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By Cormac McCarthy

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A Political Bridge for 2008

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Posted on May 1, 2007
candidates

The top six candidates (from left to right): Edwards, Obama, Clinton, Giuliani, McCain and Romney.

(Page 2)

Scheer:  Now, in doing some of my research, I found names like Al Gore, Michael Bloomberg and others to be possible presidential candidates.  Have you guys picked a candidate?  Is there a voting process?  Who’s going to be your running mate?  Because Al Gore is a big name.  Michael Bloomberg is a big name.  They seem to fit your platform.  Which guy do you think is going to be [part of] your running team? 

Kornacki:  Well, if either one of them were interested, they’re certainly welcome to pursue it.  I know Bloomberg could certainly relieve the fundraising pressure right away.  The principle behind this is actually, this sort of gets into our concerns about the nominating process with each party.  What’s going to happen next year in the Democratic and Republican primaries?  You’re going to have a very sort of unrepresentative pool of voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, possibly Nevada, possibly South Carolina, who are going to whittle each party’s field to maybe two or three candidates, maybe less, maybe they’ll even get a winner of those four.  And then you’re going to have this super huge collection of states on Feb. 5th, 2008, and then you’re going to have the nominee.  Most people, most good Democrats, most good Republicans across the country are really going to have nothing to say about who their party nominates [are] unless they can write a big check next year.  So we’re saying we’re going to nominate our candidate a few months after both parties nominate theirs.  In June 2008 we’ll nominate ours, and we’re going to do it through what we think is the future of democracy—an online, the first online political convention.  And we’re going to allow any registered voter in the United States of any political party, or any registered voter who’s not a member of a political party.  A political independent, which might be the heart and soul of our movement.  To register for our online convention, they can support a different candidate.  They can go support Obama now, they can go support John McCain now.  Doesn’t matter to us.  We’re opening that to everybody.
  And they will select the nominee in a June 2008 online convention.  And will select the ticket, I should say.  If the candidate is interested in running, they can, that candidate can submit their name, along with a certain number of signatures, of our registered delegates, and can run in that convention, and that candidate could be drafted at that convention too, I should add.  If some of our delegates decide that Bloomberg or decide that Gore or decide that Chuck Hagel or whoever—it could be anybody, we should stress.  It should be the candidate, then those people can circulate petitions, and the only catch is that before the convention the candidate will have to at some point say, OK, if drafted, if nominated, I will run, and then that candidate’s name could be on the ballot, so I can’t give you names right now. ... 

Scheer: Yeah. 

Kornacki: It’s wide open.  And that’s the spirit of it.

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Scheer: And now I really want to get on the Internet thing ‘cause I was reading a [Washington] Post article  from ... 2006, when you guys first started. ...  You guys are really big on the Internet; how is that playing out for you?  I mean, how have you found the Internet?  Because, we see these other candidates now using the Internet.  Do you feel like you may have a majority on the Internet?  A monopoly? 

Kornacki: Well, yeah.  It’s interesting because in politics these days, you know, the Internet, everybody talks about Internet strategy and you think back to Howard Dean and all the money he raised on there, so everybody says, well, we’re going to start an Internet movement and we’re going to change politics completely through it.  And that’s certainly our vision.  I think it works, to different degrees and different ways for different campaigns.  In our case, I think we, we’re not going to see a real massive visible ground swell for this for some time because we don’t have a personality behind our campaign right now.  I mean, we have a great actor, Sam Waterston from TV, he’s on “Law & Order,” who’s sort of out there promoting us, which is great.  He’s been fantastic, but presidential campaigns, especially this day and age, are driven by celebrity personality, at least in the early stages.  You know, you’ve got Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani.  They drive most of the interest in this race.  People we’re talking to, the voters who aren’t really part of the party establishment on either side, aren’t particularly engaged right now. What we’re looking for is to have a vehicle available to them around this time next year, when they start to pay attention, when they have busy lives, they have a lot going on, you know, these concerns we’re talking about, whether it’s healthcare, or the economy, national debt.  These affect them every day so they’re busy with their problems and all their concerns.  But around this time next year, they start to pay attention.  Our message is going to be pretty simple.  C’mon over to Unity08.com, register as a delegate and that’ll take all of 45 seconds.  You don’t have to change your political affiliation, your party affiliation to do it.  And then in June of 2008 you get to vote at our convention and then no one’s going to have any excuse come October, November 2008, when we routinely complain that there’s not a third choice.  Well, if you ever have had that complaint, here’s your chance to do something about it. 

