Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Congrats to Jennifer Bullock of Independent Pennsylvanians on Trailblazer Award at Cathy Stewart's 2012 NYC Independence Party Organization Spring Chair Reception

Last minute note tonight from The Hankster -- Congrats to all of tonight's recipients of the Nonpartisan Trailblazer Award (more to come) at Cathy Stewart's 2012 NYC Independents Party Organizations Spring Chair. A personal shout out to Jennifer Bullock, social therapist and founder/activist of Independent Pennsylvanians. Congrats, Jenn!!! Thanks for all you do!

The Hankster

Hankster News of the Day for Independents - May 31

Top picks for today.

The title of the article contains the link to the original, followed by the author and publication, and then a snipit from the article. You can subscribe to this briefing by email at FeedBlitz or choose your favorite newsreader... 

  • Independent Voters of America Launches, Dumping on Both Parties (BY Micah L. Sifry, techPresident) Wait a second, isn't that what the just-failed Americans Elect said it was going to do? Actually, no. Says Hillsman, "We are building the largest online community of self-identified independent voters, with the goals of bringing fresh voices and more choices into our politics, acting as a counterweight to the two major political parties, and to reduce gridlock, force progress and bring a new accountability to Washington." Americans Elect sought to create a ballot line for an artificially-engineered "centrist" presidential ticket. The plan with IVA, he says, is "to give self-identified independent voters a gathering place" and then "see where people want to take this."
  • The “2nd largest Party” in Arizona, and Russell Pearce and Joe Arpaio supporters don’t want Independents to have an “open primary” (by Dee Dee Garcia Blase, Tucson Citizen/Hispanic Politico) As an independent voter …. I DO SUPPORT THE OPEN PRIMARIES! 
  • As We See It: Not-so-open primary election (Santa Cruz Sentinel) Now it appears the only way party organizations can even have a voice is by making an endorsement early, which is what happened in the U.S. Senate race.
  • Linda Parks, Open Primary, Stand in Democrats' Path in California (By Scott Bland,National Journal/Hotline) Despite that, Parks has national Democrats scared that she could cost the party a much-needed seat in Congress. As a moderate independent in a crowded race, Parks is positioned perfectly to take advantage of California's new all-party, top-two primary.
  • Despite Pres. Nomination SD Has Plenty On Ballot (By Ben Dunsmoor,KELO-land TV) For the first time, registered Independent voters will be able to make their voices heard in a statewide primary. "We're the only party in the state that allows, not just allows but welcomes, Independents into our party to participate in our primary to vote and take an active role in deciding who the Democrat nominee is going to be in the general election," Nesselhuf said.
  • Proposal aims to let voters pick their politicians (The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin OH) Among eight potential statewide ballot issues this November is a constitutional amendment that would create a non-partisan, independent citizens commission which would be responsible for drawing legislative and congressional boundaries in Ohio.
  • CEO In Chief? A Business Background Is Rare For Presidents (By Jim Zarroli, WBUR Boston - NPR) Former Republican Rep. Mickey Edwards says many successful CEOs are good at big-picture thinking — understanding all the component parts of a problem. But Edwards also says that business and politics are very different endeavors, and that someone who succeeds in one won't necessarily do well in another. "To run around saying we must run government like a business is really a silly idea," Edwards says. "It shows a total lack of understanding of the purposes of government."
  • Koch Prefers Kelly for Mayor, But Quinn 'Capable' (By Colby Hamilton, WNYC/The Empire) “The basic problem for most people who aren't committed to the existing candidates is a fear that they're all more left than what I think the city is or should be, and the fear that we might go back to the days of [former mayors John] Lindsay and [Abe] Beame and their predecessors with the city seeking to provide benefits that it's not capable of providing financially,” Koch said. “We're fearful--people like myself--that municipal unions will come back into power.”…. Koch said he believes next year’s election will come down to a runoff between Quinn and former city comptroller Bill Thompson.
  • Staten Island Sen. Savino endorsed by state Independence Party (Tom Wrobleski/Staten Island Advance) Also endorsed by the party were Ms. Savino's fellow members of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference (IDC): Sens. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), David Valesky (D-Oneida) and David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange).
  • IDC loves gets Indies, loves Morse, mocks Dems (by Jimmy Vielkind, Capitol bureau, Albany Times Union/Capitol Confidential) And both Klein and Savino reacted with some schadenfreude at news of a leadership struggle in the Democratic conference, which they left behind.
  • Queens GOP endorsement sets the stage for rare Republican primary - Forest Hills lawyer Juan Reyes and Councilman Eric Ulrich set to face off (By Lisa L. Colangelo / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) But the Queens Republican Party helped set that in motion last week when it announced the endorsement of Forest Hills lawyer Juan Reyes for the 15th District seat in the state Senate. Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich, who has been at odds with the county GOP leadership, announced last month he was running to capture the seat currently held by Democratic state Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. Queens GOP leaders had been eyeing Reyes for some time, while Ulrich decided whether or not to run.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independents - May 29

Today's picks on the independent political scene:

