Oct 31, 2010

The Case for a Moderate Third Party

From a letter to the editor of Oregon Live:
I became convinced several years ago that the only hope for our current system to accomplish anything is to form a viable third party out of the middle and let the current parties have the radicals from the fringes. With the independents and unaffiliated voters now a plurality in many states and reported to be so nationally, and most of these being moderates and centrists, there certainly exists a base large enough to form a viable "Independent Party" of moderates in the middle.

To have any impact on the body politic, it would have to field a slate of viable legislative candidates on a state and national level. A core of disgruntled legislators from the moderates of both parties would be an excellent start, giving such an effort credibility. If such a party could achieve 15 to 20 percent of elected legislators in any state or national body, supermajorities would not be possible, compromise would become necessary and things in the national interest might get done.

A lone-wolf candidate running for president or governor might give us vent for our frustrations, but won't accomplish anything without legislators to have an impact on the lawmaking process. If you think this is all a pipe dream, you haven't been paying attention to what is going on across the puddle in the UK.

The Dalles

Oct 30, 2010

OK: Pirate Party Rallies for "Freedom Not Fear"

From the Pirate Party of Oklahoma:

A rally to stand up for privacy, our right to assemble, and a free press. Stand up against the growing surveillance state.
South Plaza of the State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
October 30th, 2pm-5pm
Help us get the word out!
Print out a flyer, or two, ot 25. We have both letter size as well as 11×17 sized flyers available to download and post or hand out. They do look better in color, but should do well in black & white as well.
Letter Size Flyer
11×17 Size Flyer
If you are on Facebook, please RSVP on our event page. We also encourage people to use Facebook to invite their friends to this event.
What is “Freedom, Not Fear”
We are living in a nation of constantly increasing surveillance. Every year that passes results in a government that has more means to monitor the activity of every person within our borders. They monitor electronic communications, telephone records, and online browsing histories of citizens without warrants. They are collecting our biometric data without cause, requiring finger prints and facial recognition pictures in order to issue identification documents. License plate recognition cameras will store the time and location that your car has been spotted, even if no crime has been committed.
Our executive spies on American citizens, and when taken to court it simply dismisses accountability by claiming that answering to the court would hurt our national security. They are now seeking a backdoor into all forms of secure digital communication and encryption, to make sure that no communication will ever be outside the reach of our government.

Jeb Bush Sees Possibility of "an Independent Third Party Force," Says "There's No Denying It"

From the NYT Caucus Blog interview with Jeb Bush:
Q. People don’t like either party. What does that tell you about the opening for some independent third party force, whether it’s Mike Bloomberg [the New York City mayor] or somebody else. 
BUSH: I think it’s possible. There’s no denying it. The looming victories for Republican candidates next Tuesday is not a validation of the Republican Party at all. It’s a repudiation of this massive overreach by President Obama and his supporters in Congress.
Now, Republicans can take advantage of this if they’re in positions of responsibility and leadership. And if they don’t, if they kind of go back to the old way and just play the game, then Republicans can get spanked. It could create a middle ground. Or it could create a dismemberment of our political parties.

Oct 29, 2010

Cutler and Chafee Proof Top Two Primaries Terrible for Independents

Cross posted from Rise of the Center

Back before I even started this blog, I was arguing against what seems so plainly a stupid idea for independents to support… the top two primary. There are several reasons that someone might be against this, but the most important from the position of independents that would like actually see independents represent them in government, is that it destroys most independents’ chances, given that independents start with a huge disadvantage and need the whole election calendar to catch up with the institutional advantages that come with being major party nominees.

In a guest post on over at Donklephant about five months ago, I had this to say:

I am personally quite familiar with these kinds of rules. In my home state of Nebraska, I considered running for state senate, as an independent, myself. This rule was not the only reason I decided not to do so, but looking at a short primary season where I would have had to overcome a huge money, organizational and manpower deficit… it certainly was one of the straws that broke the camel’s back. Had I had the entire campaign season to catch up, my decision could have been different.

In other words… we’re hurting our own chances, in trade for a rule that has no history of lowering partisanship, and actually has a track record of lowering the rate of incumbent turnover.

That organizations, like CAIVN for instance, don’t see this just by thinking it through logically is… hard for be to believe. I don’t want to think that they could be so naive, but I don’t know what else it could be… Now though, with several big ticket independents running for office, they have the facts staring them in the face.

We wont know for a few days whether they will win, but Eliot Cutler, independent candidate for governor of Maine, and Lincoln Chafee, independent candidate for governor of Rhode Island, would both have been disqualified for running had only two candidates been allowed through the primary.

I’d like an answer on this… how can supporters not only justify their support of Prop 14 in California earlier this year, in the face of these facts, but also openly continue the push to bring similar laws to other states. Or are you going to get your heads out of the sand, open your eyes and get back on track, focusing on the issue independent groups have been working on for years… a lack of REAL open primaries.

I’ll end this post the same way I ended the post I quoted above from five months ago…

I wont mince words on this issue. Independents who support this top two primary “reform” should be ashamed of themselves.

OH: An Open Letter to Progressive Democrats from Dan La Botz, Socialist Party Candidate for US Senate

An open letter to Ohio progressives from Dan La Botz, Socialist Party candidate for US Senate. Sent in to TPID via email:
Dear Friends and Fellow Progressives,

In the Senate race, the Democratic Party in Ohio has largely ignored your wishes, crushed your hopes, and now abandons you to the Republican Rob Portman. In the beginning, when many and perhaps most of you wanted Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to be the Senate candidate, the Democratic Party organization used its power and its money to push Brunner aside and impose Lee Fisher as the candidate. Now, as we approach election day, Lee Fisher has apparently thrown in the towel, giving up on his race and turning his remaining campaign funds over to the Democratic Party to use for other races where they think they still have a chance.

What are you going to do with Fisher having failed so badly and now going down to defeat? I know that you won’t vote for Rob Portman or for the Libertarian or Constitution or party candidates who are perhaps even further right than he is. But I am afraid that you might waste your vote by casting it for Lee Fisher. This would be squandering your vote. 

Study: Highest Number of Third Party Candidates for US House Since 1934, Libertarians "Lead the Way"

From Eric Ostermeier at the Smart Politics blog at the University of Minnesota, link sent in via email:
A Smart Politics analysis of more than 17,000 general election U.S. House contests since 1932 finds there are more third party and independent candidacies in the 2010 election cycle than in any midterm election since 1934 . . .  In total, there are 443 such candidates on ballots across the nation, up 42.4 percent from 2008 and 56.5 percent from the last midterm election in 2006. . . . In 2010, the Libertarian Party leads the way with 153 candidates across the nation, or 35.2 percent of all U.S. House seats (1 candidate for every 2.8 districts). 
Read the whole thing for stats, graphs and analysis.

PA: Hugh Giordano Proposes Ambitious Package of Election Reforms, Equal Access, Open Primaries . . .

From Montgomery Media News:
Hugh Giordano, the independent Green Party candidate for State Representative in the 194th District, has a strong stance when it comes to elections and how they should be run. “Elections in this state are so biased and unfair, that the voters never really have the opportunity to vote for someone they really want to. “The goal of this package of reforms is to ensure open, clean elections so that the citizens of Pennsylvania get the representation they deserve,” says Giordano.

Giordano supports a shift to open primaries in Pennsylvania . . . Giordano supports equal ballot access for third-party and independent candidates. . . . Giordano supports campaign finance reform . . .

AZ: So-called "Clean Elections Law" Discriminates Against Independent Candidates

From the Arizona Daily Star:

Independents are easily Arizona's fastest-growing voter block. Still, when it comes to campaign funding, costs and even speaking invitations, independent candidates are no strangers to the short end of the stick.
Clean Elections, approved by voters in 1998, provides public funding to candidates regardless of party affiliation. But independents get 30 percent less than party candidates on the grounds independents don't have a primary election, said Michael Becker, the Commission's voter education manager.
"Money can't be transferred from the primary to the general," Becker said. "Independent candidates don't have a primary. The creators of the act determined that the best course of action would be to give partisans a bit more money."
For a legislative race, for instance, "a bit more money" is more than $10,000, which some independents say is unfair because party candidates get money for the primary even if they're unopposed.