Scheer: Just for our listeners, I think Mark Cuban is also on your advisory council, right? 

Kornacki: He is.  He is.  He came to us recently.  We have a lot of interesting people on there and I think it’s really an eclectic mix and I think if you take a look at some of the names on there, it’s tough to really pigeon-hole us.  That’s why I kind of reacted when you said centrist earlier.  There are worse things to be called, I’m sure, but it’s a mix of all sorts of people with all sorts of different backgrounds and all sorts of different experiences in politics.  But one thing that they all sort of have in common is that they’re frustrated.  They’re frustrated that there’s a lot of hot air.  There’s a lot of heated discussions.  Very personal discussions.  Very personal arguments and confrontations in politics.  But not a lot seems to get done either. 

Scheer: Now this is a really important thing I think we can wrap up on.  I really want to get your take on this because in that ‘06 article and a few others, they talk about your grass-roots support.  And one site just said you don’t have any.  What’s your grass-roots support like right now?  Are you guys, do you feel you have like, in the communities, not through the Internet but, in phone banks, like the Republicans do, or raising money ... ? 

Kornacki: I think working is the key, and I think you’re not going to really see it take off until this time next year.  I really do believe that.  I think our challenge right now is creating enough interest in it, enough attention among the people who are likely to be interested in this kind of thing, who—you hear everybody complaining that, my God, it’s April 2007, we shouldn’t be talking about the presidential race in November 2008 right now.  People who are complaining about that, with good reason I think, we have to convince them to be taking an active role to—first of all, we have to make sure we’re on their radar screen.  And certainly appearances like this help. And then convince them to take an active role right now, even though it is so early.  So, yeah, right now we have, I think, I don’t want to quote you a number here because I don’t have it in front of me, but I think we have around 50,000 people signed up online, which is, I know that’s not a huge number, I also know that if you add up the total number of delegates who are going to be at the Democratic and Republican convention next year you’re going to get about 10,000, by my count. 

Scheer: They’ve been around a while. 

Kornacki: What’s that? 

Scheer: I said they’ve been around a while.  They’ve been building their base.  You guys still got one more, this next year, you guys will build and build and build and maybe you’ll be bigger than the Democrats. 

Kornacki: That’s the idea.  Look, if we have 50,000 now, and we can keep growing, I really believe, if we just do the grunt work for the next year and steadily make a name for ourselves and steadily spread the word, I really think a lot of people are going to wake up in February or March of 2008, take a look at the Democratic candidate, take a look at the Republican candidate, and it’s going to be just like, gosh, the last time we had an open-seat presidential election was 2000 right?  And it was, if you can remember back to those primaries, it really came down to McCain versus Bush on the Republican side, [Bill] Bradley versus Gore on the Democratic side.  And I think most, sort of, average Americans, if you asked them, well you know what, we’d like to have McCain versus Bradley.  But they got Bush versus Gore.  And obviously it turned into a very consequential election, but there weren’t too many people who were inspired by either choice in 2000.

  So, if something like that happens again, all of those people who were disappointed with their choice in 2000 will be probably disappointed with what they’re presented with in 2008.  The difference is, when they come to that realization, there’ll be an outlet for them.  It won’t be too late for somebody else to step forward.  And I think that’s when—we talk about the grass-roots nature of this thing—I think that’s when it’s really going to take hold.


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By Wayne S Gallant, October 23, 2007 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Steve Kornacki is sort of, well he’s sort of inarticulate.  If he’s the best spokesman for Unity08, they’re up the creek without a boat, much less a paddle.

But to the issue.  I see U8 as either a utopian pipedream (as in opium pipe), or a ploy by the two major parties to erode any true third party challenge to their quadrennial swapping of power, which bears a strong resemblance to wife swapping.  Each are the running dogs of the military-industrial complex, the pharmaceutical giants, and all the other vested interest groups which control them by pulling the pursestrings.

Does anyone sincerely believe that you can get two also-rans from the major parties to get in bed together?  Imagine that you think, as I do, that Ron Paul and Dennis Kuchenich represent the outsider point of view most likely to appeal to voters rabid for a change in national direction.  I just don’t see how you could get either to agree to appear on a ticket with the other.  Got a better slate in mind?

The lesson of the Gracci is that two party systems always devolve into a succession of first one and then the other selling out to an hegemony which buys them, each in it’s turn.

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By Leefeller, May 17, 2007 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

We need to get rid of the electoral college first.  If we had a bunch of political parties, the special interest guys would be working overtime.

