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ProVote America contention regarding Americans Elect: Wealthy Billionaires tied to No Labels. True?

The administrator account in the forums of ProVote America, a company gathering signatures for the Americans Elect party qualification effort in California, has written descriptions of the Americans Elect petition and a pitch for it as the group tries to gain ballot access for its 2012 presidential candidates:

ProVote America links to description of Americans Elect petition and its pitch on the PVA forum

Most likely written by ProVote America chief Michael C. Rhodes, they declare:

Today, I got more signatures per hour than I have in several years for California. After trying a few variations, my pitch came down to “I just need ONE signature to let some independent candidates run for office, rather than just Democrats and Republicans.” Emphasis was on the word “one” because often people are asked to sign several petitions at once which takes time. It was also more effective to say “I need” versus “We need”.

One out of five people signed the petition with that message. A few people asked why there was no text like they see when signing an initiative petition. I took 15 seconds to explain that this petition is not an initiative, it’s just a nomination for a grassroots organization that wants to open the door for non-partisan candidates regardless of their platform.

A growing number of wealthy people are standing up against this self-serving factional warfare, calling themselves Americans Elect. They eschew parties altogether and go by the nickname “No Labels”. After they gain ballot access, they will form a platform and nominate candidates by a popular vote of the people rather than delegates. Instead of parties passing bad laws to save face or repealing good laws to weaken the standing of the opposition, the voters will steer the platform.

No Labels, for those of you who may not know, is a 501c4 organization making many of the same claims about “hyperpartisanship” as Americans Elect and making no disclosures about its contributors just like Americans Elect. Unlike Americans Elect, which aims to arrange the election of its own presidential candidate in 2012, No Labels aims to promote the election of its preferred congressional candidates in 2012.

Pro-Vote America Admin Account declares, anybody with a large corporation is secretly crapping their pants at what our government is doing to the dollar ... there are billionaires and near billionaires backing this effort.  Money is not a problem.
And finally, “admin” declares in the on-site messaging system:

anybody with a large corporation is secretly crapping their pants at what our government is doing to the dollar … there are billionaires and near billionaires backing this effort. money is not a problem.

Simply because ProVote America makes these declarations does not, of course, make them so. But those declarations do pose a quandary for Americans Elect. If these claims are true, then it poses a public relations problem for Americans Elect, since not too many Americans are keen to support the political interference of billionaires in both the presidency and Congress. If these claims are not true, then it poses a reliability problem for Americans Elect: if the group cannot keep its message straight in its operations, how well can we expect it to choreograph the first national online political election in American history in just one year’s time?

In conversation this afternoon with No Labels headquartes, the group declared to me that there was “absolutely not” any “direct or indrect” connection between No Labels or Americans Elect. The information the administration of ProVote America is providing to petition gatherers in California may or may not be accurate, but this is the message being passed on to the people of California through petition gatherers. When Americans Elect refuses to communicate with the public itself and does not disclose its contributors or expenditures, this may be the closest we can get to a reckoning of the corporation and its plan for some time.

I’ve asked for further clarification on this point from No Labels, and will do my best to get clarification from Americans Elect (although the second group has been remarkably uncommunicative). I’ll share with you what I find out.

Update, 8:19 PM: When I called No Labels I adopted a voice of authority and was put through to Kevin Walling without deception but also without identifying myself (I wasn’t asked); Walling gave me the No Labels reaction I quote above. At the end of our conversation, Walling halted and asked me who I was, at which point I truthfully told him. Walling put me on hold, and after about two minutes came back on the line to tell me tersely that all “press inquiries” shoud be directed to erin@nolabels.com, who I promptly wrote and who extendedly has not gotten back to me.

I also have written the general email address of Americans Elect as well as Communications Manager Nick Troiano and President/Chairman/Director Peter Ackerman, and they have as usual not responded at all.

16 comments to ProVote America contention regarding Americans Elect: Wealthy Billionaires tied to No Labels. True?

  • So, Americans Elect is representing “anybody with a large corporation” and “billionaires and near billionaires”.

    Gosh, I don’t know ANYONE with a large corporation or anywhere near a billion dollars.

    It looks to me like Americans Elect is a pure money game, a corrupt organization determined to buy the political process so that the government will serve the profit interests of the financial elites – the top 200 hundred most wealthy people in the USA, maybe.

    No WONDER the Americans Elect signature mercenaries aren’t carrying any written information about the organization. What kind of idiot would sign their names onto something like this?

    • To clarify, J. Clifford, we don’t know if what ProVote America writes to its signature gatherers is accurate. I’ve asked both No Labels and Americans Elect to clarify this with me. But we do know that this is the message being sent on to California voters.

      This is what happens when well-funded organizations get tight-lipped: information seeps out around the edges, and the American public is left to get what detail they can from the little tiny drips. It’s not an ideal situation.