  • The Buzz: Independent Voter Project urging 'nones' to vote on June 5 (By Bee staff) The Independent Voter Project, which wrote the measure leading to the new top-two primary, is mailing fliers and using social media to urge people with no party preference to vote on June 5. One flier pictures two men smoking cigars and says, "Political bosses made their choices" and "you were not involved." It adds, "This time you're invited … the new open primary puts you in charge." The flier was sent to about 250,000 Californians who listed no party preference when they registered to vote, said Steve Peace, a former state legislator and chairman of the Independent Voter Project.
  • Top-two primary affects Assembly race - Two Republicans are certain to face-off in November (Written by Christopher Cadelago, UT San Diego News) Under the old partisan primary system, these candidates likely would be motivated to appeal to the Republican core to win their party’s nomination for the November election. But all voters can now vote for any candidate.
  • Linda Parks Tops IVN Survey of Independent Voters in CD-26 (By Kymberly Bays, IVN) The results are in for the IVN Independent Voter Survey in California’s 26th Congressional District. Over a thousand voters participated in the first of its kind demonstration project. The election was by secret ballot, conducted by Everyone Counts, the international leader in online election technology.
  • Massachusetts Senate Race to Be Decided by Independent Voters (By Michael Abrams, IVN) Most significant, however, is Massachusetts’s voter demographics: more than half the state’s voters are registered independents. With Warren a dream-candidate for the States’ liberals, and Brown conservative enough for most establishment Republicans, the race has become a brawl for the independent vote.
  • Donald Trump and Mitt Romney's Kiss of Death to Black and Independent Voters (Black Star News Editorial) Gingrich and Trump are the last people Romney wants to embrace if he's serious about reaching level-headed Black voters and many Independents as well who repudiate race-baiting. Gingrich famously referred to President Obama as the "welfare president." It was his desperate appeal to racists, including some in the Tea Party, who have never forgiven voters for electing Barack Obama as the country's first Black president. 
  • 2012 Election: King gift to Obama draws fire from rivals - The independent donated to Democrats before he became a candidate for the U.S. Senate. (By Colin Woodard, Morning Sentinel)
  • Gay marriage? Bullying? Voters don’t care. (Posted by Chris Cillizza, Washington Post/The Fix) In a brand spanking new Washington Post-ABC News national poll, 56 percent of registered voters said that Obama’s stance on gay marriage would not be a major factor in their vote. Fifty seven percent of independents said the same.
  • Romney Handily Winning Independent Voters (by Bryan Schott, UTAH POLICY) The Hill notes that in 12 of the last 14 major polls taken about the 2012 race, Romney has an average lead among independent voters over Barack Obama of 6.5%. That's despite a national lead for Obama in 8 of those 14 polls.
  • Brazile: Not the year of the third party (By Donna Brazile/Syndicated columnist, MetroWest Daily News) Then, from the center, came Americans Elect, an ambitious organization that spent $35 million dollars and accomplished the impressive feat of registering in 29 states. It received a lot of favorable publicity, as well as respectful recognition from credible political writers.
  • Kelly's Tenure Divides the Mayoral Contenders (By MICHAEL HOWARD SAUL, Wall Street Journal) Two Democrats—Bill Thompson, a former city comptroller, and John Liu, the current comptroller—said they wouldn't keep Mr. Kelly at 1 Police Plaza. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who leads in mayoral polls, and Tom Allon, a long-shot, have signaled they would. And two others—Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer—won't say, though both have expressed deep concerns about some of Mr. Kelly's policies, most notably the street tactic known as "stop and frisk."
  • NY-8: "An Evolution Of Charles Barron"? (BY Celeste Katz, NY Daily News/ Daily Politics) I spoke at some length with Brooklyn City Councilman Charles Barron and DC 37 Political Director Wanda Williams about the union's decision to go with him over Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries in the battle for the NY-8 Congressional endorsement. 
  • Romney’s plan seems certain to hasten privatization of public schools systems (BY Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post, In Salt Lake Tribune) If you don’t like Obama’s agenda, you might like Romney’s even less. A Chance For Every Child is the education program that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee spelled out in a speech and a white paper released Wednesday. Romney is advancing a pro-choice, pro-voucher, pro-states-rights education program that seems certain to hasten the privatization of the public education system. In a Romney-run education world, the parents of poor and special-education students would choose a school - public or private, based on standardized test scores and other data - and then a specific amount of public money would follow the child to the school.
  • Red Mind, Blue Mind: Are There Really Any Independents? (Wray Herbert, Author "On Second Thought: Outsmarting Your Mind's Hard-Wired Habits", Huffington Post) As Hawkins reported this week at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, in Chicago, self-proclaimed Independents are not as independent-minded as they claim they are. In fact, Independents vary greatly in their unconscious partisanship, and they make partisan political judgments in line with their implicit political identities.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independents May 24

Today's Hankster picks for independent activists. Take a look at the latest attack on California's new Top Two Open Primary by Ernest Canning on Brad Blog, meander around the independent voter polls in Florida, and end up on Staten Island where challenger Michael Grimm has been tossed off the Independence Party line...

The title of the article contains the link to the original, followed by the author and publication, and then a snipit from the article. You can subscribe to this briefing by email at FeedBlitz or choose your favorite newsreader... 

  • Will CA's New 'Cajun Primary' System Allow Minority GOP To Capture Congressional Seats? - CA-26 House race exemplifies anti-democratic potential of 2010's voter-approved 'Top Two' open primary system... (Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning, Brad Blog) At the time it passed, then CA Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) touted the Prop 14 "open primary" (also known as the "Cajun Primary") as a means to assure democratic accountability. The philandering actor-turned-governor said it would eliminate "the ideological traffic jam in Sacramento." But, according to Richard Derham, a Research Fellow of the Washington Policy Center, the "Cajun Primary" was developed in the South, at a time when it was dominated by a one-party system of segregationist Democrats. It was not meant, says Derham, to assure (small "d") democratic accountability, but rather to eliminate "the influence of Republican and Black voters".
  • Quinnipiac poll: Mitt Romney leads in Florida (Posted by Rachel Weiner, Washington Post/ The Fix) Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney leads President Obama by six points among registered voters in Florida, according to a new Quinnipiac survey, a marked change from two months ago that, the poll suggests, could be linked in part to Obama’s recent statements in support of gay marriage.
  • May 23, 2012 - Romney Up 6 Points In Florida, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Rubio Has Little Impact As GOP Running Mate (Quinnipiac University) Gov. Mitt Romney holds a 47 - 41 percent lead over President Barack Obama in Florida, where 63 percent of voters say the president's support of same-sex marriage will not affect their vote, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 25 - 11 percent of voters, including 23 - 9 percent among independent voters, say Obama's support of gay marriage makes them less likely to support his candidacy.
  • Romney rocks the independent vote (By Christian Heinze, The Hill/ Ballot Box) In the seesaw battle between presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama, there’s one surprising and rarely discussed constant — Romney is consistently beating the president among voters who consider themselves independent… According to Talking Points Memo’s poll tracker, there have been 14 major surveys measuring independents’ support over the past two months (excluding the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling and conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports).
  • Charlie King Next Top Dem To Move On (BY Ken Lovett, NY Daily News/ Daily Politics) The Democratic insider said King will leave after the national Democratic convention in September to seek private sector job opportunities.
  • Paperwork miscue costs Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm court battle over Independence Party line (Tom Wrobleski, Staten Island Advance) That means Independence voters will be deprived of voting for the candidate of their choice, Molinari said. "A phenomenon like that, which is so widespread, cries out for relief," said Molinari, an attorney. "You cannot disregard that."
  • Sources: Judge Rules Against Grimm on Independence Party Appeal [Update] (By Colin Campbell, Politicker) Update: Mr. Murphy’s campaign confirms the result with the following comment from their spokesman Nathan Smith: “Hopefully, this ruling will end Michael Grimm’s sloppy and doomed effort to stay on the Independence line by wasting the court’s time and the taxpayers’ money.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independents May 23

Today's Hankster picks for independent activists. The title of the article contains the link to the original, followed by the author and publication, and then a snipit from the article. You can subscribe to this briefing by email at FeedBlitz or choose your favorite newsreader... 

  • The Texan (Semi-) Open Primary (By Shawn M. Griffiths, IVN) If all of the candidates in a race were on one ballot and the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, go on to the general election then it doesn’t disenfranchise any demographics. Republicans would vote for the Republican candidate they want. Democrats would vote for Democratic candidate they want, and independent voters would be able to vote for whoever they want.
  • California's Ballot Experiment (Chris Weigant, Huffington Post) While the option will still exist to vote for a Libertarian or Green presidential candidate in November, they'll likely be the only representatives from their respective parties on the entire ballot, which, as I said, doesn't really sit right with me, because it smacks of second-class status for anyone not a member of the Democratic Party or Republican Party.
    Obama up 8 in Pennsylvania (Public Policy Polling) In a state where Democrats have a large registration advantage Obama wins if that holds true. It's a departure from some past polls that found him under even 70% of the Democratic vote, but conservative whites seem to be moving back toward him just as they did after supporting Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary. Obama's also up 48-24 with Pennsylvania's small contingent of independent voters.
  • Poll: Obama up big in swing-state Pennsylvania (By Jonathan Easley, The Hill) Independent voters have helped buoy Romney in recent national polls, but that’s not the case in Pennsylvania, where Obama leads 48 to 24. Obama also th edge among two of his most important constituent groups — women, with whom he leads 56 to 36, and young voters, with whom he leads 64 to 28.
  • Pennylvania Poll: Obama Up 8, Doubles Romney With Independent Voters (TPM) A new poll of Pennsylvania from Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling shows President Obama with an 8-point overall lead, 50 percent to 42 percent, built on large leads with women and independent voters.
Check out Independent Pennsylvanians!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independents May 22


