Mar 31, 2010

Political Advisor and Media Consultant, Dan Payne, Offers "Lessons for Success" for Independent Candidates

From the Boston Globe:
HAVING ADVISED an independent candidate, Angus King, who won the governorship of Maine a few years ago, I am automatically one of the nation’s leading experts on independent candidacies. To size up independent Tim Cahill’s chances, I spoke with King and, with the clarity of hindsight, we drew up lessons for success . . . Choose your opponents carefully . . . Be credible. . . . Be an outsider . . . Go all in. . . . Avoid scandal . . . Tread on familiar ground. . . . Show gains in polls. . . . Pick your spot. 
Definitely a must read for independent and third party strategists, not to mention candidates for office. 

PA: Independent to Run for Congress in 12th CD

From the Daily American:
A Scottdale man intends to run for the 12th Congressional District seat as an independent candidate.  Dr. Bruce Teich, 55, said he needs to collect about 3,100 signatures to have his name placed on the general election ballot. He stopped by the Daily American Tuesday to talk about the race. Teich, a former Republican, decided to change political parties last year when he discussed running for the seat with his family. Being an independent means he will not be subject to party pressure, he said.  “We need true conservative thinkers in Congress,” he said. “We have to stand by those principles, not the whims of the party.”

GA: Libertarians Qualify for May 11th Special Elections for State Senate

Shane Bruce writes via email:
Two Georgia Libertarians qualified for the impending special elections for Senate District 42 in Decatur and Senate District 49 in Gainesville today marking the first time in the Georgia LP's history that it placed two candidates for State Senate on the ballot at the same time. Libertarian David Montané will square off against the well funded grandson of Ex President Jimmy Carter, Jason Carter in the 42nd Senate district and Libertarian Brandon Givens will face down a horde of republican wanna bees in the 49th Senate District in Gainesville. This will make three special elections for the Georgia State Senate that have happened so far in 2010 and all three have had Libertarian Candidates running in the races.

For additional Details:

Get Out of Our House (GOOH) Strategy Endorsed By Constitution Party

Via Transworld News:
The Constitution Party announced today it is endorsing GOOOH, (acronym for Get Out Of Our House, pronounced “go”), the non-partisan plan to send independent citizen candidates to the U.S. House of Representatives. Founder Tim Cox was enthusiastically received at the biennial convention of the Constitution Party of Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 27, in Carlisle, PA, where he outlined the plan for the delegates.

Constitution Party National Chairman, Jim Clymer said, “We encourage every member of the Constitution Party as well as every constitutionally minded patriot in America to join GOOOH and participate in this effort to restore the ‘people’s House of Representatives’ by electing those truly representative of the values and principles held by hard-working, civic minded, patriotic citizens. Vice Chairman Darrell Castle and I are convinced this is a sensible plan that will break the duopoly of the two major parties and will allow those truly committed to Constitutional governance a chance to compete in the marketplace of ideas.”

MO: Constitution Party to Run 70 Candidates for Local, State and Federal Office

From the Constitution Party MO:
St. Louis, MO. “Freedom-loving Missouri voters will really have a choice this year as the Constitution Party announces a total of 70 candidates filing for federal, state and local offices,” Donna Ivanovich, State Chair of the Constitution Party reported today. The party has filed three candidates for the U.S. Senate race. Others include candidates for U.S. Representative in the 3rd, 4th and 5th Districts, 26th and 28th State Senate District, 19 State Representative districts, in addition to 43 candidates for county and local offices. A complete list of Constitution Party candidates is available at the party website:

Germany: Green Party Gaining Support under New Ruling Coalition

From Angus Reid:
The Green Party (Grune) has become the third most popular political force in Germany, according to a poll by Infratest-Dimap. 14 per cent of respondents would vote for the Greens in the next election to the Federal Diet, up two points since January. The ruling Christian-Democratic Union (CDU) and its associate Bavarian Christian-Social Party (CSU) are still in first place with 35 per cent, followed by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) with 27 per cent. The Left Party (Linke) is in fourth place with 10 per cent, followed by the Free Democratic Party (FDP) with nine per cent.

CA: KPFA Interviews Laura Wells, Green Party Candidate for Governor

Via Ann Garrison's Plutocracy Now, the War and Plunder Report:

The California Green Party's 2010 candidate for governor spoke with the KPFA Morning Show's Brian Edwards-Tiekert on March 15, 2010. Neither Christine Todd Whitman nor Steve Poisner, the California Republican Party candidates in the 2010 governor's race, have yet responded to KPFA's request for interviews, and Democratic candidate Jerry Brown, a former KPFA host himself, has said that he will not appear on the station.
Follow the link for the audio.

The Fight Between the People and the Parties Continues: Proposition 14 Firestorm [UPDATE]

We might expect the major parties to oppose a referendum that gives more power to the people and less to the party bosses. The main opponents of Prop 14 are the Dems and Repubs, however the minor parties have jumped on board, and now Independent Political Report, the prominent Libertarian blog, has decided to take a side (against).

As many know, I personally (The Hankster) support Prop 14 and consider it a fair proposition that will give California independents (decline to state) the right to vote and provide an open field for all candidates in the first round of voting. Read independent attorney Harry Kresky's HuffPo response to Nader "Why Independents are Right and Ralph Nader is Wrong about Proposition 14."

  • Editorial: IPR Opposes Proposition 14 in California (Independent Political Report)
  • Why Independents are Right and Ralph Nader is Wrong about Proposition 14 (Harry Kresky, Huffington Post)
  • The Great Voter Silencer: Prop 14 (Tom Del Beccaro, CA Repub Vice Chair)
  • Reclaiming Our State Government (By Roger Clark, Fox & Hounds Daily) Californians are angry because we recognize the winds of partisan self-interest have eroded Citizen Power.  Not since the days of Governor Hiram Johnson, who in 1911 successfully championed Citizen Power through enactment of referendum, recall and initiative to overcome the power of the special-interests of the day -- the railroads - have the people been as angry. Our frustration with partisan politics is evident as the ranks of "Decline-to-State" registered voters have swelled to almost twenty-one percent of all voters.
  • Editorial: Effort to shrink state government stalls (THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER) Meanwhile, another initiative approved for the ballot by full-time legislators would make it easier to pass more laws and impose higher taxes. Backers of Proposition 14 on the June ballot would change election laws to create open primaries...
  • RIP part-time Legislature. And danger looms (posted by Mark Landsbaum, Orange County Register/Orange Punch/Freedomblogging - a Libertarian blog) Meanwhile, there’s another initiative the full-time legislators  themselves approved for the ballot: Proposition 14. It  would provide open primaries. The argument for it is that it will remove  the gridlock  that  comes from polarized ideologues in Sacramento. And that means, the  Legislature will find more votes in the mushy middle to do things  like  expand  government even more and impose even more taxes.
  • California NAACP Opposes Proposition 14 (Ballot Access News)
  • Catching up on California Referenda, etc. (William P. Meyers, California Democracy blog) In particular I think that "third" parties will be able to attract more voters in the primaries under Proposition 14, and that should help them build their cores of regular voters.
  • Netflix CEO Puts Cash Down "Open Primary" Rathole (Steve Rankin, Free Citizen blog) I am continually amazed that some independents and small party members support the “top two open primary.” I guess they don’t give a damn about having a chance to elect independents and small party candidates to office, since the final choice in the “top two” is almost always one Democrat and one Republican, two Democrats, OR two Republicans.

