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Rocky Anderson Enters Ethics Quagmire With Americans Elect

Justice Party presidential candidate Rocky Anderson has long protested against what he calls the “corporatist duopoly”. That sounds idealistic, but would he replace it with a corporate tripoly? That seems to be the implication of Anderson’s announcement that he is joining Americans Elect, a pro-corporate political party

justice party candidate supports injustice The shallow motivation that has provoked Anderson’s leap into Americans Elect is reflected in the core statement from his campaign’s press release: “Although he has expressed concerns with the funding and transparency of Americans Elect, he has declared himself a candidate with Americans Elect”.

Rocky Anderson is well aware of the serious ethical problems of Americans Elect. Americans Elect was created using money from Wall Street hedge funds. Its leadership and ideology comes from the corporations who have been using campaign contributions and lobbyists to wrest the power of government away from voters and into the hands of financial elites. Americans Elect is a political party for the 1 Percent, not the 99 Percent.

Americans Elect rules allow its leaders to be appointed by a small group of corporate insiders, rather than chosen through election by rank-and-file voters. Americans Elect has refused to identify where its funding comes from. It has allowed its leadership to violate its own rules in order to give certain favored candidates an unfair advantage. Throughout its history, Americans Elect has deceived its rank-and-file members, and refused to comply with legal requirement designed to keep political parties accountable.

The Americans Elect process is fundamentally dishonest, anti-democratic and corrupt – and now Rocky Anderson has said that he wants to become part of it.

Rocky Anderson justified his decision by saying it’s the only way that his presidential campaign can succeed in getting on the ballot. Up until now, though, Rocky Anderson’s presidential campaign has been centered around the idea that it is not acceptable for political leaders to engage in unethical behavior, simply in order to gain power for themselves.

The new motto of the Rocky Anderson for President campaign seems to be: If at first you don’t succeed, compromise your principles.

Rocky Anderson’s supporters have said that it’s a terrible betrayal and a symptom of corruption when Barack Obama allows his campaign to use corporate money to get ahead. Now that Rocky Anderson is doing it, will his fans say that it’s okay?

Rocky Anderson may have failed this ethical test, but his supporters don’t have to. They have an alternative: I suggest that they shift their support to Jill Stein, a liberal presidential candidate who has stayed true to her ideals, and is gaining ballot access all across the country without corporate help.

63 thoughts on “Rocky Anderson Enters Ethics Quagmire With Americans Elect”

  1. Bill says:

    Sad news. Although I am not myself a Rocky Anderson supporter, I certainly did respect him. Past tense. Yet another ‘independent-minded reformer’ perfectly willing to sleep with the devil in order to get his name on the ballot and get some mega-donors behind him.

    Rocky thus joins “Bullwinkle” Buddy Roemer in mouthing platitudes about his deep concern regarding Americans Elect’s anonymous money…just not enough concern to, you know, actually pass on dipping into it for himself.

  2. Ralph says:

    Reminds me of Ralph Nader accepting funding from the Republican party in 2004. Eight years later, nobody cares what he says about anything.

    Rocky Anderson is making the exact same mistake Nader made in 2004. He’s begun to think a third party candidacy is about HIM, and that a Machiavellian move or two is worth it to get HIM on the ballot.

    What he doesn’t realize is that third party candidacies are all about principles. If people want to hold their nose and vote for someone who has compromised their principles, they’ll go for a Democrat or a Republican.

    Goodbye, Rocky. I’m not taking you seriously any more.

    1. J. Clifford says:

      Ralph, that’s exactly right. I think that the Rocky Anderson campaign had begun to become a Cult of Rocky, with the belief that Rocky Anderson as a person was what mattered, rather than the ideals that Rocky Anderson was, at first, willing to stand for.

      There will surely be those Rocky Anderson supporters who now argue that, regardless of whether we agree with everything that Rocky does, we need to support his candidacy so that the other guys don’t win.

      Hold on, I think I just saw a big wad of irony flying out of the window of the Rocky Anderson for President campaign headquarters in Salt Lake City.

  3. Jim Cook says:

    What about the possibility that Rocky Anderson could be exploiting Americans Elect? You know, the whole using-the-tools-of-the-oppressor to defeat the oppressor?

    1. Bill says:

      You mean the whole “fly with the crows, get shot with the crows” thing?

      1. Bill says:

        Still though, Jim, your question poses an interesting notion, which Anderson staffers would do well to think about. Anderson already has his Justice Party fans in the bag, and they will sign up at Americans Elect to support him there, but he still has a real challenge ahead of him to win the nomination there if even Ron Paul’s rabid fanboys and Buddy Roemer’s five supporters can’t marshal enough AE votes to put their guys on-target. So what can Anderson do to change the game to his advantage? Simple, really: demonstrate his progressive True Colors by very actively campaigning for reform of Americans Elect Corporation itself, including an elected Board of Directors, naming all large donors, and a convention to rewrite the bylaws. This would strongly distinguish him from AECorp heir apparent “Bullwinkle” Buddy Roemer, who is on record as being totally comfortable with AECorp as it is today. It would energize the tens or even hundreds of thousands of AECorp delegates, like me, who wish the organization was what it claims to be. It would capture considerable media attention. And I believe he would leave Bullwinkle and The Paul in the dust.

