Americans Elect is a 501c4 corporation founded last year and headquartered inside the Washington DC beltway that does not disclose the identity of the people who are funding it.
No Labels is also a 501c4 corporation founded last year and headquartered inside the Washington DC beltway that does not disclose the identity of the people who are funding it.
A major goal of Americans Elect is to run its own candidate for President of the United States in 2012. A major goal announced by No Labels at its launch is to organize in all 435 congressional districts and spend money to influence campaigns for Congress in 2012.
When No Labels made its public launch in December 2010, the Americans Elect Communications Manager staffed the No Labels social media desk. In April 2011, Americans Elect promoted No Labels on the front page of its website. When Americans Elect made its public launch in July 2011, No Labels Co-Founder John Avlon published the first mainstream media piece about it, a column praising Americans Elect in glowing terms featuring quotes obtained by special access to the group.
In the fall of 2010, when hardly anyone know about either No Labels or Americans Elect and Americans Elect had only a handful of Facebook fans, four employees or contractors of Americans Elect were Facebook fans of both Americans Elect and No Labels: Zack Hubbard, Daren Bascome, Jim Jonas and Kellen Arno.
Under its old name of Unity08, Americans Elect held secret meetings with staffers of Michael Bloomberg, registered the web domain draftmichaelbloomberg.com, shared office space with the Draft Bloomberg Committee and made a financial contribution to the Draft Bloomberg Committee. In November of 2010, Bloomberg senior aide Kevin Sheekey reported interest in using Americans Elect to put Michael Bloomberg on the presidential ballot in 2012. According to Monica Langley, No Labels was formed following a meeting arranged by Bloomberg aide Kevin Sheekey.
Against this backdrop, I read with interest this morning’s revelation that No Labels co-founder Mark McKinnon is on Americans Elect’s Board of Advisers.
If No Labels and Americans Elect revealed the names of the people funding their operations, what would we find?
Update, July 29 2011: Another connection emerges. Douglas Schoen, who is on the Americans Elect Board of Advisors, is a pollster for No Labels and a promoter of a Michael Bloomberg candidacy for President.
Update, July 30 2011: Another connection emerges, although No Labels is shoving it down the memory hole. Conservative Democrat Will Marshall has been a Citizen Leader and active blogger for No Labels, and is now a member of the Americans Elect Board of Advisors.
Update, August 1 2011: Yet another connection emerges, although No Labels has also shoved it down the memory hole. Philip K. Howard, a prominent corporate lawyer and proponent of deregulation and cutting social programs, is on the Americans Elect Board of Advisors and has been a No Labels Citizen Leader.
Update, September 4 2011: On August 10 2011, No Labels Omaha posted a gushing endorsement of Americans Elect:
Sick of the two party system? These folks are THE place to go for you right now.
They’re getting a bipartisan ticket on the ballot in all 50 states, and while I wouldn’t expect that ticket to win in 2012, it could well help form a loose network of centrist to moderate state and local groups that evolves into a real opposition in time.
Put your money where your mouth is and check these folks out.
We’ve been hearing from people across the country interested in helping out. If you’d like more information on volunteering, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And thanks for the support!
According to its website, No Labels Omaha is led by Solomon Kleinsmith, who in early August declared he has been invited to interview Americans Elect:
I was able to get through to Americans Elect, thanks to the help of the ever awesome John Avlon, and will be able to talk to someone soon, probably their Press Secretary.
John Avlon, as noted above, is a founder of No Labels.
Update, November 5 2011:
Eliot Cutler is referred to as a “National Political Thought Leader” and “Citizen Leader” of No Labels and has been featured on a No Labels conference call. Eliot Cutler has been added to the roster of Americans Elect Leadership during the month of October 2011.
Update, December 5 2011:
Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild reveals in a Huffington Post piece that “I sit on the Leadership Board for Americans Elect.” In the same piece, she heavily promotes No Labels, revealing another connection between No Labels and Americans Elect:
No Labels is a political organization of Republicans, Democrats and Independents working on the grassroots level to support bipartisan and pragmatic politicians and polices. The group has 180,000 members and on December 13th is holding an open meeting at the Capital to unveil a comprehensive congressional action plan. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is leading a movement of business leaders and political donors to end the hyper-partisanship in Washington that could be the bedrock of financing for a viable independent, bipartisan, ticket for 2012.
Will Howard Schultz be leading a movement of business leaders and political donors to finance an Americans Elect nominee? Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild seems to think so, and she’s a member of the Americans Elect Leadership Board.