For more news for independent voters, see The Hankster

Mar 30, 2010

PA: Libertarian Explains Rejection of "Both Old Parties"

From the Morning Call:
According to The Morning Call's March 21 article on independent voters, one in nine Pennsylvanians are registered with neither the Republican or Democratic parties. The numbers are growing elsewhere. I am one of those elsewhere voters. I left the old parties to join the Libertarian Party. Why did I leave?
After decades of the Republican/Democratic Party incumbent in power, I finally asked myself, ''How's this working out?'' Despite their rhetoric, both old parties have expanded the size and scope of government . . .

OH: Sec. of State Demands Pledge from "Crossover" Voters in Primary

From The Plain Dealer:
COLUMBUS, Ohio - All voters who switch parties for the May 4 primary must sign a form supporting their new party's principles under a controversial directive Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner issued on Friday. Boards of Elections around the state had varied in their approach to so-called "crossover" voters. Cuyahoga County, for example, required only voters switching parties at the polls to fill out allegiance forms during the 2008 primary. Franklin County, which includes Columbus, didn't force any voters to sign the forms in 2008 . . .  Brunner's directive does not affect voters requesting the ballot of a minor party, such as the Libertarian Party or the Green Party, for the first time.

Time Lists Top Ten Alternative Political Movements

Time Magazine has published a story on the top ten alternative political movements, which includes the Tea Party, the Modern Whig Party, the Pirate Party and the US Marijuana Party. 

Mar 29, 2010

ME: Independent Eliot Cutler Proposes Education Reform

From the Maine Campus:
Eliot Cutler, an independent candidate in the 2010 Maine gubernatorial election, believes Maine’s current system of postsecondary education is destined to fail. “We’re a state of 1.3 million people. We have 14 separate campuses — seven community college campuses and seven university campuses,” said Cutler, a Cape Elizabeth attorney, in a February telephone interview. “The [University of Maine] system and the community college system don’t communicate with each other.”

Cutler said the system is undermining itself because many community college credits are non-transferable within the University of Maine System. He said functions and programs in the two systems are being duplicated — a serious problem for a fiscally challenged state. “We need to merge the systems. They ought to be under the same governing board; they should be under the same executive. They should be much more closely coordinated with [the] K-12 education system in Maine,” Cutler said.

CA: Libertarian Tobin Proposes Electoral and Ballot Access Reform to Cut Government Waste

From the Market Wire a press release from the Tobin for CA Secretary of State campaign:

MILL VALLEY, CA--(Marketwire - March 29, 2010) -  Christina Tobin, Libertarian Party candidate for Secretary of State of California, today announced four plans to save Californians' tax dollars and reduce government waste. "California faces a crushing $20 billion deficit. It is imperative that every state and local government agency find ways to save taxpayer dollars in the programs it administers," stated Tobin.  Tobin's four methods for saving taxpayer dollars include: . . . Support all-mail voting . . . Allow small, qualified parties to nominate by convention, if they wish. . . . Abolish the tiny petitions for candidates seeking a place on the primary ballots for partisan office . . . Rather than requiring independent candidates obtain 173,000-plus signatures to get on the ballot, let them on the November ballot by paying a filing fee.

NJ: Former Independent Candidate for Governor to Become President and CEO of Dodge Foundation

From the Dodge Blog:
After several months and a comprehensive search that attracted more than 200 candidates, the Trustees of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation have announced that Christopher J. Daggett will succeed David Grant as the new President and CEO . . . If you live in New Jersey, you probably recognize Chris’s name as the independent candidate for governor in 2009. He was the first independent candidate to raise the threshold amount of money to qualify for public matching funds and to participate in public debates with the major party candidates. He was also endorsed by The Star-Ledger, the state’s leading newspaper.

PA: Greta Browne Makes the Case for Independent Voters to Go Green

From the Morning Call:
Independents represent, among other things, the grassroots distrust of the two-party system in U.S. electoral politics. As discontent with both Republicans and Democrats sweeps through the country, some suggest that we need a third political party, but the truth is that we need two or even more third parties to adequately represent the spectrum of American opinion.  The Green Party grew out of a dynamic green movement, coalescing as a body that was ready to run candidates for office in the early 1990s.

IL: Green Gov Candidate Blasts Dems on Healthcare and Public Pensions

Via Corrente:
Carbondale, IL-Green Party Candidate for Governor Rich Whitney issued the following statement today regarding passage of the federal health care bill and the pending reform of the Illinois pension system:
Two major events this week strikingly illustrate how the leadership of the Democratic Party makes a pretense of defending the interests of working people – while actually attacking those interests on behalf of their corporate paymasters, including Wall Street.
The first is the signing of the so-called Health Insurance reform bill in Washington – which should properly be named the "Health Insurance Company Enrichment Act of 2010."
The second is the ramming through of Senate Bill SB 1946 in Springfield, which created a two-tier public pension system in most of our state’s public pensions. This was done in one day – between the time the text of the bill was amended and its passage in both houses of the General Assembly.

MN: Green to Run for State Legislature

Via Green Party Watch:

Green Party member and University of Minnesota alumnus Dan Craigie announced his bid in the state representative race for District 59B on Friday evening at the Oak Street Theatre. Craigie, who graduated from the University in the fall of 2009 with a master’s degree in public policy, will be running against longtime DFL Rep. Phyllis Kahn as well as Republican candidate and fellow University graduate Ole Hovde.

Why is Ralph Nader Opposing California Open Primary Proposition 14?

"It's particularly disturbing that at a moment when millions of independents are knocking at the door of an electoral process from which they are excluded, Ralph Nader and the third party movement would want to slam it shut." (From independent attorney Harry Kresky in Sunday's Sac Bee)

What was Ralph Nader thinking? The sometime Green/ sometime independent Presidential candidate who garners less than a percentage point of the vote in 2000, 2004 and 2008 now wants to Stop the Top Two, the popular open primary initiative that will be on the ballot in California June 8.... Thanks to IPR for the heads up about Ralph.

  • Viewpoints: Should state adopt an open primary? Yes -- It would help third parties thrive where they now flunk ((By Harry Kresky, Special to The Bee)

  • Viewpoints: Should state adopt an open primary? No -- It would hurt the GOP and reward mushy candidates (By Shawn Steel, Special to The Bee)

  • Redistricting commission and open primary could end the bickering (THE DESERT SUN EDITORIAL BOARD)

  • Open Primary Debate (B.J. Hansen, My MotherLode)

  • Maybe We Should End Primary Elections (Bob Schieffer, CBS News) Response to Phil Keisling's oped in NYTimes Get Rid of Partisans

  • To Reduce Partisanship, Get Rid of Partisans (By PHIL KEISLING, NY Times)

  • Altered Consciousness: Tackling political partisanship by its roots (By Rick Alterbaum, The Brandeis Hoot - Brandeis University) Supports Louisiana style open primary

  • For more news for independents, see The Hankster

    AZ: Ranks of Dems and GOP Continue to Dwindle, Independents on the Rise

    From the Green Valley News and Sun:
    The burgeoning independent voting bloc is shaping up as the key battleground for the 2010 elections as the two major political parties watch their numbers erode statewide and locally.  Arizona’s Republican Party lost 5,896 voters between Jan. 1 and March 1, according to figures released Wednesday by Secretary of State Ken Bennett. The Democrats lost 9,637 voters in the same period.  That left the GOP with 1,121,753 voters, and the Democrats with 1,024,758.  The only growing group of voters are those registered as Independent, unaffiliated or members of an unrecognized political party. That category increased to 939,542, up 10,323 registered voters in the state.

