Jul 31, 2010

FBI Files Detail Investigation of Historian Howard Zinn's Relationship with "Communist Front Groups" and the Communist Party USA

From TPM:
The FBI today released a 423-page file on Howard Zinn, the radical progressive historian who wrote A People's History of the United States. Zinn died in January. We're digging through the file right now. Help us out -- leave what you find in comments or email us.

From Raw Story:
Those who knew of the dissident historian Howard Zinn would not be surprised that J. Edgar Hoover's FBI kept tabs on him for decades during the Cold War. . . .

"In 1949, the FBI opened a domestic security investigation on Zinn," the bureau states. The Bureau noted Zinn’s activities in what were called Communist Front Groups and received informant reports that Zinn was an active member of the CPUSA; Zinn denied ever being a member when he was questioned by agents in the 1950s. . . . The release describes the historian as "radical."

From The Other McCain:
Going through the PDFs and — wow!Zinn’s file from the 1940s and ’50s makes for fascinating reading to anyone familiar with Communist Party history. Any innocent liberal might have unwittingly joined a CPUSA front group or two. But only a card-carrying Commie would have joined every front group that came along, as Zinn evidently did . . .
Links and more discussion at Memeorandum.

CA: Green Party Supports Marijuana Legalization, Democrats Want to Continue Failed Experiment in Prohibition

From Green Party Watch:
An article posted at Bay Area Indymedia notes that the California Green Party supports Proposition 19, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, as does the Peace & Freedom Party. The Democratic Party has taken a neutral official stance on the initiative, the results of which are likely to be close, according to polls. Leading Democrats like US Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown publicly oppose Proposition 19, as does Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.
Meanwhile, Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein is pushing a bill to double the already existing punishments for "pot brownies."

SC: Media Belatedly Discover Green Party Candidate Tom Clements

From SC Now:

COLUMBIA -- A recent Rasmussen poll showed Republican Senator Jim DeMint with 58 percent of the vote, Democrat Alvin Greene, 21 percent and "some other candidate" with nine percent of the vote.

Little media attention has been given to the other "unknown" candidate in the race for the U.S. SenateTom Clements, the Green Party candidate who claimed that nine percent as his own in a release last week.

Although history shows little love for Green Party candidates in South Carolina, Clements is confident his chance in this election is as good as any.

CT: Green Calls Out Congressional Democrat for War Hawking

From The Day:

Scott Deshefy, the Green Party candidate running for Congress in the 2nd District, issued a statement on Wednesday criticizing the district's representative, Democrat Joe Courtney, for voting against a resolution to pull American troops out of Pakistan.

The Green Party had urged Congress to pass House Resolution 301, introduced by Reps. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and Ron Paul, R-Texas, which said President Barack Obama's plan to increase the number of U.S. military personnel in Pakistan would violate the 1973 War Powers Act. The bill was defeated by a vote of 372-38 in the House on Tuesday.

AR: Green Party Candidates in the News

From Green Party Watch:

After the Arkansas Green Party nominating convention on July 24th, Arkansas Green candidates have been appearing regularly in the news. Here are a few recent articles:
Arkansas News: Green Party candidate launches campaign for state treasurer
The Log Cabin Democrat: Conway man chosen to represent Green Party on November Ballot
KHBS-TV: Lincoln, Boozman face new candidate

NY: Sean "Diddy" Combs to host "Green Party" as Shill for Chocolate Corporation

From Urban Mecca:
Mars Chocolate North America announced that Ms. Green is officially America’s favorite M&M’S® character.  Ms. Green bested her fellow M&M’S characters — Red, Yellow, Blue and Orange – by nabbing more than 23 percent of the 3.4 million votes cast by fans on www.mms.com

Internationally-renowned music superstar and business mogul, Sean “Diddy” Combs, is celebrating Ms. Green’s status by producing a special M&M’S Green Party in New York City this September.  The uber-exclusive guest list for the first-ever M&M’S Green Party will feature B.C. Ashmall-Liversidge of Brooklyn, NY, the winner of the M&M’S Party Like Diddy Sweepstakes, as well as 20 of her closest friends.  Ashmall-Liversidge met with Diddy and his world-class party planners in Los Angeles yesterday to help plan the upcoming party.

IL: Republican Kirk Quietly Begins Campaign to Exclude Green LeAlan Jones from All Debates

From Chicago Now:

It is unfair and unacceptable that Republican Congressman and Illinois Republican Party nominee for United States Senator for Illinois Mark Kirk excluded LeAlan Jones, a Black, and Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate from his recent proposals for U.S. Senate debates across the state. LeAlan Jones and The Green Party have rightfully earned official ballot status, and recently polled at more than 10% in an NBC poll on the Illinois U.S. Senate candidates. As I look at these proposed sponsors of these proposed debates, they need to all be publicly challenged not to consider hosting any debate and call it fair that does not include the U.S. Senate nominee of The Green Party LeAlan Jones.

From the signing of petitions, to the casting of ballots at the polls, Illinois voters have made it clear that they want an alternative candidate on the ballot in The Green Party nominee LeAlan Jones and Congressman Kirk cannot be allowed to disenfachise voters choice in more than just Kirk and Alexi Giannoulius to choose from in November.

Jul 30, 2010

OH: City Beat Profiles Dan La Botz, Socialist Party Candidate for US Senate

From City Beat:

As Republicans and Tea Party members continue to throw around the term “socialist” as a sort of epithet, LaBotz, a Clifton resident, is one of just three national candidates from the Socialist Party, and the only one running for a Senate seat. The wry 65-year-old, running against Republican candidate Rob Portman and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, a Democrat, isn’t bothered by the name-calling, though. In fact, he’s relishing it.

As opponents against President Obama’s health-care bill increased their “socialist” rhetoric, he says, it has only seemed to draw more interest in Socialist Party ideas, helping turn his candidacy from a mere curiosity to an alternative that’s gaining attention. “While the Tea Party has been attacking socialism, I find many Ohioans, especially young people, interested in the socialist alternative,” LaBotz says.

Free, or at least affordable, health care, better education, being paid living wages, having a voice in the workplace and being able to retire with dignity — these are socialist staples, he says. And as unemployment climbs, home foreclosures share daily front pages with natural disasters and schools continue to struggle, LaBotz is finding more sympathetic voters.

Anthony Crowell NYC Charter Revision Commission in Support of Nonpartisa...

Jul 29, 2010

MA: Pro-Life Group Reconsiders and Reiterates Support for Cahill

From Life News:
After the dustup in the wake of its endorsement of independent gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill, Massachusetts Citizens for Life has released a further statement helping pro-life voters understand its decision-making. The group says it is not re-evaluating its decision to back Cahill and that his opponents are clearly pro-abortion.

"There has been some confusion regarding the endorsement of Tim Cahill by the MCFL PAC," the organization said in a statement to LifeNews.com. "The PAC endorsed the Cahill-Loscocco ticket because the ticket is the best choice to advance the pro-life cause."

MCFL says Cahill "made it clear" in two different meeting with officials of the pro-life group that, while he believes Roe v. Wade is "settled law," he supports parental notification, tax credits for adoptions, and, as governor, will sign pro-life legislation such as informed consent, a partial-birth abortion ban, and an unborn victims bill.

"As Governor, Tim Cahill will work to create a culture of life across Massachusetts," the group said, adding that he has promised to veto any bill legalizing assisted suicide. "In both meetings, Cahill was forthright, candid and thoughtful."

MA: Cahill Stands Up Against Credit Checks in Job Screening

Though many observers have noted MA Independent gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill has been tacking right in his campaign thus far, his position in favor of barring employers from using credit checks to screen potential employees may attract support from liberal Democrats.  From the Boston Herald:
Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, the independent candidate for governor, said yesterday he wants to create a law that would bar employers from using credit checks to screen job applicants.  Cahill conceded that it’s probably too late to pass such a law this year, with the legislative session set to end Saturday, but said he would like to make the change next year to help people get back in the workforce.

