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[Updated with CORRECTION] Kahlil Byrd Announces Mass Wave of Resignations from Americans Elect Leadership

A tip of the pen to Ralph on this.

Kahlil Byrd is the Americans Elect executive who has variously referred to himself the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Secretary, Treasurer, Custodian of Records, Party Coordinator, Director and Paid Consultant of the 501c4 corporation that plans to run its own corporate presidential nomination in 2012. Whichever among these many titles is his actual one, the Americans Elect bigwig has big news: a mass wave of resignations from the Americans Elect leadership is coming.

At this point I can see no other reasonable conclusion to draw from his recently published open letter to “Wayne A. of Illinois”, in which he declares of Americans Elect:

The donors who have given to the project now — whether they give as little as $1 or much more than that — are supporting an organization where they have absolutely no undue influence over the process and rules for selecting the nominee, issues that American people want candidates to address, or the outcome of the vote in June.

The actual fact is (go look at the bylaws) that through the Board of Directors, the Rules Committee and the Candidate Certification Committee, the leadership of Americans Elect has nearly complete control over the process and rules for selecting the nominee — not the nominee for School Board or Sewage Warden, mind you, but the nominee for the office of the President of the United States, the most powerful position on the entire planet. They set the rules, not you. They set the process, not you. They have complete and total influence.

The only way that the Rules Committee and Candidate Certification Committee (both appointed solely by the Americans Elect Corporate Board of Directors) can be overruled by the rank-and-file non-leaders of Americans Elect is if 2/3 of all people who have ever successfully registered as Americans Elect delegates are gathered together and then decide to overturn the corporate board’s ruling. It’s in the bylaws. That threshold has never been met in any American national election. See this graph of turnout in U.S. presidential elections, which get the highest turnout of registered voters in any national election (nabbed shamelessly from Prof. Michael McDonald of George Mason University):

From 1948 to 2008, voter turnout never goes above two thirds

The Americans Elect people are Poli Sci majors. They know this. There is no way, unless Americans Elect changes its rules, that the rank-and-file delegates are going to overturn any of the decisions of the Americans Elect Leadership.

Back to the Donors
But what does this Leadership business have to do with the donors, you might be asking…? After all, Kahlil Byrd said the donors would have absolutely no undue influence. The donors, the donors, the donors:

The donors who have given to the project now — whether they give as little as $1 or much more than that — are supporting an organization where they have absolutely no undue influence over the process and rules for selecting the nominee

Well, here are the people listed among the Americans Elect Leadership who have been found to be donors to Americans Elect:

Peter Ackerman, Chief of Rockport Capital private wealth investment firm, Corporate Takeover Specialist, Chairman of Americans Elect and member of the Board of Directors: donor of at least $1.55 million.

Kirk Rostron, Managing Partner of The Mount Vernon Group private wealth investment firm and named Leader of Americans Elect: donor of an undisclosed amount.

Melvin Andrews, Founder and President of Lakeside Capital Partners private wealth investment firm and named Leader of Americans Elect: donor of an undisclosed amount.

We don’t know if any of the other named Leaders of Americans Elect have donated any money to it, because Americans Elect refuses to disclose that information. But we know of at least three examples of donors who are named Leaders of Americans Elect and thereby do have influence over the rules and process of selecting the Americans Elect corporate presidential nominee.

That’s why it’s relevant.

And that’s why I see no other conclusion to reach but that:

Peter Ackerman will shortly be resigning from his Leadership position at Americans Elect.

Kirk Rostron will shortly be resigning from his Leadership position at Americans Elect.

Melvin Andrews will shortly be resigning from his Leadership position at Americans Elect.

The surely dozens of donors to Americans Elect who currently are named as Americans Elect Leaders will shortly be resigning from their Leadership positions.

I mean, the only other possibility I can think of is that Kahlil Byrd is speaking a bald-faced lie in public. And I’m sure he wouldn’t do that, being the leader of the grassroots 501c4 corporation that is going to save us all and all. He’s on the side of the forces of good. Grassroots corporate patriotic no-disclosure democratic secretive top-down 501c4 good.

So watch for the mass resignations from Americans Elect in the days to come. What a stunning development!



Update: Hey, I just thought of something and it seems I owe an apology to Kahlil Byrd. Clearly I misunderstood his letter, because if we read it carefully there’s an important word in there:

The donors who have given to the project now — whether they give as little as $1 or much more than that — are supporting an organization where they have absolutely no undue influence over the process and rules for selecting the nominee

The word I missed is UNDUE. What this means is that, considering the almost total influence of Americans Elect corporate leaders over the rules and process of the nomination, they completely deserve to be the ones to control the process while the rest of America stands and claps. They’re just that special.

Sorry I missed that, Mr. Byrd. Words are important, and you were accurate! Good wordsmithing there.

2 comments to [Updated with CORRECTION] Kahlil Byrd Announces Mass Wave of Resignations from Americans Elect Leadership

  • Ralph

    I’m still interested in finding out what “independent structures” Byrd is talking about. He can’t possibly mean committees like the Candidate Certification Committee, which are appointed by the Board of Directors and can be fired by the Board of Directors at any time for any reason. Or can he? If he is, he’s not being honest about how independent they are under the latest bylaws. If he’s talking about something else, what is it? It’s possible that the Americans Elect leadership is once again pulling ideas out of their asses in informal meetings they don’t bother telling the delegates about, then just kind of blurting them out to the public. It wouldn’t be the first time they have done that. That’s one of the frustrating things about Americans Elect–someone like Byrd makes a vague reference to some rule or structure nobody’s ever heard of. It gives me the sense that there are some elites in the organization that see nothing wrong with arbitrarily making the rules up as they go along–without any sense of responsibility to even keep the delegates informed in a timely and systematic way, let alone include the delegates in the decision making process.

  • Bill

    Dear Mr. Byrd:

    “Undue” is in the eye of the beholder.

    Or, in AE’s case, in the pocket of the donor.

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