Ten Influential Politicians in the Independent Movement to Watch

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Justin Amash

"Amash is one of the most transparent members of the House."
One of the youngest U.S. Representatives and Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus, Justin Amash is among the most independent members of the House GOP and strives to distance himself from party groupthink. The New York Times noted in 2011 that Amash, “has not voted with the majority 25 percent of the time, the most of any House Republican.”

He was recently criticized by GOP strategist Karl Rove, asserting Amash’s “staunch libertarian stances on legislation as antithetical to tackling issues in Washington.” On top of this, Amash is one of the most transparent members of the House, consistently explaining his votes to the public along with personally engaging them through his social media accounts.

Amash stands strong in opposing SOPA, PIPA, the NDAA, and drone strikes on Americans as well as war in the Middle East. Amash introduced an amendment to defund the NSA’s controversial domestic surveillance programs. The amendment, however, was rejected on the House floor earlier this week.

 

Bernie Sanders

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The longest serving independent in U.S. Senate history, Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont is one of the biggest opponents of the increased security state and an outspoken critic of corporate greed.

He supports GMO labeling, universal healthcare, same-sex marriage, and a woman’s right to choose. Sanders has consistently voted against and introduced legislation to amend the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act, and has criticized recent NSA spying revelations.

Sanders also supports the DISCLOSE Act, which would make the campaign finance system more transparent and prevent foreign influenced U.S. corporations from influencing U.S. politics, and calls for the reversal of the Citizens United decision which considers corporations as people.

 

Wendy Davis

Texas state Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) was recently in the spotlight for her filibuster of the Texas Legislature’s push to end nearly all abortions in the state. Davis spoke to Rachel Maddow about what she believes is the greatest political issue in Texas: election laws like redistricting and hyper-partisan primaries that have ensured that there aren’t general elections that represent the citizens of Texas.

“I think that most Texans find themselves in the middle, they don’t align with far right or left politics and they want to see us serving them in that place in the middle,” said Davis.

 

Angus King

Angus King, the socially liberal and fiscally conservative independent senator from Maine, is a co-sponsor of the recently introduced 21st Century Glass–Steagall Act, which aims to break up Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks by separating traditional banking activity from riskier investment services.

King has stated that he wishes to serve as a bridge between the two parties. He opposes Citizens United and is a strong advocate for debt and deficit solutions, believing that debt is the most significant threat to the United State’s national security.

Ron Wyden

Serving as a Democratic senator from Oregon since 1996, Wyden characterizes himself as an “independent voice for Oregonians and the nation” and is a strong supporter of health care reform, consumer protection, and governmental transparency.

Wyden recently helped introduce a bill that would put an end to the secret FISA courts ruling on controversial government surveillance programs and was the only Democrat to speak in favor of Rand Paul’s recent drone filibuster.

Wyden is also a co-sponsor of the “Follow the Money” campaign finance reform legislation, which hopes to bring transparency and consistency to campaign finance abuses and “address the influx of anonymous federal election spending.”

 

Evan Falchuk

Evan Falchuk recently announced his candidacy for governor of Massachusetts, a state where over 52 percent of voters are independent or unaffiliated.

Falchuk, founder of the United Independent Party, is running on a platform of socially progressive and fiscally sensible solutions and calls for a “functioning, multi-party democracy.”

Funding job training programs, anti-poverty relations measures and public health issues are among core issues he hopes to tackle, but his first action, should he be elected, will be to change Massachusetts campaign finance laws, which grossly favor the two party system.

Jesse Ventura

Ventura served as Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003 and is on record stating his desire to run in the 2016 presidential race as an independent candidate as long as he can garner national ballot access in all fifty states and have the ability to participate in the presidential debates.

Ventura has described the Republican and Democratic parties as “monsters that are out of control,” who are concerned “only with their agendas and their pork.”

Recently, he went on record to declare that he no longer supports third party movements and instead advocates that all political parties be abolished. Fiscally conservative and socially liberal, Ventura has been an outspoken critic of unconstitutional wars, the use of torture, the TSA, and self-serving corporate media agendas.

 

Thomas Massie

Considered one of the few remaining true constitutional conservatives remaining in Congress, Massie received a Cumulative Freedom Index Score of 100 percent, which is a congressional scorecard based on the U.S Constitution.

Massie is known for charting his own path and perhaps most famously broke from the majority of his party by opposing the re-election of Speaker of the House John Boehner, instead casting his vote for Republican congressman Justin Amash of Michigan.

