Tag Archives: Independent

Illinois Libertarian Party Wins Ballot Access Fight in Federal Court

The Libertarian Party of Illinois has won a battle in the state-by-state fight to repeal laws preventing the rise of a viable third party in the U.S., as it has prevailed in its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Illinois’ full-slate ballot access restriction.

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Andrea R. Wood overturned the law, declaring it unconstitutional, in a motion for summary judgment.

Election law expert Richard Winger of Ballot Access News wrote, describing the now-overturned law, “[The full slate law] forced newly-qualifying parties to run a full slate of statewide candidates, whether they wanted to or not. For example, in midterm years, it forced such parties to run for Attorney General, if they wanted to run for Governor, even though the party might not have a qualified candidate for Attorney General (only attorneys can run for that position). In county partisan elections, it forced parties that wanted to run for any countywide executive positions to run for State’s Attorney.”

[RELATED: Libertarian Party of Maine Files Suit Seeking Recognized Party Status, Ballot Access]

Winger noted that the “full-slate law was passed in 1931” and suggested that “it was probably passed to thwart the Communist Party.

Libertarian Party of Illinois chairman Lex Green told NPR, explaining the challenges that had been caused by the law, “If the Libertarian party, or the Green Party, or the Constitution Party, or any other new party would want to run for governor, they would also have to find a qualified candidates for Attorney General, and a candidate for Secretary of State, Comptroller, etc… I personally think that it is all political maneuvering to keep the Democrats and Republicans in power in Illinois.

So we just asked that we be put on equal footing with the Democrats and the Republicans,” Green added.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

The Illinois Libertarian Party had originally filed the lawsuit in 2012. Judge Wood has not yet published a decision explaining her rationale behind declaring the law unconstitutional.

A July 2015 Truth in Media Consider This video highlights the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


Follow Barry Donegan on Facebook and Twitter.

Jim Webb Announces That He Will Not Launch Independent Presidential Bid

Former Democratic U.S. Senator from Virginia and Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb announced on Thursday that he has decided against sparking an independent campaign for president of the United States.

Even though this is a conceivable thing, we are not able to put together the kind of funding that would allow us to get on the ballots during this period of time and to actually run a campaign that could seriously look at the presidency,” said Webb at Thursday’s announcement at the World Affairs Council in Dallas, Texas according to The Dallas Morning News.

Webb added, seemingly indicating that he is not yet planning to endorse another candidate, “We have not had a clear statement of national security policy since the end of the Cold War, and I see no one running for president today who has a firm understanding of the elements necessary to build a national strategy.

In July of 2015, Webb announced that he would seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. However, he failed to gain traction within the party and dropped out of its primary in October of 2015.

[RELATED: Jim Webb Accuses CNN of Rigging Democratic Debate to Benefit Sanders, Clinton]

As Webb withdrew from the primary, he complained that party officials and debate moderators were rigging the process for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and that his “views on many issues are not compatible with the power structure and nominating base of the Democratic Party.” Those complaints are what Webb said initially led him to consider an independent run.

Politico notes that Webb’s campaign only raised $68,000 in the last quarter of 2015.

The Truth in Media Project released a Consider This video in July of 2015 highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


For more election coverage, click here.

Bloomberg Confirms He Is Considering Independent Presidential Bid in 2016

Amid rumors that he has been conducting polls to test the viability of a 2016 independent presidential bid, billionaire and former independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed in his own words on Tuesday that he is weighing a run for president.

Bloomberg told The Financial Times that he is “looking at all the options” regarding a 2016 presidential bid and called the rhetoric used by candidates in the race so far “distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters.

73-year-old Michael Bloomberg, the eighth wealthiest person in the world and an owner of his own eponymously-named media enterprise, is considered a threat to shake up the 2016 race if he were to run, as he could afford to run a serious marketing effort that might meet the Commission on Presidential Debates’ qualification requiring independent candidates to obtain 15 percent support in national polls.

[RELATED: Commission on Presidential Debates Preps for Possible Third-Party in 2016 Debates]

A New York Times report relying on anonymous sources noted that Bloomberg “has indicated to friends and allies that he would be willing to spend at least $1 billion of his fortune [on a campaign]” and that he told those associates that he would be most likely to run “if Republicans were to nominate Mr. Trump or Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a hard-line conservative, and Democrats chose Mr. Sanders.

