Sunday, December 31, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


The "I" stands for Independent, no doubt!
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE HANKSTER!

Minnesota: Independence Party roots
Oregon: Independent Party arriving
Texas: Strayhorn and Kinky still leading
Neocon position
New Hampshire: Election Reform: Grow it from the grassroots
Centrism v. populism
2008: Obama v. Hilary
2008: New York leading the pack for presidential candidates
2008: Obama by a hair
2008: Huckabee Says He Won't 'Scare' Democrats
International: Why Democracy is failing in the Muslim World

Minnesota: Independence Party roots

Error-Prone NY Times Again Mislabels Jesse Ventura (Ballot Access News)

Oregon: Independent Party arriving

Independent Party submits qualifying signatures (Ballot Access News)

Texas: Strayhorn and Kinky still leading

Perry follows Strayhorn and Kinky (Dallas Ft. Worth Star Telegram)

Neocon position

...Lastly, though, Chris Matthews drives home the point that the debate about the Iraq War is not along left/right lines, but rather neoconservatives versus everybody else, even including some of the original neocons.... The Third Path blog by Lincoln Madison

New Hampshire: Election Reform: Grow it from the grassroots

New proposed legislation at the national level, such as the Holt Bill (HR550) would cement the corrupting influence of centralized power at the expense of state's rights, by strengthening the EAC even further.... by Nancy Tobi OpEdNews

Centrism v. populism

The United States has lost its center through destructive centrifugal politics. America seems spinning out of control. It has become a non-populist, dollar-driven, elitist democracy. Centrism can be a powerful metaphor and tool for national renewal, if it is also populist. In the world of politics, language is used to deceive, distract and divide. Some words become so abused that they lose meaning. In recent years, enormous numbers of liberals and Democrats decided to hide under the label of “progressive.” Many politicians want to be seen as “moderates.” A newer subterfuge is “centrist... (Joel S. Hirschhorn - Atlantic Free Press)

2008: Obama v. Hilary

On the ground in New Hampshire (Adam Ash blog-article by Jonathan Alter-Newsweek)

2008: New York leading the pack for presidential candidates

North takes South (Houston Chronicle from Washington Post article)

2008: Obama by a hair

Obama edged out Clinton among Democratic-voting independents, 25 to 24 percent.... New Hampshire Union Leader

2008: Huckabee Says He Won't 'Scare' Democrats

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says if he runs for president he won't be a Republican who will "scare the living daylights" out of independents and moderate Democrats. By ANDREW DeMILLO The Associated PressFriday, Washington Post

International: Why Democracy is failing in the Muslim World

It’s not a single issue causing the decline of democracy in the Muslim world; rather it’s a combination of a range of issues that trigger one another. Nazret blog (Ethopia) by Abdirizak Isak

Saturday, December 30, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Exiting Iraq: Whither the neocons?
2008: Giuliani, McCain?
Log Cabin Republicans elect a new president
2008: John Edwards must appeal to independents
Independent voters the least optimistic
2007: No sex, please
Texas: Strayhorn and Kinky top 2006 news
Independent voters are winners
Politics of Philanthropy
International: 2006 Latin America's voting year

Exiting Iraq: Whither the neocons?

A Look Back and Ahead in an Age of Neocon Rule by Stephen Lendman by Stephen Lendman (IndyBay)

The huge lie that is the "short term surge" by clammyc (ePluribus Media Community blog)

What has long been a catastrophic tragedy is also now a horrific farce The British occupation army's assault on its own police force in Basra confirms Iraq as a far greater disaster than Suez Roy Hattersley (The Guardian - UK)

Commentary: Failure only encourages more excess from neocons by Paul C. Campos -- Lessons from Voltaire.... (Albuquerque Tribune)

2008: Giuliani, McCain?

Giuliani Leads McCain in Iowa, Nevada Caucuses, Surveys Show (Bloomberg)

Log Cabin Republicans elect a new president

Republican Soul Searching by Yusef Najafi (Metro Weekly Washington DC)

2008: John Edwards must appeal to independents

Edwards's Theme: U.S. Poverty Amid Iraq Talk, White House Hopeful Sticks to '04 Issue in '08 Run By JACKIE CALMES (Wall Street Journal)

Kellyanne's Take: Not Just Another Pretty Face (Reconcilable Differences/National Review Online)

Independent voters the least optimistic

The Year Ahead: Hope Up, Worldview Down KTRE by Peyton M. Craighill, ABC News Analyst

2007: No sex, please

In the year to come, America will call off the culture war and get back to basics. Alan Wolfe (Comment is free - UK Guardian)

Texas: Strayhorn and Kinky top 2006 news

Who wudda thunk DeLay out, Democrats in? Year in politics leaves Perry 'tied' with Tony Sanchez. (Austin American Statesman)

Independent voters are winners

2006, The Year That Was: Politicians, Artists and Athletes Among ’06 Winners and Losers By Jackie Jones (BlackAmericaWeb.com )

Politics of Philanthropy

Eggleston Moving from HRA to Bloomberg Foundation By: ANDY HUMM (Gay City News)

International: 2006 Latin America's voting year

Nine presidential elections should shape the future of the region for the remainder of the decade.... (Angus Reid)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS




Thank you, James Brown!