Most mornings The Hankster brings you the top news articles from mainstream media and the blogosphere that independent activists need to read. The title of the article contains the link to the original, followed by the author and publication, and then a snipit from the article. You can subscribe to this briefing by email at FeedBlitz or choose your favorite newsreader... Here's today's picks:

  • Black conservatives and gay marriage (By Robert Smith Jr., Detroit News/Opinion) The only person of color before President Barack Obama to really run for the office of president of the United States was Lenora Fulani. She was on the ballot in all 50 states. Cain, Jackson, nor Sharpton ran for anything but publicity. They got television shows and book deals.
  • California Independent Voter Organization Endorses Candidates for Congress in June "Top Two" Primary (The Hankster) IndependentVoice.Org, a statewide organization representing the interests of California's 3.6 million independent voters, today announced its endorsements of Congressional candidates Stacey Lawson (Democrat, 2nd District), Linda Parks (independent, 26th District), and Abel Maldonado (Republican, 24th District) for the June 5, 2012 primary. The candidates were selected based on their support for political reforms that empower independent voters like the open primary and redistricting reform.
  • W.Va. could add hurdles to primary ballot (Lawrence Messina, RealClearPolitics) Only a handful of states don't require petition signatures for at least certain categories of candidates, said Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News. For 27 years, Winger has tracked legislation, court rulings and other developments in this area. West Virginia mandates signatures for third-party and independent candidates running for president, Congress and statewide office, a standard that does not affect the primaries of the state's recognized political parties.
  • 'Fatally flawed': Why third parties still fail despite voter anger (By Kevin Liptak, CNN) Most Americans have probably never heard of Americans Elect. But as polls show dissatisfaction with both parties nearing all-time highs, a group created for the 2012 campaign to field a third-party presidential candidate would seem like a natural success. Why, then, did the group -- which launched in a flurry of publicity and spent $35 million to get on ballots in 29 states -- fail?
  • Why Americans Elect Crashed And Burned (Kyle Leighton, TPM) It seems that the inability to create a movement in this vein was less about the sentiment — polls show Americans are aren’t fans of either party specifically or the political process generally — but it was lacking a key ingredient: leadership. 
  • Swing Voters and Elastic States (By NATE SILVER, NY Times/FiveThirtyEight) North Carolina is a swing state that has relatively few swing voters. Rhode Island is not a swing state, but it has quite a lot of swing voters. Are you confused yet?

California Independent Voter Organization Endorses Candidates for Congress in June "Top Two" Primary

Group says independent voters and their concerns about broken government key to election

IndependentVoice.Org, a statewide organization representing the interests of California's 3.6 million independent voters, today announced its endorsements of Congressional candidates Stacey Lawson (Democrat, 2nd District), Linda Parks (independent, 26th District), and Abel Maldonado (Republican, 24th District) for the June 5, 2012 primary. The candidates were selected based on their support for political reforms that empower independent voters like the open primary and redistricting reform.

“Independent voters will be an influential factor in many of California’s Congressional races for the first time in over a decade,” said Jason Olson, the Director of IndependentVoice.Org.

“Independent voters span the spectrum from conservative to moderate to liberal, but are unified around their belief that partisanship has broken our government and we have to fix it if we want to move the country forward. We’re proud to stand with candidates who support the kinds of reforms necessary – like open primaries and redistricting reform – that take power away from the political parties and return it to the people.”

The June 5, 2012 primary marks the debut of the open “top-two” primary where all voters – including independents (now referred to as “No Party Preference” voters) – are able to participate and vote for any candidate they choose. The two candidates receiving the highest number of votes then advance to a “run-off” style election in November. It also marks the introduction of election districts drawn by an independent commission rather than politicians in the State Legislature. IndependentVoice.Org was a key proponent in passing both changes via voter approved measures in 2008 and 2010 and is part of the national independent movement pushing for these changes around the country.

Abel Maldonado, a Republican who formerly served as Lt. Governor and a State Legislator, is running in the 24th Congressional District in Santa Barbara County. Maldonado’s budget deal in the State Legislature put the top two open primary on the 2010 ballot and he worked with IndependentVoice.Org for its passage. “I put the top-two open primary on the 2010 ballot, and I’m proud to have stood with IndependentVoice.Org to give 3.6 million independent voters the right to participate fully in our elections process,” said Maldonado. “I’m eager to help take these reforms across the country if elected as the Congressional Representative from the 24th District.”

Stacey Lawson, a Democrat, a businesswoman and first time candidate, is running in the 2nd Congressional District in the North Coast area. "I’ve worked to bring people from all sides of an issue together to get things done – that’s how I’ve been able to create hundreds of jobs and help small businesses grow," said Lawson. "Creating high-wage jobs and rebuilding the middle class is not a partisan issue. I look forward to working with independent voters and all Californians to put America back to work."

Linda Parks, a longtime member of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors recently re-registered as an independent voter in order to run for Congress in the 26th District. Parks  recently won the endorsement of the Los Angeles Times, and many political observers feel that she has the best chance of any independent Congressional candidate in the country to win her race. “We need to end the divisive partisan politics that is gripping our country and damaging our economy,” said Parks. “The polarization in Washington is not only hurting our nation, it is also hurting our future, and the way to stop it is simple. We need to elect people to Congress who will work with both political parties.”

Olson said IndependentVoice.Org was hoping to expand its candidate education and endorsement process in the general election. “With all the new changes empowering independents, this is an important pilot test to show what these reforms could mean for the rest of the country. We’re excited about these endorsements, and we’re already thinking about how to expand the influence of independent voters in the second round of elections.”

Joyce Dattner, Chair of, congratulates California voters on passage of Prop 14 in 2010, giving independents the vote in the primaries

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independent Voters May 17

  • Previous CA Election Rules Stacked Against Independent Voters (By Chad Peace, IVN) In California, the Democratic Party initially resisted but eventually chose to allow independents to participate in its primaries. The Republican Party refused to allow independent voters to participate in its primaries. Interestingly, in that time, the Republican Party shrunk precipitously, the Democrats held steady, and the percentage of voters choosing to join no party increased by approximately 30%.
  • San Diego group pushes independent politics statewide - Architects of “top-two” primary system seek to organize unaffiliated voters (By Christopher Cadelago, UT San Diego) Co-chaired by former state lawmakers Steve Peace, a Democrat, and Jeff Marston, a Republican, the group has launched a $1.5 million campaign to increase turnout among voters declaring no party preference — about 3.6 million people accounting for a record 21.3 percent of the statewide electorate.

