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Disclosures Americans Elect Can Make About its Funders Right Now — Without Retaliation Against Them

Pity the secret funders of Americans Elect.

Americans Elect refuses to tell the public who the millionaires and billionaires are that laid out the seed money for this first ever corporate privatized online presidential nomination. Why? According to Americans Elect Political Director Darry Sragow, if the public knew the funders’ names, then the public might criticize the funders for their actions. No, really: that’s what Americans Elect really says. You and I might call that signs of “democracy.” Darry Sragow calls it a “molotov cocktail.”

But fine, let’s accept for the moment that the prospect of people talking about your political activities is a “molotov cocktail,” that public accountability for campaign activities is a horrorshow that would crumple the fragile personalities of the richest and most powerful people in our society. Even if we accept that, there are still disclosures that Americans Elect can make today.

Without naming names, Americans Elect can disclose today:

1. The number of donations it has received, and the dollar amount of each donation.
2. The state or country of residence of each donor.
3. The principal occupation, if any of each donor.
4. The date of each donation.
5. The type of donation: loan, dollar donation, in-kind donation.
6. The amount of each loan that has been paid back by Americans Elect, as it said it would.

Unless Americans Elect is incompetently run, it already has this information organized on a spreadsheet or other database. Any competent IT professional could redact the names of funders and post the other relevant information in about an hour’s time. For an organization with tens of millions of dollars in its budget, this should pose no problem.

Also without revealing the names of any funders, it should be possible to assess the veracity of Americans Elect executive Kahlil Byrd’s claim that:

“The donors who have given to the project now — whether they give as little as $1 or much more than that — are supporting an organization where they have absolutely no undue influence over the process and rules for selecting the nominee.”

This can be established by providing this last figure, again without naming names:

7. The number of the funders of Americans Elect who are also among the Americans Elect leadership.

If what Kahlil Byrd says is true, this numbers should be the easiest to disclose: it should be a big fat 0.

I’ve asked Americans Elect to disclose these pieces of information today. Do you think Americans Elect will supply this information? Let’s hope the answer is yes. Let’s pay attention to see whether the answer is yes or no.

6 comments to Disclosures Americans Elect Can Make About its Funders Right Now — Without Retaliation Against Them

  • Bill

    Americans Elect has a narrative which it seeks to maintain at any cost: that it is a ‘grassroots’ movement, people-power in action. Because the truth is quite different — it is a well-funded, professionally organized plutocratic effort by a handful of ultra-wealthy individuals seeking to trick voters into derailing democracy — any discussion on its part regarding its funding is deadly to its plans, and will be resisted at all costs. Period.

  • My impression is that Americans Elect undisclosed donors don’t fear that “the public” would criticize them. They fear that very powerful individuals in the executive and legislative branches of government would take some sort of revenge. But, I agree with this post that if the disclosure you suggest were made, that would handle that problem, except I would omit county of residence from the list.

  • Brad M.

    This is a reasonable request of Americans Elect.

  • Rick

    They seem overly defensive when it comes to their funding, and lax in their screening methods.
    They are travelling from state to state hiring the dregs of humanity( in most cases) with the lure of:
    No Background Checks!
    No Drug Testing!
    No ID Required!
    Same Day Cash Pay!
    This doesn’t get their issue truthfully represented.
    However they seem to think they can spend enough to offset the public relations damage done by this hiring critera and by the fact they hired a petion management firm with one of the sleaziest reputations in the industry (if you listen to former clients and contractors).
    No wonder Unity ’08 was such an abject joke.

  • Americans Elect has refused to answer even these restricted questions — even though the form of these questions addresses the supposed worries about “retaliation” that it uses to justify its secrecy.

    Americans Elect, despite the scores of times I have personally reached out to and communicated with it, hasn’t responded with answers or without.

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