Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Address by Mayor Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson

Salt Lake City, Utah --

Today, as we come together once again in this great city, we raise our voices in unison to say to President Bush, to Vice President Cheney, to other members of the Bush Administration (past and present), to a majority of Congress, including Utah’s entire congressional delegation, and to much of the mainstream media: “You have failed us miserably and we won’t take it any more.”

“While we had every reason to expect far more of you, you have been pompous, greedy, cruel, and incompetent as you have led this great nation to a moral, military, and national security abyss.”

“You have breached trust with the American people in the most egregious ways. You have utterly failed in the performance of your jobs. You have undermined our Constitution, permitted the violation of the most fundamental treaty obligations, and betrayed the rule of law.”

“You have engaged in, or permitted, heinous human rights abuses of the sort never before countenanced in our nation’s history as a matter of official policy. You have sent American men and women to kill and be killed on the basis of lies, on the basis of shifting justifications, without competent leadership, and without even a coherent plan for this monumental blunder.”

“We are here to tell you: We won’t take it any more!”

“You have acted in direct contravention of values that we, as Americans who love our country, hold dear. You have deceived us in the most cynical, outrageous ways. You have undermined, or allowed the undermining of, our constitutional system of checks and balances among the three presumed co-equal branches of government. You have helped lead our nation to the brink of fascism, of a dictatorship contemptuous of our nation’s treaty obligations, federal statutory law, our Constitution, and the rule of law.”

“Because of you, and because of your jingoistic false ‘patriotism,’ our world is far more dangerous, our nation is far more despised, and the threat of terrorism is far greater than ever before.

It has been absolutely astounding how you have committed the most horrendous acts, causing such needless tragedy in the lives of millions of people, yet you wear your so-called religion on your sleeves, asserting your God-is-on-my-side nonsense – when what you have done flies in the face of any religious or humanitarian tradition. Your hypocrisy is mind-boggling – and disgraceful. What part of “Thou shalt not kill” do you not understand? What part of the “Golden rule” do you not understand? What part of “be honest,” “be responsible,” and “be accountable” don’t you understand? What part of “Blessed are the peacekeepers” do you not understand?

Because of you, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, many thousands of people have suffered horrendous lifetime injuries, and millions have been run off from their homes. For the sake of our nation, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of our brothers and sisters around the world, we are morally compelled to say, as loudly as we can, ‘We won’t take it any more!’ ”

“As United States agents kidnap, disappear, and torture human beings around the world, you justify, you deceive, and you cover up. We find what you have done to men, women and children, and to the good name and reputation of the United States, so appalling, so unconscionable, and so outrageous as to compel us to call upon you to step aside and allow other men and women who are competent, true to our nation’s values, and with high moral principles to stand in your places – for the good of our nation, for the good of our children, and for the good of our world.”

In the case of the President and Vice President, this means impeachment and removal from office, without any further delay from a complacent, complicit Congress, the Democratic majority of which cares more about political gain in 2008 than it does about the vindication of our Constitution, the rule of law, and democratic accountability.

It means the election of people as President and Vice President who, unlike most of the presidential candidates from both major parties, have not aided and abetted in the perpetration of the illegal, tragic, devastating invasion and occupation of Iraq. And it means the election of people as President and Vice President who will commit to return our nation to the moral and strategic imperative of refraining from torturing human beings.

In the case of the majority of Congress, it means electing people who are diligent enough to learn the facts, including reading available National Intelligence Estimates, before voting to go to war. It means electing to Congress men and women who will jealously guard Congress’s sole prerogative to declare war. It means electing to Congress men and women who will not submit like vapid lap dogs to presidential requests for blank checks to engage in so-called preemptive wars, for legislation permitting warrantless wiretapping of communications involving US citizens, and for dangerous, irresponsible, saber-rattling legislation like the recent Kyl-Lieberman amendment.

We must avoid the trap of focusing the blame solely upon President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. This is not just about a few people who have wronged our country – and the world. They were enabled by members of both parties in Congress, they were enabled by the pathetic mainstream news media, and, ultimately, they have been enabled by the American people – 40% of whom are so ill-informed they still think Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks – a people who know and care more about baseball statistics and which drunken starlets are wearing underwear than they know and care about the atrocities being committed every single day in our name by a government for which we need to take responsibility.

As loyal Americans, without regard to political partisanship -- as veterans, as teachers, as religious leaders, as working men and women, as students, as professionals, as businesspeople, as public servants, as retirees, as people of all ages, races, ethnic origins, sexual orientations, and faiths -- we are here to say to the Bush administration, to the majority of Congress, and to the mainstream media: “You have violated your solemn responsibilities. You have undermined our democracy, spat upon our Constitution, and engaged in outrageous, despicable acts. You have brought our nation to a point of immorality, inhumanity, and illegality of immense, tragic, unprecedented proportions.”

“But we will live up to our responsibilities as citizens, as brothers and sisters of those who have suffered as a result of the imperial bullying of the United States government, and as moral actors who must take a stand: And we will, and must, mean it when we say ‘We won’t take it any more.’”

