John Opdycke at Open Primaries
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John Opdycke's bio: President, @Openprimaryusa Democracy activist, musical improviser, political independent, Michigan grad, soccer aficionado.
Website: https://twitter.com/jbopdycke

  • updates from the Movement

    john_headshot_newsletter.jpgPeople ask me all the time “what’s the connection between open primaries and the Trump and Sanders surge?

    My answer - “Everything and Nothing” - often times infuriates my questioners. But I stick by my answer. Because the world we live in is not so cut and dry anymore.  

    Everything. The American people are angry. You don’t need a crystal ball to see that. We’ve been lied to repeatedly by leaders from both political parties who excel at "divide and conquer" politics, led into unsupportable wars, seen our tax dollars wasted, problems fester, and our human potential undeveloped.

    Trump and Sanders tap into that anger. Open primaries is not “tapping” - we are “movement building” to enact structural change to the system itself so that voters can express their anger in new and more developmental ways.  

  • Open Primaries in the news

    This Op-Ed was written by Open Primaries President John Opdycke and published in Crain's New York Business.

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    September 13, 2015—California was for years a symbol of legislative paralysis, partisan brinkmanship and Soviet-style elections. Special-interest groups exerted outsize influence. From 2000 to 2009, only two Assembly and congressional incumbents lost; both were under criminal investigation. Sound familiar, New Yorkers?

    But things have changed since 2010, when the state’s voters made primary elections nonpartisan, with the top two vote-getters facing off in the general election.

    The New York political establishment has stymied such a reform here with dire warnings, but now we know the impact in California was swift and positive. Its elections are now the most competitive in the nation, and the legislature tackles difficult issues and passes budgets on time. Nonpartisan coalitions are commonplace.

  • published Bernie Sanders Should Embrace Political Reform in Blog 2015-08-25 10:06:19 -0400
  • The Latest From The Movement

     This article was published by John Opdycke and Jessie Fields for Newsweek.

    bernie.jpgYou have to hand it to Bernie Sanders. He’s defying expectations across the board. He’s giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money that few expected. He’s ahead of her in the polls in New Hampshire and showing no sign of losing momentum.

    Senator Sanders is popular because he is speaking out aggressively about income inequality and a disastrous foreign policy. But his support actually grows out of a deeper discord, one that goes beyond specific issues.

    He has tapped into roiling public anger at a corrupt and insulated political establishment that has acquiesced in war and greed without the consent of the governed. Sanders is popular because he is taking on a corrupt and insulated political establishment, not because he has the “correct” line on this or that issue.

     

  • Open Primaries in the news

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    This article was published by John Opdycke and Jessie Fields for Newsweek.

    You have to hand it to Bernie Sanders. He’s defying expectations across the board. He’s giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money that few expected. He’s ahead of her in the polls in New Hampshire and showing no sign of losing momentum.

    Senator Sanders is popular because he is speaking out aggressively about income inequality and a disastrous foreign policy. But his support actually grows out of a deeper discord, one that goes beyond specific issues.

    He has tapped into roiling public anger at a corrupt and insulated political establishment that has acquiesced in war and greed without the consent of the governed. Sanders is popular because he is taking on a corrupt and insulated political establishment, not because he has the “correct” line on this or that issue.

  • The Latest From The Movement

    NCSL_OP4.jpgLast week, Open Primaries leaders Al Benninghoff, Adriana Espinoza (NY), Patrick McWhortor (AZ) and Jason Olson (CA) spent four days at the National Conference of State Legislators talking with elected officials and their staff about the impact of “Top Two” in California. 

    You might think that the NCSL would be the last place on earth to recruit and educate. After all, primary reform is fundamentally about taking power from the political parties and giving it to the people. Democratic and Republican legislators would be the last people interested in radical structural reform. 

  • The Latest from the Movement

    john_headshot_home.jpgThe phrases “Republican controlled legislature” or “Democratic controlled statehouse” are used by most political pundits not simply as descriptions of what is, but descriptions of the only way things could possibly be. We have two parties. They compete. Whomever gains the most seats has control. Period. Common sense. End of story.

    Not so fast. Take a look at Nebraska, as Associated Press author Anna Gronewold did last week.

    Gronewold paints a fascinating portrait of the Nebraska political scene. There are more Republicans in the Nebraska legislature (35) than Democrats (13) or independents (1).  But that does not mean that the Republican Party “controls” the legislature. Far from it.