    CO: Libertarian to Challenge Two-Party Establishment in 6th CD

    From McNealy for Congress:

    Rob McNealy, Libertarian candidate for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District is proud to announce that he earned the Libertarian Party of Colorado’s nomination for CD6 at their annual convention on  March 20th, 2010. Rob McNealy will face off against Democrat challenger John Flerlage and Republican incumbent Mike Coffman. McNealy said, “I am excited to win the nomination and support of the Libertarian Party of Colorado which shares my philosophy of smaller government, personal liberty and fiscal responsibility.  I look forward to challenging Mike Coffman and John Flerlage in November. ”

    NV: Tea Party Libertarians See Palin as "Part of Establishment"

    From the Las Vegas Review Journal:
    The motley mix of Republicans, libertarians, gadflies and disgruntled grandparents gathered Saturday in Searchlight for the Tea Party Express rally could fit a loose definition of conservative. Beyond that, applying just a single adjective is a stretch . . .  Others see Palin as a tool for Republican politicians to win the support of the libertarian-leaning Tea Party movement . . . "It is disappointing but not surprising," said Liz Kerby, former chairwoman of the Nye County Libertarian Party, of Palin's support for McCain. "She's not rogue, she sounds like part of that establishment," said Kerby, referring to Palin's book, "Going Rogue."

    IL: Blogger Interviews Libertarian Candidate for Governor Lex Green

    From the Beaves:
    I learned a lot about this great Libertarian candidate in my reasearch of him and after hearing his answers found that while we do disagree on a few issues, we also have many common beliefs . . .

    What made you join your party rather than one of the two major parties or another 3rd party?

    I have always been a seeker after truth and I found the politics of the two major parties to be confusing and disingenuous. I am also headstrong and don’t like being coerced to do anything or give away something I have earned. I migrated politically over many years to the Libertarian Party, even while reserving the right to disagree with them. Eventually I realized I had found my political home.

    What can be done here to end the distrust in politicians in this state
    and get Illinoisans to the polls?

    The problem isn’t the distrust, which I feel we should never lose. The problem is the politicians. When the primary goal is getting re-elected, truth and honesty go out the window. For this reason, I support term limits, like those in the Putback Amendment. Freed from the need to pander for votes, the politician can focus on standing on his/her principles. Think of holding office as you would jury duty. You go do your duty with honor and dignity and then go back to your plow, wrench or pen.
    Read the rest.

    Mar 28, 2010

    NV: Tea Party Candidate in Hot Water

    At IPR, Cody Quirk has been following the candidacy of Tea Party candidate for US Senate Jon Ashjian very closely:

    A Nevada asphalt contractor who faces a legal challenge to his Tea Party of Nevada candidacy for U.S. Senate was hit Friday with felony theft and bad check charges in Las Vegas that allege he bounced a $5,000 business check last year. Scott Ashjian is one of a record 22 candidates, including 12 Republicans, running for the seat held by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is seeking a fifth term.

    NV: Whigs Rally at Tea Party Protest

    The Las Vegas Sun reports on the recent protest-rally against Harry Reid in Searchlight Nevada:
    While fractious, the Tea Party movement is united by the overwhelming sense that government has overstepped its bounds . . .  Kathleen Kendra, 60, a chiropractor from Riverside, said the administration and Congress are “railroading our citizens into socialism.” Disgusted with both major political parties, Kendra joined with friends to revive the Whig Party in Riverside. The group elected officers in January and is fielding candidates in local races.

    Mar 27, 2010

    TX: Uphill Battle for Ballot Access for Independent Candidate for Congress

    From the Herald Zeitung:
    Eddie Traylor was out walking the streets downtown Thursday, shaking hands and trying to earn support from residents, as is custom for any campaigning politician.  The difference is that Traylor isn’t doing it simply to win votes.  He needs their signatures or his name won’t be on the November ballot.  Traylor is an independent candidate for the District 21 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.  As he’s not affiliated with either the Republicans, Democrats or third-party Libertarians — he’s on his own.  And in Texas, that means he has to gather hundreds of signatures just so he can participate in the election.  “You can do it,” said Traylor, “but it’s a job, that’s for sure.”

    Green Party Calls for "Medicare for All"

    From a Green Party press release calling for "Medicare for all":
    Green candidates and party leaders said today that the passage of the Democratic health care bill, with its increased financial burdens on millions of Americans, should not slow the movement for Medicare For All (single-payer national health care) . . . 
    Green Party Watch has more details.

    UK: Green Party "Bombshell" Ahead of Call for General Election

    From the Independent UK:
    Mainstream parties were routed in an astonishing council by-election result just days before Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to call a general election. The Greens' Rachel Eburne captured a Tory seat at Mid Suffolk District, also humiliating the Liberal Democrats and Labour. She polled 61 per cent of the vote at Haughley and Wetherden with a 33.2 per cent net swing from the Conservatives. Labour, which had a councillor in the ward until 2003, polled just 32 votes. The Lib Dems, a close second last time, only managed 51. The result comes a week before another by-election challenge for the Green Party in a Lancaster City Council ward where they shared seats with Labour in 2007. Green leader Caroline Lucas is seeking a General Election breakthrough for her party.

    Mar 26, 2010

    CA: Letter to Editor Explains Switch from GOP to Libertarian Party

    From the Bakersfield Californian:
    [Republican State Senator]  Roy Ashburn is one reason I left the liberal, big-government-loving Republican Party and re-registered in the Libertarian Party.  Republicans pretend to want small government but always vote to grow "Big Brother" spending programs. Ashburn voting to increase our taxes is the perfect example.

    Gary Johnson For America Blog Interviews David Nolan

    From the Johnson for America blog:
    Our guest for today’s Important Voices interview is David Nolan.  David was one of the people who played an integral role in founding the United States Libertarian Party.  He subsequently served the party in a number of roles including National Chair, editor of the party newsletter, chairman of the By-laws Committee, chairman of the Judicial Committee, and Chairman of the Platform Committee.  David originated the famous “Nolan chart,” which attempts to improve on the simple left versus right political taxonomy by separating the issues of economic freedom and social freedom and presenting them in the format of a plane.
    Follow the link for the interview.

    Mar 25, 2010

    Socialist Calls on Democrats to Join SPUSA

    From a letter to the Bellingham Herald:
    Before the last election I, like many people, had no idea what modern Democratic Socialism really means, or what it could mean for the United States. So, in the interest of being a wise and fully informed voter, I took the time - cautiously, and with much skepticism, I might add - to visit the Socialist Party USA Web site to educate myself on this seemingly nefarious ideology that somehow crept into our president-elect's repertoire. Well, I was so impressed by the Socialist Party platform that I became I dues-paying member that very day. I would encourage local Democrats who are fed up with that party's status quo to do the same. You will be pleasantly surprised to find how easy and sensible that transition is.

    Socialist Party Opposes Democrats' Health Insurance Industry Bailout

    From the Memphis Socialist Party:
    March 22, 2009- Co-chair of the Socialist Party USA, Billy Wharton, opposes the healthcare bill passed yesterday by the House of Representatives and scheduled to be signed into law by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. Wharton’s opposition is based on the belief that this bill is not a reform. Instead, it is a corporate restructuring of the health insurance industry created to protect the profit margins of private insurance companies.

    CA: Polls Shows 55% Support Third Party Option

    From Fox and Hounds:
    According to the new Public Policy Institute Poll, disgusted voters are ready for a third party in California. Fifty-five percent of likely voters think a third party is needed. This reflects a similar finding in September 2008. There is no warmth from likely voters for the two major parties.

