The privatized-presidential-nomination corporation calling itself “Americans Elect” is not supposed to be in the business of communicating or acting in favor of any presidential campaign. Don’t believe me? Ask Americans Elect itself.
Americans Elect news release, December 22 2011:
Americans Elect takes no position on any candidate or issue. We simply provide a process, and candidates, delegate-led draft efforts and voters provide the rest.
Americans Elect bylaws, passed December 19 2011:
Section 4.12. Neutrality of Directors. Board members shall not communicate or act in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for President or Vice President at any time before the adjournment of the online nominating convention of Americans Elect. The Board shall appropriately enforce the provisions of this section as well as Section 6.1 regarding neutrality of officers of Americans Elect.
Section 6.1. Officers and Neutrality. The Board of Directors shall elect or appoint the officers of Americans Elect from persons qualified to be Delegates. The officers shall include a Chairman, who may also be known as President who shall be the person who serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors; a Vice Chairman, who may also be known as Vice President; a Secretary; and a Treasurer; and such other officers, including vice presidents and assistant officers, as may be deemed necessary. The officers of Americans Elect may be designated by such other titles as may be provided in the Articles of Incorporation or these Bylaws to conform to requirements of any state. Any two or more offices may be held by the same person, except the offices of President and Secretary. Officers shall not communicate or act in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for President or Vice President at any time before the adjournment of the online nominating convention of Americans Elect.
That’s Americans Elect’s policy: no stance, no communication on behalf of or against, no action on behalf of or against. But Americans Elect can’t help itself, repeatedly promoting Republican candidates. And oops, it did it again.
Shortly after Buddy Roemer made an appearance at an Americans Elect event in early November, Americans Elect declared Buddy Roemer to be its top “National Match,” the one politician in all of America whose ideas best fit with what the American people want. By the end of November 2011, Buddy Roemer had made an official announcement that he would seek the Americans Elect nomination. You can read that official announcement here on Buddy Roemer’s campaign website: “Today I officially announce that I will seek the Americans Elect nomination as a proud Republican but as an even prouder American…”.
One of the officers of Americans Elect, former Communications Manager and current National Campus Director Nick Troiano, just happened to show up this weekend at a press conference called by Buddy Roemer to announce that he still wants to run for President. Even though that press conference was in New Hampshire. And Nick Troiano lives in the DC Beltway. What a coincidence.
Dave Weigel of Slate calls it as he sees it: “a stunt.” At that press conference, Buddy Roemer just happened to call on Nick Troiano, right off the bat, even though Troiano was still sitting down. Troiano just happened to be trailed by an Americans Elect camera.
Buddy Roemer … so I’ll answer any and all questions. Yes?
Americans Elect National Campus Director Nick Troiano: Governor Roemer, my name is Nick Troiano. I’m from Americans Elect.
Troiano: What do you think of the current process by which we choose our president, and will you seek the Americans Elect nomination for president?
Roemer: It is an option. I like Americans Elect’s approach. A unity ticket. A ticket that puts the country first, not the party. I’m a proud Republican, and I will remain a Republican, and I am in this process as a Republican. But if I continue to get ignored and excluded from the party debates, then I will explore my options. I’m not ready to say yes, but I’m not ready to say no.
And then Nick Troiano just happened to manage to convince Buddy Roemer to speak with him one-on-one after the press conference:
Buddy Roemer: It might be the only way. I really like Americans Elect a lot. You know, I remain a Republican. I struggled to be a Republican twenty years ago, and my party is guilty like the Democrats of getting addicted to the money. And it might be the only way to break it is, stay a Republican but join with a Democrat, an Independent, a woman or a man, and put a unity ticket together and make the first order of business campaign reform and then work on jobs, trade and all the rest.
Americans Elect National Campus Director Nick Troiano: What about the idea of having an online convention where every registered voter gets to have a voice?
Buddy Roemer: You know, two years ago I would have been skeptical. But being in this campaign with limited money and no publicity, we survive on social media. Internet makes this possible! I mean, when you get $10,000 a day at $50 a contribution from 40 states in a single day, wow! We can pull this country together. Not just me, but a unity ticket, either me or somebody better than me. Doing this? I think it would be very powerful.
Troiano: Great. Thank you very much.
Roemer: Thank you.
Americans Elect, promoting Buddy Roemer. Buddy Roemer, promoting Americans Elect. Both pretending to have an initial conversation when Roemer made his first joint appearance with Americans Elect two months ago, and when Roemer formally announced he’d run for nomination with Americans Elect a month and a half ago.
As Dave Weigel noted, that’s a stunt. It’s staged. It’s violating Americans Elect’s own bylaws. It’s indicating favoritism by a corporation that wants to run its own presidential nominating election — and count the votes. Does Americans Elect think Americans won’t notice, or does it just not care?