        Rocky? Yo, Rocky!

        1. J. Clifford says:

          Yeah, that’s a nice fantasy. But Rocky Anderson could have done the same thing within the Democratic Party.

          Rocky Anderson left the Democratic Party because he said it had become too corrupt, and too beholden to the corporations.

          And now he’s joining Americans Elect – a political party set up with secret Wall Street hedge fund money?!?

          Rocky Anderson has lost all credibility with that move.

          Rocky Anderson doesn’t look like he has any true colors any more. He just looks like an opportunistic chameleon to me.

    2. J. Clifford says:

      Good question, Jim. Is it like fighting fire with fire?

      The thing is that nothing about joining Americans Elect is like creating a fireline to contain a bigger fire. A fire line is strictly controlled. Americans Elect has no good system of outside controls. Nobody even knows how big it is, or where its fuel is coming from. That makes it part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      Rocky Anderson set the standard by which he should be judged. He said he was against political parties beholden to corporations. Now, Rocky Anderson is joining a political party beholden to corporations.

      What’s next? Is Rocky Anderson going to start saying that, in order to stop the use of torture around the world, we need to start using torture?

    3. Ralph says:

      Jim, I’d believe Rocky Anserson was doing that if he showed any intention at all of doing it. But he’s not.

      All he’s saying publicly is that he has “expressed concerns.” Well, what concerns, exactly? I supposed he’s had a little smoke-filled-room chat with Peter Ackerman, or whatever. Never you little people mind what exactly I said behind closed doors–just trust me, common folks, I spoke for you in my private little chat with a hedge fund billionaire political king maker.

      If Anderson is really out to grasp the tools of the oppressor and use them against the oppressor, what’s to stop him from saying so? I think it would be great to see someone actually do that, but he hasn’t. No, he’s left whatever “concerns” he had in the back room of the good ol’ boys’ club.

  4. Ben Shaw says:

    I expressed similar concerns from within the Justice party. Rocky is limiting his campaign contributions to $100, but many of the Progressive Left have not yet offered to help Rocky either through campaign contributions or by volunteering or by organizing others to help Rocky. His Progressive credentials are unmatched. He has laid out the most progressive Presidential platform in the history of the United States. His platform is full of specifics. All those Progressives who bought Obama’s Wall Street PR campaign generalities in 2008, are now criticizing Obama, but have not chosen to support the only Progressive candidate running a nation-wide Presidential campaign. Give me a call at 512-357-4156 instead of grousing about Rocky’s shortcomings. or participation in America Elects. I will share with you why I am still strongly behind Rocky Anderson. Or, visit any of Rocky Anderson’s Websites or the Texas Justice Party Website I manage at
    Ben Shaw, acting State Chairperson for the Justice Party of Texas.

    1. Bill says:

      Buddy Roemer says he has “demanded AE identify its secret donors” but then, his demands ignored, he jumped into bed with them. Ben Shaw says he has expressed similar concerns from within Anderson’s campaign but, his concerns shrugged off, still supports Anderson as Rocky slips into bed with the plutocrats. Since when does a minute spent wringing your hands magically neutralize the guilt of complicity?

      1. tiradefaction says:

        Buddy Roemer isn’t the most seemingly honest person (then again, what politician is?). He claims that he switched parties from the Dems to the Repubs to foster a political culture of debate in Louisiana (during his reign back in the 80s it was apparently nearly entirely controlled by the Dems). But from what I’m reading, it was actually an desperate Arlen Specter move to keep his job (Governor at the time). It seemed to work for a while until he lost in the open primary against….David Duke.

    2. J. Clifford says:

      Wow, Ben. You state that you have similar concerns, and then you completely ignore those concerns.

      Rocky Anderson is NOT the only progressive candidate running a nation-wide presidential campaign. Jill Stein is a very strong liberal, with a more complete platform than Rocky Anderson, and she has been remarkably successful in gaining ballot access.

      The fact that you completely ignore her existence, though she’s mentioned in the article, causes me to believe that you didn’t even read the article, and are merely engaged in damage control.

      If you’d engage with the facts, you’d be more persuasive.

      1. Ralph says:

        Nice move, Ben Shaw. Your comment reads just like the kind of “rapid response” we’ve been hearing from politics-as-usual hacks. As a matter of fact, Ben Shaw, we’ve been hearing a lot of this kind of crap from Americans Elect.

        Who are you to tell me to stop “grousing” and support Rocky Anderson even though he has made this sleazy move. Why don’t you stop being Rocky Anderson’s lackey, and start actually fighting for the principles you can no longer credibly support from inside the Rocky Anderson campaign?

    3. Ralph says:

      Ben Shaw,

      One question: If Rocky Anderson will align himself with billionaire financiers using large sums of money from secret sources to influence American politics as a candidate, what guarantees he won’t do the same thing as president?

