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Americans Elect Political Party Fibs Matter: AE Planning to Run Variety of Candidates in 2014

Richard Winger of Ballot Access News shares a quiet admission by Americans Elect Chief Operating Officer Elliott Ackerman: Americans Elect plans to run candidates under its banner for a variety of offices, not just President of the United States, in 2014.

Why does this matter? It matters from a standard of consistency: Americans Elect has been declaring for months on end that “We’re not a political party and don’t have an aspiration to be.” It is indeed registered as a political party in multiple states. So the claim that it’s not a party has been a fib at least.

Until now, Americans Elect could say that while it maybe technically was a political party, it didn’t really mean to be a political party that ran slates of candidates and all — it really meant to be a means to pick a president, that’s all. But Ackerman’s statement lays bare the long-term plan of Americans Elect: to run candidates for office up and down the ticket on the Americans Elect line. That’s what a party does. Americans Elect is not just registered as a political party. It’s planning to act as a political party.

Something that a political party does NOT do, as Democracy21 explains:

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.

Americans Elect registered as a 501c4 corporation so it could hide the identity of its contributors from you and me. 501c4 corporations can legally do that. Political parties can’t. That’s why the IRS says 501c4 corporations cannot engage in the candidate-running activities of a political party:

The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.

Hiding contributors from the public. Registering as a party and planning a big party future while lying to the public about being one. Despite multiple indications to the contrary, Americans Elect says it doesn’t have any special interests on board. According to Americans Elect, it’s doing it all for you.

6 comments to Americans Elect Political Party Fibs Matter: AE Planning to Run Variety of Candidates in 2014

  • Fruktata

    And what is the IRS doing about this? Why aren’t they hauling Americans Elect into court?

    Too many connections-in-high-places corporate executives?

    • Funny you should ask. Today I got a letter from the IRS, saying that they might be investigating Americans Elect, but they might not, and they can’t tell me because all that’s confidential. We’ll all only find out at the end of the process.

  • I think legalistically, the key phrase may be “political campaigns on behalf of” candidates” which implies post-nomination activity. AE will specifically NOT participate in selected nominee’s post-nomination campaign (nor in their efforts to be included in that final six from which a candidate is chosen) but simply to provide an open slot on the ballot in all states.

    The reason I’m willing, for the time being, to go along on a bit of faith and optimism is this. If our 2-party oligarchy were not so corrupt there WOULD HAVE BEEN BY THIS TIME a way for third parties to get on the ballot in all 50 states without the millions of dollars and legal experts that is now required. And it is required BECAUSE of the collusion and skullduggery over decades by that 2-party oligarchy.

    You can’t revolt against an army with a BB gun. This step AE is taking is made necessary BY the actions of the 2-party oligarchy–how else can that dictatorship over the people of this Republic be broken??

    I refuse to judge them at this point–the two candidates that this system ends up with will be proof of whether AE has kept the faith.

    For me, that means NO Mayor Bloomberg or General Petraeus (since they were 2 candidates suggested in early publicity). And I’m almost ready to say NO Jon Huntsman because of Christie Whitman’s expressed support (altho actually I think that is not altogether disqualifying–future AE Board members should NOT ever say who they encourage (or not) to enter the AE lottery.

    We’ll see!!! It is exciting because it is a CHANCE at a great change in a system that has near-wrecked our country. One of the miracles that seems to have save the U.S.A. over its history. If it turns out to be less than that, well, we’re no worse off than before and perhaps will scare the two parties to behave better.

    Meanwhile I appreciate this website for its study and criticism–I’m sure people at AE are reading it and being forewarned. If they aren’t they won'[t survive this first year. Would that there existed a couple websites critiquing the Democrat and Republican Parties as you critique AE.

    Who do I want to see? Buddy Roemer and General Zinni (hopefully he’s a Democrat or Independent). .

    • Juniper

      “You can’t revolt against an army with a BB gun.”

      So, in order to come up with an alternative to the two corrupt political parties, we need a third corrupt political party?

      I don’t think so.

  • Daisy Tom

    I am concerned that they do not have to say where their money is coming from.

  • Bob

    Moments ago outside the Southwest branch of the Durham County Library, a man with a petition referred to Americans Elect as a “third party.” He asked me to sign the petition to help get Americans Elect on the ballot here in North Carolina. I was excited! I was looking forward to a substantive discussion with a real, live Americans Elect adherent! So I explained my concerns about Americans Elect and their lack of openness and their violation of law, etc., etc., and–I’m sure you’re all ahead of me–he didn’t know about any of this. He said he was just trying to earn some extra money for the holidays (so AE is paying him), he liked what he read on the AE site, and the idea of a third party sounded good to him, so here he was.

    I did not sign the petition.

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