August 18, 2016  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In her recent opinion piece in The Huffington Post, IndependentVoting.org President Jackie Salit writes about the three B's (Bernie, Barack and Bloomberg), leaders who all "turned a blind eye" to the independent movements that empowered them and abandoned the political revolution they called for.

"So where does that leave the Political Revolution?" Salit asks in the piece.  "Maybe the good news," she says "is that the American people now have a new set of questions. After all you can't produce new answers without asking some new questions.
Here are some of them. What kind of movement is needed to transfer power from the parties to ordinary Americans? How do we keep going when the 'big shots' have pulled back? Can we develop coalitions that are not simply cross-ideological, common ground coalitions, but 'process coalitions' that promote changes in the political system itself?" 
 
 
Fast forward to 13:30 to jump to the introduction of Jackie and hear her address. 
Let Colorado Vote
 
The Let Colorado Vote campaign submitted 310,000 signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State this week -- a huge showing of support for their ballot measures. Now they 
Gwen Ballard with Open Primaries' Adriana Espinoza at Let Colorado Vote event in Denver
wait for the Secretary of State to approve the signatures so they can officially secure a spot on the ballot for measures to reinstitute presidential primaries (Ballot Measure 140) and to open taxpayer-financed primary elections to unaffiliated voters (Ballot Measure 98)
 
Said Gwen Ballard, founder of CIVIC (Coalition of Independent Voters in Colorado): " The Let Colorado Vote initiatives are a great first step in efforts to restore to the voters the power currently held by the political parties, although I believe they don't go far enough.  At least they will allow the 38 percent of Colorado voters registered as 'unaffiliated' to participate in the electoral process instead of restricting a major part of that process to 'party regulars'."
 
Callers at IndependentVoting.org have begun polling independent voters in Colorado, and when it comes to initiatives 98 and 140, nearly 90% of independents we spoke to support the initiatives. 75% of independents in Colorado noted that they were dissatisfied with their choices for president.
Court Upholds Open Primaries in Hawaii
Harry Kresky

Big win for open primaries in Hawaii. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals echoed a lower court's decision Monday August 15 to uphold Hawaii's open primary system. The court ruled that the Democratic Party of Hawaii failed to provide sufficient evidence that state election law severely violates its First Amendment right to association. "The Hawaii Democratic Party attempted a pre-emptive strike against open primaries. Had it prevailed, the major parties would have achieved full control over who could participate in their state-funded primary elections, the taxpayers be damned. Will the Democrats ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case? With Justice Scalia gone, the fate of open primaries may depend on whom the next president picks to fill his spot," said Harry Kresky, attorney for IndependentVoting.org.  Kresky and Chad Peace, attorney for Independent Voter Project, wrote an amicus brief on behalf of IndependentVoting.org.  

 

Read more in "Is the Tide Turning? Ninth Circuit Upholds Open Primaries in Hawaii" (Independent Voter News)

New York City Independents Meet with Congressman Donovan about the Open Our Democracy Act

NewYork City Independence Club members
(L to R) Eileen Kaufmann, Sarah 
Lyons and citywide Coordinator Cathy Stewart met with Congressman Dan Donovan who represents the 11th Congressional District in Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, to brief him on the changes in the political reform movement and ask for his support on the Open Our Democracy Act. The Congressman pursued many questions about the issue of nonpartisan elections including asking if voters need party labels as cues and how it would affect ballot access and the third parties. After  an in-depth discussion, Donovan said he'd do some "soul searching" to see if he could support the bill.

The meeting took place after 40 postcards were collected by Independence Club activists and sent to the Congressman's office. 

Profiles in Independence:
Deb Morrow, Crestview, Florida


Deb Morrow is a new member of IndependentVoting.org. Here is her account of her journey:

"I was a Democrat most of my life, with occasional lapses into a Republican vote. I was fairly content as a Democrat, raised by Democrats on a farm in a red state (Nebraska) and so not unfamiliar with rebellion. I'm 65 years of age, so I am a child of the late 60's and 70's and all that the era meant. I lived a conventional life with a hippie heart. I didn't become disillusioned until Dubya was elected by an outdated electoral college even though Gore won the popular vote. I came to DC to work at the US Dept of Education under Clinton and was proud to work for him in spite of the personal issues.

I began to seriously long for an end to the party structure and the stranglehold it has over our political system and government. I love Obama and all he's accomplished. It shifted my view and my anger to Congress and the ability of the two party system to thwart the will of the people, to become self-serving career politicians who rob our contributions to social security to serve their own partisan political ends, voting themselves raises while silencing voices of progress and reason like that of Bernie Sanders. 

And then Sanders ran for president and was forced to pick a party because he knew he had no chance as an independent. The DNC and their crooked chairwoman then ensured he had no chance anyway because he was an outsider. He almost -ALMOST - beat them at their own game. And that tipped me into joining IndependentVoting.org. He shouldn't have had to go that route. And he proved that an independent can mount a grassroots campaign and raise sufficient funds - part of which were mine for the first time since I sent my 50-cent allowance to JFK - to be viable. So let's go independents! Let's get primaries opened and let's dismantle this antiquated two-party system. And let's get an amendment to get rid of the electoral college." 
In the News
  • John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries, penned "Whose Revolution" after the formation of  Bernie Sanders' new organization. (The Hill)  
  • In this TIME magazine piece, "The Real Reason You Can't Vote for An Independent Candidate," Larry Lessig and Randy Barnett rail against the ballot access laws that prevent competition in our political system, hail the efforts to overcome them by the Better for America effort (trying to secure ballot access for an as-yet-unnamed-candidate), and fail to see the hole in their assertion that only through an independent judiciary can the two party monopoly be broken.
Announcements
 
 
Join the next national conference call Tuesday, September 20 at 8pm ET, where Jackie Salit, IndependentVoting.org's president, will address the state of our movement and new developments taking place within it.  Jackie will be answering your questions. 
Send your questions to national@independentvoting.org


 
 




The
 Politics for the People Book Club has chosen its next reading selection, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Drummond.  Check out the Politics for the People blog for updates and join an intimate in-depth conversation by conference call on October 23 between book club members and the author.   
 

Are you a member of IndependentVoting.org?
 
We are the grassroots-fueled movement that believes if we're going to get forward-looking policies and develop our country, then we have to change the way our political process functions. Your membership connects you to a national grassroots network working on these critical issues in every state of the country and strengthens our ability to force the process open. 

Membership is a one-time $10 fee (or you can become a sponsor for $100 which includes membership and a $90 donation). 

 
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Gwen Mandell
Director of National Outreach
IndependentVoting.org 
Give us a call today!