Americans Elect Failure to Find Candidate Threatens Third-Party Dreams (by John Avlon, Daily Beast) Perhaps the biggest obstacle was the basic fact of this particular election cycle—when a president is running for reelection, it tends to be a referendum. Third-party candidacies do best when there is not an incumbent on the ballot or after an extended period of one-party rule with weak opposition.

  • Kelly 2013 goes cold, but Catsimatidis isn't warming up (By Dana Rubinstein, Capital New York)
  • Ray Kelly won't run for mayor, ex-Staten Island BP Guy Molinari says (Judy L. Randall, SI Advance) If Kelly's decision to absent himself from the run proves true, it will be good news for the Democrats poised to make the race, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former mayoral candidate William Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
  • So Many X Factors in Next Year's Race for NYC Mayor (Dominic Carter, Huffington Post) DeBlasio is someone who should not be underestimated. It is commendable how DeBlasio went from Hillary Clinton 2000 Senate campaign manager, to the City Council a year later, and now a citywide position from a crowded field of candidates, literally first in line to succeed the mayor should it be necessary.
  • Ray Kelly’s Mayoral Dance Steps Back Toward ‘No’ (NY Mag/Daily Intel) Staten Island Borough President Ray Molinari, one of the biggest proponents of a Kelly run, came out of a lunch with the commissioner less than glowing yesterday.
  • Quinn Confronts Banks in Bid to Become NYC’s First Gay Mayor (By Henry Goldman, Bloomberg) “She’s a throwback to the Irish-American political bosses in the history books,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute in Hamden, Connecticut. Its May 10 survey found that she led a five-candidate Democratic field with 26 percent approval, twice as much as her nearest rival. “She’s always thinking, ‘What do we need to win?’”

Espada Guilty of Stealing Clinic's Funds (By TAMER EL-GHOBASHY, Wall Street Journal) It marked an ignominious turn for the elder Mr. Espada, who in 2009 became the state Senate president when he and three other senators defected from the majority Democrats and helped Republicans take over the chamber. The chaotic period helped solidify Albany's reputation for dysfunction.

Suit seeks to overturn 'outdated' teacher job protections (LA Times) The founder of Students Matter is Silicon Valley entrepreneur David F. Welch, a research scientist who went on to co-found Infinera, a manufacturer of optical telecommunications systems based in Sunnyvale. “We are challenging a system that was fashioned by special interests and has burdened our schools with an inflexible environment for hiring and retaining the best teachers," said Welch.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independents May 15

If you're independent, you won't be voting today in Idaho... Poor poor Michael Russnow, can't find Dianne Feinstein's name in the "clutter"! ... WI Gov Walker failing with indies... Americans Elect failing... Christine Quinn plays it safe to get the 2013 NYC Mayoral...

  • California Primary Ballot Hodgepodge: We Need a Return to Voting By Party Members Only (Michael Russnow, Screenwriter, former Member WGAW Board of Directors, former U.S. Senate aide, Huffington Post) Remembering that this was the year long-time incumbent Dianne Feinstein was running for re-election, I was hard pressed to find her in the ensuing clutter. Nor was it easier to find her opponents, none of whom I had ever heard of.
  • “No Party Preference” Voters To Sway Senate District 15 (by Jane Susskind, IVN) Almost 28% of voters in Senate District 15 have opted out of the two-party system and are registered as “No Party Preference,” placing this district on our radar of races to watch.
  • California focus - Feinstein strength exposes primary weakness (By THOMAS D. ELIAS, Ukiah Daily Journal) The top-two, or "jungle primary" system voters adopted for themselves and will use for the first time next month, will put the two leading finishers in every legislative and congressional race into November runoffs, regardless of their party affiliation. But U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein appears about to expose one wasteful difference between the new primary system and the way special elections have long operated: In special elections, if one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the first-round vote, there's no runoff. That candidate simply wins. Not so with the new primary setup. No one running for Congress will win outright next month.

  • 8 Things You Need To Know To Vote In Idaho’s Primary (Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio) Closed Primary:  This year, Idaho made the switch to a closed primary system.  The Idaho Republican Party sued the state to make this happen, as Party Executive Director Jonathan Parker explains. “We do believe that it is our right to essentially let Republicans chose Republican candidates, Democrats choose Democrat candidates, as these are the candidates who will be our standard bearers, carrying the torch for the Republican Party in November.
  • Idaho Primary: Why The GOP Closed Its Ballot (By Samantha Wright, Boise State Public Radio) Grant says there was never a Democratic mandate to cross over and vote for someone in the GOP primary.  But he does say, in local races, a tiny fraction of Democrats have done this.  “And in many areas those races are decided in the Republican Primary.  So there are folks, I’m sure there are folks now, folks that are good Democrats that have registered as Republicans so they can vote in those local races.”… That could be a challenge for the 37 percent of Idahoans who label themselves Independent, according to a 2011 Public Policy Survey by Boise State University.

Poll: Wis. Gov. Walker leads Dem opponent by 9 points in recall (By Justin Sink, The Hill/ Blog Briefing Room) But Walker's lead shrinks among independent voters, among whom the incumbent governor holds just a three-point advantage. That's an encouraging sign for Barrett, who must make inroads among swing voters as well as rally his Democratic base.

Americans Elect vote deadline hours away (Jonathan Tilove, The Times-Picayune) "Yes, the deadline is 11:59:59 tonight," Americans Elect spokesman Ileana Wachtel said in an email this morning, referring to the requirement that, in order to compete in the Americans Elect voting a candidate must first gain 1,000 clicks from supporters in each of 10 states. The leading declared candidate, by a mile, is former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, but as of today he had only 5,618 clicks, and the most from any single state is 583 from California.

  • Speaker Christine Quinn primary sponsor of just two of 827 bills submitted to City Council since 2010 - Exclusive: Council sources say she avoids lending name to legislation so it won't hurt mayoral run (By Reuven Blau / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) The News’ review found that the most active Council member in terms of introducing legislation was Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan), who submitted 62 bills. They ranged from a measure requiring the city to post more statistical data online to one to force the city to purchase locally grown vegetables. Most of Brewer’s bills stalled in committee, but the mayor signed seven into law, including the measure to disclose city data. Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Queens) was second, with 49 bills, followed by Councilman Daniel Garodnick (D-Manhattan), with 44.
  • New York Voters Support Minimum Wage Increase, Poll Says (By THOMAS KAPLAN, NY Times/ City Room) Democrats and independent voters were strongly supportive of raising the minimum wage, the poll found, with 88 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of independents in support.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Independent Voters' Influence Growing

  • UPDATED: First of Its Kind Independent Online Preference OPEN NOW (by Matt Metzner, IVN) The online Independent Preference Survey is a follow up to Proposition 14 that passed in 2010. Proposition 14 created an Open Primary where all voters, regardless of party, elect the top-two candidates who face off in the November general election… IVP was the author of Proposition 14 and focuses their efforts on educating non-partisan voters on their rights in elections.
  • Warren Beating Brown Would Send First Woman to Senate (By Esme E. Deprez, Bloomberg) According to the Secretary of State’s office, 51 percent of the electorate isn’t registered with either party. An analysis by Tim Vercellotti, who directs the Western New England University Polling Institute in Springfield, found that self- identified independents are split almost evenly between men and women, 49 percent to 51 percent. While more recent surveys by other pollsters show a tighter race, Vercellotti’s last poll, conducted Feb. 23 to March 1, found Brown leading Warren among all voters 49 percent to 41 percent. Independent voters overall and independent women favored Brown 2 to 1.
  • Independent voters will be key in Walker recall (Eric Lindquist, Eau Claire Leader-Telegram) A recent Marquette University Law School poll found that the Walker-Barrett race is a virtual tie. Peterson said the outcome may come down to which candidate can persuade the shrinking pool of independent and undecided voters — the latest polls show Walker and Barrett both have support from just under half of eligible voters — that their approach is best.