    MA: Independent Candidate for Congress Releases First Web Ad

    Via the Michael Engel Campaign and LocalSpur

    Poll: 67% Say They Would Probably or Definitely Consider Independent Candidate for President in 2012

    Via Your Story:
    Twenty-five percent of the nation's electorate said they would "definitely" consider voting for "an independent candidate with moderate views on most issues" in the 2012 presidential race, and an additional 42 percent said they would "probably" consider doing so. Twenty-eight percent said they would "definitely" or "probably" not consider voting for an independent candidate. "This poll shows that a serious independent candidate would have a shot at 25 percent of the vote, maybe more," said Faucheux. "This is 6 points higher than the 19 percent independent Ross Perot received in 1992. Of course, it ultimately depends upon the qualifications and appeal of the actual, flesh-and-blood candidate and whether he or she has the resources to mount a full-fledged nationwide campaign."

    PA: Green Candidate for State Rep Profiled in Roxborough Review

    The Roxborough Review profiles Green candidate for State Representative Hugh Giordano:
    For Hugh Giordano, the hard part of this upcoming election is only beginning. The young union organizer is running unopposed as a Green Party candidate this May.  “I understand that running as Green is a tremendous handicap. But running as a Green party candidate is about doing what is right without any strings attached. It was the only ethical and moral thing to do,” said Giordano. “Government is about the people and not politics as usual.”

    CA: Greens Make the Case Against Prop 14

    Via Ballot Access News, the Green Party of CA has released a number of documents making the case against Prop 14.  From the announcement at CAGP:

    At the March 2010 General Assembly of Delegates, the Green Party of California easily reached consensus on opposing Proposition 14. If adopted, all candidates for partisan office would be required to run in a single, combined Primary Election rather than each party having it's own Primary. Voters may vote for any party's candidate, but only the two highest voted candidates would proceed to the General Election. No longer would each party be represented in the General. In fact, the two candidates in the General could be from the same party.
    Obviously, this measure would make it extremely difficulty for minor parties to get their candidates - especially for statewide offices - seen by the voters in the General Election. There was a previous ballot measure proposing this "top-two" concept, which the GPCA also opposed. The present measure made it on to the ballot by being a part of the "deal" to get State Senator Abel Maldonado to vote in support of the February 2009 budget package.
    Defeating Proposition 14 is a high priority for the GPCA. Because we, and other small political parties, constitute just a minority of the total voters, we must reach out beyond our GPCA membership to defeat this measure.

    Greens Make Ballot Access Push in AR, AZ, HI, TX

    From Green Party Watch:
    Several state Green Parties are collecting signatures to win ballot access for 2010 elections – and beyond! No matter where you are, there is some way to help fellow Greens win the recognition they need from their state governments. Please help any of the following states, and stay tuned for further news from other state parties.

    Mar 24, 2010

    New Site: Third Party and Independent Daily Headlines

    Since the launch of Third Party and Independent Daily on January 1st and the creation of its individual news pages sections over the last few months, I have continued to experiment a bit with the resulting functionality, and am pleased to announce the creation of Third Party and Independent Daily Headlines! The site brings together feeds from TP&ID's news pages with those from Poli-Tea as well as other sites in the third party and independent blogosphere, providing what might be the most comprehensive overview of today's third party and independent political news on the web. Give it a look and let me know what you think if you're so inclined. Also, if you are interested in becoming a contributor to TPID, don't hesitate to send an email.

    [Cross-posted from Poli-Tea.]

    MT: Record Number of Candidates for State Legislature

    From the Great Falls Tribune:
    Whatever the cause, a record number of Montanans — 320 of them — have filed for election to Montana's Legislature. Whatever the reason, such a level of interest cannot be a bad thing.They'll be vying for 126 seats — 26 four-year terms in the Senate and all 100 two-year terms in the House . . . In the 2009 Legislature, the House was divided 50-50 and Republicans controlled the Senate by a narrow 27-23 margin.

    PA: GOOH Strategist to Address Constitution Party Convention

    The Sentinel reports:
    The founder of a growing national movement intent on replacing the entire U.S. House of Representatives will speak at Saturday’s Constitution Party Convention in Middlesex Township . . . Cox’s movement, known as Get Out of Our House, or GOOOH (pronounced “go”), claims to be gaining traction, with more than a million visitors to the Web site, and Cox has been featured on numerous media programs.

    Mar 23, 2010

    CO: Libertarian Party to Run Slate with Over 20 Candidates this Year

    The Libertarian Party of Colorado has published a list of its candidates for this year's elections, including candidates for governor, US House and Senate, the state legislature and county government.  The site notes: "Our vacancy committee is seeking more candidates.  If you are a registered Libertarian in Colorado as of March 12, 2010 and are interested in running for office, please contact us."

    CA: Libertarian Excluded from Ballot over $26.10

    From the Monterey County Herald:
    A lousy $26.  That's how much money kept would-be Libertarian Party candidate Savva Vassiliev off the June primary ballot in the 27th Assembly District. Vassiliev, 24, a self-described actor-writer from Carmel, planned to use his candidacy to speak out for gay marriage, legal marijuana and lower taxes, among other issues. But Vassiliev fell short by $26 — $26.10 to be exact — of submitting the required combination of money and voter signatures to cover the $952.91 candidate filing fee to run for the state Legislature. Vassiliev believes that an election system that informed him of the shortfall days after the March 12 deadline and refused his offer to pay the $26 is unfair.

    NV: Independent American Party to Sue Tea Party Candidate for US Senate

    From Expose Harry:
    The conservative Independent American Party’s U.S. Senate candidate sued today to remove a fellow U.S. Senate candidate running under the Tea Party of Nevada from the ballot. Tim Fasano, of Fernley, filed the lawsuit in Carson City District Court, arguing that Tea Party of Nevada candidate Jon Scott Ashjian should be removed from November’s ballot because he failed to change his party affiliation until after he filed for office.

    NV: Sher Zieve Interviews Independent Candidate for Gov. Gino DiSimone

    At Canada Free Press, Sher Zieve writes:
    In my ongoing series of interviews with Conservative and Libertarian candidates for elected State and Federal office, I recently talked with Gino DiSimone—Gubernatorial Independent Candidate for Nevada.  True pro-American patriot candidates deserve as much of our support as we can muster. 
    Follow the link for the full interview.

    UK: Pirate Party Launches Election Manifesto

    From the Pirate Party UK:
    After a huge amount of work by our policy groups, policy group leaders, our manifesto co-ordinator, by the web team who built voting software, and most of all by the members of the party who put forward the proposals and voted democratically on every point, I am very proud to announce that our 2010 general election manifesto is now ready.
    The manifesto calls for copyright and patent reform, demands a strengthening of the right to privacy in all communications, and hence also for greater protections to the freedom of speech. 

    Mar 22, 2010

    CA: PFP Candidate for Governor Blasts Commodification of Public Office

    Via Indy Bay, Peace and Freedom Party candidate for Governor of California Stewart Alexander argues against the purchase of public office by Democratic and Republican politicians:
    The office of California Governor pays an annual salary of $173,987; however, the three top Republican and Democrat contenders, hoping to be the next governor of California will more than likely spend over $200 million for the governor’s seat.

    Republican billionaire Meg Whitman has stated that she will spend up to $150 million of her own money to be governor and Republican Steve Poizner wrote a $15 million check as down payment on the governor’s office. The un-contended Democrat, Attorney General Jerry Brown is hoping to challenge Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner with the backing of casinos, unions and third party committees . . .

    Alexander says it is time that voters look beyond the high price television ads and multi-million dollar advertising campaigns and get the facts up front; where the candidates stand on creating jobs, single-payer health care, same-sex marriage rights, immigrant rights, the right to receive a free education and the war. “Unfortunately, the answers to the hard questions are often lost in the 30 second radio and television ads, paid for by the candidates and the committees who are protecting the interest of big money.”

    CA: Examiner Argues Against Prop 14

    In a lengthy article at the Examiner, Robert Rische argues against California's Proposition 14.  He concludes:
    The fact of the matter is that an open primary system, under Proposition 14, will do little to change the current status quo. What it will do is increase the cost of campaigns – since candidates will have to correspond to all voters, not just those within their own party – thus, giving lobbyists more influence as well.

