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Having Obtained Predictable Result, Americans Elect Erases Most of its Rating System

Down the memory hole!

Americans Elect plans to run the nation’s first-ever corporate privatized online national presidential nomination in just a few months, and it’s got the financial backing of a billionaire needed to make that happen. Along the way, it’s been revising its own history to fit current needs. For one example, let’s compare Americans Elect’s “Candidates” rating page just a few days ago to its “Candidates” page on this morning of December 10, 2011:

Americans Elect Candidates page on December 5 and December 10 2011: having previously promoted certain candidates as "top national matches," it got people to track those candidates.  Now it can promote those candidates as the most tracked without mentioning that the pump had already been primed.

The “Candidates” page at Americans Elect has been up for a month, all the time promoting Ron Paul, Buddy Roemer, Jon Huntsman and Barack Obama as its four “Top National Matches.” It turns out that these were not actually the top four politicians in Americans Elect’s own ratings system — even though the Americans Elect ratings system was riddled with errors, presidential candidate Gary Johnson and national officeholders Allen West, Mike Pompeo, Ann Marie Buerkle, Trey Gowdy and Steve Stivers all ranked above Jon Huntsman as “Top National Matches.” But despite this, Jon Huntsman inexplicably got a “Top National Matches” placement, complete with a high-profile photograph and links to his page with suggestions for visitors to track him.

After a month of promoting these three Republicans and the current Democratic officeholder, Americans Elect has removed references to its ratings system from the “Candidates” page and now purports to list these politicians because they are the “Most Tracked.” A visitor to Americans Elect’s “Candidates” page might understandably assume that these four politicians were among the “Most Tracked” because Americans are more interested in them than other politicians. There’s not even a hint that Americans Elect has just spent a month promoting these four candidates on its website and — predictably — ending up with them as the four most highly-tracked.

A “rig” is a combination of joists, gears, and other mechanisms put together in such a way that they produce an outcome. I can’t tell you what Americans Elect corporate leaders are planning or intending, because they’ve refused to communicate with me. But I can tell you that plans and intentions aside, the Americans Elect “Candidates” page is quite a rig. It’s been put together in such a way that it’s produced the current outcome.

7 comments to Having Obtained Predictable Result, Americans Elect Erases Most of its Rating System

  • Ian

    I’ve been reading some of your articles on AE and I’ve even left a few comments here:
    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2011/07/24/no-special-interest-funding-for-americans-elect-new-york-times-reports-serious-hedge-fund-money/

    It seems to me that you are overly-skeptical of AE’s motives. Is it really a surprise that the candidates already high in the official national polls would be the most followed or promoted on AE? I think it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them for now since they do seem to be rather quit about their process and funding, but as of now it looks like they will make absolutely no impact on the election, especially if the candidate would already be on most ballots (which is a waste of private funding at worse — nothing we don’t see minute to minute anyway).

    • Thanks for your note, Ian.

      I’ve tried to be very careful to distinguish between Americans Elect’s motives, which you and I can’t observe, and Americans Elect’s behavior, some of which is hidden but some of which we can observe. I happen to think that most people in the media are being overly credulous when it comes to the behavior of Americans Elect, and so as long as there’s a space for a skeptic I’ll take it. Besides, adjectives aside, is there anything I’ve said here that isn’t factual? If you have a factual correction, I’m happy to receive it, with sources to back you up.

      You write: “Is it really a surprise that the candidates already high in the official national polls would be the most followed or promoted on AE?”

      But they aren’t, Ian. The Republican candidates highest in the national polls are missing from the Americans Elect results. Huntsman and Roemer are at the bottom of popularity in polls of Republican contenders. Popular Democrats like Feingold and Elizabeth Warren are altogether missing. Green Presidential candidates including the popular Jill Stein aren’t even ranked by Americans Elect. Finally, I think the point is that the Americans Elect candidate won’t be on other parties’ ballots.

      • Ian

        I do appreciate your skepticism and articles on AE, and you have done well to distinguish between their behavior and motives so I apologize if I seemed to be questioning the credibility of your research. I haven’t dug into their credentials or background quite as much as you, but looking a little bit through the candidates’ profiles and their answers based on the “On the Issues” website I think my general feeling was that AE had done nothing to help me find a candidate whose policies land close to my own. I’ve also been critical of their “news” posts, which talk about AE’s potential as a third-party platform even though AE has done next to nothing to influence a remarkable change in the electoral process.