Oct 28, 2010

WV: Constitution Party Candidate Vies for Byrd's Vacant Senate Seat, Calls for Audit of Fed

From the Parthenon:

A third-party candidate is seeking to be elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the seat left vacant by Robert C. Byrd. Jeff Becker, the Constitution Party's candidate for the election of West Virginia's new U.S. Senator, said he wants to help government make a return to Constitutional values.

Becker said if he is elected, initiating an audit of the Federal Reserve will be a top priority. "It's a shadowy organization," Becker said. "There's nothing federal about it. It's a private bank. "We need to get back to sound constitutional money. Our money is supposed to be based on silver and gold, but the paper money that is being printed isn't backed by anything."

MS: Constitution Party candidate, Giaramita, profiled in Desoto Times

From the Desoto Times:
Gail Giaramita, a Constitution Party candidate in the 1st U.S. Congressional District race, said America needs to "turn back to God" and adhere to the tenets of the U.S. Constitution.  In her DeSoto Times-Tribune editorial board interview, she opened her remarks with a prayer.

Giaramita previously ran for Mississippi State Representative as a Republican. "We have storms coming," Giaramita said. "If we don't turn back to God quickly, we won't have the foundation we need to face them."
  Giaramita called for less government intervention in the lives of ordinary Americans.  "The framing fathers envisioned we would be in control of our own lives and our money," she said.

Progressive Challenges Constitution Party

From Kirkpatrick Sale at Counterpoint:
There’s much talk these days, particularly by the Tea Party types, about getting back to the “real” Constitution, forcing the Obama government to honor the “original intent” of the Founding Fathers, and “understanding the Constitution through the eyes of its creators,” as one contributor to the Tenth Amendment Center recently put it. . . .

And along with it in the last few years has grown up a Constitution Party that has the idea that the nation’s problems can be solved by “a renewed allegiance” to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and hence a return to “limited government.” The problem with current officials of both parties, as the CP see it, is that they “ignore their oaths to uphold the Constitution,” that is to say, the Constitution as originally written and used in the 18th century. . . .

Let’s wake up these “real Constitution” die-hards and the ardent “Tenthers” and tell them that it’s a waste of time to try to resurrect that document in order to save the nation ---because because the growth of government and the centralization of power is inherent in its original provisions . . . 

OH: Tea Party Groups Endorse Libertarian Candidates

A press release from the Libertarian Party of Ohio, sent via email:

The North Central Ohio Tea Party announced yesterday that they are endorsing four Libertarian candidates for their respective offices: Charlie Earl for Secretary of State, Matthew Cantrell for state Treasurer, Jeffrey Blevins for 16th Congressional District, and Robert Brent Vollmer for Court of Appeals, 5th District. These are in addition to the previous Tea Party endorsement of William Yarbrough, who also received an endorsement from Outlook Columbus, as well as the endorsement of Matthew Cantrell for state Treasurer by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Lima News, and Charlie Earl for Secretary of State from the Freedom Institute of Erie County, the COAST Candidates PAC, and the Reform Party of Ohio. Ten Libertarian candidates were also endorsed by the Boston Tea Party National Committee.

“There is a mood all over the country of more acceptance of third parties and the Libertarian Party message of smaller government, more fiscal responsibility, and more individual freedom,” stated Kevin Knedler, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Ohio Executive Committee. “We are fighting against two old entrenched political machines, but we represent the future, and these endorsements validate that.”

The Libertarian Party of Ohio is the third largest political party in Ohio, and the only one dedicated to the principles of smaller, limited government, lower taxes, and more personal liberty for the residents of the State of Ohio. The Libertarian Party of Ohio has the same vision as the Libertarian Party, which is “for a world in which all individuals can freely exercise the natural right of sole dominion over their own lives, liberty and property by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office, and moving public policy in a libertarian direction.” For more information, visit http://www.lpo.org.

Oct 27, 2010

Both Parties’ Bait and Switch Game with Our Money – PayGo & CutGo

Cross posted at Rise of the Center

The man who appears to be the inevitable next speaker of the House, John Boehner, gave some indications to the American Enterprise Institute as to some of the ideas the GOP has for trimming budgets last month. Some of them sound like run of the mill common sense, for example breaking up giant appropriation bills into separate votes for each agency getting funded, and having bills be available publicly for at least three days (I’d give it two weeks or more frankly… with how long and convoluted bills are anymore).

But the big ticket item is his replacement for the bait and switch game the democrats like to call PayGo. PayGo is of course short for pay as you go, although maybe they took out the middle part so they didn’t have to actually… you know… pay as you go. For a rule that is supposed to mean they actually do pay as you go, meaning you have to cut spending to offset new spending, or tax more to offset new spending, its hard to see how they can use that moniker, with all of the exceptions they make.

In fact, as with several other key campaign promises Obama made in his run for the presidency, the PayGo rules that Congress has been working with are anything but clear cut requirements for offsetting new spending. Even the Brookings Institution, a left leaning think tank, came to the conclusion that all of the exemptions cover “most of the major causes of fiscal deterioration over the next decade.”

For example,democrats didn’t want to find offsets for COBRA and unemployment extensions earlier this year, so they waited until the last minute, even though they knew the issue was coming up far in advance, and then labeled it an emergency. In this last word is the rub. Democrats made it so they could label just about anything as emergency spending, making the PayGo rule really just partisan spin meant to make it sound like they were being serious about our debt. Clearly the American people have not been fooled.

Now the republicans are coming back with their own version of the deficit bait and switch game. Without seeing the actual proposals, we’ll not know exactly how it will work when the rubber hits the road, but from what is currently being reported the GOP would like CutGo to require offsets for any spending increases… but not for tax cuts. Clearly that magical voodoo economics pool of money that appears to offset tax cuts is finally here… somewhere… after similar claims were proven false during the heavy deficit spending years of Reagan and Dubya.

Oh, and surprise of all surprises… it appears that the GOP may be backing off of it’s earmark ban now that it will be getting some more power.

Read more of Solomon's work at Rise of the Center

CT: Greens Decry "Broken Election System," Demand All Votes be Counted

From On the Wilder Side:
Green Party candidates and officials stated today a recent audit of state voting system showed a “broken election system” that needs reform, upgrades to ballot security, and transparency. Greens were shocked that ballots to be audited were left unsecured, left under desks and had differences in the ballot count, according to the audit report.

NY-Gov: Green Calls for Stock Transfer Tax as Part of Green New Deal

From a letter to Press Connects:
Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins said that, as a part of his "Green New Deal," he wants to impose a sales tax on stock transfers. The tax would amount only to one-twentieth of 1 percent on each transfer and bring in an estimated $16 billion. New York state sales tax is currently 4 percent, and most counties have 4 percent sales taxes. So that would be asking the Wall Street brokers to pay their fair share in sales tax.

I have heard the argument that investors will take their money elsewhere. Those that may leave would no longer be Wall Street investors and hence should not command the benefits that go along with working in New York. Their shoes would be eagerly filled.
In any case, refunding the stock transfer tax has been a long-standing example of economic terrorism and we should stop turning a blind eye to it. Support the Green Party and progressive taxation.
Patricia Valek

CT: Green Candidate for House "Swings from the Hip"

From the Bristol Press:
Ken Krayeske, the 38-year-old Green Party congressional contender, one of four people seeking the 1st Congressional District seat, relishes the opportunity to challenge the conventional wisdom.  At a debate this week, for example, he got tossed what for most politicians would be a softball on whether to move ahead with the proposed Coltsville National Park that would bring jobs, tourists and recognition to Hartford. Swinging from the hip, Krayeske fired back that he opposes “building a museum that honors genocide” and pointed out that Elizabeth Colt’s five children all died before her. He said she considered it a curse for having made guns that led to so many deaths over decades. Krayeske said he would rather see other Hartford factories singled out in a park to showcase the rise of American manufacturing. . .