    PA: Green Candidate for Congress Calls for Universal Single Payer Healthcare

    Ed Bortz, Green Party candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 14th District writes at Firedoglake:
    If there was a perfect moment, for universal single-payer healthcare activists to move from talk to courageous screams for justice, it would be right now. Forget the political calculus…burning issues must always trump the politics of the elites . . . So who says we need to give up and accept a fundamentally flawed corporate-written health insurance bailout bill, rather than a clear and principled healthCARE reform bill? We already have the foundations for an equitable and cost effective system in Medicare…let’s improve on Medicare and make it available to everyone!
    Philip Shropshire has more on Bortz at the Examiner.

    CA Proposition 14 - For Democracy and Inclusion of Independent Voters

    The latest round-up of news about California's open primary initiative, Proposition 14, which will be on the ballot June 8. Partisans showed their true colors last week with back-room deals and litigation on the ballot wording. Prominent independent attorney Harry Kresky's commentary on HuffPo "Words Matter" sheds lots of light on the nature of our democracy. And Phil Keisling, Oregon's former Sec. of State who went to bat for that state's Measure 65 which would have opened the primaries to voters who don't choose to affiliate with a party, has a neat idea to Reduce Partisanship in today's NY Times. For more news for independents, see The Hankster

    PROP 14

    GA: Libertarian Party Opposes Prescription Drug Monitoring Bill

    From the Weekly:
    ATLANTA (March 18, 2010) – A bill in the state legislature could compromise your privacy if you use certain prescribed or over-the-counter medicines, says the Libertarian Party of Georgia (LP Georgia) . . . SB 418, which was referred to last year as the Georgia Prescription Monitoring Program Act, would create a database to monitor certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs, such as Ritalin, Xanax, most pain medications, sleep aids and any product containing pseudoephedrine. 

    AZ: Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to Hold "Candidate Academy" Including Greens and Libertarians

    From the Arizona Daily Star:
    the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce . . .  has announced it will hold a three-day, nonpartisan, come-one come-all "Candidate Academy" next month . . . "You don't have to be Hispanic and you don't have to be a businessperson," said Lea Marquez-Peterson, the chamber's president and CEO. "We've heard so much about elected officials and candidates not being business-friendly, so we decided to take responsibility for educating them." . . . 
    Marquez-Peterson has already met with local Democratic and Republican party heads, and plans to meet with Green and Libertarian chiefs as well . . . As for speakers at the workshops, she said that's "still a work in progress, but it's going to be a balanced approach, politically. We'll include Demo-crats, Republicans, Green and Libertarian party representatives."

    ME: Green Withdrawal from Governor's Race May Boost Independent

    The Portland Press Herald speculates as to the possible repercussions of the Green Lynne Williams' withdrawal from the gubernatorial race, suggesting it may be a boon for independent Eliot Cutler:
    The absence of a Green Independent Party candidate from the governor's race means 6 percent to 9 percent of the Maine electorate will be up for grabs in November . . . Since first appearing on Maine's gubernatorial ballot in 1994, Green candidates have always gotten between 6 percent and 9.5 percent of the vote . . . Cutler agreed it's possible Greens may turn to him. He cited his strong environmental record – as an aide for the late Sen. Ed Muskie, Cutler was involved in passing the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act – and the fact he's running as a political outsider, like Williams . . . "A number of Greens may want to vote for him," said [Green candidate coordinator] Chipman.

    Mar 21, 2010

    Promising Green Candidates for Governor in NV, OH, CA, MA, IL

    On the Wilder Side is keeping a close eye on Green gubernatorial candidates in five states.  Click through for full profiles:
    Some Green Party Governor candidates to watch:
    DAVID CURTIS  is running for Governor of Nevada . . .
    DENNIS S. SPISAK is the Green Party of Ohio candidate for governor in 2010 . . . 
    S. DEACON ALEXANDER is one of two candidates competing for the California Green nomination for governor . . . 
    LAURA WELLS is also running for the Green Party’s nomination for Governor of California. Ms. Wells ran for State Controller in 2002 and 2006. In 2002, she received over 400,000 votes, the highest vote total of any Green Party partisan statewide race in California JILL STEIN has launched an exciting grassroots campaign that is posing an unprecedented challenge to business as usual in Massachusetts. She is building on the 350,000 votes she received statewide in her race for Secretary of the Commonwealth in 2006
    RICH WHITNEY, a civil rights attorney based in Carbondale, is running again for Governor of Illinois. At a time when Illinois is experiencing devastating cuts to education and social services, Mr. Whitney is the only candidate in the race who refuses to accept such cuts as inevitable.

    PA: Libertarian Party Certified as Official Party

    From the York Daily Record:
    On Wednesday, the county commissioners -- in their status as the county board of elections -- certified the Libertarians as one of the three official political parties in York County. That designation came down from the state level.Two other statewide organizations identify themselves as third parties: the liberal Green Party and the conservative Constitution Party.But the Libertarians are the only organization that meets Pennsylvania's legal definition of a third party.

    They earned that distinction last year. In order to get the minor party designation, a group has to put up at least one candidate running for a statewide office. And that candidate has to get at least 2 percent of the votes that the highest vote getter for a state office received, regardless of whether they're running for the same office. Technically, the Green and Constitution parties are classified as "political bodies." Being classified as a minor party instead of a political body has advantages. Candidates can't declare themselves members of the party without its approval.

    Baltimore Sun Profiles Michael Peroutka and Institute on the Constitution

    From the Baltimore Sun:
    Whether born on the left or the right side of the political aisle, the government's huge initiatives of recent years have left perhaps more ordinary citizens than ever wondering what influence they have over the forces that shape their lives.

    Into this breach steps Michael Anthony Peroutka, a Pasadena attorney, former U.S. presidential candidate (he led the U.S. Constitution Party ticket in 2008, winning more than 150,000 votes) and co-founder of the Institute on the Constitution, an educational initiative that has offered seminar-style courses on the nation's founding documents since 2000.

    Mar 20, 2010

    MS: Independent to Run for Congress in 1st District

    Form the Desoto Times Tribune:
    Les Green said he can do the math, and the two mainstream political parties have "sent this country into trillions of dollars of debt." Green, a DeSoto County math teacher and father of three, says he's making an independent run for Congress to ensure that future generations aren't saddled with debt. He launched his candidacy for U.S. Representative from the First Congressional District this past week.

    "Both parties promise they'll do better - as soon as they regain power," Green said. "But even then, nothing changes. They bicker while our nation stumbles. It's time to do something different. It's time for Independent leaders in Congress whose only interest is yours."

    ME: Maine Greens to Run Slate of 18 Candidates for Legislature

    When Green Independent candidate for governor in Maine, Lynne Williams announced that she would be discontinuing her campaign for governor, the party stated they would be focusing their efforts on legislative races.  Green Party Watch reports that the Maine Green Independent Party will be fielding 18 candidates for state legislature:
    On Monday, March 15th, the Green Independent Party of Maine turned in signatures to qualify 18 legislative candidates throughout the state, the second highest total in 12 years of holding official ballot status.

    Mar 19, 2010

    OH: Six Parties to Appear on 2010 Primary Ballots

    From wnewsj:
     For the first time in recent history, voters will have the option to request a third-party ballot for a partisan primary election as the result of a directive issued in December by Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.  The recognized third parties in Ohio are the Constitution Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party and the Socialist Party USA.
    Each party’s certified candidates will appear on the ballot in all 88 Ohio counties for the May 4 primary election. These parties previously appeared on the 2008 general election ballot in Ohio, but have not appeared on a primary election ballot until this election, according to a media release from the Clinton County Board of Elections.

