Truth in Media “End Partisanship”

By: Ben Swann
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Ben Swann explains how the new coalition of EndPartisanship.org is working to break the 2 party hold on primary elections, which currently lock around 50% of voters out of the process. Plus, Ben details a lawsuit that has now been filed in the state of New Jersey to break that hold.

To learn more about the effort visit Endpartisanship.org

TRANSCRIPT

America is in a very tough place. Our economy is struggling. The
value of our dollar, shrinking. Our debt, skyrocketing.

We continue to let a mentality of aggression and suspicion
interrupt the confidence we claim to have in our freedom. There
seems to be no vision for utilizing the tools we have today to
produce a future that is better for everyone; the rich, the poor,
women, men, Christians, Muslims, Atheists… heterosexuals,
homosexuals, Black, Hispanic, in short… individual people.

The only thing bigger than these, and many more problems seems
to be the fact that America’s two major parties, Republicans and
Democrats, don’t have answers. No matter which party is in
power, the problems only get worse.

So what if I told you, the real problem at root of many of these
others, is with the two party hold on the election process and that if
we want to fix the biggest issues of our time, we just first correct
the primary election system.

I’m Ben Swann and the first step toward truth…is to be informed.

If you are a mainstream news watcher, you may have never seen
this video before. It is from the 2012 Republican primary. This
particular scene is from Missouri at the state convention.
Republican leadership in the state didn’t like the way registered
Republicans were voting, so they shut down their convention and
changed the rules on the spot.

That was a pretty wild scene. If you haven’t seen it before then you
likely don’t know the biggest mostly untold story of the 2012
election. That this crazy scene where Republican voters were
attempting to vote for their candidate were shut out of the process.
It didn’t happen only 1 time, and it didn’t happen in only 1 state.
This was Arizona.

In Oklahoma, the lights were turned off and Republican voters
attempted to reconvene the convention in the parking lot.

Over and over across the nation, from one state to another, from
county to another, Republican voters were locked out of their own
party’s process because party leadership didn’t like who they were
voting for.

In Louisiana, the voters were so angry about the way they were
being treated by the state Republican leadership, they picked up
their chairs and turned their backs on an appointed chairman in this
convention because the party rules were being violated.

When confronted about these issues, the Republican Party took the
position that they are a private club and therefore have the right to
change the rules however and whenever they like.
That is very important so we will come back to that in a minute.

Throughout this program, we are going to give you quite a few
numbers. But lets start with these. The number 2…in the United
States, as you know, we have only 2 major parties: the Republican
and the Democratic parties.
If you watch most national media you would think that the country
is fairly divided when it comes to politics. That there is almost a
cosmic battle between the so-called left and right. In theory, about
50% of the nation is blue (Democrat) and about 50% is red
(Republican).
But that is not true. In fact, about 40% of voters in the United
States now say they are “independent” voters.

Voters like Jackie Salit, president of IndependentVoting.org who says

“First of all, I’m an independent like about 40% of the country and
I feel very strongly that the system is rigged in the direction of the
political parties and I feel that making membership in a party a
condition for full voting rights is unconstitutional but is also
counter to what American democracy really is supposed to be
about.”

Jackie isn’t alone. Nearly half of all voters in the United States are
not affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties.
And yet there are only two options available to them? Why is that?
Much of it comes back to the primary system. A system that has
crippled the American electorate. Crippled how? Consider this…
In just about any congressional district in the country, you have
either a majority of Republican or Democratic voters. That
happens because of either community values or because of
redistricting where parties carve out a state to make sure they have
an advantage.

Within that district, on average only 9% of voters will take part in
a primary election. Now remember, congressional and state
legislative districts have been carved and re-carved and re-carved
to make sure that candidates only have to win primaries in order to
win the general election.

Crunch some numbers and it doesn’t take long to figure out that a
candidate only has to pull a little more than 3% of the vote in a
major party’s primary in order to win the at-large seat. 3% of the
vote in order to represent 100% of the constituency. How is that
representative government?