“Prospective employers are looking at their credit history and using it as a job qualifier or job disqualifier,’’ he said at a news conference on the steps of the State House. “And we think that’s wrong.’’ Cahill said that with unemployment “a major issue’’ for middle-class residents, the legislation would increase the hiring prospects for people with past credit problems.
A number of bloggers have been debating the issue of credit checks in job screening over the last few days.  Earlier this week, Kevin Drum wrote at Mother Jones:
Should we ban businesses from pulling your credit score as part of their hiring process? Megan McArdle thinks it's a lousy practice, but not one that the government should prohibit:
I've no doubt that there are a few people out there who have been unjustly hurt by this; but we cannot regulate every bad business decision that hurts a few people. Each regulation may sound fine on its own, but collectively, they massively raise the compliance cost of starting a business and hiring workers, two things we want to support. So we need to set some sort of bar to ensure that we're only regulating things that have substantial, widespread negative impact.
Yesterday I used this as the jumping-off point for a massive lament on the subject of how liberals talk about regulation, but today I want to make a much more specific point . . .

LA: Christian Party Makes Ballot Access Push

From Ballot Access News:
For several months, a newly-organized Christian Party has been attempting to qualify for the Louisiana ballot.  It needs 1,000 registered members, and says it now has 300 registered members.  It is running Anthony Marquize for U.S. House, 2nd district.

CO: Independent Gov Candidate Says Republican Plagiarized Him Too

From the Spot at the Denver Post:

Independent candidate for governor Jason Clark has let The Denver Post in on some startling news: It seems Scott McInnis has plagiarized him as well. “I was the first one to come up with ‘in it to win it,’ ” Clark told the Post, referring to the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s recent pledge to stay in the race despite pressure to drop out following plagiarism allegations.

“I wrote that (‘in it to win it’) in my newsletters several months ago,” Clark said. “I’ve had that all over my social media page, all over everything. “The guy’s got a problem – a big, big problem – with stealing ideas and plagiarism.”
"In it to win it" has, of course, been around for some time.

ID: New American Independent Party Endorses Independent Jana Kemp for Gov

From the NAIP Citizen Uprising blog:
The New American Independent Party has officially endorsed Independent candidate Jana Kemp for Governor of Idaho. A strong majority of NAIP members voted online to endorse Jana Kemp within the 2010 NAIP member survey. Jana Kemp received the highest approval percentage by the NAIP membership of all 2010 independent candidates being considered for an NAIP endorsement thus far. Approval for Kemp was also high in a series of online polls conducted for the NAIP community.

Like NAIP members, Kemp supporters are expressing a desire to see strong, ethical candidates who represent the pragmatic views of most Americans. Like us, they are tired of politicians who are out-of-touch with America. A growing number of Americans are searching for an alternative to the Democratic and Republican Parties, which many believe have abandoned them and their ideals. Jana Kemp is a viable candidate that can strike a cord with voters looking for a candidate that represents their views.
Jana Kemp for Governor

WA: Independent Takes on Democrats in Race for State House

From the Seattle Times:

The only independent in a race dominated by what he calls "dyed-in-the-wool Democrats," Geoffrey "Mac" McElroy, 46, wanted to give 34th District voters more diversity in political views. And so he has: Though he is socially liberal and takes the same stance as his opponents on several major issues, he considers himself more fiscally conservative, opposing a high-earners' income tax and supporting the privatization of liquor sales.
McElroy is himself a liquor purveyor: He owns the Triangle Pub in White Center, and as such, he's a fierce protector of small businesses. "Small businesses are the backbone of this state's economy," McElroy said. "They directly provide employment and an increased tax base, which means we have more money to pay for things."
McElroy also supports expanding public transportation, as long as all modes of transportation are connected and under the same authority's purview. He said light rail was a great idea but there wasn't enough planning, including coordinating stop locations with the King County Metro bus system or analyzing where stops should best be placed.
"The light rail drops you off a quarter mile from the airport!" he said. McElroy's campaign funds come almost entirely from small businesses in the 34th District, with the exception of Commerce Bridge in Bellevue. He's reported raising more than $5,000 in contributions.

OK: Pirate Party Stands Up Against Closed Primaries

From the Oklahoma Pirate Party blog:

Today Democrats and Republicans across Oklahoma are turning to the polls to pick the candidates for their respective parties. Democrats pick Democrats, Republicans pick Republicans, and everybody else is well aware that they are not welcome. Oklahoma suffers from the horrible combination of having a closed primary, as well as the most restrictive ballot access laws of the nation.

Members of the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Socialist Party, the Constitution Party, and of course the Pirate Party, are unable to show their party affiliation when running for any office in Oklahoma. There might be other third parties present in Oklahoma, but they all share the same fate. I am sure that there are also many true Independents in this great state, and they proudly run for office with the label “Independent” on the ballot to show that they have shed the restraints that come with a party affiliation. But many others are proud members of the third parties that seek to make a difference in Oklahoma. Our labels mark our ideals, our convictions, and our goals. Yet the Elephant and the Donkey show bipartisanship when it comes to keeping competition off the ballot.

In addition to keeping Independents off the ballot, Oklahoma has also made it very clear that we are not welcome during the primary season. This decision is a double edged sword, keeping democracy away from the voters, and taking away the “independent vote” that could decide the election for either party.

Jul 28, 2010

PA-15: Towne Campaign Cuts Ties with Controversial Band, Calls on "Republocrats" to Stop Playing Games

From the Jake Towne campaign:

Following an interview with Bobby Gunther Walsh to “do my homework,” personal remarks made by Poker Face band members in the Forum section of their website were reviewed and found to be extremely disturbing, specifically remarks about the Holocaust. These remarks were confirmed with the band and the campaign and band mutually agreed to disassociate and cancel the band’s appearance at this Friday’s Freedom Concert, which will take place at 7 pm this Friday in Northampton.

I condemn the holocaust and the deaths of ~6 million Jews as well as other groups such as Russians POWs, political prisoners and gypsies who died as well. In my travels abroad, I’ve walked through Nazi concentration camps, the Killing Fields in Cambodia, the Nanjing Massacre Museum in China and places all over Asia where the Japanese committed WW2 atrocities, and these experiences has affected me deeply.
. . .

the chief “issue” Callahan and Dent are discussing in the papers is whether Callahan’s brother-in-law received favorable treatment during a 2007 car crash. I call upon these Republocrat career politicians to stop playing their “politics-as-usual” games and make themselves available to the public to debate and focus on the crucial issues like the deficit, unemployment and the costly nation-building wars abroad.
See also the Morning Call and PA2010.

Free and Equal Statement on the Connecticut Sec. of State Major Party Propaganda Campaign and Recruitment Drive

Free and Equal as issued a statement on CT Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz's "affiliate and participate," major party propaganda campaign and recruitment drive:
Dan Reale lodged a formal complaint against Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz with the Office of State Ethics, the State Elections Enforcement Commission and the Federal Election Commission. . . . Dan Reale is a Libertarian currently petitioning to be on the ballot for U.S. House in Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District. Dan was a recent guest on our Free and Equal radio show and that interview can be heard at our website.

The “Affiliate and Participate” campaign includes TV and radio commercials with Susan Bysiewicz urging unaffiliated voters to join the Republican or Democratic Party and vote in their primary. . . .

“Bysiewicz is clearly asking independents and voters in other alternative political parties to join the Republican or Democratic Parties,” said Christina Tobin, CEO and founder of Free and Equal Elections Foundation. “Joining one of the two power parties is only one way voters can affiliate and participate in our election process. Bysiewicz is blatantly failing to educate voters about all of their options by concentrating her message to urge people join the two political parties she mentions.” . . .