Year in Review
New York: Dems win with no credible challenger
New York: Row C/Row D -- Independents/Conservatives
National: Can the Dems hold?
Connecticut: Lieberman's quest
Connecticut: Dodd in '08?
Arkansas: Huckabee in '08?
Obama Mybama
International: West took a wrong turn in Iraq
Repub, Dem or independent?

Year in Review

Top stories are Strayhorn and Kinky in Texas and Lieberman in Connecticut

New York: Dems win with no credible challenger

...There was no credible candidate to challenge either Spitzer or Clinton because Pataki’s pick as state GOP leader, Stephan Minarik, could never get support for his choices from party leaders. As a result, William Weld stepped aside and John Faso became a weak candidate against Spitzer.... (Queens Gazette)

New York: Row C/Row D -- Independents/Conservatives

12% of that came from the Conservative line. So they still held their hard-core base vote. And they remain on Row D.” (Row C remained in the hands of the Ross Perot-descended Independence Party, which endorsed Spitzer.) (Human Events)

National: Can the Dems hold?

There is strong evidence that November's Democratic sweep may be more than a one-shot reaction to an unpopular president and his war--it might be one of those pivotal elections leading to a lasting, long-term majority in the Congress and potentially the presidency.... (Chicago Tribune)

Connecticut: Lieberman's quest

Lieberman forms Bipartisan Members Group to respond to indies (Stamford Advocate)

Connecticut: Dodd in '08?

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd took a big step Sunday toward showing a national audience he could be a passionate, anti-war candidate for president, telling readers of an influential Iowa newspaper and a network TV program that President Bush should begin taking steps next month to get troops out of Iraq.... (Hartford Courant)

Arkansas: Huckabee in '08?

Term-limited Repub gov Mike Huckabee might run in 2008 (Ft. Smith Times Record)

Obama Mybama

If the Democratic primary were held today, Obama would be in a statistical dead heat with New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, according to a new Monitor poll. (Concord Monitor)

International: West took a wrong turn in Iraq

In this season of peace and goodwill to all, three countries in the Middle East stand ready to gift themselves fratricide: bloody civil wars that will descend to generations lost while still unborn, and whose cause can be traced to the blind eye that the West, principally the US, wilfully turns upon the region.... (Edinburgh Sunday Herald)

Repub, Dem or independent?

Here's a link from DeathlyHello to a commercial site that polls on "Should You Vote Republican or Democrat?" and then tells you if you don't fit in!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Colorado: Have a philosophically rich Christmas holiday...
Pennsylvania: Local Repubs must attract Dems and indies
Washington: An independent's lament
Montana: Independents give low marks to Bush, handling of Iraq
2006 Election Analysis
2008 Bloomberg Buzz
Getting out of Iraq philosophically
Interpretations of History
What Will It Take?

Colorado: Have a philosophically rich Christmas holiday...

Lonnie Hanzon plans on a quiet holiday at home in Denver with his partner, Terry Koepsel, and their two dogs. They'll exchange gifts with family and friends, but since their house is on the market this year, there won't be any decorations. The nationally acclaimed designer and installation artist plans to catch up on his reading.... (Denver Post)

Pennsylvania: Local Repubs must attract Dems and indies

"With the changing demographics in Montgomery County, it is necessary for our party to field candidates who understand the issues facing our communities and who have a proven ability to attract votes form Democrats and independent voters," Harper said in a letter that went out over the weekend seeking support for her candidacy from the Montgomery County Republican Party’s 800-plus committee members.... (Pottstown Mercury)

Washington: An independent's lament

So what are the independent-minded to do in a one-party city like Seattle? "The first thing we need to do is reform the election process," Noreen said. (Seattle Times)

Montana: Independents give low marks to Bush, handling of Iraq

(Billings Gazette) Ninety-two percent of Democrats said they disapproved of the president's handling of the war, along with 17 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of independent voters....

2006 Election Analysis

Repubs blame Elizabeth Dole's campaign committee (North County Times)

2008 Bloomberg Buzz

"The truth is there needs to be an opening for a Bloomberg candidacy to grow," said Republican strategist Scott Reed... (Indianapolis Star)

Getting out of Iraq philosophically

With Congress changing hands, New Jersey Daily Record panel seeks new path: "The mission has changed from taking out the WMDs to warring against terror to introducing democracy to stabilizing," he said. "Recently the president, in the Pentagon, was talking about stability. He said the mission will be accomplished when there is stability.

Jackie Salit and Fred Newman discuss what's developmental in last week's Talk/Talk
Salit: What I’m grappling with here is your saying that the question of what’s developmental, how you create development in the midst of all these different situations, are the practical questions.
Newman: Yes. So, if you take a look at some of the dominant ideas of the Bush Administration about this whole thing, it seems to me, that from a developmental point of view, they are blatantly contradictory. So for example, they appeared to be looking to produce a unity for Iraq. They were trying to put together a parliament, which includes all the different factions.
Salit: Right.
Newman: Well, in whose interest is achieving that unity in Iraq? If the premise is that development equals unity, then you view the whole situation one way. But many of the players and factions in Iraq, not to mention in the region, have other concerns. Unity is not a priority. Indeed, they don’t want unity in Iraq. They never wanted unity in Iraq.
Salit: Right.
Newman: So, Bush bought in on a framework of “everybody really wants a stable democracy.” But it turns out everybody doesn’t....

Interpretations of History

History's Locomotives Revolutions and the Making of the Modern World By Martin Malia reviewed by Lisa Montarelli in San Francisco Chronicle

What Will It Take?