Dan Howle, a board member with the Independent Voter Project says
this is core of what is wrong with American partisanship.

“Politicians in Washington and in state capitals across the country
go back to their districts and they have to appeal to a very small
segment of voters in the primary elections. Generally speaking this
small segment of the voters are the most partisan voters. Until
politicians are accountable to every voter in their district, you are
going to end up with the same kind of partisanship that we have
now.” says Hall.

So under our current political system, we find ourselves with
political parties and politicians who should represent everyone but
are incentivized to represent a small and strident portion of the
electorate.

“Politicians who are in office want to get reelected and when they
only have to appeal to a very small swath of the electorate, they act
accordingly but when they have to appeal to everyone across the
political spectrum, their behavior changes.” says Hall.

That is why Dan and Jackie and representatives from a number of
other political organizations have come together to form a new
coalition that’s called End Partisanship. The goal: to break the two party
hold on primary elections by making their candidates
stronger, and leveling the playing field for those with a third party
affiliation, or none at all.


“We want to end partisanship. The dominant approach which has
been to regulate campaign finance is an ineffective and outdated
mode of reforming politics.”

So what specifically is End Partisanship attempting to do?
Number one, they believe that the right to vote is fundamental and
that means…
“Fighting for the rights of all Americans whether they are in a
political party or not to have full access to the political process.”
Of course, the Republican and Democratic parties would have no
problem with that at face value.

Both parties would say they believe in the fundamental right to
vote. And they want involvement of every American in the
process.

Number 2, End Partisanship believes the right to vote cannot be
abridged by a requirement to join any organization.

“What things, what kinds of actions can we take that will get
independent voters equal opportunity and equal access to the ballot
as partisan voters?”

That second point is very important. Across the nation, both
Republicans and Democrats have closed primaries meaning that
you must be a registered voter within their party to be allowed to
vote in a primary.

So remember what I told you about 40% of voters being
Independents and still others are registered Green Party,
Libertarian party, Constitution party, Justice party, etc.
That means, at least half of all voters are locked out of
participating in the primary vote that ultimately decides their
representatives. And yet according to Chad Peace with the
Independent Voter Project, that is exactly what is happening.

“My right to participate in our democracy should not be
conditioned. I should not have to join a party.”

Now you might say… tough. If you want to change that, then don’t
be an Independent. Don’t be a Libertarian or Green Party member.
Join the republican and democratic party and make your vote count
in the primary.
Glad you brought that up…
Remember the video we started with, the video that demonstrates
what happened in 2012. That is exactly the problem. Over 2
million Republican primary voters attempted to do that in 2012.
But state after state, the rules were changed, sometimes in the
middle of a convention. And remember why? Because the
Republican Party insisted it could do so, claiming that it is a
private club.

That brings us to the third principle of the End Partisanship
coalition.
Public funds should not be used to subsidize activities of political
parties that abridge a voter’s right to meaningful participation in
the election process.

“They say we have the right to tell people they can’t vote in our
primaries because we are private organizations. So the second
cause of action is very simple. If you are a private organization,
start acting like one, meaning you shouldn’t be accepting taxpayer
dollars and tax payers shouldn’t have to fund primaries if you
aren’t going to let everybody vote in them.”

You see, while Republicans were saying they are a private club,
they are at the same time accepting hundreds of millions in
taxpayer dollars to subsidize these primary elections.

According to a report by IVN or the Independent Voter Network,
taxpayers across the nation spent approximately $400 million to
administer party elections in 2012.