Bloomberg reportedly commissioned polls in December that tested his candidacy against Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump and is set to conduct another round of polls after the final tally of New Hampshire’s primary results. His candidacy is expected to draw more support from Democrats than Republicans, particularly due to his outspoken stance on gun control.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Bloomberg said he will make his final decision by early March, at which point he would need to begin securing ballot access if he were to decide to run.

For more election coverage, click here.

Johnson: Fiscally Conservative, Socially Tolerant Voters Alienated by Iowa Results

Former two-term New Mexico Republican Governor Gary Johnson, who is seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president in 2016, issued a statement on the results of the Democratic and Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa on Monday.

To no one’s surprise, the Republican who emerged from the Iowa Caucuses did so under a banner of social intolerance and carpet bombing,” said Johnson of GOP winner and U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton narrowly beat U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders. “Just as predictably, the Democrats endorsed a candidate who has never seen a federal program, regulation or expenditure she doesn’t like,” added Johnson.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Johnson opined that the outcome of the caucuses show that Democrats and Republicans “are not going to nominate a candidate who represents the real majority in America – independents who are fed up with the partisan dance that has given us a $20 trillion debt, endless war and a government intent on eroding the very liberties it is supposed to be preserving.

The libertarian-leaning candidate on the GOP side in the 2016 race, Sen. Rand Paul, fell short of expectations with his fifth-place finish in Iowa, causing him to suspend his campaign on Wednesday.

The pundits have become fond of talking about ‘lanes’ to electoral success. Where is the lane for the millions of Americans who are fundamentally conservative when it comes to the size and cost of government, but just as fundamentally tolerant when it comes to individual and civil liberties?” asked Johnson.

[RELATED: Gary Johnson Responds to President Obama’s State of the Union Address]

Johnson’s comments come just as pundits are beginning to wonder whether the support base that had been backing Sen. Paul will shift to another GOP primary candidate or an independent.

Where that support will go is hard to predict, because Paul isn’t ideologically aligned with any of the [GOP] frontrunners,wrote The Charlotte Observer’s Peter St. Onge.

According to The Associated Press, Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says he plans to attempt to win over Rand Paul’s supporters. Ohio Gov. John Kasich told ABC News on Wednesday that he believes he has a chance to capture some of Paul’s support base.

A July 2015 Truth in Media Consider This video highlights the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

Commission on Presidential Debates Preps for Possible Third-Party in 2016 Debates

Officials in charge of the Commission on Presidential Debates say that due to the mood of the electorate, they are preparing for the possibility that a third-party candidate will emerge who obtains sufficient support to qualify for the 2016 general election presidential debates.

According to The Washington Post, in an interview that will appear on a Jan. 24 episode of The Open Mind, Commission on Presidential Debates co-chair Michael McCurry reportedly told host Alexander Heffner, “The dynamic in the electorate right now and the dissatisfaction with the two major political parties could very conceivably allow an independent or a third-party candidate to emerge, and we are very clear that they would be welcome in these debates.

CPD co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., who said that he thinks “it would be great” if a third-party candidate were to qualify, said that the commission spent months considering a change to the rule that requires independent candidates to obtain at least 15 percent support in national polls in order to qualify to participate in the 2016 general election debates, but that it ultimately decided to keep it in place.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Critics of the rule say that it has prevented any third-party candidates from qualifying for the general election debates since 1992, when Ross Perot took on former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

However, despite having chosen to keep that rule in place, the co-chairs of the CPD reportedly believe that, depending on who wins the Republican and Democratic primaries, 2016 might be a year in which a prominent third-party candidate responds to voter demand, enters the race, and qualifies for the general election debates.

Characterizing the CPD co-chairs’ views in the wake of his interview, Open Mind host Heffner told The Washington Post, “I think they’re aware of the Trump revolution, or whatever you want to call it — the microphone that the media has provided for Trump. The two-party system, to many Americans, has disillusioned them to the point of questioning whether this is a democracy. And these men have a role to play in determining who is on that stage.

[RELATED: Pollsters Criticize Use of Polling Minimums to Exclude Candidates from Debates]

Some pundits theorize that Donald Trump might defy his pledge to the GOP and run as an independent if he loses the Republican primary. A Trump primary win on the other hand might leave an opening for another right-leaning third-party candidate. A Bernie Sanders loss in the Democratic primary could leave a significant number of disaffected progressives up for grabs for a high-profile independent.