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By DennisD, May 17, 2007 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since we’ve been electing mere figure heads as leaders in this country for the last several decades it really won’t matter if there are ten parties.  The MONEY must be removed from our political system for it to have any chance of working the way it was intended to. Our so called representatives were elected to represent “we the people” not f**king corporations or other business entities, they are not people and I don’t see anywhere in the Constitution where they are entitled to the rights of the people. Yet they have become our shadow government and pull the strings our politicians dance to. Don’t forget the monkey won’t dance until the organ grinder’s been paid.
Campaign finance reform is more than our bullshit politicians stating the difference between hard and soft money categories of the graft payoffs they receive. Only a politician could dream up that terminology and call it reform.

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By Nitro, May 15, 2007 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Well well my old Heathen Savage friend TAO (#67766), here a day late and a dollar short, I return from pushing the cows up a little further to pasture, only to find myself venturing out onto another political bridge I thought better to stay away from as well, yet… Besides, I find the cattle having more sense than most political hopefuls.

A third party by the Unity 08 group, or the fourth party of yet another group, still the old left hand, right hand trick to me. Watch them, they’re all slippery.

The Tiyoshpaye Way, or the Way of the Ancient Ones is a much better way. Maybe someday I’ll see Turtle Island before the left, right, leaves us yet with another valley of blood to walk through…

One thing for sure, from the “Rock of the Angels,” this old Heathen Savage saw and heard just another leg bone gnawing and the gnashing of more teeth. It seems it would be nice though, if theamericanpeople had someone worth following, since they need a leader so bad. Good thing “we” don’t follow the sheep to yet another slaughter…

And if the Bushit regime, or the third party, or fourth party does not extinct our existance, my hope is to see you on the trail of life way past 2012. And my regards to Joseph as well if he be there.

To a better day my friend…

HokaHey

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By SL, May 15, 2007 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We need to bridge the gap between the parties. We are currently so caught up in the politics of party separation that I believe the bigger issues, which the parties are meant to address, are ignored. Global poverty is something which affects everyone and that we should all work on together to overcome. The US agreed to the UN Millennium Goals in 2000, which set a timeline for first reducing, and ultimately eliminating, poverty worldwide. According to the Borgen Project every 3.6 seconds someone dies of starvation. This can be changed and we need leadership that will fight poverty, no matter their party.

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By Pat, May 13, 2007 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Neither party represents us. Both are bought and paid for by big business. We will not have fair and sound representation until we have total public funding of campaigns and lobbyists are outlawed. The people have to reclaim their democracy. Public funding, paper ballots and term limits are all needed.

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By Dawn, May 6, 2007 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

Publicly funded campaigns would go along way to get big money and therefore corruption out of the White House. If our public servants did not have to spend all day raising money to be elected and re-elected, they could actually spend a little time researching and developing real solutions to real problems.

Right now we have a two party system. Right now we have a very unique Constitution which gives us a way to get rid of corrupt politicians. It is called impeachment. Dennis Kucinich has filed articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney (HR 333).

If you want to have a voice and do your part in our democratic political system, call congress. They need to hear from you. They won’t do a thing unless they are inundated with phone calls about supporting HR 333. Let’s start the flood of calls tomorrow morning. Use the power you already have. If we delay, Cheney will have the opportunity to bomb Iran. There is nothing more important than impeaching this madman immeadiately. Ask everyone you know to call congress, Monday - Friday, 9 - 5. Our democracy depends on informed and active citizens.

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By pormsbee, May 4, 2007 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

Actually multiple parties is a great idea, but it only works when there is proportional representation rather than just one winner and one looser.  If there were some Senators and some congress members who were elected at large and could represent actual people’s interest instead of the dirt they come from, multi-parties would be great.  That way if there were a dozen at large seats and the environmentalist got together and all of them voted for one of the at large seats, they could actually be represented in congress.  It is crazy that the 450,000 people in Wyoming have 2 senators, but 50,000,000 environmentalists or gays or whatever have no one.

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By Peter Rv, May 4, 2007 at 4:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Justice Seeker :
  I second your motion!

