Jan 31, 2011

GA Greens: Prison and Sentencing Reform will Save Taxpayer Dollars

From Green Party Watch:

After last week praising Governor Deal’s expressed concern for the wasted lives, drained treasury and depleted workforce left in the wake of the nation’s war on drugs, Georgia Green Party leaders today rejected Deal’s specific proposals.
“None of this will meaningfully impact the budget, end the state’s social control of non-violent and victimless behaviors, nor undermine the racial caste system created by our current policy,” said Hugh Esco, Secretary of the Georgia Green Party. “The state’s disparate enforcement and prosecution of the drug use of working people while ignoring that of wealthy people costs our communities in ways far beyond those mentioned by the Governor the other day. The impacts are as venal as Jim Crow.” . . . .

US Green Party Declares Support for Pro-Democracy Protest Movement

From the Green Party:
Green Party leaders in the US announced the party's support and encouragement for nonviolent protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, and other nations in the region who have taken to the streets in demand for an end to corrupt and oppressive regimes.

"The Green Party of the United States supports democracy, here and throughout the world. We hope that the protesters in Egypt succeed in deposing President Mubarak, and we're thrilled to see so many young people stand up against dictators. The best outcome would be for Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to improve economic conditions for their populations and embrace democracy, equal rights and protections for women and for ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, and freedom of the press. We condemn the brutal responses to the protests, including police violence and the shutdown of the Internet," said Dr. Anthony Gronowicz, 2010 Green candidate for Congress in New York's 7th District and a member of the party's International Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl).

Greens noted that the threatened regimes, especially Egyptian President Mubarak's administration, were propped up by the US for the purpose of serving US interests such as access to oil and other resources, the maintenance of military bases on foreign soil, and unequivocal support for Israel's brutal occupation and apartheid system. . . .

CO: Greens Found Greater-Boulder Party Chapter

From the Green Party of Colorado:

Fellow Greens, I am happy to report that the aspiring Boulder chapter had a very successful meeting on Jan. 20.  We had a turnout of 14 ambitious, enlightened, and motivated people who came together to form a new and robust chapter of the GPOC.  Our meeting included past participants, new faces who heard about us from various sources including the article in the Daily Camera, and many intelligent and motivated (get this) YOUNG PEOPLE!  A new generation of active Greens yeah!  And special thanks to Bob Kinsey and Aaron Ney for making the trip and offering very valuable insight, suggestions, and support.  Even financial support!  I will never forget the formation of our treasury.  Aaron threw down a twenty, reciprocated by another and then myself.  ”Well it looks like we need a treasurer” and lo and behold Shannon volunteered and was approved by voice vote all in a matter of a couple of minutes!  You the man Aaron. . . .

Jan 30, 2011

Palin Supporters Lean Toward Third Party Option

From Rasmussen:

Nearly half of the Republican Primary voters who support Sarah Palin say they are at least somewhat likely to vote for a third-party candidate if she does not win the GOP presidential nomination. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% of Likely Republican Primary Voters who favor Palin say they are at least somewhat likely to vote third-party if she isn’t nominated.

Jan 29, 2011

FL: League of Women Voters Calls for Non-partisan Redistricting

From the Sun Sentinel, a statement from Fair Districts Now:
Within its first days in power, the new administration of Governor Rick Scott, through its Department of State, took extraordinary steps to thwart the will of the overwhelming majority of Florida voters who voted for redistricting reform in Florida.
On, November 2, 63% of Florida voters amended the Florida Constitution to include new non-partisan redistricting standards. When new laws affect voting as these do, the Voting Rights Act requires that the standards be reviewed and “pre-cleared” by the Justice Department (DOJ). It is the duty of the state to request DOJ pre-clearance. Governor Crist ordered that a formal request for pre-clearance be filed. The Florida Secretary of State’s office filed that request on December 10, 2010.
On January 7, 2011, as one of its first acts, the new administration of Governor Rick Scott, through its Department of State, in an apparent attempt to thwart the will of the voters, wrote to DOJ withdrawing the amendments from review. The Governor’s Secretary of State, Kurt Browning, was Chairman of Protect Your Vote -- the committee that spent millions of dollars opposing Amendments 5 and 6.
Dan Gelber, Counsel to FairDistricts Now, called the Secretary of State’s office to ask the reasons for the withdrawal and was told, “We cannot tell you why, only that we were directed to do so.” Another official indicated that he did not know if it would be resubmitted. Attached is a letter from FairDistricts Now to Secretary Browning, requesting that he re-submit the application for pre-clearance from the DOJ.

Jan 28, 2011

FL: Independents Outnumber Republicans, Gain on Democrats in Broward County,

From The Shark Tank:
In what amounts to an embarrassing piece of news for the Republican Party in Florida, the number of people in Broward County registered as Republicans now trails both Registered Democrats AND Registered Independents.  Broward Republicans now trail that highly organized political party, affectionately known as “Other” by close to 1000 votes.

Jan 27, 2011

DE: Libertarians Call for Minor Party Representation on Redistricting Board

From the Dover Post:
Dover resident Will McVay is chair of the Kent County Libertarian Party, and he thinks Levy Court’s Democratic majority should take this redistricting cycle as an opportunity to involve minor political parties.

At Levy Court’s January business meeting, McVay, who gained notoriety during a failed run for the state House last fall, publicly asked commissioners to consider appointing someone who isn’t a member of either major party to the redistricting commission.

“Our belief is that they should include an in independent voice, whether that’s a Libertarian, an Independent Party member or someone who’s not in any party whatsoever,” he said. “We think that they should have a voice that’s not representing either the Democrats or the Republicans.”

Jan 26, 2011

NH: Approval Voting Bill Introduced in State House

Via Independent Political Report:

From PileusBlog.com, H/T to Dale Sheldon-Hess (excerpt of the bill’s actual text below):
A bill to adopt approval voting has been filed in the N.H. House, and one of the co-sponsors is a member of the relevant committee. The bill would establish approval voting for all state offices and presidential primaries. Approval voting is an electoral system for single-winner elections that allows voters to cast not more than one vote for as many candidates as they like and selects the top vote-getter. Steven Brams and other political scientists have endorsed the system as an alternative to plurality rule (or “first-past-the-post”) because a) approval voting is more likely than plurality to select a Condorcet winner when there is one, b) approval voting tends to favor candidates with even temperament and broad ideological appeal, and c) approval voting is more likely than plurality to permit victories by independent and third-party candidates.
From the bill:
AN ACT allowing voters to vote for multiple candidates for an office.
SPONSORS: Rep. D. McGuire, Merr 8; Rep. DeJong, Hills 9; Rep. Cohn, Merr 6; Rep. Bowers, Sull 3
COMMITTEE: Election Law
This bill eliminates statutory restrictions on the ability of voters to vote for multiple candidates for the same office….
4 Instructions to Voters. Amend RSA 659:17 to read as follows:
659:17 Marking the Ballot; Instructions to Voters. The secretary of state shall provide on the top of the general election ballot the following voting instructions. The secretary of state is authorized to replace the phrase “Make the appropriate mark” with an appropriate description and example of the mark to be made for the type of ballot in use, such as “Make a cross (X) in the box,” “Completely fill in the oval,” or “Complete the arrow”:
1) To Vote
Make the appropriate mark to the right of your choice or choices. [For each office vote for not more than the number of candidates stated in the sentence: “Vote for not more than ___.” If you vote for more than the stated number of candidates, your vote for that office will not be counted.]
2) To Vote by Write-In
To vote for a person whose name is not printed on the ballot, write in the name of the person in the “write-in” space. Make the appropriate mark to the right of your choice.