    IA: Narcisse to Run for Governor as Independent

    From the Swing State Project:
    Jonathan Narcisse told the Des Moines Register's Kathie Obradovich yesterday that he won't run against Governor Chet Culver in the Democratic primary. He plans to register for the ballot as an independent candidate. Narcisse served a term on the Des Moines School board is the publisher of several African-American and Latino-oriented publications. He also appears regularly on some talk radio programs in Iowa. His political views are an unusual blend, as you can see from reading his manifesto, An Iowa Worth Fighting For.

    Texas Libertarian: Democrats and Republicans are "Fed Up" with the Ruling Parties

    From the Brownsville Herald:
    Libertarian Ben Neece has taken the reigns of the Cameron County Libertarian Party . . . [he] said that when recently promoting the Libertarian Party, some Democrats and Republicans said that they are “fed up” with the ruling parties. “The general consensus was that Democratic and Republican officials are not doing what their philosophies dictate and the other thing that was very evident is that there is even worse animosity toward Washington,” he said.

    Mar 18, 2010

    California Proposition 14: Rights of People vs. Rights of Parties - The Next American Revolution attorney Harry Kresky's piece today on HuffPo Words Matter: Voters to Get Fair Wording of California Open Primary Initiative is a gem. Read it, and re-read it, and then read it to your friends!
    The assertion of such a right by the parties raises a fundamental question about the nature of our democracy. Does it rest on the rights of voters or on the rights of parties? On one level the answer is simple. The Constitution makes no mention of political parties. The Bill of Rights speaks of the "rights of the people," not of the parties. After all, it is the people who organize the parties, so how could the rights of the parties they organize trump theirs?
    We face a challenge every day in this country -- move forward, or stay here? And "stay here" increasingly means going backwards.

    In the very early days of our American revolution,  soon after the independent forces won, George Washington warned us about the "baneful effects of party".  In that spirit, let's continue the struggle.

    OH: Constitution Party Candidate to Challenge Disqualification

    From the Columbus Dispatch:
    Robert M. Owens of Delaware, a Constitution Party candidate for attorney general, says the Franklin County Board of Elections improperly threw out valid signatures for not being legible, leaving him 19 short of qualifying for the ballot. Owens is asking the court to issue an order to place his name on the ballot or to direct the Franklin County elections board and possibly other county boards to recheck the petition signatures he filed.

    MO: Pettis County Constitution Party Fielding a Number of Candidates this November

    From the Sedalia Democrat:
    The party’s county chairman, Curtis Shipman, filed Tuesday as the second challenge to Republican Rep. Stan Cox’s two-term hold on the District 118 state House seat. Former Democrat Jerry Beck, of La Monte, has entered the race for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Kit Bond. Beck will face a primary in August against Joe Martellaro, of Cuba, Mo. Bennie Hatfield, of Sedalia, filed to be the Constitution Party candidate for the open state Senate District 28 seat now held by Delbert Scott who is leaving office due to term limits. The party also is fielding Greg Cowan, of Lebanon, in the crowded race to challenge Rep. Ike Skelton, a Democrat, for the 4th Congressional District seat.

    MO: Money Bomb for Consitution Party Senate Candidate Mike Simmons

    From the Constitution Party discussion forum:
    The Committee to Elect Mike Simmons 2010 is proud to announce the kick off of the Patrick Henry money bomb. The goal for this fundraiser is to raise $5000.00 by March 23rd, 2010. The 23rd of March is the 235th Anniversary of Patrick Henry's "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" speech. A money bomb is a blitzkrieg style fundraiser that is typically center upon a special event not unlike a telethon.

    As you may or may not know Mike is facing some fierce opposition and his opponents have millions of dollars at their disposal. Your contribution will help fund the campaign and create literature to hand out in the upcoming election season.

    If you know Mike or are interested in having a Constitutionalist candidate in office please consider making a contribution by going to:  
    On his website, Simmons writes:
    If you were a gambler would you feel safe with a 39% chance of winning? Probably not. According to data collected from the Freedom Index, since 2003 Congress has voted constitutionally only 39% of the time. The House's average is: 37% while the Senate's average is: 41%. How can someone swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and only vote constitutionally 39% of the time? The two party system clearly has no intention of upholding the Constitution; therefore it is time for a party rooted in the Constitution to take over. It is time for the Constitution Party!

    MI: Ann Arbor Chronicle Details the Efforts of One Independent Candidate for Mayor

    From the Ann Arbor Chronicle:
    Running for mayor as an independent candidate starts pretty easy. It’s a five-minute session at the city clerk’s office.  This brief background piece covers some of the nuts and bolts of that process, based on Steve Bean’s Tuesday afternoon appearance on the second floor of city hall at the city clerk’s office. As a bonus, there’s a bit of city history thrown in.

    ME: Maine Campus Highlights Independent's Struggle for Ballot Access

    From the Maine Campus:
    To get on the ballot in September, Independent candidates in the 2010 gubernatorial election need to collect 4,000 verified signatures from registered Maine voters by May 25. As of March 16, Kevin Scott had less than 1,500 after stops from Portland to Presque Isle. Those signatures haven’t come easily. “I’ve spent eight-hour days over the course of a weekend knocking on doors and gathering 100 signatures,” Scott said in a February telephone interview. “The challenge is really time.”

    UT: Constitution Party Candidate for Congress in CD-2

    From the Prepared Christian:
    Randall Hinton, who makes the compelling campaign argument, "We must stop consuming our children's future!" is one of a growing number of excellent candidates who are stepping forward to run for office all across the nation on the Constitution Party ticket in 2010. To watch Randall Hinton announce his campaign, as covered by the local media, please go to For complete Hinton campaign coverage you are encouraged to visit the homepage of his excellent campaign website at:

    A Poli-Tea Action Alert? Shining a Light on the Media Blackout

    In a recent post at Poli-Tea on duopolist bias and third party media strategy, I suggested pressuring polling organizations to explicitly include third party and independent candidates in their public opinion surveys for specific elections. As a follow-up to this, I have drafted a short letter, which I just emailed to Rasmussen, urging them to do precisely that. The reason why I chose to begin with Rasmussen should be clear from the letter itself. Obviously, one email does not carry very much weight, which is why I am also asking you to join me in this effort. Please feel free to copy and paste or even re-work the following, and send it on to Rasmussen Reports at, or even call them at 732-776-9777.
    Rasmussen Reports,
    I am writing to urge you to include third party and independent candidates for office in your regular surveys of public opinion for the 2010 elections. In a number of recent polls, you have included a third party "Tea Party" for consideration on the "generic ballot", revealing significant support within the US electorate for this third party or independent option. Currently, however, the "Tea Party" is registered as an actual third party in only two states; yet there are ballot qualified third party and independent candidates for office at all levels of government in almost all 50 states. With few exceptions (ex. Chafee in RI and Cahill in MA), Rasmussen typically gauges support for these candidates by asking respondents if they support Republican X, Democrat Y or "some other candidate," as for instance in your recent survey covering the gubernatorial race in Illinois. This, however, fails to assess support for any specific alternative to the major party candidates. One wonders what level of support Democrats and Republicans would garner in a given race if you asked respondents to choose between Independent X, Libertarian Y, Green Z or "some other candidate." Rasmussen Reports often quotes Scott Rasmussen himself saying that Americans are "united in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers." I agree with this assessment and therefore urge you to begin actively gauging support for specific, ballot qualified, third party and independent candidates for office in your polling nationwide.
    Obviously, suggestions and criticism are welcome in comments.
    [Cross-posted from Poli-Tea.]