If we want principled, courageous elected officials, we need to be principled, courageous, and tenacious ourselves. History has demonstrated that our elected officials are not the leaders – the leadership has to come from us. If we don’t insist, if we don’t persist, then we are not living up to our responsibilities as citizens in a democracy – and our responsibilities as moral human beings. If we remain silent, we signal to Congress and the Bush administration – and to candidates running for office – and to the world – that we support the status quo.

Silence is complicity. Only by standing up for what’s right and never letting down can we say we are doing our part.

Our government, on the basis of a campaign we now know was entirely fraudulent, attacked and militarily occupied a nation that posed no danger to the United States. Our government, acting in our name, has caused immense, unjustified death and destruction.

It all started five years ago, yet where have we, the American people, been? At this point, we are responsible. We get together once in a while at demonstrations and complain about Bush and Cheney, about Congress, and about the pathetic news media. We point fingers and yell a lot. Then most people politely go away until another demonstration a few months later.

How many people can honestly say they have spent as much time learning about and opposing the outrages of the Bush administration as they have spent watching sports or mindless television programs during the past five years? Escapist, time-sapping sports and insipid entertainment have indeed become the opiate of the masses.

Why is this country so sound asleep? Why do we abide what is happening to our nation, to our Constitution, to the cause of peace and international law and order? Why are we not doing all in our power to put an end to this madness?

We should be in the streets regularly and students should be raising hell on our campuses. We should be making it clear in every way possible that apologies or convoluted, disingenuous explanations just don’t cut it when presidential candidates and so many others voted to authorize George Bush and his neo-con buddies to send American men and women to attack and occupy Iraq.

Let’s awaken, and wake up the country by committing here and now to do all each of us can to take our nation back. Let them hear us across the country, as we ask others to join us: “We won’t take it any more!”

I implore you: Draw a line. Figure out exactly where your own moral breaking point is. How much will you put up with before you say “No more” and mean it?

I have drawn my line as a matter of simple personal morality: I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who has voted to fund the atrocities in Iraq. I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who will not commit to remove all US troops, as soon as possible, from Iraq. I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who has supported legislation that takes us one step closer to attacking Iran. I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who has not fought to stop the kidnapping, disappearances, and torture being carried on in our name.

If we expect our nation’s elected officials to take us seriously, let us send a powerful message they cannot misunderstand. Let them know we really do have our moral breaking point. Let them know we have drawn a bright line. Let them know they cannot take our support for granted – that, regardless of their party and regardless of other political considerations, they will not have our support if they cannot provide, and have not provided, principled leadership.

The people of this nation may have been far too quiet for five years, but let us pledge that we won’t let it go on one more day – that we will do all we can to put an end to the illegalities, the moral degradation, and the disintegration of our nation’s reputation in the world.

Let us be unified in drawing the line – in declaring that we do have a moral breaking point. Let us insist, together, in supporting our troops and in gratitude for the freedoms for which our veterans gave so much, that we bring our troops home from Iraq, that we return our government to a constitutional democracy, and that we commit to honoring the fundamental principles of human rights.

In defense of our country, in defense of our Constitution, in defense of our shared values as Americans – and as moral human beings – we declare today that we will fight in every way possible to stop the insanity, stop the continued military occupation of Iraq, and stop the moral depravity reflected by the kidnapping, disappearing, and torture of people around the world.

[ KAC: While Mayor Anderson is not currently within the Green Party, he reflects our values better than the majority of those in the largest Two Parties. He would impeach Bush if Pelosi and Reid would allow it. ]

Monday, November 26, 2007

Twin City Energy Transition Working Group


● Brian Merchant reported that his article, “Have We Hit Peak Oil Yet?” appears in the new issue of Do It Green magazine.

● Philipp Muessig and Brian Merchant discussed their appearance on the November 21 “Truth To Tell” radio show on KFAI community radio along with John Farrell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance and Michael Noble of Fresh Energy. The hour-long talk-show was devoted to the subject of peak oil.

● Philipp also reported that he had responded to a request for topics from Public Insight Journalism with a recommendation that they address climate change and peak oil combined in society’s move toward a lower carbon future.

● Mary Morse provided an update on NEC’s continuing work on the MnZEB – Zero Energy Block project, and the Neighborhood Conservation Corps (NCC). The proposed NCC would include college students canvassing door-to-door offering assistance in direct impact options such as installing CFL’s, programming thermostats, distributing coupons for neighborhood bike shops, etc. The concept is likened to a “Welcome Wagon” of energy information.

● Brian Merchant reported that a citizen education workshop organized through Highland District Council and Macalester Groveland Community Council is scheduled for Wednesday, January 16, at Hillcrest Auditorium. The workshop, “ENERGY LITERACY: Energy-savings and carbon-reduction at the household and community level – What citizens can do,” will feature Justin Lee from Macalester EcoHouse, Jimmie Sparks from NEC, and Eric Schroeder from Great Plains Institute.

Media Strategies:

The group discussed the need for effective ways to provide information to the public. The Energy Challenge was criticized for appearing to be merely a pledge and not a fun one at that. David Suzuki’s 10 points to save the world was suggested as a good model.

