Americans Elect Chief Operating Officer Elliot Ackerman and Americans Elect Board of Advisors member and Michael Bloomberg pollster Douglas Schoen appeared on the PBS NewsHour last night to insist that Americans Elect is not a political party:
JUDY WOODRUFF: Elliot Ackerman, to you first. Our political parties have been around since the birth of the country, practically. We have a stable system of government. Why circumvent them?
ELLIOT ACKERMAN: Well, I think what’s important to realize is, this isn’t another political party. This isn’t a third party. This is a second nominating process.
And the vision here is that, in November of 2012, when American voters go to the poll, there will be a third ticket that they have directly nominated themselves.
So, at Americans Elect, we will be holding the first ever nonpartisan online nominating convention. Any registered voter can be a delegate to that convention. And the ticket that comes out of the convention is going to be on the ballot in all 50 states.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Doug Schoen, it’s not a third party, you’re saying.
DOUGLAS SCHOEN: No.
Americans Elect has insisted that it is not a political party before. Spring 2011: “Here is what Americans Elect is not. We are not a third party. We are not a political party of any sort.” Summer 2011: “The key delineation to make is that we’re not a party.”
But Americans Elect is in a very explicit, not-at-all-arguable sense a political party. Americans Elect has registered or is in the process of registering as a political party in a number of states:
- Alaska, July 2011, registered as a ‘limited political party’
- Arizona, July 2011, the “Americans Elect Party: gains recognized political party status
- California, March 2011: “formal notification from ‘Americans Elect’ of their intent to qualify as a political party.”
- Florida, July 2011: Americans Elect wins status as a “minor political party.”
- Kansas, July 2011: certified by the state as a political party, and included as such on voter registration forms:
- Michigan, December 2010: “Americans Elect Party” submits “new political party” petition form to the state for approval
- Nevada, July 2011: “Americans Elect Party” registered as ballot-access qualified political party.
- National, July 2011: Americans Elect counsel declares in a letter that it is “qualified for ballot access as a ‘national party'”.
You’ll have to ask Americans Elect what its motivations are for repeatedly declaring an untruth, but that is what’s been going on, straight from the spring, through summer, and right up to last night.