“Bysiewicz is using her office to solely promote membership in the Republican and Democratic Parties with this public campaign and I believe that is wrong. Why isn’t she running TV commercials asking voters to participate in candidate selection by signing petitions for Green, Libertarian, Independent, Working Families or Connecticut for Lieberman party candidates?

CT – Exclusive: Green Party May Join in Legal Action Against Sec. of State's Major Party Propaganda Campaign

Scott Deshefy, the Green Party candidate for Congress in CT-2, has stated he is likely to ally with Daniel Reale in taking legal action against Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz. As reported at Poli-Tea on Monday, Daniel Reale, an independent candidate for Congress in CT-2, lodged a formal complaint against Bysiewicz with the Office of State Ethics, the State Elections Enforcement Commission and the Federal Election Commission.

A response to the Secretary of State's so-called "affiliate and participate" propaganda campaign, the complaint accuses Bysiewicz of using state funds and resources to boost enrollment in two specific parties, misusing public funds to influence the outcome of federal and other elections, misusing the official seal of the Secretary of State's office for this purpose, and substantially complicating the ballot access petition efforts of third party and independent candidates for office in the state.  (See TPID's interview with Reale discussing the complaint.)

Candidate Deshefy concurs with the substance of Reale's complaint. Contacted for comment via email, Deshefy stated: "I talked with Reale about this action and concur that the Secretary of State behaved capriciously, abused her office and acted preferentially towards the two corporately-funded parties, all to the detriment of other parties and candidates in CT."

Deshefy notes that Bysiewicz could have acted within the law, but over-stepped those bounds in specifically advocating that voters register with the Democratic and Republican parties. "Had she said that everyone should register to vote and not mentioned only two of the major political parties in CT (the others being Independent, Green and Libertarian), then she would have been on safe ground and doing her job. Instead, she chose to become an advocate for Republicans and Democrats, which is abuse of her office," he said.

Deshefy further intimated that the Green Party may join in the legal action, saying, "The Green Party is scrutinizing Dan's action and will likely ally with supporters of this legal action."

DC Larson Dissects Duopoly Ideology: "Democrat is just another word for Republican"

A commentary by DC Larson, emailed to TPID, published in full:
Democrat is just another word for Republican: GO THIRD! 
by DC Larson
"Bipartisanship is political apartheid to third parties and independents. Bipartisan means fair to a Republican and a Democrat. Bipartisan translates into manifestly unfair to those who have no intention of running in or voting for either major party. Bipartisan to third parties and independents is a term akin to all -white, if you are black and trying to buy housing...to all-male, if you are female trying to get a job...it has a 'Do Not Enter' sign on the door; it is separate and unequal..."
-- Teresa Amato, "Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice In a Two-Party Tyranny" (2009 New Press)
Amato served as 2000 and 2004 National campaign manager and in-house counsel for Ralph Nader. And though it is correct, hers is not a perspective one often encounters in mainstream media news.
As elections loom, progressives should consider our invisibility in mainstream media, and be on guard against TV pundits' urgings of practicality and compromise.
Bipartisan does have a commercial press counterpart. "Both sides" sounds inclusive, until one reflects that numerous and diverse challenging views draw breath beyond accepted parameters. What mainstream paper, magazine, or network  doesn't decorate and implicitly restrict electoral coverage with reproductions of Thomas Nast's elephant and donkey?
Rather than spotlight the many significant voices in our society, MSM contrives a disputatious mid-opinion spectrum spectacle.  Faux Left spokespeople are routinely propped before audiences, but they do not challenge fundamentals. All rally 'round a belief system embracing capitalism as sacrosanct. And even those rare voices decrying private globalization and world-rending militarism end up endorsing the donkeys -- who embrace those evils.
(Some would argue -- and I am in their rank -- that several conservative speakers ubiquitous in MSM are considerably closer to the Right-most edge than their counterparts are to the genuine Left one. It is much easier to imagine Cal Thomas sporting a pointed hood than, say, Maureen Dowd directing a brick toward a Starbucks window.)
Sadly, much the same is so of self-bannered "progressive" online sites. Milquetoast agonists the Huffington Post and Daily Kos grant loyalists the placard-hoisting myth that they are raging against the machine; all the while they are instead enabling its terrible career.

Real dissent and rebellion do not dwell on such pages, ones that offer only smugly contrived soft-core outsider fantasies that inevitably recommend the donkey. 
Voters are manipulated like chess figures, their Pavlovian ballot-booth reactions to road-tested Republican and Democrat bogeymen bankable projections. The public interest, meanwhile, goes unserved. Indeed, important efforts never leave drawing boards.

AZ: Editorial Backs Libertarian Hess in Run for Governor

From the Arizona Republic:

Of all the offices for which Libertarian Barry Hess previously has campaigned, this race for governor, this year, would seem to be his time. National sentiments seem to be blowing strongly in the direction of Libertarian ideals. Fast-growing national debt, the prospect of higher taxes, exponentially greater federal regulatory controls over private enterprises like health care and finance - voter concern about all these issues and others would seem to play to the hand of advocates of the free market. Advocates such as Libertarians.

Will the campaign favor the hands-off party this time as Hess campaigns for governor? Polls suggest no. But certainly in the Libertarian primary contest, Hess stands out among the contenders. The Arizona Republic supports Barry Hess as the Libertarian Party nominee for governor.

FL: Libertarian Candidate for Senate Calls Out Rasmussen Polls

From the Snitker campaign:
In a poll released Thursday by Rasmussen Reports, the pollster once again left Snitker’s name off the survey, their sixth poll in the last two months to exclude him. In response, Snitker said, “Scott Rasmussen is intentionally skewing the poll so to create the most favorable outcome for Marco Rubio.”
As evidence, Snitker points to multiple results from Rasmussen polls that show Rubio with a lead over Charlie Crist, despite recent results from Public Policy Polling (PPP), Ipsos/Reuters, Quinnipiac, and other major pollsters showing Crist with a five to nine point lead.
Rasmussen’s decision to exclude his name from their polls, coupled with his consistent results in favor of Rubio, is all the evidence Snitker needs. “Scott Rasmussen is nothing more than a shill for the GOP and his polling data should be considered flawed,” said Snitker.
Rasmussen may already be feeling the heat from the Snitker campaign. Earlier this month, campaign volunteers inundated Rasmussen with phone calls and emails urging them to include Snitker in their next poll. Campaign volunteer coordinator Bev Baker estimated that Rasmussen received hundreds of calls and emails over the course of a few days. “We asked Alex’s supporters to contact Rasmussen, and they responded in droves,” said Baker.
Debra Falk of Rasmussen Reports said that they heard Snitker’s supporters “loud and clear,” and added, “In fact, we could have heard their message from Mars.”

OH: Libertarian Party – Small Government, Big Ideas

From a letter to the editor of the Sandusky Register:

I'm sure John Kasich is a great speaker. Plug your ears and watch. Here is what I know of him. He was a long time politician and elected eight times. He was the managing director of the Columbus investment banking division of Lehman Brothers, paid $587,000 salary, bonus and other benefits. He maintains he wasn't a high-level decision maker and shouldn't be blamed for their demise; he was 1 in 700. A managing director is subordinate only to the chairman of the board. Does anyone really believe Kasich was paid more than $500,000 to sit in Columbus and do nothing? If John didn't see the signs he company was in trouble how is he going to manage our state?
Voters are frustrated with the flip-flopping between the Democrats and the Republicans. We need to stand up and do something different. If you do what you've always done, then you'll get the same results that we get time after time.
Let's have the courage to be different this year and take back our country and freedom. Look at the Libertarian Party that was founded in 1971 (lpo.org) and has a host of candidates who want to restore the American dream. Check out Ken Matesz for governor under the Libertarian Party. His small business is still thriving despite an unfriendly regulatory environment. The lieutenant governor candidate is Ann Leech. The Libertarian party believes in less government involvement and more personal freedom. Give the ordinary person a chance. They welcome your support.
Judy Kayden, Florence Twp.
Libertarian Candidate, 80th House District

A Libertarian Take on the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque"

From the LP blog:

Recently, there has been uproar over plans to build an Islamic cultural center blocks away from Ground Zero in New York City. While the city council and Mayor Bloomberg are in favor of this project, conservative leaders such as Sarah Palin and other media pundits criticize its location by stating it's “ too raw, too real.”