Open Primaries: Changing the Face of American Politics

Abel Maldonado at NYCIP Anti-Corruption Awards 2010
  • June's primary is a whole new ballgame (Palo Alto Online) What's more, thanks to the California electorate's approval of Proposition 14 in 2010, voters no longer have to cast ballots along party lines in a dozen primary races -- for U.S. Congress, state Legislature and top state officials. Instead, all candidates are eligible to receive a voter's endorsement; the top two vote-getters per race will face a run-off in November's general election.
  • Should you vote in the June primary? (By Joann Marmolejo/Looking Forward, Santa Maria Times) This means no longer will a candidate from a particular party be able to sit out the June primary election if there is no opposing candidate from that party. Now all candidates will have to campaign and get enough votes in June to be one of the two top-vote getters, if they want to be one of the candidates on the November ballot.
  • The Parties Fear California’s New Open Primary (by Chad Peace, IVN) The irony in all three failed lawsuits is that the parties base their challenges to the Constitutionality of Proposition 14 on the presumption that parties have ‘the right’ to be on the general election ballot.  Even the Libertarian party, the supposed champions of individual rights, join together to argue that a party’s right to be on the general election ballot is greater than an individuals right to have meaningful participation in the political process.

Why you should not vote in Republican primary (by Larry Grant, Idaho Democratic Party chairman, Idaho Press Tribune) Readers of this column are probably aware that the Press-Tribune editorial board has suggested that Democrats and independent voters should register as Republicans now that the Republican primary is closed and only declared Republicans can vote in it. The editorial board reasoned, in part, that Democrats and independents could thwart extremists in the Republican party, who battled to close the primary, by simply registering as Republicans and voting in the Republican primary anyway. I disagree with their conclusion because it assumes that Democrats and independents have some reason to fix the Republican Party.

California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado received 2010 Anti-Corruption Award from NYC Independence Party. Maldonado, introduced at the event by president Jackie Salit, was responsible for putting top two open primary initiative Proposition 14 on the ballot in California in 2010.

2012: Parsing Political Advantage of Gay Marriage Position

  • Gallup: Gay marriage stance could cost Obama among independents (By Michael A. Memoli, LA Times) The results "suggest Obama's gay marriage position is likely to cost him more independent and Democratic votes than he would gain in independent and Republican votes, clearly indicating that his new position is more of a net minus than a net plus for him."
  • Poll: Most Voters Don’t Care About Obama’s Gay-Marriage Evolution (By Dan Amira, New York Magazine) For those who say it would make a difference, it's a mixed bag for Obama: Only 11 percent of independent voters say that Obama's endorsement makes them more likely to vote for him, compared to 23 percent who say it makes them less likely to vote for him. But while he lost some independent votes, Obama may have picked up some previously less-than-enthusiastic Democratic voters who might have stayed home on election day: 23 percent of Democrats say they are now more likely to vote for Obama, compared to 10 percent who say its less likely.
  • Six in 10 Say Obama Same-Sex Marriage View Won't Sway Vote (by Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup) However, those figures also underscore that it is a relatively limited group of voters -- about one in three independents and fewer than one in 10 Republicans or Democrats -- whose votes may change as a result of Obama's new stance on gay marriage.
  • Obama’s support for gay marriage adds new layer of complexity for swing-state voters (By Associated Press, Washington Post) Advocates on both sides of the emotional issue agree Obama’s pronouncement will stoke enthusiasm among core Democrats and Republicans, likely boosting turnout in the November election and fundraising ahead of it. The big unknown is where independent voters — and specifically those Obama struggles to win over, such as middle-class whites — land in the fewer than a dozen states expected to make a difference in the quest for the White House.

Campaign Finance Reform: Campaign Issue?

Will independents be co-opted by Dems on campaign finance reform issue? I doubt it!

  • Dem pollster: Independents want candidates to address money in politics (By Kevin Bogardus, The Hill/Ballot Box) Stan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and co-founder of Democracy Corps, told reporters on a conference call that voters are looking for a “reformist attack on government.”  “Independents in particular are the ones who feel the most strongly about this issue,” Greenberg said. “We should emphasize that this is not a partisan issue…"
  • Yankees lobbying expenditures is a case study, for some, on why NY needs campaign finance reform (By Brandon Quinn, Legislative Gazette) Two new fronts in the war for public financing of elections opened recently, with the Center for Working Families and New York Leadership for Accountable Government launching their attacks on the campaign contribution system.

Americans Elect: "Not a burning sense that the political center lacks a voice"

Michael Crowley writes in Time that there's no "burning sense" that the political center lacks a voice. I would ask, What political center?

Indie Block (By Michael Crowley, Time Magazine) Had the GOP primaries ended differently, Americans Elect might have taken off. A year ago it did not seem totally implausible that, say, Michele Bachmann would win the GOP nomination, leaving a wide gap between Tea Party absolutism and Obama's center-left pragmatism. Instead, Republicans wound up with a center-right pragmatist in Romney. There's not a burning sense that the political center lacks a voice.

NYC 2013: The Search for a Post-Bloomberg Mayor

  • Union Contract Battle May Be On Horizon For Next Mayor (By: Courtney Gross, NY1) "It is not likely that there is going to be extra money to do that and I think most of the unions understand that," Bloomberg said. "No adminstration is going to have the money to give pay in the past."
  • Irish Americans Christine Quinn and Ray Kelly lead race for mayor of New York (By HILDA HIGGINS, Irish Central) Kelly, a registered independent, showed a lot of support from GOP voters with 82 to 84 percent support in the survey but trails with Democrats by margins of 51 to 55 points.
  • May 10, 2012 - Dems Top Kelly Big Time In New York City Mayoral Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Like Kelly As Top Cop, Not As Mayor (Quinnipiac) City Council Speaker Christine Quinn tops Kelly 48 - 33 percent; Former City Comptroller and 2009 Democratic candidate William Thompson leads Kelly 46 - 34 percent; Public Advocate Bill de Blasio beats Kelly 46 - 34 percent.   
  • Republican chairs: Kelly hasn't started yet, and the Democrats aren't exactly running away with it (Briefing: Ray Kelly. Azi Paybarah, By Azi Paybarah, Capital New York) "To be polling under 50 percent," Isaacs said of the Democrats, "I think that sends red flags out and I think it firmly supports our contention that this will be a competitive race."
  • G.O.P. chairs shift, bluntly, from Ray Kelly to John Catsimatidis (By Dana Rubinstein, Capital New York) "John Catsimatidis is again very high on everyone’s radar, as he has himself has said, he’s in the bullpen," said Isaacs. "And he’s indicated that if Commissioner Kelly does not run, then he’s inclined to do so, and we will be blessed as a party and as citizens of this city to have someone like John Catsimatidis as our mayor." Ragusa said Catsimatidis is "the type of person that I think we need at City Hall." Savino described former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion approvingly as "a conservative Democrat, and he, much like many other people, do not or cannot see the city of New York taking a step back to what it was pre-Rudy Giuliani,” said Savino.
  • Dems betray the NYPD (By MICHAEL GOODWIN, NY Post) To hear the mob, you’d never know the NYPD has driven crime to historic lows and kept the city safe from another terrorist attack. Instead, its accusers — all Democrats — paint it as an army of jackbooted thugs trampling civil rights. They have no facts, only prejudices. And maybe the goal of preventing Kelly from running for mayor.