From ddjango's P! (Populist Pacifist Passionate Pragmatic: An Asylum for Broken Rabble) So I ask, "What will it take?" What will it take for the Left to abandon the Democratic Party as an agent of real change? What will it take for the dozens of leftist parties, independents, and the unaffiliated and disenfranchised to organize and unify, negotiating common principles and values? And what will it take for this movement to educate the people about what is really happening?

Friday, December 22, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS






National: Get troops out of Iraq
National: Independent lifestyles
National: What wasn't the problem?
Oregon: Voters more optimistic
Pennsylvania: Free Agents
Texas: Getting redistricting passed
National: Is Obama too left?
National: McCain moves right

National: Get troops out of Iraq

Americans want troops home (Mercury News)

National: Independent lifestyles

Two thirds of voters received robocalls (Newark Star Ledger) and Independents' drink frappachinachios (Palm Beach Post)

National: What wasn't the problem?

Nader not the problem in 2000 (CounterPunch) and the war wasn't the issue for Repubs in 2006 (Washington Times)

Oregon: Voters more optimistic

Independents are marginally positive (46 percent/37 percent). (Portland Business Journal)

Pennsylvania: Free Agents

Pennsylvania needs open primaries for "centrist independents" (Beaver Co. Times)

Texas: Getting redistricting passed

New congressional-only redistricting bill (San Antonio Express-News)

National: Is Obama too left?

Obama "hard left-liberal" - Larry Kudlow (Kansas City Star)

National: McCain moves right

John McCain needs to start worrying more about loss of credibility among independents (US News & World Report)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Just what IS the meaning of "Neo-Independent"?


"I wrote the Tractatus before receiving the latest issue of the Neo-Independent. After a friend gave me a gift subscription, I wrote Philosophical Investigations."

Hankster readers -- go onto the Neo-Independent website, click on GIVE THE NEO-INDEPENDENT AS A GIFT AT A SPECIAL PRICE! and choose the 1 Year U.S. 2006 Holiday Gift Subscription - $15- Go to Check Out -In the Special instructions, type in "The Hankster" and it will turn your 1 year Holiday Gift Sub into a 2 year sub!

Happy Holidays! The Hankster

The Neo-Independent is part of a movement that is anti-corruption and pro-people, non-ideological but passionate about realizing America’s greatness as a force for humanism, creativity and development. With the country split 50/50 along partisan lines, the independent voter may well decide the upcoming presidential election. As the movement grows in influence it could decide a lot more, including that the American people – not the parties, or any other special interests – should determine the policies of our government. - Jacqueline Salit, Executive Editor

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

"What this country needs is a good public philosophical discussion."

National: Hillary and Obama
Iowa: A good redistricting method
California: Schwarzenegger's challenge
National: '527' groups agree to pay campaign fines
National: The Women of Hillaryland
National: Newt Gingrich, revolutionary
National: McCain losing independent support
New York: Who will own the state?
New York: Voters want term limits for state officials
California: Sacramento - the new Tammany Hall
Virginia: Roanoke nonpartisan ballot not likely
Wisconsin: Where to in 08?
Iowa: 2008 Presidential begins with Iraq at top of list

National: Hillary and Obama

Newsweek's cover story this week tells all!

Iowa: A good redistricting method

Throw the bums out works! (Des Moines Register)

California: Schwarzenegger's challenge

History of redistricting efforts (LA Times)

National: '527' groups agree to pay campaign fines

First major fines for new funding organizations (First Amendment Center)

National: The Women of Hillaryland

"frighteningly disciplined" (The Australian)

National: Newt Gingrich, revolutionary

Gingrich is on a higher mission (New York Times)

National: McCain losing independent support

McCain has lost 15% of support from independents since March because of his stance on the Iraq war... (UK Telegraph Sunday)

New York: Who will own the state?

Hillary and Spitzer want to triangulate the state's electorate (Jackie Salit - The Neo-Independent), and there's not much room for error... (Buffalo News)

New York: Voters want term limits for state officials

Albany – By a 67 – 27 percent margin, New York State voters support term limits of two terms for statewide elected officials, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. Voters support two-term limits for state legislators 69 – 27 percent. (Hudson Valley News)

California: Sacramento - the new Tammany Hall

Redistricting, closed primaries fixes elections (by Dan Walters-Fresno Bee)

Virginia: Roanoke nonpartisan ballot not likely

Here's why: (Roanoke Times)

Wisconsin: Where to in 08?

State turnout up and most voters considered the midterm election a referendum on the war in Iraq.... (LaCross Tribune)

Iowa: 2008 Presidential begins with Iraq at top of list

Brian King, pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Iowa Falls, and a political independent, leads weekly discussion group (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Has anyone seen my Neo-Independent?


"They said 'What do you mean the earth is not the center of the universe???' And I said, 'Hey that's nothing -- have you seen the lastest issue of the Neo-Independent? '"

Hankster readers -- go onto the Neo-Independent website, click on GIVE THE NEO-INDEPENDENT AS A GIFT AT A SPECIAL PRICE! and choose the 1 Year U.S. 2006 Holiday Gift Subscription - $15- Go to Check Out -In the Special instructions, type in "The Hankster" and it will turn your 1 year Holiday Gift Sub into a 2 year sub!