Many of the same people who are attempting to block this project also hold great reverence for the Founding Fathers. However, the Founding Fathers undertook great risks to secure religious tolerance for our country, something they were not granted in Britain.

This entire debate rests on two founding principles: religious freedom and property rights.

Jul 27, 2010

PA-15: Is Charlie Dent an Anti-Government Extremist?

As noted here yesterday, in Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district, incumbent Republican Charlie Dent has begun grasping at straws to keep independent Jake Towne out of any and all debates at all costs. From Poli-Tea:
Over the weekend, Dent announced that he would not take part in any forum that included Towne, and demanded that his Democratic rival do the same, on the grounds that one of the numerous bands slated to play at a Towne campaign event celebrating their successful ballot access petition drive has been deemed "extremist" by the Anti-Defamation League. . . . Simply put, the Dent campaign alleges that Towne is an anti-Semite, a bigot and an anarchist based on a loose association with a popular local rock band [i.e. Poker Face] that has made controversial statements.
Imagine that, a rock band with controversial views. Ironically, as the post goes on to point out, Dent is a strong supporter of Arizona's new anti-immigration law; the Anti-Defamation League has denounced this law as "misguided, bigoted, biased . . . and un-American." According to his own logic, one might justifiably wonder to what extent Dent should be considered a misguided, bigoted, un-American racist. But is Dent also an anti-government extremist? His relations to the local music scene might prove revelatory in this regard. On his official website, Dent celebrates the Bethlehem, PA, Musikfest, calling it part of the area’s “cultural richness” and “America’s Music Festival”:

Historic Bethlehem is a culturally rich area of Northampton County . . . Musikfest, dubbed America’s Music Festival, is a 10-day event each August, which showcases music from every genre imaginable.

This year, Musikfest is being headlined by Sublime with Rome and special guests The Dirty Heads and The Movement. One of The Dirty Heads' well-known tunes is entitled “Lay Me Down.” It is a love song about a couple who kill a local sheriff while on the run from the police. From the song's second verse:

They wouldn't stop running till They found a paradise/ But the sheriff finally found them with his eyes seeing red./ So the lovers had to shoot him down And fill em full of lead/ They were finally free To find a place to lay their head.

Is this the sort of culture that Dent endorses when he praises Bethlehem's Musikfest as part of the area's "cultural richness"? In lauding Musikfest as "America's Music Festival," does Dent endorse the killing of police? Is Dent an anti-government extremist? According to the logic of the Dent campaign, we may well have to answer all of these questions in the affirmative. I wonder what's on Dent's iPod. Is he willing to stand by every statement ever made by all the individuals in his favorite bands?

Of course, only the most intellectually and morally bankrupt individuals would denounce someone for controversial statements allegedly made by someone else. But that seems to be the Dent campaign's mode of operation at the present moment. And it reeks of desperation.

IL: Green Candidates to Hold Joint Fundraiser Tomorrow

From Green Party Watch:
Illinois Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney will be hosting a joint fundraiser with 5th district congressional candidate Matt Reichel on Wednesday 28 July at the Celtic Crown in West Chicago. Check out the details here.

SC: Green Party Senate Candidate Sees Opportunity in Democrat Greene's Nomination

From the Post and Courier:

Will the controversial U.S. Senate candidacy of Democrat Alvin Greene open the door for the Green Party? Tom Clements hopes so. Clements decided to enter the race as a Green Party candidate before he knew who the Democrats would put up to face incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint.

And now that the Democrats are so ambivalent about their nominee -- party leaders only discovered after the June 8 primary that Greene is facing a felony pornography charge in Columbia -- Clements sees an opportunity.

"I view it as a Democratic party meltdown and not a meltdown of Alvin Greene," Clements said. "That's when the chance for me to secure more of the vote arose."

AR: Green Slate Takes Shape

From Green Party Watch:
The Arkansas Green Party nominated several candidates at its state convention on July 24th. The candidates include two former state representatives, Jim Lendall for Governor and Bobby Tullis for Treasurer, as well as Rebekah Kennedy for Attorney General, who earned over 20% of the vote for US Senate in 2008. Here is the list of candidates after the convention . . .

Green Party Conventions in IL and MI this Weekend

From Green Party Watch:
This weekend two of the more successful State Green Parties are holding state conventions: The Illinois Green Party and the Green Party of Michigan.
Follow the link for more info.

Jul 26, 2010

CO: Tancredo Declares Third Party Bid for Governor

From The Spot at the Denver Post:
Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is in the race for Colorado governor, he said this morning. “I will officially announce at noon that I will seek the nomination of the constitution party,” Tancredo told The Denver Post.
The Littleton Republican must file some papers with the Colorado Secretary of State and register as a member of the American Constitution Party, but then “he’s ready to go,” raising money, disclosing his platform and launching a website that is already put together.

PA-15: Republican Dent Desperate to Keep Independent Jake Towne Out of All Debates at All Costs

In the Congressional race for PA-15, incumbent Republican Charlie Dent is growing ever more desperate in his attempts to keep independent Jake Towne out of any and all debates over the course of the political season. Whereas Dent was claiming just last week that he wanted to keep Towne out of the debates because the public would, somehow, be best served if they were only allowed to witness a discussion between him and some Democrat, Dent has now gone off the deep end and begun insinuating that Towne is some sort of an anti-Semite. The mudslinging Republican is now demanding that his Democratic rival boycott all events that include Towne. From the Morning Call:
In a written statement Saturday, Dent said the band has been "deemed to be anti-Semitic by the Anti Defamation League." Poker Face is one of five bands that will play at Towne's "freedom concert" Friday. In the statement, Dent also said, he is "demanding" Callahan boycott any debate for the 15th District seat that includes Towne.
"I'm calling on John Callahan to put aside politics and do the decent thing," Dent said. "Don't give a public platform to someone enmeshed in ideas of anger, violence, anarchy and bigotry."
However Callahan's campaign released a statement saying while Callahan finds anti-Semitic behavior "deplorable," "the whole idea behind 'debating' someone is that you disagree with him and his views." . . .

Poker Face, a band that often weds hard rock with anti-government lyrics and has been active on the Lehigh Valley music scene for two decades . . . Towne, popular among some tea party activists, said he is not anti-Semitic and he doesn't believe Poker Face is either.
In a written statement, he said " I condemn any and all racial and religious discrimination," and added, "the views of any the five bands present at the Freedom Concert are not necessarily the views of Towne for Congress."
He said Dent's decision is not in the voters' best interest, adding, "I think he's being very hostile and undemocratic." Towne said The Morning Call and a local tea party group had indicated they want him to participate in planned forums.
Towne has also released a statement on Youtube responding to the pseudo-scandal in which he refutes the Dent campaign's accusations and allegations point by point. Rather than launch personal attacks against Dent, Towne instead rattles off Dent's criminal history in the US Congress. Partial transcript from the Youtube video embedded below:

Dent and the rest of Congress violate their constitutional oaths on a daily basis. Dent supports three unconstitutional wars abroad; he voted for corporatist bailouts for bankers and mortgage lenders alike. He supports unconstitutional wiretapping without warrants, revoking habeas corpus, torture of enemy combatants, and much more by his unflagging support of the Patriot Act. He wants to strip American civilians living in foreign countries of their citizenship and murder them without trial or due process.
See also Dan Hirschhorn at PA2010 for more.