    • A signature collector for americans elect

      this message is to all you that have been trying to find out iformation about this issue which is Americans elect
      first off you might want to be less aggressive and show respect to a group who you know nothing about as you guys are sound more like a bunch of kids worried that some school yard bully is going to beat you up rather than a group of individuals who are wanting to know the nature of what Americans elect is trying to accomplish secondly from the ways you all sound on this site you might want open your eyes the real people you need to be concerned with is your two main party’s as they have totally lost their true original party values and would rather split hairs over little minor differences on important issues rather than work for the people of this country who have elected them as they are so full of hate towards the other party that they cant see that the other side of the isle might have just as good if not a better agenda and plan to get the united states back on track
      sincerely
      a person who wishes you guys would cover the facts not try to create more fear in this beautiful yet broken country of ours

  • Ore

    Are they paying for signatures?

    I have heard nothing about them and don’t know anyone circulating their petition.

    If they are well funded they shouldn’t have any trouble collecting 1000 signatures in each congressional district. That’s nothing.

    • By “they” you mean No Labels? Review what they’re doing at nolabels.org. The signatures they are trying to collect are not to appear on the ballot, but to demonstrate support for their agenda, which is why you might not have heard of them in ballot-access or initiative-signature circles.

      • marylou

        They are paying for signatures. In initiative circles we know that Mike Arno’s son of APC is the treasurer of americans elect. Not much else is known. I personally think it is a plan to split the election for one party or the other. Petitioners don’t even understand what they are getting signatures for. Arno is usually a republican and his crews are doing it in every state.

  • TOOL

    1984 all over again. Transparency when there is none. Accountability when there is none. This is a blatant exercise of POWER and ABUSE. YOUTUBE these GOONS. They must be all over California since they need over one million signatures. I haven’t seen anybody doing a petition in Florida.

  • This article is a circular reference. The information from our website came from this website suggesting ties to Bloomberg and the Rothschilds. Now you are quoting our website quoting your website. What’s the truth, Jim? Are you secretly working for Americans Elect like you said this morning?

    • Um. I’m flattered that you read Irregular Times. But read it more closely. A quick read of the Americans Elect articles makes it pretty clear, pretty quickly, that I’m writing from outside the Americans Elect corporation, not inside it. That’s a misunderstanding on your part. I left a message on your voice mail this morning indicating that I had an interest in learning more about Americans Elect, Mr. Rhodes, not that I was a part of it. I’ve never said I work for Americans Elect, and we’ve never written anything here at Irregular Times about the Rothschild family relating even remotely to Americans Elect that I can imagine. The closest that you’ll be able to find is a reference to a member of the Rothschild family who decided to build a yacht out of recycled plastic a few years ago.

      Likewise, if Irregular Times is the source for your claim that “billionaires and near-billionaires” are financially supporting Americans Elect, then you haven’t read it carefully. As our series of articles makes clear, there is one known donor to Americans Elect: the billionaire financier Peter Ackerman. No other donation information has been disclosed since Americans Elect converted to a 501c4-status corporation in order to be able to stop making financial disclosures, on September 30 2010, the last day of the 3rd Quarter of 2010.

      This message teaches me something: that the people who are collecting signatures for the Americans Elect petition really don’t know what’s going on with Americans Elect. How can people in California sign the petitions to put Americans Elect on the ballot in an informed manner when the people of California can’t get information about Americans Elect even from the people who are asking for their signature?

  • ProVote

    This article is a circular reference. The information from our website came from this website suggesting ties to Bloomberg and the Rothschilds. Now you are quoting our website quoting your website. What’s the truth, Jim? Are you secretly working for Americans Elect like you said this morning?

  • TOOL

    I presume Americans Elect is some type of scheme to avert regular political party transparency like other parties have to be accountable. So Americans Elect can criticize the regular parties as being partisan because they must be held to account to financial disclosure and regular campaign laws. But Americans Elect doesn’t want to be considered a party so they can work in some type of covert fashion. Kind of hypocritical, don’t you think? Practice what you preach, Americans Elect.

    I do understand their concept of having a party with no platform and letting people decide what is best for the platform in online voting. More Direct Democracy. That is very appealing. It would pretty much force the two parties inward as the middle would be more empowered. However everything they try to accomplish by cloaking their funding and ultimate intentions bring everything into questions.

    I think this campaign will help President Obama, otherwise the OBAMA Machine would have already chewed them up and spit them out. The liberal media will tear up any challenge to Obama. This would give potential candidates like Jesse Ventura, Bloomberg, Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, Donald Trump or others the chance to split the challengers vote. Perot split the disaffected voters from Bob Dole.

  • Tom

    i notice Mr. Rhodes failed to respond to Jim’s rebuttal of Michael’s bogus taunt. Typical Rethuglican tactic – ad hominem attack your opponent to distract the focus of inquiry.

    Let’s ask him like we would here in Philly:

    Hey Mike, you fuckin’ assclown, piece of shit corporate suck-up, industrial toady jerk-off, why don’t you answer the fuckin’ question?

    BECAUSE YOU’RE A FRAUD?

  • Charity Ussery

    Really enjoyed this blog post. Keep writing.

  • Leigh Sutcliffe

    Having worked, thankfully briefly, with Mr. Rhodes, I have rarely met anyone as incompetent or arrogant.

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