Mary Morse suggested organizing a meeting with local editorial boards to introduce the topic of energy transition. The group will begin framing its pitch at its January, 2008 meeting.

Energy Transition Resolutions:

The group discussed creating a model peak oil resolution appropriate for local precinct caucuses. Caucuses include opportunities for citizens to introduce resolutions that, if passed at the caucus, can find their way to the platform committee. Mention was made of Representative Bill Hilty’s peak oil resolution introduced in the state legislature last February (HF 995).

Philipp distributed a draft peak oil resolution designed for precinct caucuses. The resolution asks state elected and appointed officials to educate and prepare the state to meet the challenges of peak oil.

Discussion included references to portions of the City of Portland’s resolution and recommendations to build self-interest in a local resolution describing benefits to the state economy as well as specifics on what is to be achieved.

Lee Olson offered to start a list, jumping off from the TC Peak Oil Resource Guide, describing strategies for citizens to prepare for peak oil. Alice Tibbets offered to work with her on developing the list emphasizing personal responsibility for becoming prepared while encouraging a sense of safety, resiliency, becoming connected, having choices, and improving life.


Alice Tibbets reported on her consulting work with the Minneapolis Public School District dealing with rising costs of student busing. Having previously worked on Safe Routes to School in St. Paul, Alice is currently working on transportation planning for Minneapolis. The district may not be able to afford to provide student busing at parents’ beck and call. With the rising price of diesel fuel, there is a need to change the district’s approach from that of transportation provider to one of transportation partner.

Minneapolis transports students a total of 25,000 miles a day. Alice developed a visual depiction of the fact that the daily total of 25,000 miles represents a trip around the world. In Alice’s analysis, she found that students’ walking just five minutes more to a more distant bus stop resulted in substantial cost savings compared to the costs of door-to-door service. Alice described recommendations including car free zones, providing incentives not to drive to school, and adult crossing guards.

Tony Hainault provided a description of the Metropolitan Counties Energy Group. Hennepin County serves as fiscal agent for the Metropolitan Counties Energy Group representing seven counties in the metro area along with the Met Council. He pointed out that local government has no jurisdiction over energy in Minnesota and counties are not allowed to generate electricity. The Energy Group provides a forum to education county commissioners on energy and has launched energy conservation programs in participating counties. This effort has included incentives to reduce energy use with the pilot occurring in Xcel Energy district counties. Further information on strategic planning is available at: mncounties3.org.

To join go here: http://oilawareness.meetup.com/21/

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bored and apathetic students bother me

It is draining to be in a class where a bunch of deadweights drag the lecture down with their lack of enthusiasm.

BY Quynh Nguyen

As a student who actually pays attention in class, I am increasingly annoyed with those Sudoku-ing, nose-picking, text-messaging or napping students in the back of class. These are the same students who demand study guides from harried professors, bug their laptop-toting classmates for a copy of notes and are generally the loudest to complain about the slightest challenges in the class. If only they were paying attention in class they would not need to be so obnoxious in demanding crutches to their grade.

It is draining to be in a class where a bunch of deadweights drag the lecture down with their anti-enthusiasm. I applaud these students for being able to muster the motivation to get out of their warm comfy beds and into a stiff auditorium seat - some days it is pretty darn hard to get off a lazy butt. It's even harder to actually do work for a grade.

Don't get me wrong - I slack off too. Once you hit the real world, slacking off gets much more difficult. Having had a brief stint as a full-time employee, I have learned how sweet it is to sleep past 8 a.m. and to not have a real boss hovering over me and dripping acid down my neck. Any time I get to slack off I savor it like a gourmet meal. I just separate my slack time from actual school time - the two simply don't mix. Why slack off in lecture when you can slack off at home and can devote full attention to fun?

I am not deaf to excuses like "Gosh, the lecture is so boring" and "I have to do something to stay awake in class." But when I hear these excuses I think to myself, "Man, these kids have not worked a single boring day at an 8-to-5 job in their semi-charmed lives. If they have, they would be devoting their class time to learning everything they can to avoid being a full-time grunt stuck in a boring job."

As a student we can choose to be bored, choose to pay attention, choose majors that stimulate us or choose to not attend class at all. As workers, we have the option to take the job or get another similarly monotonous job.

The people I feel sorry for the most are the instructors who have to put up with lackluster students and do everything they can, short of stripping at the lectern, to keep a disinterested and disaffected student populace in line with the goals outlined in the syllabus. I've seen instructors do all sorts of innovative things to keep us awake - remote-control game show clickers, Socratic debates, interactive PowerPoint and WebCT pages - but it is a Sisyphean effort to be more interesting than the Sudoku puzzle.

I have seen instructors just burned out with students who don't care, students clearly here to get a degree and get out. These instructors are often leaders in their field of research, can publish papers and win grants, but can't win against a student populace that couldn't care less.

The only solution I can think of is this: Do your Sudoku at home. If your grades suffer and you don't like it, change majors to something more interesting and fulfilling so it's worth coming to lecture. And if college isn't for you, it's OK to go out there and work.