  5. tiradefaction says:

    Honestly I’ve lost a lot of respect for Anderson with this move, if for no other reason just because how stupid it really is. Does he really think he has any chance of getting nominated on the American’s Elect ticket? It’s an organization run by business “conservatives” who just don’t give a shit about shoving JEEZUS down our throats. He’s running on a pretty solid what Europeans call “Socially Democratic” platform, which is likely very much at odds with the American Elect folks. Not good, not good at all….

    1. Joshua says:

      Whatever else one can say about AE, and the “business ‘conservatives'” part may be a fair description, I think it’s inaccurate to suggest that it is run by the religious right. I don’t know all the backgrounds of all the members of the board of directors and board of advisers, but I don’t see anyone on there who meets that description as far as I am aware.

      1. Jim Cook says:

        I think tiradefaction is actually agreeing with you, Joshua. Americans Elect equals business conservatism minus religio-sexual obsession.

        1. tiradefaction says:

          Jim has it right. What I said is they lack the obsession with shoving JEEZUS down our throats like the Repubs have.

  6. Tom says:

    This is what happens. The money people sniff out any candidate they think even remotely has a shot and they corrupt them with an offer they can’t refuse – “free” money! Then, of course, if the longshot wins – he OWES them favorable legislation, relaxation of regulations and whatever other “favors” they can find.
    The corruption of democracy has rendered it USELESS as a political tool to enact change for the better for the citizenry (of HUMANS). This election like all the others since Bush II will be a farce – no matter who wins (except maybe Stein) WE LOSE!

  7. J. Clifford says:

    Tom, you’ve identified the one thing that we have to hope for: That unlike Rocky Anderson, Jill Stein will have the strength of character required to resist the temptation to join in corporate get-votes-quick schemes like Americans Elect.

  8. Kristine Kubat says:

    We are not going to reform government by running away from corrupt institutions. We have to take them head on, hold them to the highest possible standard and make them work for the American people. Just because the naysayers here don’t know anyone with this kind of character doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. I have worked with Rocky Anderson only a short time but can already tell you that dishonesty is like red meat to his inner lion. The guy has more guts and determination than you can imagine; his ability to sniff out and expose nefarious behavior is scary. . . and epic. You just can’t second guess a man of his caliber when it comes to politics, so save yourself the bother.

    Rocky is not selling out by exercising the AE option; he is exhibiting leadership, acting presidential. He is prepared to take on AE and make this option work for the American people the same way he is prepared to take on the CIA, FBI and JSOC. . . the same way he is prepared to reform Wall Street. We need to support him, make him a winner then set him loose on every single institution we don’t trust so we can delight in the outcomes.

    Dialogue is good. We are right to question the Americans Elect funders but condemning Rocky for participating in their process is counterproductive to the goal of reform. Anyone who wants to succeed, who wants to see change HAPPEN, who doesn’t want to be left jousting with windmills and whining about how everything sucks, needs to get behind Rocky, 100%.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Anyone who wants to see change HAPPEN needs to stop engaging in the practice of “getting behind” ANY politician 100%. Anyone who wants to see change HAPPEN needs to QUESTION AUTHORITY.

      1. Kristine Kubat says:

        Sorry but questions do not equal change. Questions help us see the need for change but actions are what makes change HAPPEN. Rocky has taken a bold action. I stand behind him 110%.

      2. Jim Cook says:

        If you stand behind any politician 110%, then you are both innumerate and gullible. Congratulations — you have surrendered your free will. History does not suggest that’s a wise course.

    2. J. Clifford says:

      Kristine, why the double standard? Why say that it’s okay to question Americans Elect, but then say that it’s not okay to question Rocky Anderson?

      Joining a corrupt institution is most certainly not taking the corrupt institution head on.

      If dishonesty is like red meat to Rocky Anderson’s inner lion, then how come Rocky Anderson isn’t ripping the dishonest Americans Elect to shreds? Instead, Rocky Anderson is giving what strength he has to Americans Elect by joining as a member.

      Last summer, Rocky Anderson said that he was leaving the Democratic Party because the party was thoroughly corrupt. Now, he’s joining another thoroughly corrupt political party. What gives?

      Kristine, can you explain to me how joining a political party that is operated by Wall Street insiders is a credible path to reforming Wall Street?

      1. Kristine Kubat says:

        Americans Elect is not a political party. It is an initiative started by a number of people, some of whom can be described as Wall Street insiders, but many who do not fit that description at all. Rocky Anderson is not “joining” Americans Elect by availing himself of the ballot access they have secured. Please don’t spread misinformation.

        Questions are good and you can question Rocky all you like. But you have gone far beyond questioning here. You are making accusations and being disrespectful to a decent person who is doing everything he can to reform our political system at a great personal expense to himself. You are using this platform to undermine his campaign and turn people against him. . . all because you don’t understand why he has made the decision to pursue the AE option. So, yah, question him, but have the decency to accept his explantation (which you will find in his recent press release.)

        What I did say is don’t second guess Rocky. Here’s why: Have you ever been elected? Did “Business Week” name you as one of the top 20 activists in the world on climate change? Did the human rights commission name you as one of the top 10 straight advocates for GLBT rights? Rocky’s list of accomplishments goes on and on. The guy knows what he is doing and he is quite capable of making good decisions when it comes to politics.