The study compiled data from nine states which was then projected
across the country:
The nine states: Texas, New York, North Dakota, Idaho,
Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Rhode Island.
• Texas $15,883,428.32 $1.57
• Indiana $6,969,771.96 $2.24
• Tennessee $4,577,041.57 $1.57
• Oklahoma $2,933,104.00 $1.63
• Idaho $2,840,471.00 $3.93
• North Dakota $1,352,114.00 $3.39
 Now to be clear, the costs of the primary varied from $1.32 to
almost $4 per voter in some states. And then there are other
examples. For instance, New York’s 2012 primaries cost $11 per
voter.  Rhode Island and South Carolina’s primaries were
approximated by their elections commissions at $750,000 and
$3,500,000, respectively.

So to be clear, only 9% of the population on average is taking part
in primary elections that are costing taxpayers $400 million
dollars?

If the Republican and Democratic parties are private clubs, why
aren’t they paying for their private primaries themselves? If
taxpayers are forced to pay for the primaries, why isn’t anyone and
everyone allowed to participate?
So how to fix this?

As with many things, one of the first steps of the End Partisanship
coalition is a lawsuit.
“We have developed a state by state legal strategy defending the
rights of individual independent voters in the courtroom.”
State by state…taking on unconstitutional and unlawful control of
the political process. End Partisanship has filed their first lawsuit
as a blueprint in New Jersey.
In New Jersey, 47.6% of registered voters, nearly one half, were
registered in 2013 as unaffiliated voters. And yet, New Jersey
requires that a voter affiliate with a political party approved by the
State as a precondition to participating in the primary process.
The suit seeks to protect the fundamental right to vote under the
New Jersey and United States Constitutions, which have no
requirement that a voter forfeit their First Amendment right not to
associate with a political party.
By denying over 2.6 million New Jersey voters the right to cast a
vote in the primary election, the State has disenfranchised nearly
half of its electorate, and thereby, given private political parties
and partisan voters a greater and unequal access to the voting
franchise.
Additionally, under the New Jersey Constitution, neither the state
nor a county may appropriate money for use of any private
association.
“What the lawsuit is doing is asserting for the first time, asserting
the rights of Independent voters. Not on behalf of a group whether
its race based or gender or have the same rights as everyone else to
have a meaningful vote in the political process.”

What you need to know is that a concerted effort to spread the End
Partisanship lawsuit to every state in the nation is underway. But
one important point should be made here. This effort is not about
ending political parties. It is about protecting the voter and the
taxpayer from a scheme put into law by politicians who answer to
their party bosses and not to the people they claim to represent.
This effort is about opening up the political process. After all…
Wouldn’t the “Democratic” position advocate for an electoral
process where the most people have an opportunity to have a
meaningful vote?

Wouldn’t the “Republican” position have candidates run to
represent the people of the district, not members of their party’s
central committee?

Wouldn’t the “Libertarian” position provide the individual with a
superior right to ballot access than that of any party?

Wouldn’t the “individual” right to vote in our democratic republic,
for the people, by the people, derive from the individual person?

Of course it does because the founders and framers knew that the individual’s rights always trump politics.

Humanity is Greater than Politics


  • My two cents.

    For more on how Ron Paul was cheated out of the Republican nomination and in all likelihood the Presidency, see the YT video, “How Ron Paul was cheated out of the Presidency”.
    What Republicans did in all the early primary states was criminal, but the media is just as guilty because they did not report what was going on and they pretended that Ron Paul didn’t even exist.
    Good luck with this effort, but my gut tells me that it’s too little, too late.

    • Shin Chan

      The media is more than happy to go along with this suppression.

  • Jeff

    Great video, Ben! I was part of the botched North Dakota convention and got to see this first hand. You were the only one that covered it and I’ve been hooked since. Bravo!

  • r3VOLution IS NOT republican

    AMAZING episode!

  • Hope101

    I can’t thank you enough for “End Partisanship”, but I will thank you as much as I can with a donation. This issue was at the very top of my wish list and it is a
    job well done.

  • Bryan

    FANTASTIC episode Ben!!! This is the type of journalism I signed on for! Let’s see more stories like this!