He recently introduced two amendments to the House Defense Appropriations Act that would require congressional approval for taxpayer funds to be used for “military or paramilitary purposes in Syria and Egypt.” The amendments were approved by the House in an unanimous vote earlier this week.

 

Susan Collins

Susan Collins shows a stronger than average independence from the party line, voting with the Republican Party only 61.5 percent of the time, ranking 46 among 46 Senate Republican members as of June 13, according to Open Congress. Collins was also reported to be the most bipartisan Senator in 2011. Between 1997 and 2013, Collins missed 0 of 5,261 roll call votes.

 

Abel Maldonado

This Republican from California was the 48th lieutenant governor of the state and before that served as a state senator. Maldonado submitted Proposition 14 in 2010, which enacted the top two primary system in California and in May, he announced he will seek the Republican nomination for the 2014 California gubernatorial election.

IndependentVoice.org, a statewide organization representing the interests of California’s 3.4 million independent voters, announced its endorsement for Maldanado in 2010 stating:

“Abel Maldonado proved his independence when he took on both parties — including his own — to place Prop 14 on the ballot. That’s the kind of tough and nonpartisan leadership that independent voters are looking for.”

The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


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  2. Independent Workers of America Labor Association ( I like the choices you presented and the mehtodology was staright foward, consstenty and represenntative of the broad based support we need to push an "Independent Agenda" for the long term...
  3. Independent Workers of America Labor Association (IWALA) I like the choices you presented and the mehtodology was staright foward, consstenty and represenntative of the broad based support we need to push an "Independent Agenda" for the long term...
  4. Dave Emanuel The concept of truly independent politician running for and winning national office is tremendously attractive. The reality is that such a candidate has virtually no chance of winning. It takes hard work, money and an extensive support team to win an election at almost any level, and without the resources offered by the two major political parties, any candidate is at a tremendous disadvantage. The second problem is voter viewpoint. Candidates who are not affiliated with either the Republican or Democrat parties are seen to be questionable-- somewhat like the products advertised on television as, "not available in stores". The nagging conceptual question is, "Why not"? If a product is exceptional, why aren't retailers clamoring to sell it? Similarly, a candidate not affiliated with a recognized party raises the same question. And if a candidate is affiliated with a political party, how independent are they?
  5. Michael Pomplas ANd unfortunately - Independents are not recieving uch help in Washingto DC to become a viable Political Party in America - this is unfortunate as a three party system woud certainly have influence on continued deadlock in the passage of legislation for the good of the American People. Example - Now according to the FBI - individuals with a ote for Ron Paul Bumper Sticker are now subject to suspicion and may be Radicals or a threat to America? SOmething is very very wrong with this Picture. Truth - I would have voted for Ron Paul for President if I thought there was any chance for him to WIn the ast Election? I voted for Barack Obama instead so John McCain would not ecome President - and I support barck Obama. Again, something is very wrong with what is occurring in American Poitics.
  6. Michael Pomplas I did not mis-spell all of those words - period.
  7. Michael Pomplas America - These are yuor SuperHeroes in DC no Marvel Comic Joke:).
  8. Josh Riggs All I'm saying is that no really independent people are in here. On top of that the ones the picked for the most part aren't really influencal. Amash is only in here because of the legislation he just put in. Where is Gary Johnson and Jill Stein? What about these real independent thinkers?
  9. Josh Riggs All I'm saying is that no really independent people are in here. On top of that the ones the picked for the most part aren't really influencal. Amash is only in here because of the legislation he just put in. Where is Gary Johnson and Jill Stein? What about these real independent thinkers?
  10. Myra Johnson I know where Wendy Davis stands but there are others.
23 comments
Dave Emanuel
Dave Emanuel

The concept of truly independent politician running for and winning national office is tremendously attractive. The reality is that such a candidate has virtually no chance of winning. It takes hard work, money and an extensive support team to win an election at almost any level, and without the resources offered by the two major political parties, any candidate is at a tremendous disadvantage. The second problem is voter viewpoint. Candidates who are not affiliated with either the Republican or Democrat parties are seen to be questionable-- somewhat like the products advertised on television as, "not available in stores". The nagging conceptual question is, "Why not"? If a product is exceptional, why aren't retailers clamoring to sell it? Similarly, a candidate not affiliated with a recognized party raises the same question. And if a candidate is affiliated with a political party, how independent are they?

Michael Pomplas
Michael Pomplas

America - These are yuor SuperHeroes in DC no Marvel Comic Joke:).

