join our email list

homepage About Us news Donate Magazine
Mitch Campbell - Founder, American Independent Movement - at the Twin Falls County Fair.
Read about the American Independent Movement of Idaho
in the latest issue of The Neo-Independent magazine.

"Idaho Independents Fight to Keep Primaries Open"

Legal Papers
Independents Motion to Intervene


Republican Response to Motion
Associated Press
By Rebecca Boone

"Idaho Independents to Intervene in Closed Primary Lawsuit"


Independent Voters File Motion to
Intervene in Republican Party Lawsuit;

Seek to Protect Right to
Participate in Party Primaries

July 2, 2008

CONTACT:  Sarah Lyons  / Mitch Campbell:  208-731-2345

Twin Falls, ID—Eleven independent voters from Twin Falls, Salmon, Filer and Jerome, along with two groups which represent independent voters --The American Independent Movement of Idaho (AIM) and the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, Inc. (CUIP) -- yesterday filed a Motion to Intervene into Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa.
In April, the Idaho Republican Party initiated a lawsuit to close the state’s primaries and institute partisan voter registration.  Independents have asked to join the Idaho Secretary of State as defendants, since they could lose the right to vote in party primaries if the Republican litigation succeeds.
The intervenors are represented by CUIP general counsel Harry Kresky, and Gary Allen of the Boise firm of Givens Pursley LLP. 
The United States District Court of Idaho must decide whether to grant the intervenors the right to be joined in the lawsuit.  If the court grants their request, it will be the first time that independent voters will be directly represented in a case involving open primaries.
In asserting the interests of independent voters the court papers, filed in Boise yesterday, stated “As Idaho voters they surely have an interest in the transaction that is the subject of this action.  The action is, after all, about the terms and conditions under which persons can vote in a primary election.  Now they are permitted to do so.  If the plaintiffs are successful they may be deprived of that right unless they register into a political party which they do not desire to do.” 
The papers go on to say that while the Idaho Secretary of State will assert the interests of the State in open primaries, he cannot be expected to articulate the particular interest that independents have in the litigation.
Mitch Campbell, founder of the American Independent Movement of Idaho, was the initiator of yesterday’s legal action.  Campbell and other independent voters in Idaho and across the country have championed the cause of open primaries, particularly as the number of voters who consider themselves independents has grown.  Today nearly 40% of American’s describe themselves as political independents.
“We’re looking for free choice here.  We believe that every person should have the right to vote for the candidate of their choice in every election,” said Campbell.  “Closing the primaries is a move by a hard-line faction within the party to control the candidate selection process at the expense of democracy.”
Jacqueline Salit, president of CUIP which has active networks of independent voters in more than 35 states, stated in her declaration to the court, “Independents have a direct and immediate interest in the outcome of this litigation.  CUIP believes that this litigation is of national significance and if plaintiffs prevail it will encourage partisans in other states with some form of open primary to seek to close them.”
The open primary controversy has split the state’s Republican Party.  While the party launched its legal action in April, delegates to the Republican Party state convention in Sandpoint last month voted by a narrow margin of 199–192 to support retaining the state’s open primary system.  A decision about whether to proceed or withdraw the lawsuit will reportedly be made at the Republican Party’s central committee meeting in October. 
# # #


Republicans represent the Republican Party
and its special interest supporters.
Democrats represent the Democratic Party
and its special interest supporters.

Independents aren't owned by any political party
or special interests. Independents represent the people.

This is one of the signs that hung at Mitch Campbell's booth at the Twin Falls County Fair over Labor Day weekend. This is one of the largest county fairs in Idaho, and Mitch Campbell, founder of the American Independent Movement, his wife Laura and a neighbor recognized that it was the perfect opportunity to meet new independents. Mitch really went all out to make the booth attractive and welcoming. And it worked!
Mitch asked people to sign a petition addressed to the Attorney General to keep Idaho's primaries open. The petition turned out to be a great way of attracting people. Idahoans are fiercely proud of their non-partisan registration and open primary system. 200 independents signed the petition. And 60 people signed up for AIM.
In all, Mitch had a great experience and is urging "every independent group across the country to announce their presence at their county fairs." As Mitch noted, "There were hundreds of people passing our booth and few of them failed to notice the 4 by 8 American Independent Movement sign. And people who didn't attend the fair read about us in the regional newspaper or saw TV coverage. Click to read the article.
Mitch found the experience very energizing: "When I would return to the booth after stepping away I'd find someone signing the petition and membership list. When I'd ask people at the booth how they know about the Independent movement they say a friend or relative told them about us and they want to join. Two Democratic committee chairmen signed our attorney petition AND join the American Independent Movement. A woman said her 85 year old mother could not come to the fair but ask her to bring her more information about us.  A reporter from the Times News (the largest local and regional newspaper) came over for a 30 minute interview, took some pictures, petition AND joined. We met three potential candidates who want to run as independents. I was asked by several school teachers to explain the American Independent Movement to their government and political science classes."
The fair gave Mitch the opportunity to teach his fellow Idahoans the difference between a party and the movement. Mitch said, "A few people expressed skepticism of third party movements because of the sense of disappointment and betrayal after the Ross Perot campaign where the eagerly joined the movement and were abandoned. When people say a third party can't win, I tell them we are not a third political party. Political parties are the problem. America was not created by political parties it was created by a group of Independents whose descendants gave it to political parties who have mismanaged it to the point of destruction and now we, the Independents, can and must take it back the same way our forefathers created it. Our success and America's future depends on you."
"The response I have received has been positive, overwhelming and humbling," Mitch said.
Home     About Us     News     Activist Center     Donate     Magazine     Privacy Statement     Sitemap     Links     Feedback
CUIP 225 Broadway, Ste 2010 | New York, NY 10007 | 212-609-2800