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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 3)

Scheer: Your website says some good things about lobbyists.  I’ll let people read that, and I also want to say to our listeners and readers, about being a delegate ... you don’t have to change your party to be a delegate of Unity08, right? 

Kornacki: We are technically a third party in that, we’re going to be the, sort of the independent party in the 2008 election.  But you don’t, there’s no registration, there’s no “you have to leave the Democratic Party.”  In fact, if you’re, as I keep saying, if you’re a Barack Obama supporter, if you’re a Rudy Giuliani supporter now, whatever it is, go ahead.  We say, go work your heart out for Barack, for Rudy, write them a check, go to New Hampshire and campaign for him.  But if you want to sign off with Unity08 too, you’re welcome to, and if things don’t work out well with you, you’ve got a home with us. 

Harris: So it’s more of a fallback.  Is it a fallback or do you hope to influence a great number of people and get a president in office? 

Kornacki: It could be.  But I think part of what we’re driven by, we’re driven by both optimism and cynicism at the same time.  Optimism in the sense that we think this can be accomplished and it should be accomplished.  Cynicism in the sense that the opportunity is going to be there because past history suggests that both of these parties are going to nominate people that just don’t resonate with the broad electorate in this county.  But if one of the parties, maybe it’s one of the candidates who’s out there now and maybe it’s a candidate who nobody’s seen or heard from too much at least, but if one or both of these parties goes and nominates somebody who really clicks with the American public and address the concerns that we’ve outline how politics is conducted in this country and the issue that are being ignored, and talks about embracing kindhearted people on the other side of the political aisle.

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  If one of those candidates emerges from one of the parties, then there’s also the situation where we’re content to hear from them, say, OK, declare a victory and go enjoy a baseball season and go and cheer for that candidate .  Sadly though, we’re starting this now because, in our lifetime, not many of us can remember too many examples when that’s happened, and it seems more impossible now than ever that these parties are going to get it together. 

Harris: You may end up taking votes from a party that’s trying to get their guy in office.  If Democrats want a Democrat to win, say Obama, Republicans are rooting for Giuliani, and you take a crucial percentage, have you done a disservice? 

Kornacki: The [Ralph] Nader question hangs heavy over any third party. I think my answer to that would be, there is the Nader example that’s out there. ... 

Scheer: And [Ross] Perot, too. 

Kornacki: ... I don’t believe that if you look back at the numbers from ‘92 Perot actually tilted it [the election], and I think ...  the 20 percent that he got came from people who wanted change and I think it came from Clinton as much as from Democrats, and Democrat-leaning independents, than it did from Republicans, but I think the Perot example is very instructive because he could have won the race.  If you remember the chronology ... [in] February of 1992 and by May or June he was polling at 35 percent to 40 percent in a three-way race with Clinton and [George H.W.] Bush and winning a majority in early projections of the electoral college and he had the money to run a campaign every bit as well financed as Clinton and Bush.  And what happened with Perot, frankly, is he went a little crazy, and when he dropped out of the race in July 1992 all of it raised a whole series of questions about his temperament and about his fitness for office. And when he got back in, he was not seen as quite the same threat, and even at that, he was able to poll 20 percent .  So we think if Perot, for all of his issues, could lead the race in the spring of 1992, if you can nominate somebody who has broad appeal, that’s the idea here.

  We’re talking about appealing to the tens of millions of Americans who’ve been ignored by the political process.  You nominate somebody who has broad appeal—there’s some question of whether Ralph Nader had broad appeal—and somebody who’s well financed, and if we can build the kind of grass-roots support we want to build, then we can make sure that person and that candidate is well financed, then there’s no reason our candidate can’t get to October and be at 20-25 percent in the polls.  And if you’re 20-25 percent in the polls, then you get in the debates.  And if you get in the debates, we’ll stack the ideas, the vision, the type of discussion that we’re calling for, we’ll stack that up against the candidates of the ... Democratic and Republican Party, and I think at that point we’d feel pretty good about our chances and it wouldn’t be about spoiling it.  It would be about winning. 

Scheer: And, you know, I want to say something about the Perot campaign.  I liked Adm. [James] Stockdale, the vice presidential candidate, and I thought that he may not have done well at the vice presidential debates, but I really like him and he actually made me kind of sway toward Perot. ... 

Harris:  It was “you people.” Remember [Perot’s] “you people” comments

Kornacki: Yeah, I remember both of those.  I liked Stockdale.  You know, I’m one of the 2 percent of the people after that debate that said he won it actually, the vice presidential—. 

Scheer:  Well, up against Dan Quayle and Al Gore, there’s not much competition but. ... 

Kornacki:  He came across as a natural.  I mean that’s what you need in politics. 

Harris: Hillary’s raised $26 million. Barack’s raised $25 million and we haven’t even talked about the Republican Mitt Romney… you guys don’t even have a candidate yet.  So, are you just a madman to your friends?  How does everyone receive you?

Kornacki:  It takes ... some explanation at this point.  I won’t lie to you ... the money can be formidable, but as I said, we believe that if we can build the grass-roots army that we believe we can build, and we can put up candidates who people could actually believe in and would actually want to vote for, then it wouldn’t be an unreasonable proposition to ask the grass-roots supporters to put up 20 bucks each, to put up 30 bucks, 10 bucks, whatever they can afford. And build a sustainable base of financial support for a fall campaign.  At that point, if we have enough money to be competitive, it doesn’t mean we have to spend as much.  I mean I can cite ... many examples in American politics where [the candidates] don’t have any ideas, they have no personality and they have no ability to inspire and all the money in the world’s not going to buy an election if that’s the case.  I mean, go back to, some random examples.  Phil [Gramm], running for president in 1995.  How many millions did he raise?  I don’t even think he made the New Hampshire primary.  A classic example is John Connally from Texas.  All these guys from Texas.  He raised millions of dollars in 1980.  I think he got one delegate at the convention.  So, no, we don’t need to raise, and we’re not going to raise, I don’t think the hundreds of millions that Hillary might or Romney or whatever.  But if we raise enough to get our message out there, at a certain point I think our message is worth a good chuck of change. 

Harris: Well, Steve Kornacki, community outreach director for Unity08, you better drink lots of Gatorade, and keep your stamina up  ‘cause you’ve got a lot of work ahead of yourself. ... 

Kornacki: That’s good advice. Well, thanks for the time, guys. 

Harris: No problem, and we look forward to hearing more from you over the coming year, and we’ll see how it plays out in the coming presidential election.  For Steve Kornacki, for Josh Scheer, this is James Harris and this is Truthdig.


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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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