Why Gays Should Vote Green

From Daniel W.K. Lee at the Advocate:
But can GPDs expect more than what the Democratic Party says it stands for? According to its platform, it is committed to:
  • Repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” in a sensible way that strengthens our armed forces and our national security
  • Ensuring civil unions and equal federal rights for LGBT couples as well as fully repealing the Defense of Marriage Act
That’s it. Nowhere does it connect LGBT concerns with immigration reform or health care. As a party, Democrats are not “committed” to marriage equality outside of guaranteeing equal federal rights to LGBT couples. As a party, its collective understanding of “gay civil equality” is only a matter of civil unions and military, and yet GPDs’ faith in their captors remain in part because they believe there is no alternative.  And that’s simply not true.

Oct 26, 2010

MA: Independent Candidate for Sec. of State Calls for Ranked Choice Voting

From the Milford Daily News:

Independent candidate for Secretary of State Jim Henderson today said he would be in favor of implementing ranked choice voting in Massachusetts. Also known as instant runoff voting, the method involves asking voters to rank candidates on the ballot instead of choosing just one. Candidates are eliminated until one of them has a majority of the vote.

CA: Independent Makes Final Push Against Democrat Sanchez

From Politico:

There’s a Latina independent candidate in the competitive race for Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s Orange County House seat, and her bid will further strain a race that’s so far been all about ethnicity.
Cecilia Iglesias, a former local government official, started running $12,000 in Spanish-language TV ads on Univision over the weekend. She’s running as an independent, but used to be a registered Republican: She voted in the 2006 and 2008 Republican primaries, which are closed.

RI-Gov: Independent Chafee Touts Ties to Obama

From Talking Points Memo:

Finally, we have a candidate this election cycle who will proudly feature his ties to President Obama in one of his ads -- and he's not actually a Democrat! Lincoln Chafee, the former Republican Senator and now independent candidate for governor of Rhode Island, has a new ad that uses old footage of President Obama vigorously praising him. And of course, this ad follows a dust-up over Obama's noted lack of support for the Democratic nominee in the race, state Treasurer Frank Caprio.

ME-Gov: Independent Eliot Cutler Receives Avalanche of Endorsements

This one from the Sun Journal:

We need a practiced executive in the Blaine House, a person who has the skills and experience to be an administrator of progress. A person determined to improve our schools, reduce our taxes, fix our roads and vastly shrink government spending. Cutler is that person.

John Avlon Profiles Independent Candidates and the State of the Independent Movement at CNN

From John Avlon at CNN:
With the election just days away, most Americans disapprove of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, while 58 percent of our fellow citizens say it's time for a third party. So let's break out of the two-party mold and take a look at some of the independent candidates across the country who are surging or struggling as Election Day approaches.

Poli-Tea: The Case for Strategic Third Party Voting in the New York Gubernatorial Race

From Poli-Tea:
In every election, among those who cast their ballots for the candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties, there are no doubt a large percentage who do so against their better judgment and even against their own will.  These voters go by many names . . . defensive voters . . . lesser-of-two-evils voters . . . strategic voters . . .

In New York's gubernatorial race, a strong case can also be made for what we might call strategic third party voting.  There are likely very few people who have any doubt what the outcome of this contest will be . . . As we approach election day, Democrats have little to worry about and Republicans little to hope for . . .

If the Green and Libertarian party gubernatorial candidates receive more than 50,000 votes, the Green and Libertarian parties are assured ballot access on all New York ballots for the next four years . . . According to the certified ballot of the New York State Board of Elections, this year there are upwards of forty different races in which a Democrat or Republican is running for office unopposed! . . . Unlike the Working Families Party or the Conservative Party, the Green and Libertarian parties are highly likely to run their own candidates for office rather than simply rubber stamp those offered up by the Democrats and Republicans. 

A vote for the Green or Libertarian candidate for governor of New York is a vote in support of political choice and competition . . .
Read the whole thing.

WV: Independent Surge Among Registered Voters

From Hoppy Kercheval at the West Virginia Metro News:

In West Virginia, the two major parties still dominate, but voter registration figures show a growing number of independents in the state. Figures released recently by the Secretary of State’s Office show that nearly 208,000 registered voters, or 17 percent, list themselves as having no party affiliation or belong to a party other than Democrat or Republican. . . .

Since 2004, while Republican registration has held steady and Democratic registration has declined, the number of voters registering as independents or belonging to another party has risen by nearly 50 percent.

Oct 25, 2010

NY-Gov: Libertarian Warren Redlich talks with The Local East Village

From the Local East Village:

Warren Redlich is a Libertarian who hates the war on drugs, supports gay marriage, thinks college loans harm more than help students, and wants to cap bureaucrat pay and pensions. Mr. Redlich, 44, is the Libertarian party candidate for governor . . . Mr. Redlich spoke with The Local East Village on Wednesday about why voters should choose him, what they should know about him, and his love of East Village Korean food.

IN-5: Indianapolis Star Endorses Libertarian for House

From the Indy Star:
Libertarian Chard Reid . . . represents the best of Libertarian small-government ideals. He would be a refreshing departure from the incumbent's complacency and cavalier attitude toward ethics.

MO: Libertarian candidate for US Senate provides alternative to career politicians

From the Columbia Missourian:
Missouri's Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, Jonathan Dine. . . is campaigning on a traditional Libertarian platform that calls for more individual rights, the legalization of marijuana and shorter term limits for elected officials. The last issue is important, he said, because caps on political service can limit corruption and help protect Americans' freedoms.

IL: Libertarian is "only true conservative" in gubernatorial race

From the Chicago Tribune:

Two years ago, Labno lost his job in construction around the same time lawmakers were approving a bailout for banks. The outrage Labno felt started him down the path to becoming the Libertarian Party's candidate for U.S. Senate.

Labno bills himself as the only true conservative in the race and frequently casts digs at Republican nominee Mark Kirk, so much so that Democrat Alexi Giannoulias has actively boosted Labno's candidacy.

CO: Rocky Mountain Collegian Profiles Third Party Candidates for Governor

From the Rocky Mountain Collegian:

When heading to the ballot boxes to cast a decision for the next governor, Colorado voters will see six options –– a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, an American Constitution Party member and two unaffiliated picks.  With eight days until polls close, third-party candidates laid out for the Collegian where they stand on issues they believe are important to students . . .

Poll: 43% Say Democrats and Republicans Do Not Represent the American People, Independents Want Third Party

From Rasmussen:
a plurality (43%) of Likely U.S. Voters believes that neither Democrats nor Republicans in Congress are the party of the American people, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Nearly as many see a need for a new third party. Thirty-five percent (35%) disagree that neither party represents the American people, and another 22% are not sure. . . .

Unaffiliated voters by a 49% to 41% margin also see the need for an entirely new party to represent the American people. As is generally the case, the Political Class and Mainstream voters don’t see eye-to-eye.  Fifty-three percent (53%) of Mainstream voters believe it’s fair to say neither party in Congress is the party of the American people. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of the Political Class don’t share that assessment.

A History of Recent Third Party Showings in West Virginia

From West Virginia Metro News:

West Virginia has a recent tradition of third party candidates in statewide races. Rarely have they made a difference in the outcome, but that could change this year in the U.S. Senate race. It’s self-evident that either Democrat Gov. Joe Manchin or Republican John Raese will win, but Mountain Party candidate Jesse Johnson and Constitution Party candidate Jeff Becker are also on the ballot. Johnson and Becker both got a chance to participate in the only statewide debate of the race and each has garnered at least some media coverage, though Johnson has gotten more than Becker. Here is a brief history of how several non-traditional candidates have fared in races in recent elections . . . 

TX-Gov: Third Party Candidates Capturing 10% Support

From the Texas Tribune:
Eight days out from Election Day, Perry's [R] share of the vote sits at 50 percent, a number that — until recently — has consistently eluded the governor in polls conducted since the spring. Democrat Bill White is 10 points behind at 40 percent, while third-party candidates are capturing 10 percent of the vote, with Libertarian Kathie Glass at 8 percent and Green Party candidate Deb Shafto at 2 percent.