    Mar 17, 2010

    FL: Green Party, Libertarian Party and Tea Party Team Up in Support of Electoral Reform

    From the New Times:
    [Green Party county co-chair] Jayne King has banded together with some strange bedfellows: She says that the Electoral Reform event she's helping to organize for this Saturday has support from a whole spectrum of political activists.

    Sure, members of the Green Party and the ACLU will show up -- you expected that, right? But so, King says, will Tea Party activists, Libertarians, Independents, and even a few Republicans. The common thread is that all agree that major reforms are due in our highly compromised elections system.

    People are disenfranchised. Third- and fourth-party candidates are discouraged from running. The public is apathetic about voting. Lobbyists exert undue influence. And our state Legislature is stocked with millionaires who don't represent the will of the common people.

    King says that Saturday's event, which will take place from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Boca Raton, will host speakers on the subject of electoral disenfranchisement, followed by break-out groups, to come up with a "white paper" organizers will distribute to our elected officials.

    Green Party to Join Marches Against War, for Immigration Reform

    From GPW:
    Many Greens are planning to march against US wars in Washington DC on 3/20/10, but not all may be aware that a march for immigration reform is planned for the very next day in DC. Participants in Sunday’s March for America will be marching for “Immigration reform for new American families and economic justice for all American families”.

    MD: Libertarians Pledge "Six to Zero in Eight"

    From the MDLP:
    On Saturday, March 13, 2010 the Maryland Libertarian Party held its annual state convention. The Libertarian Party’s Candidate for Governor, Susan Gaztañaga, began to outline some key issues and the platform of her campaign. Two issues that she has brought are the Sales Tax and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “Six to Zero in Eight”, Gaztañaga pledges: “We need to eliminate our State Sales Tax and boost the economy of Maryland.” The plan would reduce the sales tax rate to zero in eight years.

    The Maryland Libertarian Party strongly opposes the draconian tax policy of Governor Martin O’Malley, who raised the Sales Tax in an economic downturn. Businesses on the Eastern Shore of Maryland would directly benefit from this proposal by the Gaztañaga Campaign, as they would be on equal footing with Delaware businesses, which currently do not have a sales tax.

    FL: Libertarian Observer Fears "More of the Same" From Tea Party Republicans

    At Destinlog, Peter J. Blome, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Okaloosa County and a member of the Fort Walton Beach Tea Party, records his observations of a recent tea party candidate forum:
    Recently, the Fort Walton Beach Tea Party held a candidate forum for the Florida 4th District representative election. This was the seat formerly held by Ray Sansom. The five Republican candidates stood next to each other and answered individually crafted questions created by a Tea Party committee. The one Democrat contender for state representative was invited, but did not appear . . . But Okaloosa County does not need just another forum. It needs competition. It needs a new approach. At the end of the evening it was clear that the Tea Party forum was political routine. Government control over individuals and business will still be the only means of doing business.

    CA: Green and Libertarian Parties Oppose Proposition 14

    Speaking of Prop 14 . . . Green Party Watch relays a press release reporting the Green Party's positions on June 1st ballot measures:
    The Green Party of California (GPCA) announced this week it was officially supporting only one of five propositions on the June 2010 ballot - a measure that would experiment with public financing of some candidates in the 2014 and 2018 elections to avoid the corrupting influence of lobbyists.
    Voting at the party’s state convention in San Jose last weekend, delegates representing Green Party counties throughout the state agreed to support Prop. 15, which would use fees paid by lobbyists to finance Secretary of State candidates. It means smaller parties could receive up to $1.3 million in public financing for that SOS race.

    PROP. 14: No Support. The GPCA heavily criticized Prop. 14, the so-called “top two” measure, which would, if passed, only allow the top two winners in the primary to be on the ballot in the November general election. The result, said the Greens, would result in fewer voter choices at time when voters are dissatisfied with current choices; increased candidate spending; muzzled smaller parties and their messages; and increased influence by the same moneyed special interests bankrolling Prop. 14.
    The Libertarian Party of California also opposes the measure, and asks visitors of its website to "Join the Libertarian Party of California in preserving voter choice by opposing Proposition 14 on the June Primary ballot."  The page also links to Stop Top Two, which Ross profiled here at TPID the day the site launched.  

    Richard Winger Makes Case Against California's Prop 14

    Third party and independent activists are split over the issue of California's Proposition 14 ballot measure.  To simplify: independent activists support the measure because unaffiliated voters will be allowed vote in the primaries (among other things), while third party activists are opposed to the measure because it will reduce choice on the general election ballot to just two candidates (among other things).  At Poli-Tea I excerpted arguments on both sides of the issue and supplied some details on the proposition last month, if you have not been following the debate.  In response to Nancy's recent posts here at TPID in support of the proposition, Richard Winger of Ballot Access News writes, via email, in opposition to the measure:
    Prop. 14 increases the ballot access requirements for parties to remain ballot-qualified.  By eliminating the easiest way that parties remain ballot-qualified (the 2% vote test for any statewide office in a midterm year), the measure kills the Peace & Freedom Party, and will force the Libertarian Party to engage in an expensive registration drive.  If Prop. 14 passes, the only way parties can remain on the ballot is to have registration of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote.  That will probably be 100,000 after 2010.  PFP only has 58,000 and Libertarian has 84,000.  It costs about $5 per registration to pay people to get new registrants.

    And, Prop. 14 says write-ins can't ever be counted in November for Congress and state office.

    And, Prop. 14 makes it very unlikely that any minor party candidates will appear on the November ballot.  We know this from the experience of Louisiana and Washington state.  No minor party person ever qualified for a second round in Louisiana in the 35 years the system has been used there.  In Washington state, in 2008, using "top-two" for the first time, there were no minor party or independent candidates on the November ballot for any congressional race or statewide state race for the first time since Washington became a state in 1889.
    For more, see also Richard's guest posts on the measure at the Election Law Blog and at Nancy's The Hankster.

    California Appeals Court Says No to Proposition 14 Opponents

    California Court of Appeals says no to Proposition 14 opponents, which is good news for independent voters. Open primaries gaining support in Pennsylvania and Illinois. Rock on!

    PROP 14
    Read more news for independents at The Hankster

      Voters Abandoning Democratic and Republican Party Primaries, Taxpayers Continue Funding the Charade

      From USA Today, via The Whig:
      Since 1962, the percentage of eligible voters picking Democratic and Republican nominees for governor and U.S. Senate has been declining to less than 10% per party. The percentages are even lower for U.S. House and state legislature primaries, Gans says.
      As noted in an excerpt from the Michigan Messenger yesterday: "we spend millions and millions of taxpayer dollars to have the state run the nomination votes for the two major parties."  And then no one  even votes in them!

      CA: Modern Whigs Call for Action Against Incumbents

      From the California Whig Party:
      it is the PRESENT members of our elected bodies that have created the havoc we now find ourselves in and it is they who, due to their constant bickering and game playing, have not been able to straighten out the very messes they have created. It is not enough to remove some and leave others… we can only send a strong message by removing them all. It doesn’t matter if you wish to vote Republican or Democrat or Independent… just make sure the present official is replaced. You cannot change things by leaving them as they are and not voting leaves things exactly as they are. Not voting as a protest is a guarantee that the very thing you are protesting will remain the way it is.

      Mar 16, 2010

      CO: Green Gary Swing Announces Candidacy for Congress

      Via the CO Green Party:
      I am seeking the Green Party's nomination for U.S. Representative from Denver (District 1). The Green Party's state nominating convention will be held in early June at a time and location that has not been set yet. If there is a primary election, it will be held on the second Tuesday in August.