        It’s possible that Americans Elect is corrupt and its possible that it is not. I had a very good conversation with Lawrence Lessig, who is an expert on the Internet and who is on his own personal mission to end political corruption. He has faith in the Americans Elect process and so do a lot of other good people. Please stop trying to make everyone who supports the AE concept out to be an idiot or evil doer.

        I have tremendous faith in Rocky. Like I said the guy has an uncanny ability to sniff out the truth. If there is something amiss at AE, he will get to the bottom of it. If there’s not, then he will be in a position to be on the ballot in all 50 states come November. This is what I mean when I say he is taking this thing head on.

        1. Jim Cook says:

          1. Americans Elect is indeed a political party.

          2. Lawrence Lessig is wrapped up in the leadership of Americans Elect but not disclosing that when promoting it on TV.

          3. Has Rocky Anderson made a single concrete negative remark about Americans Elect since joining with it?

  9. Richard Winger says:

    If the U.S. had fair ballot access laws, like Canada and Great Britain, Rocky Anderson would be able to get on the November ballot, with the Justice Party label. If all the people who are upset with corporate contributions would be equally upset about the horrible ballot access laws, no one would pay any attention to Americans Elect. Americans Elect is newsworthy only because in the U.S., parties and candidates who run outside the two major parties are not able to get on the ballot in many states without huge financial resources.

    How many people who read Irregular Times live in Indiana, or Georgia, or North Carolina, or Oklahoma, states with such terrible ballot access laws that no Green Party presidential candidate has ever been on the ballot? If you do live in these states, have you complained to your state legislator?

    1. J. Clifford says:

      Richard, you mentioned that Indiana has terrible ballot access. At this very moment, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is petitioning to get on the ballot in Indiana. Rocky Anderson couldn’t even get the process started there. That’s why he’s joining the corrupt Americans Elect Party.

  10. Richard Winger says:

    Last I heard, Jill Stein had fewer than 100 signatures in Indiana. “Starting” and “finishing” are very different. I don’t see any hope for any Green Party statewide candidate getting on in Indiana unless there is money for paid circulators. That, in turn, largely depends on Stein’s ability to get primary season matching funds. She needs $5,000 from each of 20 states, and so far she has only met it in 3 states.

    Indiana never even has a bill introduced in the legislature to ease the requirements. It is the only state with horrible ballot access in which there is so little activism, we can’t even get a bill introduced. There is something dead about Indiana. We have good bills pending in Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Most of those bills will fail. But at least they exist. But no ballot access improvement bill has been introduced in Indiana for over 10 years.

  11. Charlotte Scot says:

    I think Rocky Anderson should do everything (ethical) to get on the ballot. He’s not selling out to anyone. He’s gaining visibility and all this bodes well for the future of the Justice Party. Getting on the ballot in 50 states is not an easy task especially since the Justice Party has only been around since December. Many progressives are more concerned about a possible “spoiler effect” than getting out there and working for the candidate who would REALLY represent them.
    As for Americans Elect, the negative rumors change daily. First it was a stealth organization for Mayor Bloomberg, then it was a foil for Pres. Obama… if someone can prove any rumor… I’d be interested. (Mind you, my eyes are wide open and I am not yet 100% sold on AE)

    1. Jim Cook says:

      I’m not interested in rumors about Americans Elect, and you don’t have to traffic in rumors to find disturbing information about Americans Elect.

      See this list of articles on Americans Elect for actual behaviors by the Americans Elect corporation which should be troubling to anyone who believes in bottom-up participatory democracy.

    2. J. Clifford says:

      Charlotte, if it’s so very difficult for third party candidates to get on the ballot, how come the Jill Stein for President campaign is doing it in state after state after state?

      Let’s face the facts: Rocky Anderson couldn’t follow through, and so, instead of admitting that, he chose to compromise his principles.

      1. Charlotte Scot says:

        The Justice Party was founded in December iof 2011. The Green Party US was founded in 2001.
        Jill Stein is great, I just like Rocky Anderson better.
        I am surprised you guys think AE is more corrupt that the R’s & D’s. Perhaps more research would change your minds … then again, probaby not. I think your minds were made up long before your put pen to paper. Good luck .

        1. J. Clifford says:

          Don’t mistake me for thinking that the Republicans and Democrats are great. I’m just saying that, yes, Americans Elect is even more directly corrupt. Rocky Anderson has allowed his personal ambitions to cloud his judgment, if he can’t see how people will interpret his entanglement with a profoundly corrupt system.

          What, precisely, is better about Rocky Anderson than Jill Stein? Jill Stein has exhibited superior political organization, getting herself on the ballot where Rocky Anderson has failed. Jill Stein has shown superior ethics, avoiding the taint of Wall Street money from Americans Elect. There isn’t a single policy position Rocky Anderson has that is more progressive than Jill Stein’s.

          Is it just Rocky Anderson that you like… personally? Is this a cult of personality thing?