Happy Holidays! The Hankster

The Neo-Independent is part of a movement that is anti-corruption and pro-people, non-ideological but passionate about realizing America’s greatness as a force for humanism, creativity and development. With the country split 50/50 along partisan lines, the independent voter may well decide the upcoming presidential election. As the movement grows in influence it could decide a lot more, including that the American people – not the parties, or any other special interests – should determine the policies of our government. - Jacqueline Salit, Executive Editor

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


West Virginia: Indies can vote in Dem primaries
National: The times they are independent...
Oregon: Westlund folds?
Texas: How the Repubs got blindsided
California: Redistricting still in the game...
National: Lessons learned?
Georgia: McKinney's solution
South Carolina: Dems and Repubs - what's the diff?
Oregon: Ben, we hardly knew ye!
Texas: Independents and redistricting

West Virginia: Indies can vote in Dem primaries

From the Journal News

National: The times they are independent...

...The poll reinforces the view that McCain, while mistrusted by some in the GOP and expected to face a spirited fight if he seeks his party's nomination, would be a strong general election candidate because of his appeal to independent voters. Half the independents surveyed said they would back McCain; 32 percent supported Clinton, with the rest undecided or naming someone else... (Baltimore Sun)

Oregon: Westlund folds?

Ben Westlund has joined the other team (The Oregonian)

Texas: How the Repubs got blindsided

A little redistricting, a runoff election and poof! (Time)

California: Redistricting still in the game...

Inside Bay Area thinks Schwarzenegger's redistricting plan is a good start....

National: Lessons learned?

Voice of America discusses the midterm election and Americans are concerned about wealth gap (Charlotte News & Observer)

Georgia: McKinney's solution

Cynthia McKinney Discusses Her Bush Impeachment Bill (Atlanta Progressive News)

South Carolina: Dems and Repubs - what's the diff?

Interview with freshman Republican Sen. Jim DeMint on bipartisan cooperation (Human Events)

Oregon: Ben, we hardly knew ye!

Ben Westlund switches again - to Dem (Salem News)

Texas: Independents and redistricting

Johnson Co. U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco credits Repubs and indies for votes in spite of loss by by 8 votes (Cleburne Times Review) and a runoff in Texas may show impact of 2006 redistricting (Boston Globe from Washington Post and NY Times)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


It's time to get serious about independent politics! -VL


All women have secrets!
Arizona
: Independents are the ticket
New York: Who can take the presidency?
National: Why Did the Republicans Lose?
National: Where did you go, John McCain?
National: Obama hits New Hampshire - independents?
National: Iraq hard place
Florida: Independents are expensive!
West Virginia: Independents sought
Texas: Fussin 'n fightin

All women have secrets!


"Hello, I'm Constance Frances Marie Ockleman. Before I subscribed to the Neo-Independent magazine, I was a nobody. All women have secrests and Jackie Salit is mine. She can be yours too!"

Hankster readers -- go onto the Neo-Independent website, click on GIVE THE NEO-INDEPENDENT AS A GIFT AT A SPECIAL PRICE! and choose the 1 Year U.S. 2006 Holiday Gift Subscription - $15- Go to Check Out -In the Special instructions, type in "The Hankster" and it will turn your 1 year Holiday Gift Sub into a 2 year sub!
Happy Holidays! The Hankster (Now you know my secret...)

The Neo-Independent is part of a movement that is anti-corruption and pro-people, non-ideological but passionate about realizing America’s greatness as a force for humanism, creativity and development. With the country split 50/50 along partisan lines, the independent voter may well decide the upcoming presidential election. As the movement grows in influence it could decide a lot more, including that the American people – not the parties, or any other special interests – should determine the policies of our government. - Jacqueline Salit, Executive Editor

Arizona: Independents are the ticket

From Arizona Daily Star: ...When the Legislature convenes next month, Democrats will control 27 of the 60 seats in the House and 13 of the 30 Senate seats. In District 26, which takes in much of the Foothills and Oro Valley and heads north to Pinal County, Republicans outnumber Democrats by about 9,000 registered voters, though more than 27,000 others are independents or are registered with another party....

California: Redistricting!

Gov. Schwarzenegger is still pushing for nonpartisan redistricting...

New York: Who can take the presidency?

Debra West reports in the Westchester Journal News that no less than four presidential candidates are out there from New York...

National: Why Did the Republicans Lose?

By Roger Aronoff December 11, 2006

In addition to the impact of the war, Washington editor Kate O'Beirne said that the Republican brand name is out of favor, suffering from scandal and corruption fatigue.
Accuracy in Media
...Ramesh Ponnuru said that there had been a massive swing by independent voters, sensing that Republicans had become interested primarily in remaining in power, rather than advancing a positive, conservative agenda. That also explains why Republicans lost millions of conservative votes....

National: Where did you go, John McCain?

Harvard Crimson has a word on this in Mirage of the Maverick by Vanessa J. Dube....

National: Obama hits New Hampshire - independents?

From the Boston Globe "...A recent poll by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion found that 47 percent of Americans polled would definitely not consider voting for Clinton. The number includes 45 percent of the survey's independent voters, who played a critical role in electing new Democratic majorities to the House and Senate last month.... "

National:Iraq hard place

Reports on American opinion on the Iraq war:

USA Today says we have a divided government... and Voice of America senses a change in American politics...