  • Michael Hale

    Wow, Ben Swann, you have just stepped up to a whole new level! You set the bar super high last season, this year, you’re untouchable! On a technical note, production is second to none! Job well done all the way around! You make El Paso VERY PROUD!

    • Karolyn

      And Houston too!

    • Shin Chan

      Yes, longer length videos are needed and this is a good start. Hopefully they’ll get up to 25 minutes to really make air-tight arguments–got to get ready for when this is aired on TV, after all. ^_^

  • MO RP coordinator

    Great segment Ben. However it does need a correction. That was the St. Charles County Caucus instead of the MO state convention. Brent Stafford was the organizer for that county and is pictured on the chair outside the school. The state convention in MO didn’t have nearly the same level of rule breaking because by that time our numbers had already been dwindled to below majority numbers. I can speak for the 4th Congressional district that we missed a majority of the delegates by very narrow margins. We could have taken the 4th if I had another 20 caucus voters in the correct caucuses around the district. However, we didn’t get the organization we needed in some of the rural counties. We lost several caucuses by only a handful of votes.

  • jeff4justice

    Why should any private party be allowed to rule over the public? However, if you do prefer a party, YouTube search: How 3rd Parties Can Win By 2014 & 2016

    • http://www.joshuascottmccullough.com/ Josh McCullough

      Good job.

      • jeff4justice

        Thanks.

  • Layla Godey

    It’s about time!! I’ve Had somebody tell me that if I wanted to participate, I could join a party…but my position has Always been that in the US, I do not Have to join a political party, or belong to Any organization in order to exercise my rights.

  • Karolyn

    I live in Texas and when I went in to vote early I had to identify with one party or the other to be allowed to vote even though I do not wish to be affiliated with the Repubs or Dems; I consider myself a Libertarian.

    • http://www.joshuascottmccullough.com/ Josh McCullough

      Doesn’t make any sense!

      • Karolyn

        Because??

        • http://www.joshuascottmccullough.com/ Josh McCullough

          I meant that I agree. :) Comment edited for clarity.

          • Karolyn

            :)

  • Wayne D

    Good topic. Two parties, two sides of the same coin. Neither have truly represented the will of the people nor protected our Constitution.
    They have allowed the crony dynasties of the banking and industrial revolution to monopolize and manipulate markets, resources, our government, the judicial system, our foriegn policy and our military in the name of jobs and homeland security.
    We need a fudamental restructuring of the status quo, these confounding parties and campaign finance.
    John Lennon said, “the lesser of two evils is still evil.”

    • Shin Chan

      Then according to polls (30% Dems & 30% Reps in the US), we’re still 60% evil. That sucks.

  • Michael Norton

    That is why we did this. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

    If the GOP establishment and MSM will screw over Senator Rand Paul just like they did to his father’s presidential campaigns, the Liberty movement will respond to the dirty tricks in the same way they responded last time. The establishment status quo and its sheeple voters are their own worst enemy. I HOPE THEY ENJOY BEING LOSERS.

    The grass roots liberty movement campaigning for Dr Ron Paul knows the establishment GOP played dirty. That’s why we made sure Romney lost to Obama by staying home, writing in Ron Paul, voting third party, or voting directly for BO. Screw with us again and see what you get GOP.
    https://myspace.com/michaelwiseguy/video/alex-jones-caller-ron-paul-revenge-voters-for-obama-11-09-2012/109079927

    • Shin Chan

      They’ll continue to lose if they don’t get with the program. Nobody wants to waste money on their pointless wars anymore (including the drug “war”). If they’d just bring their foreign policy into the modern age and ditch the moral dictatorship tendencies, the Repubs would be winning every election. If they think libertarians are going to switch back to voting for the lesser of two evils, they’re slow learners.

  • Drew R

    Quality piece, i diiiiig man, i diiiig

  • Bill30097

    This is just wrong. If you want to vote in a party’s primary then join that party.