Mike Bloomberg at a June 2009 Independence Party Spring Chair Reception

Bloomberg: Independence at the Heart of Innovation

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Calls For Independent Thought At Franklin And Marshall 2012 Commencement (Huffington Post) But independence lies at the heart of innovation, progress and pride. So the next time someone tells you why something can’t be done, or why something is the best idea or the worst idea, remember Ben Franklin and his spirit of independence.

Pedro Espada Trial Ends Week With No Verdict

Espada Jurors End Week With No Verdict (By: Grace Rauh, NY1) "We are very confident all the way through of an innocent verdict, but we want people to know that they can decide this as the judge has instructed and that they can decide to not decide," Espada said. "That really is their decision. We hope for clarity."

Queens: Businessman Tony Arcabascio runs against state Sen. Gianaris

GOP supports 12th district independent - Businessman Tony Arcabascio runs against state Sen. Gianaris (by Josey Bartlett, Associate Editor, Queens Chronicle) Arcabascio will run — if not challenged in the primary — against state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria). Gianaris was elected to the 12th District in 2010 with 81 percent of the vote.

Canadians becoming independent

Voting becomes a declaration of independents (By Warren Kinsella, Toronto Sun) In the U.S., independent voters have held sway for years. The Democrats and Republicans can generally count on their own partisans to come out and vote. But to win, they need to capture the support of the millions of Americans who call themselves “independent,” and who make up the largest and fastest-growing segment of the U.S. electorate. In Canada, it hasn’t always been that way, but it’s changing. In recent days, a series of polls have been released showing many Canadian voters turning away from the traditional two-party alignment of Conservatives and Liberals, and indicating support for New Democrats.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Michael Charney's Charming Follow Friday Blogs

From my new friend Michael Charney on his charming - Follow Friday Blogs:

And from the center [sic*] comes The Hankster, Nancy Hanks, who runs a blog that she describes as "A daily news feed of, by and for Independents across America."  She provides a nice aggregation of news relevant to independent voters, including the push for open primaries, and she peppers it with wonderful images--the one of the NYC Subway (with map) made me a bit homesick...

 [* The Hankster is independent, but not centrist, as Michael and I tweeted about -- a common mistake is to conflate independent with centrism or "moderate"...]

Thanks Michael -- I look forward to following your work!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

quiet afternoon

Hankster News of the Day May 10

  • Millions of Voters Leaving Political Parties, the Silent Revolution (by Chad Peace, IVN) I am not suggesting that political parties should not and do not serve an important roll in organizing, promoting, unifying political sentiment.  Rather, my position is that control over the electoral process should derive from the wills of individual voters, not party central committees.  In other words, I am suggesting that parties should be able to influence outcomes through advocacy rather than manipulation…. But, as the American voters become increasingly dissatisfied with their partisan representatives, non-partisan electoral reforms passed in states like California have the potential to revolutionize the way we elect our representatives and broadened the voters to whom they are accountable.
  • President Obama’s independent problem is nothing new. (Posted by Chris Cillizza, Washington Post/The Fix)
  • Battleground Poll: Dead heat (By: James Hohmann, Politico) The former Massachusetts governor has opened up a 10-point lead, 48 percent to 38 percent, among independents in a poll conducted Sunday, April 29 through Thursday, May 3 and a 6-point lead among those who describe themselves as “extremely likely” to vote in November. Obama led Romney by 9 points overall in POLITICO’s February’s poll.
  • Beltway Blog — Study: Colorado grows independent voters, Democrats, GOP struggle to keep up (By Allison Sherry, The Denver Post/The Spot) Since 2008, Colorado has added voters in all groups becauses the state’s population is growing. But Democrats have added the fewest voters at 13,497, according to the study. Republicans have added 36,896 voters since 2008. There are more than 130,000 more independent voters now in Colorado compared to 2008, according to the study.
  • Push is on for open primary in Arizona (by Dan Nowicki, Arizona Republic/TUCSON CITIZEN) The pros and cons of the “top two” primary idea, which is in use in Louisiana and Washington and will go into effect in California this year, will be debated today during a panel discussion organized by the O’Connor House. The organization, named after retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s former home, advocates for centrist and nonpartisan policy solutions and civil discourse.
  • Open primaries worth a look (OPINION Arizona Republic) The discussion includes film producer and California politician Steve Peace, the architect of that state's top-two primary system. Also on the panel will be Richard Winger of the Coalition on Free and Open Elections, Grady Gammage, Jr., one of the authors of the Arizona initiative, and Alan Maguire of the Maguire political consulting firm. A new paper, "The Nonpartisan Primary: Is it a Game Changer?" by Morrison Institute Senior Fellow David R. Berman, will be distributed.

  • Commentary: ‘Top-two’ system makes primary a whole new ballgame (By Casey Gudel, AgAlert - Weekly Newspaper for Calif Agriculture) A number of candidates, who would have been receptive to issues important to family farmers and ranchers, lost by just a few votes in the last primary election. Had the top-two primary system been in place, Farm Bureau and allied organizations could have worked on behalf of those business-friendly candidates in the general election. When you combine the new top-two primary system with changes to legislative districts as drawn by the Citizen's Redistricting Commission, you find no shortage of candidates this year. Redistricting caused a number of retirements in Congress, which opened up a game of musical chairs that also involves seats in the state Assembly and Senate.
  • Everybody in the Pool! (By Loretta Redd, PhD, Santa Barbara View) Anyone who doesn’t think we’ve legalized dope in this State has only to read the helpful voter guide from Secretary of State, Debra Bowen: “California law requires that the term ‘party preference’ now be used in place of the term ‘party affiliation.’  On the voter registration form, a voter may choose whether or not to indicate a preference for a political party.  A voter with no party preference (NPP) is anyone who chose to not indicate a political party preference when he or she registered to vote.  Voters who were previously known as decline-to-state voters (because they did not have a party affiliation) are now known as having no party preference.”
Obama leads Romney, helped by independents (Deborah Charles - Reuters, Chicago Tribune) Independents swung behind Obama. Forty eight percent approved and 40 percent disapproved of his performance in May compared to 37 percent who approved and 57 percent who disapproved in April…. The poll, conducted from May 3-7, showed voters from the two parties are falling in behind their candidates, which makes the independent vote more important, Clark said.

