Fact Check: Is Americans Elect “Not a Political Party of Any Sort?”
After half a year of inactivity, Americans Elect has updated its Facebook page. The 501c4 corporation, which has kept its funding sources secret since last October, plans to run its own candidates for President and Vice President in 2012, but is claiming that it is “not a political party of any sort:”
Is this true? Let’s do a little fact check.
After paying for the signature-gathering service of Arno Political Consultants, Americans Elect has qualified pursuant to NRS 293.171 as a Minor Political Party in the state of Nevada. Its name in the state: the “Americans Elect Party”; Arno corporate executive Kellen Arno is listed as Party Secretary.
In December 2010, Americans Elect sought approval for its “Petition to Form New Political Party” from the Michigan Board of State Canvassers. Its petition, which was approved by the board, specifically seeks to “place the names of the candidates of the Americans Elect party on the ballot at the November 6, 2012 election.” Kahlil Byrd, who has been variously listed as Director, Treasurer, Secretary, Chief Operating Officer, Custodian of Records, and Consultant for Americans Elect, is now also listed by the Michigan Secretary of State as Party Coordinator of the Americans Elect party.
Despite Americans Elect’s unqualified assertion that “we are not a political party of any sort,” Americans Elect is on the record as a political party of two sorts. There is a disconnect between what Americans Elect says about itself and what Americans Elect actually does, which means that as a practical matter Americans Elect will not be a trustworthy source of information about itself during the 2012 presidential election season. Rather than accepting Americans Elect’s account of itself at face value, we would be well-advised to look for — and ask for — independent corroboration.