Fred Newman says in this weeks Talk/Talk: "Everyone agrees that things are bad in Iraq. The underlying assumption is that this is a vaguely modern, rational society where if everything is bad, you're going to get something of aconsensus among most people around doing things that can improve the situation. Well, I don't know if youhave that there.

Florida: Independents are expensive!

The Sun Sentinel tells us that the House battle netted $63.51 per vote in Broward-Palm Beach county district... By the way, check out Sunshine Independents, now listed on the Hankster sidebar - let's hope that Max Linn is still active?

West Virginia: Independents sought

From the Shenandoah Valley DNR: "Independents can now vote in Republican primaries, but Democrats have been hesitant to open up their primaries. Saturday's decision sets in motion a process that will allow independents to vote in the Democratic Party's 2008 primary...."

Texas: Fussin 'n fightin

From Austin American Statesman: "...The newbie Democrats, who ran in districts that narrowly lean Republican or Democratic, see the appeal of the middle of the road.
Paula Hightower Pierson, who defeated Rep. Toby Goodman of Arlington, credited independent voters for "saying, 'We don't want fussing and fighting. We want moderate-thinking people who will work together, who are honest and who will go and do the job we sent them to do.' " ...


I don't know Paula but -- seems some fussin 'n fightin is in order here... It's hard on independents when partisans speak on our behalf. Personally speaking, I'm an independent because I think there needs to be MORE Fussin 'n Fightin... Independents need to speak up! - NH

Monday, December 11, 2006

If you’re reading this, you need a subscription to the Neo-Independent!

And you qualify for a special gift!

Hankster readers -- go onto the Neo-Independent website,
click on GIVE THE NEO-INDEPENDENT AS A GIFT AT A SPECIAL PRICE!
and choose the
1 Year U.S. 2006 Holiday Gift Subscription - $15
- Got to Check Out -
In the Special instructions, type in "The Hankster" and
it will turn your 1 year Holiday Gift Sub into a 2 year sub!


Happy Holidays!
The Hankster

The Neo-Independent is part of a movement that is anti-corruption and pro-people, non-ideological but passionate about realizing America’s greatness as a force for humanism, creativity and development. With the country split 50/50 along partisan lines, the independent voter may well decide the upcoming presidential election. As the movement grows in influence it could decide a lot more, including that the American people – not the parties, or any other special interests – should determine the policies of our government. - Jacqueline Salit, Executive Editor

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Bloomberg Model: independent voters make the difference

Whether Mayor Bloomberg's "people" are floating the idea, or the media is looking to "sell papers", or the US business class sees a favorable opportunity for future political involvement, the wires are still buzzing with the question "Will Michael Bloomberg run for President in '08?" And implicit in that question, because of who he is and the state of the Dems and Repubs these days, is "Will he run as an independent?"

The most recent commentary includes a lengthy insider report by John Heilemann in
New York Magazine, and this article by Dick Polman in the Philadelphia Inquirer which reminds us of all the speculation over the past year... The New York Sun ran an article by Jim Geraghty about the topic which was commented on in the National Review blog TKS...

Just last week The Hankster linked articles in the American Spectator and Rolling Stone on the topic, and just before the November election, veteran independent consultant and New York Independence Party campaign manager for Bloomberg's 2001 and 2005 New York City mayoral runs told the Massachusetts Lowell Sun's Rebecca Fater "Bloomberg didn't just (appeal to Independents) in the sense of saying, 'There are a million Independents in New York and I'm your candidate.' He built a coalition that made a very clear statement to the public that he was going outside the box." Salit said an Independent candidate needs to prove to the populace that the campaign isn't just about himself or herself: It's about improving the political climate and quality of life for voters.

In fact, a rather large oversight in most if not all of the current commentary is the role that independent voters played in the so-called "Bloomberg Model".

Any successful bid for the presidency in 2008 will depend on the connection that a potential candidate makes to independent voters, whether that candidate is running on a major or minor party line or as an out-of-the-box independent. Independent voters can participate in this process as who we are without being categorized by partisan or ideological forces. That was a major element of the Bloomberg Model. In New York, endless hours of phone work and doorknocking and outreach to ordinary voters, in coalition with Michael Bloomberg's campaign, resulted in his margin of victory in 2001. And again in 2005, this expanded coalition of the Bloomberg campaign along with independents and the Coalition of Outsiders (Black and Latino Dem community leaders throughout the City who led a march out of the Democratic Party with the charge of "Don't take us for granted!") known as the Black and independent alliance, re-elected the Mayor on independent terms. That was the Bloomberg Revolution.

What independents do on the ground makes the difference. -NH

Iraq Study Group - Americans agree

Fifty-five percent of independents don't think it was the right thing to do to take military action against Iraq. (Press release on Newsweek poll)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Minnesota's in the middle: An independent president?

Minnesota's in the middle: An independent president?

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

National: Analyze this!
Oregon: 2006 turnout shows elevated voter morale?
Minnesota: IRV and the DFL
Texas: Immigration shuffle
California: Bipartisan salad dressing
National: Red, blue and independent

National: Analyze this!

Human Events commissioned Zogby for a survey that says libertarians (small "l") cost Repubs the House and the Senate. BTW - for good Libertarian news, see Austin Cassidy's Third Party Watch and Hammer of Truth, both listed on the Hankster blogroll...

