According to the Americans Elect Draft Rules by which it proposes to run the nation’s first privatized online presidential nomination in 2012, anybody who’s constitutionally qualified to be President can ask Americans Elect for permission to run. Anybody can ask, but only some contenders will be allowed to run. The Candidate Certification Committee will get to decide whether the rest of us will get to vote for some contenders. Other contenders will get automatically certified.
Who gets automatically certified as a presidential candidate? Consult Rule 126.96.36.199 for the answer:
188.8.131.52 Automatic Qualification. The Candidate Certification Committee shall automatically certify as qualified any natural person who is eligible to serve as President and who has served in any of the following positions without removal from office or current criminal indictment or conviction: Vice President, United States Senator, Member of Congress, Presidential Cabinet Member, Head of a federal agency, Governor, Mayor of any of the largest 100 cities in the United States, Chairman or Chief Executive Officer or President of any corporation or non-profit corporation or philanthropic organization with 1,000 or more employees, President of a national labor union with 100,000 or more members, military officer who has attained flag rank, Ambassador, and President of an American-based university with more than 4,000 students.
Let’s look at the numbers. Any old bean who bundles enough money together for a presidential campaign can be appointed as Ambassador to some place or another. In that case, the quantity of money talks.
And then there is the question of leadership. If you are a corporate executive leading 1,000 employees, you’re automatically in. If you’re a university president, you have to lead 4,000 students. And if you head up a labor union, you have to lead 100,000 union members. In the universe of political privilege that Americans Elect has constructed, a single employee is literally worth four students, and one employee is worth a hundred union members.
Ask Americans Elect why. I’ve asked them this morning. I’m not holding my breath waiting for an answer.