  • Tea party set to topple Sen. Richard Lugar. Could he try third-party run? (By Mark Trumbull, Christian Science Monitor) "I don't think that Lugar would want to split the party," says Brian Vargus, a political scientist at Indiana University in Indianapolis. "The coalition between social and economic Lugar makes last-ditch Election Day plea for votes, rules out third-party run (By Justin Sink, WITH VIDEO, The Hill) Indiana has an open primary, meaning anyone registered to vote can cast a ballot in Tuesday's Republican contest. And while Lugar remains popular statewide, the 80-year-old senator acknowledged that the money and enthusiasm had tended to favor his opponent… But Lugar deferred when asked if centrists no longer had a home in the Republican Party.
  • Lugar unloads on 'unrelenting' partisanship (By MIKE ZAPLER, Politico) Too often bipartisanship is equated with centrism or deal cutting. Bipartisanship is not the opposite of principle. One can be very conservative or very liberal and still have a bipartisan mindset. Such a mindset acknowledges that the other party is also patriotic and may have some good ideas. It acknowledges that national unity is important, and that aggressive partisanship deepens cynicism, sharpens political vendettas, and depletes the national reserve of good will that is critical to our survival in hard times.

  • Out of the Margins, Into the Fray: Vermont Progressive Party Wields Outsized Influence on State Politics (by Steve Early‚ Beyond Chron) In many other states, most labor activists like David-Friedman have shied away from "pure" third party activity because they don't want to back political "spoilers" or, short of that, just mount losing campaigns with no impact on major party behavior or election results. Elsewhere in the northeast, labor-financed Working Families Parties (WFP) were launched instead so "fusion voting" could be used, where permitted under state law, to reward the friends of union causes by giving cross-endorsed candidates an additional ballot line. Banned in most of the nation a century ago (as part of the corporate counter-attack against Populism), fusion allows major party candidates, in states like New York, to garner additional votes on each endorsing minor party's separate ballot line.
  • ROSE NOLEN: Electoral process, political parties have left voters confused (BY Rose Nolen, Columbia Missourian) The efforts by some political parties to pass voter registration laws, which will require some people to provide various forms of personal identification in order to vote, is troublesome and will undoubtedly cause some to avoid going to the polls. It has occurred to many that the political parties no longer want individual citizens to vote, unless they are willing to vote their way. Until we have an independent authority to interpret law, we are without recourse. The political parties are completely out of hand. It seems to be impossible to establish a third party, although Ron Paul seems to be on a good road toward accomplishing that goal.


Education reform bill heads to Malloy (Linda Conner Lambeck, CTPost) The reform bill went through several rewrites over the past three months and set the Democratic governor at odds with teachers across the state because of its efforts to reform teacher tenure. In the end, however, teachers say they got a lot of what they want in the compromise package and Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor said he got a reform package that will improve education for children and strengthen the state's bid to win a federal waiver of the No Child Left Behind law.

Americans Elect Sputters in Effort to Field Nominee (By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics) The struggles of Americans Elect have not come as a huge surprise to the media or the political cognoscenti, even among those rooting for anything that might detox traditional party politics. In March, New York Times columnist Gail Collins described the group’s concept as “delusional, in a deeply flattering way: We the people are good and pure, and if only we were allowed to just pick the best person, everything else would fall into place. And, of course, the best person cannot be the choice of one of the parties, since the parties are … the problem.”

Saturday, May 05, 2012

C-Span Coverage of Cathy Stewart's Politics for the People Now Online

C-Span has a video up in their library that you need to check out! From Sarah Lyons:
  • The CSPAN broadcast was pushed an hour back last night because of an emergency Congressional hearing.Here's the link to coverage of Politics for the People in case you missed it.
Chief organizer of New York City Organizations of the New York Independence Party, Cathy L. Stewart, conducts her Politics for the People session with guests Jackie Salit, long-time grassroots independent organizer and consummate outsider, President of and Mickey Edwards, a 16 year veteran of the US Congress from Oklahoma City, and a chairman of the House Republican leadership's policy committee.

This Independence Party of New York New York City Organizations event took place at the Baruch College Newman Center on Apr 27, 2012

Participants spoke about independent political movements, the challenges of being an unaffiliated candidate, and the two-party system of American politics. Among the topics they addressed were independent voter demographics, the history of independent movements, and recent levels of partisanship in Washington. They responded to questions from the audience.

To promote the series, C-Span issued this particular on April 30.

Panel Looks at Role of Independents in U.S. Politics

Washington, DC
Monday, April 30, 2012

The U.S. political system was the focus of the “Politics for the People” series in New York Friday.  Former U.S. Congressman Mickey Edwards and Jackie Salit, President of, were the featured panelists.

He says in elections, like in any normal decision making process, people want choices but in this case voters are only offered choice A or B.

Edwards advocates changing this given the growing population of independents.
Jackie Salit agreed with Edwards. She added on election day it’s the American people who are speaking.

The “Politics for the People” series was created in 2002 by the New York County Independence Party. The Series aims to give the public an inside look at public policy from an independent’s point of view.

For the Hankster Series up close and personal, please see HanksterTube.

Notes from Sarah Lyons: Spokesperson Training Conference Call + Link to Politics for the People Event

     Spokesperson Training Call Tomorrow! 

Lyons.spokespersonSarah Lyons, Independentvoting's Communications  Director, will continue a spokesperson training course, via conference call, for everyone who's interested in publicizing our campaign for Congressional hearings on the second class status of independent voters. The next training call will take place tomorrow (Sunday)
May 6
at 7pm EDT 
                                        Register here for the call

Participation in the first 2 calls is not required.

CSPAN aired the Politics for People event at Baruch College featuring Jackie Salit and Mickey Edwards twice yesterday.  If you missed the coverage, here's the link to view the program.  

Thursday, May 03, 2012

C-Span to Broadcast Politics for the People Tonight at 10:30

CSPAN will broadcast coverage of Politics for the People tonight -- Thursday, May 3rd, at 10:30 pm ET.

Please take a moment to invite friends, family and colleagues to watch a cutting edge dialogue featuring host Cathy Stewart, former Congressman Mickey Edwards, president Jackie Salit and the Politics for the People live audience, on the role of independents in U.S. politics.

The program will re-air at 11:30 pm PST (2:30 am ET).

Sarah Lyons
Press Secretary

Jackie Salit and Mickey Edwards Tonite on C-Span

CSPAN has indicated they plan to broadcast coverage of last Friday's Politics for the People featuring President Jackie Salit and former Congressman Mickey Edwards tomorrow -- Thursday, May 4th -- during the prime time hours of 8 - 10 pm.

Please check your local listings, set your DVR and most importantly invite friends, family and colleagues to watch a cutting edge dialogue, with host Cathy Stewart and a live audience, on the role of independents in U.S. politics.

Politics for the People is a free educational series for independents founded by Cathy Stewart, NY County Chair of the Independence Party, in 2002. You can visit her blog and join her online book club for independents here.

The exact time of broadcast won't be determined until tomorrow afternoon. A follow up email alert will be promptly sent at that time.