Going to college is like going to the movies - admission costs a lot of money. If a lecture, like a movie, is not worth seeing, let your instructor know what you did not like and move on. College is too costly to just blow off to get the mere ticket stub (aka the degree) to say you've attended. Believe me, employers are just as impressed with an old movie ticket stub as they are with a degree with no experience and a lackluster GPA.

Quynh Nguyen welcomes comments at qnguyen@mndaily.com.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Overlooked family values

Virtually every religious tradition emphasizes paying your debts and caring for your children. Yet America today is failing to fulfill these very basic moral obligations.

By Oliver "Buzz" Thomas

Throw out the turkey carcass, break out the tinsel and batten down the hatches. Election season is upon us. And, if this election is anything like the past two, religion and values will play starring roles in deciding the outcome.

A key economic issue that is starting to gain traction as a result of the falling dollar involves two of religion's most universal teachings and cuts across ideological and party lines. Whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Zoroastrian, your tradition has taught you at least this:

* Pay your bills.

* Provide for your children.

I don't know a religion this side of Dante's inferno that would dispute either one.

(Illustration by Web Bryant, USA TODAY)

For Christians, the Bible is explicit about our obligations to our children. "Children are not responsible to provide for their parents but parents for their children," wrote St. Paul to the Corinthian Church. He went on to assert that one who fails to provide for his family "has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (I Timothy 5:8.) The obligation to pay our lawful debts runs even deeper, going all the way back to the Ten Commandments. Defaulting on one's debts is at least lying if not stealing.

Yet, Americans appear to be violating both of these great religious teachings at warp speed.

How are we doing it? By continuing to spend more and pay less with our national government. Specifically, we are $9 trillion in debt, with the figure rising at the rate of about half a billion dollars a day. The interest alone on the national debt amounts to more than $230 billion a year, or 8% of the federal budget.

The moral component

Why is this a moral issue? Because these are real dollars that must eventually be paid back. If not by us, by our children and our grandchildren.

Think about that for a moment. Nine trillion dollars is nearly $30,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. That's $120,000 for a family of four. And that's assuming everybody can pay, which they can't. The elderly, the sick and disabled, the young ... these people can't pay. When you boil it all down, the amount our workforce would have to pay if we could freeze the debt at its current level is gargantuan. Still, we keep piling it on.

I understand that debt can be useful during times of recession or national emergency. I remember learning how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used deficit spending to help propel the country out of the Great Depression. But piling up massive amounts of red ink as a matter of ordinary course portends disastrous results. This was a central message of Ross Perot's 1992 presidential campaign, and one of the reasons we turned our attention to successfully balancing the budget during the '90s.

Here's what's fascinating. I don't have a single friend who would run up his credit card debt by $30,000 and expect his children to pay it off when he died. (Most of my friends live by the biblical adage that "a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children.") Yet, none of these friends seems concerned that we're saddling our children with the same amount of debt through our elected officials. Because Congress and the president are the ones using our credit cards, we seem not to mind.

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. Combat veterans will tell you that it's easier to drop a bomb on hundreds of people from 20,000 feet than it is to kill a single person at arm's length. Up close and personal, moral questions are clear and focused, but between Washington and Waycross, things cloud up.

The tax cuts passed by President Bush and the Republican Congress in 2001 only worsened our economic woes. Projected surpluses never materialized in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, but our deeply convicted, if not stubborn, president plowed full-speed ahead with his plan to give the surplus back to the American people. Meanwhile, government spending continued to soar. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were like pouring gasoline on the fire. Congress began the dangerous practice of adopting federal budgets without reliable figures for war-related expenditures. Then came Pell grants, Homeland Security, farm subsidies, Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, Medicare, foreign aid and all the rest. All good stuff, but the point is this: Somewhere it has to stop.

As the Hebrew Scriptures put it, men die for lack of discipline. We have only two choices really. Cut spending, or pay more into the system.

'Supply side' fallacy

I realize that Republican politicians beginning with Ronald Reagan in 1981 convinced us that you could balance the budget simply by slashing taxes on the wealthy and holding the line on spending. "Supply-side economics," they called it. The well-off would be able to invest more, thereby expanding our economy and growing additional tax revenues to balance the budget.

It didn't work. In the wake of the Reagan tax cuts, federal budget deficits ballooned to record amounts. The Great Communicator, a pragmatist at heart, responded in the only responsible way. He raised taxes.

Here we are 25 years later in the same fix but, alas, without a Ross Perot. To their credit, Congressional Democrats have adopted a "pay as you go" approach to budgeting, but even they appear unwilling to tackle the harsh reality of our collective debt. They have neither cut spending nor seriously moved to repeal Bush's tax cuts.

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Democratic presidential candidates are busily proposing ways to spend money while Republican candidates continue preaching tax cuts. They all appear oblivious to the lessons of the '80s or to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office's 2005 study showing that such tax cuts routinely fall short of their billing and increase the federal deficit. No wonder George Bush the elder once called it "voodoo economics."

As a minister, I'm going to call it something else: Sin. That's not a word that gets used a lot in our politically correct culture, but spending money that we don't have and leaving the bills for the grandkids isn't going to earn us one of God's gold stars.

