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Americans Elect keeps saying it’s Not a Party in public, keeps arguing it Is a Party in private

We’ve seen it before from the 501c4 corporation seeking to run its own candidates for President. We’re seeing it again.

Kellen Arno being interviewed on WILS radio in Lansing, Michigan on September 16 2011:

Interviewer Michael Cohen: Now, I was told that you’re not really a party but a third ticket. Uh, is there no defined political position for your group at this point?

Americans Elect National Field Director Kellen Arno: Correct. So Americans Elect really isn’t a party so much as it is a second way of nominating a presidential ticket.

August 26 2011 letter from Americans Elect senior counsel Daniel Winslow to the Florida Department of State:

AE asserted based on Florida law that its qualification for ballot access as a “national party” under section 103.021(4)(a), Florida Statutes (2006)(the “old law”), gave it a “vested right” to ballot access in 2012…

Said differently, AE’s right to nominate candidates as a “national party” under the old law “accrued” before the new law was enacted. That AE did not actually nominate its candidates before the law changed is irrelevant. Because AE fully qualified under the old law before it was changed, the new law cannot curtail AE’s right to nominate candidates as a “national party” for the 2012 election…

AE’s vested right to ballot access as a “national party” under the old law expires after the 2012 election cycle. Although AE has a “vested right” to nominate its candidates as a “national party” under the old law for the 2012 Presidential election, that right does not extend to subsequent elections. As a matter of statutory construction, it is clear that a party’s qualification under S.103.021(4)(a) lasts for only one election cycle. Notably, this section provides that “[a] minor political party that is affiliated with a national party … may have the names of its candidates for President and Vice President of the United States printed on the general election ballot by filing with the Department of State a certificate naming the candidates … by September 1 of the year in which the election is held. (emphasis added). Thus, under the plain language of the statute, a party is only qualified to nominate candidates as a “national party” until September 1 of a particular election year. After the election is over, all minor parties must re-qualify as a “national party” to be entitled to nominate candidates in a subsequent Presidential election… the purpose of this section is to grant ballot access to parties that have shown sufficient national support…

Application of the new law to other political parties…

Michigan Board of State Canvassers, September 15 2011:


Included on the Agenda will be:

…Consideration of new political party petition submitted by Americans Elect, 1775 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1212, Washington, D.C. 20006; establish deadline for submitting challenges to signatures selected in the random sample.

Party, party, party. It’s a party over here. It’s a party over there. But Americans Elect is not called a party in public.

11 thoughts on “Americans Elect keeps saying it’s Not a Party in public, keeps arguing it Is a Party in private”

  1. Richard Winger says:

    We all know vocabulary for election law, like so many other things, is ambiguous. Americans Elect is a party in the legal sense. But it is not a traditional political party in the political science sense, because it doesn’t have any ideology, nor is it unambiguously representing any particular interest group, or religion, or ethic group, or region.

    If the United States had fair ballot access laws, Americans Elect wouldn’t need to do what it is doing.

    1. Rowan says:

      Richard, how do you know who Americans Elect is representing? Has Americans Elect shared with you the information about where it gets its funding?

      If Americans Elect has no ideology, then why is it so consistently avoiding the use of the term “political party” in its public statements? What is the ideology of a “political party” structure that is contrary to what Americans Elect is trying to do? The very claims that Americans Elect makes to justify its own existence are ideological.

      Americans Elect is a political party, legally, philosophically, and functionally.

    2. Jim Cook says:

      I am a male in the literal sense. But I am not a male in the traditional drinking too much beer sense. So maybe I should start saying that I’m not a male in public…

      … and then congratulate myself for doing what I need to do to get done what I want to get done.

      1. Lee Mortimer says:

        Huh ?

  2. Hendrix says:

    Hint to AE: The problem with the 2 parties is not that they are Too principled, so the solution is not a [non]party that claims to represent no one with no ideology.

    1. Hendrix says:

      Wait, isn’t “People can work out reasonable compromises through managed interaction online” an ideology? It certainly sounds idealistic.

      1. Jim Cook says:

        No, no, Hendrix. You’re wrong.

        Ideological is ideas you disagree with.

        Not ideological is ideas you agree with.

        Get it straight, man!! 😉

        1. Lee Mortimer says:

          Jim, you’re doing yeoman’s work covering the Occupy Wall Street protests. But . . . are you getting enough sleep?

    2. Rowan says:

      Right, Hendrix. What Americans Elect really seems to want is market share.

  3. Lee Mortimer says:

    As usual, Richard Winger gets to the heart of the matter: “If the United States had fair ballot access laws, Americans Elect wouldn’t need to do what it is doing.” AE has found a way to have the advantages of a 501c organization while meeting the Byzantine ballot access obstacles thrown up by the Democrat-Republican duopoly. We should be commending their creativity and resourcefulness.

    I would like to see Irregular Times stay focused on the excellent work you’re doing in things like the Occupy Wall Street protest–and move away from a fixation on Americans Elect. Financial machinations on Wall Street are doing grave harm to America’s economy and prosperity. Americans Elect is not doing harm to anyone–and may end up doing considerable good.

  4. Jim Cook says:

    They’re at it again with more of their doublespeak:

    “We’re not really a third party.” — Americans Elect COO Elliot Ackerman on C-Span.

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