Exclusive: Interview with Daniel Reale, Independent Candidate for Congress in CT-2, on his Complaint Against Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz

Earlier this month Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz began an aggressive propaganda campaign instructing voters to register with the Democratic and Republican parties ahead of the state's August 10th primary elections. Bysiewicz launched the effort at a press conference flanked by leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties and political establishment. In response to this partisan political push, Daniel Reale, an independent libertarian candidate for Congress in the state's 2nd CD, has now lodged a formal complaint against Byscewiz with the Office of State Ethics, the State Elections Enforcement Commission and the Federal Election Commission. See this post for background and details. Contacted via email, Mr. Reale says his ultimate goal is to "make sure the Secretary of State stops using public money and resources for political ends." What follows is the text of an interview with Mr. Reale conducted via email this past weekend.

First, when did you file the complaint?
Reale: Yesterday (7/23/10).
What prompted you to do so?
Reale: I'm opposed to the Secretary of State misusing her seal and public money in order to work on behalf of the Republicans and Democrats. Contrary to popular belief, the Secretary of State's office is not a political action committee. At the very least, the whole exercise is a political contribution to both major parties. It's one thing to advocate for voter registration, but it's another to use public money to prop up a private organization.

You may recall that Linda McMahon's campaign was under scrutiny because it wanted to pay people $5 for every registered voter they could sign up as a Republican. I'm no fan of Linda's, but at least she had the common sense to know the boundary on these things and back away. And you could imagine what sort of heat the Secretary of State would catch for using her office to promote the registration of Libertarians and Greens.

Otherwise, Bysiewicz has been crossing into a legal gray area for years, using her office in ethically questionable ways to say the least. While I found this to be morally objectionable, these were the sort of things you couldn't legally hang your hat on. But I didn't expect something this egregious in terms of ethics, elections, misapplication of public resources and political action committee violations - all in the same package.

I'd counted on running into illegal activity this time around with the determination to make sure those engaging in it were held to the fire. Unfortunately for Bysiewicz, we'd caught her first and all the evidence is out in the open. Given that third parties stuck to civil actions only to see this type of behavior continue, setting these cases up for prosecution is the way to go. Otherwise, they'll continue engaging in criminal acts in order to give both parties preferential treatment and paying us with our own money once we win the civil suit in court. My complaint is the first step in that process. The more elections officials we catch, the better. I'm tired of people complaining about how unfair the treatment of third parties has been - we all know that. It's time to do something about it.
Given the substance of the complaint, why do you think the Secretary of State finds it appropriate to propagandize the people of Connecticut in this way?

Reale: It could be that she means well but isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. It could also be that she knows both major parties are in trouble. I'm inclined to believe it's both. And career politicians have a weird, sociopathic way of justifying what they did after the fact. You may have noticed that in most states, there were efforts to unseat incumbents in both major parties by using the primary process, something that the Tea Party, paleoconservative groups and others had advocated.

The fact that this has failed in the vast majority of cases with a few high profile exceptions says that the electorate is rejecting this approach for the game of three card monte it is. Our Secretary of State may not be brightest (or come off that way), but she has the political savvy to see the writing on the wall.
As an independent candidate for Congress, how do the SoS's actions adversely affect you and your campaign?

Reale: The sort of two party registration drive she's pushing for will absolutely overwhelm town clerks. My petition drive is one of several planning to submit thousands of signatures. Last time, things were already complicated enough to a point where the Secretary of State's office misplaced several thousand petition pages. Even during years with low turnout and interest, it's bad enough. You also have to bear in mind that the Secretary of State's office currently overwhelms town clerks as it is, normally. Add this to a primary on August 10th and a petitioning deadline of August 4th. The Independent Party alone has submitted 11,000 signatures for the senate race. The Working Families Party is collecting around the same amount for the governor's race. My requirement is 3,300 signatures. These are only three examples out of many. And the clerks only have two weeks after that to check them all.
What kind of response are you expecting?
Reale: I'm expecting the state agencies to throw it away, in which case I use CT General Statutes 9-355, official fraud or neglect. That'll get you up to a year in jail. If I have to use 18 USC 13 to make it federal, so be it. However, I expect the Federal Election Commission to move forward, in which case, we also place the state in the highly unusual position of arguing the Tenth Amendment or owning up to what happened.

My goal is to make sure the Secretary of State stops using public money and resources for political ends. If I can't make that happen, my goal is that the Secretary will face substantial fines, jail time and/or punitive damages on the civil end. On the civil side, I'm pursuing her in her personal capacity, not in her capacity as a public official. Overall, I'm gathering additional evidence for a grand jury complaint. If we find more things to add, we'll add them - even if it includes driving a mile per hour over the speed limit.
How do you intend to follow up on it?
Reale: Considering that this was also set up as a tort letter, the Secretary of State has 60 days to respond or repair. This will inform me of what actions need to be taken on the civil end. On the prosecution side, there will be a criminal complaint filed. If the state or the feds do it, great. If not, that's where I come in.
Have you attempted to persuade others to lodge similar complaints?
Reale: Yes, and with some success for the 24 or so hours it's been sent. There were a few concerns about retaliation in terms of the petition drives, but to me, that only helps the case and gives us the opportunity to supplement the criminal complaint down the road.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions!

Jul 25, 2010

ID: State Republican Party Steals Constitution Party Platform?

From Capitol Hill Blue:
Joined by tea party members, Ron Paul disciples and old-guard conservatives, Beck strode into the three-day confab in Idaho Falls amid a swelling national tide of frustration with Washington, D.C., magnified by Idaho’s already rightist tilt. When it was over, a majority of the 500 delegates had transformed their platform with a spasm of anti-fed outrage — and anger at Republicans who Beck thinks have strayed from the fold.

Over three days, they crafted a platform that urges Idaho to seize federal land, recommends ending popular elections of U.S. senators and sings the praises of gold and silver — an inflation hedge to U.S. Federal Reserve-issued greenbacks. . . .

Lucas Baumbach, a 31-year-old Tea Party Boise member who wants to dump the federal income tax, was ecstatic about the convention outcome. “Who knew that we’d get a 17th Amendment (repeal) plank in the platform?” Baumbach said. “We’ve sort of taken the platform of the Constitution Party away from them.”

NJ: Constitutionally Impaired Republican Congressman Will Face Challenge from Constitution Party Candidate

Remember Congressman Frank LoBiondo?  He is the Republican lawmaker whose gross ignorance of the Constitution was revealed at a town hall meeting earlier this year.  LoBiondo was embarrassingly stumped when asked about Article 1 Section 1 of the Constitution, and stuttered that it might have something to do with freedom of speech.  Peter Boyce plans to challenge LoBiondo this November under the banner of the Constitution Party.  From NJ.com:
Peter Boyce grew up in one of the poorest families in the Bronx, New York, but made himself into a millionaire by the age of 30. He did it through hard work on his own merit.

Now, he’s made it his mission to ensure that future generations of Americans can aspire to do what he did by preserving the freedoms that allowed him to accomplish his goals in the first place.
Boyce, currently a Millville resident, will be running for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District in November’s midterm elections. He will be running as a candidate for the Constitution Party, whose core belief is that representatives must always vote in line with the Constitution, something Boyce feels very few current representatives do today.

CO: Republican Establishment Fears Political Competition from Tancredo

From the Grand Junction Free Press:
Six GOP county chairmen in the Denver metro area are demanding Tom Tancredo drop his plan to run for governor on a third-party ticket, and are urging voters to reject him if he gets on the ballot.

The chairs – from Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver and Douglas counties – said Tancredo could have run for governor through the Republican process, but didn't.

MO: Constitution Party Running Slate of 26 Candidates

From Constitution Party News:

Why is the Constitution Party of Missouri smokin' hot?  Maybe it is because it has 26 candidates running for various partisan offices in Missouri, [actually 27, but two are vying for the same US Senate Seat in the August primary], and 41 members who are running to be party committee representatives.