Jan 25, 2011

John Jay Myers: I am not extreme

John Jay Myers: I am not extreme

By John Jay Myers at Liberty For All:

Libertarians are not extreme. In fact by most people’s definitions we would be extremely moderate. Of course most Libertarians would say that saying this damages our street cred. But let me explain.

I think that the idea of taking our money and giving it to the banks is extreme. I think the idea of taking our money and giving it to the car companies is extreme. I think the idea of taking our money and giving it to insurance companies so they can continue to jack up health care costs is extreme.

I think that spending a trillion dollars a year to be the world’s police is extreme when regardless of what you think of our foreign policy, we simply can’t afford it. And considering our war on terror actually creates more terror than it stops, it seems….. extremely…………………….extreme.

I think it’s extreme that we know that our society safety net, Medicare, social security, etc… has over 30 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, and is unsustainable, yet we continue to pursue these types of social programs when the facts clearly show that these programs do more to increase prices on health care and do nothing to alleviate poverty.

So we have forced people to have insurance, in order to be able to afford health care, which benefits the insurance companies and special interests but clearly does not benefit the average American. You can look at it as a micro-manager and say we must be able to afford insurance, but that would be EXTREME because common sense tells you to isolate the root of the problem and it is obviously government’s involvement that has made health care unaffordable.

Telling people what they can grow, or put in their body, or how to regulate their diet…. is extreme.

The idea that the government is going to tell you who you can or can not marry, or what religion you should or should not practice is extreme when neither is government’s business.

Libertarians aren’t extreme………our government is extreme.

John Jay Myers, a small business man from Dallas, Texas, ran for chair of the LNC in 2010, is a member of the Texas Libertarian Executive Committee and the Vice Chair of the Dallas County Libertarian Party. For more information go to www.johnjaymyers.com.

Commenter Eddie at Green Party Watch: Ideas for Party Organization

Commenter Eddie at Green Party Watch: Ideas for Party Organization

Extrapolated from comments left Eddie at Green Party Watch. With a small amount of extrapolation, these ideas are also relevant to other alternative political parties.

Eddie writes, in part:

The California Green Party sent out emails outlining a new campaign that will help add 100,000 new members in the next two years with mostly paid organizers, along with grassroots activists. But the phone number listed on there was the wrong one and I had to go on Facebook to find the person listed on the email, where they gave me a new number to call. I have called that number about 3 times, left messages, and I still haven’t got a response.

I have noticed a recent upsurge in the amount of activity surrounding the Green Party locally and nationally.

The only thing I ask is to update websites, have phone numbers where people can be relied on to answer, make phonebanking a priority where we can contact lingering registered Greens who want to help but have kind of stopped being active, and start getting paid organizers. I cannot stress the last part enough.

Lee Wrights: War is not moral

Lee Wrights: War is not moral

BURNET, Texas (Jan. 25) –Every American who has ever worn a uniform should be offended and outraged by the claim by former President George H.W. Bush that the 1991 Iraq war was morally justified, said R. Lee Wrights, a libertarian activist, writer and potential 2012 Libertarian presidential nominee.

“I am outraged by the cavalier attitude about war and death this remark implies, an attitude apparently shared by his son,” said Wrights, an Air Force veteran. “Acts of immorality are inevitable in any war, even a justified war of self-defense. Therefore, no war is moral, and certainly not a war to defend or prop up oppressive governments.”

IPR blogtalk 1/24/10: Paulie, Andy Jacobs and Brian Bittner discuss harassment of petitioners and Andy’s arrest

IPR blogtalk 1/24/10: Paulie, Andy Jacobs and Brian Bittner discuss harassment of petitioners and Andy’s arrest

Yesterday evening, Andy Jacobs and I (Paulie) discussed harassment of ballot access petitioners, including Andy's arrest outside a public library while petitioning to get the Green and Libertarian Parties back on the Maryland ballot. For the first hour of the show we were joined by Maryland Green Party Co-Chair Brian Bittner. Listen to the show and comment:

Listen to internet radio with Ind. Pol. Report on Blog Talk Radio

To listen to the show if you read this after another IPR blogtalk episode is recorded, go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Ind-Pol-Report/2011/01/25/rescheduled-brian-bittner-andy-jacobs-on-maryland-ballot-access-petitioning-and-arrest.

We discussed ballot access barriers to alternative parties getting on the ballot in Maryland and illegal harassment of petitioners getting signatures to meet these onerous requirements on public property. Andy Jacobs is a petitioner who was arrested outside a library in Maryland after being told to leave and then saying he wanted record the police officers issuing this illegal order. Many other related subjects were also touched on in the two hour long show.

Poll: 37% Willing to Support Third Party Candidate for President

From Public Policy Polling:
Americans think both major political parties are ideologically extreme. And 37% of them say they'd be open to supporting a third party candidate for President next year . . .  37% of voters may be open to supporting a third party candidate but there's considerable division within those ranks about what kind of third party candidate they'd want to support. . . . 14% of them want someone who's to the left of the Democrats. 29% want someone who's to the right of the Republicans. The largest group at 48% does want a centrist- someone more conservative than the Democrats but more liberal than the Republicans- but that only accounts for 18% of the overall electorate . . .

AZ: Registered Independents Outnumber Democrats, Gain on Republicans

Via The Hankster, from AZ Central:
The number of Arizona voters who do not designate an affiliation with any political party has exceeded 1 million for the first time, according to numbers released Monday by the Secretary of State's office. . . . 
It also marks the first time the number of independent voters is greater than those registered in one of the state's two major political parties - in this case, the Democrats.As of Jan. 1, there were 1,010,725 voters registered as "other" in the state . . . . The number of registered Democrats, by comparison, stands at 1,008,689. . . .  There are now 1,142,602 registered Republican voters in the state.

Jesse Ventura Files Lawsuit Against DHS/TSA for Violations of Fourth Amendment

From Alex Jones at InfoWars:
Former Governor Jesse Ventura has taken steps to sue the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security, naming their chiefs John Pistole and ‘Big Sis’ Janet Napolitano in a lawsuit that will take on invasive airport pat-downs [READ LAWSUIT]. Ventura first told Alex Jones of his intent to sue the TSA privately back in September while traveling for the making of TruTV’s “Conspiracy Theory,” expressing grave concern about what he viewed as his country’s transformation into East Germany . . . 