Meanwhile, the bench of apparent 2016 third-party candidates is already loaded with higher-profile candidates than in previous elections. Former U.S. Senator from Virginia Jim Webb quit the Democratic primary last year and is considering an independent run, and a University of Mary Washington poll found him at double digit support in Virginia as an independent in several match-ups against various combinations of possible Republican and Democratic nominees. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg recently hired pollsters to test how he might fare as an independent alternative to a Trump vs. Clinton general election match-up.

The Libertarian Party has gone from running lesser known activists as candidates, such as Michael Badnarik in 2004, to having serious candidates with executive experience, like former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, in its stable. According to CBS Minnesota, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is considering a run for the Libertarian Party’s nomination, meaning the party’s 2016 primary debates might involve a showdown between a group of candidates including more than one former governor.

In July of last year, the Truth in Media project released a Consider This video pointing out the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. For context, watch it in the below-embedded video player.


Republican Gov. Ducey Appoints Libertarian to Arizona Supreme Court

Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey announced on Wednesday that he has appointed politically-independent Phoenix attorney Clint Bolick to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Bolick, who co-founded the Institute for Justice and who has held the position of vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute since 2007, once mounted an unsuccessful campaign for a California General Assembly seat under the Libertarian Party’s banner in 1980.

Gov. Ducey said in a statement on the appointment, “Clint is nationally renowned and respected as a constitutional law scholar and as a champion of liberty. He brings extensive experience and expertise, an unwavering regard for the rule of law and a firm commitment to the state and citizens of Arizona. I’m confident Clint will serve impartially and honorably in this important role.

[RELATED: Former N.M. Gov. Gary Johnson Launches Bid for Libertarian Presidential Nomination]

Bolick told The Arizona Republic that he “will not shy away from very vigorously enforcing the precious liberties that are contained in the Constitution.

Reason’s Damon Root wrote, “It’s no exaggeration to describe Clint Bolick as one of the central figures behind the rise and success of today’s libertarian legal movement. Bolick’s legal theories and litigation strategies—some of which were crafted decades ago—are used in courtrooms around the country. His training and mentoring of numerous young lawyers, meanwhile, including top litigators who now work at places like the Institute for Justice, the Goldwater Institute, and the Pacific Legal Foundation, pays dividends with every legal victory. When it comes to libertarian legal activism, Bolick’s fingerprints are everywhere.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

A video of Bolick’s swearing-in ceremony was posted to Gov. Dusey’s Twitter account on Wednesday.

Gov. Dusey’s appointment marks the first time in history that an independent has been appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court and the second time that a governor has appointed someone from a different political party. Bolick is Gov. Dusey’s first appointment to the Arizona Supreme Court since he has taken office.

According to The Washington Post, Bolick will stand for a retention election in two years, and, if he prevails, he will face continuing retention elections every six years.

Politics and Football: Why Our Blind Allegiance to One Team Can Ruin the Whole Game


By Brian Hasenbauer – With football season and the Republican/Democratic primaries in full swing, conversations about politics and football are everywhere and it’s hard to stay out of the discussions. This got me thinking about the similarities between football and politics.

In football, everyone cheers for their own team and thinks regardless of how bad they are or how they are doing they are the best!

Some have been cheering for that team since they were young and saw their parents cheering for them and never thought much of it. They became fans simply because their parents where fans of that team.

Some discovered their team later in life or in the college years when sports becomes more important to social activities but these favorite teams last with most of us for our lifetime and can’t be easily changed regardless of how well your team is doing or the opinions of others.

Growing up I had a few different teams that I rooted for as my dad was in the Navy and we moved around frequently. My parents were from upstate New York and many of those in the area were Buffalo Bills fans which became my first team.

Later we moved to Rhode Island and I became a New England Patriots fan but that didn’t last long as we moved to Spain and things changed.

When you live on a military base overseas things are a little different than life state-side and I can remember one team being the favorite team of most families living on the base. America’s Team was that team, the Dallas Cowboys!