As "values voters" parse the politicians, I'd like them to remember this. Paying our debts is a family value.

Oliver "Buzz" Thomas is a minister, lawyer and author of 10 Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can't Because He Needs the Job).

Ranked Choice Voting at Minnesota Senate Subcommittee on Election

Senate Subcommittee on Elections
AGENDA - Ranked Choice Voting
20 November 2007

Senator Dan Larson - Committee Chair

1) Jeanne Massey - FairVote Minnesota

Intro to Ranked Choice Voting by FairVote Minnesota via powerpoint

Senator Chris Gerlach R-Apple Valley - [ Clearly upset, angry about this issue. Wanting to throw a temper tantrum? ]

When he asks for a logical conclusion in an election of 100%, Is he calling for consensus elections? Could we have a blocking concern against a candidate and block the outcome of an election as a single voter? Elections would never have a conclusion in Gerlach's assumption of election consensus. [ Photo is of Gerlach making this leap of logic at consensus voting ]

"Abraham Lincoln elected by a majority"
Partisan primaries and general joined together? Gerlach has not done his homework on IRV when he asked this ridiculous question. He was only given the talking points against Ranked Choice Voting.


John Gilbert - Wake Co. N.C. Board of Elections 2007 -

Carie - 112,000 suburb of Raleigh - saved $28,000 in election costs

Hendersonville 12,000 in Western part of county -

No split votes, neither were partisan. Objectives of county election judges
1) Election conducted with integrity
2)Do all they can within limited authority to facilitate voting by all citizens

2004 Wake County outvoted many other counties, including Charlotte, N.C.
Don't count votes people are not entitled to vote for.
Designing voting laws is not rocket science. This brings us as close as possible to a fair government. Election proved that IRV is as easy as 1,2,3. Rankings only affected one race, an at-large race.

Opponents insist on it being complicated, but people are used to making choices. Exit polls confirmed that voters liked it and had no problems with it. It was the same regardless of ethnicity, income, where they lived, age, or any other criteria.

Gerlach "agrees it simple at the front end. Behind the scenes the choices are manipulated through math and formulations. How many understand how it works?"

Gilbert - "About as many as can explain how are President is elected. The powerpoint makes it look complicated, but it really isn't. There are different ways of tabulating. What we did in Carie was simply voting by hand, though computer programming exists. What people often don't understand, is that their second choice can never be the enemy of their first choice, it brings you closest to majority rule."

Gerlach - "Far more people understand how electoral votes work. Clearly IRV creates a gymnastics of confusion. It is far more complicated than you make it appear."

Gilbert - "IRV is not a left or right issue, is not a Democrat or Republican issue. If you believe that Democracy is that over half the people are right most the time, this brings you the closest to this. "


Betsy Hodges - City Council - Minneapolis

Voted as a council to put Ranked Choice Voting on the ballot. 65% of the voters approved in 2006. Many events to inform public, citizens very enthusiastic of RCV after they understood it.

Cyndy Reichert - Director of Elections - Minneapolis

Studied election law extensively and released a report. ( http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/irvoting.pdf )

Working towards a 2009 elections, and may delay until 2013 to replace equipment with Rank Choice compatible

4) Beth Fraser - Secretary of State's Office

Excited about the process. A statewide issue, other cities are examining this method such as Red Wing and Hopkins.

5) Joe Mansky - Elections Manager for Ramsey County

No position for or against RCV. All voting equipment certified by Secretary of State prior to RCV proposed, currently a "Winner takes all" system. Two voter equipment vendors are working to create equipment that will meet Federal voting standards. We will not use a different or new voting system for a statewide election system.

Cities do not have authority on their own to change their voting system. Cannot be recommended that two different forms of voting occur in the same election. Believes this situation should be prevented. One quarter of Saint Paul's electorate speak another primary language.

Our voting equipment can do a 1st round voting system. We cannot reallocate votes in subsequent rounds. A counting center could do this manually or with different voting equipment. Current equipment allow instant results on our websites in 2008 and 2012.

Replacing the voting equipment, and currently cities and county work together. This becomes a cost issue for both cities and counties. The year 2011 would be the time when most voting equipment in the state would be in need of replacement.

Our election law does not accommodate for RCV.
-maximum round limit for runoff voting
- maximum votes one can cast, permitted to rank all candidates
- procedures for counting
-rules how we can tell voter intent
-how would we conduct a recount

According to the Attorney General, RCV may be unconstitutional in general elections. It does appear as though there may be no constitutional issue with primaries, and RCV could be restricted to these elections. It could also be used in a presidential primary.

Manufacturers understand more demand for RCV and other voting methods. Vendors will not put effort into something they cannot make money on. New generation of voting equipment is needed, but a law is needed to assist us in buying them. Hand-counting is the least accurate form of vote counting in Minnesota.

6) Andy Cilek - Minnesota Voters Alliance ( MNVoters.org )

[ Also seems angry ]

We oppose IRV and RCV - Barbara Johnson [ A corporate-owned DFLer - could easily join the GOP along with Paul Ostrow and Chris Stewart - as Norm Coleman has ] also opposes this.

In Raleigh, they felt it disenfranchised many voters.

