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.