Jan 24, 2011

Starchild: Proposed resolution of Libertarian support for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

Starchild comments on a previous press release by the Libertarian Party supporting Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks:

What paulie said — anti-TSA and pro-WikiLeaks! Both of these issues represent key tests of government power against civil liberties, one related to the First Amendment protections of freedom and speech and of the press, the other related to the Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable search and seizure. These protections should belong to all people in the world.

I recently wrote a proposed resolution for the Libertarian Party of San Francisco on the WikiLeaks issue, and sent it to members of the Libertarian National Committee and other email lists, offering it as sample wording others could use in crafting resolutions for their own bodies to pass on the topic:

* * *

WHEREAS WikiLeaks has provided an invaluable service to the cause of free speech and to helping keep governments and other institutions accountable to the people of the world; and

WHEREAS numerous politicians and other public figures in the U.S. have called WikiLeaks founder and Australian citizen Julian Assange a a traitor (treason being punishable by the death penalty in the U.S.) and even in some cases for him to be assassinated; and

WHEREAS it is possible that if Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden, he could be extradited from there to the United States; and

WHEREAS the sex charges for which Julian Assange is wanted by Swedish authorities appear to be baseless, yet have been pursued in an unusually urgent and forceful manner by said authorities, in what can only be a result of Assange’s role in WikiLeaks;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Libertarian Party of San Francisco calls on the British authorities who have arrested Julian Assange and currently have not released him in Britain despite bail being granted and posted, to immediately stop all judicial proceedings against him, and refuse to extradite him to Sweden, the United States, or any other country.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Libertarian Party of San Francisco thanks Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, as well as their sources including U.S. Army private first class Bradley Manning, for exposing what congressman Ron Paul called “the delusional foreign policy” of the U.S. government, and revealing government secrets wrongfully withheld from the American people.

Ralph Nader and Ron Paul on Freedom Watch: Alliance Against Corporatism

From Raw Story via Poli-Tea:

on Wednesday's broadcast of Freedom Watch on the Fox Business channel, Judge Napolitano sat down for an amiable interview with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Ralph Nader to discuss a progressive-libertarian alliance in the 112th session of respective chambers in Congress.

Nader, who has recently called this coalition "the most exciting new political dynamic" in the US today, explained that it works well because both groups stand against corporatists who believe government should be run in the interests of corporations.

"I believe in coalitions," Rep. Paul echoed. "They talk about we need more bipartisanship, and I say we have too much bipartisanship because the bipartisanship we have here in Washington endorses corporatism."

Paul added that he agreed with Nader on a host of issues, such as cutting the US military's budget, ending undeclared US wars overseas, restoring civil liberties and civil rights by dumping from the Patriot Act, and withdrawing from the NAFTA and World Trade Organization agreements. . . .

Ron Paul ran as the Libertarian Party candidate for President in 1988 and remains a life member of the Libertarian Party, saying recently that "I believe the Libertarian Party has done a great service in promoting the libertarian philosophy, and I continue to have many friends and supporters in the Libertarian Party."

Ralph Nader ran as a Green Party candidate for President in 1996 and 2000 and as an Independent candidate for President in 2004 and 2008. In the 2010 elections, he campaigned for Green Party candidates such as Howie Hawkins for Governor of New York.

See previous IPR articles and comment threads:

Nader advocates for Progressive-Libertarian Alliance

Ron Paul could lead a new libertarian/progressive coalition

LSLA meeting cancelled

Gold America Group:

The LSLA Meeting scheduled for Seattle in February has been canceled for a litany of reasons, which we will be covering in more detail later.

IPR and TPID will also strive to bring more details as we learn them. The LSLA is the Libertarian State Leadership Alliance, which includes a meeting of state chairs and training sessions for party leaders and activists from all states.

Over the last few years, meetings have been held in conjunction with LNC meetings, but this one was supposed to be a stand alone event.

Jan 23, 2011

Julian Assange says US Libertarian Party is closest to his beliefs

Gold America Group:

Julian Assange, Australian journalist and creator of wikileaks (still up at wikileaks.NL), was asked which political party he as closest to in his beliefs. His answer: The American Libertarian Party.

This is significant because his answers were not limited to US parties, but could have involved any political party in the world.

Green Party Stands Against Corporate Personhood

From Independent Political Report:

On The Wilder Side: Today – on the one-year anniversary of the Citizens United v. FEC decision that legalized unrestrained corporate spending on federal elections – the Green Party re-affirms its opposition to corporate personhood, corporate speech rights, and corporate control of America’s public spaces, media, and elections.

Jan 22, 2011

Wharton on the Paranoid Style and the Surveillance State

From Billy Wharton at the Examiner:
If there is a political crisis, there is an opportunity.  Jared Lee Loughner’s attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona certainly created a crisis.  The New York Police Department (NYPD) is now ready to cash in on the opportunity.  Or so their recent report entitled “Active Shooter: Recommendations and Analysis for Risk Mitigation,” suggests.  However, this will be a bit of an unusual reward for the men in blue – they score the ideological points while the surveillance industry reaps the monetary profits. . . .

it recommends preventative and preparation measures, both done in fine post 9/11 paranoid style.  For prevention, the NYPD recommends the installation of surveillance cameras that cover all angles in the workplace and feed into a centralized location.  This is a good example of advancing a pre-existing ideological agenda into a moment of crisis.  Quite a financial boon to the surveillance camera makers and to those who wish to have every corner of New York City filmed for the purpose of total surveillance of the population . . .

Jan 20, 2011

WY: Libertarians Break to form New Party

From the Wyoming Trib:
Several top figures in the Wyoming Libertarian Party, including the party’s chairman, have left to try and form a new political party in Wyoming. The "Country Party," as the new party’s tentatively called, is a "less radical" version of the Libertarians or the Constitution Party, said Don Wills, who left as chairman of the Wyoming Libertarian Party last weekend. Wills is a co-founder of the new party . . . 
Apparently, a platform in favor of liberty is too radical for Wyoming voters.  See the Country Party's website.

The American Political Zoo

Not too long after Randy Miller, founder of the Utah League of Independent Voters, began publishing a series of original independent political cartoons at the ULIV blog, I contacted him to ask if he takes requests and he was happy to oblige:

Thanks Randy!  If anyone else out there is independently-minded and artistically inclined, I'd gladly relay any of your political cartoons at Poli-Tea and TPID.  Cross-posted from Poli-Tea.

CT: Walker May Run for Senate as Independent

From the Daily Caller:

Add David M. Walker, the former comptroller of the United States under Presidents Clinton and Bush, to the list of likely candidates to run for Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman seat in 2012.

Walker told The Daily Caller on Tuesday night that he has “no plans at the present time to run for office.” But sources close to Walker told TheDC they are bullish about the idea of his running as an Independent for the spot being vacated by Lieberman, who has been an Independent since 2006 . . .

