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Americans Elect Officer Stages Promotional Videos with Buddy Roemer

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.

Roemer: Yes.

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?

5 thoughts on “Americans Elect Officer Stages Promotional Videos with Buddy Roemer”

  1. aurora1920 says:

    I appreciate your critical coverage of AE, but I think you’re off-base to single out on supposed favoritism toward Buddy Roemer. The collection of citations I got today re AE indicates they’re on a Crash the Party Tour of all early primary states and will be doing this kind of thing with candidates all along eastern seaboard to get publicity for AE. They’re in NH thru tonight and will actually be having a Primary watching party at some bar in Manchester form 7-10 PM tonight. If I still lived there I’d go myself and if I were Buddy Roemer, I’d make a stop there just to see what’s going on and wht kind of people are handling this publicity tour.

    They’ll also be in S.C. and here in Florida where I live. I’ve written to that Ileana person to see if I can get the itinerary and if they’ll be anywhere near where I live. Logically, IF there were already a support group here for Buddy IT would try to horn in on publicity AE could provide. That doens’t mean AE is favoring Roemer.

    Now here’s a quote in another citation about aE’s Santa Monica connections:

    “So far, the only well-known figure to express interest in the Americans Elect ballot line is former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, whose run for the Republican presidential nomination has sputtered. Party organizers are hoping a more viable — and preferably wealthy — candidate will emerge, such as New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

    Looks like the website is quoting the Los Angles Times, not clear if AE said they prefer a wealthier candidate or just what that quotation mark refers to. Paragraph is one of a series with a quote so I think it’s all from LA Times.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      That’s a reasonable theory, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness in that regard, but these videos aren’t being produced by Buddy Roemer’s campaign as “IT tries to horn in on publicity AE could provide.” These are videos being produced by Americans Elect, with Americans Elect showing up to a Buddy Roemer event, in collaboration with Buddy Roemer, promoting Buddy Roemer’s candidacy.

      Meanwhile, Americans Elect has produced a gotcha video regarding Ron Paul in a negative light, also a violation of Americans Elect’s bylaws:

    2. elmo says:

      Irregular Times isn’t singling out Buddy Roemer. They’ve also critically covered AE leaders’ public favoritism towards Jon Huntsman. The point is that AE is deceptively advertising itself as a fair, neutral and transparent mechanism for Americans to select a candidate, whereas in actuality they are pushing their own political agenda.

  2. Lee Mortimer says:

    I’m encouraged to hear Buddy Roemer is still interested in seeking Americans Elect’s nomination. I’d been hearing that his interest in AE might be waning. Roemer would be a great candidate with his message of getting big money out of politics.

  3. Nobody Asked Me...But, says:

    I have been watching the Roemer campaign and was thoroughly impressed at the beginning. I eagerly gave my hundred buck donation. I guess I have been a political sucker, because I also was a believer in Obama in 2008 and avidly supported him. Now I see that Roemer is trying to pull off the same kind of phony game.
    He says that he will take no PAC money and no donation over $100. He says that all the other candidates are not free to lead because they accept the big checks and therefore cannot truly be free of that special interest influence. His issues and promises, however, do not seem to be different from the other candidates in any significant way. How is he any better than they are?
    Now we find he will eagerly accept the big checks and the secret special interest money. That is precisely what AE is all about. It is simply BIG MONEY INFLUENCE PEDLARS WHO NOT ONLY WANT TO INFLUENCE THE CANDIDATE, THEY WANT TO PICK THE CANDIDATE! The so-called internet vote is just a method to poll the public to find out which potential candidates have a reasonable chance to win. It also gives some false cover to make their process look like democracy. It is false, because in the end, the vote is only advisory–the decision is made by the few who are actually controlling AE.
    Roemer turns out to be nothing more than a super-hypocrite. He does not believe in his own message for better government. He is only for himself. All of this holy morality about not accepting any money except from the little guys like me is just a bunch of deceptive crap. He is already having private “secret” meetings with AE donors and is trying to have them anoint him as their personally owned Chosen One.
    Of course they will not back Roemer. He spent months in New Hampshire, one-on-one with the voters there. It was a stupid political strategy because he sacrificed all potential votes in Iowa, SC, and FL and put all of his eggs in one basket. Both politicians and bankers (which he is supposed to be) know that kind of investing is reckless gambling. So what did those New Hampshire voters who met Roemer personally think about him? He could not even get 1/2 of 1%. The AE money oligarchs do not want to buy a lame horse. They will put their money on a candidate who has a chance to win. Not Roemer.

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