        Perhaps the AE candidate won’t be on other parties’ ballots, but I think if they didn’t have the backing to get on these ballots their influence in the upcoming election will be minimal. I have a feeling that it may be hard for Republicans or other “conservatives” to win an election in the upcoming years, unless votes are diluted on the left. It seems to me that many Republicans favor drastically different candidates right now and are heavily weighing their choice simply on whether or not they have a shot at winning the election. At the moment, AE seems to be influencing or promoting interest in “alternative” Republican candidates, so I don’t see much potential for their ballot to dilute the votes on the left. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how AE could potentially influence the election.

        Thank you for taking the time to reply!

        • Ian,

          I also appreciate your skepticism of my skepticism — I didn’t take offense at your comment. I don’t really know whether Americans Elect will take votes from a Democratic candidate or a Republican candidate — that sort of game-theory of politics is beyond my ken. But I think the section of the new bylaws relating to what happens if the Americans Elect candidate wins just one state is really interesting. In that case, the Americans Elect Electors are supposed to swing their vote to either the R or the D candidate, and must obey (or pay a half-a-million dollar fine). Hello, brokerage and deal-making.

  • I agree completely with JIm. After all the dishonesty we see in politics today, how can we meet any political pronouncements with anything but skepticism. We have to take a “show-me” attitude toward what people say. There’s no such thing as over-skepticism in today’s climate.

  • Tom

    Yeah, well you all better read this before voting for Obama – or any of the other Republicans:

    http://susiemadrak.com/?p=30216
    It was Obama who asked for Citizen Imprisonment Law
    “PETITION: http://wh.gov/D0B We have only a few days to speak up before the President signs NDAA 1031, permitting citizen imprisonment without evidence or trial. The bill passed by Congress absolutely DOES NOT exempt citizens. Section 1031 reads, “A covered person under this section” includes “any person who has committed a belligerent act”.

    – Confusingly, Obama previously threatened a veto for 1032, but NOT 1031. 1032 is UNRELATED to imprisoning citizens without a trial. He has never suggested using a veto to stop Section 1031 citizen imprisonment. In fact, it was requested by the Obama administration. Watch the video for proof.

    – The Feinstein Amendment 1031(e) is dangerously misleading. Don’t be fooled: In the text of 1031(e), “Nothing in this section shall be construed…”, the only word that matters is “construed” because the Supreme Court are the only ones with the power to construe the law. The Feinstein Amendment 1031(e) permits citizens to be imprisoned without evidence or a trial forever, if the Supreme Court does not EXPLICITLY repeal 1031.”

    All the crazy stuff Alex Jones has been screaming about (secret FEMA imprisonment camps, martial law, a global currency) is HAPPENING! Not “might” or “could” happen – it’s HERE NOW. They already have it all set up and in place, ready to go. The military is supplying every police force in the country with MILITARY weaponry FREE (our tax dollars at work – to enslave us) and now all they need is this final legislative step to make it LEGAL and there goes democracy, freedom and the Constitution. This ain’t the America you grew up in.

  • Anonymous

    I do appreciate your skepticism and articles on AE, and you have done well to distinguish between their behavior and motives so I apologize if I seemed to be questioning the credibility of your research. I haven’t dug into their credentials or background quite as much as you, but looking a little bit through the candidates’ profiles and their answers based on the “On the Issues” website I think my general feeling was that AE had done nothing to help me find a candidate whose policies land close to my own. I’ve also been critical of their “news” posts, which talk about AE’s potential as a third-party platform even though AE has done next to nothing to influence a remarkable change in the electoral process.

    Perhaps the AE candidate won’t be on other parties’ ballots, but I think if they didn’t have the backing to get on these ballots their influence in the upcoming election will be minimal. I have a feeling that it may be hard for Republicans or other “conservatives” to win an election in the upcoming years, unless votes are diluted on the left. It seems to me that many Republicans favor drastically different candidates right now and are heavily weighing their choice simply on whether or not they have a shot at winning the election. At the moment, AE seems to be influencing or promoting interest in “alternative” Republican candidates, so I don’t see much potential for their ballot to dilute the votes on the left. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how AE could potentially influence the election.

    Thank you for taking the time to reply!

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