Oct 24, 2010

Pirate Party Considers Space-Based File-Sharing and Web Hosting, Beyond the Legal Reach of Governments and Corporate Interests Everywhere

From Andy Greenberg at Forbes:
That, at least, is the vision of some members of Pirate Parties International (PPI). PPI serves as an umbrella organization for intellectual property reform-focused ”Pirate Parties” around the world, which until April included PiratPartiet, the Swedish Pirate Party with ties to the peer-to-peer site the Pirate Bay and whistle-blower organization Wikileaks. Last weekend, a group of Pirate Party members on the group’s mailing list began discussing plans for a high-altitude balloon that would host a filesharing site in the sky, ideally out of the legal reach of any authorities whose intellectual property regulations could have it shut down. . . .

Others, including Pirate Party co-chairman Gregory Engels, seem to prefer the idea of a low-Earth-orbit satellite that would be harder to launch but easier to keep airborne than a slowly-deflating balloon. He points to a wiki already created in June by a German pirate party member to assemble ideas for that space-based piracy plan.
Does anyone from the US Pirate Party have any more information or a comment on this story?

CO-Gov: Republican Makes Case for Voting Third Party, Supporting Tancredo

From the Estes Park Trail Gazette:

I really need to apologize to Tom Tancredo. When Tancredo decided not to run last year, I was critical of the platform he wrote for Scott McInnis as a condition of support. In July, when Tancredo gave the two Republican candidates an ultimatum to withdraw from the race, I labeled Tancredo the spoiler. The pragmatic side of me will not support a spoiler. I deemed it impossible for Tom Tancredo to win as a third party candidate.

I wrote in July that the worst strategy for conservatives was "to choose the lesser of two evils now, and then refuse to support the winner in November." I later called Tancredo`s ultimatum to Maes and McInnis as "improbable as a science fiction film." I recognized that Dan Maes had problems as a candidate, but I believed party supporters would rally behind his campaign and Maes would finish second (with no hope of winning). I felt so strongly about it that I wrote to Tancredo urging him to withdraw the ultimatum, telling him there was no circumstance in which I could support his candidacy.
Boy, was I wrong; mea maxima culpa. Dan Maes is now polling at 12 percent. Tancredo is polling at 38 percent, just four percent behind Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. In other words, 50 percent of voters support someone other than "Recreate 68" benefactor Hickenlooper as our next governor. 
In fact, Tancredo is now polling within one percentage point of the Democrat Hickenlooper and Dan Maes is supported by fewer than one in ten voters.  If they have any sense, the people of Colorado will bury the Republican party this November and set an example for voters nationwide.  The two-party state can be defeated.  

Oct 23, 2010

MA: Democrats Refuse to Debate Green Challengers, Why are Democrats so Afraid of Open Debates and Opposed to Political Comeptition?

From Green Party Watch:
The Berkshire Greens are calling foul on two Democratic state legislators for abruptly pulling out of debates with Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party candidates Scott Laugenour and Mark Miller:
The October 18 debates at BCC were called off for no-shows from the Democrat incumbent state rep candidates. The debate sponsors instead have scheduled interviews with the incumbents’ only opponents, conducted by the former debate moderator. Both Smitty Pignatelli (claiming miscommunication about debate date) and Chris Speranzo (for no stated reason) informed debate sponsors late Friday afternoon (Oct. 15) that they would not be debating at BCC tomorrow, Monday (Oct. 18).

Also on Friday, October 15, in the Berkshire Eagle, Clarence Fanto echoed Jonathan Levine’s earlier Pittsfield Gazette column denouncing Chris Speranzo for jockeying for two jobs at the same time. Speranzo has been interviewing (successfully) to be Central Berkshire District Court Clerk Magistrate although he is still on the ballot, running for state representative.
Is this the kind of behavior appropriate for democratically elected, taxpayer-funded representatives of the people?

TX-Gov: Republican Refuses to Participate in Inclusive Debate, Why Are Republicans Afraid of Open Debates and Opposed to Political Competition?

From Green Party Watch:
Texas Green Party gubernatorial candidate Deb Shafto took part in a debate with Democrat Bill White and Libertarian Kathy Glass on tuesday night. Republican incumbent Rick Perry refused to participate. ABC station KTRK has video from the debate, which is separated into 12 segments . . .

IL: Greens Protest Whitney's Exclusion from Gubernatorial Debate

From Medill Reports:
After being denied access to participate in a gubernatorial debate, Green Party candidate Rich Whitney held a protest in front of ABC 7 studios where the debate was held.  The League of Women Voters of Illinois hosted the debate between Republican Bill Brady and Democrat Pat Quinn, and excluded Whitney because of his low polling numbers. 

NY: A Vote for Paladino (R) is a Vote for Hawkins (G)

From the NY Daily News:
A vote for Republican Carl Paladino could actually be a vote for Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins - if you follow the directions printed on the November ballot. In what appears to be yet another "royal screwup," the city Board of Elections printed a sample ballot that instructs voters to fill the "oval above" a candidate's name.  The correct oval is actually below each candidate's name.

NY: Hawkins Participates in One-On-One Debate with Gubernatorial Write-In Candidate

From the Democrat and Chronicle:
And then there were two. A debate that aimed to give all candidates for governor a place to air their views in front of a Rochester-area audience at Henrietta Town Hall had just two participants on Friday, and one is waging a write-in campaign. . . . That left Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins with ample opportunity to talk about his support for a growth in government-sponsored jobs, a progressive tax structure and single-payer health care and his opposition to drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region, as he was the only candidate who will appear on the ballot who showed up.

TX: Voting Machine Glitch Switches Votes to Green Candidates

From The Blaze:
Don Relyea supports incumbent Republican Rick Perry for governor in TX. Naturally, he went to the polls to cast his vote. But while in the privacy of his voting booth, he noticed something very strange: as he tried to submit his ballot, it changed. Again. And again. The electronic voting machine he was using kept switching his votes to Green Party candidates, and he caught it on tape . . . According to Gawker, Relyea wasn’t the only one having trouble. Apparently someone else was having the same problem — when he went to vote for Democrat Bill White, his vote kept switching to Rick Perry . . .

OH-Gov: Green Party Candidate Dennis Spisak on Blog Talk Radio Tonight

From Michael Kwiatkowski at Corrente:

I’ll be interviewing Ohio gubernatorial candidate Dennis Spisak on Saturday, October 23rd, at 7:00 PM via my Blog Talk Radio show. The URL and call-in number are below:
1 (347) 884-9121
The show is scheduled for two hours, though I don’t think we’ll be talking quite that long. This should allow some time for listeners to call in with questions for Mr. Spisak, though I do ask that anyone calling in please keep it short.

CO-Gov: Tancredo in Statistical Tie with Democrat Frontrunner

From Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight:
Tom Tancredo’s chances have improved again in Colorado, where a new Magellan Strategies poll puts him just 1 point behind Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, the Democrat.

RI-Gov: Chafee Pulls Ahead in Rasmussen Poll

From Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight:
The other state with a new leader is Rhode Island, where Lincoln Chafee, the former Republican senator who is running as an independent, has pulled ahead of the Democrat Frank T. Caprio on the strength of a Rasmussen Reports poll that gives him a 7-point lead.

Oct 22, 2010

Think 3 Profiles NY's Third Party US Senate Candidates

In an post at the Think 3 Institute discussing a recent duopolized debate between the Democrat and Republican candidates for US Senate in NY, Sam Wilson provides a quick rundown of the third party candidates in the race:
Last night's debate organizers had, in fact, excluded four independent candidates for Gillibrand's [D] seat. Vivia Morgan is the candidate of the Anti-Prohibition party; she supports the legalization of casinos and marijuana as well as tax cuts for working people and businesses alike. Cecile Lawrence, the Green candidate, wants to end American subsidies for polluting corporations, an 85% reduction in American military presence abroad, single-payer national health insurance, and free undergraduate college education for all Americans who graduate high school. John Clifton, the Libertarian candidate, also wants to bring the troops home, but would also end the "war on drugs," along with the IRS and the Federal Reserve. Finally, the Rent is 2 Damn High party has Joseph Huff on the ballot, but the candidate's website was recently shut down, and this interview from September expresses his ambivalence about associating with James McMillan. To my knowledge, Charles Barron's Freedom Party is not running a candidate against Gillibrand, who is herself endorsed by the Independence and Working Families parties. DioGuardi [R] appears on the Conservative and Taxpayers lines.