Exclusionary Debates for Mayor of Chicago Rile Voters

From the Chicago Sun Times:

Normally, it is the Independent or the candidate representing a party besides the Democrats or Republicans who are left with their noses pressed up against the TV screen during sponsored debates. But in the most important local election in 20 years, even being a Democrat doesn’t guarantee you a seat at the table for debates being sponsored by local media and civic groups.
If comments posted on websites are to be believed, some viewers were stunned when only four of the six mayoral candidates were featured Monday on the first televised mayoral debate hosted by WTTW’s Chicago Tonight . . .

Jan 19, 2011

Pirate Party Activist Joins New Tunisian Cabinet

From Foreign Policy:
After weeks of public protests on- and offline the Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali resigned and escaped the country last Friday. Today, the head of the transitional government, Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi, announced his new cabinet members which include a familiar name. Slim Amamou, the Pirate Party member and freedom of speech activist who was arrested just a few days ago, is now the (deputy minister) State Secretary of Youth and Sports. . . .

Greens Begin to Displace Republicans in Maine

From Ballot Access News:

At the November 2, 2010 election, Green Party nominees for the State House outpolled their Republican opponents in four districts. The best Green showing was in Brunswick, in the 66th district. See this pre-election story, which has an interview with all three candidates. The results were: Democratic 38.62%; Green 33.33%; Republican 28.05%. The Green nominee was K. Frederick Horch. The other districts in which Greens outpolled Republicans were the 115th, 118th, and 120th districts, all in Portland.

Jan 18, 2011

Chuck Baldwin May Run for Governor of Montana

From the Flathead Beacon:
Chuck Baldwin hasn’t stated outright that he plans to run for governor of Montana. But in a speech to a packed room at the Outlaw Inn in Kalispell last week, he all but declared his candidacy, describing the prospect as, “so thrilling I just get goose bumps.”

“Because so many people have asked me, I am seriously thinking about it,” Baldwin said. “There has to be a governor willing to put his life on the line to defend the Constitution.”

Baldwin, the 2008 presidential nominee for the national Constitution Party, described waking in the middle of the night and imagining himself, as governor of Montana, writing a letter to the federal government taking control of all the state’s national parks, forests and Wilderness areas.

“I write, ‘all of the land that you claim is federal has just been reclaimed by the state of Montana,’” Baldwin said. “All these wilderness areas and U.N. wilderness is just an excuse to enslave the citizenry.”

As Montana’s chief executive, Baldwin said he would also reject the federal government in the manner of Arizona’s adoption of a strict and controversial immigration law, which is being challenged by the U.S. Justice Department . . . 

NV: Constitution Party Candidate Outpolls Democrat in Historic Showing

From Ballot Access News:
On November 2, 2010, Janine Hansen, the Constitution (Independent American) Party nominee for Assembly, 33rd district, received 30.43% of the vote and outpolled her Democratic Party opponent. This was the first time since at least 1920 that a minor party nominee for Nevada state legislature had outpolled one of the major party nominees, and the first time that one had polled over 30% of the vote in a race with both major parties. . . .

Green Party Challenges Congress to Address Reckless Violations of Constitution and Restore the Rule of Law in Government

A press release from the Green Party:
Green Party leaders challenged Democrats and Republicans in the 112th Congress, as well as President Obama, to end a decade of reckless violations of the US Constitution, international agreements, and other laws by the US government and begin a new era of respect for the rule of law.

"The new Congress began with a reading of the Constitution in the US House, but the document seems to be incomprehensible for many Representatives," said Muhammed Malik, co-chair of the Miami-Dade Green Party in Florida (http://www.miamidadegreenparty.org). "The protections enshrined in the constitutional amendments and Article Six's requirement that the US honor treaties are not subject to the whims of Presidents, State Departments, the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration, or any other government body. If we don't restore the rule of law now, we're in danger of seeing the end of the US as a republic and a free country."

Greens listed examples of official lawlessness and disregard for rights since 2000:

Jan 17, 2011

NYC: IWW Marches Against Wage Slavery

From the Socialist Party of New York City:
Sponsored by the NYC Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) labor union.  All Workers are Invited!  After 3 years of marches, petitions, and other actions, the IWW and its supporters have made one of the wealthiest fast food companies cave to the workers' demand for holiday recognition for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which falls on Monday, January 17th this year.
Many workers at Starbucks have experienced or witnessed racist hiring practices and treatment of workers. This holiday was specifically chosen because of the workers respect and love for King and for his support for organized labor.

Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis when he traveled there to support an illegal strike of black sanitation workers that were fighting for better working conditions, a living wage, respect, and union recognition. The IWW Starbucks Workers Union, a union formed entirely by current and former Starbucks baristas, has fought for nearly 7 years for the rights of every worker at Starbucks.

This year we celebrate our greatest victory yet!

On Monday, January 17th, 2010 every Starbucks employee working in the U.S. will receive time and a half holiday pay in honor of Dr. King. We give a low estimate of $1.2 million being spent by the company to cover the time and a half for hourly in-store employees, though the total amount of money going into the pockets of deserving workers is much higher because administrative workers and roasting plant workers will be receiving premium pay as well. Even the salaried managers at Starbucks stores, some of whom have spent years actively fighting against the union and lying about its members, will be benefiting from this victory with paid day offs. . . .

Jan 14, 2011

GA: Greens Call on Governor to Act on Prison Reform, Oppose Mass Incarceration Policies

From the Green Party:
"I am so encouraged to hear Governor Deal acknowledge both the stark statistics and something of the devastation which mass incarceration wreaks on Georgia communities," said Denice Traina, past cochair of the Georgia Green Party, mother, grandmother and Augusta based physical therapist. "We're eager to hear today's State of the State, hoping that Governor Deal will use the occasion to propose policies that apply the principals of restorative justice, rather than our failed policies of punishment and social control. Rehabilitation, education and vocational opportunities can help us keep folks working and families together. All Georgians win with those policies!"

"Greens are eager to see how Governor Deal intends to translate his concern for the wasted lives, drained treasury and depleted workforce into public policy," said Al Herman, Treasurer of the Georgia Green Party, DeKalb County resident and board member for Georgia NORML, the Georgia chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijauna Laws, "Greens welcome the Governor's acknowledgement of the debilitating costs of mass incarceration, and would like an opportunity to help craft the policies which can reverse the tragic course set by his predecessors which have decimated communities across Georgia to feed our commitment to mass incarceration."

Ms. Traina and Mr. Herman are responding to incoming Governor Nathan Deal's remarks to the General Assembly on Monday, acknowledging that one in thirteen adult Georgians are under state control. He stated that "It costs about $3 million per day to operate our department of corrections. As a state, we cannot afford to have so many of our citizens waste their lives because of addictions. It is draining our state treasury and it is depleting our workforce."

MD: Police Assault Activist Gathering Signatures for Green Party

From the Baltimore Sun:
A Green Party operative gathering signatures at Ellicott City's Charles E. Miller branch library to keep the group on Maryland's 2012 election ballot was pepper-sprayed and arrested by Howard County police, who charged him with trespassing and resisting arrest.