Journalists, pollsters and party strategists discussed the midterms at a 2006 Post-Election Conference in Kansas. (Lawrence Journal World)

Zogby conducted a survey that says the Repubs lost "in the middle" (BBS News)

Carl Jeffers has some comments on what if anything has been altered in the political landscape since the midterm election (Seattle Times)

A question about McCain's Terry Nelson pick (The Moderate Voice)

Oregon: 2006 turnout shows elevated voter morale?

Turnout in 2006 was up for independents, Dems and third parties (The Oregonian)

Minnesota: IRV and the DFL

Would Instant Runoff Voting relegate third parties to "quaint expressions of displeasure"? Why is the DFL REALLY supporting it? (Lavender Magazine)

Texas: Immigration shuffle

Gov. Rick Perry says different things to different people (Houston Chronicle)

California: Bipartisan salad dressing

Survey says voters like bipartisan cooperation between the legislature and Gov. Schwarzenegger--but the legislature is as partisan as ever.... (LA Times)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

National: Red, blue and independent

Fred Lucas, a political reporter for the News-Times in Danbury, Connecticut, poses this question in the American Spectator:
"Third parties were once the domain of fringe political movements. Now, the Connecticut Senate race seems to have spawned fervent rhetoric from a radical center bent on stamping out so-called ideologues. The question is, could this message sell in red and blue America?"

Another question is, how did Mayor Bloomberg actually get elected? (A. His margin of victory in 2001 was 60,000 votes on the Independence Party line, pulled by veteran grassroots organizers in New York City.)

And another question might be, leaving aside the issue of who the candidate is, can this kind of campaign be run nationally? (A. Maybe, but independents have to be organized on the ground for this to happen.)

Rolling Stone put the question another way in Ben Wallace-Wells article, Bloomberg '08?
The Republican mayor of New York has become the party's fiercest internal critic. But can his "billionaire populism" bridge the nation's blue-red divide?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


National: Apples and Orangutans
Virginia: It's my party and I'll exclude if I want to...
Arizona: Independent voters now one in four
California: Reconsidering redistricting

National: Apples and Orangutans

Lee Drutman, in this Boston Daily News Tribune article, has his knickers in a twist over independent voters. Or is it moderate voters? And what's a moderate voter anyway? Oh, those are the dumb voters.... Hey, Lee, keep your shirt on, will ya?

"Voting-behavior scholarship also consistently shows that middle-of-the-road voters tend on average to be the least-informed and least-interested voters. This matters because it suggests another interpretation of what happened -- that among those who know and who care the least about politics, those who lean Democrat turned out, while those who lean Republican stayed home. And the true independents -- who tend to be the least informed of all -- most likely made up their mind at the last minute based on a whim that could have just as easily gone the other way (if they voted at all)...."


Apparently the Pew Research Center has the same disease, witness their analysis from just after the election:
"Centrists Deliver for Democrats - In an election that proved to be a referendum on Bush and Iraq, political independents cast the deciding votes"

Virginia: It's my party and I'll exclude if I want to...

From the Washington Post: "A long-standing effort by conservative Republicans to challenge Virginia's "open primary" law has been granted new life by a judge's ruling, which might give them an advantage over moderates in next year's critical legislative elections, party officials said yesterday...."

Minnesota: The Decline of the Independence Party

From Eric Ostermeier on Smart Politics:
The Independence Party will retain its major party status in 2008, thanks to Peter Hutchinson's performance in the race for governor, but the party is facing an increased difficulty in distinguishing itself from the DFL, who appears to be drawing support away from IP candidates....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Arizona: Independent voters now one in four

Ranks of Arizona's independent voters have doubled and don't toe any party line... (KVOA)

California: Reconsidering redistricting

A new redistricting plan put forward by Gov. Schwarzenegger would include decline-to-state and third party representatives: * Schwarzenegger details redistricting plan (Central Valley Business Times)* Try again on redistricting (North County Times)* Deus ex machina redistricting (Calif Progress Report)* Governor backs redistricting plan (Sac Bee)* Governor pitches redistricting plan (Mercury News)

Monday, December 04, 2006

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


Dialogue: Centrism
National: Midterm lessons
Presidential 08: And they're off!!
Virginia: Parties rights vs. voters rights?
California: Who will side with election reform?

Dialogue: Centrism

Joel S. Hirschhorn writes in Honest Centrism for Populist Democracy on American Chronicle
...To fix our nation we must remove control of OUR political system by the two major parties. Many rightfully see the Republican and Democratic parties as just two sides of the same coin or two heads of the same beast. Howard Dean was correct when he wrote in 2004: "After nearly a decade of widening income inequalities, campaign-finance scandals, noxious inside-the-Beltway compromises, and political catfights ... the American people felt equally disenfranchised by Democrats and Republicans." A 2006 national poll found that 53 percent of Americans supported a third major party. A remarkable 73 percent agree that “it would be a good idea for this country to have more choices in the 2008 election than just Republican and Democratic candidates.” ...

National: Midterm lessons

From Joe Gandleman's The Moderate Voice: "Basically, the Democrats are like a brand, new employee who's hired and is initially on probation. Should independents, centrists and moderates who fled today's GOP stay with them beyond this one election?"

Presidential 08: And they're off!!

From the New Hampshire Union Leader: "In an apparent effort to get noticed quickly in the first-primary state and to attract the attention of independent voters who strongly backed McCain's 2000 presidential run, Vilsack said the Arizona senator's call for increasing troop levels in Iraq would "make a big mistake bigger."....

