Hello Donklephanters!

Thanks to Justin Gardner, one of my first and favorite “blogger buddies”, I want to welcome you to “News Headlines for Independents”, an as-needed post of news from, for and about the fastest growing electoral sector in America today: independent voters.

Justin and I got to know each other a little bit  in the “heady days” leading up to Barack Obama’s election. I am a big fan of Donklephant, and I invited Justin to participate in my Blogging the World workshop last year at the international Performing the World conference/happening in NYC.

Indeed he did! Justin appeared via satellite from KC on a panel talking about politics, democracy, technology and whatever else folks wanted to talk about! Thanks again, Justin!

A transplanted New Yorker since 1992, born in Arkansas in 1952, I am a long-time activist in independent politics and community-building projects aligned with the New York City-based national non-partisan strategy center, the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, and author of The Hankster.

I started The Hankster in April 2006, during the run-up to the midterm elections at a suggestion from a colleague. As a consultant  and researcher for grassroots independent political activists, I had been following mainstream media coverage of the independent movement for 7 years and the absence of coverage of indies in national news sources was particularly striking to me at that moment.

Independent voters were “swing voters”, folks who couldn’t make up their minds, people who couldn’t tell a Democrat from a Republican… (Well, maybe that last one has a little truth to it!) and yet, independents were making history. I felt that independent activists on the ground deserved better coverage — and support.

Indies started to pop up here and there when it became clear that we were the leaders of the successful anti-war vote that was responsible for the changeover in Congress in 2006.

Today, one independent President later, there’s not a poll around that doesn’t include independents, and we’re known as the folks who get candidates elected locally, state-wide and nationally. By the way, the story of the impact of independents, both in the primaries and in the general election that gave us President Barack Obama, is most eloquently told by John Heilemann and by Jacqueline Salit.)

Hopefully “News Headlines for Independents” will be useful in helping all of us break out of a narrow partisan political culture, and move towards an inclusive, participatory, grassroots people’s politic that truly reflects the sentiments of the American people.

So here goes! And please let me know what you think.

Here’s lookin’ at you, kid!


News Headlines for Independents is published as needed. For more independent news see The Hankster.



The Hankster recommends:

  • Partisan Voting (Life)
  • Rough Guide to the Third Party and Independent Blogosphere (Poli-Tea)


Politics News Headlines for Independents