  12. Charlotte Scot says:

    It would be interesting if your next article bashing Americans Elect compared this organization to the Republican and Democratic Parties. You speculate a lot about AE but I don’t see any proof of actual wrongdoing. It may be there but your approach seems like yelling FIRE when no one has even seen a match … well they might have a match and then what?
    Speculation has driven up the price of gasoline … I can’t fathom the outcome of your conjecture about AE and I certainly can’t find any rational for denigrating Rocky Anderson.

    1. J. Clifford says:

      Oh, Charlotte, that’s absurd. If you read through our very long and very well researched thread on Americans Elect, you’ll see that the rules violations are extensive and documented. You’ll see that the attempts to shut out rank-and-file voters are extensive and documented. You’ll see that the efforts to block inquiries and efforts at transparency are extensive and documented. You’ll see that the corporate and Wall Street connections are extensive and documented.

      Have you done the reading, Charlotte? More importantly, did Rocky Anderson do the reading? Did Rocky Anderson really bother to do careful checking of Americans Elect, or did he just see an opportunity to save the sinking ship of his personal promotion machine, and decide to take advantage of it, regardless of the ethical implications?

      Also, I find your suggestion of an excuse, that we should check the Republicans and Democrats in comparison to Americans Elect, to be quite telling. Do you mean to suggest that if the Republicans and Democrats engage in unethical practices, it’s acceptable for Rocky Anderson to do so as well?

      In one important respect, the Democratic Party and Republican Party are much more ethical than the Americans Elect Party. The rules of the Americans Elect Party allow a very, very small number of financial elites who paid for appointed positions on the Americans Elect Board to overrule, to completely nullify, the rank-and-file selection of an Americans Elect Party presidential candidate. The Democrats and Republicans have no such unethical rule.

  13. Richard Winger says:

    The Green Party is doing fairly well with ballot access petitioning this year, but it is somewhat of an exaggeration to say it is qualifying in state after state. In the last 12 months it has qualified in 4 states, one of them by winning a lawsuit. It has 19 states now.

    1. J. Clifford says:

      Wait a minute, that’s not quite an accurate representation of what Jill Stein has been able to do. Jill Stein’s campaign has obtained ballot status in California, Arizona, Utah, California, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Hawaii and Washington, D.C.

      And that’s just so far. In many states, the petitioning process has just started, and in others, it has not yet begun. There are only three states where Jill Stein’s people have not been on the ground, collecting signatures or preparing to: Georgia, Oklahoma, and North Carolina.

      Rocky Anderson never had even a significant fraction of this organization. That’s why the Rocky Anderson campaign is using the corporate-funded organization of the Americans Elect Party – as a crutch.

      1. VAGreen says:

        The Green Party was already on the ballot in most of the states mentioned above, with the exception of Utah, which we would not have made without Jill’s campaign. She is stepping up efforts to get on the ballot in other states, however.

  14. Kristine Kubat says:

    Americans Elect is not a political party. It is an initiative started by a number of people, some of whom can be described as Wall Street insiders, but many who do not fit that description at all. Rocky Anderson is not “joining” Americans Elect by availing himself of the ballot access they have secured. Please don’t spread misinformation.

    Questions are good and you can question Rocky all you like. But you have gone far beyond questioning here. You are making accusations and being disrespectful to a decent person who is doing everything he can to reform our political system at a great personal expense to himself. You are using this platform to undermine his campaign and turn people against him. . . all because you don’t understand why he has made the decision to pursue the AE option. So, yah, question him, but have the decency to accept his explantation (which you will find in his recent press release.)

    What I did say is don’t second guess Rocky. Here’s why: Have you ever been elected? Did “Business Week” name you as one of the top 20 activists in the world on climate change? Did the human rights commission name you as one of the top 10 straight advocates for GLBT rights? Rocky’s list of accomplishments goes on and on. The guy knows what he is doing and he is quite capable of making good decisions when it comes to politics.

    It’s possible that Americans Elect is corrupt and its possible that it is not. I had a very good conversation with Lawrence Lessig, who is an expert on the Internet and who is on his own personal mission to end political corruption. He has faith in the Americans Elect process and so do a lot of other good people. Please stop trying to make everyone who supports the AE concept out to be an idiot or evil doer.

    I have tremendous faith in Rocky. Like I said the guy has an uncanny ability to sniff out the truth. If there is something amiss at AE, he will get to the bottom of it. If there’s not, then he will be in a position to be on the ballot in all 50 states come November. This is what I mean when I say he is taking this thing head on.

    1. J. Clifford says:

      Americans Elect is indeed a political party. It has stated this on several legal documents. How on earth, Kristine, can a political candidate run for the nomination of a political party such as Americans Elect, having submitted their candidacy for approval in an application to Americans Elect, and still be said not to have joined the party?

      What is Rocky Anderson doing at Americans Elect to “get to the bottom of it”? Nothing. Rocky Anderson has not led the way in exposing the corporate connections, the dishonesty to delegates, the Wall Street finding, the anti-democratic rules of Americans Elect.

