VT Senator Jim Jeffords Dies. We need more like him.

Posted by Charlie Wheelan on August 20, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Former Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords died on Monday at age 80.  He was first elected as a Republican but later left the party in 2001, which cost the Republicans control of the Senate.  Jeffords was a pragmatic moderate who did not fit into a Republican Party that was drifting right.  He, and later Olympia Snowe of Maine, were New England Republicans, committed to using government to solve problems in fiscally responsible ways.  That breed of Republican continues to disappear.

Here is a full obituary.


Michelle Nunn Has a Surprise Opponent: She Can Win With Our Help

Posted by Pamela Peak on July 24, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Big news! Jack Kingston, the presumed victor for the Georgia Republican runoff, lost to his opponent, businessman David Perdue. This was a long, bitter, divisive fight. It's good news for Michelle Nunn.

Kingston had been the favored candidate from the second a runoff was announced. He was the establishment candidate, favored by Republicans as the best choice to beat Nunn in November. His loss is a win for Nunn, and polls consistently show Michelle leading David Perdue. Yet – the race will still be a close one. That’s why Michelle needs our help.

We endorsed Michelle because we feel she is the kind of collaborative leader we need more of in Washington. She will work to end partisan bickering and put the American people first. You can learn more and support her candidacy here: https://centristproject.nationbuilder.com/michelle_nunn

Read more about the race: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/georgia-election-2014-michelle-nunn-david-perdue-jack-kingston-109252.html?hp=l3


Yes, top two primaries are a great innovation

Posted by Charlie Wheelan on July 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

I was pleasantly surprised to see NY Senator Chuck Schumer's support for top-two primaries in a recent New York Times op-ed.  I agree with his logic; the evidence so far from California, which has adopted this system, is encouraging.

A top two (or "open" or "nonpartisan") primary pits all candidates against one another in a primary election, regardless of party.  The top two finishers face each other in the general election.  This could be a Republican and a Democrat, or two Democrats, or a Republican and an Independent.  (You get the idea.)  The important point is that candidates are urged to reach a broad swath of voters in the primary rather than pandering to the most extreme members of either party, as is customary in a traditional primary.

As Schumer explains in the piece, "Primaries poison the health of that system and warp its natural balance, because the vast majority of Americans don’t typically vote in primaries. Instead, it is the 'third of the third' most to the right or most to the left who come out to vote — the 10 percent at each of the two extremes of the political spectrum. Making things worse, in most states, laws prohibit independents — who are not registered with either party and who make up a growing proportion of the electorate — from voting in primaries at all."

Instead, top two primaries force candidates to compete for voters in the middle.  California has adopted this mechanism, and the evidence so far suggests it has had a moderating effect not just on the kinds of candidates who win, but also on the behavior of politicians once in office.

We worship innovation every else in life.  Why not in politics?  The top-two primary is not just fancy political theory; it is an idea that has already been implemented in some states and ought to be tried in many others.  If the primaries play a role in polarizing politics, then let's fix the primaries.


Breaking News: Centrist Project Voice Endorses Jill Bossi of South Carolina for U.S. Senate

Posted by Andy Smith on July 09, 2014 at 10:04 AM

July 9, 2014

The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Jill Bossi for U.S. Senate from South Carolina

Candidate Decries Partisanship and Focuses on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed Jill Bossi of South Carolina in her campaign for the U.S. Senate. 

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Breaking News: Centrist Project Voice Endorses Greg Orman of Kansas for Senate

Posted by Andy Smith on July 09, 2014 at 10:03 AM

July 9, 2014

The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Independent Greg Orman for U.S. Senate from Kansas

Candidate Decries Partisanship and Focuses on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed Independent Candidate Greg Orman of Kansas in his campaign for the U.S. Senate. 

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Breaking News: Centrist Project Voice Endorses Larry Pressler of South Dakota for Senate

Posted by Andy Smith on July 09, 2014 at 10:02 AM

July 9, 2014

The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Larry Pressler for U.S. Senate from South Dakota

Candidate Decries Partisanship and Focuses on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed Larry Pressler of South Dakota in his campaign to return to the U.S. Senate. 

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Breaking News: Centrist Project Voice Endorses Michelle Nunn of Georgia for Senate

Posted by Andy Smith on July 09, 2014 at 10:02 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 9, 2014

The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Michelle Nunn for U.S. Senate from Georgia

Candidate Decries Partisanship and Focuses on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed Michelle Nunn of Georgia in her campaign for the U.S. Senate. 

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Breaking News: Centrist Project Voice Endorses Susan Collins of Maine

Posted by Andy Smith on July 09, 2014 at 10:02 AM

July 9, 2014

The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Susan Collins for U.S. Senate from Maine

Candidate Decries Partisanship and Focuses on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine in her reelection campaign. 

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Breaking News: The Centrist Project Voice Endorses a Wide Portfolio of Moderate Candidates

Posted by Andy Smith on July 09, 2014 at 10:01 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 9, 2014

The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Susan Collins, Larry Pressler, Michelle Nunn,

Greg Orman and Jill Bossi for U.S. Senate

Candidates Focused on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed the following candidates running for U.S. senate seats this fall: Susan Collins of Maine, Larry Pressler of South Dakota, Michelle Nunn of Georgia, Greg Orman of Kansas, and Jill Bossi of South Carolina. 

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4th of July Musings

Posted by Charlie Wheelan on July 07, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Independence Day this year left me thinking about governance, and in particular about whether we as a nation are still capable of doing the great things that paved the way for the USA.  This led to a somewhat dark column in US News & World Report:

"There is a sad irony to Independence Day: This is a celebration of civic achievement by a nation that can barely muster the energy to vote. It is recognition of great political leadership by people who don’t respect politicians, don’t want to be politicians, and don’t believe “great” “political” and “leadership” should be in the same sentence."

Read the full column here.

 

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