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
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.