Overseas there were not many games we could see in the 1970s as we were still receiving VHS tapes from friends to keep up with Greatest American Hero, but for some reason the one game we would see would be on Thanksgiving and it was always the Cowboys. So I became a fan and after my dad was stationed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. things were solidified when I lived in enemy territory – Redskin territory.

When I showed up to 5th grade at Chapel Square I can remember my new friends mocking me and telling me how stupid I looked in my blue and gray Cowboys t-shirts every time I wore them.

I soon found out that even when the Redskins or any of my friends’ teams were not doing well, they still thought their team was the best and no opinions could sway their minds. It doesn’t matter what your team’s record is or the point in the season, no other team can compare.

This happens even when your team is down or going through a rough patch. You can’t see how any other team can be ranked higher and don’t understand why everyone doesn’t like your team or appreciate them as you do. You simply can’t understand what’s wrong with everyone else.

Comparisons to Politics

When seeing some of the posts and “discussions” in the media and Facebook regarding any number of issues regarding politics or religion, I have seen a number of similarities between football and politics.

[pull_quote_right]Similar to allegiance to a favorite football team, those who identify ‘strongly’ with either major party show this same blind allegiance to their party.[/pull_quote_right]

Chief among these similarities is the fact that once you have a mindset or certain set of beliefs, no amount of evidence will sway your opinion. Not to stereotype everyone in this same mold but that’s what I’ve witnessed and experienced.

Similar to allegiance to a favorite football team, those who identify “strongly” with either major party show this same blind allegiance to their party. It doesn’t matter what the issue is or how things are going, that’s their team and that’s where their allegiance lies.

Graduating from one of the largest Division I schools without a football team (George Mason University), I have a different viewpoint on college football for sure and like to think I can remain nonpartisan with most issues.

It’s for this reason I strongly identify with being an independent as I define myself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative or what some would call “a political unicorn.” Looking for solutions and embracing new ideas regardless of the origin is the way I like to think of my political ideology.

Back to Football…

Football you would think would be a little clearer cut with losing and winning records and statistics. It should be easier for the fans with teams with winning records to be the most vocal about their teams’ chances and those with losing records to agree and possibly even cheer for another team when there’s isn’t playing.

This simply doesn’t happen.

No middle ground is found and you typically don’t hear someone say about another team that they look great and should easily win. No, they just defend their own team and create reasons and arguments why the teams with better records aren’t so great and why their team is still in it.

I’m a Cowboy fan; they are 3-8 and don’t stand much of a chance at making the playoffs. I’m a realist and can see this even though my Sunday’s will now be ruined for the rest of the year.

I’m not going to start cheering for the Redskins or Giants but I’ve certainly realized and can understand that my team is not going to be in the Super Bowl and can appreciate the other teams left in the hunt for the Super Bowl.

Is this middle ground? Is this giving up on my feelings and passion regarding my team? No, I’m still as passionate about the Cowboys, but I am a realist and understand that it’s not their year and can see that another team is probably better suited to win this Super Bowl this year.

[pull_quote_right]In order to stay in the conversation you choose a team, the team you dislike the least.[/pull_quote_right]

Where is the common ground in politics or religion? With opposing viewpoints on most issues it’s difficult for opposing sides to see any common ground or points of meaningful discussion and the conversations become filled with hatred and spite for the opposing view. There is simply no middle ground.

In football, in a way middle ground is watching the Super Bowl where millions of people around the world choose one of two teams and cheer for teams they normally wouldn’t.

The presidential election is the Super Bowl of politics and just as many Americans whose candidates didn’t make it to the final two, we choose a side and cheer for the one that for most of us we dislike the least. It’s the lesser of two evils.

Let’s face it… when your team isn’t in the Super Bowl, no other team can compare, but in order to stay in the conversation you choose a team, the team you dislike the least.

This is true with the presidential race as well. For most of us, no candidate meets every single criterion you would like in a candidate and you make a compromise by voting for the lesser of two evils. In a two-party system, there is no viable alternative and this choice must be made if you still want to be involved in the conversation.

Unfortunately, many who identify with one party or the other will only vote party line and can’t find a middle ground on any issues. Considering there are not many options but one of the lesser evils, you vote your party line.