The IndyChannel.com quotes Marion County Democratic Party Chairman Ed Treacy talking about Evan Bayh "He has done an extremely good job of positioning himself well to be a centrist candidate for president," Treacy said....

Virginia: Parties rights vs. voters rights?

The Washington Times reports that a federal judge in Virginia has ruled that "the State Board of Elections cannot require the Republican Party to hold an open primary in a state Senate race next year...."

California: Who will side with election reform?

Dan Walters warns of a "potentially fatal Catch" in California election reform: State legislators won't embrace reforms that threaten their own power, and groups with vested interests in the status quo would spend lavishly to defeat reforms on the ballot. (Sacramento Bee)

Friday, December 01, 2006

An Appeal to Al Sharpton and Mike Bloomberg

The following remarks were delivered by Dr. Lenora Fulani on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at a meeting of the Coalition of Outsiders. In the meeting, Dr. Fulani spoke about the tragic shooting in Queens and what direction the city needs to go in. The Coalition of Outsiders, formed in 2005 during the New York City Mayoral election, consists of Democrats, Republicans and independents who supported Mayor Bloomberg's re-election and campaigned in communities of color for him on the Independence Party line. They continue to play an active role in political and civic life of the city. Dr.Fulani is a member of the New York County Executive Committee of the Independence Party.

* * *

AN APPEAL TO AL SHARPTON AND MIKE BLOOMBERG

Remarks by Dr. Lenora Fulani to the Coalition of Outsiders
November 29, 2006

I came downtown to tonight’s meeting even though I’m still in the early stages of recovery from compound pneumonia because I wanted to speak directly with all of you. Thanks for all your good wishes and calls while I was in the hospital.

The very tragic death of Sean Bell and the current response of the city’s leadership to it, requires that we, the Coalition of Outsiders, talk together about what is—and isn’t—happening, and what needs to be done.

A young black man—23 years old—is dead. He was killed in what appears to have been a confusing, charged and dangerous scene outside a Queens nightclub where 50 shots were fired by police. Presumably the details of the incident—and its drastic consequences—will be revealed as the District Attorney’s investigation and the grand jury process move along. There is talk of City Council hearings—as if that were a genuine remedy to the problem—but so far no frank discussion of the problem. At a time like this, we cannot afford to be anything but frank.

There is a basic truth—one that everyone knows but that most people are afraid to say—that governs on the streets of the communities of color. It is that young people in our communities distrust, sometimes even hate, the police. And the police distrust and often dislike our teenagers and young adults. Most of the time those feelings are kept in check. But they are always there.

I am a developmental psychologist and, because no one else will say this aloud, a rather good one. I have worked with young people in the poor communities for 25 years and throughout that time I have worked closely with police officers, corrections officers, and others in law enforcement. There’s no question in my mind that this tension, this polarization, this dysfunctional relationship has to be addressed if we’re going to eliminate the possibility of future occurrences of this kind.

But, while there have been high profile meetings, and photo ops and press conferences over the last several days, there is so far no dialogue about how to deal with this basic problem. There has been a lot of “concern” expressed. There has been an effort to create a “fair” environment around the situation—both of which are positive. No one wants a return to the Giuliani era—nor do we have to worry about that. This is not the Giuliani era, it’s the Bloomberg era. Remember? We elected him!

In the last election, the mayor got 47% of the black vote. That vote was produced by the people in this room—by the black leaders in this city who went to the community and said “it’s time to take the politics out of policy.” Half of black voters broke with the political norm—also known as the Democratic Party—to go with us and that has impacted dramatically on City Hall’s handling of this incident. Only a liar—or a reporter for the New York Post—and generally those two are equivalent—would deny that. I would add here, speaking in my role as a leader of the Independence Party, that it was the Independence Party that got Bloomberg elected in the first place in 2001, part of our long term mission to take the politics out of governing. We have never demanded any favors or special treatment for that, only that public policy—including crisis response—include all those who are qualified to join in, not just those who have been anointed by the clubhouse.

But, politics has a funny way of creeping into the picture—and that has happened in this situation and that needs to be pointed out. None of you—the Coalition of Outsiders—were called to a meeting at City Hall. I was not called to come to that or any other meeting. That is conspicuous to me. As far as I could see, there was not a single woman of color in any of these meetings. Either the photographers in this town use cameras that make black women invisible, or we weren’t there. If there was a black woman present she was kept so far on the sidelines that she didn’t turn up in any photograph. There were no psychologists, no mothers, no voices outside the political establishment.

Mike Bloomberg and Al Sharpton are the key players in this piece of political theatre—and I say that as someone who is a strong supporter of political theatre—I even occasionally act in one. Bloomberg and Sharpton have something very significant in common. They were both profoundly shaped by the outsiders, by the people in this room. Each of you has your history with Sharpton. Certainly I have mine. Long before Al Sharpton was officially “baptized” by the New York political establishment, he and I were on the streets together, marching against racially-motivated brutality, the chronic injustice of the justice system and the excessive use of force by the police. These protests gave Sharpton greater notoriety and political power. And that’s a good thing. Sharpton is an important leader and his exercise of power is important to the black community. That’s why I frankly object to him reducing himself to “press conference politics” when he has so much more to give and to contribute.