      Right now, Rocky Anderson is withholding criticism from Americans Elect. He is NOT taking Americans Elect head on. He is making use of a corporate-funded ballot access project, and NOT confronting that.

      Rocky Anderson’s explanation is not an explanation at all. He completely fails to address the grave concerns that voters have about Americans Elect.

      Instead, Rocky Anderson is claiming that joining Americans Elect changes nothing at all. It’s an absurd idea, and by making it, Rocky Anderson loses credibility with serious voters.

  15. Laura Bonham says:

    “Americans Elect is a non-partisan non-profit organization in the US hosting the first national online presidential primary in U.S. history. Under the guidelines set forth in an appeal granted by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling against the Federal Election Commission (FEC), to remain outside FEC regulations of political committees, Americans Elect cannot accept funds from candidates or candidate committees, nor donate funds to them, nor can the organization advocate for or against any issue. The organization’s sole purpose is to obtain signatures to get on the ballot throughout the United States and to build the technology to process an online nomination.”

    Would it be preferable to go through only the established ballot access procedure? Well if it were easier to accomplish in just a few short months, probably yes. Remember that JPUSA was established in December of last year, and they are working this avenue as well. But the clock is ticking. There’s no money changing hands between the candidates and AE. It is merely a platform for exposure. And if the folks at AE think they will be able to but off Anderson, then they have met their match.

    Rocky Anderson deserves kudos for what he is attempting to do. His bid for presidency and helping to establish a third party represents his determination to expose the inadequacies of a two-party system. Anderson and the Justice Party USA will offer strategies to transition from a corporate-controlled plutocratic duopoly into real democracy for this and future generations. If Anderson and JPUSA take advantage of available resources to further their cause, without falling prey to corrupting influences (which Rocky has never done) then more power to them. That’s the system that the duopoly has built, and it has resulted in his getting your attention.

    Anderson is a reformer and reeks of integrity. I live in Utah and watched Anderson take heat for his choices to protect the eastern shoreline of the Great Salt Lake (a major flyway resting zone) from being encroached upon by a super highway. I watched as he turned Salt Lake City into a “green” city, and who can forget his principled voice calling for impeachment of Bush and Cheney? How many other prominent politicians made that call? Anderson built his career on principled stands and faced a lot of hardship because of it.

    If Anderson uses the resources provided to him, because he doesn’t have a mega-millions campaign chest, who are we to judge him? Have you all donated $100 maximum to his campaign? How many times have you laid your career on the line for principle? Yet, you sit here in judgement of the man.

    If you can provide a strategy to Anderson that will get him on the ballot in all 50 states which precludes using the AE resource, then I’m sure he would be interested in hearing it, provided you would be willing to work to help him achieve it.

    It’s hard. And its made harder by people grousing rather than rolling up their sleeves and helping Rocky and the Justice Party grow into the force that it could become.

    This country is in a state of decline. It is going to take committed citizens working together, building alliances and a movement for change, to restore America and the promise of democracy. JPUSA is looking for people interested in shifting the political paradigm so third parties can grow and impact policy. Rather than grousing about AE, how about rolling up your sleeves and helping the infant JPUSA and Rocky Anderson fulfill the dream and unleash America’s potential for freedom, justice, and democracy in this new century?

    Justice Party USA
    Vote Rocky

    1. J. Clifford says:

      Laura, can you explain to me how on earth Rocky Anderson is promoting a ” transition from a corporate-controlled plutocratic duopoly” by joining and promoting a corporate-controlled political party?

      Americans Elect is so terribly top-down, autocratic, anti-grassroots that its controlling board of leaders (all unelected, but appointed by a Wall Street hedge fund manager or appointed by his appointees) has granted itself the power to kick any presidential candidate out of the nomination process if that candidate does not comply with the Americans Elect leadership’s pro-corporate political agenda.

      And you want us not to “grouse” about this? Sorry, no.

      How can you say that joining such an anti-democratic political party is a step forward?!?

  16. Charlotte Scot says:

    The truth comes to the surface at last. You go girl.

    1. J. Clifford says:

      You want the truth about Americans Elect? Look into Peter Ackerman, the guy who created Americans Elect and still controls it. Look at where his money comes from.

      You want the truth, Charlotte? Look at the powers that the Americans Elect board has granted itself.

      Rocky Anderson has agreed to accept the support of corporate money to get on the ballot, even though this move breaks his promises of independence from corporate influence. Now, are you willing to accept this move, simply because it’s convenient?

      1. Laura Bonham says:

        I don’t know how you all make it through the day in the USA without supporting corporate America in one form or another. Whether you accept paychecks from corporations, buy Cheerios, sneakers, or jeans, fill up your tank, turn on the lights, seek hospital care, get your hair cut, make contributions to charities, etc., it’s all corporate America. Does that make you beholden to and in favor of the corporatocracy?

        Is Americans Elect ideal? No, but there’s very little in American electoral politics that is. The AE organization is not transparent and has ties to corporate America, and Anderson and JPUSA are at the other end of the spectrum. You might have an argument if Anderson were to accept money from them, but that would be illegal because of the way the group is organized, and Rocky has limited his maximum contributions to $100 per person, no corporate contributions. (If you think by participating in AE, that a candidate is accepting a contribution in the form of exposure, see paragraph one.)