ME-Gov: Independent Cutler Poised to Overtake Democrat, Many Voters Remain Undecided

From the Portland Press Herald:
A dramatic shift appears to have occurred among voters in Maine's gubernatorial race and in one congressional contest, according to a new independent poll released Thursday.  Independent Eliot Cutler moved up substantially to a statistical second-place tie with Democrat Libby Mitchell, who lost support compared with earlier polls. Cutler's support, which had been hovering around 11 percent, increased to 19 percent in the latest poll. Mitchell had 20 percent. The poll had Republican Paul LePage with a 12 percentage point lead at 32 percent. . . .

Five percent of respondents to the latest poll said they would vote for independent Shawn Moody in the governor's race and 1 percent said they would vote for independent Kevin Scott. Twenty-one percent remain undecided, according to the poll, which asked people who they would vote for if the election were held the next day.

CO-Gov: Progressives Debate Import of Tancredo's Third Party Candidacy

From Political Chili:
Over at The Huffington Post, liberal blogger Jessica Corry is making “The Liberal Case for Tom Tancredo.”  According to Corry, Tancredo’s victory “could mean a handful of policy goodies long championed by liberal progressives.”  She believes that Tancredo’s “strong libertarian foundation…when communicated the right way, is both moderate and pragmatic.” . . .

Let’s review the data we have on the Constitution Party and Tom Tancredo.  A “liberal progressive” vote for Tom Tancredo may not be such a wise move. Chip Berlet, a senior researcher at Political Research Associates (see its PublicEye.org magazine), wrote in September 2008 that “the U.S. Constitution Party would impose a form of theocratic neo-fascism in the United States.”

According to the Constitution Party’s political platform, “‘The mission of the Constitution Party…is to restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations.’”  The party’s preamble states that America was founded by “Christians…[and] the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Constitution Party Builds Presence on Facebook

From the Constitution Party's discussion forum:
Social networking sites are HUGE these days. I imagine some of you are on FB. (If not, more CP presence would be welcomed!) Here are some good groups I've found there: American Constitution; American Founders; Constitution Party; a different Constitution Party page; Declaration of Independence; The Federalist Papers; Founders, Religion, and Government; God And Country; United States Constitution.

WV: Constitution Party Senate Candidate Calls for New Investigation of 9/11 Attacks

From Info Wars:

Jeff Becker, running for Senate in West Virginia in the Constitution Party, raised questions about the “foreknowledge” of WTC Building 7′s collapse on September 11th during a live televised debate that was carried nationally on C-SPAN. Indeed, even Becker’s campaign website announces proudly at the very top of his homepage that he “calls for new Senate investigation of 9/11.”

During the October 18 debate for the special election to replace the deceased Sen. Robert Byrd, Jeff Becker responded to a question about the “continued build-up of troops in Afghanistan” by telling the audience that “We need to first take a look at what happened on 9/11. There were actually three buildings that collapsed on September 11th.”

CO: Republicans Party with Tancredo

From The Colorado Statesman:
Tom Tancredo faced a rocky ride in late July when he switched political saddle brands — from Republican Party to American Constitution Party — and tossed his hat into the governor’s race. Judging by recent polls and a record-breaking turnout at the “Tancredo Republican Round-up” on Saturday, Oct. 18, the former 6th District Congressman is leaving GOP contender Dan Maes in the dust.

During the ACP candidate’s rally at The Stampede Country Dance Hall, more than 1,300 Republican revelers celebrated a Rasmussen poll showing Tancredo within four points of Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper. According to the survey conducted Oct. 14 of most likely voters, Denver Mayor Hickenlooper has 42 percent and Tancredo, 38 percent. The crowd also cheered erosion of support for Maes — reportedly 12 percent of voters surveyed.

Oct 21, 2010

ME-Gov: Democrats and Republicans Boost Independent Eliot Cutler

From the Journal Tribune:
Maine’s two major political parties have been doing a marvelous job advocating for one of the state’s gubernatorial candidates. But neither Democrats nor Republicans are making a convincing case for their own party’s nominee. The aspirant they’ve unwittingly been boosting is an independent. . . . 

A governor whose primary loyalty is to Maine’s citizens rather than toward a political organization has the best chance of effectively leading the state, and an unaffiliated one would force lawmakers from both major parties into at least appearing to be reasonable; no rational Republicans or Democrats wish to be seen as impeding progress. Cutler would be in a better position than Mitchell or LePage to reach a workable consensus on a variety of issues, since as an independent he would not be beholden to either party.

TX: Independent Files Suit to Level Electoral Playing Field

From the Penny Stock Newswire:
Charles B. “ChuckM” Meyer, independent write-in candidate for the 18th Congressional District, has filed a suit in the United States District Court against the State of Texas, asking that the ballot for the 18th Congressional race in the November 2, 2010 election be modified to allow the same straight-party voting rights that apply to Republican, Democrat and Libertarian candidates be given to independent candidates for Federal office.

In his complaint, Meyer states that the State of Texas “has established a Constitutionally flawed electoral process for the election of Representatives to the U. S. House of Representatives that is biased toward the election of candidates who are party nominees. The process particularly favors those candidates who are nominees of the Republican and Democratic Parties.”

CT: Democrat and Republican Arrogance on Full Display in Dismissal of Independent Challengers

From CT News Junky:
A candidate for state representative in Mansfield, a town that houses thousands of college students as well as local residents, told the two college students running for the seat that they didn’t belong on stage with him and his Democratic opponent.. . .

Christopher Paulhus, the endorsed Republican candidate for state representative in the 54th House District and a member of Mansfield’s Town Council, felt the student representation among the candidates paled in comparison to his experience and the experience of Democratic candidate and Mansfield Deputy Mayor Gregory Haddad. “I think there are really only two candidates here,” he said. “Me and Greg. We’ve both been on the Town Council for a while.”

“It’s upsetting to hear that I shouldn’t be on the stage,” said Brien Buckman, UConn student and Independent candidate. “I think it should be noted that I’m not part of the current system because we need new ideas.”

MA: Independent Seeks to Provide Voice for the Moderate Middle

From Wicked Local:

Like many of her neighbors, K.C. Winslow was fed up with politics as usual. On Beacon Hill and at the national level, she had grown tired of seeing divided parties taking it too far to the right, or too far to the left. “That leaves most of us right here in the middle,” she said. “Especially in this district, I hear that over and over again.”

Unlike many of her neighbors, Winslow decided to do something about it. A Concord resident with no political experience to speak of, Winslow is running as an Independent candidate for the 14th Middlesex District seat state Rep. Cory Atkins, a Concord Democrat,who has held the position since winning a 1999 special election.

New Contributor

As you may have noticed, there is a new contributor here at TPID, Solomon Kleinsmith.  Solomon is an independent advocate of moderate centrism and maintains the website Rise of the Center.  From the mission statement there:
A cursory view of support of the two party system over the last few decades shows a steady move away from the two parties, as they have become more controlled by narrow special interests and have moved farther away from the majority of Americans who stand in the center of the political spectrum. But it wasn’t until more recently that those who consider themselves unrepresented, or underrepresented, began to coalesce into a political force . . .

Voices of moderation are gaining a following in the political blogosphere, new thought leaders are bubbling up amongst the ranks of columnists and authors, and independent faces are showing up on television news. Perhaps the most telling that this groundswell is nearing a potential breakthrough into a full fledged movement is the increasing numbers of viable candidates running for offices, up and down the ballot, across the country.

Here at Rise of the Center, we’ll cover all of these things, show the partisan hacks that middle is anything but mushy and to encourage community among the centrist, moderate and independent thinking electorate.
Here at TPID, Solomon will be sharing posts from Rise of the Center and help keep an eye on the moderate movement.  Thanks for coming aboard, Solomon.

Oct 20, 2010

Republican Wave a Myth - 2010 Merely an End to Democrats’ Surge

Cross posted from Rise of the Center

I’ve been kicking this around in my head for a bit, but Progressive Fix beat me to the punch. The media has made this election out to be some kind of a tidal wave… but how can you call it such when both the House and Senate, regardless of who has the majority, looks to be very closely split?