Maybe it is because it is so active with events of every kind; such as ice cream socials, meet the candidate forums, a booth at the MO state fair; county CP meetings, educational events, gun raffles, and other public outreach events, such as hosting Sheriff Richard Mack, many of which are occurring on a regular weekly or monthly basis!

Maybe because it has one of the finest websites of any Constitution Party state affiliate. Check it out at: www.ConstitutionPartyMO.org.

FL Poll: 41% Likely to Vote Independent This Year

From Rasmussen:

As Independent candidate Charlie Crist continues to run neck-and-neck with Republican Marco Rubio in the race for U.S. Senate in Florida, the plurality of voters in the state say they are more likely to vote for a candidate not affiliated with either party this election than they have been in the past.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state finds that 41% say they are more likely to pull the lever for an independent candidate this election than in past elections. Thirty-percent (30%) say they are less likely to do so this year, while 19% say their likelihood is about the same this year as it has been in the past. Ten percent (10%) are not sure.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Democrats in Florida say they are more likely to vote for an independent candidate, compared to 44% of unaffiliateds and 33% of Republicans.

Jul 24, 2010

In Third Party Feud, Tea Party Groups Betray Principles and Heritage of Political Independence

From Poli-Tea, on "Tea Party Tories":
Though the tea party movement is often treated as a monolith, we should distinguish between at least three different types of groups that may be subsumed under that banner: 1) Republican Party front organizations – these make up some of the most well known tea party organizations in the country; 2) multi-partisan, grassroots, people-powered associations that have maintained their political independence and remain relatively open to a diverse array of political views and opinions; 3) third party tea party groups determined to provide a viable alternative to the Republican and Democratic parties. These fault lines were already clearly established as the tea party movement first began gaining steam in the spring of 2009, as I noted at the time.

In recent weeks and months, however, Republican Party operatives within the tea party movement have become ever more brazen, and even hysterical, in their opposition to independent and third party tea party organizations. The hijacking of the tea party movement by these individuals represents a shameless betrayal of the heritage of the Boston Tea Party and the founding principles of these tea party groups themselves.

Let's consider two examples: the West Orlando Tea Party and the Michigan Tea Party Alliance.
Read the whole thing.

15000 Attended Detroit Social Forum

From the Bullet Socialist Project:
When 15,000 vibrant and politically engaged people gather in one spot for five days and organize themselves into more than 1000 workshops, dozens of major plenaries and late night parties across five major cultural hot spots, no one article can claim to give a full account and get away with it. But an event on that scale livened up Detroit, Michigan during the week of June 22-26 at the U.S. Social Forum (USSF), when Cobo Hall and several nearby universities were buzzing with thousands of people trying to shape a new world.

Socialist Stewart Alexander Plans 2012 Presidential Run

From the Philly IMC:
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Stewart Alexander was the Vice Presidential Nominee for Socialist Party USA; now with the US economy falling deeper into an endless recession and President Obama’s approval rating dipping below 50 percent, Stewart Alexander says he will run for president in 2012 to make Washington accountable to working people.

Stewart Alexander says he will seek the 2012 presidential nomination of the Socialist Party USA and will present socialist solutions to address the needs of the working class.  “The Democrats and Republicans have failed to listen to the working class concerning jobs, education, health care, homelessness, immigration, the environment and the war; the two corporate parties only represent the nation’s wealthy elite.  If we continue on this same path as a nation, we will continue to reap the same results. ”

Anti-War: Billy Wharton Interviews Cindy Sheehan

From the Socialist Webzine:
Cindy Sheehan is the most recognizable anti-war activist in the US today. Since her son Casey's death in Iraq in 2004, she has thrown herself into anti-war organizing. One high point of her protests came in 2005 as she set up a Camp Casey across from the vacation ranch of then President George W. Bush to demand an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following the election of Barack Obama the anti-war movement has gone into a tailspin, unable to mount serious national marches, stem the tide of military recruits or hold Obama to his deadlines. On the eve of a major Anti-war Conference in Albany, NY, Cindy Sheehan shares her thoughts on the future of the movement, the Democratic Party and the need for principled opposition to the war.

Why We Need a Third Party in 2012

From a lengthy guest post at Zero Hedge by Jim Quinn:
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. There are no easy solutions. There are only painful, more painful, and really really painful solutions. Both mainstream corrupted political parties have had the chance to put the country back on a prudent fiscal path. They have both failed miserably. One party will spend the country into oblivion and the other country will try to democratize the world with their military machine. There are no fresh ideas from either party. There are the same old stale ideas and rhetoric.

I’ve been waiting for someone to distinguish themselves as a straightforward leader who will level with the American people and tell them the TRUTH . . .

Both parties are captured by corporate lobbyists, the military industrial complex and Wall Street. Lobbyists spend $40 billion per year “convincing” politicians that their ideas should be implemented. Politicians DO NOT represent the people. They represent those who give them the most money. Radical earth shattering change is needed to save this country. Incremental steps won’t work. We need a leader wielding a sledgehammer.
Read the whole thing.

Jul 23, 2010

PA-15: Self-Entitled Incumbent Republican Demands Closed Debates, Fears Political Competition from Independent Rival

From PA2010:

Jake Towne says he’s collected enough signatures to gain ballot access in the 15th Congressional District as an independent. But incumbent Republican Charlie Dent’s campaign sees the race as a two-man contest, and doesn’t want Towne muddying the political waters by participating in the coming campaign debates.

Dent campaign manager Shawn Millan told pa2010.com that the campaign would prefer Towne be kept out of the debates, so that voters can focus on the contrast between Dent and Democratic challenger John Callahan.

We believe that that’s how the electorate would be best served,” Millan said. “Ultimately you want the top two contenders to be given the most time to debate the issues.” [Emphasis added.]

Obviously, closed debates serve no one's interests except those of incumbents, the legacy parties and their political machines. The Dent campaign's undemocratic demand makes a mockery of our very system of government, and is symptomatic of the entitlement mentality that grips Republicans and Democrats alike.

See also TPID's recent interview with independent candidate for Congress in PA-15, Jake Towne.

OH: Green Party to Hold Convention Saturday – Meet the Candidates

A press release from the Green Party of Ohio, sent via email:
For the first time in history Ohio voters had the option of requesting a Green Party ballot in a primary election and over a thousand Ohio voters rejected the two corporate parties and voted Green. This was an important step forward on a long road towards true political change but there are many more steps that we must take if we are to build a political tool for concrete and meaningful social change. So we, the newly elected Central Committee of the Ohio Green Party, are calling out to all those who voted Green in the May 4th primary, and anyone else who wants to get involved (regardless of party affiliation) to join us in Columbus on July 24, 10am to 4pm.

You can RSVP and find more information on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=136837586336385

MEET Green Party of Ohio’s Candidates

Dennis Spisak Governor

Anita Rios Lt. Governor

Dennis Lambert 89th Ohio State House Representative

Rich Stevenson US Rep District 1

KY: Independent Excluded from Mayoral Debates, Republicrats Stand Against Political Competition, Discussion, Dialogue

From the Courier Journal:
As an independent candidate for Louisville mayor, Jackie Green knew that winning would be difficult. But he didn't realize that simply joining the debate over the city's future would be so tough. Green, a bicycle enthusiast, business owner and transit activist, has been campaigning since the beginning of the year, participating in dozens of forums and debates before the primary election -- even though he wasn't on the ballot.Since then, Green has discovered what other independent and minor party candidates have found before him: inclusion is an uphill battle, unless you're a major party primary election winner.

MA: Pro-Life Group Endorses Independent Cahill for Governor

From Life News:
Unable to support either Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick or Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, the statewide pro-life organization Massachusetts Citizens for Life has endorsed the campaign of independent candidate Tim Cahill, the current State Treasurer.