        You might have an argument if AE were an actual party with a platform, but again, AE is merely offering ballot access to myraid candidates with differing points of view.

        What AE is attempting to do is not a bad idea. Ballot access in this country is a time-consuming process. It’s purposely made to be difficult to oppress multiple voices in a two-party system so we are continuously left with lesser of two evils choices.

        I agree that it would be better if AE was a grassroots organization, but it is what it is. And Anderson is who he is. There’s no way in hell that Rocky will be bought off by corporate interests.

        After reading these posts, no one here, including Rocky’s supporters, thinks AE is a great organization. Do I wish that AE was transparent? You bet I do. With a lesser man than Rocky Anderson your concerns would likely be justified. But Rocky has never backed down from a fight or changed his position because its “politically expedient.” Rocky stands by his word, and has demonstrated this over and over and over again.

        Rocky is offering real solutions to systemic problems, not a bunch of rhetoric. If you need good reasons to support Anderson, see his youtube page, where his career has been chronicled. After learning about Rocky, if you still think he doesn’t deserve your support, then so be it, with the knowledge that failure to support Rocky and JPUSA will be at the expense of actually reforming our system so it works for all Americans.

        And in the spirit of transparency, I am the former deputy director and communications coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America, which I co-founded, and I currently serve on the executive committee of the Move to Amend Coalition. Because I live in Utah, today I will go change my voter registration to JPUSA!

        I’ve been sitting on the fence about the chances of success for a third party to grow in the US. But something has to happen, and soon, in order to change the downward trajectory of our country. Thanks for helping me to decide to take the risk, to abandon the lesser of two evils approach. I’m done fiddling while Rome burns.

        1. J. Clifford says:

          Laura, your argument that buying a box of Cheerios and running for President using a campaign system paid for with Wall Street hedge fund money are equivalent is absurd.

          If Rocky Anderson’s supporters had worked as hard for independent ballot access as they are now working to make excuses for Anderson’s embrace of a corporate money political system, then maybe the entry into the corrupt Americans Elect political party would never have even been discussed.

  17. Horatio says:

    Okay, is there anyone who does not live in Utah who still supports Rocky Anderson?

    1. Robert Hall says:

      Yes, My friend.

      You have a Rocky Anderson supporter right here.
      But let’s be truthful.

      Does our Vote Count Anymore?

      The Game is Rigged as Carlin once said

      Now The Truth!

      I vote because of Conscience. Knowing my vote is going down the tube, I still exercise my civic duty.

      This is where I turn a little religious on you

      God said in the Bible that he has the power to set up kings and lay them down.

      So Rather than worry about who you are voting for. Each should vote their conscience and then pray for the leaders as God commanded us to.

      As for me. I voted Paul now. And I’ll be voting Rocky Anderson in November.

      1. J. Clifford says:

        Wow, Robert, that really makes no sense. How are you voting your conscience if you’re just following the commands of this god? Aren’t you just following the god’s conscience?

        What if I believe that Herbie The Cosmic Iguana commands me to vote in a particular way? Is it rational for me to pursue that belief, and to call that my “conscience”?

        As for Ron Paul, well, he’s pro-corporate too, so I guess it’s predictable that supporters of the pro-corporate Rocky Anderson would go for Ron Paul.

  18. Charlotte Scot says:

    If I may quote Laura Bonham, “Americans Elect cannot accept funds from candidates or candidate committees, nor donate funds to them, nor can the organization advocate for or against any issue.”
    I cannot understand why you are singling out one entity when the DNC and RNC are notorious for being controlled by special interests and Wall Street.
    Don’t you remember? In 2010 the Green Party was kept off the ballot in Texas because of an illegal corporate contribution. The fact this occurred did not make me denigrate the Green Party and its good work.
    It is obvious you have some deep rooted anger about Rocky Anderson and can’t see the forest for the trees.
    Don’t you think this discussion has run its course?

    1. Jim Cook says:

      If you’d actually read the articles on Rocky Anderson rather than drawing a supposition out of your hat, Ms. Scot, you’d see that until his latest move Irregular Times was actually rather sympathetic to an Anderson candidacy, and spent some time promoting it.

      The Republicans and Democrats are “notorious” for their behavior (and if you read Irregular Times you’ll see we do criticize the Democrats and the Republicans, extensively) because there is transparency in the reporting of contributions to the DNC and RNC. On the issue of transparency, the DNC and RNC are a large step above Americans Elect because the Ds and Rs are required to (and do) report the identities, occupations, and addresses of their donors. Americans Elect refuses to disclose any of this information, point blank. Americans Elect is a regression, not a progression, for democracy in America.

      Furthermore, Americans Elect donors have been rewarded with leadership positions within Americans Elect, and Americans Elect leaders have a series of controls over the process which ensure that no candidate like Rocky Anderson who the Americans Elect leaders don’t like can make it to the ballot. Candidates like Rocky Anderson are entirely dependent upon the goodwill of Americans Elect toward them to obtain ballot access. And I do mean entirely: the new bylaws make clear that the Candidate Certification Committee — appointed solely by the self-appointed corporate board of directors — can yank out whichever 50,000-vote candidate they wish, without the possibility of review by delegates or anyone else.