It makes a lot more sense to say that 2010 merely marks the end to the surge that democrats saw following the disastrous George W Bush years. If this was a true wave election, we’d see a number of districts that are traditionally left leaning breaking for republicans, leading to comfortable majorities in at least the House, since every member there is up for election, but that isn’t what we’re seeing. Progressive Fix hits the nail on the head here:

Do many of these contests involve longstanding Democratic bastions where incumbents are being ousted by the righteous wrath of an angry voting public? No. Eleven of these seats are open. Another thirteen are seats wrested away from the GOP in the “wave” elections of 2006 and 2008. And 22 of the 27 have a pro-Republican PVI (Partisan Voting Index), which means they tilted Republican more than the national average in the last two presidential races.

…fifteen “lean takeover” seats where the probability of a switch to the GOP is in the 60-80 percent range, there are far fewer open seats, but plenty of other factors indicating low-hanging fruit for Republicans. Aside from the two open seats, there are twelve that Democrats picked up in 2006-08, and eleven of the fifteen have pro-GOP PVIs.

It’s only in a third category, twenty “even” seats where the probability of a Republican takeover is 40-60 percent, that you start getting into a significant number of contests involving entrenched incumbents. Even there, half the seats were taken over by Democrats in 2006 or later.

(Bold mine.)

So what is really going on is we’re coming back to near equilibrium, where neither party has a wide majority or mandate. Many of the seats the republicans are losing are in districts that democrats picked up in their wave election, where they did in fact pull a number of right leaning districts over onto their side, and are now likely losing their seats because they went along with the more liberal parts of the Obama agenda that the swing voters that put them into office in those places were not comfortable with.

I’ve said this eleswhere, but while I don’t see it as accounting for more than a few percentage points… polling does seem to show a segment of the electorate that just wants there to be split government. I will say that I’m among those people… and if I wasn’t entirely disgusted with the republican idiot running in my congressional district (Lee Terry… don’t get me started) I would in fact be a little bit more inclined to find an excuse to vote for him just so neither party had near total control in DC like the Dems have had recently, and the GOP had for part of the ‘W’ years.

If there is any solid evidence of any tectonic shifts going on, its the sustained uptick in dissatisfaction with both parties. Certainly looks to be a situation ripe for the center to rise, if there ever was one. Will we? Will you? Its up to each and every one of us to make that choice, or those on the left and right will continue to make them for us… and we’ll keep getting the same results.

Check out more related content at Rise of the Center - Vanguard of the Rising Moderate and Centrist Independent Opposition

NJ Independent: Founding Fathers "Rolling Over in their Graves" at Democrat's Arrogance and Hubris

From the Courier Post Online:
U.S. Rep. John Adler on Tuesday sought to minimize the import of third-party candidates while he was bookended by two long-shot hopefuls for the 3rd Congressional District seat. . . . "I don't think third-party candidates, with all due respect to these gentlemen," Adler said "and that other fellow are ever particularly relevant in elections in New Jersey." . . . "We have a tradition of voting Democrat or Republican so I think it's unfortunately sort of a distraction from the real choices that voters from this district have to make," Adler continued. . . .

"When Congressman Adler suggested there's no place for third-party candidates . . .," Donahue began . . . ". . . I saw the Founding Fathers roll over in their graves," Donahue continued. "I'm extremely disappointed by the arrogance and hubris by the congressman to make such a statement. Our Founding Fathers wanted citizen candidates in House of Representatives."  

PA: Democrat Admits Supporters Helped Third Party Candidate Gain Ballot Access

From Eyewitness News 9:
A suburban Philadelphia Democratic congressional candidate has acknowledged his supporters helped a third-party candidate get on the ballot, but says he doesn't consider that a "mortal sin."

Oct 19, 2010

OK: Pirate Party Plans Protest Against Surveillance State, Attacks on Civil Liberty

From the Oklahoma Pirate Party:
We are living in a nation of constantly increasing surveillance. Every year that passes results in a government that has more means to monitor the activity of every person within our borders. They monitor electronic communications, telephone records, and online browsing histories of citizens without warrants. They are collecting our biometric data without cause, requiring finger prints and facial recognition pictures in order to issue identification documents. License plate recognition cameras will store the time and location that your car has been spotted, even if no crime has been committed.

Our executive spies on American citizens, and when taken to court it simply dismisses accountability by claiming that answering to the court would hurt our national security. They are now seeking a backdoor into all forms of secure digital communication and encryption, to make sure that no communication will ever be outside the reach of our government.

Our legislature ignores the concepts of privacy envisioned by our founding fathers in the Bill of Rights and continually pass legislation that result in less freedoms for Americans. They are now talking about passing a bill that would give the government the power to the internet.

Our judiciary is failing to act as a check on the other branches and has approved the GPS monitoring and the collection of cell phone location data without requiring a warrant. And for the rare occasions that the government is unable to spy on it’s populace, it has no problems encouraging us to spy on each other. We are constantly urged to report suspicious activity, to turn in our neighbor, and to watch everybody for anything.

We believe that it is time for the people to push back against the growing surveillance state. To fight for our right to have privacy in our lives. To have our government accept the reality that we are allowed to have secrets, and that having them does not make us criminals.

CT: Third Party Candidates Find Footing Among Angry Voters

From the Middletown Press:
In a trend becoming almost commonplace, the upcoming November elections will be more than just a two-party race as many third-party candidates have thrown their hats in the ring.

And this year, third-party candidates threaten to tip a handful of congressional and gubernatorial races to contenders who otherwise might lose. On the local level, the candidates hope to make a difference — mostly, they all hope for some sort of election reform in order to make it easier for third-party candidates to get on the ballot in the future.

In the governor’s race, Independent candidate Tom Marsh from Chester is battling Republican Tom Foley and Democrat Dan Malloy. His ally is Cicero Booker Jr, of Waterbury, for the lieutenant governor spot.  While some third-party candidates are independents, many candidates are members of the Green Party . . .

Greens Call for an End to Corporate Personhood

From Green Change:
110 Green Party candidates nationwide are calling for a “Green New Deal” to end the legal doctrine of corporate personhood, which grants corporations constitutional rights that had previously been reserved for people.
In addition, in August the U.S. Green Party endorsed “stripping [corporations] of artificial ‘personhood’ and constitutional protections,” along with “revoking the charters of corporations that routinely violate safety, health, environmental protection or other laws.”
In contrast, neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties support ending corporate personhood, or revoking the corporate charters of lawless corporations.
“Democrats and Republicans together have installed the judges who have brought corporate rule to America,” said Gary Ruskin, co-founder of Green Change, a national political organization.  “If you want to fix the economy, clean up corruption in Washington, and save the environment, then vote Green to abolish corporate personhood.”

WI: Ben Manski is Formidable Opponent, Democrats Worry Over Green Challenger

From Green Party Watch:

Sarah Manski sent the following update to supporters of Wisconsin Green Party candidate for 77th District State Representative Ben Manski: Ben’s opponent, Brett Hulsey, is very worried.

Two days ago, Hulsey sent out a fundraising letter. The letter says he is facing “strong opposition” from our campaign. The letter complains about the “attack ads” we’re running (those are the ads where we point out, quite accurately, that he took $192,000 from a coal-burning utility to lobby for a new coal plant).

Ben’s opponent is right. We are building a “strong opposition.” But we need your help right now. Right now. We need to raise $6,000 by Tuesday to pay for our next mailing. Please give $100 or more, right now: http://votemanski.com/contribute

Mr. Hulsey wasn’t expecting any of this. He expected that if he stuck the label “Democrat” on his forehead, he would win. But now he’s finding that the electorate are not unthinking, party-line-voting robots. And he’s getting desperate, saying desperate, disturbing things. We expect thatthe Hulsey campaign will strike back, hard, at Ben in the coming week.  Please support Ben now, when he needs you most: http://votemanski.com/contribute

NY Daily News: Libertarian Warren Redlich a "serious candidate" for governor

In a commentary on last night's gubernatorial debate in NY, which denounced the inclusion of all seven ballot-qualified candidates for governor, Bill Hammond concludes that Libertarian Warren Redlich and Democrat Andrew Cuomo are the only serious contenders for the office:
New Yorkers deserve better. Before Election Day, they need a one-on-one showdown between the two most serious candidates.  Cuomo and Redlich, that is.