Plan to file a legal case against IRV in Minneapolis on December 4th, 2007.

Cannot cast a single choice more than once.

Fatal flaw, voters don't know whether they are helping or hurting their cause.

Senator Sandy Pappas - DFL - Saint Paul - Confused about IRV and normal runoffs.

Andy Cilek also wanted Pappas reprimanded for speaking out of turn.

Gerlach believes votes are not counted fairly. Majority 1st choice voters get a less fair chance.

Gerlach - What value is there a vote in a vote not counted?

Pappas - 3rd Party voters are told their votes are pointless

Gerlach - A vote for Hatch was the same weight per voter as Pawlenty. IRV is a weighted system.

Pappas - Minnesota does not have a runoff election. Only if you have 2 candidates would you have an election where voters can create a majority winning candidate.

7) Fran Hesch - Hopkins - Charter Commission

Volunteer on the Ranked Choice Voting committee

25 page alternative voting taskforce. 6 different voting options were recommended for Hopkins. Supporst alternative voting method choice. Document Hopkins concerns for STV in smaller cities.

1917-1959 Used STV. Hopkins encouraged state of Minnesota to purchase voting equipment that would be STV compatible. IRV is different than STV in multiple seats. IRV could be used for mayor and special elections only,per Hopkins city charter. STV could be used in Hopkins for multiple seats.

Please don't legislate for plurality or STV methods. Minneapolis is the urgent issue and legislation is needed. Any language should not impact a choice of voting methods.

8) Senator John C. Hottinger - Saint Paul

Also volunteering to assist IRV implementation. FairVoteMN.org

2nd Round of counting, you DO count both votes twice. You don't have to come back to the polls again. Voter support for a victor with a majority of the vote. IRV alleviates the concerns of voters. Peter Hutchinson couldn't be voted for because he was outside the two parties, yet he should have been an option instead of seen as a "spoiler."

There will always be discontent over elections. Those who win with less than majority serve as if they were mandated by the voters. 2% of voters turnout for primaries. 2 elections instead of one hurts Democracy.

Minnesotans are frustrated in the way political parties choose their primary candidates.

Pappas - Constitutionality of IRV.

Hottinger - David Schultz from Hamline goes through the Constitutionality of IRV. All votes are counted again during the second round.

Pappas - This is a Minnesota Constitutional issue, not a Federal. How does this voting system work here?

Hottinger - Unsure of how RCV applies to Minnesota Constitution

Link to video podcast:

Real Media Format

Windows Media Format

[ All of my comments in parantheses. These are notes and highly paraphrased. But the primary ideas of each individual are expressed ]

Friday, November 09, 2007

Your turn: Preferential voting is unconstitutional

[ I completely disagree with the following article. I am posting this to show the futility of the pro-lifers to turn a non-partisan issue into a partisan one. IRV supports rather than diminishes democracy. It is a runoff where all votes are counted again each round. No votes are "weighted" more than others. But the majority ALWAYS wins. ]

By Andy Cilek and Matt Marchetti, Minnesota Voters Alliance ( Republican Party / MInnesotans Concerned for Life )

Minneapolis voters recently approved a little understood and poorly described voting system called Single Transferable Vote, also known as Ranked Choice Voting or Instant Runoff Voting. Now, its proponents want to foist the same scheme on the unsuspecting voters of St. Paul.

Preferential voting systems, which require voters to rank candidates in order of preference rather than vote for one, are seriously flawed, undemocratic and unconstitutional.

Political insiders and groups such as Fairvote tout IRV while either ignoring or downplaying any opposing arguments. They conveniently gloss over the fact that the Minnesota Supreme Court, in Brown vs. Smallwood, ruled preferential voting unconstitutional in 1915.

In a recent article published on Fairvote Minnesota's site, Professor David Shultz of Hamline University (and also of Fairvote) wrongly accused a local reporter of misinterpreting the attorney general's recent report, which simply stated that if Brown was still to be followed, (which we believe it is), IRV was "probably" unconstitutional.

Even worse, Shultz displayed an utter ignorance of basic civics by referring to the Brown decision as "antiquated." So then the Constitution must be antiquated, too?

It should also be noted here before IRV being placed on the 2006 ballot, Burt Osborne, then Minneapolis city attorney, said "the city of Minneapolis appears to be precluded from adopting a preferential voting system generally unless such a system is provided for by the Minnesota Constitution pursuant to Brown v. Smallwood, 153 N.W. 953, 957 (Minn. 1915)." The mayor and City Council ignored this warning and pushed it through anyway.

The state's highest court ruled in 1915 that preferential voting systems were "contrary to the intent of our Constitution." In this decision, the court emphasized that the Constitution, by implication, forbids any elector to cast more than a "single expression of opinion or choice."

In an attempt to circumvent this ruling, Schultz argues that the 1915 court ruled preferential voting unconstitutional merely because it involved the Bucklin method of counting, which "had the effect of giving some voters more than one vote."

He argues that IRV "does not share this fatal flaw." The claim is that even though each voter may cast multiple votes, only one vote is actually counted — the one applied to the highest preferred candidate eligible to receive it.