Madeline McComish, the chair of the MCFL State Political Action Committee, told LifeNews.com that Cahill is fully pro-life, unlike Patrick or Baker.

"Tim Cahill will be an outstanding advocate for the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly. He will bring commonsense solutions to protecting their rights and their lives," she said.

CT: Independent Party Running Full Slate of Candidates

From the CT news Junkie:
Connecticut Independent Party leaders said Tuesday that they collected 11,000 signatures, which is more than enough to get a full slate of statewide candidates on the ballot for the November election. “This is a great day,” said John Mertens, a U.S. Senate candidate who is seeking the endorsement of the Independent party. Mertens has already received the Connecticut for Lieberman Party endorsement.

“This day will mark the day the game has changed,” he said as he stood on the steps of the state Capitol.  The 30 Independent Party candidates want voters to know there’s more than two parties on the ballot this year. “To think out of the box, you look in the middle and that’s where the Independent party stands,” said Cicero Booker Jr., the Independent candidate for lieutenant governor. Booker currently serves as the minority leader of the Waterbury Board of Aldermen. Mike Telesca, the State Agent for the Independent Party and Waterbury Town Chairman, said Connecticut’s Independent Party began in the Waterbury area in 2003.

CO: Independent Reaches Out to Former Supporters of Republican Plagiarist

From the Colorado Independent:
In the wake of the over-the-top plagiarism scandal that is likely to sink the Republican gubernatorial candidacy of former Congressman Scott McInnis and in light of the dissections coming fast of the underwhelming peripatetic career and up-and-down earnings of now-GOP frontrunner in the race Dan Maes, independent candidate Jason R. Clark, the man who famously advertised for a running mate on Crag’s list, is offering himself as an alternative conservative voters (“and proud Americans”) can get behind.

ME: Cutler Polling at 15% in Gubernatorial Race

From the Portland Press Herald:
Poll results released Monday on this year's race for governor show small declines for the two major-party candidates and a surge for independent Eliot Cutler.  Republican Paul LePage, the mayor of Waterville, still leads the pack, with 39 percent support. He is followed by Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell of Vassalboro, the Democratic nominee, at 31 percent.

Cutler, who was supported by just 7 percent of the respondents in a poll a month ago, is now at 15 percent, according to Rasmussen Reports, which polled 500 likely Maine voters July 14. The margin of error is 4.5 percentage points. The survey done last week showed 12 percent undecided, and 3 percent favoring other candidates. Shawn Moody of Gorham and Kevin Scott of Andover are two independents who will be on the November ballot.

IL: Independent Cohen "could care less about the parties"

From My Fox Illinois:
Independent candidate for governor Scott Lee Cohen made the rounds in Springfield on Wednesday as part of a tour across Illinois. The pawnbroker and political rookie roamed around the Old State Capitol during the afternoon, shaking hands and chatting with potential supporters. Illinois voters will select their next governor in November. Current Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, are widely considered the favorites. . . .

“As an independent, my whole campaign is based on the people of Illinois and not the parties. I could care less about the Democrats or the Republicans. My loyalty and devotion lies with the people of Illinois,” he said. That message resonated with Starlin Stewart, a 68-year-old retiree and lifelong Springfield resident. Stewart said she did not know much about Cohen when he introduced himself to her.

WI: Independent Takes Ballot Dispute to Federal Court

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

An independent state Assembly candidate is taking her fight to describe herself on the ballot as "NOT the ‘whiteman's bitch' " to federal court. Ieshuh Griffin, who's running for a Milwaukee seat, says the Government Accountability Board "unlawfully restrained my liberty" on Wednesday when it barred her from using the language. And on Thursday, she filed a federal writ of habeas corpus in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee arguing it's within her constitutional rights to use the phrase on the ballot. She requested a temporary injunction "as the validity of the regulation is challenged as unconstitutional."
"I'm very serious about taking this all the way," Griffin told the State Journal.

AL: Major Party Leaders Conspire to Close Primaries,

From the Gadsden Times:

Joe Turnham, Alabama’s Democratic Party chairman, and House Minority Leader Mike Hubbard, the GOP chairman, have had preliminary discussions about revisions to election laws and primary rules. They plan to talk again after the general election in November to see if they can formulate a plan both parties can sign off on. . . .

Turnham and Hubbard are talking about the one step that would put a stop to crossover voting — party registration, already required by 29 states and the District of Columbia. That would be a significant change in Alabama where primaries often have served as de facto general elections, especially in local races.

With party registration, Democrats and Republicans could only vote in their respective primaries and runoffs. Voters who don’t choose a party affiliation — there would have to be an “independent” category — would be left out of primaries and runoffs and could only vote in general or nonpartisan elections. . . .

The party registration idea is worth exploring. It would restore primaries to their intended purpose — a method by which parties choose general election candidates — and could invigorate the parties in this state by making voters take them more seriously. It also would allow those who brag about “not holding allegiance to any party” to put that on record, officially. [Emphasis added.]

Closed primaries are not going to make voters take the parties more seriously. The reason for this is simple: they are a joke, sometimes pathetic, sometimes sad, sometimes even funny, but a joke nonetheless. Of course, it seemingly never occurs to Republicans and Democrats and their mouthpieces in the media that one might do away with the primary system altogether. Why should all taxpayers have to foot the bill for the Democrats and Republicans to make their own internal party decisions?

Jul 21, 2010

Exclusive: Broken Promises and Broken Covenants – West Orlando Tea Party Proves Incapable of Maintaining Political Independence – Alludes to Potential for Political Violence

An email exchange obtained by TPID reveals the increasing tensions between the independent Florida TEA Party and the West Orlando Tea Party, and documents the extent to which the latter group has allowed itself to be hijacked by the Republican wing of the two-party state in a clear violation of the WOTP's explicitly stated "Promises and Covenants."  First, some background.  Founded in late 2009, the Florida TEA Party is an officially recognized minor party in the Sunshine State.  The party is running a number of candidates for Congress, County Commissioner and the state legislature this November.  In accordance with the spirit of the original Boston Tea Party, the Florida TEA Party articulated the impetus behind the creation of the organization in its Declaration of Independence:
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for citizens to dissolve the political bands which have heretofore connected them with the two, major, existing political parties and to assume among the powers of the earth, a new political party, with the separate and equal station which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitles it, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
The West Orlando Tea Party, on the other hand, describes itself as an association of "patriotic Independents, Democrats and Republicans, all united in the basic American principals and values on which our country has been built for over 200 years."  The text of the group's Promises and Covenants explicitly asserts that it has "no party affiliation":
No Political Party Affiliation~ This organization is not a political party.  We are not, nor have we, nor will we be an appendage of, affiliated with or a component of any political party.  Citizens of broad political leanings and various political parties (Independent, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, etc.) are all welcome to participate in our activities.
This "promise and covenant" is clearly belied by the West Orlando Tea Party's attacks against the Florida TEA Party, which it denounces on the front page of its website with the following lines: 
There is a political party in Florida that is on the November ballot that calls itself "The Florida Tea Party", but they are not a Tea Party as you know us, they are Tea Party in "name only". This political party has absolutely nothing to do with the actual Tea Party Movement, which includes the West Orlando Tea Party. None of the true Tea Party organizations in Florida endorse, support or are in any way involved or connected to this political party. And, we see such a third political party serving only as a tool to confuse voters and split the conservative vote.
The West Orlando Tea Party is now sponsoring a Town Hall Meeting scheduled for August 12th, the last before the Republican Party primary on August 24th.  In the email exchange obtained by TPID, a staffer for the West Orlando Tea Party advises representatives of the Florida TEA Party not to attend this event on the grounds that they "are the public face of an opposing political party, no different from the Democrat party" [emphasis added].  The message goes on to advise that it would be "smart politics" for representatives of the Florida TEA Party to "stay away from one of your opponent party's events" [emphasis added].  These statements clearly document the West Orlando Tea Party staffer's identification of the group as a Republican Party organization, and indicate the self-conscious transgression of the West Orlando Tea Party's own "promises and covenants."  

