IVA Candidate Roundtable – Why Declare Independence?

Posted by & filed under 2012 Election, An Independent Viewpoint, Independent Candidates, IVA Candidate Roundtable



This post is the fourth in a continuing feature of independent candidate’s responses to roundtable questions posed by Independent Voters of America. Independent Voters of America has been reaching out to independent and third party candidates across the country to gather their opinions and insights on issues of interest to our community.

With the country celebrating “Independents Day” day tomorrow, July 4, there’s no better time for another IVA roundtable introducing five new independent candidates for office, and why they chose to “declare independence” from our two party system. In our first roundtable, we received several interesting answers to this question – Today’s candidates contributing to the discussion are:

Steven Reynolds – Candidate for Congress in Oregon’s 1st District
Jeremy Stinson
– Candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 5th District
Linda Parks - Candidate for Congress in California’s 26th District
Cesar Henao - Candidate for Congress in Florida’s 21st District
Bill Bloomfield - Candidate for Congress in California’s 33rd District

The question posed to the candidates was:

You’ve seen the recent approval ratings and bipartisan gridlock in Washington DC. Why run for Congress? And why run as an independent candidate?

Steven Reynolds: The simple answer is that I can do better. I am not beholden to special interests or a particular ideology. I just want our government to work for the people that it purports to represent.

Jeremy Stinson:  It almost defies logic that I would want to join an organization with historically low favorability ratings, but in fact it’s one of the reasons why I am running for Congress. There has to be a better way to run this country – I think I have better ideas. I’m running as an Independent because I don’t fit neatly into a Blue or Red box. I am an independent thinker with ideas independent of partisan ideology. Being independent allows me to live up to my campaign slogan, “representing the people, not the party.” Maryland is true blue, through and through, and although one of our representatives [Steny Hoyer] is one of the most powerful in the country, he chooses to be one of the loudest and most divisive of all partisan bandits. My district, my state, my country deserves better than that.

Linda Parks: I became an independent and I love it.  I had been a Democrat for 21 years and a moderate Republican for 15 years and I know neither party has all the answers.  I ran as an Independent because the divisive partisanship is counterproductive to good government.  Also, as an elected official in non-partisan office for 15 years, I have supporters from all sides of the political spectrum and enjoy their support because it’s not all about party – it’s about doing what’s right.

Cesar Henao: It is my firm belief that the two-party system has lost touch with the average American voter. The people want leaders and statesmen, not factions who assign blame and fail to solve problems. I am running for Congress because I have united conservatives, liberals, and independents to make up the members of my staff and advisors. I am confident that I can bring a measure of common sense and rationalism to Congress. I realize that as one person I can only do so much, but a change must begin somewhere with someone. As an Independent I am free to say what I believe, and work outside the constraints of a political party.

Bill Bloomfield: Because the hyper partisanship in Congress has caused it to lock up. And since all of the solutions to our country’s problems run through our first branch of government, we have to get it working again in order to solve those problems. Some of those problems, like our trillion dollar budget deficits, threaten our nation’s future.I am running as a non-partisan, with a long track record as a reformer. I’ve been involved in the movement in California that led to the enactment of redistricting reform as well as Open Primaries, and am also involved with a campaign finance reform initiative that will be on California’s November ballot. I am also a co-founder of No Labels, the national organization to support members of Congress who put aside party labels to work together to solve our nation’s problems. I believe I am uniquely qualified to help unhinge Congress so it once again returns to its mission of solving our nation’s problems. And by the way… I am not “running as an Independent.” I am an independent. Free from the special interests that have way too much influence over both political parties.
Over the coming weeks, we’re looking forward to continuing this series with more answers from these candidates and others to pertinent questions of interest to our Independent Voters of America community. If you have a question you’d like addressed in a future roundtable, leave it in the comments.

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One Response

  1. Robert B. Winn July 6, 2012 at 8:46 am

    One thing the candidates did not mention was voter registration. Candidates for office have a greater capacity to register voters than ordinary citizens. It is important that independent voters set a goal with regard to voter registration and stay with it. Nationwide, independent voters passed Democrats, the largest political party since 1800, in numbers in 2009. The goal now should be to have more independent voters than party members in the United States.


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