This is pure rhetorical trickery. Where did the other votes go, cyberspace? It only stands to reason that if you rank three choices on the ballot, you've cast three votes!

The defining characteristic of all preferential voting systems is the existence of secondary choices, regardless of the counting scheme. The issue is NOT how votes are counted, transferred or manipulated, but how many votes (choices) each voter may cast. Because IRV allows voters to rank multiple candidates, it does indeed "share this fatal flaw."

IRV has yet another fatal flaw; all ballots are not counted equally! While the Bucklin method provides for all secondary votes to be counted when necessary, IRV only counts second choice votes on those ballots cast for defeated candidates. This means some voters end up having their first and subsequent choices counted while others have only their first choice votes counted.

The court clearly stated, "The preferential system of voting directly diminishes the right of an elector to give an effective vote for the candidate of his choice."

Consider an IRV election with three candidates, A, B and C. Candidate A receives 40 first choice votes, candidate B receives 35, and candidate C receives 25. Because no candidate received 51 percent of the first choice votes, candidate C is eliminated, and those 25 ballots are recounted for second choice votes and a new total is then re-tallied. If 16 of those second choice votes went to candidate B, and nine went to candidate A; candidate B is declared the winner with 51 votes.

In this example, the voters who preferred candidate C had their first and second choice votes counted while those who preferred candidate A had only their first choice votes counted. Clearly, the voters who preferred Candidate A had their right to cast an effective vote diminished.

Brown vs. Smallwood concludes, "The decision is sound; we do right in upholding the right of the citizen to cast a vote for the candidate of his choice unimpaired by the second and additional choice votes cast by others."

We believe any objective court will rule all preferential voting systems unconstitutional because they all share the same undemocratic characteristics. IRV advocates make many arguments supporting their scheme, but an in-depth examination will reveal that none of them hold water.

This is the opinion of Andy Cilek and Matt Marchetti of Minnesota Voters Alliance, a citizens group formed with the primary purpose of empowering the electorate.

originally at: http://www.sctimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071109/OPINION/111090032/1006

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Many Americans Yearn for Third Major Party

Abstract: (Angus Reid Global Monitor) - A majority of adults in the United States believe their country requires a new choice in federal politics, according to a poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates released by Newsweek. 54 per cent of respondents believe the U.S. should have a third major political party, in addition to the Democrats and Republicans.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - A majority of adults in the United States believe their country requires a new choice in federal politics, according to a poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates released by Newsweek. 54 per cent of respondents believe the U.S. should have a third major political party, in addition to the Democrats and Republicans.

In American presidential elections, candidates require 270 votes in the U.S. Electoral College to win the White House. In November 2004, Republican incumbent George W. Bush earned a second term after securing 286 electoral votes from 31 states. Democratic nominee John Kerry received 252 electoral votes from 19 states and the District of Columbia. As far as the popular vote is concerned, Bush garnered 51.03 per cent of all cast ballots, with Kerry getting 48.04 per cent.

In 1992, Ross Perot received 18.9 per cent of the popular vote as a third party candidate, but won no electoral votes. In 1996, Perot garnered 8.48 per cent of all cast ballots as the Reform Party nominee. Ralph Nader was the Green Party’s presidential nominee in 1996 and 2000, and ran as an independent / Reform Party candidate in 2004, garnering 0.34 per cent of the vote.

Earlier this month, Jesse Benton—the spokesman for Republican Texas congressman Ron Paul—said Paul is not considering to run as a third party candidate in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, saying, "Ron’s run third party before, and ballot access makes it almost impossible."

Paul officially announced his bid for the GOP nomination in March. In 1988, Paul ran for president as a Libertarian Party candidate, garnering 0.5 per cent of the vote.

Polling Data

Some people say we should have a third major political party in this country, in addition to the Democrats and Republicans. Do you agree or disagree?

Nov. 2007

Jun. 2007

Apr. 2006









Don’t know




Source: Princeton Survey Research Associates / Newsweek
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,002 American adults, conducted on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2007. Margin of error is 7 per cent.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Politician Endorsements '08


The rapid pace of the 2008 White House hunt has sparked a separate hard-fought contest among candidates -- for endorsements from members of Congress. The Hill will maintain a running tally of the race for lawmaker support based on extensive research and daily contact with campaigns. The list reflects publicly committed backers of 2008 presidential hopefuls rather than members' private leanings or inclinations.

Democratic Candidates
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton
(D-N.Y.) (69)

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.)
Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Marion Berry (D-Ark.)
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.)
Del. Donna Christensen (D-V.I.)
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.)
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.)
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas)
Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.)
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.)
Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.)
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)
Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.)
Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.)
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)
Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.)
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.)
Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.)
Rep. Michael McNulty (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.)
Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.)
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.)
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.)
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.)
Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.)
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.)
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.)
Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.)
Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.)
Rep. Albio Sires (D-N.J.)
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.)
Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.)
Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.)
Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-Ohio)
Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)
Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.)
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)

Sen. Barack Obama
(D-Ill.) (27)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii)
Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.)
Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.)
Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.)
Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.)
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.)
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.)
Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.)
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)
Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.)
Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.)
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)
Del. Eni Faleomavaega (D-A.S.)
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas)
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.)
Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.)
Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.)
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.)
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.)
Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.)
Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.)
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.)
Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.)

