Transpartisan Note #75
by A. Lawrence Chickering and James S. Turner
Centrist Project executive director Nick Troiano, reports that “Election Day 2017 reminded us of the old adage, ‘all politics is local.’ Independents were elected against major-party candidates in municipal races across the country, foreshadowing what may come in 2018.”
In Colorado, he says, the Centrist Project successfully supported Thornton City Councilman Sam Nizam’s reelection in a three-way race against a Democrat and a Republican. Nizam told Colorado Politics, “Thanks in large part to the infrastructure and resources the Centrist Project provided, I can continue to serve my constituents free from the constraints of partisan politics.”
The group also celebrated Ben Walsh as the new, independent Mayor of Syracuse, NY. His win is receiving national coverage as a blueprint for independent candidates to win against the major parties. Troiano told the Wall Street Journal, “Ben’s win will encourage more independents to run because they will see that it’s possible.”
Troiano says “We are heading into 2018 with real confidence that independents can and will win major races across the country.”
Troiano also reported:
- That former Democratic Congressman Brian Baird and former state GOP chair and state legislator Chris Vance launched Washington Independents the Centrist Project Washington state partner.
- Former Republican Congressman and MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough saying about the 2018 election “The only way to escape [this] cycle is to break apart the hyperpartisan two-party duopoly that has kept Washington too divided, too dysfunctional and too directionless for too long.”
- Leon Panetta, former Democratic congressman and Defense Secretary: “The budget process has not only collapsed, Congress is totally ignoring any semblance of fiscal discipline.” Troiano says his Project’s idea of 2-3 fiscally responsible independents who could slam the brakes in the U.S. Senate, where both parties seem unable to control deficits, sounds pretty good right about now.
- Vox breaks down some interesting new political science that shows: “Most voters aren’t ideologues, and even accounting for that, most ideologues aren’t particularly ideological.” Those of us who, Triano deadpans, put ideology before party? Well, apparently, we’re the weird ones.
The Centrist Project is one of many nodes in the emerging Transpartisan impulse network cropping up across the nation. It also includes other groups such as No Labels, All Sides, The Mediators Foundation and others of the more than 80 member Bridge Alliance working individually and together to transform the political terrain.
Individuals across the country, at every point on the political spectrum and around the political matrix create these and many other efforts—both inside and outside the organized political parties—to give voice to the roughly 70% of age eligible American voters dissatisfied with the direction of our country (Gallup) and the 57% that believe we need an alternative voice to both major political parties (Gallup).
The transpartisan voice for more effective politics grows.