunners is limited. Independents support Obama 47% to 34% over Romney—Romney being the candidate a 48% plurality of Republicans believes will win the nomination… However, while the topline dynamics may appear static, there has been considerable movement underneath—particularly among independents. In September, independent voters leaned toward the GOP (29% to 26%), with a 45% plurality undecided. Today, Democrats have a decisive 9-point advantage over the GOP among independents (35% to 26%), with another 39% undecided.

PA Redistricting Needs Independent Nonpartisan Touch

Redistricting commission should map out a new plan (By HEATHER LONG, The Patriot-News) What this really speaks to is the need to reform redistricting overall. As former editorial writer Herb Field pointed out last week, the ideal is the Iowa model where an independent, nonpartisan group handles things. In other words, politicians are taken as far out of the process as possible.

Occupy Wall Street: Most Americans Agree With the Movement

  • Pols and protesters - Trying to get close, but not too close (EDITORIAL Chicago Tribune) Tea partiers have clearly pushed GOP presidential candidates rightward in their early campaigns. That could prove a big liability once the eventual nominee turns his or her attention to independent voters and disaffected Democrats.
  • Fox Panel Bashes OWS As ‘Toxic,’ ‘Marxist,’ ‘Anti-Democratic And Un-American’ (By Marie Diamond, Think [A]ccording to the CBS/New York Times poll taken just one month after the start of the first encampment in New York, 43 percent of Americans said they agree with the movement. Another poll for the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found a similar level of support. Most importantly, in both polls, support for the movement was stronger among independent voters.
  • Out Of The Shadows (Bruce Gyory, NY The Capitol) Victory since 2006 has come from the voters within what I have called the “40 within 40.” Nearly 40 percent of voters describe themselves as independents, and within that group, 40 percent describe themselves as moderates.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Those of you who know me personally or have read enough of my writing know that I am nothing if not fiercely independent.  That means that not only do I not always vote for one party in elections, it also means that I strongly support maintaining my right to be independent, not affiliated with any political party; therefore, not having pressure from my chosen party to go along with something I disagree with.
Sometimes I find it important to vote for Independents to make a point, although usually I vote for Independents because I believe in what they stand for, and always support issues that make it easier for independents to get involved in politics or make it easier for all of us to vote, such as open primaries.
Aside from voting for an Independent, it can often be difficult for an independent like myself to find organizations to support who stand for the same things.  Well, there is an organization now here in Maine called OneMaine, founded and chaired by Eliot Cutler, who you'll remember I wrote about and supported during his run for Governor last year (very nearly winning and becoming our third Independent Governor).  He founded this organization to attempt to bring under one roof all the people in Maine who are of like mind about having less partisanship and more cooperation in our politics for the benefit of the people of Maine.  From the OneMaine website:
OneMaine provides a rallying point for people who think for themselves, who believe that our politics need to be more effective and less partisan, and who care less about parties and more about common interests and shared purpose. We are not a political party, but rather a big tent in which Mainers of all stripes – Democrats, Republicans, Greens and unenrolled, independent voters – can collaborate, share ideas and move Maine forward.
Mr. Cutler helped establish this organization following last year's gubernatorial election to try to take advantage of the independent momentum of that campaign and to provide a place for disparate people with a common goal of the best interests of Mainers.
I would encourage you to support OneMaine (you can start at the link above or like them on Facebook) or to look for like organizations if you live outside of Maine.  There are many of you out there like myself who have always been independent and have looked for a place to get involved without joining a party.  Now you have that place.
The other day I sent an email to OneMaine asking if they'd be so kind as to give me a progress update on OneMaine that I could share with you.  Kaitlin LaCasse, the media relations director, was gracious enough to get right back to me with the following:
"So far, the response to OneMaine has been fantastic. When we launched in Bangor a few months ago, over 75 people attended to learn more about OneMaine and to have a conversation about how to best move the organization forward. Since then, we've held events all around the state, and the enthusiasm for OneMaine continues to amaze me. At our Portland event (where there were over 100 people!), an older gentleman came up to me after and said, "thank you, I've been yearning for something like this." The best part is that the man hadn't ever connected with us before - he had read about the event in the paper and decided to come check it out! So, OneMaine continues to grow and mature and we're excited about the potential."
 Thank you!
 Cross-posted at Inside Zebster

Dr. Omar Ali: Need Political Vehicles That Express People's Sentiments

Ali interviewed about elections (University of North Carolina Greensboro News) WITH VIDEO Historian Omar Ali spoke to WFMY about the Nov. 8 elections. The election results reflect the same distrust of government and the two major parties that has sparked the Tea Party and Occupy movements, he said.