That much about the Dec. 18 incident is not in dispute, but practically everything else is, highlighting a sore subject in Maryland, and especially in Howard County — the difficulty in mounting a successful petition drive. Problems finding acceptable places to troll for signatures and Maryland's strict signature validation standards present daunting hurdles, and Maryland Green Party Chairman Brian Bittner says he's worried.

"What are we supposed to do? Where are we to turn to take part in democracy?" he asked. "We're certainly unsettled by it."

Tunisian Green Party Calls for Elections

A press release published at the Mabinogogiblog:
For a month, the Tunisian people, young and old have been attacked by
their police force (led by General Boudrigua) and commanded by the
President of the Republic in person, across the country.

A bloody confrontation leaving 65 dead, hundreds injured and over
3,000 arrested.

Today, during his third appeasement speech, the President of the
Republic announced promises without any guarantee. And yet, while he
was still talking, the police were still shooting real bullets, 2 dead
in Kairouan and riots continue in Hammam and Gafsa …

The « Green Tunisia » party declares that the political situation has
arrived at a historical turning point and the government is trying to
gain time.

The whole democratic opposition and civil society have the duty now to
make citizens aware, , educate them and defend their interests. We say
Yes to stopping violence, but firstly what violence? The violence
comes first and foremost from the government and the Destourien
régime. The people, young and old have said this, and written it in
their blood.

Enough -KIFAYA- of more than 60 years of rule by one party, absolute
power; despotism and nepotism. Only this would satisfy the popular

The « Green Tunisia », party is the Greens political mouthpiece. The
Tunisian government has repeatedly tried to isolate and eliminate it
from politics, by setting up a false Green party. In fact, this false
Green party’s representative was welcomed the day before the speech by
the President of the Republic on TV7, the official television station,
broadcasting yet again his allegiance to the dictatorship and support
for repression, as he always has done.

Our party signed a declaration with 14 parties and organizations of
civil society (some signataries seem to have forgotten) on 9th January
2010, in which we all expressed and for the first time since the
beginning of events our appeasement claims “with one voice”.

Today we find ourselves forced to express our position again, and we demand:

1.An international commission of inquiry appointed by the Human Rights
Commission of the United Nations Organization.
2.The immediate recognition of all parties arbitrarily unrecognized by
the government, including our « Green Tunisia » party.
3.Legal proceedings for those who, directly or indirectly gave the
order to assassinate our young people and our citizens.
4. The release of all political prisoners.
5.Long-awaited free legislative and presidential elections
6.Tossing in the sponge will allow the dictatorship to assassinate
even more of our young people with total impunity!!

We wish to thank the Greens parties: Europe-Ecology the French Greens,
the Maltese Greens, the European Greens, the African Greens Federation
and the Moroccan Greens for the support they have lent to the Tunisian
people’s struggle.

Abdelkader Zitouni,
National Coordinator of the « Green Tunisia »party
Member of the European Greens Party
Member of the African Greens Federation,
Member of the "Global Greens".
Email : tunisie.verte@gmail.com
Ph :
Fax :

Jan 13, 2011

Willie Nelson Supports Independent Candidate for Governor of Kentucky

Apparently, late last year, Willie Nelson called for the formation of a new political party opposed to the Democratic-Republican bipartisan consensus in favor of the failed war on drugs.  From December:
All 50 states have started Willie Nelson-inspired Teapot Parties since the singer called for a new political party that "leans a little to the left" after his marijuana arrest  in Texas on Nov. 26. "Tax it, regulate it and legalize it," the singer says. "And stop the border wars over drugs."
Nelson has now come out in support of Gatewood Galbraith, an Independent candidate for governor of Kentucky.  From the Lexington Herald Leader:
Willie Nelson and his newly formed Teapot Party are backing independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith for governor of Kentucky. The campaign of Lexington attorney Galbraith and his running mate, Frankfort political consultant Dea Riley, released a statement Monday quoting the country singer and songwriter as saying he is a “longtime friend” of Galbraith and believes Galbraith is “a good man and will do a good job.”

Jan 12, 2011

Choosing an Electoral System!

I wrote over at Daily Kos a summary and commentary on a chapter from a British book published online with the above title. The title was taken from an earlier more comprehensive survey of comparative electoral reform edited by Arend Lijphart. It helps to show how Strategic Election Reform was formulated (gradually over an extended period of time) in response to a wide variety of comparative electoral studies and many dialogues with electoral reformers and normal people.


Greens, Libertarians Re-Affirm Commitment to Non-Violence in Wake of Arizona Shooting

From the Arizona Green Party, via On the Wilder Side:
The Arizona Green Party is both saddened and outraged in response to the acts of domestic terrorism that plagued not only the City of Tucson this weekend, but our whole nation. Our hearts go out to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords as well as all the victims and their families, friends, and communities affected by this senseless tragedy. Our sincerest condolences to those lives that were lost devastatingly on Saturday and we hope for a speedy recovery to those beginning their healing process.

Nonviolence is one of The Ten Key Values of the Green Party. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace. Peace is not just the absence of violence; it is a willingness to resolve conflict in a constructive manner with a spirit of good will and respect.

Violence is never an answer. We, the Arizona Green Party, will continue to advocate for peace and non-violence in the wake of this tragedy in Tucson and everyday; that bloodshed and brutality are not replacements for compassionate dialogue and diplomatic action.
From the Libertarian Party national headquarters, via IPR:
Mark Hinkle, Chair of the Libertarian Party, issued a statement condemning the shooting of Congressional Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and others in Tucson, Arizona. According to reports, federal Judge John Roll and five others were killed in the shooting, and several others were seriously wounded.

“The Libertarian Party condemns the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others today. We are saddened by the loss of life, the suffering of those who survived the shooting, and the grief and sorrow of their family and friends.
“This shooting was wrong, and is the kind of abhorrent political violence that threatens our freedoms.
“The Libertarian Party opposes the initiation of force and violence whether it is politically motivated or for other reasons. To become a member of the Libertarian Party, people are required to sign a statement certifying that they oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.
“Regardless of the motives and other circumstances surrounding the killing, the Libertarian Party maintains its steadfast defense of the Second Amendment and the uncompromising right to gun ownership. In a free society, citizens should be free to arm and protect themselves, their families, and their property. Sadly, because of restrictions placed on responsible gun owners by all levels of government, many people avoid carrying weapons that could be used to stop mass shootings.
“Our condolences go out to the victims and their families. We wish them a speedy and full recovery.”

NC: Libertarian Party Condemns FBI Raids on Anti-War Activists

Via the Committee to Stop FBI Repression:
The Libertarian Party of North Carolina condemns the September 24, 2010, raids by the FBI on the homes of 14 anti-war activists in Minneapolis and other cities and the issuing of Grand Jury subpoenas to the targeted activists. The right to speak is one of the fundamental human rights recognized by the First Amendment to the Constitution. It is now clear that these raids were simply intended to intimidate those who speak against the foreign wars that our country is currently pursuing, and constitute a "fishing expedition" wherein the Department of Justice is using these Grand Jury subpoenas in an effort to discover or create actions or statements that will justify continued prosecution of these activists. We call on Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama, Congress, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to cease and desist from using Grand Jury subpoenas to intimidate people who are merely exercising their First Amendment rights, to immediately return all of confiscated items that were seized during these raids, and to pay for any required home repairs or damage done to confiscated items while in FBI custody.

