I’ve just gotten off the phone with the Elections Division of the office of the Secretary of State of Nevada, which has confirmed that four weeks after it turned in 21,000 signatures, the Americans Elect Party has gained ballot access for the 2012 elections in the state of Nevada. If it can manage to name its own candidates for President and Vice President of the United States (as it plans to do in a process culminating next year), then those candidates will have equal footing in the Nevada vote with members of the Democratic and Republican parties. Americans Elect plans to gain ballot access in all 50 states as it has in Nevada.
In other news for Americans Elect, today marks a transparency milestone for the organization. In its original and official incorporation as a Section 527 political corporation in Spring 2010, Americans Elect was committed to quarterly disclosures of its contributons and expenditures (see its 2nd and 3rd quarter reports). For a political corporation seeking to to elect a President and Vice President of the United States, such transparency to the public has been expected and, indeed, legally required. There’s a reason for this: disclosure reports reveal that for the first six months of its existence, Americans Elect was wholly funded by just one man to the tune of $1.55 million. He is the former right-hand man to junk bond king Michael Miliken, the current head of wealth investment firm Rockport Capital, and the President, Chairman and Director of Americans Elect, Peter Ackerman.
If Americans Elect were still following requirements for a Section 527 organization, today would be its deadline to publicly report its financial activity for the last three months of 2010. But on September 30 2010, the last day of the third quarter, Americans Elect suddenly renounced its Section 527 status and reorganized itself as a Section 501(c)4 corporation. 501(c)4s do not have to publicly disclose contributions or expenditures, although they also cannot have political activity as their primary purpose. Americans Elect is charting a new course, selecting 501(c)4 status to hide the identity of its backer or backers while flouting the restrictions by which 501(c)4 corporations must abide. This is a choice for which Americans Elect has not yet, and may not ever, be held accountable.
In another update, it has now been 1 month and 9 days since Americans Elect headquarters received my certified letter containing a set of questions regarding these matters and an invitation to dialogue. I sent that letter as a follow-up to multiple phone calls and e-mail messages, each seeking an avenue of communication with Americans Elect. Despite these multiple attempts at outreach, Americans Elect has chosen not to respond; I have received not a word in reply. If this changes, I’ll be sure to let you know.