Ominously, the message also warns that, if representatives of the Florida TEA Party were to attend the event, the West Orlando Tea Party could not ensure the public's safety, on the chance that other attendees "might react regrettably and jeopardize the public’s safety in response to your appearance."  

It is deeply and sadly ironic that a group united under the banner of the "Tea Party" has so clearly proven incapable of establishing and maintaining its political independence from the legacy parties and effectively allowed itself to become a local arm of the Republican Party's establishmentarian machine in violation of the group's own explicit "promises and covenants."

WI: Ben Manski Energizes Progressives in Run for State Assembly

Via GPW:

Ben Manski, the Wisconsin Green Party candidate for State Assembly in the 77th district, sent out the following message on July 17th:
I turn 36 today. I want to celebrate this day by sharing some very good news with you. As of the close of business today, I am officially a candidate for election to the Wisconsin State Assembly.
I am running for an open seat on the progressive west side of Madison, where I grew up and went to school. I cut my teeth on anti-war, environmental, student, and labor activism in this assembly district. I have roots and history going back nearly three decades in this district. I can win this race, and with your help, I will win.

My life has allowed me to meet many wonderful people. And it has taken me unusual places. I’ve found myself in courtrooms, jail cells, and bar association meetings; business conferences and labor conventions; northwoods forests and urban streets. And my life has found me, from time to time, sitting-in at the office of some public official to insist that a vote is taken, a process opened up, or a policy followed . . .
. . . and don’t think that in all that time, it didn’t once cross my mind that it would be nice, for a change, to be on the other side of the desk. It would be fantastic to be in a position to welcome students, unionists, farmers, community leaders, and seniors into their offices to strategize how together we would make social change move faster. Much faster.
With this campaign, we are going to make history. Madison is buzzing about this race. On Sunday, the Wisconsin State Journal featured an article by John Nichols about this campaign. Yesterday, the Isthmus newspaper noted that the election news of the week was my entry into this race.
Volunteers are signing up. Money is coming in. In fact, the very first five, unsolicited contributions that came in were each in the amount of $100. We are taking those first five contributions as a sign, and launching “The Manski 500″ — a race to see how quickly we can collect 500 contributions of $100 or more, each.
Please join the race. Contribute $100, or $50, or $500 (the limit allowed under law) or whatever makes the most sense given your budget — and your desire to see a win:
You can contribute, volunteer, share policy ideas, and read all about the campaign, and my platform on my new website at www.VoteManski.com
I look forward to hearing from you, and to opening doors for you in the Wisconsin State Capitol.
In Solidarity,
Ben Manski
p.s. – the earlier you contribute, the sooner we can order buttons, campaign literature, yard signs, and open an office so that our many volunteers can do the work necessary to win this fall. Thank you for helping now.

Labor Groups Back Green Party Candidates in NY and SC

From Green Party Watch:

Labor activists from throughout New York State have started a committee to support the gubernatorial campaign of Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins. Howie Hawkins is a member of Teamsters Local 317 and active in the national Teamster rank-and-file reform caucus, Teamsters for a Democratic Union. Howie presently works unloading trucks and rail cars at UPS. He is the former Director of CommonWorks, a federation of cooperatives working for an economy that is cooperatively owned, democratically controlled, and ecologically sustainable.
In related news, out of South Carolina, from SC Black News:

The CLC stated that they believe Tom Clements "will best represent the interests of the working people of South Carolina."The Greater Columbia Central Labor Council of the SC AFL-CIO has endorsed Green Party US Senate candidate Tom Clements in his bid against incumbent Republican Senator Jim DeMint and Democratic senatorial nominee Alvin Greene.

Green Party Watch Brainstorms Possible 2012 Presidential Candidates

From Green Party Watch:
Talk about 2012 and who might be a good Green Party standard bearer as the Presidential Nominee really began in earnest about one month before the 2008 election concluded. So talking about it now, in the summer of 2010, isn’t really out of line or out of place, and perhaps is overdue.. . . The conversation has already begun on the GPUS National Committee delegate email list, with names tossed around such as Barbara Ehrenreich, Margaret Flowers, Van Jones, and of course Cynthia McKinney. What I find interesting is the variety in “goals” that Greens expect from a Presidential candidate, and the variety of “types” of candidates that people think might accomplish those goals . . .

OH: Senate Candidate Calls for Open Debates as Democrats and Republicans Prepare to Exclude Independents and Third Parties

A press release from Dan La Botz, the Socialist Party candidate for US Senate in Ohio, emailed to TPID:


Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Lee Fisher are reported by the press to be preparing to hold a series of debates in several Ohio cities, debates in which apparently only they will participate. To my knowledge no other candidates for the U.S. Senate seat for which they are running have been invited. Apparently we will face in this election the same corporate political duopoly as in the past.

Election forums in which only the two major party candidates participate do a disservice to our democracy, denying citizens the right to hear from other parties and their candidates. We need to have open forums, public meetings, and a genuine debate between representatives of the various political alternatives. Election debates should be organized by a non-partisan group, such as the League of Women Voters, and should include all parties and candidates.

The election process is already obscenely perverted by the enormous amounts of money, much of it corporate money, which pours into the coffers of the Republicans and Democrats, permitting them to flood TV, radio and now the internet with political advertising. Rob Portman has raised more than $2 million while Lee Fisher has raised more than $1 million, while minor parties have raised amounts of merely thousands. This gives the old corporate parties the power to dominate the air waves and billboards, while other parties are relegated to the shadows.

Ohioans and the American people have a right to hear from all of the candidates, and at one time they did through genuine public forums and town hall meetings. Today the two corporate parties and the TV and radio corporations generally collude to keep minor parties and their candidates out of the debates. Yet most Americans have been disillusioned and have become disenchanted with the two major parties and would like to hear other options.

Recent polls by a variety of organizations show that a majority of Americans don’t approve of President Obama, the Congress, Republicans or Democrats. Simply put: people are sick of the Republicans and Democrats. Interestingly, three recent polls by quite different organizations—Rasmussen, Gallup and Pew—show that about one-third of the American people are sympathetic to the socialism. Not in favor, not supporters, but sympathetic and interested. Shouldn't the election debates permit those people to learn more about the Socialist Party, its platform and its candidate?

We need to open up the political debates to include all of the parties and their candidates. Rob Portman and Lee Fisher should stand up for democracy by taking a stand to open up the debates to all of us.

Dan La Botz

Jul 20, 2010

OH: Libertarian Candidate for Congress Polling 10% Support

From the Libertarian Party blog:

According to the National Journal, a recent poll shows Libertarian congressional candidate Travis Irvine getting 10% support. Irvine is running in Ohio's 12th District. Irvine's campaign has released a web video featuring "government grant guru" Matthew Lesko.

ND: Libertarian File Lawsuit to Challenge Unconstitutional Election Laws

From the Bismarck Tribune:

The North Dakota Libertarian Party is suing Secretary of State Al Jaeger over election laws it says unfairly target third parties.  Party Chairman Richard Ames and two other Libertarian candidates for the Legislature were barred from advancing to the general election because they didn’t get the required number of votes in the state primary.

The number varies slightly  by district. In Ames’ case, as in most cases, he would have needed about 130 votes to move on to the general election.  Oliver Hall, the attorney for the party and the head of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Competitive Democracy, said North Dakota is the only state in the U.S. where candidates face such a requirement  after they already  got 7,000 signatures to compete in the primary.

“We’re asking the court to strike down the law as unconstitutional,” said Hall.

AZ: Yuma Sun Profiles Barry Hess

From the Yuma Sun:
Barry Hess is seeking the Arizona Libertarian Party's nomination to run for Arizona governor this fall.  He disagrees with many of current Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's positions on immigration, education and taxation.