Common Ground

After writing this I more deeply understand the allegiance to certain teams but what I still can’t grasp is the blind allegiance to political parties that don’t represent the majority of Americans or understand how we continue to have the same two teams in the Political Super Bowl each year. We need a viable third party that can be more representative of an American populace that has become frustrated with the partisan bickering and lining of lobbyists pockets in a corrupt political system.

We need leaders willing to fight for the common man and woman and free us all from political parties that care more about tearing each other down than lifting up the American people.

It’s time we come together, look for solutions to our challenges as a country and have discussions and debates that focus on issues and not parties or personalities. It’s only by putting country first that we can fight terrorism, tackle the national debt, balance the budget, secure our country’s borders and return to being the undisputed leading super power in the world.

To make this happen, it will probably take an act of terror as never seen before to truly galvanize America once again to meet these challenges we face. And it’s only when we can truly come together as a nation that we can tackle poverty in our own country, build our education system into one that’s world class, and modify our immigration policies to ensure our safety while welcoming a highly skilled workforce to help support our aging and declining workforce.

We can do this if we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. If we can’t come together as a nation for a common good and end the partisan infighting, we will no longer be the world’s last best hope for peace and prosperity and could possibly relinquish that title to China or Russia.

It’s a choice our leaders can make and regardless of what team you are cheering for, you owe it to yourself and your country to tell your elected officials that you are tired of nothing being accomplished and call for change.

Conflict of Interest? Bill Clinton Serves on Presidential Debate Commission

As the 2016 presidential election draws nearer, questions are being raised about Bill Clinton’s role as an honorary co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, a Republican-and-Democrat controlled board that determines the rules and particulars of U.S. general election presidential debates.

According to The Daily Caller, Bill Clinton serves as an honorary co-chair for the organization along with former President Jimmy Carter. The CPD also lists deceased former Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford as honorary co-chairs.

It is unclear, however, how Carter and Clinton function in these roles,” wrote reporter Kerry Picket. “Additionally, considering Jeb Bush’s run for the presidency, if it is an issue of simply lending one’s name to a board and not participating in any process, it is unknown why both former presidents George W. Bush and his father George H.W. Bush are not included as honorary chairs,” she added.

Hot Air notes that CPD chairman Michael D. McCurry served as press secretary during Bill Clinton’s presidency.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

If current Democratic Party presidential primary frontrunner Hillary Clinton ends up winning her party’s nomination, Bill Clinton and Michael McCurry’s roles on the board governing U.S. general election presidential debates could potentially pose a conflict of interest.

The Commission on Presidential Debates recently sparked controversy when it announced that despite the rise of independent voters as a leading portion of the U.S. electorate, it would not change the 15 percent minimum polling rule that effectively blocks most serious third-party candidates who appear on enough ballots to win the presidency from participating in general election presidential debates.

[RELATED: Pollsters Criticize Use of Polling Minimums to Exclude Candidates from Debates]

The Truth in Media Project recently released a Consider This video highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


Debate Commission: No Change to 15 Percent Third-Party Polling Rule

The Commission on Presidential Debates, a Republican and Democrat controlled group that establishes criteria and rules for U.S. general election presidential debates, announced last week that it will not change its controversial 15 percent polling requirement for independent candidates.

The rule is widely seen as protecting the two-party duopoly by having the effect of preventing third-party candidates from exposing their views to voters in televised presidential debates. Only the wealthiest candidates or highest-profile celebrities could afford to purchase the type of nationwide ad campaign that would produce a 15 percent reading in national polls without first having the exposure of the debates themselves, creating a Catch-22 situation for the one or two serious third-party candidates that obtain ballot access in enough states to win the presidency each election cycle.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

In its announcement of the criteria for the 2016 general election debates, the Commission on Presidential Debates wrote:

[pull_quote_center]CPD Co-Chairs Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. and Michael D. McCurry noted that, ‘We are mindful of the changes in the electorate and the large number of voters who now self-identify as independents. We believe our candidate selection criteria appropriately address this dynamic. The CPD’s criteria make participation open to any candidate, regardless of the candidate’s party affiliation or status as an independent, in whom the public has demonstrated significant interest and support… It is appropriate for a debate sponsor to take the campaign as it finds it in the final weeks leading up to Election Day. The CPD’s debates are not intended to serve as a springboard for a candidate with only very modest support. Participation in the debates is determined by the level of public support a candidate enjoys as Election Day approaches.'[/pull_quote_center]

Though the Commission’s claim that the rules are evenly applied to independents and major parties is technically true, it neglects critics who say that the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries- which are funded by all taxpayers, including independent voters- serve as an extraordinarily valuable promotional opportunity for major parties in obtaining the minimum 15 percent support needed to qualify for the debates.