      To see documentation of these points with links to primary sources, read this series of articles. Then come back here and explain, with reference to documentation, how wonderfully democratic Americans Elect is. That’ll be a very hard claim to make.

      I can see why you would like this discussion to have run its course, Ms. Scot, but clearly it hasn’t.

    2. Jim Cook says:

      P.S. Charlotte Scot hasn’t been fully forthcoming here about who she is. She’s on the Steering Committee of the Justice Party, Rocky Anderson’s political organization. She’s not a disinterested observer.

  19. Richard Winger says:

    It doesn’t follow logically that Rocky Anderson is a member of Americans Elect, just because he is seeking its presidential nomination. Political parties have a constitutional right to nominate non-members. The US Supreme Court said so in Tashjian v Republican Party of Connecticut, 479 US 208, on page 215 (1986).

    It is extremely likely that Rocky Anderson is a registered member of the Justice Party, because Anderson lives in Utah, and the Justice Party is ballot-qualified in Utah and therefore voters may register into the Justice Party as members.

  20. Charlotte Scot says:

    I resigned from the Steering Committee several weeks ago FYI. I am also the former Press Secretary and Director of Communications for the DNC now that we are getting personal.
    I have nothing else to add other than, Poke me with a fork, I think I
    ‘m done.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Not to mention Press Secretary for Rocky Anderson.

      You brought questions about personal motivations into the conversation, Ms. Scot. It is (current, according to this link) or recently was (according to you) your job to say nice things about Rocky Anderson. Whether you’re done here is up to you.

    2. J. Clifford says:

      It looks like you’re unable to dispute what we’re saying on the basis of the facts, Ms. Scot, so you’re stomping off in a huff. You retain the power to come here and prove us wrong about Rocky Anderson and Americans Elect. Do you have any actual material to work with, Ms. Scott?

  21. Bill Todd says:

    Hmmm. As an Americans Elect ‘delegate’ (which simply means one voting member out of however many such they have signed up, which should be approaching 7 figures now if it hasn’t already reached that point) I’m really not particularly worried about the fact that some of their management may work by undemocratic means. I was interested in Rocky before he got onto their slate of potential nominees, and I remain interested now.

    As long as AE is fielding candidates I’m interested in, and giving me the opportunity to express my support for them such that if enough of us do they’ll wind up on 50 state ballots next November, I couldn’t care less where the money is coming from – because it’s not going to individual candidacies and hence they should not feel unduly obligated by it.

    A few people apparently put up quite a bit of their own money to organize AE, and I’m grateful to them for having done so. If they want to keep their hands on the reins to try to ensure that this money is used effectively that’s fine with me. I confess that I was a bit skeptical about their political leanings at the outset, but after it became obvious from the internal polling that the vast majority of AE ‘delegates’ hold far more progressive views than the national Democratic (let alone Republican) establishment holds then as long as AE respects the wishes of its delegates in selecting the eventual nominees I see no reason to question the fact that some of its major donors earned their money in ways that are not normally associated with strongly progressive views (there are, after all, always exceptions to any generality, and they may just be some).

    By contrast, some people (and organizers) of this site seem to have a real bug up their (…) in this area without having much beyond innuendo and guilt by association to base it upon. Reservations are one thing, but active disparagement without real evidence is quite another. AE is trying a non-traditional approach in an attempt to break the stranglehold that the current duopoly holds upon our political process (sure, it would be nice if, say, the Greens managed to do this, but given that Jill Stein garnered only 1.4% of the vote in the 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial election, despite having far better name-recognition in the state than she has nationally, I’m not very optimistic about their chances this year – they don’t even have a Web presence in my state, for heaven’s sake). Rocky Anderson has much the same goal, and it seems to me to be entirely natural for them to get together.

    For a Web site that claims to be interested in ‘new paths’ your attitude here seems a bit strange, to say the least.

  22. Daniel says:

    This is nonsense. Rocky has stated numerous times that he cannot win AE and is only participating in order to get his name out there. This “author” is just a mouthpiece for the Jill Stein campaign of pettyness.

    1. J. Clifford says:

      No, Daniel, I’m not a representative of the Jill Stein campaign at all. I’ve never communicated with Jill Stein about strategy for anything at all, much less this article in particular. I just know a self-obsessed hypocrite when I see one.

      So, how’s that Americans Elect name awareness thing working out for Rocky Anderson, these days? Is anyone talking about him anymore? Attended any Justice Party meetings outside of Salt Lake City lately?

  23. Ralph says:

    Thanks for an illuminating treatment of Rocky Anderson. His latest ploy, “Open Letter to Ron Paul,” further illuminates the depths this egomaniac will sink to in order to nab more followers for his cause. No one in their right mind, having done a modicum of research regarding Ron Paul, would ever associate terms such as “integrity” to that equivocating whackjob. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

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