    • http://www.joshuascottmccullough.com/ Josh McCullough

      You clearly don’t get it. Here in VA we don’t have to register with a party in order to vote. For independent voters, we want to vote the for the best candidate in any party so when it comes time for the general election, we have the best options to choose from.

      As Ben explained, these private organizations really have no right to be this involved in our electoral process.

    • Deva Bryson Winblood

      Apparently you need to watch it again. That doesn’t work unless you are voting the way the heads of the party in the primary want you to vote. We already tried that in 2012 (I was involved) and it is rigged. I highly recommend you drop any preconceived notions, or desire to defend a position, and instead just go watch that video as though you are not a member of a party. The examples it provided for people who were in the party trying to do as you proposed are but a small selection of events that happened in 2012. He didn’t cover the fact that at the RNC there was a vote on a new bylaw that essentially emasculates grass roots movements in the future. It required 2/3 majority vote. The vote was called. It was clear it didn’t have close to a 2/3. They did not call for a vote count, they said “the ayes have it”. What is interesting is that someone was videoing the teleprompter. The teleprompter had “The ayes have it” before the vote was even complete. You seriously think participating in that kind of rigged B.S. is the answer?

      • Shin Chan

        2012 proved exactly how rigged this selection process is, and it was ugly. I’m sure for the next time around the rules have been quietly “improved” to ensure the party establishment bosses maintain control, but all this will do is buy them time. It’s only a matter of time before these criminals are shamed or chased out of the process.

    • SonsOfLibertyRiders

      but why should tax payers fund this?

    • Shin Chan

      How can they justify denying full public participation while at the same time collecting millions of taxpayer dollars? Time to pull the plug on this theft!

  • Abe

    2012 in gereral was a joke in most states, but not all. Libratarians for the most part took over the Republican party in Minnesota. That NRC in Tampa was a joke!! And most polliticians know it. The DNC was no better either!! Wake up or die!!

    • Abe

      general not gereral.

  • Charles Walker

    Become precinct chairman its the best way to screw the party you hate.

  • Winghunter

    Do the Libertarians think that we forgot about them starting fights at Republican caucuses? Can’t Ben Swann tell the difference between a Republican/Conservative and a Libertarian OR has he authored an article with the express purpose to BS the gullible?

    Ron Paul supporters arrested after starting fight at caucus which is broken up by 10 policemen http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2116620/Ron-Paul-supporters-start-fight-Missouri-caucus.html#ixzz1pmTATJ7o

    ‘Paulbots’ Taking Over Nomination Process At GOP Conventions? http://mccarvillereport.com/archives/3703

    Paulbots Sabatoge Another Republican Caucus http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2012/03/paulbots-sabatoge-em-another-republican-caucus.html

    • Shin Chan

      Do you think libertarians forgot about the sabotage and underhanded tactics used to stop votes which the establishment “party leadership” didn’t like?

      You low life scum of the Earth are the criminals here, not the ones defending their rights to participate in the American republican system.

      • Winghunter

        LOL! If you crash a party, expect to be thrown out on your ass. I’ll be happy to demonstrate for you, AH. Give me an excuse!

        • Shin Chan

          Hilarious – you cowards are happy enough to ask for libertarian votes, but they aren’t invited to your “private parties” where you morons decide how to screw up the next election cycle.

          You idiots ask for–or actually, DEMAND–libertarian votes, assigning “spoiler” blame if you crybabies don’t get what you want, yet a libertarian is not considered an equal member of the party, even when they are in the majority locally.

          That’s okay – all you worn out cold war relics will be dead from old age in a few years anyway, and then the younger libertarians can move in and fix the mess you created.

  • Tonihka

    We are not supposed to be a democracy.

    • Shin Chan

      Yes, but semantical nitpicking here is accomplishing what exactly? A republic is supposed to have representatives which are elected by the people (and this one is supposed to give all of those people a vote) – clearly today, this is not the case.