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National Movement for Open Primaries and Nonpartisan Elections

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A national movement for open primaries and nonpartisan elections is taking shape, highlights this week from New York, California and Louisiana, plus voter input from Indiana and Michigan:

OPEN PRIMARIES

  • An Indiana voter in a LETTER to the Editor at The Paper of Mongomery County IN wants open primaries
  • In Lousiana,  the Committee on House and Governmental Affairs approved House Bill 292 by Rep. Hunter Greene, would require the open primary to be held in the federal election day in November and if a runoff is needed, it would be held in early December. (By Ed Anderson, The Times-Picayune) This bill caught the eye of Rich Winger at Ballot Access News….
  • In Michigan, Phil Power of the Livingston Daily, says: State must rethink primaries  and scrap this outdated system — replace it with a fully open primary that selects the top two candidates, regardless of party, to run head to head in November.
  • In Pennsylvania, the bill introduced by State Senator is gaining traction, seen here in the Pittsburgh Tribune article,  More than 1 million registered Pennsylvania voters out of 8.4 million shouldn’t be barred from voting in May 18’s primary just because they’re not Republicans or Democrats.
  • And in Iowa, John Deeth offered this thoughtful opinion What’s a Party? at the Des Moines Register.

PROP 14
Nothing new, still back and forth/ pro and con on PROP 14 in California.  For best coverage, see The Hankster (pro) and also Ballot Access News (against). Top headlines include:

NYC CHARTER REVISION
An important fight is shaping up in New York City between the independents and the city partisan establishment (i.e. the Dems)

  • Youth Attend First NYC Charter Revision Commission Hearing in Support of Nonpartisan Elections (The Hankster) See also Harry Kresky and Lenora Fulani VIDEO statements at the hearing
  • The Public and the Charter (Gotham Gazette/Wonkster) Quotes Harry Kresky and Lenora Fulani on nonpartisan elections
  • Who’s Got The Power? Citizens To Weigh In – The first public hearing of the mayor’s Charter Revision Commission could be the start of a fast-track effort to change the way New York City governs itself. (By Jarrett Murphy, City Limits) Other reformers want the commission to consider non-partisan elections, which the mayor tried to implement in a 2003 charter revision. Voters rejected that proposal, but passed charter changes that Bloomberg sought in 2002 and 2005.
  • Charter Commission Hearing Marked By Low Turnout (By: NY1 News) Fulani on video

MIDTERMS:
Finally, among the back-burner issues for independents are the gov races and midterms in 2010. There are a number of gubernatorial candidates who seek the support of independents, and who are also running outside party lines. Some of importance:

  • Can independents seize the day? (By John Avlon, Special to CNN) Three credible independent candidates are running for governor this year in three New England states where registered independents outnumber Democrats and Republicans.
  • Independent Party launches, Cahill on board (By Kyle Cheney, Burlington Union State House News Service) Hoping to harness the energy of disenfranchised Democrats and Republicans and the state’s 2.1 million unenrolled voters – more than half of the Massachusetts electorate – a group of political advocates who reject the two major party platforms hope to soon be able to brandish the label of the Independent Party and use it to carry them to political power.

For more news for independents, see The Hankster