NC Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform Wants Iowa-Style Redistricting

  • Letter: Look to Iowa for redistricting reform (Daily Reflector - Greenville NC) The N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform strongly agrees that it is time to change the way North Carolina does redistricting… N.C. House Bill 824, co-sponsored by Rep. Edith Warren, passed the N.C. House by a vote of 88 to 27, with support from Warren and Rep. Marian McLawhorn. H.B. 824 is based upon this Iowa model and crafted to fit North Carolina — both its people and its political culture.
  • Ouster of Arizona redistrict chair provokes backlash (by Mary K. Reinhart, The Arizona Republic) "The initiative was designed to prevent exactly what the governor and the Senate seek to accomplish with the removal of the chair," attorney Tim Hogan of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest wrote in a filing Thursday on behalf of Dennis Burke, Ann Eschinger and Bart Turner. "It was intended to create a commission beyond the reach of raw political power of the sort exercised in this case."

Ron Paul Top Choice for Independents Among Repub Hopefuls

Cain's Lead in Iowa Narrows, Gingrich Surges in SC (By Caitlin Huey-Burns, RealClearPolitics) While Cain and Romney sit atop the ballot, Paul leads the field among independent voters with 27 percent of the support. Cain comes close with 26 percent, followed by Gingrich at 14 percent. Romney attracts just 7 percent of independents.

Buddy Roemer Reaches out to Occupy Wall Street

  • Rabble in Arms (By Keith Kreitman, Daily Journal - San Mateo CA) Meanwhile, as I have written before, the candidates for the Republican nomination for the presidency march along from debate to debate, not recognizing and addressing the growing middle class dissent in the land they wish to rule, ignoring the Occupy movement and clueless that, with their ever more extreme programs that gain them love and kisses from their slivers of extreme right admirers, they are alienating more and more of the moderate middle class and independent voters and the Occupy movement will eventually rule. 
  • Mulling Third Party Bid, Buddy Roemer Reaches Out to Occupy Wall Street (By: Kevin Derby, Sunshine State News) As their candidate’s path to the Republican nomination becomes increasingly difficult, this week the Roemer camp threw out signs that he is considering launching a third party or independent bid for the White House.

Friday, November 11, 2011

empire state bold

PHOTO: Nancy Hanks

New Jersey Independents Officially Classified as 'Unaffiliated'

No political party? N.J. calls you unaffiliated (By LYNDSAY CAYETANA BOUCHAL, NJ HERALD) McCabe said New Jersey in 2005 passed legislation stating that as of Jan. 1, 2006, the category of independent voters would be eliminated. Any voter who chose not to affiliate with a political party or group was thereby classified as an unaffiliated voter.

Ian Ferguson: Get Rid of Party Primaries Altogether

  • Committee Lotteries, Open Primaries, Extended Term Limits: 3 Ways to Curb Partisanship (Ian Ferguson, PolicyMic - Next Generation News and Politics) Parties can’t be forced to have open primaries as this would leave them both open to raiding, where members of the other party flood a primary and vote for the weakest candidate. To solve this, we should get rid of primaries altogether. Allow anyone who can meet the requirements to run for an office to do so. This would, of course, require two elections: One to whittle the field down to two candidates and another final election. This would allow the general electorate greater options in candidates and force the final two candidates to woo the voting groups of those who failed to make it past the first round.
  • Recall in Arizona - What Tuesday’s mixed electoral results really tell us (National Review Online) Firstly, Shadegg explains, “It is very important to understand the procedural differences between this election and a normal election” — which made it meaningless as an electoral barometer. The race functioned essentially as an open primary, with the only choices on Election Day being two Republicans: Pearce, and a slightly more moderate, but hardly centrist, Mesa accountant named Jerry Lewis. Shadegg argues that this means “the more moderate of the two candidates gets a huge leg up.” By the median-voter theorem, Lewis would win inevitably, so long as he was slightly more moderate than Pearce. Such a dynamic applies in a contest like this one, in which the “extremist” Republican is inevitably not the median-voter choice, but won’t apply to other races, in which a Democratic opponent is no more likely to be closer to the median voter than the Republican.

Arizona Repubs Want Citizen Referendum on Citizen Redistricting

Redistricting backers turn in signatures to overturn new Senate maps (LA Times) Referendum proponents, calling themselves Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting (FAIR), have until Sunday to turn in at least 504,000 signatures needed to get the matter on the November ballot. FAIR is comprised of a group of Republicans who charged that the maps, drawn for the first time by a citizens commission instead of the Legislature, were drawn to favor Democrats. Earlier, the state Supreme Court turned down GOP-backed challenges to state Senate and congressional district maps.

Chris Page: Ron Paul Should Run As Independent in 2012

Ron Paul Should Be An Independent Candidate in 2012 (Christopher Page, PolicyMic - Next Generation News and Politics) Paul’s ability to appeal to voters outside the Republican base might also give him reason to run as independent. In recent debates, he criticized Ronald Reagan for selling weapons to Iran in exchange for hostages, the U.S. court system for being unfair to minorities, and a border fence for being un-American. Additionally, he supports legalizing marijuana, cutting defense, and protecting civil liberties. These positions, which are holding him back in the Republican primary, might actually help Paul in a general election campaign, especially given Obama’s adoption of the Bush foreign policy and opposition to legalizing marijuana. Given this appeal to voters outside the Republican base, it seems as though Paul is running in the wrong race.