Wes Benedict: "I wish more Democrats and Republicans took our Constitution and Bill of Rights seriously"

Wes Benedict, Executive Director of the Libertarian National Committee, recently gave a speech at a conference entitled "The Stripping of Freedom: A Careful Scan of TSA Security Procedures."  The Libertarian Party blog has republished Benedict's comments in full.  Excerpt:

The Libertarian Party strongly opposes the full-body scanners program. I recognize that different groups oppose these scanners for different reasons. Ralph Nader has always been a strong consumer safety advocate. He often sees a role for government in providing safety. Libertarians would like to see the government do less. When Libertarians and Ralph Nader agree a program is bad...it's time for our government to listen. I'm glad we have a Congressman or two participating today. I wish more Republicans and Democrats took our Constitution and Bill of Rights seriously.

Former Arizona Sheriff: Greatest Threat is not Terrorists, It is the Federal Government

Former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, Richard Mack, will be a featured speaker at the Spring 2011 Constitution Party national meeting in Pennsylvania.  In a statement by Mack reproduced at the Constitution Party discussion forum, Mack argues that "the greatest threat we face today is not terrorists; it is our own federal government."  From the CP forum:
I'm Richard Mack, former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, and long-time crusader for freedom and individual rights. Right now, it is vital that we restore the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. The greatest threat we face today is not terrorists; it is our own federal government. If America is conquered or ruined it will be from within, not a foreign enemy.

In 1994 I filed a lawsuit challenging the Brady bill to stop the federal government from forcing another unfunded mandate down our throats. I won a decision at the US Supreme Court on the issue of States' rights. This suit catapulted me to national attention, with television appearances on the Donahue Show, Good Morning America, Crossfire, Nightline, CNBC, and SHOWTIME'S the AMERICAN CANDIDATE. I've been on over 500 radio talk shows nationwide, ranging from G. Gordon Liddy and Charles Goyette to Derry Brownfield and Pat Buchannan. I have traveled the country extensively and I've seen first hand the horrible side effects from politicians who have replaced our Constitution with their own political agendas and party platforms.
Reportedly, Mack endorsed a number of Constitution Party candidates in the 2010 general election.

Florida Tea Party Denounces Democratic-Republican Politics of Hate

A press release from the Florida Tea Party, sent via email:
Florida Tea Party Chairman Peg Dunmire denounced the shooting of United States Congresswoman Giffords and eighteen (18) other individuals in which six were killed, including a nine-year old girl today in Arizona.

"The 'politics of hate' that was so prevalent this past election cycle must be stopped," stated Dunmire. "We have seen it from many sources including the left and the right. It is unfortunate that many of the newer members of the tea party movement, that always talk about not having any organized leadership, may have indirectly influenced this deranged individual to take this action today. The attack on Congresswoman Giffords was a direct assault on the Constitution and the Republic," Dunmire stated.

"Even here in Florida we have seen self-proclaimed 'tea party leaders' like Everett Wilkinson become violent in public settings when he disrupted a news conference with Governor Rick Scott during the campaign. Antics like that give rise to more violence and should be removed from the body politic," Dunmire stated.

"I and many other leaders of the TEA Party have been subjected to the same types of written email threats and hate mail that were sent to Congresswoman Giffords recently and it's a truly frightening experience," Dunmire concluded.

Peg Dunmire is Chairman of the TEA Party of Florida 


Jan 11, 2011

RI: Chafee to Issue Ban on Talk Radio Interviews for State Officials

From The Note:

State officials in Rhode Island will soon be ordered to stay off the airways, provided the interviewer happens to be a talk show host. A spokesman for [Independent] Gov. Lincoln Chafee tells the Providence Journal that talk radio is essentially “ratings-driven, for-profit programming,” and “we don’t think it is appropriate to use taxpayer resources” to have state employees use work time to “support for-profit, ratings-driven programming.”

Chafee intends to stay off the air, too, reversing something of a trend.  His predecessor, Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri, was a frequent talk radio guest, as are many current and former governors and big city mayors across the country. . . .

Jan 10, 2011

Why 3-seated State Assembly Elections Would Curtail Gerrymandering!

is described by me over at Daily Kos. The argument hinges on the notion that what works to help a party in 3-seated state assembly elections is what hurts them in 1-seated state senate elections. As such, they'd be in a Catch-22 situation if they tried to game the state legislative districts. And, the 3rd party wild cards wd disrupt voter patterns by encouraging more habitual nonvoters to vote strategically in major elections. This would also subvert the ability to gerrymander US congressional elections!

I also describe briefly in the diary linked to above how if we trusted our state assemblies more that we could give them back their constitutional right to elect our US senators and come out ahead in many important respects!


Green Party Strategy in 2011

From Michael Kwiatkowski at FireDogLake:

I’m going to be attending a meeting of the Northeast Ohio Green Party on the 18th of January. We’ll be discussing strategies for future elections in Ohio, particularly Northeast Ohio. This is especially important in light of the GOP’s efforts to remove two of Ohio’s Democrats from Congress by way of redistricting, likely Dennis Kucinich, Marcia Fudge, Betty Sutton, or Marcy Kaptur. Any two of these four Democrats could be on the Congressional chopping block. This means even less representation of the public than we have currently, and we haven’t much to begin with.

But it also presents Greens with an opportunity to expand our own efforts in Northeast Ohio. With legislative districts being redrawn to favor Republicans and hurt Democrats, areas that were previously closed to third parties because of strong Democrat presence may open up. This means we can run truly leftist candidates in areas where Democrats simply don’t bother or have been pushed out because of the redistricting. Also helping is the official ballot recognition of third parties in Ohio, which allowed Greens and other outside political parties to obtain ballot access for the first time last year.

The time to build up progressive political parties is now . . .

NY: Greens Accuse Cuomo of Recycling Failed Policies

From the NY Green Party:

The Green Party blasted the Emergency Fiscal Plan outlined by Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State Message as a continuation of the failed policies of previous administrations of both major parties.
“Andrew Cuomo is reading from the same 30-year old major party script, which says the bad economy and fiscal problems are the fault of big government and the solution is to cut taxes and spending. It’s the same old banker’s agenda to take capitaloff the tax roles and make labor pay all the taxes. The result has been an unprecedented concentration of income, wealth, and power in a tiny elite and stagnant or declining income, wealth, and public services for the rest of us. Wall Street blew up the economy, but Cuomo wants to blame public employees,” said Howie Hawkins, the Green Party’s 2010 gubernatorial candidate and recently elected co-chair. . . .