      PA: Green "Faces Off" on the Issue of Palin Presidential Candidacy

      From the Wayne Independent's Face Off feature:
      "Would Sarah Palin be a viable candidate for US President?" . . . "NO" By SKIP MENDLER
      Sebastian “Skip” Mender, of Honesdale, is the president of the Wayne County Green Party.
      Some wag  once observed, "The great thing about America is practically anyone can become President - and the problem with America is practically anyone can become President."  I'm not an elitist -  I do not agree with those who think that all Presidents must come from aristocracy, or that the working classes are incapable of producing great leaders. I do not even agree with the assertion that all beauty pageant contestants are ipso facto airheads.  No, I judge Sarah Palin unqualified to be President strictly based on her own unique personal merits. We have contradictory expectations of our Presidents . . . 
      She has not shown the least bit of interest in crafting compromise or consensus, or for that matter original thoughts, when divisive soundbites are ever so much more effective.  She may excite her followers, and drive her opponents nuts – but such talent is insufficient for success with the daily realities of governing. Those who think that Palin's election would herald some kind of conservative watershed moment would do well to reflect that progressives thought the very same thing about Obama not so long ago. Our problems are systemic – and merely changing the party in power is not going to solve them.

      MN: Waldorf to Challenge Peterson as Independent

      From the Minn Post:
      Gene Waldorf, a former DFL state Senator from St. Paul, told the St. Cloud Times that he'll run for Congress as an independent and challenge DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson.

      MA: Independent Cahill Criticizes State and National Health Care Law

      From the Boston Globe:
      State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, an independent candidate for governor, today offered a wide-ranging and scathing criticism of the state’s universal health care law, saying it is bankrupting Massachusetts and will do the same nationally, if a similar plan is passed in Congress.

      SEIU Threatens to Support Third Party Candidates Against Democrats

      From the Caucus:
      In an effort to increase pressure on Democrats to vote for the health care bill, Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, warned on Monday that his powerful union would back some independent candidates this fall against House Democrats who vote against the bill.

      Wayne Root Seeking Chairmanship of Libertarian National Committee

      From Nevada News and Views:
      I am seeking the chairmanship of the Libertarian National Committee. We need to dramatically change the direction of the Libertarian Party. We do not need an “administrator” who shuffles papers. We need a dynamic voice for Libertarian principles. We need to bring more people to the Party so that we can dramatically and quickly reduce the size and scope of the State.

      Libertarian Party to Field at Least 263 Candidates for Office in 2010

      From the LP blog:
      See our entire list of candidates sorted by state. Please note that in some cases, state parties choose to list all filed candidates prior to the final nomination (for example, Texas lists five candidates seeking the LP nomination for Governor), while other states wait until after nomination to list their candidates. If you don't see any candidates in the districts where you live, then please visit this page to see how Libertarian candidates make a difference, and consider signing up to be a possible candidate. Deadlines vary by state, but the sooner you express your interest, the better. If you've already expressed interest and gotten no response, you might try again.

      Mar 15, 2010

      Socialist Party Politics and the Great Recession

      From the Columbia News Service, via the Memphis Socialist Party:
      The economic crisis may have sounded a death knell for investment banks, construction companies and countless small businesses, but there are some groups that are benefittng from the general malaise. Alternative political movements such as communism and socialism are hoping that some Americans will go outside the mainstream and adopt a socialist ideology, breathing new life into these organizations. . . .

      Officials from the Communist Party USA and the Socialist Party USA say they have never seen such interest from Americans as they see today. A poll conducted by Rasmussen in 2009 showed that 20 percent of Americans favor socialism over capitalism, with more support among younger people. Of adults under 30, 37 percent of them said socialism was the better choice.

      Coffee or Tea? A Party's a Party, Isn't It?

      Things have come to a pretty pass
      Our romance is growing flat,
      For you like this and the other
      While I go for this and that,
      Goodness knows what the end will be
      Oh I don't know where I'm at
      It looks as if we two will never be one
      Something must be done

       (from Let's Call the Whole Thing Off by George & Ira Gershwin)

      If the Tea Party is a conservative element seeking to pull the Repubs (more) to the right, what's your guess as to the role the Coffee Party wants to play? Is it MoveOn in disguise? Maybe.... Whatever it is, the notion of rallying people around an agenda of civil discourse makes me a little wary, not because I think screaming and yelling is a productive mode of social dialogue, but because it seems to me it's more like using a silver spoon where a backhoe would do just as well. Is it really ok to destroy the country with a smile on your face and a "so sorry" on your lips?

      And isn't this the basis of the independent movement in the first place? We need innovative solutions to very serious problems we're facing, and those solutions are not coming from the two major parties, no matter how polite or nasty they might be. You can't turn a corrupt partisan special-interest driven political culture into something it's not, no matter how carefully you chose your words. That's why 40% of the American people are independent. Politely or rowdily, we're leaving. Here's to an irreverent independent movement for all voices who want to help move the country forward.
      • Tea Party Avoids Divisive Social Issues (By KATE ZERNIKE, NY Times)
      • Move over tea party, here comes coffee (By BRIAN MCNEILL, Charlottesville VA Daily Progress) “The tea party is fine, except they’re kind of radical about stuff,” Dick Wilz, a Louisa resident, said at the Barracks Road Shopping Center coffee shop. “This is about civility.”
      • Coffee Party; grass roots movement brewing nationwide (KTNV Las Vegas) "Their agenda is to restore respect, accessibility and civility to the process. It's not demean or put fear," said Sandra Myer, a Coffee Party follower.
      • Coffee or tea? Naples group holds first meeting for political dialogue (By CATHERINE HOWDEN, Naples News) In addition to his involvement with the Coffee Party, Burkett plans to run for the U.S. Senate this year as a “strategic” Democrat who describes himself as a “conservative independent hawk.”
      • 'Coffee party' movement: Not far from the 'tea party' message? - The coffee party movement held its political kickoff Saturday at 370 locations across the US. At one Georgia meeting, the message didn't seem that different from the rival 'tea party' message. (By Patrik Jonsson, Christian Science Monitor) While asserting to be independent, coffee party activists tend to back President Obama and want “obstructionists” in Congress and the media to get out of his way. To attendees like Mr. Landers, the tea party, though demanding a return to American representative ideals, seems co-opted by social conservatives such as Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and even Ralph Reed (though tea-partyers see themselves as stressing fiscal and size-of-government issues).  NOTE: Salit's Opinion: Tea party activists: Don't confuse them with independents is linked as a related article here
      • Sacramentans plan political 'coffee party' (By Anna Tong, Sac Bee) Castro, a registered independent voter, said he will encourage people at today's gathering to discuss politics in a respectful manner. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to mobilize like the tea party has. "I would like to see us develop a platform based on issues and not on any agenda that would be categorized as left or right," Castro said. "I would also like to see us possibly support candidates."
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      California's Prop 14 Ballot Language Fight a Win for Independents

      More commentary on California's Proposition 14 "top two" open primary referendum after Judge Allen Sumner's ballot language ruling on Friday. The ruling was seen as a win for independent voters by attorney Harry Kresky of IndependentVoting and by Californians for an Open Primary/Yes on 14... Meanwhile, state Rep. Hunter Greene, a Republican who chairs the state House Ways and Means Committee, wants an open primary for Louisiana.... Plus some more state political news below, including NYS Independence Party boss picks Schumer for Gov...

      • Cahill navigating uncharted waters-No independent has won statewide race (By Brian C. Mooney, Boston Globe) Cahill often invokes voter registration statistics to buttress his rationale for an independent candidacy. Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 3 to 1, but so-called unenrolled voters now constitute 51 percent of the electorate.
      NEW YORK

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