My background has been to bring new and developmental programs to the poor communities, specifically to develop young people to break out of and move beyond the anger and resentment that can produce dangerous and destructive events. That anger is understandable, but it’s also ultimately harmful to the young people themselves.

For all of the drama around the mayor’s and my relationship—most of which was created by the media, high paid PR professionals and political insiders looking to wreck non-conformist approaches to learning and education—he is well aware that the developmental approach I helped to create is a key tool for dealing with these kinds of problems. The city recently approved a $12.5 million bond for the All Stars Project which goes into the poorest and most alienated communities to create developmental opportunities for young people. The All Stars deals in an ongoing way with the very issues that are at the heart of the Bell tragedy. But not unlike Sharpton, who is limiting his role to the traditional “civil rights leader,” Bloomberg is limiting his own role to the traditional politician, albeit one with greater sensitivity to the black community, by not availing himself of effective resources for this crisis, even if they were created by outsiders.

The city needs Bloomberg and Sharpton to genuinely lead right now. That means bringing in the outsiders, those who are perhaps politically incorrect, but who have the experience and the track record to make a difference. The issue on the table is not a short term resolution to the death of Sean Bell. There can be no resolution there—it is too late. The young man is dead and we mourn him. His family’s pain, his children’s pain, will always be there and will never go away. The serious issue on the table is what is this city going to do about the intense antagonisms that produce these tragedies. Press conferences, posturing, public hearings and the like, do nothing to touch that. They simply reinforce it. If all you can offer the people of this city—including the poor black community and the police—is a photo op and a four-day media cycle, then you have compounded the original tragedy several times over.

The city would be better served by putting ten young black adults and ten police officers in a room together—without TV cameras, handlers, spin artists and media provocateurs—and help them talk to one another, help them go beyond the freeze frame they are stuck in. Some of us have already begun work on this project.

But at the same time, as outsider political leaders, as the people who shaped the careers of Al Sharpton and Mike Bloomberg, we have an obligation to let them know that they have to go beyond traditional political boundaries. We didn’t form the Coalition of Outsiders to score political points. If we wanted to do that, we’d have gone the clubhouse route. We came together as outsiders to demand that the insiders lead. I know Al Sharpton and I know Mike Bloomberg. I know they care and I know they want to make a difference. It’s our job to show them how to do that.

Bloomberg and Sharpton have an unusual opportunity to make a difference, but if that’s going to happen, if we’re going to push them in that direction, we can’t be armchair activists. We have to take our roles in this situation as seriously as we take theirs. You are all important players in this city. There are many hundreds of other activists who look to you for leadership. There are thousands of community people who take their cues from you. You have to reach them with this message. You have a special responsibility, because we are the outsiders. As outsiders, we are the closest to the people, who are the most outside of all. We have to be their voice demanding new approaches and new ways of dealing with the causes of this terrible event.

"How do we go on?"

Interesting post over at UrbanElephants by Stuart W. Mirsky:
"Ludwig Wittgenstein, a famous twentieth century philosopher, used to ask about the things we said, after we come to a certain point, "how do we go on?" It strikes me that this is an important question for us Republicans now, too. We seem to have a kind of death wish...."

And speaking of Ludwig Wittgenstein, there's a philosophically/theatrically challenging play called "Outing Wittgenstein" by Fred Newman currently playing at the Castillo Theatre on 42nd Street in New York City....

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS


International: Scottish independence?
National: Obama Rising
National: McCain's independent luster tarnished?
Ohio: Partisan picture post 11/7
Arizona: Beginning of end of two-party system?
California: Redrawing the boundries
New York: Repubs at "rock bottom"

International: Scottish independence?

"... Ever-angrier Anglo-Scottish stand-offs, and the functional and moral collapse of local Scottish Labour parties whose main work nowadays is selling public property and giving well-paid jobs to its members. More and more Scots now accept independence as inevitable. The question is: when? ...." (openDemocracy)

National: Obama Rising

Barak Obama goes to church in California: "People's understandings of faith are not nearly as polarized as people in politics think they are," Dowd said..... (Chicago Tribune)

And "...The genius of Obama is that he has a pure liberal voting record — a 100 percent rating from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action in 2005 — at the same time he appeals to independents and avoids seeming noxiously partisan...." (National Review)

National: McCain's independent luster tarnished?

"Americans are increasingly losing confidence in the U.S. mission in Iraq. Still, McCain has been notable for his support of the war. He has demanded that more U.S. troops be sent there...." (Capitol Hill Blue)

Ohio: Partisan picture post 11/7

"...Last year's unsuccessful ballot initiative that would have turned apportionment over to a bipartisan commission should be tweaked to make it palatable to both parties, Redfern and Bennett said...." (Cleveland Jewish News)

Ahh, partisans- ignore independents at your own peril!

Arizona: Beginning of end of two-party system?

"But a growing cynicism toward both major parties has prompted some political scientists to say the United States is overdue for a new third-party movement...." (East Valley Tribune)

California: Redrawing the boundries

Schwarzenegger wants redistricting on the ballot again before 2010 (Inside Bay Area-Argus)

And in typical post-election state legislature fashion, they want to extend term limits... (San Francisco Chronicle)

New York: Repubs at "rock bottom"

Incoming New York Repub state chair Joseph N. Mondello "said the party needed to be more strategic in reclaiming control of the moderate center of New York politics...." (New York Times)