Former Sen. John Edwards
(D-N.C.) (15)

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.)
Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.)
Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.)
Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas)
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas)
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.)
Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine)
Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.)
Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.)
Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.)
Rep. David Price (D-N.C.)
Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.)
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.)
Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.)

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson
(D) (7)

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)
Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.)
Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas)
Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas)
Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.)
Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas)
Rep. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)

Sen. Chris Dodd
(D-Conn.) (10)

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.)
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.)
Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.)
Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.)
Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.)
Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)
Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.)

Sen. Joe Biden
(D-Del.) (1)

Sen. Thomas Carper (D-Del.)

Rep. Dennis Kucinich
(D-Ohio) (0)
Former Sen. Mike Gravel
(D-Alaska) (0)

source: http://thehill.com/endorsements-2008.html

Republican Candidates
Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney

Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.)
Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah)
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.)
Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.)
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.)
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.)
Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.)
Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah)
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas)
Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.)
Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.)
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.)
Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas)
Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.)
Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.)
Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.)
Rep. Ron Lewis (R-Ky.)
Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.)
Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.)
Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.)
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.)
Rep. Thomas Petri (R-Wis.)
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.)
Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio)
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.)
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.)
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.)
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho)
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas)
Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.)

Sen. John McCain
(R-Ariz.) (28)

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)
Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.)
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
Sen. John Warner (R-Va.)
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.)
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)
Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)
Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.)
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.)
Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)
Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.)
Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio)
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.)
Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.)
Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.)
Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.)
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)
Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.)
Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.)
Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.)
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.)

Former New York City Mayor
Rudy Giuliani
(R) (24)

Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.)
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.)
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)
Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.)
Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.)
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.)
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.)
Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.)
Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.)
Res. Com. Luis Fortuno (R-P.R.)
Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.)
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.)
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.)
Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.)
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)
Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.)
Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.)
Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.)
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.)
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)
Rep. Jim Walsh (R-N.Y.)
Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.)

Former Sen.
Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) (21)

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)
Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.)
Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.)
Rep. David Davis (R-Tenn.)
Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.)
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.)
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.)
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.)
Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.)
Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.)
Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.)
Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.)
Rep. Zack Wamp (R-Tenn.)
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.)
Rep. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

Rep. Duncan Hunter
(R-Calif.) (7)

Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas)
Rep. Terry Everett (R-Ala.)
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.)
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas)
Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.)
Rep. Jim Saxton (R-N.J.)
Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
(R) (2)

Rep. John Boozman (R-Ark.)
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)

Rep. Tom Tancredo
(R-Colo.) (0)

Rep. Ron Paul
(R-Texas) (0)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

EXCLUSIVE Interview with FOX & CNN

While these two are usually quite reticent, I was able to sit down and have a chat about the 2008 Presidential Election coverage. I am pleased to present my interview with CNN and FOX:

How do you feel the Presidential election is going?

CNN: Very well, vigorous debates including YouTube and HRC. Very issue oriented

FOX: As long as Democrats nominate Hillary, we have a good season of stories to cover.

Do you think you started covering the primary too early?

FOX: We believe that election coverage is indefinite. Our attacks on Hillary began the moment we began airing.

CNN: We wanted a head start on the election cycle, starting with proposed candidates. We assumed many of the current key players prior to their announcement.

Why the strict emphasis on fund-raising?

FOX: Money is equivalent to speech. We support the first amendment and the people's rights. Unless of course you are PETA, Amnesty International, etc.

CNN: We concur. But we must also cover viable candidates who can raise money.

A study has shown that within five months of the primary race, you whittled down coverage from seventeen candidates to five. Why do that?

CNN: We do cover all candidates at CNN.com and have video coverage of the debates. This should be sufficient as only front runners garner coverage.

FOX: Any Republican candidate can beat Hillary, so why focus equal attention to all of them?

Even a year before the actual election and months before the primaries, you portray the coming election as Clinton versus Giuliani as inevitable. Is that supportive of democracy and open debate?

[ long pause ]

FOX: We don't see it that way. They are the front runners with significant leads in the polls.

CNN: Giuliani is also more liberal than most Republicans.

FOX: ( snicker ) So you think....

Do you foresee any independent or third party candidates running?

CNN: None that are electable.

FOX: They always run. But why would anyone NOT support American democracy?

Would you allow any other candidates in a debate?

CNN: Only if they meet a certain level of support from the American public.

FOX: No.

With the rise of the internet, independent media forms have allowed unknown candidates to gain more notoriety. If the American public want further options [ for President], could the election be swayed by an independent or third party?

FOX: We do not fear the fring media or their candidates.

CNN: We would cover any grassroots movement, but ensure it is seen as it truly is. Probably an outlier that could be minimized at every opportunity

Do you have an agenda beyond news reporting?

[ simultaneously ]: NO!

FOX: Preposterous to suggest!

CNN: We are professional journalists!

Any final comments on the election coverage?

CNN: America will elect the next president in 2008. CNN will be covering the election like no one else to inform the voters of important issues.

FOX: Hillary is Satan incarnate.

Thank you so much for your valuable time.
Locations of visitors to this page