Jan 8, 2011

AZ: Giffords Targeted by Extremist Elements of Republican and Democratic Parties

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was among those shot in the Tucson massacre earlier today, has been targeted by extremist elements within both the Republican and Democratic parties over the course of the last two years.  Giffords was on Sarah Palin's infamous "hit list" and a "bulls eye" was placed on her district by Markos Moulitsas, who put her name on a "target list" of Democrats who "sold out the Constitution."  It is not surprising to learn that Giffords is known as "a moderate with an independent streak." 

OH: Mistrial Declared in Case of Former Constitution Party Candidate

From WHIO radio news:
There is a mistrial in the sex case against former U.S. Senate candidate Eric Deaton. The New Lebanon man was on trial on charges of having unlawful sexual contact with a minor. Jurors were unable to reach a verdict during deliberations Thursday. . . .

Jan 6, 2011

GA: Libertarians Lay Out Legislative Prioritiesfor 2011

From the Weekly:
The Libertarian Party of Georgia announced their focused priorities for the 2011 legislative session. With four major areas of focus, Tax Reform, Budget Process Reform, Election Reform, and defeating the Prescription Monitoring Act, the third largest political party in Georgia lays out how they hope to influence the legislative session that begins January 10th. Available on the Party's website, LPGeorgia.com, a four page document outlines their focus for the session.

"Georgia faces serious problems in the areas of taxation and spending, and the people of Georgia deserve serious solutions," said the Party's Legislative Director, Jeff Sexton . . .

Jan 5, 2011

Poll: Independents Outnumber Dead-Enders of the Democratic, Republican Parties

From Gallup:
In 2010, 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, down five percentage points from just two years ago and tied for the lowest annual average Gallup has measured in the last 22 years. While Democrats still outnumber Republicans [29%] by two points, the percentage identifying as independents increased to 38%, on the high end of what Gallup has measured in the last two decades.  [Emphasis added.] . . .

These results are based on aggregated data from 21 separate Gallup and USA Today/Gallup polls conducted in 2010, encompassing more than 25,000 interviews with U.S. adults. . . . the major movement in American politics since 2008 seems to be away from the Democratic Party and toward independent political status, rather than alignment with the GOP. . . .

RI: Chafee Sworn in as State's First Independent Governor

From Bloomberg:
Lincoln Chafee completed his political comeback Tuesday, being sworn in as Rhode Island's first independent governor four years after losing the U.S. Senate seat he held as a Republican. . . . During his speech, he called for greater political collaboration to solve the state's problems . . .

"Our present condition has not developed overnight. It has been decades in the making and it is the shared legacy of Democrats and Republicans, business and labor, liberals and conservatives. Finger pointing and blame will do nothing to alleviate our situation," he said. "The time for irresponsibility has ended." . . . .

Jan 4, 2011

CO: Libertarians Make the Case for Approval and Score Voting

Colorado Libertarians are among the most vocal proponents of approval and score voting in the United States.  At the Blue Carp blog, David K. Williams, Jr., the State Chairman for the Libertarian Party of Colorado, often advocates the implementation of approval voting as superior to both instant run-off and plurality.  The Libertarian Party candidate for governor of Colorado in 2010, Jaimes Brown, is an outspoken proponent of the method, which he discussed in an interview with TPID last August.  Now, via Ari Armstrong comes a short Youtube interview with Frank Atwood, in which the former Libertarian candidate for State Representative in Colorado makes a pitch for approval voting.  Armstrong writes: "While I was skeptical of approval voting at first, Atwood convinced me that it's a good idea -- even better than the "instant runoff voting" I've previously praised."  Video:

GA: Greens "Demand Answers" on Brutal Treatment of Striking Inmates

From the Green Party:
In a New Year's Eve letter sent to Governors Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal, officers of the Georgia Green Party asked why the Georgia Department of Corrections withheld from Terrance Dean's family news of his condition and whereabouts. The letter asks that they "launch an investigation into whether the DoC's apparent efforts to conceal (Mr. Dean's) condition rises to the level of a criminal conspiracy". Reports conveyed by other Macon State Prison inmates and their families have revealed that on or about the 16th of December, as striking inmates were beginning to return to work, employees of the Corrections Department beat and injured the former Bibb County resident serving his seventh year on a 16 year sentence for armed robbery.

"The violent response to the inmates peaceful, non-violent strike is shameful," said Bruce Dixon, Press Secretary for the Georgia Green Party and managing editor for the weekly BlackAgendaReport.com. "Prison inmates deserve wages for work, educational and self-improvement activities, decent food and medical care. The state should facilitate, rather than obstruct contact with their families. They deserve human rights and a clear path back to being productive members of society. The institutional human rights abuses exposed by the peaceful prisoners strike severely compromise the moral authority of Georgia's correctional system."

Information obtained by the coalition suggests that Mr. Dean was assaulted by state employees in the aftermath of the inmate sit down strike.. . . .

LT parties anyone?

I wrote up my thoughts on Local Third parties over at Daily Kos yesterday.

This is something that would not require any electoral reforms to work in terms of making our "democracy" work, as in giving more voice to more people on more issues! The bottom line would be to gird our loins to focus our time and energy on more MLKjr-style civil disobedience-like activism and/or to contest only local (potentially) winnable elections.

Having said that, it still would be in the interest of LTs to strategically contest local elections initially in order to get them to adopt the use of three-seated proportional representation elections that would help them to win seats in the future. This would be an eminently practical/USAmerican approach to electoral reform, since it would not decry the status quo of the US's electoral ssytem in its entirety. Instead, it would advance a solution to a significant problem: how to make local elections more competitive and interesting for voters, while letting them vote for the candidate not the party and maintaining the constituent-representative relationship.

As such, my vision is that if US LT parties proliferated and focused on this issue (not wholly to the exclusion of other issues, of course) then they might help to bridge a wide set of ideological differences in the name of increasing the pluralism/dynamism of the US's democracy!


Jan 3, 2011

NYT: Department of Defense has "a Relatively Small Annual Budget"

Via Memeorandum comes a link to this article in the New York Times reporting on an interview with outgoing Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson.  The article recounts Grayson's standard critique of the GOP but emphasizes that in the conversation "he repeatedly aimed his artillery in an unexpected direction: toward his own party." Perhaps most surprisingly, however, the article states that the Department of Defense has a "relatively small annual budget."  Excerpt:
He even gave his legislation provocative names, like the “The War Is Making You Poor Act,” which sought to reduce taxes by requiring the Defense Department to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan within its relatively small annual budget. (It did not pass.) [Emphasis added.]
The annual budget for the Department of Defense is now over $700 billion.  

OH: Trial Begins for Former Constitution Party Senate Candidate Accused of Sex with Minor

From the Dayton Daily News:
Eric W. Deaton, the former third-party candidate for U.S. Senate, admits having an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl, but is adamant that no sex occurred before the girl’s 16th birthday, his attorney said Monday, Jan. 3. . . .

Deaton, 43, of New Lebanon is charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The indictment alleges that, between March 2006 and March 2007, he engaged in sexual conduct with a girl who was between the ages of 13 and 15. . . .
Deaton, the Constitution Party candidate for Sen. George Voinovich’s seat, received more than 61,000 votes in the Nov. 2 election . . .

