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new "internet party" formed

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  • warren_d_smith31
    Group pushes unity ticket on Internet CNN.com Thursday, June 1, 2006 Founding member Hamilton Jordan, shown in 2005, was a chief of staff in the Carter White
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2006
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      Group pushes 'unity ticket' on Internet
      CNN.com Thursday, June 1, 2006
      Founding member Hamilton Jordan, shown in 2005, was a chief of staff
      in the Carter White House.
      -- A group that includes veterans of the Ford and Carter
      administrations is counting on public dissatisfaction with
      Washington partisanship to fuel an Internet campaign for a
      bipartisan "unity ticket" in the 2008 presidential election.

      The group, Unity08, launched an effort this week to take the White
      House with either independents or with presidential and vice
      presidential candidates from different parties.

      Founding member Angus King, a former two-term independent governor
      of Maine, said the movement can change the playing field in American
      politics. (Watch analysis of market for 'unity ticket' -- 2:01 )

      "The whole idea is to take all the votes that would have gone to
      other parties and win the election," he said. "We're not in this as
      spoilers.''

      "The people just want the problems solved, and that was the approach
      I took" as governor, King said.

      But evidence suggests voters see politics as the enemy of problem-
      solving. National surveys conducted this month found President
      Bush's approval rating at 36 percent -- and Congress' even lower.

      "The general public stands back and looks at all the fighting and
      negative ads and says, 'You know, who are these people and why are
      they doing this?'" King said.

      That sentiment echoes statements made by Ross Perot during his 1992
      campaign for president.

      "In Washington, you have a combination of theater, images, magic
      acts and illusions," Perot said at the time.

      Polls indicate the market for an independent candidate is greater
      now than at any time since 1992, when Perot got nearly 20 percent of
      the vote.

      A survey conducted recently for CNN by the Opinion Research Corp.
      found that 62 percent of Americans were at least somewhat likely to
      vote for an independent candidate, compared with 31 percent who were
      not likely.

      But if presidential campaigns are horse races, as they are often
      characterized, Unity08 does not yet have a horse it can rally behind.

      "The horse is hopefully coming to us," King said. "We're not
      starting with a horse.''

      Unity08, based in Denver, Colorado, plans to hold an online
      convention in early 2008 to select its ticket.

      The group says on its Web site the "crucial issues" facing the
      nation have been overshadowed by those it calls merely "important
      issues."

      A Unity08 press release listed some of the nation's crucial issues
      as education, energy independence, deficit spending, global
      terrorism, health care and nuclear proliferation. Among the
      merely "important" issues were gay marriage, gun control and
      abortion rights.

      The Democratic and Republican parties have increasingly focused
      their presidential campaigns on narrow issues intended to turn out
      their "base," according to Unity08.

      "As a result Washington has been polarized and paralyzed, and the
      voters are ready to take their country back," said two of the
      group's founding members in a press release. They are Hamilton
      Jordan, who was chief of staff in the Carter White House, and Doug
      Bailey, founder of The Hotline political newsletter and a former
      Republican political consultant.

      A poll commissioned by the group found that 85 percent of Americans
      think the two-party system has become too polarized to solve the
      nation's problems -- and 73 percent think more choices in the
      presidential election would be a good idea.

      "A unity ticket in office for just one term, or taking part in just
      one election, will bring new ideas, new integrity and new leaders to
      American politics," Bailey and Jordan said in their statement.

      The idea is not likely to be greeted warmly by either major party
      because of the likelihood that a third choice on the ballot would
      siphon off votes from the two major candidates.

      Some Democrats accused consumer advocate and political activist
      Ralph Nader of helping Bush win in 2000 by drawing votes from
      Democrat Al Gore. And Republicans said the same about Perot helping
      President Clinton defeat the first President Bush in 1992.

      Only once since 1800 has the United States elected a president and a
      vice president from different parties: Republican President Abraham
      Lincoln and Democrat Andrew Johnson in 1864. Lincoln was
      assassinated and though Johnson was eventually impeached by a
      Republican Congress, he was acquitted and remained in office.

      CNN's Jeff Green and Bill Schneider contributed to this report.

      ==========================

      DENVER, CO, United States (UPI) -- A bipartisan Internet project
      called Unity08 has been formed to offer middle-ground voters an
      alternative ticket in the next U.S. presidential race.

      Its founders said from its Denver headquarters they plan to offer a
      split ticket, with one Democrat and one Republican or an independent
      in 2008 in reaction to a system that has 'polarized and alienated
      the American people' through partisanship, The Washington Post
      reported Wednesday.

      Among the founders are Democrats Hamilton Jordan and Gerald
      Rafshoon, who helped in electing Jimmy Carter 30 years ago, as well
      as Doug Bailey, a media adviser to former Republican president
      Gerald Ford. Former Maine Gov. Angus King, an independent, is also
      involved, the Post said.

      'If you`re in the middle, kind of a centrist, you don`t feel either
      party hears you,' said Jordan.

      Organizers said if 20 percent of the voting public signs on using
      the Internet, then 'our voters will decide the 2008 elections.'

      Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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