Kahlil Byrd Tells NPR Americans Elect is Not a Political Party when it is a Party. Why?
Advertisements appearing at the New York Times website last week, explaining that Americans Elect is “Not a Party”:
On NPR yesterday:
“We’re not a political party and don’t have an aspiration to be,” said Kahlil Byrd, a political consultant and president of Americans Elect.
Consistent with the Federal District Court’s order on October 18, 2011, I am recognizing the Libertarian Party as a minor party, as well as the Americans Elect Party, the Constitution Party, the Green Party and the Socialist Party as minor parties.
Americans Elect is also qualified as a political party in Florida. Read documents filed by Americans Elect with the state of Florida and you will find letters in which Americans Elect’s top lawyer cajoles, pleads and eventually insists that Americans Elect be recognized by the state as a political party. Americans Elect is currently attempting to qualify as a political party in the state of California (and despite hiring signature gatherers it looks as though it’s going to need a recount in order to do so). It is qualified as a political party in Nevada and Arizona and other states as well.
Documents filed by Democracy21, an organization working “to eliminate the undue influence of big money in American politics,” reveal a potentially significant problem for Americans Elect:
Americans Elect is not only devoted to intervening in the 2012 elections, it is actually qualifying itself as a political party for purposes of state ballot access laws. A political party is not eligible to qualify as a section 501(c)(4) tax exempt organization.
In yesterday’s National Public Radio piece, Americans Elect admitted that it has registered as a 501c4 corporation to hide the names of its big money funders from public view. If Democracy21 is correct in its assertion (as an IRS investigation of Americans Elect will show), Americans Elect is in trouble. But all it will have to do to pull itself out of trouble is to withdraw its registration as a 501c4 corporation, file as a Section 527 political organization…
… and disclose the amounts and sources of the financial contributions it has received.