[RELATED: Pollsters Criticize Use of Polling Minimums to Exclude Candidates from Debates]

Election law expert Richard Winger of Ballot Access News pointed out the fact that the 15 percent rule is currently being challenged in court: “Two lawsuits are pending against the 15% rule, both in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. They are Level the Playing Field v Federal Election Commission, and [Gary] Johnson v Commission on Presidential Debates. The first one depends on campaign finance law and the second on antitrust law.

According to the Libertarian Party, a senior adviser to Gary Johnson’s Our America Initiative called the CPD’s decision to continue employing the 15 percent rule “disappointing but certainly not shocking.”

Meanwhile, WFPL notes that questions are being raised this week about the accuracy of telephone polls after Kentucky Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin overwhelmingly won in a stunning upset despite trailing his Democratic opponent Jack Conway in pre-election polls.

In related news, Public Policy Polling included former Senator from Virginia Jim Webb as an independent candidate against Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton in its Nov. 4 general election polling for Iowa and found Clinton at 41 percent support, Trump at 40 percent, and Webb trailing with 9 percent.

The Truth in Media Project recently released a Consider This video highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


Ex-Congressman Tancredo Quits Republican Party Over Boehner Budget Deal

Former U.S. Congressman from Colorado Tom Tancredo stated in a Breitbart op-ed on Friday that he is leaving the Republican Party.

After this week’s House GOP ‘budget deal,’ which betrays nearly every promise made to grassroots conservatives since 2010, I have decided it is time to end my affiliation with the Republican Party,” wrote Tancredo.

The Denver Post notes that Tancredo previously left the Republican Party in 2010 for a run for Colorado governor under the Constitution Party’s banner, but rejoined the GOP in 2011. Tancredo was also reportedly recently involved in a failed effort to oust the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.

In the op-ed, Tancredo described times when he says GOP leaders like former President George W. Bush, Karl Rove, and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay attempted to bully him with threats into supporting establishment positions and ceasing his vocal advocacy for reduced government spending and tighter immigration policies.

Tancredo called the GOP “Democrat Lite” and complained that its leaders have ignored the concerns of Tea Party conservatives who worked hard to elect Republicans in 2010, instead capitulating to the demands of Democrats. “We got condescending lip service, and nothing more,” he wrote.

He said that he feels the GOP establishment does not want to control government spending, secure the U.S. border, protect American national sovereignty, or reign in political corruption.

The former congressman wrote, “By insulting the grassroots, the GOP leadership has set upon a suicide mission. The problem is that failed leadership is allowing Obama to destroy the Constitution and take the whole country down the drain. Well, count me out.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Tancredo added that he still intends to support Republican candidate and Senator from Texas Ted Cruz for president in 2016, but that he will be rallying independents to support Cruz’s campaign.

What I will do instead is join the largest political group in the nation, unaffiliated Independents. In Colorado, they outnumber both ‘major’ political parties,” said Tancredo.

The Truth in Media Project recently released a Consider This video highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats, as seen in the below-embedded video player.


15-Year-Old Presidential Candidate ‘Deez Nuts’ Polling At 9 Percent In North Carolina

Brady Olson, a 15-year-old student from Iowa who filed to run for president in 2016 as an Independent candidate by the name of “Deez Nuts”, is currently polling at 9 percent in North Carolina against contenders such as Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Olson gained attention on social media after Public Policy Polling released the results of a poll from North Carolina, which found that when competing against Trump and Clinton, Olson would receive 9 percent of the vote. Similar polls also found that he was polling at 8 percent in Minnesota and at 7 percent in Iowa.


After filing to run with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on July 26, Olson told The Daily Beast that he first had the idea for the prank when he heard about “Limberbutt McCubbins,” a 5-year-old cat from Kentucky who has filed to run as a Democrat, or “demo-cat.”

“The next step is to get some party nominations, like the Minnesota Independence Party or the Modern Whig Party,” Olson said. “It would also be great to find a VP, preferably McCubbins because the Nuts/McCubbins ticket sounds amazing.”