Sarah Lyons
Dir. of Communications | | 225 Broadway, Suite 2010 | New York | NY | 10007

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

the scream


I originally ran this story as a fan of Edvard Munch's work, as a student of art history, and as an independent political activist here in the US. I was struck by the irony of this icon of alienation, created at the end of the 19th Century, being sold at auction by a private individual to another private individual for his [presumably] private pleasure. At the same time, as the Guardian article reports: "It was sold by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of the artist. Proceeds of the sale will fund a new museum, art centre and hotel in Hvitsten, Norway, where Olsen's father and Munch were neighbours."

Maybe that's as unalienated as it gets here in 2012! I'll take it!

Thanks for visiting The Hankster -- And since you're here, please have a look around!

UPDATED May 13, 2012:

The Scream sells for record $120m at auction

Edvard Munch's painting bought by unnamed telephone bidder during auction at Sotheby's in New York (The Guardian - UK)

NEW YORK — One of the art world's most recognizable images — Edvard Munch's "The Scream" — could sell for $80 million or more when it is auctioned at Sotheby's on Wednesday. (WSJ)

Sotheby's gonna make a fortune!

From 1895 to the present, we continue to scream.

may day

Hankster Independent News of the Day May 2

Pennsylvania Closed Primary Shuts Out a Million Voters (by Damon Eris, IVN) It is safe to say, however, that the number of voters who would have been prevented from voting in Pennsylvania’s primary due to lack of proper identification is dwarfed by the number who were disenfranchised by the state’s closed primary system.

Independent Voters don't decide elections (BY DANIEL TAIBLESON, The Daily Iowan) Even though Pew categorized 35 percent of people as being "Mostly Independent," a firm majority of those people expressed strong party preferences. In fact, 16.5 percent of "Mostly Independent" people expressed a strong preference for the Republican Party, 9.6 percent expressed a strong preference for Democrats, and only 8.9 percent expressed no party preference. In effect, what Pew found was that only 8.9 percent of independent voters are truly independent.

  • NYC Council Approves ‘Living Wage’ Bill Bloomberg Vowed to Veto (By Henry Goldman, The so-called living-wage bill, written after months of negotiating among council members, union leaders and developers, would affect at least 600 workers a year, said Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a Manhattan Democrat. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, has pledged to veto the measure…. Quinn, 45, who has expressed interest in a 2013 campaign for mayor, walked out of a pre-vote rally at City Hall after lecturing a bill supporter who derisively referred to the mayor as “Pharaoh Bloomberg.”… Such laws, Bloomberg said, are “a throwback to the era when government viewed the private sector as a cash cow to be milked, rather than a garden to be cultivated.” Bloomberg has said he supports efforts in the state Legislature to raise the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour from its current $7.25….
  • Neutral’ Dem Andy could back GOPer Kelly (Fred Dicker, NY Post) The often bitter city Democratic primaries historically pit “left and leftier’’ candidates against each other because the electorate tends to be dominated by liberals.
  • The Run-Ray-Run Runaround - The many winners of a merely rumored Kelly mayoral campaign. (By Chris Smith, NY Magazine) For more than an hour, Ray Kelly’s answers had been clear, emphatic, and expansive. But when I asked him about City Council speaker Christine Quinn’s statements that if she’s elected mayor in 2013 she wants Kelly to continue as police commissioner, his responses abruptly turned clipped. Had Quinn talked with Kelly directly about her proposal? “Well, she said it publicly,” he replied. Right, but wouldn’t it have been good form, at a minimum, to talk about the idea with him directly? “I don’t recall my conversations with her.” Silence. “I had some discussions with her, but I don’t recall that specifically.”
  • Christine Quinn gives back of her hand to political boor - City Council speaker walks out after insult to Mayor Bloomberg (Opinion: NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) A hearty huzzah to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for challenging the boorishness on display outside City Hall on Monday… At that moment, the speaker struck a blow for civility in a city whose political advocacy all too often descends into shrill catcalling and shouting down opponents… Witness, for that matter, the mindless disruptions of Occupy Wall Street.

  • Council’s pots of gold go to power pols (By DAVID SEIFMAN, NY Post) Dominic Recchia (D-Brooklyn), chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, was the biggest winner in the Citizens Union study, collecting $66.7 million to spend on capital projects and nonprofits of his choosing. Erik Dilan (D-Brooklyn), an ally of Brooklyn Democratic leader Vito Lopez, came in second with $37 million. Dead last in 51st place were Dan Halloran (R-Queens) and his predecessor Tony Avella, now a state senator. Over the four-year period, they pulled in just $9.5 million for their constituents.
  • Document Drop: Michael Grimm Loses Indy Line (BY Celeste Katz, NY Daily News/Daily Politics) Meng also failed to get the sigs: "The Independence Line will be blank on the November ballot, but I will remain their standard-bearer with the full support of Chairman Frank MacKay and Independence Party activists and organizers.”

The Editorial Plea: How The New York Times Decides Who Wins and Loses Local Elections (By David Freedlander, NY Observer/Politicker) The Times’ coverage of local politics has shrunk in recent years with the closing of the Metro section, but the paper’s ability to make or break candidates has grown. In conversations with nearly two dozen political operatives, office holders and candidates, the consensus was that The Times remains the biggest single factor in deciding who gets elected in this town. The paper’s imprimatur carries more weight than even the biggest unions. Pollsters estimate that a Times endorsement can boost a candidate anywhere between 5 and 20 points. Politicos say that it is worth the equivalent of out-raising your opponent by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Cathy Stewart: Politics for the People with Jackie Salit and Mickey Edwards

This week, The Hankster features Cathy Stewart's Politics for the People (#P4P on twitter), a monthly forum where independent political activists and ordinary people in New York City dialogue with each other and engage city, state and national elected and non-elected leaders on events of the day concerning independent politics. 

Please join P4P on The Hankster this week as Cathy Stewart brings to the stage Mickey Edwards, former Congressman from Oklahoma City and author of the upcoming book based on his provocative Atlantic article How to Turn Republicans and Democrats in to Americans, and Jackie Salit, President, and author of a soon-to-be-published book Independents Rising 

National Common Ground Examiner very insightful advance review!

Salit and Edwards speak with New York City Independence Party Organization members, independent activists, and a national audience of concerned Americans, as covered by C-Span (yes, do CHECK BACK for C-Span coverage of this event) in an important dialogue  about our highly partisan-centric democratic process.

Here The Hankster continues this week's series with some opening thoughts by P4P guests, Jackie Salit and Mickey Edwards. 

Jackie Salit, a consummate outsider, talks about the historic moment we live in where the incapacity of the old institutions (the parties) to respond to the new conditions (40% of Americans consider themselves independent and an all time low of 82% of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing, according to Gallup) -- these historic conditions present opportunity for change and growth among the American body politic.

Mickey Edwards, the very charming Oklahoma Representative from Oklahoma City charged with representing the 5th Congressional District, and having spent 16 years serving his district in Congress and teaching at Harvard and Princeton, is now a director of The Constitution Projects, talks about his experience in Washington and asks the question: What can you do about it? "The revolution has already begun!" he says.

Join Cathy Stewart as she conducts an important chorus within in the political current political dialogue -- Jackie Salit and Mickey Edwards, as they begin their dialogue with the independent community in New York City at Baruch College's William & Anita Newman Conference Centerin NYC.