In an official filing with the IRS this Monday afternoon, the Unity12 Task Force officially changed its name to Americans Elect.
That’s not all that changed with the filing of status. The leadership and location of Unity12 as Americans Elect are unchanged, but the former Unity12 team did change the declaration of its organizational goals.
In the original registration of the Unity12 Task Force with the IRS earlier this year, Unity12 declared its goals as follows:
The goal of the Unity12 Task Force is to set the stage for an effort to nominate a Unity Ticket for President and Vice-President of the United States in 2012. This ticket will be headed by a woman and or man from each major party or by an independent who presents a Unity Team from both parties. We also aim to effect major change and reform in the 2012 national elections by influencing the major parties to adopt the core features of our national agenda.
In its filing of material change with the IRS this Monday, the Unity12 Task Force renamed into Americans Elect restated its goals in a different manner:
The goal of Americans Elect is to set the stage for an effort to nominate an Americans Elect ticket for President and Vice-President of the United States in 2012. We also aim to effect major change and reform in the 2012 national elections by influencing American leadership to adopt the core features of our national agenda.
The new statement of goals clearly uses the old statement as a template, but makes a marked diversion: the idea of nominating some kind of bipartisan ticket for the White House has been removed.
The change from a “Unity”-based name is in line with the change in goals, and that change is not trivial. The old idea for Unity08 and Unity12, to nominate a member of one party for President and a member of another party for Vice President, suffered from a fatal flaw: while the President of the United States has considerable power and is arguably the most powerful person on the globe, the only power the Vice President has independent of the President is to cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate. This means that while the party of the Vice President doesn’t matter much (unless the President dies), the party of the President means quite a lot. Unity tickets aren’t really as bipartisan as they look.
Now that Unity12 has become Americans Elect, and now that Unity12 has dropped the notion of a “Unity” cross-party ticket in its goals, what we’re left with is a cipher. What will Americans Elect be? We don’t know. Its impact will depend on the process it devises for its “Americans Elect ticket” in the 2012 presidential elections and the content of its mysterious “national agenda.”