“My name is not Deez Nuts,” Olson told The Guardian. “I am a 15-year-old who filled out a form, had the campaign catch on fire, and am now putting up the best third-party numbers since Ross Perot.”

Olson filed with a “Form 2,” or statement of candidacy. The FEC Deputy Press Officer, Christian Hilland, told The Daily Beast that anyone can fill out a Form 2, and while the FEC does vet the contenders, it’s more along the lines of “did they fill out the information correctly? Did they review the fields?” and their process “doesn’t speak to the authenticity of the individual who filed the claim.”


Olson told Rolling Stone that he leans Libertarian. “I’m young and I think I have fresher ideas because whatever decisions I make would have longer effects on me,” he said.

The Guardian noted that among the 585 candidates who have registered for president in 2016 are other peculiar candidates such as “Sydneys Voluptuous Buttocks (independent), President Emperor Caesar (Democrat), Buddy The Cat (Democrat), Crawfish Crawfish (other), Bailey D Dog (independent), Buddy The Elf (write-in) and Lindsey Graham (Republican).”

Watch Truth In Media’s Consider This video, seen below, illustrating that Democrats and Republicans are no longer the majority in the United States:


For more election coverage, click here.

Bipartisan Political Heavyweights Push for Third Party Inclusion in Presidential Debates

The Commission on Presidential Debates, a private group run by the Democratic and Republican parties, has controlled the US presidential debates since 1988. Given the fact that the major party duopoly runs the debate process, the CPD has effectively silenced third party candidates by setting an extremely strict rule for their inclusion which requires independent candidates to achieve 15% in 5 major public opinion polls prior to the debate, a feat requiring untold millions of dollars worth of advertising.

However, a group of elected officials and civic leaders, many of them card-carrying members of the Republican and Democratic parties, have launched a campaign called Change the Rule aimed at pressuring the CPD to adjust its rule to allow the top independent candidate who manages to attain ballot access in a sufficient number of states to achieve 270 electoral votes to participate in the presidential debates. This would allow voters to see the best-organized third party candidate who is on enough ballots to win the presidential election, which does effectively limit the number of candidates in the debate such that it would feature a Democrat, a Republican, and the third party candidate who attained the most signatures during the ballot access petition process.

Former prosecutor Alexandra Shapiro and Dr. Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, are spearheading Change the Rule, which includes a long list of political heavyweights. The group originally made its intentions known by sending a private letter to the CPD, but the organization’s dismissive response led them to go public with their initiative in an effort to turn on the heat.

Ex-FBI director Michael Hayden has signed on with Change the Rule, as has former Defense Secretary William Cohen and The Atlantic and National Journal publisher David Bradley. Jonathan Easley at The Hill wrote, “The list [of signatories] also includes former Govs. Bruce Babbitt (D-Ariz.), Jon Huntsman (R-Utah), Thomas Keane (R-N.J.), and Christine Todd Whitman (R-N.J.), former Sens. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and former Reps. John Anderson (R-Ill.), Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), and Vin Weber (R-Minn.).”

Change the Rule’s private letter to the CPD read, “Because the current rule affords independent candidates no chance to get into the debates, it dissuades men and women with extraordinary records of service to this country from running for President… As a director of the CPD, you could ignore this complaint and wait for the ensuing legal process to play out. We think that would be a missed opportunity and an unfortunate mistake.” The legal process mentioned by Change the Rule may be a reference to a separate FCC complaint that has reportedly been filed against CPD.

The CPD responded to the controversy in comments to The Hill and said, “The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates reviews its candidate selection criteria every election cycle… The CPD will review its 2012 criteria in 2015 and appreciates the interest in these important voter education events.”

For the first time in 20 years, gun rights are favored over gun control

According to a recent Pew Research poll, Americans are now saying protecting the rights of citizen’s to own a firearm is more important than the need to control guns.

The research says about 52 percent of those polled are saying they favor protecting the right to own firearms, while 46 percent say they prefer gun control.  This is a substantial shift in public opinion from the early 90’s when the public was in favor of gun control, polling at 57 percent, while those who wanted to protect the right to own a firearm were polled at 34 percent.