WNYC Profiles All Five Third Party Candidates for Governor of New York

From WNYC's It's a Free Country politics website:

Where They Stand: The Third Party Candidates for Governor.  It's A Free Country researches the platforms of the third party candidates . . . It's A Free Country looks at the positions and priorities of the candidates for New York governor who aren't named Andrew Cuomo or Carl Paladino.

Oct 18, 2010

NY: New York Times Blogger Scrubs Green Party Candidate from Gubernatorial Debate

Tonight, the New York Times City Room blog provided live coverage of the seven candidate gubernatorial debate.  Reading up on the debate, I happened to notice that, in live-blogging the event, NYT blogger Michael Grynbaum did not mention Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins even once in a post that extended to well over 3,000 words.  The Cuomo cheerleader did not, however, fail to mention the existence of the other six candidates on the stage.  Indeed, he even relayed some of the things that they said!  Apparently, the NYT's general Verbot against reporting on the Green Party in the United States extends to the outlet's blogs as well.  Pathetic.

Frum Forum Talks Third Party Strategy

Two articles at the Frum Forum today consider the possibilities of third party politics.  The first, "Third Party: It's Alive":
Republican political strategist Mark McKinnon – veteran of McCain and Bush presidential campaigns – acknowledged in an exclusive FrumForum interview with editor David Frum that a third-party presidential effort for 2012 was not far off, and hinted at his involvement in one.

In the podcast interview, McKinnon, who was discussing his recent Daily Beast column “A Centrist Manifesto”, lamented that “there’s nobody that gets rewarded for bipartisan behavior, [and] in fact they get punished.” To that end, he said, “there is a very real possibility for a legitimate third party effort for 2012 … American voters are so hungry for more voice, and more choice.” While reluctant to discuss the matter much further because announcements are forthcoming, McKinnon did let on that he was at least somewhat involved . . .
The second is entitled, "How a third party could work":
Toward the end of our podcast interview, Republican ad genius Mark McKinnon drops a tantalizing hint. He suggests that this cycle, Third Party talk may turn out to be more than just talk.  By a funny coincidence, I heard the same thing last week from a senior Republican congressional figure. A couple of weeks previous, a big Democratic donor suggested the same thing over breakfast.  Tom Friedman of the New York Times wrote a column at the beginning of October that reported similar murmurings.
I know of at least two serious groups, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, developing “third parties” to challenge our stagnating two-party duopoly that has been presiding over our nation’s steady incremental decline.
Interestingly, the discontent seems even more acute among conservative Democrats than among moderate Republicans. Conservative Democrats wanted a return to the Clinton approach: business-friendly government and balanced budgets. They are aghast at what they got instead. Moderate Republicans like McKinnon, by contrast, seem less offended by their party’s policies than by its extremist spokespersons and divisive political methods.
It’s easy to imagine these two groups getting together. But to become a national force, they need something more than disgust at “politics as usual” . . .

On Duopolist Talking Points: Countering the Ideologues of the Two-Party State

From Poli-Tea:
As election day approaches we are likely to see proponents of the two-party state publish more and more articles railing against third party and independent voting, against third party and independent candidates for office and against third party and independent politics as such.  Any thoroughgoing analysis of the ideology that underpins the two-party state and duopoly system of government would eventually have to produce a taxonomy of the duopolist ideologue's arguments against third party and independent political activism.  Longtime readers of Poli-Tea might recall any number of posts detailing the inconsistencies and weaknesses of the most common arguments put forward by partisan Democrats and Republicans to dissuade others from building a viable opposition to the tyranny of the Democratic-Republican two-party state and duopoly system of government.  For example:
the historical argument states that because many third party and independent candidates have been unsuccessful in the past, they will never be successful in the future
the tautological argument states that third party and independent candidates will never win an election because we have a two-party system
the spoiler argument presumes that a vote for a third party or independent candidate is a wasted vote
the procedural argument states that third party and independent candidates cannot win elections because the rules of the game are rigged against them
• the hysterical alarmist argument states that there is no time to build a third party or independent political movement because if we don't vote for a Democrat or Republican in the next election, we're all going to die
• and so on . . .
It might be rather interesting to construct a psycho-political profile of the duopolist ideologue from these various arguments.  One might easily conclude, for instance, that the proponent of the two-party state is:
• an historical determinist, a fatalist even;
• incapable of independently-minded critique of the antiquated institutional forms that dominate our politics;
• a reactionary eager to prop up the ruling party-political establishment;
• always on the lookout for a means of rationalizing his unwillingness or inability to declare his independence from the politics of the two-party state;
• a perennial political apocalypticist, without an historical sense
• and so on . . .
It may be helpful to keep these potential traits in mind when countering the ideologues of the two-party state.  The onslaught of 2010 is already in full swing.  
Read the whole thing.  

GA: Libertarians Field an Historic Slate of Candidates

From the AJC:
The Georgia Libertarian Party, for the first time, has a candidate for every statewide race. Leaders say membership has grown by 30 percent. In supporting John Monds, the party has put the first African-American on the ballot for governor. . . .

NC-Senate: Libertarian Beitler Reaches Out to the Disenfranchised

From the Rocky Mount Telegram:
Mike Beitler was once so frustrated with politics he didn’t bother voting for several years over the past decade. But the professor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro business school found motivation within the Libertarian Party and a bid as its U.S. Senate candidate. He hopes now to turn what had been his own discontent into momentum to attract other citizens who feel neither major party has fixed problems in Washington.

“We’re going to get the votes of a lot of frustrated people,” Beitler said in a recent interview. “The Bush administration over here doubled the national debt, now we swing over here to Obama. He’s put the pedal to the metal. And now we’ll swing back to the Republicans? Why would you do that?”

Libertarians Target Congressional Cronies of Banking Mafia

From the Small Government Times:
This November, Libertarian Party candidates are challenging 89 incumbent members of Congress who voted for the TARP bailouts in 2008. View the list here. The list includes 27 Republicans and 62 Democrats.

LP Chair Mark Hinkle commented, “Few acts of Congress have evoked as much fear, ire, disgust, and disapproval from Americans as the 2008 TARP banker bailouts, passed with bipartisan support in Congress, and signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush.”

Hinkle continued, “Bailer-in-chief John McCain, who famously suspended his 2008 losing Republican presidential campaign to rush back to Washington DC to vote for TARP, tops our list. He’ll face Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan in November.”

[Note and correction: An earlier emailed version of this release incorrectly stated the number of Libertarians at 97.]

According to Congressional Quarterly, twelve of these TARP incumbents are in close re-election battles (classified in the “tossup” or “leans” category). The Libertarian Party hopes to help kick them out of office. “They tried to justify TARP by claiming our economy was going off a cliff. Let’s push their teetering careers off a cliff,” said LP Executive Director Wes Benedict.

The twelve most vulnerable TARP incumbents in races with Libertarians . . .

Libertarians Come Out in Support of Marijuana Legalization Measure

From IPR:
Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle has endorsed Proposition 19 on the November ballot in California. The measure would legalize marijuana in California. Hinkle said, “I urge Californians to vote for Proposition 19. The War on Drugs has created tremendous damage in California and throughout America, and this will help stop that damage. A vote for Prop 19 is a vote for justice and common sense. “Passing Prop 19 will also help to reduce drug-trafficking violence at the Mexico border. Unfortunately, many Democratic and Republican politicians are probably in agreement with violent drug lords that marijuana prohibition should be maintained at all costs.”
Hinkle is a California resident.