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By Ralph, May 3, 2007 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

HEY, all you brain-dead idealists who fanatasize about solving this country’s political screw-ups with the formation of yet another political party to add diversity to the mix…wake up and realize that the more choices that are available to the voting public, the more confused they become! A two-party system is all we need. When you start throwing in all the exceptions to the bought-and-paid-for ideals of the party lines that the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Independant Party and the I-want-free-Oxycontin Party, (Yaw, big fat russki limburger for president!!) start spouting off about, no wonder voters become turned off!! It’s simple math folks! If neither party appeals to a voter, they won’t vote! With all the choices today, 45 to 50% of the population already doesn’t vote! The two party system would weed out the brain-dead voters who would be inclined to cast a vote for Unity08, and force them to accept logic and reality. WE DON"T NEED MORE PARTY CHOICES, WE NEED MORE VIABLE CANDIDATES, EITHER A DEMOCRAT OR ONE OF THE LOSERS FROM THE OTHER PARTY!! IF YOU AREN"T A REGISTERED VOTER, SHUT THE HELL UP!! Pormsbee, you are right on with comment #68000!! Steve Hammonds, get a grip and do more homework! M Currey, get a backbone, don’t waffle and vote Democratic! Justice Seeker, move to Iran or North Korea and see how long those ideas last!! Love ya all!!

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By pormsbee, May 3, 2007 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

My problem with Unity 08 is that I fear they will do just well enough to keep a Republican in the White House.  Shades of Ralph Nader, who gave us the Idiot in Chief we have now. 

I think the Democrats have a number of great candidates. I especially like the idea of an Edwards/Obama ticket.

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By Justice Seeker, May 3, 2007 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For a truly different change in the corruption of american politics, look at RON PAUL AND MIKE GRAVEL..
Abolish the foreign owned fed, abolish the private for profit fed, end military intervention and break up the military industrial complex…Abolish aipac,jinsa and all other zionist groups that are all unamerican..and re-open the 911 investigation..

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By M Currey, May 2, 2007 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have watched both the Democrat Party and the Republician and sometimes there is not much difference, but the difference that this Bush/Shrub person has used the Republician is way out there, no one disliked Ike that much, except the die hard Democrats.

I am a Democrat but I have voted for people like the Green Party, usually on a local election, but nationally I have always gone Democrat.

This time I wonder if my vote will be worth it, I am of the belief that the Republicians this time will try to steal the election, the way they will do it is to use less voting machines in a highly democratic area, and more voting machines in the suburbs where there are more concertative people.

M Currey, Madder than a wet hen from the state of Washington, city of Vancouver.

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By John Lowell, May 2, 2007 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Has anyone actually sat down and had a long talk with these folks about their premise, that the main problem with American politics is that left and right are defined by wedge issues no one really cares about and that the solution is to ignore those and tackle difficult questions no one wants to discuss in the first place. Now there’s a concept with sparkle and a real future for you. If anyone here owns stock in a company this bird Kornacki runs, best they head for the exits just as fast as they can.

If this approach is the so-called “third way”, I’ll require a fourth, thank you. To me, it seems little more than someone trying to edge their way into our two party, one party state in an attempt to make a three party, one party state and all without breaking any of the furniture. The whole thing misses the point: We don’t need new ways of doing the same old thing time and time again, we need to be done with all of the defective structures, the ownership of our government by lobbies and its conduct by their obsequious hirelings, for one. Bring me someone who will promise something along those lines and I’ll show you an honest-to-goodness third way. Anything short of that and you’ve got an impostor on your hands.

John Lowell

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By Concrete man, May 2, 2007 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Democrat, Republican, Green, they are all under the control of the Zionist Lobby!

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By Hammo, May 2, 2007 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

Many people who in the past have voted for Democratic, Republican, Green, Libertarian or other kinds of candidates may be ready for “a third way.”

So far, the presidential candidates from the Dems and Repub are not impressive. Take a look at:

“Independent centrist candidates might strike chord with voters” (AmericanChronicle.com)

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=11985

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By TAO Walker, May 2, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

What to make of the fact no commenter here has ventured yet out onto this “political bridge.”  This old Indian won’t be going there now, either….not because it looks a little make-shift, which it does, but because it is designed and intended to carry whoever might chance a crossing only to the same dead-end of “power” relations the deteriorating existing arrangements reach inevitably.

Anyway, us Heathen Savages are already on a trail that will take us to “2008” and well beyond….call it the Tiyoshpaye Way.  Maybe we’ll see some of you there/then.

HokaHey!

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By Tom, May 2, 2007 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It makes me optimistic about the future of our democracy to know that these guys must feel they are losing control of the Democratic party to the extent that they need to form an allegedly outsider organization like this. “Third way” politics undermine the democratic process by reducing important political differences to differences in management style.

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