Pirate Parties Condemn Violence and Threats Against Wikileaks Staff

In recent weeks, numerous influential members of America's ruling political class have called for the death or assassination of Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks.  A number of chapters of the Pirate Party in Europe have released a statement condemning violence against Wikileaks staff.  From the Pirate Party UK:
In a joint declaration with other Pirate Parties, today the Pirate Party of the United Kingdom strongly condemns any attacks on Wikileaks infrastructure and more so any attacks on Wikileaks staff, as reported by Wikileaks in March and again by Julian Assange this week.
"Any democracy worth its name should distance itself immediately from any such actions" says Mark Wood, Vice-Secretary for Whistleblowing at Pirate Parties International and Member of the Board of Governors at Pirate Party UK. "Personal attacks and threats against anyone publishing information, are not what democracy is about. Should Wikileaks do anything illegal, they should be prosecuted through due process of law, which until now has - not surprisingly - not happened".
In a recent interview [2] Julian Assange, editor of Wikileaks, claims that two members of his staff have been murdered in Kenya, and that other staff have also been attacked in Luxembourg. These were new acts in a series of attacks against Wikileaks members as described in an earlier article [1]. Apart from these attacks, Wikileaks members were openly threatened by German BND [3] members.
"Again, we see many states, including some so-called democracies trying to inhibit the free flow of information that is inherent to the democratic principle" states Loz Kaye, Leader of Pirate Party UK. "It comes to show the sorry state our democracies have plunged to."
The Pirates Parties call for all democratic states to relent any attacks, to prosecute any persons or states that act through threats and violence and to actively condemn such activities for what they are: an attack on the freedoms that make up a democracy.
We urge each and every state and each journalist worth his reputation to investigate these attacks and shed the same light on them that Wikileaks has shed on this matter, which should concern all citizens.
Signed by the following parties:
- Pirate Party of Austria - Piratenpartei Österreichs
- Pirate Party of France - Parti Pirate français
- Pirate Party of Germany - Piratenpartei Deutschland
- Pirate Party of Italy - Partito Pirata Italiano
- Pirate Party Luxembourg - Piratepartei Lëtzebuerg
- Pirate Party of Switzerland
- Pirate Party of the United Kingdom

The Fruit of Democrat-Republican Party Government

From Darrell Castle a the Constitution Party of Tennessee:

With the lame ducks out of the way, what else can Congress be proud of? Here’s just a few:
  • Allowing the president to wage trillion dollar wars of aggression all over the world;
  • Bankrupting the richest nation on earth;
  • Destroying two-thirds of the manufacturing base of the greatest manufacturing nation on earth;
  • Plunging future generations of Americans into debt peonage;
  • Obamacare with its health mandates that deny the right to exit the system – a system, by the way, to which Congress is not subject;
  • Return of death panels despite the assurances that they would not return;
  • The Food Safety Bill, or the bill to make Monsanto our food controller;
  • Genetically modified foods; irradiated foods; imported and uninspected foods;
  • Net neutrality talks well under way;
  • A controlled press,
  • and destruction of the best education system in the world.
I could go on with this for pages and pages but I think you get the idea.

Jan 2, 2011

Leader of Sweden's Pirate Party Steps Down on Party's 5th Anniversary

From Torrent Freak:
Five years ago the first Pirate Party was founded in Sweden. In the years that followed the Party shook up the political climate in its home country and the European Parliament where it holds two seats. Now, five years later, founder and chief architect Rickard Falkvinge is stepping down as leader. He will focus on promoting the Pirate position internationally, while Party deputy Anna Troberg will take over the reins . . .

NJ: Libertarian Fights for Transparency in State's Failed Drug War

From Curtis Leeds at NJ.com:
READINGTON TWP. — John Paff asked what he thought was a simple question: how much money did police seize from the inside of a 2006 BMW? When township police wouldn’t say, Paff, who is chairman of the state Libertarian Party’s Open Government Advocacy Project, sued. Paff now has his answer: $61,649. But police released the information before the case could be heard in court. It had been scheduled for Jan. 18 . . .
Under the state Open Public Records Act and the common law right of access, Paff sought the amount seized. Police refused the request, and said “criminal investigatory records of information deemed to be confidential” are exempt from disclosure . . . 

Independent Political Report Goes Up for Sale

An announcement at Independent Political Report states that the site's publisher, Chris Martin, "is currently looking to sell Independent Political Report."  From the announcement:
Independent Political Report is, by traffic rank and by reputation, the top news website covering third party and independent candidates in American politics. Founded in April 2008, within months Independent Political Report became a popular destination for third party and non-partisan activists, candidates, and aficionados who wanted a community to discuss the latest electoral or ballot access news.
Independent Political Report has accumulated over 1.5 million unique views in the 2.5 years it has existed, as well as over 4.1 million pageviews. This means it has averaged around 1,500+ unique views per day. The site is incredibly productive, with over 9,500 news posts getting posted since the site’s creation, or around 10 posts per day. Thousands of comments have been posted on the website by readers since its creation—the site is known for its thriving community of commenters.
IPR is ranked somewhere around the 50,000th most popular website in the world, depending upon the ranking system you’re using. Various website value estimation programs, experts, and websites have found that Independent Political Report is worth between $15,000 and $45,000. With a page rank of 5 and a ton of incoming links, this is not surprising.  The Publisher of IPR is currently looking to sell Independent Political Report—so feel free to click here and place a bid. . . .

IN: Libertarian City Councilor Fights Republican Corporate Welfare Statists

From guire at the Libertarian Party of Indiana:

In this coming year, I will face a serious challenge: Maintaining my seat as a City-Councilor in Indianapolis. I currently have served as an at-large city-county councilor since 2007, and it has been a privilege to serve over a million citizens. In 2009, I made the decision to leave the Republican Party for the Libertarian Party.

The Marion County Republican party has spent the last four years giving welfare to major corporations, denying the second amendment rights all Indianapolis citizens are due, and punishing those within their party that dare to speak up for principle. It was easier to fight for libertarian principles as single voice on the council than it was to continually be silenced for the principles on which I stand.

I’ve been a consistent voice against the Republican majority’s policies of bailouts for the CIB, a $30 million dollar bailout for the Pacers, the creation of new government controlled monopolies benefiting special interests, and keeping taxes low. I need your help to get this message out. . . .

Jan 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, folks.  Third Party and Independent Daily launched one year ago today.  Thanks to all our contributors and readers! 

NV: AIP Candidate Faces Penalties for Withholding Information

From the Las Vegas Sun:
A political candidate must fill out campaign contribution and expense reports or face civil penalties, the Nevada Supreme Court has ruled. The court rejected the argument of Carolyn Bauer, a candidate for the state Senate in Washoe County, who argued the requirement violated her constitutional right against self incrimination. The court said this right exists only in criminal matters. Bauer, an Independent American Party candidate, submitted her required three campaign expense reports to the secretary of state in the 2002 election, but she left the income and expense lines blank . . .