Prediction: Tancredo will win CO Gov Race in Stunning Upset

From the Catholic Knight blog:
Here's a little prediction from your friendly neighborhood crusader. Tom Tancredo is going to win the Colorado gubernatorial race. That's right, you heard it here first on 'The Catholic Knight' blog. I know I know, all the polls show that the split between Tancredo and the Republican nominee is giving victory to the Democratic candidate. However, the election hasn't happened yet, and there is a factor the polls don't take into consideration. That factor is the grassroots motivation of the TEA parties. Tancredo has seen a surge in recent days, blowing away his Republican rival, and inching closer to the Democrat candidate. The most recent Rasssmussen Poll put Tancredo within a four-point striking distance of the Democratic nominee, and a double-digit lead over his Republican rival.  On election day it will be obvious that the Republican can't win, and a good number of the votes currently polling for the Republican candidate will end up going to Tancredo in a surprise election upset not seen in American politics in a VERY LONG TIME. . . . .

NY: Hilarious Interview with Green Party Gubernatorial Candidate Howie Hawkins

The Buffalo Beast, which bills itself as "the world's only website," has published a rather funny interview with NY Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins.  Among other things, the Beast asks:
You don’t get a lot of press compared to Cuomo and Paladino. Why is that, and have you ever considered threatening a reporter or forwarding equine pornography emails to get more of the spotlight? . . .

Your candidacy has been endorsed by the Socialist Party of New York. Why do you hate the American way of life and small, mom-and-pop conglomerates like Bechtel Corp.? . . .

If my grasp of history is correct, the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution was put in place to protect corporate citizens from the loss of life, liberty and property. If elected governor, you will try to end corporate personhood. Why do you want to reinstate slavery in New York?. . .

And finally, why should I waste my vote on the Green Party? . . .
Read the whole thing.

Oct 17, 2010

MA: Jill Stein Op-Ed in the Boston Globe

Jill Stein is the Green-Rainbow party candidate for governor in Massachusetts.  From Jill Stein's op-ed in the Boston Globe:

YOU DON’T need me to tell you that things are not going well in Massachusetts. We’re struggling with record unemployment, crushing underemployment, struggling schools, an unraveling environment, unfair taxes, and unaffordable health care. And we have a state government that can’t seem to fix anything.

With politicians failing to get the job done, you’d think voters would rise up and vote them out. But with lobbyists and big money controlling elections, people are rarely given a choice to vote for real change. Voters have been pummeled with the idea that they can’t break with the two-party system no matter how badly it treats them.

The result? Despite all the noisy rhetoric in the governor’s race, Beacon Hill lobbyists and insiders aren’t worried about the outcome. The fix is in. They know that both frontrunners will defend big money interests. I got into this race so voters could have real change with a clean money candidate who has never been a Beacon Hill insider. The defenders of the status quo have responded with the shopworn “spoiler’’ argument. They’re telling voters who want to vote for me that Charlie Baker is so bad that they have to vote for Deval Patrick instead to keep Baker from winning. They drive this home with negative campaigning that demonizes Baker as the enemy of all things good. If you buy their spoiler argument, political free speech has been taken from you. You’ll have to just shut up and vote your approval for four more years of business-as-usual. . . .

TX: Libertarian Steps Up to Challenge Republican Incumbent

From Abilene's Reporter News:

She has never lost an election. He has never won. On Nov. 2, state Rep. Susan King, the two-term Republican representative for District 71, will face Libertarian Fred Jones, a political activist who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2002 and 2006 and for a Texas House seat in 2004.

No Democrats entered the race this year because King has been so popular at the polls, a local Democratic official said. In fact, Democrats haven’t fought for the seat since it was up for grabs in 2006 following the retirement of then-Rep. Bob Hunter. King won the seat that year, besting three other Republicans, a Democrat and a Libertarian. Since then, she has drawn no opponent in two Republican primaries, and she dominated a general election against a Libertarian candidate in 2008 with 88 percent of the vote.

MN: Grand Forks Herald Endorses Tom Horner (I) for Governor

From the Grand Forks Herald:

It has to be one of the saddest trends of modern times. On scatter charts that map political polarization in Congress, the red or Republican dots drift right over time while the blue or Democratic dots drift left — to the point that today, there’s virtually no overlap between the most conservative Democrat and the most liberal Republican. The same thing is happening in the Minnesota Legislature. And on Nov. 2, voters can elect a governor who further weights one side of that divide. Or they can elect someone who bridges it. Tom Horner is that bridge-building candidate, and he deserves Minnesotans’ vote. Horner is the right man for this simple reason: He is the candidate who stands by far the best chance of erasing Minnesota’s crushing budget deficit.

Oct 16, 2010

CO-Gov: Marijuana Legalization Group Blasts Prohibitionist Democrats, Endorses Constitution Party Candidate Tom Tancredo

From the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Gubernatorial frontrunner John Hickenlooper, now Denver’s mayor, has most Democrats enthralled, but marijuana advocates are calling for his defeat.

SAFER, which wants full legalization of marijuana, is backing American Constitution party candidate Tom Tancredo in the race for his pro-legalization stance.

"Mayor Hickenlooper owes Colorado voters an explanation," SAFER’s Mason Tvert said in a news release. "In the five years since his city became the first in the nation to remove all penalties for adult marijuana possession he has yet to explain why it was okay for him to make a fortune selling alcohol, yet it should be a crime for adults to use a far safer substance instead.”

CA-Gov: Laura Wells, Green Candidate for Governor, Calls for State Bank

From an interview with Laura Wells in Capitol Weekly:
If you were elected governor of California, what are the three main things you would do to try to fix California?

Number 1, the State Bank for California, partnered with local banks and credit unions, would invest not in Wall Street, but in California's universities and students, local banks and businesses, infrastructure and homeowners. Two, keep the great and fix the bad of old Prop. 13. Three, start the process of getting a new constitution, building on ideas from all sectors including grassroots organizations.

WI: Constitution Party Senate Candidate Notes, "the Federal Government is not a Jobs Agency"

From WAOW:

Constitution Party Candidate Rob Taylor passed through Wausau sharing his vision for the country. Taylor says the most important issues this year center around jobs but it's not the government's role to create them. "The Federal government by the Constitution is not a job agency. Everybody, all the candidates are out there, 'We're going to create jobs,' but that's not the federal responsibility. That's not what article 1 section 8 talks about," Taylor. "But it does and what we need to do, I have a plan on this, is we need to introduce a whole new income tax system."

Why change your registration from GOP to Constitution Party?

From the Constitution Party discussion forum:
I'm Changing My Party Afilliation To The Constitution Party

I have been giving serious thought to changing my registration to the Constitution Party. Here lately, I am becoming more and more disgusted with these RINOS ( or "Republicrats," as some people like to call them) being all nicey-nicey with the Democrats. (In other words, siding with them on some of the issues) When I turned 18 back in 1986, I was registered as a Republican. At the time, the Constitution Party did not exist. Ronald Reagan was still President, and the Republican Party was the only choice for conservative U.S. citizens, like myself. Now that the Constitution Party exists, and it's way more conservative than the Republican Party, it seems like the logical choice. I didn't leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me. It happened a long time ago, and I no longer feel that I can be a member of this party. So the Constitution Party will soon have another member.

I am fed up with this "lesser of two evils" voting strategy! That never works, and there's no need to feel that you are throwing away your vote with Constitution Party candidates. When you vote for them, you are voting your conscience, not voting for the lesser of two evils. The Constitution Party is a blessing from God! I can't wait to be a member.

CO-Gov: Tancredo Now within 4% of Democrat Frontrunner

From the Denver Post:

Third-party gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo has jumped to within 4 percentage points of Democrat John Hickenlooper, moving the race from "leaning Democrat" to "toss up," according to the latest poll from Rasmussen Reports.

Tancredo, who left the Republican Party to run on the American Constitution Party ticket, has 38 percent of likely voters' support to Hickenlooper's 42 percent. Support for Republican Dan Maes slipped again, and he now stands at 12 percent, Rasmussen reported.

Oct 15, 2010

ME-Gov: Support for Independent Cutler Doubles in One Week

From Sea Coast Online:

Elliot Cutler is a happy man this week. A Rasmussen Reports poll on Tuesday indicated support for the Maine independent gubernatorial candidate had grown significantly, with his numbers nearly doubling over polls taken as recently as last week — from 11 to 21 percent of voters surveyed. And he said he's confident those numbers will only increase in the time before Election Day on Nov. 2. "This is far from over. Nineteen days are a long time," he said during a visit Tuesday with the Portsmouth Herald editorial board.