While both sides of the political spectrum have been arguing over healthcare and immigration among other hot topics, this poll found support for gun rights has increased in both Republicans and Democrats by 6 points, while it also increased by 7 points among Independents.  According to RT, support for gun ownership was up in all demographics except for liberal Democrats and Hispanics, but support for gun rights went down only one or two points in these groups.

African-Americans were also found to be more likely to believe owning a firearm does more to protect a person rather than threaten another.  The support from African-Americans has almost doubled since early 2012 when 29 percent of those polled supported gun rights while the new poll found 54 percent of African-Americans back gun ownership.

An October Gallup poll found similar results, showing only 26 percent of people think handguns should be banned from being sold to the public while 73 percent of people think no such law should be considered.

Research also found homicides related to firearms has fallen from 1993 according to NPR.  At the time, seven homicides per 100,000 people were attributed to gun violence, while in recent years, 3.6 homicides have been attributed to firearms.

End Partisanship Files Appeal in NJ Lawsuit Seeking Equal Voter Rights

Last week, the coalition End Partisanship filed an appellant brief with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in New Jersey, regarding a lawsuit they originally filled in March, which challenged the constitutionality of the state’s current requirements for primary elections.

In the state of New Jersey, 47% of voters are registered as Independent. However, despite the fact these voters are not affiliated with either the Republican or the Democratic parties in New Jersey, they are still forced to fund the primary elections, which only allow participation from Democratic and Republican candidates.

“Appellants have not asked this court (and did not ask the lower court) to issue a decision that would require political parties to allow non-party members to access their Candidate Nomination Proceedings,” stated the appeal. “Rather, Appellants have proceeded from the premise that the State cannot fund, administer, and sanction an integral stage of its election process that excludes a near majority of all registered voters.” 

Chad Peace, a legal advisor from the Independent Voter Project, referred to New Jersey’s current restrictions as “taxation without representation.”

In an email to Benswann.com, Peace pointed out that although 47% of the voters in New Jersey were “forced to pay over $12 million for a primary election that they were not even allowed to participate in,” the success of the current appeal would have implications that are nationwide.

The right to vote derives from citizenship; not by joining a political party,” said Peace. “If the state funds, administers, and sanctions an important stage of the political process, every voter has the right to participate, regardless of his or her party affiliation.”

End Partisanship, which is a coalition of leaders from different political organizations, is working to break the two-party system’s hold on primary elections. Their original lawsuit was filed in March, and has received a negative response from the state of New Jersey.

In May, New Jersey Secretary of State, Kim Guadagno, filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. End Partisanship replied to the motion, arguing that the current primary system in New Jersey  “conditions a voter’s right to participate on giving up their right to not join a private political party,” and “violates New Jersey’s own constitutional prohibition against the private use of taxpayer funds.

Guadagno submitted a reply in July, on behalf of the State, insisting “a voter who feels disenfranchised because of a regulation that conditions participation in primary elections on party membership should simply join the party.”

In August, a New Jersey Federal District Court Judge dismissed the lawsuit filed by End Partisanship, and ruled that only Republicans and Democrats are “qualified” to vote in the state of New Jersey.

The latest appeal from the coalition was filed on November 4. It argues that the lower court’s “use of inapplicable case law,” and its failure to address the coalition’s claims, “catapults a derivative right of political organizations to control their associations ahead of an individual’s fundamental rights.”

The appeal demands that the State must “respect and balance” the individual’s fundamental right to “vote at all integral stages of an election process” and to “be treated fairly and equally regardless of affiliation or non-affiliation with a specific political organization.”

Investigative Journalist Ben Swann addressed the issue of the restrictions New Jersey has placed on its voters, and End Partisanship’s effort to make a difference, in an episode of Truth in Media:

Ben Swann Interviews Independent Candidate Who Is Poised For Congressional Upset

Mark Wichern is running for public office in Florida’s 1st congressional district. According to his campaign website, Mark started his small business with only “$500 in his pocket,” and now it is a successful business with more than 20 employees.

Wichern is serious about ending the Federal Reserve system and replacing it with a sound monetary system. He also wants to end the IRS.

Wichern talked with Ben Swann about his campaign which has been endorsed by Oathkeepers, local Tea Parties and the local Libertarian Party.

Wichern, who is running against Republican incumbent Jeff Miller, says he has the momentum to shock the political establishment and win Florida’s 1st Congressional District seat.