For a connected chain of private political corporations, arranging presidential elections is a family affair.
In the 2008 election season, when Unity08 organized to run its own ticket for President of the United States, co-founder Hamilton Jordan had his daughter placed in the leadership of its youth effort, UnityPetition. Jordan also placed his daughter’s schoolteacher and his daughter’s camp counselor on the Unity08 Founders’ Council.
Americans Elect is the continuation of Unity08. In the runup to the 2012 election season, the headquarters of Unity08 was moved into the top floor of 1775 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, a space owned by the billionaire leveraged buyout artist Peter Ackerman. There Unity08 shared office space for a brief time with an entity called the Unity12 Task Force before Unity12 was renamed Americans Elect, the entity we see today at the same address of 1775 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The sole disclosed funder of Americans Elect (to the tune of $1.55 million) is Peter Ackerman, who is also placed as Americans Elect President, Chairman and Director. This month brings brings news that 30-year-old Elliot Ackerman has won appointment as Americans Elect’s Policy Director. Elliot Ackerman is Peter Ackerman’s son.
I can see three reasons a child of a powerful leader in an American corporation might be appointed to a position in that organization. The first reason is that, among 300 million other possibilities in the country, the leader’s child is the best qualified to do the job. The second reason is that a plum job that generates useful contacts and a good-looking line on a resume, positioning a child advantageously for a future career. The third reason is that children tend to be loyal to parents; stocking a corporation with one’s children and other relatives prevents challenges to the leader’s authority and dictates. There may be other reasons, but these three are worth thinking about in the context of Americans Elect.