The thread I bumped posted by one of our members to show independents didnt like Palins speech here is the truth about those "independents" Turns out the werent independant at all shocker I know, Two are members of Code Pink 2 more are independent because3 the democrats arent liberal enough for them Editor Defends Use of CodePink Members in ‘Independent’ Focus Group http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/0...-codepink-members-in-independent-focus-group/ A Detroit Free Press editor expressed regret Monday that left-wing and anti-war activists were included in a focus group of so-called independent voters the newspaper interviewed during the political conventions, but said he didn’t see the harm in having a “radical leftist or two” in the group. In response to questions posed to the would-be independent panel, two members of the anti-war group CodePink — as well as two other liberal activists — offered praise of Barack Obama after his Democratic presidential nomination acceptance speech. A week later they turned the tables and ripped into Republican Sarah Palin’s vice presidential nomination acceptance speech. Their comments appeared online and were excerpted in the Free Press’ print edition. “I wish that it weren’t the case that there were two people from an activist group and we didn’t know about it,” assistant managing editor Randy Essex said of the CodePink members. Nonetheless, Essex defended the panel’s results. “If there is a radical leftist or two in the group, I don’t care,” Essex told FOXNews.com. “I want a robust conversation, a complete range of political viewpoints.” The four activists were part of a group of seven self-described “independents.” Nine Republicans and 11 Democrats were also on the panel. Ilene Beninson, who once joined anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan in a hunger strike, told the focus group that was sponsored by the Free Press and run by ABC News, that Palin wasn’t ready to be vice president. “[Palin's] speech contained few statements about policy or the party platform,” Beninson said. “I am not convinced that Palin’s experience as a mayor or governor in Alaska meet the qualifications to be vice president, much less one stroke or heart attack away from being commander in chief.” In a previous focus group, Beninson said Obama has the character, temperament and judgment to serve as commander in chief. “His acceptance speech met my expectations and further convinced me that he is the person I trust most to take the United States of America into the future with a responsible approach, finding common ground and representing the diverse population of this country,” Beninson said. Joellen Gilchrist, who runs a chapter of CodePink, said Palin’s delivery style reminded her of “a high school valedictorian who also might have been a cheerleader. I thought she would appear more professional, more stateswomanly. She’s no match for Joe Biden.” In the previous focus group, Gilchrist said she found Obama as positive and striking. “There was confidence, joined with modesty,” she said. “But can’t we have two presidents by letting Al Gore serve with him to make up for 2000?” The other independents included George Lentz and Jan Wheelock. Lentz has publicly opposed the war in Iraq and run a petition drive to help defeat Michigan anti-gay marriage legislation. Wheelock is a member and donor to the East Michigan Environmental Action Council, along with Gilchrist. A newsroom administrator at the Free Press formed the focus group by using a list of people who were willing to be contacted by a reporter after a poll is conducted, Essex explained. He said he’s pretty sure a newsroom employee suggested the CodePink members. “The voter panel is still a work in progress,” he said, adding that it was not portrayed as a focus group or a scientific poll. “It’s just an effort to let a range of people talk about key events.” Essex said the panel won’t be used again until the first presidential debate at the end of the month, giving the newspaper time to work out the kinks and possibly start verifying the political affiliations of panel members. Essex said the Free Press will continue to refine the voter panel, but he added, “I don’t think it’s wildly out of balance now.” Asked if a correction would be published, Essex said not until he found evidence that the CodePink members were not political independents. He noted that political independents can have agendas just like members of either political party.