Josh Riggs
Josh Riggs

All I'm saying is that no really independent people are in here. On top of that the ones the picked for the most part aren't really influencal. Amash is only in here because of the legislation he just put in. Where is Gary Johnson and Jill Stein? What about these real independent thinkers?

Myra Johnson
Myra Johnson

I know where Wendy Davis stands but there are others.

Shawn M. Griffiths
Shawn M. Griffiths

Wendy Davis has become a superstar on bringing women's issues to the forefront of the discussion. She argues we are not having a discussion on important issues that affect women because of the current structure of the electoral system in her state, and it is true. There are demographics who are being ignored because the partisan primaries help party leaders shape the dialogue.

Shawn M. Griffiths
Shawn M. Griffiths

Justin Amash, but this is a list of current independent-minded lawmakers around the country who are rising stars or are having an influence on the independent movement.

Christopher Smith
Christopher Smith

Bernie Sanders - Democrat Record Votes party line unless Bill will Pass regardless of his vote. No - Building the fence between US and Mexico 1197 to S. 744 No - Accountability of DHS to Congress 1197 to S. 744 No - check in & out every Immigrant entering and leaving the US 1228 to S. 744 No Vote - Passed anyways S.Amdt. 998 to S. 954 No - Cloture Motion S. 1003 Vote to continue debate with Democrats on a bill he posture voted against. Wendy Davis - COOK! Doesn't care about women's health and protect women from Tijuana Abortions. Wants to allow Planned Murderhood to continue to spread of Tijuana Abortions on minority women under the radar. http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2013/jul/10/wendy-davis-ideologically-texas-democrats/ Angus King - Top Contributors include Lobbyists, Health Care, and Law Firms. Politician since 1995 Ron Wyden - Politician since 1981 "rank-and-file Democrat according to GovTrack's" regardless of how he describes himself. Evan Falchuk - No record to speak of coming out of the Health Industry. His contributors will tell what his real intentions are. Independence claims leave him as a blank canvas to claim himself whatever he wants to be. Jesse Ventura - Serious Wacko that is suing a dead Navy Seal. Conspiracy Theorist takes his play book straight from the WWE. Joke. Susan Collins - Assumed office 1997, against gun rights, for bigger Government, Rhino Abel Maldonado - Liberal Republican in Office since 1996 First can we not call a Lifetime Politician that has been in some form of office for over 15 year an Independent. I could find 100's of more things on these people, but some of them are just plain wackos. Why aren't regular everyday people running? Someone to be truly Independent should be separate from the Lobbyist, separate from Activism, and separate from Life time Governing. Those should be basic criteria. Do some more research, I have to get back to real work.

Chris Estep
Chris Estep

I cannot adequately communicate how thrilled I am with Angus King. Best in the Senate.

Josh Riggs
Josh Riggs

Seriously no Ron Paul or other prominent libertarian people?

Duane Dichiara
Duane Dichiara

Well I notice you had to write 'independent minded' because there aren't that many relevant actual independents in office. lol. Jessie? Really? That's what the independent movement is going to hang it's hat on?

Charlotte Dean
Charlotte Dean

PSYCHED about the idea of a Governor Abel Maldonado. say Abel Maldonado ten times fast.

Joseph Avery
Joseph Avery

This is a comprehensive list of people doing great things that many people haven't heard of. It is really too bad that Amash's bill didn't pass... they're not listening to a lot of the public up there. Wyden has done great stuff. FISA courts are an absolute joke and every Dem would have been up in arms if it was a Republican in office with this same drone policy and a Democrat had filibustered.

Alex Gauthier
Alex Gauthier

Interesting to see Ventura on this list, but then again watching him do anything is usually worth the time.

Michael Pomplas
Michael Pomplas

ANd unfortunately - Independents are not recieving uch help in Washingto DC to become a viable Political Party in America - this is unfortunate as a three party system woud certainly have influence on continued deadlock in the passage of legislation for the good of the American People. Example - Now according to the FBI - individuals with a ote for Ron Paul Bumper Sticker are now subject to suspicion and may be Radicals or a threat to America? SOmething is very very wrong with this Picture. Truth - I would have voted for Ron Paul for President if I thought there was any chance for him to WIn the ast Election? I voted for Barack Obama instead so John McCain would not ecome President - and I support barck Obama. Again, something is very wrong with what is occurring in American Poitics.

Joseph Avery
Joseph Avery

He is definitely out there. Him running for President could be a true American Adventura