Hello everyone! After a vacation in the Heartland, here are some highlights of news for independent voters from the past week or so:
- Who’s Got the Power? Progressives find themselves outmaneuvered on healthcare reform. (By David Moberg, In These Times) More importantly, longer-term possibilities have been created by the failure of the Bush administration, the narrowing Republican base, the economic crisis, the shift of independent voters toward liberal Democratic views and the demographic trends favoring a growing progressive bloc of voters.
- NOTE: For a good companion piece, see Jackie Salit’s “How the Independent Movement Went Left by Going Right” — an analysis of the shift of independents from the days of Ross Perot to the election of Barack Obama, a shift that progressives need to know about — and embrace.
- Tulsa Independent Voters a Growing Voice (By CHARLES CANTRELL, GTR News Tulsa) According to Perkins, pragmatic, creative, successful solutions to local problems are better achieved in an environment free of the parameters set by political party affiliations.
- The Democrats Should Stick Together On Health Care Reform (The Chattanoogan/Opinion) Most of the independent voters who voted Democratic in the last election voted for: removal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, a public health plan option, increased education spending, and accountability in government.
- The Ant and the Grasshopper Revisited (Talk Talk by Fred Newman and Jackie Salit, independentvoting.org) Newman: But things much closer to home are run by the government. The government decides whether we can drive a car or not. Salit: Or sell liquor or give someone a manicure. Newman: There’s enormous government involvement. The controversy is fundamentally about what our values are. But no one’s allowed to talk about that. You’ve got to talk about concrete, practical things….
In 2008, there were 33 open primary states in which independent voters could participate in the presidential primaries and caucuses. In these states, 2.7 million independents voted for Barack Obama, giving him the margin of victory to secure the Democratic Party nomination. Party insiders (both Republican and Democratic) are attempting to eliminate open primaries and reassert their control of the electoral process. Sign the letter to President Obama in support of Open Primaries
- PD Editorial: Fix-it plan California Forward’s reforms deserve a spot on the ballot (KENT PORTER / The Press Democrat) But without political reforms that make elected officials truly accountable to voters, such as open primaries, neither party has shown itself worthy of that much power.
Mayor Bloomberg 09
Mike Bloomberg — the independent candidate for Mayor of New York City
- Puerto Rico Gov. For Bloomberg (Liz Benjamin, Daily News/Daily Politics)
- Bill Thompson: Contender? (New York Magazine, By Jacob Gershman) Six strategies to beat Bloomberg: Again, Mike Bloomberg, the post-partisan plutocrat and technocrat, liked but difficult to love, is opposing a Democratic-machine candidate with a built-in ethnic base but little fund-raising prowess, whose campaign message revolves around painting the mayor as out of touch….
On the Blogs
- Independent strategist Jackie Salit talks about where the independents are today Jackie Salit on WLRN Radio (Michael Drucker, The Independent View) link to audio
- Measuring the independence of independents (Guest Post by d.eris of Poli-Tea, The Hankster) With the ranks of self-identified independents swelling across the country, and, hence, renewed media attention devoted to the group as a bloc, a number of recent studies and commentaries have questioned received notions of the independent voter, arguing that ‘the independent voter’ is little more than a myth.