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Independent Voters: Nonpartisan Elections in NYC Aren’t That Radical


First up: Fred Newman, US radical independent political strategist and consultant to Mike Bloomberg’s three (3) successful NYC Independence Party campaigns, as quoted by Michael Barbaro at the New York Times reports tonight about the recent NYC Charter Revision Commission mandate for nonpartisan elections.

And now, here’s what’s been shaking over the past couple of weeks for independent voters around the country:

The rules affecting voters in the primaries vary from state to state. In Connecticut, voters have to be registered in the party for at least 3 months in order to vote in that party’s primary.  In New York, voters have to wait until the next election cycle, called being in a “lock box”.  California independents (“decline-to-state”) are at the mercy of party bosses when it comes to voting in the Dem and Repub primaries.

Why is this important? Upwards of 40% of voters who consider themselves independent — and 45% of voters under the age of 30 — are currently disenfranchised in states that allow the parties to decide who votes. At a time when we desperately need new solutions, new ideas, new ways of looking at our problems, the voices and votes of independents are vital if we are to move forward.

Bob Reid at California Majority Report says it best when it comes to explaining why political parties are against California’s open primary initiative Proposition 14…

Colorado House Bill 1271, introduced by unaffiliated state legislator Kathleen Curry with support from unaffiliated county commissioner Joelle Riddle, would make it easier for unaffiliated candidates, was amended Monday night to make it effective immediately…

Independent attorney Harry Kresky says NYC should take another run at nonpartisan elections…

Tom Burrell echoes Dr. Lenora Fulani’s comments on education at Rev. Al Sharpton’s 2010 National Action Network conference.

Utah League of Independent Voters Launches Online Debate for Candidates in 3rd Congressional District (Poli-Tea)

Changing Charter without strings (By Greg David, Crain’s New York) In the end, the Charter proposals will likely be on term limits and on nonpartisan elections, to be accompanied by radical changes to encourage more participation. Early voting, mail voting and same-day registration would all make the nonpartisan option more attractive.

College Independents host first group event – Newly-formed student group held panel discussion on future of politics in Washington (By: Adam Zeldin, The Johns Hopkins News Letter)

Limits of the Two-Party Primary (By Kellyn Brown, Flathead Beacon) Most of us consider Montana’s primaries to be “open” in that anyone can vote by simply choosing to fill out a Democratic or Republican ballot on June 8. But there are limits to that openness since, while you don’t have to register with either political party to participate, you are still pigeonholed into picking between the two. Well, what if you weren’t?

From the U.S. to the U.K., new political winds (By Mark Penn, Washington Post) In the United States, two mainstream movements have tried in recent years to capitalize on strands of dissatisfaction: John Anderson, a Republican congressman from Illinois who adopted liberal social and environmental views, got a modest amount of support from better-educated voters and college students as an independent presidential candidate in 1980. Barack Obama did particularly well with what would have been Anderson constituencies. The second attempt was by independent tycoon Ross Perot. His voters were primarily concerned about reducing the size of government and the deficit (large aspects of today’s Tea Party agenda). At its core, the movement behind Perot was anti-government, while Anderson voters were for restrained but activist government. [NOTE: Actually, the second attempt was Lenora Fulani’s historic run in 1988 when she became the first woman and first African American to be on the ballot for President in all 50 states. She ran as an independent and laid the groundwork for both Ross Perot’s run in 1992, as well as for Barack Obama’s win in 2008.]

Will The Youth Vote Trump Tea Party In Midterm Elections? (Bakari Kitwana/NewsOne, Huffington Post)

Poll gives Charlie Crist 6-point lead over Rubio (By Jim Stratton, Orlando Sentinel) Independent voters support Crist over Rubio 55-19, with Meek getting 13 percent.

More news for independent voters at The Hankster